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Runescape

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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Due to constantly changing prices for items on the Grand Exchange, some information in this article may not be current.
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Contents

Introduction and details

Before the introduction of the Grand Exchange, some players would make millions buying separate items (such as god pages) and reselling as a set (a full set of pages) for significant profit, as many rich players didn't want to spend hours trading other players for single parts of the set. Now that the Grand Exchange acts as an intermediate between the buyer and the seller, this practice is no longer really profitable. Since trading is so easy to perform in bulk now, some players have started buying and selling in a similar way to Wall Street. There are 3 main ways to do profit:

  • Buy an item where the price will go up, and sell before it goes down again (e.g. new quest/skill items). It is hard to know when to sell and costly if you guess wrong. However it's the only method that lets you accumulate compound interest for extreme profit. One example is magic tree seeds, which tend to drop by 3% or more whenever a new quest is out as rich players are too busy doing the quests to buy up the seeds, so demand falls and prices also fall. However, after a few days, normal demand resumes and prices again rise.
  • Buy items that some players are getting rid of, but that other players need in vast quantities. An example is vials. Their prices vary by as much as 5% daily. Buy for 2% under the average price, and sell for 3% above average price in another trade slot, and you will gain up to 5% interest on your total wealth with very low risk. This method is limited by how many vials the Grand Exchange will let you trade daily, so if you notice that your items are only selling in multiples of 1,000, start diversifying (for example, vials and vials of water and molten glass). Vials and vials of water, for example, cap at approximately 300,000 coins of profit a day, for 2 minutes of Grand Exchange-checking work.
  • 'As method #2's items depreciates in value due to trade caps , switch to higher priced items which are normally used up for lots of experience. The price will not crash down durably (prices will drop down during quests as many rich high level players are busy questing, and poor players and specialists keep producing the item). Expensive usually means trade caps will not matter, so you will be able to get about 3% profit daily on even a very large fortune. Good items for method 3 would be runite bars, high level tree seeds, uncut dragonstones, dragonhides and bones, and very expensive arrows/bolts types.


If you want to invest, follow these guidelines:

  • It takes 156 days for 1 million to become 100 million if you manage to get 3% interest a day; it also takes 5.2 hours over 5.2 months to achieve, which is a 19 million profit per hour. Notice that if you work more and invest more in the first few weeks, it would go much, much, much quicker from 1 million to 10 million, saving a lot of time.
  • It takes 117 days for 100 million to become 1 billion if you manage to get 2% interest a day; it also takes 5.85 hours (as you'll take an extra minute per day to check the price graph) over 3.9 months to achieve, which is 153.8 million profit per hour. For most impatient players this is a good time to stop investing and spending anything over 100 million in rapid skill gain and rares.
  • Remember that coins cap at 2,147,000,000 coins (2.147 billion coins), due to technological limitations, so if you have the maximum amount and try to add one more coin, the game will tell you that you can't make a stack that big. If you keep investing past those limits (for the fun of owning a party hat set as there is no real point to being that rich except rares) then you will have to turn some of your gold into investments so you do not lose any money you make. This is why extremely rich people buy partyhats and keep them. Be careful, however, as partyhats have tended to continually decline in value ever since the release of the Grand Exchange. But, it has been rising, so it is a very tricky item to invest your money into. 
  • To find something in which to invest, check the Grand Exchange graphs on the RuneScape website. Items whose prices are rising are prime targets for investors, whereas items with declining prices will cause investors to lose money.


Here are some negative points on investing:

  • Most of all, you don't get much money for your investment. If your investment is about 100,000 coins, you can only make 5,000 coins at most per day, which is very easy for most players to gather anyway. As such, investing requires a significant sum of start-up money.
  • Prices change all the time, so sometimes a quest can come in and make your investment permanently or temporarily unsellable. This is why it's good to diversify your investments. As members get 6 trade slots, it is easier for them to diversify.

