The Invisible Hand – Market Update

©Paradox Interactive

We have again compiled a database of the items up for trade in the forums. Our selection procedure was as follows: Reject any trade threads which had dropped off the top page, remove any threads which were special requests, leaving only the active, established merchants. The minimum, maximum and average prices for items with a competitive market, as well as the change in average price, are listed below.
5 traders:
  • Nails: 10-20s, average 15.6s, -5s
4 traders:
  • Leather: 10s
  • Brain: 6-10s, average 7.5s, -14.1s
  • 0% pure iron bar: 80-90s, average 85s, -19.3s
3 traders:
  • Spanish Sabre: 65-100s, average 85s, -24.4s
  • Metal Shovel: 75-110s, average 95s, -27.8s
  • Metal Axe: 80-120s, average 100s, -43.7s
  • Pumpkin Pies: 12-15s, average 13.3s
  • Bluebeary: 18-15s, average 22.7s
2 traders:
  • Cotton seeds (price for 50): 25-100s, average 62.5s, -6.2s
  • Rabbit Steak: 2s
  • Venison Steak/2 cuts: 3-5s, average 4s
  • 0% pure ore (price for 24): 30-120s, average 75s
  • Lime (price for 24): 50-60s, average 55s
  • Rattler serum: 150s
  • Mineralogical Survey: 12s, -1.1s
  • Stringy Sinew: 5s
  • Singing Old Log: 10-15s, average 12.5s, -0.3s
  • Lovers Locket (unknown purity, assume 0%): 110-120s, average 115s, -6.2s
  • Backpack: 60-65s, average 62.5s, -11.6s
  • Conquistador Helmet: 100s, -10s
  • Sweet Bambi: 7-8s, average 7.5s
  • Walk on the Wild Side: 9-10s, average 9.5s
  • Lobster Mushroom: 3-4s, average 3.5s
  • Mushroom Pie, 12s
  • Waxing Toadstool, 2s
  • Witches Hat, 4-5s, average 4.5s
  • Cabbage Cakes, 10-12s, average 11s
  • A Side of Venison, 10-12s, average 11s

The metal market prices have dropped sharply in the last month, in part to increased competition and increased supply, as we would expect as we continue to discover the abundant mines in the New World. The Courant expects this fall to continue, and urges merchants focusing largely on base metal or metal tools to diversify as soon as possible. The highly competitive and profitable pure metal market is not represented in the above selection, and the intense competition in this sector is also causing prices to drop very rapidly.

Most other markets seem either new or relatively stable, with the exception of the Backpack market, which has dropped significantly, for the same reasons as the base metal market.

In addition to the items listed above, there were 69(!) types of item on offer from only one shop. Due to the limited nature of our data, we cannot tell how well particular items are selling, and we assume that many of the items that are only on offer once are not being sold at all.

We could not find any items which increased in value, so the following “investment tips” are based purely on our instincts and experience. Be aware that the value of your investment may go down as well as up, and the Courant is not liable for any losses incurred by the reader.

  • The pure metal market is one in which increased work (prospecting) will bring hugely increased profits – selling rods may increase competition in the long term, but the purest rods on offer will still be able to be sold for vast sums.
  • We believe there will be a booming trade in food, both base and high purity. This is already evident in the difference in the list of offered items from last month to this month. We encourage budding supermarkets and farmers to streamline their manufacturing techniques, as the profits in this sector depend much more on the efficiency of the production line than in metal. We advice those who can offer pure food to advertise this fact in a prominent location.
  • Similar comments apply to certain types of crafted inspirational, for example Mineralogical Surveys and Flower Arrangements. The market for these appears to be rather stable, but we believe there are still profits to be made here.
  • If there is a sudden influx of new Colonists, due to the Crown relaxing the borders, we expect the base metal and tools market to boom again. We suggest that merchants stay prepared for this eventuality.

There is also trade going on off the forum, conducted through the Salem IRC, for example. It is often possible for consumers to obtain lower prices by checking on the IRC, and merchants may find desperate customers in the same way.