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How to Make Your First 100k
Without Begging or Bumping

A course in making gold the old fashioned way: you earn it.

Purpose of This Guide
I will take you step-by-step through a process that will earn you gold without having to beg, join a charity, PM your friends, or win a lottery. Just so you know up front, this method takes work -- yes, you have to spend your time and focus your attention at earning gold in the marketplace. But think about how much better it will feel when you have earned your wealth rather than relying on the charity of others.

In a nutshell, you will buy items in the marketplace at low prices and sell them right away for higher prices. You make a small profit on your investment and repeat this process until you have as much gold as you need.

The following paragraph gives you an alternative to reading the rest of my guide. If you don't like to read or don't want to use the marketplace to leverage your gold into a fortune, then read the following paragraph. If you don't want to take the time to learn about trading in the marketplace, I can tell you in one easy step how to make 100k on Gaia without any work at all. Purchase $25 worth of Monthly Collectibles -- 10 envelopes -- and put them all up for sale in the marketplace. If you buy the envelopes early in the month, you will probably get no less than 10k per envelope -- later in the month you might even make more. Ten envelopes times 10k each = 100k. I support Gaia, and encourage you to purchase a few Monthly Collectibles each month if you can, but you don't have to spend real money to build up a nice nest egg of gold.

1. Prerequisites and Recommendations
2. A Brief Overview of the Method
3. Choosing an Item
4. Buying Your Item Below Market Value
5. Selling Your Item at Near Market Value
6. Tips and Hints
7. I've Made 100k, Where do I Go From Here?
8. FAQ

A. Working with Common Items

Course Graduates


Ok, I really thought I didn't need to post any rules, but it seems that I need to spell out a few prohibitions, and at the request of the moderators I have moved the rules to this first section to make them more prominent.

  • NO BUMPING -- The thread doesn't need bumping. It has enough traffic to keep it on the first page of the guides forum and bumping does not add to the discussion. Note that I report all bumps, and you could end up reprimanded or even banned if you bump repeatedly in the Guides forum.

  • Post only relevant discussion and questions about trading in the marketplace. To quote our benevolent moderator, "This isn't a hangout thread." Don't post updates to your gold balance or your latest triumphant sale. Do post questions (and answers) you have about trading in the marketplace and advice or discussion relevant to trading. For conversation that doesn't belong here in the guide, please feel free to post in the How to Make 100k Chatterbox thread.

  • Don't quote any sections from the first page -- If you had a question about a sentence or two, sure, quote just that section, but don't quote an entire chapter of the guide. I'll just report your post and have it removed.

  • No Advertising -- I know it's a popular thread and you might get some exposure, but advertising doesn't belong in my thread. Again, I'll report your post and have it removed.

  • No begging -- If you read the guide and put it into practice, you don't need to beg for gold. So do not post requests for donations, your list of desired items, or a banner for your quest. (I don't care what you put in your signature, this prohibition expressly prohibits begging in the content of your message.)

  • No lewd or irrelevant comments -- Basically, this thread doesn't need your random comments, especially if you start trolling.

  • No stretching the page -- It's just plain rude.

Sorry, I really didn't want to post a list of rules, but by doing so, I can better serve the rest of the list by getting some of the trash removed.
1. Prerequisites and Recommendations

If you have just joined Gaia, you probably will want to wait a week or so to get the feel of the site before employing my process. Other than that, you will need the following to get started:

  • Know how to buy and sell in the marketplace. If you haven't used the marketplace before, I suggest that you try selling one or two of your really inexpensive items, maybe the Blue Flame Shirt that you won in the Daily Chance. Also find some items for sale for 1g, and buy one or two as practice to see how you buy items from the marketplace.

  • About 1k to 3k of pure gold. As the saying goes, "You need money to make money." In this case, you can leverage a very small amount into a very large sum. (If you don't have this much gold, you can post, do puzzles, play cards -- the usual stuff you do to get small amounts of gold.)

  • At least one hour of time each day to dedicate to marketplace trading. Trading in the marketplace takes place in real-time, and you stand in competition with other savvy market traders who also want to profit from great bargains. You also need to spend enough time so that you can see the current trends. Items that sold well yesterday may have stagnated overnight. As you spend time in the marketplace, you will start to recognize the signs that signal "buy" or "sell." Of course, the longer you spend trading, the more profit you will make. (But make sure you take breaks to eat and sleep.)

    The time of day will also make a difference in how quickly you can sell your items. You will sell your items most quickly when Gaia has the most users signed in. The local time will vary for you, but in general you can count on 4 to 7 p.m PST as some of the busiest trading times during the day.

  • A browser that supports tabbed pages. You don't have to use tabs, but tabs enable you to quickly move from one item to another without having to move the mouse off the Go button. Both FireFox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7 support tabs. I prefer FireFox, but I don't think it makes any difference which browser you use. Also, on Apple Computers, you can use Safari, which also supports tabs.

