- For the RuneScape Wiki price guide, see Grand Exchange Market Watch.
|update by Jagex, the information in this article may be out-of-date. Please help improve this article by updating the information.|
|Location on World Map|
|Edgeville||←||Grand Exchange||→||Varrock Palace|
The Grand Exchange (also called the Exchange, GE, or GX,) is a casual marketplace in northwest Varrock that was released on 26 November 2007 in which players can buy or sell items while working on other activities in-game, negating the need to find an interested party. It has largely replaced the banks of Varrock and Falador as trading centers, and on nearly all worlds a large group of players can be found at the building.
It draws parallels to modern real-life stock exchanges, both through the method in which goods are traded and the design of the building itself. The Exchange matches requests with offers made by players on any game world. When a transaction is completed, players can collect the cash or items they received by either selecting the "collect" option at any bank (excluding bank chests or deposit boxes), or they can return to the Grand Exchange and pick up their goods from there.
To begin using the Grand Exchange, players must complete a tutorial. Two tutorials are available: one from the Grand Exchange tutor and the other from Brugsen Bursen, the founder of the Exchange. The founder offers a more concise tutorial, including an elevated view of the Grand Exchange through a cut scene. The latter will explain in depth how the Grand Exchange was founded.
Making use of the Exchange involves placing offers to either buy or sell a specific quantity of an item at a specific price. Members are allowed to maintain six offers at a time, while free-to-play players may make two offers simultaneously. After each day, the game calculates the average price at which each item was sold the previous day, and sets this as the new market value. Offers must be placed within 5% above or below this market value, allowing for some fluctuation in prices from day to day. If the street value of an item is outside of this relatively narrow price range, it will usually be traded in banks using the older trade system rather than at the Grand Exchange, though direct trade between players is now subject to strictly balanced trade restrictions.
The main advantage of using the Grand Exchange for trading is the game's persistent attempts to matching players' requests to corresponding offers from other players on all servers, allowing players to leave the Exchange while waiting for transactions to complete. If several offers for the same item at the same price are pending at the same time, an offer queue will form, and the oldest offers will be served first if any matching offers are made. In the case that a buyer requests a higher price than the seller is willing to sell for, then the price used will be that of whichever offer was placed first at the Exchange.
Jagex's 26 August 2008 update changed the Grand Exchange slightly. Players can now choose to take items they've purchased either directly or in noted form. (Previously, players got the items directly if four or less of the same items were bought and in noted form if more than five of the same items were bought.) Items can be taken in noted form only if the item can be noted (for example, stackable items like arrows cannot be noted). Items are automatically taken as notes unless the player right clicks the item and selects the "item" option. Unlike a Bank account with which players can click a button that sets where items are removed as items or notes, there are no overall controls on the Grand Exchange for this.
Persons of interest
There are a variety of NPCs found in the Exchange, each of which play a role in its business.
Around the edges of the Exchange are the Grand Exchange tutor and Brugsen Bursen, mentioned above, along with five other NPCs each specializing in a particular range of items. The items they specialize in are painted on the floor next to them. Any one of them will give players the current market price for the items in their respective item categories, Brugsen Bursen included (although he comments it would be quicker to ask the specialists).
|Hofuthand||Weapons and Armour|
In the middle of the Exchange are four bankers and four Grand Exchange clerks standing behind a counter. The bankers and exchange clerks can be identified by their different shirt colors - the bankers are in grey and the exchange clerks are dressed in dark blue. Players do not need to move next to these NPCs in order to talk to them. The bankers function as any others would; the clerks are used by players to make buy or sell offers on particular goods.
The Grand Exchange clerks can also pack and unpack armour sets, allowing a full set of many types of armour to be traded, or stored in a single inventory space. A few possible item sets are as follows:
- All metal, trimmed, gilded and god armour, in sets of full helm, plate, kite and legs or skirt.
- Dragon armour has a variation of sets, each containing a med helm, and a choice of chain or plate body, skirt or legs.
- Dragonhide (ranged armour) has a 3 piece set of body, chaps, and vambraces.
- Robes (magic armour) also has a 3 piece set of hat, top and bottoms.
