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Wilson's Merchanting Guide

Discussion in 'Guides and Tips' started by Wilson, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. #1 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
    Possible new video series idea: http://strawpoll.me/5387628
    Series will cover updates in similar fashion to what the investment examples section of this guide looks like. I'm also taking on all info you have on what performed well or not for any update we've had in OSRS, I'd like to cover everything.
    Hey guys, due to popular demand I'm bringing you my guide on the basics of flipping and investing in RS. For some merching is a way to make easy money to buy the things they want in the game and that is perfectly fine, and for others like myself it is fun and a nice challenge to strive to become the best I can. Merching when done right is very good profit/input and has potential to be the greatest moneymaker behind being a lucky streaker like Skip the Gym or Berr.

    You can start merching at any point but the more money you have to work with, the faster you'll be able to make money. For those who want to get some starting cash I'd recommend doing High-Level PVM like Zulrah (2M+gp/h), profitable skilling such as black chin hunting, double nats rcing, dark crab fishing after elite diaries, motherlode mining, and more. Keep in mind merching is something you can do alongside all this and any activity in the game. If you're actively making money and merching at the same time then you'll find your bank quickly growing.

    Table of Contents:
    Post1: Introduction
    Post2: Flipping
    Post3: Valuation
    Post4: Investing
    Post5: Flipping Examples
    Post6: Investment Examples from OSRS history
    Post7: Additional Sources
    Post8: Credits
  2. #2 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
    The concept of flipping is simple, you buy low and sell high to make a profit but things get trickier since you're also competing with other players. For people trying to learn flipping for the first time I highly recommend you flip high volume items, and as you get more experienced to try medium and low volume items.

    How do you get prices?
    You can use http://lets-flip.com/pages/2007-oldschool-runescape-flip-chart/ to get an average buy/sell price from OSbuddy users. For cheaper items you can self-check by instant-buying and instant-selling 1x of the item. For more expensive items you can set offers below and above the average buy and sell prices and adjust prices depending on how long it takes to buy or sell.

    Characteristics of High Volume Items:
    These items generally have a high GE limit and since there is so much being traded it isn't necessary to under or overcut peoples offer. At the same time the items are traded for small margins so if your offer isn't close to the trading range then you could end up never getting any stock.
    • faster transactions
    • usually stable
    • low risk
    • smaller margins (low reward)
    • usually cheap
    Characteristics of Medium Volume Items:
    Under and overcutting is important and depending on how many other people are trying to also flip your item at the same time it can take some time to get stock. If you're finding you're getting nothing for a long time or no sales (like half an hour) then you might want to adjust your prices but other than that it helps to be a little patient.
    • in between high and low volume

    Characteristics of Low Volume Items:
    GE limits in OSRS are fairly generous in my opinion but these are much lower than the others. Since there is less of the items being traded it is important to over and undercut to get stock. I always try to apply at least 1gp over and undercuts, it doesn't eat into profits much but could be the difference between you completing the transaction or not. Depending on the item and how many others are trying to flip as well you could go hours or even days without a sale. Don't pressure yourself into feeling you need to get some stock because prices can change in the blink of an eye and that non-instant buy could end up a non-instant sell for a massive loss.
    • slower transactions
    • more volatile
    • higher risk
    • greater margins (higher reward)
    • often times expensive
    High Volume Markets:
    1. Runes & ammunition (any runes, arrows, bolts)
    2. Food & potions
    3. Skilling supplies (raw food, herbs, secondaries, ores, logs, etc)
    4. Skilling products (jewelry, teleport tabs, recoils, etc)
    5. Zulrah scales
    Medium Volume Markets:
    1. Barrows equipment
    2. Unique slayer drops (whips, dark bows, smoke bstaves, etc)
    3. Unique rare PVM drops (GWD, DKS, Zulrah, Wildy bosses, etc)
    Low Volume Markets:
    1. Treasure trail consumables (teleport scrolls, sweets)
    2. Unique treasure trail rewards
    3. 3rd age equipment
    4. Spirit shields
    5. Quest & achievement diary grocery lists
    6. Random and miscellaneous items (scarves, jars, yellow boots, etc)
    Both high, medium, and low volume items have their pros and cons depending on your style of play. If you're the type that wants to sit at the GE and skill then you would find flipping high and medium volume items worthwhile since you're there so you may as well earn that fast and consistent money. For those who can't tend to GE often, low volume markets are far more attractive.