  • Don't spend your money until you have reached your goal. I know having 20k or even 50k in pure gold just sitting there will make you want to buy that coveted item you have lusted after, but I recommend that you wait. Again remember, "You need money to make money." If you spend your hard-earned money on items too soon, you take away from the capital that you need to invest in the market. Once you reach your goal of 100k, then you can choose the items to want to buy and still leave yourself enough gold to keep playing the market.
2. A Brief Overview of the Method

This system operates on two basic economic principles that work in the real world as well as on Gaia:

  • Buy low, sell high

  • You have to keep your gold in motion to make it grow

Buy Low, Sell High
If you buy an item for 100g, and you turn around and sell the same item for 200g, then you have made a profit of 100g. (Now with Marketplace 3.0, you pay a 2% listing fee and net a profit of 96g.) The item made you an excellent return of 96% on your investment -- that is, you nearly doubled the money you invested. While great bargains will come up frequently, you will typically look for opportunities where you can buy an item for seven to ten percent below the current market value, and you will then sell those items in the marketplace for nearly the market value.

User ImageFor example, if you see that Superior Form currently sells for around 13,400g in the marketplace, you would watch for someone to list a Superior Form for sale at 12,400g or less. You buy the Superior Form, put it on the market for 13,349g, and when it sells, you make a 682g profit (after the 2% fee). Six hundred gold might seem like a long way from 100k, but if you average a profit of 600g per trade, you only have to make 167 trades to reach 100k. If you can make twelve trades each day, you can reach your goal in less than two weeks.

You might ask, "Why would someone list a Superior Form for such an inexpensive price? I'll never find such bargains." I promise you that such bargains happen every minute on Gaia for any number of reasons. Perhaps the seller mistyped the sale price, wants to quickly dump some unwanted inventory to raise cash to buy the latest and greatest items, or doesn't understand the marketplace and took a guess at the item's value. If you want to see this principle in action, just watch the marketplace on a day when an event item gets released. Since everyone gets the item free, not everyone recognizes that the item might have value, and you will often see the items listed for much less than the market price.

Just as an example, I found this bargain on 3 October 2007 when looking at Momo the Monkey (one of the 2006 monthly collectibles). You can see that some people do list items without even looking at the marketplace. You snatch these bargains up, sell them, and make a 10k profit -- a 570% return on your investment.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

Keeping Your Gold in Motion
In this course, you will make short-term investments -- the real world would call this day trading. When you put something up for sale, you want it to sell almost instantly, making room for the next item you have ready to sell. If your items just sit in your store, then your money has stopped moving. Since Gaia limits us to selling only ten items at a time, you really do need to have your items turning over quickly to make money. So to keep your items selling, you need to list your item for nearly irresistible prices. I'll discuss pricing in detail later on, but for now remember that you need to have your items sell and not sit stagnant in your store. The faster you can sell your items, the more transactions you can make and earn 100k in just a short period of time.
3. Choosing an Item

Understanding Market Price
In order to recognize a bargain, you need to know how to find the current market price for any item. You find the current market price by looking at the "Lowest Buy Price" for the item in the marketplace.

To find the current market price

1. Go to the marketplace. (On the Gaia navigation menus, point to Community and then click Marketplace.

You see the general marketplace form.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

2. In the Search for field, enter the name of the item you want to find.

3. Click Go.

You see the search results for your query. Conveniently, the new marketplace automatically sorts the items with the lowest Buy Now price first.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

We define the current market price as the lowest price for which you can buy the item right now in the marketplace. For our example, the Aquatica has a current market price of 36,999g. The current market price can vary from minute to minute, so you have to keep refreshing the page by clicking the Reload button on your browser or the item's name in the list of results to get the latest information about the item in your search.

By knowing the current market price, you can then recognize a bargain. If you refresh the search above and saw an Aquatica listed for 34,000g or less, you would want to buy that item as quickly as possible since you should make at least a 2,940g profit reselling the item right away.

Choose Items that Keep Your Gold in Motion
In order to keep your gold in motion, you have to buy and sell items that move quickly. It doesn't do you any good to get a great bargain on an item, only to have the item sit in your store for days before someone purchases it. During that time, the price can drift, possibly even below your original purchase price and eliminating your profits.

Let me also express that it doesn't matter what items you buy and sell, as long as the item moves and you can get a bargain. You make short-term investments in low-priced items that you sell immediately for a profit. Ideally at the end of a trading session, you will not have any of your investment items in your inventory. You want to buy items that will sell, list those items for sale, and end the session with profits in pure gold. As you use the marketplace, you will find that unpredictable swings take place overnight or even after just several hours. These market swings work to your advantage, because you can take advantage of the shifting prices -- especially if you recognize when the current market price starts going up. On the other hand, if you keep your short-term investment items in your inventory, you risk having the price plummet overnight, and you will have to either take a loss on the item or wait for the market to swing back the other way, which could take several days or even weeks.

So let me list some items that you can almost always count on for pretty good market motion:

  • Sealed Envelopes. For the first half of each month, we don't know what new Monthly Collectible items these envelopes contain, but the prices often swing 1,500g up and down several times each day. Watch for envelopes listed 700 to 1000g below the current market price.

  • Recent Monthly Collectibles. The most recent monthly collectibles and their associated letters often move fairly well, as Gaians decide whether they like the items or not. Monthly Collectible items over three months old might offer an investment opportunity for very popular items, but usually after a few months, the Monthly Collectible items move more slowly than you want to make quick profits.