- Barrows armour, the set contains the helmet, body, legs, and weapon.
- All parts of a Cannon
- Rune (l)includes full helm, platelegs, platebody and kiteshield
By observing the price at which transactions are completed, it is possible to determine whether an item's Exchange price is likely to rise or fall in the near future. This is especially useful for commodity items such as ores, runes, and food ingredients that are traded in large quantities.
There's one easy way to see if an item's price is likely falling. Offer the item for sale and observe what price the exchange suggests for it as well as the allowing pricing range for the item. Typically, the suggested price is in the middle of the range. However, if the price is at the bottom of the allowed range, then the price has been falling recently and may well fall further in the future.
If a player plans on selling an item, he or she can test the market by trying to sell the item for the maximum allowed price. In the event that the item's price is rising rapidly, this item will sell immediately, and the player should usually wait a few days before trying to sell the rest of the items in order to get a better price.
On the other hand, if a price is falling rapidly, this can be determined by attempting to buy the item at the lowest possible price on the Exchange. If the item is purchased immediately, that means there is a huge supply of items from many people wanting to sell the item, and nobody who is buying them up at nearly any price. This situation may be difficult for players who craft or smith items, as waiting to sell the item will only lower the sale price. Some comfort can be found in the fact that the Grand Exchange uses a queue in which the first offers to buy or sell an item are filled first. It may be possible that the item simply sells slowly, in other words, it may still be valuable, but is only occasionally traded.
- If you are selling an item and you don't need the cash right away, or plan to log out for more than an hour, try setting the price at the highest price available. You may not get the money right away, but it might make a big difference.
- Try selling raw materials such as uncut gems, ore and pure essence, which usually sell quickly. Also, remember that just because something is for sale on the Grand Exchange does not mean someone will buy it right away.
- On a similar note, be aware that "processing" some items lowers their value on the Grand Exchange. For example, smelting gold ores into bars or chiseling uncut gems in gems and then selling them fetches less than selling the ores and uncut gems. Many players buy the raw materials so that they can process them themselves, for the experience.
- For bank sales involving many items, just try for quick sales on items by placing items up, and if they do not sell immediately (no matching buyer), then remove and try another item. After trying all items, then just leave up items that have not sold.
- Profit can however be made on most smelting. For example, if a player bought tin and copper ore at the lowest price and smelt the ore then resold it for the highest price, the player makes almost twice the amount used to pay for the ore. Profit is made in this way on: Bronze, Iron, Steel, Mithril, Adamantite, Runite (providing the bars actually sell)
- Sometimes it is impossible to buy one item because no one is literally selling it, such as 3rd Age pieces. This is typically a short-term problem, as eventually someone will sell these items. If you are determined to buy one and can wait days or weeks to get it, make an offer at the highest price. Periodically check your offer and raise the offer price if the maximum allowed bid has been raised.
- Almost all items sell, sooner or later, even iron arrows, Ashes, and Cups of tea. It can be a considerable period of time to sell such items, however, so players must decide whether it is worth tying up a valuable GE slot with low-value, slow-selling merchandise.
- Find an item that is steady in price by referring to the graphs on the RuneScape website and buy a little above the minimum price then resell a little above the average price. Give the buy trade about 24 hours to complete and another 24 hours for the sell. This can create a very consistent way to create cash flow.
Every item in the Grand Exchange has the "current price" that is determined from the previous day's or week's trading history. This appears to be an "average" of the price of all items sold prior to updating the price. These prices are updated every 33 hours. Jagex server operators have no control over when it updates, it's done automatically. For items that trade with relatively low numbers of items, their price may only be adjusted every few days or even once a week. For a few items, notably party hats, this price does not seem to be updating at all. This is probably because party hats are rarely traded on the Grand Exchange, so there is no change in average price. There is no official explanation from Jagex as to why there are any differences for updating the prices from item to item.
In addition to the +/- 5% trading ranges that may change on a daily basis depending on the current price average, there are also "hard" price floors and ceilings on every item. According to the knowledge base, prices will never go below what shops will buy the items for, and they will never sell for more than the lowest price offered from a store's "main stock" which sells in infinite quantities.