    There is no best item to flip. Beside the trade volume you have to take into consideration how many people are flipping your item. The more people flipping, the less profit you should expect to make. You should also strive to make use of all your GE slots (possibly also using an alt to flip) so that you 1) minimize impact on margins, 2) complete transactions faster, and 3) minimize risk.

    Release Day Flipping:
    This is not for the faint-hearted. Release day flipping is some of the most profitable active flipping you can do because new item prices will be all over the place and with such volatility comes incredible profit potential but at the same time extraordinary loss potential. Seasoned flippers can make a killing here while amateurs will get their banks destroyed. The post below talks about valuation, a skill crucial in everything merching (this included).
    OS Flip and Randalicious like this.
  3. #3 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Valuation is one of the most important skills to have as a mercher and it is something you can get a feel for from just playing the game and seeing how much GP people make for a variety of activities. The factors I look at to determine value are:
    1. Enjoyability of activity
    2. Risk
    3. Effort required
    4. Difficulty of activity
    5. Accessibility of activity
    6. Additional benefits
    7. Level of farming
    8. Usefulness
    9. Alternatives
    10. Luck
    Enjoyability of activity: Things that are fun to do generally don't make big bucks since we'd be willing to do it even if there was no reward like pking, Clan Wars or Castle Wars. If however the activity is no fun then we expect to benefit be it monetary or other forms of compensation.

    Risk: I'm sure we all know the saying risk vs reward. If we're taking risks and putting things on the line we expect to be compensated. This is very true for a number of activities in the Wilderness including the Abyss, hunting black chins, dark crab fishing, runite mining, but also some PVM.

    Effort required: The more effort you put the more reward you deserve. Compare the gains of something like fishing sharks to killing Zulrah.

    Difficulty of activity
    : The more difficult an activity the more you should make. Some of the best moneymakers can take some learning and practice to get good at like DKS, GWD, and Zulrah.

    Accessibility of activity: For Runescape in most cases this comes down to level requirements or item requirements. One of the best moneymakers with skilling being double nats rcing and completion of achievement diaries giving great benefits in making money among other things.

    Additional benefits: People don't just do things for the money, they may also get exp, untradeables, and other benefits which should be taken into account.

    Level of farming: I'm not talking about the farming skill, I mean the camping and grinding of the activity. Any activity that is heavily farmed will have a greater supply which according to supply and demand would lower prices.

    Usefulness: This pertains to the stats of the item, what it is used for, and its price relative to alternatives. If the item is useless then its price will reflect that with a low price. Take for instance jar drops from select bosses having a rather low price despite their rarity.

    Alternatives: Always pay attention to alternatives, if prices get too high then they can substitute with a cheaper albeit weaker version. Alternatively if prices of the best-in-slot drops then it may be attractive for people to upgrade. The one that comes to mind for me is malediction, mages book, and arcanes.

    Luck: Look to the lottery, you're likely to lose money but you have a miniscule chance of making it very big. This can be best applied to treasure trails and spirit shields, both completing clue scrolls and killing corp aren't very good gp/h but you have a chance of becoming filthy rich if you have luck on your side.
    OS Flip likes this.
  4. #4 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Why invest? Investing generally gives far better return for the effort managing GE offers but it also requires far more knowledge as explained below. For those who don't plan on playing much or have more money than they can flip with this kind of merching can be very rewarding as well as satisfying when successful. A prime example of an item good as a super long-term investment is bonds in my opinion as long as we don't enter deflation.

    Investing is to buy undervalued items to sell at a future date for a profit. The time table of your investment could vary anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months but keep in mind what your profit potential is and if your money could be better put to use doing something else. You should understand why said item is the price it is and projections on what you think it'll be worth in the future to make good target buy and sell prices.