  • Recent Event Items. Gaia has tons of events, and often awards a free item in association with those events: Ubi Fan, Bee Movie Helmet, Bee Movie Suit, Alchemyst Book, Watermelon Hat, summer festival shirts, etc. Even some older event items like Mimzy and Mokona Hat still move quite steadily even today.

  • Event Items Approaching Their Season or Anniversary. As Halloween approaches, you will start to see the Halloween Event Items start to move more rapidly. The same applies to Christmas items.

In general, you should avoid common items that you can purchase in the stores, unless you get an incredible bargain on the price.

You'll get the hang of recognizing items on the move, but for starters, you should watch for the following indicators:

  • When you refresh the search results, you see big changes. Items on the move sell rapidly, so the items for sale now will get bought quickly and get replaced almost as quickly by other vendors' items.

  • Items that have two hundred or more of that item listed for sale. If you only see five to ten of the item for sale, you know that item doesn't move very fast.

  • You see everyone wearing the item. Just like in the real world, fashion trends come and go. On Gaia, the Naruto look will probably endure as a fashion genre forever, but other trends come and go.

Of course, you can find exceptions to every rule, but with these guidelines, you should easily find several items that you can start trading.
4. Buying Your Item Below Market Value

Now that you have selected an item or two that have good marketplace movement, you need to buy your item below market price. I know of two ways to buy items below market price:

  • Watch the marketplace like a hawk

  • Negotiate a purchase in the exchange

Watching the Marketplace Like a Hawk
I would say that I buy most of my short-term investments by watching the marketplace like a hawk and pouncing on items listed below the current market price. Let's continue with the example from section 3 with Aquatica. We learned that Aquatica has a market prices of 36,999g. You want to watch for someone to list an item for sale around 34,000g or less. Generally I shoot for about 7-10% net profit on each transaction, not including the 2% fee. After the fee, you end up with 5-8% profit. So, if you start trading with 5k items items, you would want to look for about a 350g profit.

Really, the price at which you choose to purchase your item depends entirely on your patience. If you have the patience to wait long enough, refreshing the search every 5 seconds, you will eventually find a great bargain. You have to think in terms of profit margin -- how much will you make on the transaction. Accepting lower profits will fill your store more quickly, but you have to conduct many more transactions to achieve the goal of 100k.

When you do spot a great deal, you will have to move quickly because other bargain hunters have the same opportunity and desire to buy the item. Keep your password stored on your clipboard so you can quickly paste your password into the confirmation box. Or, if your browser can remember your password, you don't have to do anything but click the confirmation button. Don't worry if you don't get every deal. When the market really moves quickly, I can usually win one out of three races to see who can buy the item first. As you get more practice with the marketplace, you'll build up skill and reflexes that enable you to click Buy Now, paste in your password, and click confirm in less than a second.

As you become more experienced, you will find that having a browser that supports tabs very convenient. You set up a search for a different item in each tab, and you move from tab to tab by typing Ctrl+Tab. Using this method, you can leave the mouse pointer at the same spot on the screen and then press Ctrl+Tab and click the item names repeatedly through multiple search pages.

Some traders, instead of setting up multiple searches, watch the All Listings page sorted to show Just Added items. Each time you click Go, you see the 10 to 20 newest items listed in the past few seconds. If you really know your items and their prices, you can find bargains on more items. Personally, I find most of my best deals this way.

A Note About Bidding on Items
Up to this point, I have only talked about buying items by clicking the Buy Now button. Some sellers will list their items as an auction, where the sale goes to the highest bidder when the listing expires. Sometimes you can find some really great bargains through bidding, but as you progress to buying more expensive items around 10k or more, you'll find that the seller will cancel the listing if the bidding doesn't go high enough to suit the seller. Personally, I find that too often the sellers cancel the items that I bid on, so I hardly ever bid on items for sale.

Buying Items in the Exchange
The Gaia Exchange forum provides the equivalent of classified advertising. Sellers advertise the items they have for sale, and you post offers to purchase the items. If you agree to a sale, you exchange the item for gold (or other items) through the Bank of Gambino trading system.

I don't buy much from the exchange for the same reason I don't usually bid on items -- the process just takes too much time. First you have to find someone selling an item that you want. Usually I check the current market price on the item just to make sure I know where I want to make my offer. Then you have to post your offer in the thread and wait for the seller to post a response. I usually start my bidding several hundred lower than my maximum purchase price so I have some room to haggle. Often sellers want close to market price, so often you'll make your highest bid and then have to look elsewhere for another opportunity. For me this takes too much time, but to each his own.

I do like to search the exchange for opportunities to purchase items in bulk. Often you can get a better deal when you purchase five or ten of the same item at once than you would buying the item one at a time. Be careful that you don't buy too many items. You might sell the first few at great prices, but then have the market price fall to where you can't make a profit on the remaining items.
5. Selling Your Item at Near Market Value

Now that you have purchased an item at 7% or more below market price, you need to put your item up for sale at or near the current market value. I recommend that you sell your items as a Buy Only listing. You set the price for which you want to sell the item and the length of time you want the item up for sale. Although I expect most of my items to sell within minutes or at most hours, I always list my items for 14 days, just in case I need to ride a market swing to have the item sell.