As a practical matter, most items have their "hard price floor" set at either the amount a player can earn by casting the High Level Alchemy spell on the item, or for 240 coins above or below this value. The value of 240 coins is presumably the cost of a Nature rune, and this price floor is set in an attempt to avoid having players purchase large numbers of items on the Grand Exchange and earn "free" experience by casting the High Alchemy spell for a modest profit.
No official explanation has been given in terms of why there are discrepancies for this pricing from one item to the next in terms of being higher or lower than the High Alchemy spell value. Jagex has, in some cases, with a notable example being the hard price floor of gold bars, lowered the price of these items after the opening of the Grand Exchange. Officially they claimed that the "algorithm used to generate minimum prices" was modified, during an update on 17 January 2008.
It should be noted that there are some stores, notably Obli's General Store which buys items for approximately the high alchemy price when the player is wearing Karamja gloves, and Grum's Gold Exchange which buys jewelry for higher than the high alchemy price, so the use of the high alchemy price may still be fitting in terms of a rough justification for the price floors. However, they seem to be applied very arbitrarily and inconsistently.
Price ceilings are also something that applies to every item on the Exchange as well. These seem to be applied somewhat more consistently across most of the items, although some updates have changed the situation since the introduction of the Grand Exchange. For example, the price ceilings of team capes are 150 coins. However, rares in particular never had price ceilings, as there were no shops in the game that offered them for sale. With the 17 January 2008 Grand Exchange update, price ceilings were raised significantly for many items, effectively removing many price ceilings from the game. This was applied to "non-stackable items", or items that would take up multiple spots in the player's backpack when he purchased them. "Stackable items", such as arrows, runes, and herbs continued to be regulated with the hard price ceilings, with some player crafted runes being the items most impacted with this policy.
One interesting item in this regard is the Spirit shards, previously untradable on the Grand Exchange, can now be a place for players to get rid of excess spirit shards or buy them off players who are trying to get rid of them. What makes this item so unusual from the perspective of price floors and ceilings is that the floor and ceiling are identical. In other words, regardless of player demand (or lack thereof) for spirit shards or how many of them actually get sold on the Grand Exchange, the price will never change.
It should be noted here that for free-to-play players, shop prices in member areas also impacted the Grand Exchange prices, even though F2P players could not directly access items in those shops.
In an effort to curb Real world trading, Jagex has established volume trading restrictions on many items. This ranges from being able to buy 100 items at a time for most items, 1000 for more frequently traded items, some items have 10,000 limit (such as feathers and various bones) and a larger limit of 25,000 items is for the most commonly traded items, such as runes. Each of these values corresponds to the maximum number possible to buy in a four hour time period. There is no official definition of what constitutes a "commonly traded item," nor is this volume trade restriction even officially acknowledged by Jagex. See table below for known limits at this time.
This doesn't prevent the player from either buying or selling items on the Grand Exchange in larger quantities, but for those items that have this restriction players can only buy at the volume trade limit once every couple of hours (selling of items is not limited by quantity). If for some reason the price the player has chosen does not have enough buyers or sellers, the player will trade "normally" as if there were no restriction until the player hits the volume limit.
In addition, if the player purchases an item on the Grand Exchange, there is a four hour time limit imposed if he or she wants to turn around and sell the item right back at a profit or loss. This also includes normal trading with another player (i.e. receiving an item from another player and selling that same item on the exchange, or vice versa). While on the surface this appears to be an anti-merchanting viewpoint, the actual purpose is to help prevent another method for transferring coins between accounts due to "other considerations" such as real world trading, as well as preventing players from manipulating the prices.
Buy quantity limits
The table below lists the maximum quantity of items you can buy every 4 hours. Remember that you cannot immediately sell the same items after you buy them--there is a 4 hour waiting period. This may be the cause of a common misconception when players attempt a "buy low/sell high" strategy. It appears that the item just purchased won't sell, even at minimum price. But the waiting period will prevent the sale from occurring, not necessarily the price or demand.
