Selling on the Trading Post - A Buyer's Perspective
Your items have been on the Trading Post forever, and nobody is buying! What are you doing wrong? You followed all of the selling guides, but you still aren't getting the offers you want. Perhaps it's time to go to the source: those buyers. I'm no experienced Trading Post seller, but I am an experienced Trading Post buyer and as a buyer, I know the hassles of buying on the Trading Post. The more hoops that buyers have to jump through, the less likely they are to buy items. Learning these hassles as a seller can save you hassles of your own and get that item sold a little bit faster. Here are some common reasons your items might not be selling the way you want, from a buyer's perspective:
You are asking for the impossible – Did you know that the Trading Post has restrictions on how many neopoints you can offer in a bid? If your item is worth more than 800,000 neopoints and you're asking people to just offer with your neomails blocked (hey, I've seen it happen), then you aren't going to get the offers you want. In situations like these, if you are looking for pure neopoints, you need to let people neomail you with their offers. If you accept it, neofriend them and put your auction up with your agreed-upon price in a neofriends-only auction. This way, the public can't outbid them. So make sure that if you are asking for pure neopoints, and your price is over 800,000, you have your neomails open so that way you can receive contacts about your items.
Your price is too high – This should be obvious, but if it's not, listen up: Know the price of the item you are selling! Before you put your items up on the Trading Post, check to see what the going rate of the item is by comparing your item to others on the Trading Post. Odds are that yours is not the only one there. If you are asking for 800,000, and others are asking for 600,000, which one do you think that Trading Post users are going to offer on?
Are you the only one on the Trading Post? Check the Auction House to see if there are any there up for auction. Sometimes, you will really be the only one selling it right now. In this case, you get some leeway with your pricing, but don't go overboard. Compare your item with similar items. Also, make sure to check back every few days to ensure you are still competitive price-wise. For newly released items, the prices may fluctuate a lot in a short period of time.
Your item could be on the Shop Wiz – For those items hovering around or below 100,000 neopoints, check to make sure there aren't any on the Shop Wizard first. Most people don't bother with the Trading Post when they can buy the item instantly on the Shop Wizard. The Shop Wizard is faster, immediate, and if used correctly, people know they are getting a lower price.
Your wish list is too vague – Maybe this is just me, but when I am buying items on the Trading Post, I look for those who have a clearly written out wish list. If you want pure neopoints and won't accept anything else, please specify so I don't waste my time or yours. Especially painful to deal with are the ones who write "I want what it's worth" on the Trading Post, but then there are no other items of that type listed with a price on it. If you don't know what you want, how can you expect others to bid what you want on it? If you are too lazy to do your research, then you should expect the same out of the buyers.
Consider avoiding acronyms – Anyone experienced with the Trading Post will know what hts or ets means, but not everyone does. Buying and selling shouldn't involve having a crazy code to decipher, so keep your acronyms to a minimum. Another thing to avoid is using 1k instead of 1,000. Not everyone knows that k symbolizes thousands. Don't be surprised if you get an offer of 1 or 100 instead of 1,000 in those cases. Writing out your numbers will save you a lot accidental offers.
You are not fast enough – As a buyer, this is my biggest irk of the Trading Post. I offer the asking price on a wish list, and then the seller does not log on for two weeks. I can be patient, and am willing to wait for a while for those items I am buying for luxury, but I don't want to have to wait two weeks. So, naturally, I close out my offer and go to someone who I can see has been on recently. Selling items on the Trading Post can be a commitment for this reason. Your customers are in a hurry sometimes. Nobody expects a 24 hour commitment, but once in a few days is preferred. When I am buying items, I usually have a reason, and sometimes, a time limit, especially if I'm on a quest for those demanding faeries. It's alright to hold out for another offer for a little while, but don't be disappointed if I clear out my offer before that point then.
Your item is simply in low demand – Sometimes you are doing it all right, but your item is just not in high demand. In that case, maybe some advertising might help. There is a board designated just for advertising prices. You might have to consider accepting a lower offer than you wanted. Remember, trades are only worth what someone wants to pay for them. If nobody wants to buy your item, it's pretty much useless.
Be kind – This probably won't get people to offer on your items, but always approach every offer respectfully when in communication with buyers. Remember that some buyers just don't know how the Trading Post works and really might not know what they are doing. Be patient and helpful to all of your correspondences. People remember those who were nice to them and those who were not. Also, a bit of grammar can't hurt you. If you're trying to negotiate prices, but can't complete a sentence, it makes me want to consider talking to someone else.
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"Excuse me, but may I ask the secret behind invisible soup?"
To my surprise, the Soup Faerie merely smiled secretively at me, and did not answer.