But before you can list your item for sale, you have to choose a price for your item. In choosing a price, you have to balance two factors: you want to make as much profit on the item as possible and you want the item to sell quickly to keep your money in motion. I'll describe three pricing strategies along with their benefits and deficits.

Undercutting Market Price By a Moderate Margin
If you want your item to sell fast, then you should list your item for 100 to 200g below the current market price. This keeps your money in motion, but you don't make as much profit on the sale. This method works well when you have a lot of the same item to sell and you want to move through them fast. If the market cooperates, you will sell your items faster than you can put them up for sale.

Listing Your Item 1g Below the Lowest Price
To make the most profit, you can list your item 1g below the current market price. If your item has a current market price at 8,000g. You could list your item for 7,999g. In this case, your item probably won't sell as fast, but you'll make more profit on the item. If you follow this pricing strategy, often you'll see another item listed at 7,998g. So now you will have to either wait for the cheaper item to sell before someone buys your item, or you cancel and relist your item at 7,997g. If the market has plenty of buyers, I usually wait for the cheaper item to sell knowing mine will sell next.

Listing Your Item Slightly Higher than the Lowest Price
In very fast moving markets, I will often list my item at a price in between the two lowest prices. Look at the example below. If I have a Mythic Hair to sell and the market has a lot of action, I would probably list my item for 11,949g. I know that someone will quickly buy the 11,900g item, leaving mine the lowest item for sale. Using this pricing strategy, you will make the most profit, but you run the risk of having the market stall and your item sit for some time before it sells.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

Price Deflation
Sometimes, the market has more sellers than buyers, and you will see ten or fifteen items listed that undercut your selling price. Don't panic. The market naturally swings back and forth. In this situation, you can do several things. You can leave your item up for sale and wait for the current market price to swing back to your item's price. If you don't want to wait for the market to swing back, you could list your item for the price you paid, making no profit but taking no loss either.

Don't think that once you list an item for sale, that you have to leave it on the market until it sells. As the market changes, you will need to adjust to those changes. To keep your money moving, you may have to cancel and relist your item at a lower price (but always a higher price than you paid). Or if the market has swung below your purchase price, you may want to cancel your item and wait until the market swings back to put the item up for sale again. You take a risk holding on to the item, but in most cases, the market will swing back to a price where you can make a profit.
6. Tips and Hints

So now you have all the tools you need to make gold in the marketplace. No, you won't earn a million overnight, but you will see steady increases in your net worth. Every transaction makes you a little bit more wealthy, and after enough transactions, you will have 100k.

As you buy and sell in the marketplace, you will start to get a feel for how the marketplace shifts and changes. Every trader has a different style, and you will develop one all your own. No one can master every item, so you will probably develop a set of items that you know well and like to sell.

The following suggestions provide a few of the details about my style, but if you find that any of the suggestions don't fit your style, consider this section optional.

  • Keep a list of your items and the purchase prices. I happen to use an Excel spreadsheet to track the purchase price, sale price, and profit on the items I buy and sell. You don't have to use a spreadsheet, but I do highly recommend that you write down the prices you paid for an item. As the market shifts, you can use your ledger of purchases to know if you want to lower your price or stop selling until the market swings back. (You can see an example of my spreadsheet.)

    Yes, I know that with Marketplace 3.0, you can view a list of your entire history of purchases in your store's log file. I find that the store log takes a long time to load and doesn't provide the quick references that I need when selling items. If you don't trade very much in a day and can rely on the log, that's fine, but if you make more than 20 trades in a day, you will probably want to keep an alternate log.

  • Carefully review the sale price you typed on every item you list. In the frenzy of fast selling, you can easily transpose numbers or leave off a zero. You don't want to sell your 10,000g item for 1,000g. I still cringe at selling a Celebrity Date for 3,945g instead of 9,345g. Slow down and take one second to double check the price. You should only hurry when you buy a bargain item. You can take your time listing the item for sale.

  • Don't panic when you take a loss on an item. Ok, I guarantee that in spite of my previous recommendation, you will get in a rush and accidentally list an item for a price lower than you intended. If you notice quick enough, you might save your item by canceling your listing, but most likely some savvy bargain hunter like yourself will have snatched up your item within seconds. Since you have the skills to earn money in the marketplace, you haven't lost anything but time. Shrug your shoulders, remind yourself that it's only pixels, and get on with the next sale that makes you a profit.

  • Don't dump four (or worse ten) of the same item on the market at the same time. Ideally, I like to keep ten different items for sale at the same time. While I wait for those items to sell, I search for the next bargain that I will list when the next item sells. If you dump four or more of the same item, your slow down the movement of your money and you encourage others to list items below your selling price.

  • Don't overstock on a single item. Ok, if someone keeps listing Mimzy's at 10g, then you buy every single one that person wants to sell. In cases where you know your item very well, you can stock up on bargains, but in general, I would suggest that you keep no more than two of the same item waiting in your inventory. The more items you have sitting in your inventory, the greater the chance the market can shift, leaving you with items you sell at a loss or hold on to until the market swings back.