Runes25,000 Logs25,000 Ores25,000 Food10,000 Herbs10,000 Potions10,000 Gems10,000 Bones10,000 Feathers10,000 Soft Clay10,000 Cowhide10,000 Arrows10,000 Vials10,000 Bows5,000 Jewelery1000 Weapons100 Armour100 Flatpacks100 Barrow's10 Rares2
For Treasure Trails items, there is a reduced limit of 2.
Some items were previously not traded on the Grand Exchange but had been tradable between players, and now are include:
- Spirit shards
Note: It also seems that Spirit shards GE price is the same as the store price always.
Why was the Grand Exchange implemented?
Before the Grand Exchange was implemented, Jagex had multiple legal issues due to gold selling sites, or so-called "real-world trading organizations". These organizations would use bots or sweatshop labour to gain gold through harvesting raw materials, and then sell them at a general store or collect these items in a "farm system" for sale to players in bulk for real world money (dollars, euros, yen, etc.) In some cases these were openly criminal organizations using this trade as fundraising and money laundering. This would happen on both member worlds and free worlds, and Jagex claims that the characters on the member worlds were often using stolen credit card numbers.
To effectively funnel people to the GE, Jagex implemented a 3k trade value difference limit that applied to all players. This limit was later modified on subsequent updates due to player feedback and complaints. The trade limit supposedly prevents gold sellers from trading, but it acts as double edged sword and hurt player to player sales. It has been theorized that Jagex wants people to play for longer by collecting large quantities of raw materials and then selling them, rather then making large amounts of money from smaller amounts in short periods of time then logging off (this was only made possible through traditional merchanting, and it was easily possible to make large amounts of money this way on non-member worlds).
Many players reacted positively to the release of the Grand Exchange, finding it a quicker and easier way to trade items. Using the Exchange, players no longer need to search the forums or trading areas for someone who will buy or sell the goods they need. Some, however, criticized its implementation, particularly the control of prices to within a 5% range of the previous day's average price. Merchanting has become far less popular since the Exchange's release, and it was previously considered one of the best ways to make considerable amounts of money fast. Other concerns have been raised regarding the lack of transparency provided by the Exchange system.
Despite Jagex's claims that the Grand Exchange was actually a step to increase players' control of the RuneScape economy, many players argue that the Grand Exchange itself is proof that Jagex is after all the overall in charge of the RuneScape economy, as prices of items were adjusted accordingly by demand and supply rather than players' popularity with the item, making the Grand Exchange a method of centralised economy by Jagex.
Some players criticised the Grand Exchange's release as it caused many items to drop in price. At one point, some commonly traded raw materials such as sharks and lobsters dropped in price from 800 coins and 250 coins each to about 650 coins each and 220 coins each, respectively. Abyssal whips dropped from 1.3 million coins to about 1.2 million, and the prices of rune weapons and armour as of several months after the update fell significantly:
Many rare items, most notable Party hats and Christmas crackers, have dropped their price significantly after the introduction of GE due to low demand.
A few items, however, rose in price due to the release. Bones,for example, were previously not regarded to be worth the effort of collecting and trading, but their price quickly rose to about 100 coins.
Most of these changes were actually due to perceptions of players who were unaware of the most recent changes in prices. For example, although some players would pay 25,000 coins for a rune scimitar before the update, most players would only pay 20,000 coins or less. Since the update removed these perceptions and made players aware of the current average prices, items which were sometimes traded for above or below their street price were being traded for values much closer to their actual street price.
Because the Grand Exchange also averages the prices of items traded in both free-to-play and pay-to-play, the prices of raw materials dropped. For example, lobsters - which are the best fish available in free-to-play besides swordfish (which are much harder to catch in bulk) - were often traded for 250 coins each in free-to-play because of high demand before the update, but only 200 coins each in pay-to-play. After the update, players in free-to-play noticed that the market price of lobsters shown in the Grand Exchange was only about 220 coins, and began to offer less money for the lobsters. As a result, the price of lobsters fell, as the players in free-to-play were all that kept the price up.