    Investment opportunities primarily come from future updates but can also come from changes in player perception or changes in level of farming.

    Future updates:
    At least in OSRS you can expect many game changing updates to come. These changes can be nerfs (lowering value) but more often we see buffs (boost value). You can gather crucial information about upcoming changes from a variety of sources including dev blogs, newsposts, the weekly Q&A's, tweets from our lovely Jmods, Reddit, and more. The sooner you get wind of the information the sooner you can stock items before the masses.

    Discovery of new uses for an item and mentality shift of community from fun casuals to grinding out achievements are among many views that can impact item prices (such as spectral or skilling supplies if we ever get a max cape).

    Level of farming:
    This pertains mostly to bots and boss hunters. Mass bot bannings can cause a drastic change in supply and wherever boss hunters are camping you can expect those items to drop in value.
    OS Flip likes this.
  5. #5 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  6. #6 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Investment examples from OSRS history
    My memory is kinda fuzzy so if you got more accurate facts you're more than welcome and encouraged to share. Below are some updates and the investment opportunities it provided:

    Godwars Update:
    Prior to release we saw a major rise in PVM supplies such as sharks, brews, super restores, prayer pots, super sets, ranging pots, ruby bolt(e), diamond bolt(e) and more. This also affected the resources to make these products so raw sharks, all the herbs and secondaries for these potions, and material to make the bolts. Grapples were also quite expensive shortly after release.

    Zamorakian hasta update:
    The idea was pitched for zamorakian spear to be able to be turned into a hasta on the official RS forums for over a month, at the time spears were just a measily 700-1200k. When the idea was talked about on stream spears quickly shot up to ~5M and if my memory recalls correctly they got as high as 7M.

    Corporeal beast update:
    The obvious target for buyout: Zamorakian spears. Second item to buyout: Zamorakian hastas.
    Third item to buyout: Bandos godswords. I think karil's also rose some, but I don't think it was anything spectacular. Combat potions, super sets, supplies for these potions and the relevant seeds had a nice rise. Torstols in particular got quite expensive, reaching as high as 11k, torstol seeds rose to 50k+.
    OS Flip likes this.
  7. #7 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  8. #8 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Thanks to the following people for giving feedback and whatnot on how I can improve this guide:
    1. Mini Finbarr
    2. ABC
  9. #9 Wilson, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Reserved just in case.
  10. Feel free to post, I won't bite.
  11. Wow, Just Wow ;)
    So much Detail and insane profit from the dragon claw crash on rs3 :p
    Great Guide. If i find anything you missed i will say but i cant see any issues at the moment.

    (perm deleted my post so you can just edit your request to post the information)
  12. #12 Vambraces, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Nice detailed guide
  13. You've re-inspired me to make an active flipping video time-lapse thing. I've tried before but it never turned out that great. The only things I would add is a section on how to find prices. I get asked that all the time. Also, add pictures because who doesn't love pictures? Overall, great guide. You worded it better than I ever could.
  14. This guide impresses me beyond belief, way better than anything I've heard from on Youtube. You explained this so in-depth and straight forward that no Youtube video could possibly provide a better explanation. It's nice to see veteran merch/flipper come forward to teach the less educated about the subject. Thank you for being a big part of this community on this website :) and hopefully the great help will attract more unfamiliar players.
  15. That is nice to hear, I've made a section for how to find prices in the flipping section. I think the flipping examples section has great examples, people just need to check the links out. I'll go find some pictures of each type of flipping though.
  16. Thank you for the detailed guide Wilson! I'll have to send my viewers to this thread. :D
    Westy likes this.
  17. Will read fully in morning. So far looks good. Excited to make bills.
  18. Great guide. I bet you put hours into it. Very detailed. This is the best flipping/merching guide I have ever seen.
  19. Hey, I was wondering for the lower valued 3rd age items (say 20m - 150m range), are these worth trying to snipe or do rich people typically flip them a lot?
  20. There are people who flip lower 3a in bulk like they do with GWD. Margins are typically the same or better but traded slower.

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