  • Expect market dips mid-month. When the new Monthly Collectible items come out on the 15th, prices in EVERYTHING drop and remain low for two to three days. Everyone wants to sell their current items so they can buy the new items. This is the time of the month where I spend some of my profits and buy items at these low prices. I then hold those item for two or more days and then start to re-list the items at the lowest marketplace value. You can make thousands off of certain items by doing this. So, try to sell all of your vending items right before the 15th of the current month, or you will have to wait a while for the market to recover.
    Thank you Kaborganoodle.

    I addition, you should expect the prices of the new monthly collectibles to decline over the first two weeks before they settle in at a stable market price. This happens because on the 15th the supply for the new items remains limited. This low supply coupled with a high demand pushes the price up to a high level. As more of the monthly collectible items emerge on the marketplace, the supply becomes more plentiful and the demand drops off as Gaians purchase the coveted items. Although the new items might look really cool, I recommend you wait at least a week before buying them, since in the first week, you will pay a premium price.

  • Don't be afraid to study your items first. In addition to the graphs and numbers provided by the marketplace itself, another service exist that tracks the prices of items on Gaia as well as provides many other useful services.

    --- tektek.org -- At tektek.org, you can look up the historical price of items, look up which letters carried which items, and even calculate your net worth.

  • Watch for underpriced letters. Occasionally, the price for a letter falls below the price for one of the items it contains. For example, if the March 2007 letter has a market price of 7,000g and Spirit Falcon has a market price of 8,000g, you can buy the letter, open it and get the Spirit Falcon, and sell the Spirit Falcon for a 1,000g profit.

  • Don't send your password in a PM to anyone for any reason.. I never got a password fishing PM until I started working the marketplace. It makes sense, if you have a 10k item up for sale, most likely you have an account worth hacking. You will get PM after PM telling you about an investigation or a database problem that asks you to reply with your password. DON'T SEND YOUR PASSWORD TO ANYONE. The Gaia staff already has access your account and no one else needs to know your password but you.

  • Don't let your emotions overcome your common sense. Davien Moto provides some excellent advice on dealing with the emotional side of trading.

Daven Moto

A piece of advice for everyone that does day trading:

There's going to be times when for whatever reason out there you pay x price for an item and it plunges by 500g or so. That means that you won't be able to sell it immediately and keep your gold in motion.

When this happens, don't panic.

The hardest thing to do is to look at an item you spent a lot of money on suddenly plunge to a huge discount and then you start kicking yourself for paying a high price and not waiting for when it went down.

First off, you are not psychic. You don't know how the market will swing ,and the best you can do is to try to anticipate trends. But you are never going to be able to 100% anticipate the total trend.

Also understand that your purchase of the item may have been the straw that started the downward trend. There have been any number of times that I have accidentally started either an upward or downward trend in the item that I trade in.

When this happens, REMEMBER you still have that item. There is absolutely no pressure to immediately dump the item so you can have the gold. In this case, the item is as good as the gold.

Ninety eight percent of the time the market will swing back up and you will get the price you want. All you have to do is simply have patience and not get scared. It may take something like a few hours to a few days, but eventually it will change.

The other two percent of the time one of two things can happen. You can either try to dump them for what you paid for it, which will still require waiting, or you can dump them for any price and take the loss.

Either of these scenarios requires a lot of courage. You also have to not feel the loss as a personal one. These are electrons after all. Just shrug it off and remember that it's a game, it is not a reflection on you, and that ultimately you can make up the loss with a few extra trades.

Personally I try to wait out a slump. And there have been times when I've lost several thousand gold because of a bad trade. But by doing research in the trends at tektek.org for the item, by specializing in no more than three items that I trade regularly in, and by waiting till the trends I see show me that the prices are low and waiting until I can sell them high, I have minimized my losses like this to no more than about 15k in gold. That is out of nearly 500k in trades in the last month.

I'm so glad to see someone else use the same methods i used to earn gold! i get accused of adding to inflation often, when i see it as meeting demand. anyway, here are some of my tips from doing this for years:

1. watch the item for a week before purchasing.
i know that's boring, but by doing that you'll know the range to look for in that item. i used to sell phoenix circlets in this manner. i would buy them for 23 or 24k then resell them for 27 or 28k. though that does take longer than a day to do. if that's too long, look at the graphs on tek tek and gaia. gaia's will even tell you the volume that moved! if only 4 of that item sold last month, do not invest! if it moves and has a range, go for it, you won't be sorry.

2. patience is a virtue.
if you know the item sells, and you listed it at a good price (because you studied that item), then wait, someone will buy it. you have 10 spots, instead of the 4 like in the old market. but do not sit on the item for more than a day if you know it's a fast moving item. adjust your price because chances are the market already has. also, remember that a small profit adds up quickly. if you have an item that moves well, 500g profit isn't bad if you make that on that item several times a day.

3. weekend and nights sells better.
prices normally are at its highest on the weekend. why? people are actually on. then why sell at night? well, if you price your item at a good price, when most people are sleeping your price looks pretty good and will sell. less competition to make an item sell.

