Price Guides: What are they? How are they helpful? And how are they not?

So when I started this project, I wanted to make sure that I took on the database with complete transparency. That means being 100% honest about the volume of sales recorded, about the process that goes into deriving the numbers you see, and about the fact that this information is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the ESO economy as a whole. There are segments of data that, while extremely desirable, simply aren’t that relevant in really understanding the value behind an item.

In this blog, I’d like to explore the two main sources of price lists; their pros and cons; and what other tools you have at your disposal to make an educated decision when pricing your items.

  • Manually Derived Console Data:
    • Method used by: ESO Xbox Sales History and ESO – The Pricechecker

What Is It: The data available on both this website/app as well as the PS4-EU pricing guide, ESO – The Pricechecker is all manually recorded from sales histories of guilds.

Pros: The data is true market data that reflects actual sales from Xbox NA (or PS4-EU if using Pricechecker).

Cons: Manual collection means the volume of data collected may be too low to accurately represent the market as a whole. These lists are biased towards the source from which they are derived, often high-end trading guilds that command slightly higher prices. Updates may not be frequent enough to catch sudden shifts in a very fluid market.

Verdict: These kinds of price guides are often very useful for items that have a high demand, such as mats and consumables. However, they can become a lot less useful when examining data from less saturated market segments such as set pieces, recipes, and blueprints. This is because there is simply not enough data available to draw a true representation of these markets.

  •  Add-On Derived PC Data
    • Method used by: Tamriel Trade Centre, ESO Price Lens

What Is It: Add-Ons allow PC players to automatically run all available data from guild listings and compile a complete and concise list of accurate pricing details.

Pros: All encompassing. There is a high volume of sales data available across every market segment. While not accurate to console pricing, PC data gives a good indication as to whether or not an item has value or is junk.

Cons: These price lists are not from the console economy and therefore are not true reflections of the console market. There is not a one-size-fits-all price adjustment to get from PC price to console price.

Verdict: While not especially helpful for getting an absolute accurate price, PC add-ons are really useful in simply determining if something has value. This data helps pick up the slack where manual lists are especially weak: set pieces, blueprints, etc. It is a good tool to have in your arsenal, as long as you understand that it is actually reflecting a different sales market. If an item is valuable on PC, it is still going to be valuable on Xbox. You may simply have to do deeper research to determine exactly how high that value is.L

  • Other tools at your disposal

I will be the first to tell you that price lists are not the be all and end all of pricing data. It’s always been my opinion that, while useful to a newer or more casual player, major traders will eventually grow out of them – using them more to confirm price instead of figuring out price. While your in that process of growing as a trader, it is important that you start learning for yourself how to recognize value, plan for market fluxations, and become more confident as a seller without the absolute need for price guides.

Until that point, I recommend the following:

  • Find a community in whose knowledge you trust and don’t be afraid to ask them their thoughts on the value of a particular item. Knowledgable traders are an asset to new traders, seek them out.
  • Join a guild that is dedicated to trading and watch their sales history for yourself. This is real and recent data, up-to-the-minute information on where the market is at.
  • Window shop different traders and see where their listing prices are at. This is always helpful when pricing items such as set pieces.
  • If you are going to use a pricing guide, do so with a grain of salt. I work hard on this database, but even I know it is not perfect or infallible. It is not law. Understand the difference between console guides that manually input their data and pc guides that automatically source. Both have their uses and their challenges.

The more you learn about the market on your own, the easier it will be to make pricing decisions with confidence. ❤

Happy Selling.

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