Cornering a Market: A Case Study

What does it mean to corner the market?

One way to make money through the in-game market in any MMO is to buy and sell things on the market.  Any market that exists has market makers, which are just market participants that are frequent buyers and sellers of certain listed items, and the concept holds for both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Galactic Trade Network (GTN).  When speaking of SWTOR markets specifically though, the relatively small size of the market in some items allow a market participant with some starting capital to increase their profits by not just being a market maker, but by cornering that market.

In order to corner the market, you need to eliminate other sellers.  In order to do this on the GTN, you need to be able to buy up all of the existing listings so that you set all available prices.  By doing so, you corner the market in that item until other sellers react and undercut your listings, which can sometimes take a while.  In the meantime, you benefit by raising the price on the item to one more profitable, but if you take the concept too far the buyers will just wait out new sellers and you won’t make any credits.

The Case Study: Setting the Stage

I wanted to two stacks of 10 Zeltron Personal Aroma Set, which is the blue quality Rank 5 companion gift for Courting.  Companion gifts are selling well on Jedi Covenant for a long time now, but even more so after the latest live stream emphasized that companion affection will continue to matter in the next expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire (KotFE).  If anything, it may be more influential than it is today.  The current lowest unit price when I checked the market to list my 20 units was 2,900 credits per Zeltron Personal Aroma Set, which is much lower than I’d like to sell these units.  However, I noticed that the total supply on the GTN is fairly low, so I had the idea to corner this market for the day.

There were 56 units listed for sale, which I was able to buy up for 319,312 credits total, so an average unit price of about 5,700.  I’d like to sell my units for 7,500 or so, which is more normal pricing on Jedi Covenant, not an exorbitant price so that fewer sellers will necessarily jump in to undercut me.  Including my original units and the ones that I bought up to reset the market, There are now 76 units of Zeltron Personal Aroma Set listed on the GTN for 7,500 credits per unit.

The Case Study: Results

Within 6 hours of buying out the market for Zeltron Personal Aroma Set, multiple small quantity sellers undercut my price level. I considered buying up that supply as well; it was less than 20 units total, but decided to hold my position and wait out the rest of the day. The case study took place on a Saturday, which is a good day for GTN volume, so I was counting on enough buyer demand to consume those undercut lots and still have demand left to buy mine too.

The strategy paid off and all 76 units had sold. My gross proceeds were 535,800 credits, with 319,312 credits spent to corner the market for Zeltron Personal Aroma Set and the approximate acquisition cost of 40,000 credits for my initial 20 units, my net profits were 176,488 credits. 

Conclusions

I could have sold my 20 units and netted about 20,000 credits at the market price. I’ve done this many times when the market is too expensive to buy out completely, but it’s not the best scenario. The biggest requirement in this strategy is the initial credit balance to be able to buy up that supply. There’s no shortcut around that initial credit bank requirement, so one of my upcoming posts will highlight some of my favorite ways to make credits in game!

As always, thanks for reading!

Andrew | SWTOR Economics

 

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