Date: January 30, 2019
If you are newer to the ESO economy or generally a text chat/facebook/band seller, then there’s one aspect of the price list that’s likely to trip you up. In fact, it’s been a common cause of cynism since ESO Price Check was created back in 2016. I get it every single time:
How is the median price of cotton higher than that of Ancestor Silk? This guide is inaccurate, cotton is not worth more than silk.
There is a lucrative market that I like to refer to as the “Small Stacks Market.” The idea is that value goes up as stack size goes down. Picture this, you are a new player. You are excited to craft your first new set of gear, but you need cotton. Low-level gear requires very little material to craft. It’s not like CP160 that will require several stacks for a full set. So 25 cotton is going to go pretty far. On top of that, you don’t have a whole heck of a lot of gold in your pocket, so we’re on the hunt for something “affordable.” You stop into a guild trader, it’s automatically sorted from cheapest to most expensive, and the first bit of cotton you stumble upon is 25 for 3000 gold. That’s not a huge amount of gold out of your pocket and it’s just the right amount of material – SOLD.
This same concept applies to the vast majority of non-CP160 mats and even extends to blue and green upgrade mats, provisioning ingredients, furnishing mats, and alchemy solvents (you might be shocked to discover you can get around 40k out of some of your lower level solvents). The catch? This market is almost exclusively a trading guild market. You wont find yourself especially successful trying to sell stacks of Hemming for 20k on the street. But break them down into stacks of 10 for 1k on trader, you’ll sell at a trickle all week long.
Now before you get excited and start buying up all the cheap stacks of mats to resell, I must leave you with a word of caution. Small Stack sellers have huge profit margin potential, but sales are slower and at much lower revenue amounts than other markets. You also run the risk of choking your market if you don’t maintain variety (filling 30 slots on a trader with only embroidery will actually slow your sales). And lastly, you can fall into the trap of overstock. Suddenly you’re sitting on 20 stacks of hemming and only moving one every 3 weeks or so. That’s where you stop being cost-effective. (Don’t keep more than 1-2 stacks of hemming, it’s literally the worst.)
The Small Stacks market is really most effective when you’ve got a good variety and are selling across multiple accounts to bring in maximum revenue. However, if you’re looking for a slow but consistent and stable market to get into, this is one of the lowest risk markets in the game.