4. is lowest best?
not always, even if you got a killer deal on that item. if you're like me, you hardly ever get those awesome deals, so you settle for a mediocre deal just to get any deal on it. so, if it's a newly released item, or one that has a steady demand (a high demand that is), sell your item at the second or third lowest price. chances are your item will sell just as fast and you walked away with even more profit than that bozo who underestimated the demand for that item.

5. lastly, know your items!
you need to know your items! if they don't sell well anymore, get out of that item's market! this has happened to me plenty of times! the island wig, fairy wands, trout hats, flowers, inks, leather belts, circlets... all items i no longer sell. i've moved onto other items that sell better, and probably by the end of this week will be looking for new items to bank on.

i know no one will read my additional tips, but these have earned me millions, literally.
7. I've Made 100k, Where Do I Go From Here?

Well, that all depends on you. Now that you know that you never need to live an impoverished life on Gaia, you should feel a great sense of accomplishment. With 100k, you can dress your avatar in your choice of all but the most rare items. Or perhaps, you want to keep going with a new goal of 250k or more. The techniques I've taught you work with more expensive items as well, but you have to remember that not many people have 100k to spend. If you buy a 130k item, like an Ancient Katana, it might take a while longer to sell.

You also have to decide how you will deal with requests for charity. You earned your money, and you can give it away if you want to. I guarantee, that as you start selling more expensive items, you will get PMs begging you to sell your item for almost nothing with the excuse of "but that's all the gold I have." Personally, I wrote this guide as my donation to charity. The saying goes, "If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Since anyone can make money on Gaia, I believe that teaching someone to earn their wealth does much more for them than just giving them a gift.

And one final tip. Don't spend it all at once. If you have a quest for an item at 120k, don't buy the item the second you get 120k and leave yourself broke. Remember, that you can make much more gold when you have gold. Overshoot your goal by at least 20-30k so you have some capital to start your next quest.
8. FAQ

Well, this section depends on you. Please post your questions in the thread. I usually check the thread every day, and I will answer your questions in the thread. I'll list any good or frequently asked questions here.

Q. Your guide is too long. Can't you just summarize it for me?
A.Buy things below the current market price either in the marketplace or the exchange. Sell the item for just under the current market price to make a quick profit. Repeat until you have 100k.

Q. What items in the 1-5K price range provide a good opportunity to put your methods into practice?
A. You need about 3-5k to get started, but you should really look at items in the 300-1000g range for your first items. You need 3-5k in order to purchase up to four bargain items and have them for sale at the same time. I will try to update this section with items that seem to move well in this range.
  • Coon Tail
  • Flower Wrist Band
  • Mimzy
  • Mimzy Aura
  • Mokona Hat
  • Prisoner's Shackles
  • Soot Face Explode
  • Syaoran's Cloak
  • Face Veil
  • Water Meat
  • White Ink
  • Worthless Black Giftbox

Lately, the event items have not held up well. Bee Helmets and Suits were under 100g in just a matter of hours after release. The only recent event items that perform well come from the summer festival.

Q. How do I calculate the net profit and the percent profit you show in your example spreadsheet?
A.You make the calculations as follows:

    [NET PROFIT] = [ (Sales Price) * .98 ) - (Purchase Price) ]

    [% PROFIT] = [NET PROFIT] * 100 / (Purchase Price)

You can also call [% PROFIT] your return on investment (ROI), which measures how hard your money worked for you. If you can average 10-20% ROI, then you have kept your gold moving well.

Q. What is bumping?
Whenever you post a message in a thread, that thread moves to the top of the table of contents for that forum. For example, if you post in this thread, the guide moves to the to of the Gaia Guides and Resources list. In other words, posting a message "bumps" the thread to the top of the list. Some threads welcome bumping since it keeps the thread high in the table of contents, but the rules of the Gaia Guides and Resources forum specifically discourage bumping, and I have prohibited bumping in this thread.

In addition, when you post a message, Gaia issues you a small amount of gold. So, as a means of generating income, many Gaians will post a lot of messages, but they usually don't have anything to say, so they just put "bump" in the content of their post. Bumping does generate income, but at such a slow rate, that you could literally spend up to a year to earn enough to buy some of the more coveted items. If you cold average 5g per bump, and posted a bump once a minute for 24 hours, you would earn 7,200g -- not the most profitable use of a day.

Q. How long did it take you to write this guide?
I wrote the major sections of the guide over a period of three days, but in total, I probably spent about 5 hours writing the guide. I also spent about 3 hours with the rewrite for Marketplace 3.0.

Q. Did you really make 100k trading the way you recommend?
Yes, several times over, and I continue to make money with it every day. I'm not alone. You can read the list of course graduates below who have verified that they have made 100k.

Q. Isn't this method just another way to inflate the marketplace?
A. For items with unlimited supply, the price will never change. Thus, common items that have unlimited supply at a fixed price, will never inflate.

For items with limited supply, the price will change with supply and demand. Over time, the supply of any collectible or event item will dwindle as new players buy the items and old players abandon Gaia, leaving their items locked in their inventory. A drop in supply will naturally lead to an increase in price, but only if the demand for the item remains constant. Some of the collectibles don't have a very high demand and have relatively low prices.