Long term investments by raw products is also another way people can make money. Raw products that are in low demand and high stock means that the price will be low in the winter especially due of the difference in numbers of players in the winter (as school is in session during the winter). These items can then be resold at higher prices during the summer, since there is a higher demand for raw products due to a larger number of players. Some examples of these raw products include:

  • Runes
  • Bars
  • Food (raw and cooked)
  • Rune essence
  • Metal ores (Gold, adamantite, runite)
  • Hides (suggested for members only)


As it takes months for seasonal investments to pay off, it's more of a "when to mine, when to smith" kind of advice except for when the American school starts or ends(which usually ends in June); on those 2 weeks 5% profit is probable and very low risk.

Short-term Merchanting

If you see an item beginning to rise in price, buy it. Wait a few days, and once you see that the price begins to level off, sell it.

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Uncut Gems

Most uncut gems are very unstable in price. Find a good time to buy them and buy them in bulk. It's a good idea to keep them for a couple of days and then sell them back. Players usually make a 5% to 10% profit if successful. A good tip is to browse the RuneScape home page and check the Grand Exchange Database. Check which type of jewellery is going up at the moment and which is plummeting.

Amulets

Some amulets, most notably the amulet of power, are always fluctuating in price. For example, one could buy it at lowest price today and sell it for highest price tomorrow depending on the situation.

Long-term Merchanting

The following items are stable, but may skyrocket once or twice a month due to merchanting clans, doubling in price. Beware, it may drop immediately the day after.

Expensive Items

These items can usually be bought for a little less than the market price and then sold for a little more than the market price.

  • Saradomin armour set (l) (buy this for 25k under market price and sell for 25k over market price)
  • Raw or cooked swordfish
  • Raw or cooked lobster
  • Buying Arrowshaft and feathers the same amount. And then putting them together makes you earn 3-5gp each and if you buy 10k off each item you will earn 30-50k

Merchanting Clans

Main article: Clans#Merchanting

Since the Grand Exchange was introduced, many people have created merchanting clans, or merch clans. What these clans do is have everybody in the clan buy a certain item (usually the current clan name) at maximum Grand Exchange price. This will usually cause to price to rise. When an item's price starts to level off, usually the clan owner will tell everyone to sell, or dump, their item, usually causing a profit. Note that it is usually quite hard to sell the item when everybody else in the clan is trying to sell at the same time, so be wary when joining a merchanting clan. there is a good chance of lossing money if you miss the start of selling by even seconds. (many runescape player dislike merchers altogether)

Note: Not all merchant clans are legitimate. Some merchant clan leaders' have a certain item that they have crafted, smelted/smithed, cooked, etc., which are worth much less than what they originally bought them for. In this case they would make people buy the item at max price, raising the price, and therefore getting all, if not more, the money they originally spent.

Jagex calls Merchanting Clans Pyramid Schemes

Jagex said that Merchanting Clans are Pyramid Schemes and are highly discouraged.

From "Mod MMG Q&A Answers" 06-Aug-2009 16:00:25 by Mod Hohbein, Quick find code: 13-14-673-59348759.[1]

Question

17) Sadiyq1 asks;
Hello Mod MMG I would like to know what action is going to be done about Merchanting Clans.
I am mainly posting because all thanks so merch clans they have sent the prices for items flying high and its unfair for people who make money by earning it on RuneScape, they just have to work a lot harder while other people who merch and make money for not really earning are able to afford this. Do you see how this is affecting people’s gameplay especially new members?
It would mean a lot to me if you read this post and replied.

Answer

I see merchanting clans as pyramid selling schemes, where, typically, only a handful of players actually make any money and everyone else loses money – just like real-life pyramid schemes. Because of this, we are not in favour of them in RuneScape, and try to warn players not to participate in them.

Other

Buying Items with a difference of 1-3 but are very cheap can be a great money maker, if you buy them by the 100s. An example would be buying around 100k in Bronze Arrows for 5, and selling them for 6. It may take awhile for the trade to be completed, but it is usually worth it.

These items fall into this type of merchanting category:

References

  1. ^ Mod Hohbein, Jagex. Mod MMG Q&A Answers. News & Announcements Forum.

This article uses material from the "Money making guide/Grand Exchange Merchanting" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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