Just some thoughts on how to build and manage wealth in a new league. Maybe it will be useful to someone. I’m playing in the 1MHC right now, but most of this applies elsewhere too.
This is mostly aimed at new players, I’m sure most of this is old-hat to the experienced people. Your suggestions are welcome as well because I’m sure I still have a lot to learn!
- People who play a lot at the start of a league get a big advantage. Early, popular gems (auras in particular) can be sold for 3-4 times their normal value in the first 1-2 days of a league, then the value drops (to 1 alc, usually).
- Therefore, the first character you make should use as few of these popular gems as possible. If you want a spell echo in the first 2-3 days you’ll pay through the nose for it, same for multistrike, same for heralds (to a lesser extent). Pick a build that doesn’t need a 5L to be good. Emptying your currency early to make a build puts you in much worse position to trade later on.
- Set up a Procurement shop ASAP to pawn off every gem you are not immediately using. Gems drop in value extremely quickly, and so do starter uniques, as the shops are flooded with them fairly rapidly. Same for 5L chests, which you can sell for a bunch if you’re lucky enough to find early on.
- Use zero currency for crafting unless it’s absolutely necessary, typically not until about the start of merciless when you’re starting to find some decent gear. Wasting craft materials on items you won’t be using at end game is a big hit to your wealth.
- Hoard alts, jewelers, chromes, and fuses. Alcs are hard to get a good ratio when trading with and should be swapped out for other currency whenever the opportunity presents, unless you plan to use them yourself.
How to use trade chat:
- For 90% of items, trade chat is a waste of time. People ask too much if you’re buying, and ignore all but the most ridiculous deals if you’re selling.
- First caveat: starter uniques, early in the league. Unload uniques you’re not using at a bargain price to build up your early currency, because they won’t be worth jack once everyone has procurement running.
- Second caveat: high end uniques. If you want a Carcass Jack, trade chat might get it to you cheaper than poe.trade because whoever is selling wants it gone faster. That might mean the difference between a 2 exalt price and a 1 to 1.5 exalt price, which is a big deal. Barter a little, be polite, and not afraid to walk away if a deal can’t be struck.
- Unless you have a hotly demanded item, don’t bother listing it in trade chat. People who post long lists of uniques and rares are wasting their time and everyone else’s monitor space. That stuff should be on procurement instead.
- As a general rule, never buy from people with a long list of uniques because they’re unlikely to haggle toward a good price. Potentially profitable buys tend to be a single line with a single, high-value item.
- Trade chat is good for flipping currency. You can use it for arbitrage (buy low and sell high). Someone needing chromes, for example, REALLY NEEDS chromes or their gear won’t work. So they might take a 10:1 ratio. If someone posts a “WTB” currency I’ll throw out an offer which is somewhat in my favor. 2/3 of the time it’s ignored, other times I get a good deal, and they get what they need.
- If someone has a long list of currencies they want to buy, ignore them because they are attempting the strategy listed above, and typically have ridiculously unprofitable ratios (for you) and will never budge on their prices.
- The above two points are why you should hoard key crafting materials. You never want to be the guy buying fuses, chromes, etc in trade chat because you’ll get ripped off and just have to smile and take it.
- Fuses can always, always be sold at a 2:1 ratio with chaos, but you should almost never sell them. Often people will buy fuses at a 10:6 ratio, or worse, because they’re desperate. Don’t sell fuses unless the ratio is insanely good, because it’s a near-guarantee you’ll need them eventually, and fuses are much harder to buy than they are to sell.
- Never, ever, ever sell your alterations for chaos unless the ratio is 12:1 or better for you. The biggest noob trap out there in the trade chat, in my opinion, is people asking for 20 alts to a chaos. This is a bad deal because 16 alts = 8 jewelers = 2 fuses = 1 chaos. Alterations are time consuming to build up and very versatile, having a stock of at least 100 at all times is a good idea.
- Flipping items. There is more profit to be had here but also more risk. If you can buy at a 30-40% discount to the lowest price on poe.trade, then it’s worth it. To do this you need a substantial chunk of currency to start with so you can afford to have 20-40 chaos tied up in stuff that might not sell right away. Any unique you still have at the end of a league is basically a pure loss.
In the last 1MSC, I bought and sold Geofri’s Crest probably five times at least. At around the 2 week mark, people would sell it in trade chat for 10-14c and I’d mark it up to 16-18c and turn it around (on Procurement or trade chat myself). After another week, Geofri’s were going for 5-6c and this was no longer a viable strategy.
Selling with Poe.Trade:
- Prices for common gems are ridiculously competitive. If you’re not the lowest price seller, it won’t sell. At a certain point you have to decide whether selling a gem for 3-4 alts is worth your time or not.
- “Chaos equivalents” from buyers are NOT equivalents, with the exception of fuses. I made this mistake early on, taking some vaal orbs, regets, large numbers of chance, etc. in lieu of chaos. Maybe those are worth chaos to somebody, but now I’m stuck with finding that somebody to pop up in trade chat which sucks. It is the buyer’s job to have appropriate currency for the buyout and if it’s truly an equivalent they would have already traded it for chaos. (If someone wants to pay for a chaos item in alcs, they’re getting an atrocious ratio for them from me).
That’s all I have. There are probably differences between economies in HC and SC leagues but I don’t know enough to say anything about that. If anyone else can chime in on that subject, I’d be grateful.
TLDR Hoard key crafting items, never sell alterations, be smart with trade chat and only use it for selling currency at favorable ratios, keep enough chaos around to buy items you need without “equivalents”
Edit: more on flipping currency because I do this a lot. Ignore this section if that type of trading doesn’t interest you.
There is a “wrong way” to flip currency. The wrong way is to spam absurd ratios into trade chat, hoping some new player comes along to give alterations at 20:1c or fuses 3:2c, leaving the noob broke and destitute after they spend the chaos, unable to complete the crafting needed for their build. People who do that should be ashamed.
The right way to flip currency is to keep an eye on trade chat while you play, looking for people who need a certain material you have surplus of. Then whisper them an offer and wait for a response. Sometimes they’ll list a desired ratio, which is either “fair” or very unprofitable, and I’ll send a a counter-offer which favors me slightly, but is still relatively fair. You don’t get rich making perfectly fair trades!
|Item||Ratio They Want||What I’d Offer|
|Alchemy||5:2||2:1 (never accepted)|
|Regrets||3:2||1:1 (rarely accepted)|
|Chance||10:1||6 or 7:1|
|Chisels||3:1||11:4 (or other weird ratio)|
Vaal, Regrets, and Chance are hard to sell unless someone particularly needs them. People with a long list of currencies they want are 99% of the time not worth dealing with because they’re looking to scalp noobs not craft items. If someone posts a ratio that is already what I’d offer, then great, we both win.
Every now and then a weird situation comes up with someone wanting to swap chromes for alterations 1:1. This is usually profitable because if you find the right buyer, chromes can go 10:1 while alts can only very rarely be traded 12:1. However this is quite a bit of work and I’m not sure it’s worth it, unless you just happen to need the chromes.
What makes this work for generating wealth is that I do very little crafting on my own gear until about A3M, so I can sink those crafting materials into chaos for the stuff I really want.