For example, look at the Ice Tiara -- a collectible item from December 2005. Even though this item has been on the market for almost two years, the price still remains under 12k. Usually, an item's price spikes some around the anniversary of the item's release, and then drops back down as the temporary demand for the item subsides.

The Gaia staff creates the monthly collectibles with the express purpose of creating an item with limited supply. Companies like Hallmark and the Franklin Mint do the same thing by offering "limited editons" of items. By offering items with a limited supply, companies provide the possibility of a return on initial investment through natural inflation of the price due to limited supply and increased demand. You buy a collectible item for the express purpose of having something that not everyone else can have because of the limited supply and with the hope that the value of the item will go up in the future.

Q. Shouldn't I buy as many collectible items as I can and horde them?
A. If you look at how slowly the prices of collectible items inflate, you can make a much greater return on your investment by buying and selling items (day trading) than you can by hoarding items. Remember, you want to keep your money in motion. If you hoard an item, your money invested in that item stagnates.

Q. Doesn't the average price shown for items in the new marketplace mean that you'll never get a bargain price for an item again.
A. First, the average price doesn't provide any sort of reliable information for experienced traders. We don't know how Gaia calculates the average. Do they average the last 100 trades? Do they average the trades over the past hour or day? We don't know. And since we don't know how the number gets calculated, it doesn't provide much useful information.

Second, averages will never reflect the current conditions. For example, say nine of item X sell for 10k and one of item X sells for 1k. Most people would agree on a market price of 10k and ignore the aberrant 1k mispriced item. But you would calculate the average sale price in this case at 9,100g. Clearly, the item has more value than just 9,100g. Now, inexperienced traders might look at the average price and decide to list an item at 9k, thinking that they have listed the item just below the market price. So, in my opinion, the average price does next to nothing for experienced traders and provides misinformation to inexperienced traders.

A. Working with Common Items
In case you don't know the terminology, on Gaia, we refer to items available for purchase in the stores as common items. Store items vary in price from 1g to several hundred thousand. So common doesn't necessarily mean that everyone has them, just that everyone has a common opportunity to purchase the items, and the store never run out of stock. Also, store items have two prices that you should know: the purchase price, and the sell-back price. If you buy a common item from a store, then you pay the standard purchase price.User Image For example, if you purchase a Brown Gunner Hat from Durem Depot, you will pay 1,800g. If you click Sell Item in the Item Arranger or go to a store and sell the hat back, you will get 50% of the purchase price, in this case 900g. You don't have to go to any specific store to sell items back, but you do have to go to a specific store to purchase a common item. Before you buy a common item from a store, you should always check the marketplace. You can usually find the item for sale at a price less than the store price.

I don't generally vend with common items because they usually don't move fast enough to keep my gold in motion, but common items present several opportunities for profit.

  • If you find a common item listed for less than the sell-back price, you can profit on the difference between your purchase price and the sell-back price. (Although, you would probably make more selling the item in the marketplace for just under the store price, if you can afford to wait the few days it might take to sell.)

  • Many people list unpopular common items for sale as an auction, so you can bid on the item price. If you search for common items with no bids, you can bid 1 or 2g and just wait. Several days later, you just might get a notification that you have won the item. Whenever you can buy an item for very little gold, you will make a profit.
    Thank you Manmade God
Course Graduates

If you use my course and make 100k, send me a PM with a screen shot* of your gold balance, and I'll list you here as a graduate of the course.

Congratulations to our graduates:
littlekela -- Kiisseli -- Suicide Lollies -- XxnikoruxX -- klninetailsunleash -- nimhdragon
Teh Silent -- Clouded-Ice-Eyes -- Cactus_Flower -- Kawaii Kami -- Mersi RoXtar -- Virus Core
Johnathan93 -- oohsnapitscrissy -- Lord_tasbo_tavoc -- Lyrin Rommyu -- OnyxRaynebow -- Protector-Of-Angels
t onei -- AngeLys -- Hotnspicy92 -- Llux -- Whispers of cookies -- Lady Kayura
jellybeanflavored -- Thanatos Phoenix -- Valpolicella -- Mathmech -- yukinka -- tgmcg
Toolism -- xXxJasito LatinoxXx -- LightMoonKacie -- Project Spire -- Killer Mockingbird -- Hemata
steven_harris1990 -- Sora_145 -- Kaitlin K -- Voldy_666 -- xXDaughter2LoveXx -- SuicidalKitsune
Akichomi -- DJ Rae -- Gander4U -- mercury krynosis -- Yoko ~ Kurama -- even_stephen
4evaurbbygrl -- Kai - G a s m -- MagicalSins -- Raszala -- Mari Night -- Sweet Mystery
Guyan1 -- ~kendo-chan~ -- 123jimmy321 -- Hibiki Kuragari -- Xx-aFteRshOck-xX -- Song of Splintered Lust
AcousticRebirth -- Gaarita -- MrPanMan -- Merei The Dark One -- Thorioodin -- Ileonard Ryiyoshi
Cat-Flick -- Tiny-scout -- Poignant Trinity -- HellieHitsu -- griffinsclaw -- Blood`Sentinel
Adverse Collector -- Rurrytheblind -- babykitty21 -- Pettyness -- DonaldXe -- Akitan
Noog Nkauj -- HimmelGrau -- jebbiecat -- Brinn Speakeasy -- Hikomaru -- cideon
BettyBoop59 -- Erusama -- srcalstithan -- Romeo Dark Lover -- halfaznbuddha -- Safety-Pin-Bandit
aiellover -- Lizabeezer -- tsukinosakura -- Eone1 -- Myoga_The_Flea -- Seraea Vinree
xMichik0x -- Jon Smite -- tena_79 -- Patty_Wagon -- Wooh222 -- sweety_honey
Heen-san -- Ichijou -- Ghash -- AuraGlow -- [Hyrule] -- NoahRAHHH
iCrayon -- A-SaintDemon -- iWarrior -- SgtBlaze -- Njord-kun -- Xerohp
Daven Moto -- angelicmisery -- Clepsydra -- Donda -- TillyVanilla -- Vision In the Darkness
Kawazoe Masahiro -- Rawkynn -- [Tamagotchi] -- Kamirose -- Aenea
FightingDreamer01 -- Foxmore -- The Angel Trinity -- Aodah -- xdsx43 -- Baka Kuro
Claudio.I -- American Idle -- Luigi 316 -- crazy_blond_angel -- scsweetxs887 -- PawzPrint
jupiter bay -- DreamyAspirations -- Shadow_X86 -- NeoDeathAngel -- Lone S. Wolf -- Kitfox`
RunningLynx -- nfinitepenguins -- Roksha -- xo_Akina_ox -- Derek Alemer -- bluerstars
superfrylock -- Sivado01 -- Push and Pull Action -- K-SO-17 -- dj_axelangel -- Master Tibbles
M Melody -- turtle88222 -- Total Nirvana -- vale_fer -- Directory -- TaikiEndoh
282iheartgaara2822 -- G L U M-F A Y -- ScrawnyDude -- Blue Oreo -- Gaarafan8 -- saffiremouse
mazuac -- TheCowsReturn -- krishnath -- bambi_86 -- masterblaster43 -- starrilighthotaru
oh_that_1_chick -- Ranuu -- Pat46rick -- Myakachii -- [Frazzles] -- The Knight Guard
daisy1376 -- Brandenx781 -- Asianskater151 -- EatingBrains -- freerunner13 -- Anniebug
Areon the bounty hunter -- liguha -- [Super Emo] -- 2bloodly2love -- ballslugga24 -- Helpful-Hug-Hore
The Banana Inside -- Drusnick -- Shizuka Doumeki-San -- iLOVEtheOldies -- Akane Darkheart -- aznwolf4evr
Ellelarondelle -- Yoruichi_Sensei -- K8ty -- Ukiyo0 -- dirty_cat -- SSJ Girl
dreamforeternity -- Escther -- JINGsane -- wadudu -- Pup in Fluff -- Teh_9

And you can't have a product without testimonials:
    I just wanted to let you know, I've made 100k! I started out with 16k on April 10, when I first read your guide. I started vending easter items (all 6 items: 3 different eggs, 3 different chicks), april 1st items (both the giftbox and the soot explode), and mimzys. In two days, I went from 16k to 35-40k (I'm not sure exactly how much, because I spent some money on art >.< wink . Then on April 15, I made soo much money. Around 100k. By the 16th, I was at 120k. =) So, in 7 days, I made 100k in PROFITS. I worked a little bit more than an hour each day, though. =P Some days I went on for close to 4 hours, cuz it was so much fun, hehe.

    Suicide Lollies
    I've recently made my first 100k thanks to this guide. Now that I understand how to use the marketplace to earn gold. My whole experience playing this site has changed. I can finally be able to save up for all those expensive items I've always wanted!

    Whispers of cookies
    This thread showed me a whole new way to have fun and make a profit. I'm really excited that I'm going to be able to get lots of things I've only dreamed about having now. Thank you sooo so much again!


    This is a very well laid out idea to get gold. I started out with 3K. I sold all of my daily chance items -- which have just been sitting in my inventory since the system came out. The housing items brought me up to 10K, and that was selling to the stores. I made better deals in the exchange forum, I was able to buy items for 500 gold to 2K under the mp price, just to resell it. In 5 days I had 35K.
    Then May started. I was able to buy 3 Sealed Envelopes for 11K each. On the 15th, I resold them all for 17K each! It took half a month, but it was the easiest profit I made. With the nest of 55K I was able to continue buying low and selling high to get myself up to 100K in a matter of days.
    ~Thanks Francis Drake

* To make a screen shot in windows, do the following:
  1. Make sure you have the window in the front.
  2. Press Alt+PrtScn.
  3. Run Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint).
  4. Press Ctrl+V to paste the picture of the window into Paint.
From there, you can crop the image and save it in several formats.
Donations to the cause.

Thank you.

Peasant (and the Mil-a-Day Giveaway)
mercury krynosis
Orange Reject

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