However, the Grand Exchange's release was followed shortly after by a The removal of real-world-traders series of updates on 10 December 2007 which largely eliminated macroing as a viable source of cheap raw materials. As such, the prices for raw materials that were previously gathered by macros, such as yew logs and raw lobsters, rose to a level higher than their pre-Grand Exchange level. A few months after these updates, yew logs were trading at roughly 400 coins, sometimes as high as 450, while their price was usually closer to 350 coins prior to the Grand Exchange. Raw fish are generally now worth more than their cooked counterparts with the exception of the manta ray and sea turtles. Their prices for the most part were similar to those of several years before, when macroing was not a major problem.
Rune Items Disaster 2008
In September 2008 the price of runite ore began to skyrocket. It went up from 11k to around 18k per ore. This caused the price of rune bars to rise from 13k to over 20k in some cases. In October 2008 this caused a crushing rise in the price of most rune items, the worst affected were the platelegs, platebody, scimitar, 2h sword and full helmet, soem of which recorded a rise of 20-30k. THe price started to go down in January 2009.
Jagex has modified the Exchange prices of certain items like the Abyssal whip to counter deflation. Although this has benefited the producers or collectors of these items, there has been criticism from players believing that this will hurt the economy because the players of RuneScape do not control it now.
- The Fairy ring next to the Grand Exchange, between it and Edgeville, uses the code "DKR". The code corresponds with the phonetic "Dicker" (intr.v. dick·ered, dick·er·ing, dick·ers: To bargain; barter. n. The act or process of bargaining).
- There was an easter egg where if players searched for "Thingy" in the item search panel, they would see many sapphire amulets listed with that same name. The item's description was simply "Mabob", as in "thingymabob". This was later removed, in a system update.
- "Truffles" were available for 200 coins each even though they do not exist in the game. These were also removed.
- If a player attempts to buy a large quantity of an expensive item (such as 500 party hats), in which the total offer value exceeds 2,147,483,647 coins ((231)-1), They will be given the message "Too high!" as their total price. This is because 2,147,483,647 is the maximum integer value that Java applications can handle. This is the same limit that applies to stackable items or Coins.
- If a player who has completed Lunar Diplomacy talks to the rune merchant Murky Matt, they will refer to how "pirates" were stuck for days and sailing around in circles.
- There is a trapdoor northwest of the Grand Exchange area (literally called 'Hidden Trapdoor'). It currently has no use and players cannot open it. It may have been placed there for decoration purposes only, or as an element to create speculation.
- On its first day, the Grand Exchange was temporary off-line for a short time "to fix a couple of bugs". An update was on the RuneScape main page until it was back on-line. No items were lost by players as "items are actually looked after by an older system that has been working fine for years, rather than the new system". (One bug was that players could talk to non-Grand Exchange NPCs (e.g., Rick Turpentine) the same way they could to Grand Exchange clerks; this was quickly fixed while the Exchange was offline.)
- When the Exchange was released, many prices did not correspond to street prices at the time. Many prices have moved towards equilibrium since that time, however. An example was the gnome scarf costing around 1,284 coins on the first day, quickly rising to over 800,000 coins, expanding in value by nearly 680 times. Also, this happened with pirate hats, which were 127gp.
- The western of Varrock's banks was updated to have the bankers on both sides of the building and a door in the back. The deposit box is now gone.
- If one searches for any item that can be built in a study, save for bookcases and wall charts, they will find flatpacked versions of these items. While players can offer a price to buy these items, they are not released yet and thus cannot be purchased, implying that there will be a construction update sometime in the future.
- The name of the Exchange's herb merchant, Bob Barter, is a parody of Bob Barker, a millionaire and the past-host of the US version of the game show The Price is Right.
- On Friday, 13 June 2008, the Grand Exchange ceased to function. The Buy, Sell and cancel options were not working. This caused Jagex to turn off the servers to fix the problem. This was later found to be an ISP problem.
- After the Runescape HD Graphics Update on 1 July 2008, some players found the Progress Bar of the Grand Exchange did not light up Red, Orange or Green whenever an item was successfully canceled, bought or sold. Jagex has fixed this bug after many players were complaining about this, and have sent many bug reports. As of August 3, 2008, the bug has returned.
- On the evening of 18 October 2008 there was another occurance where the buy, sell and cancel options were not working. This was fixed after a short time without the servers being switched off.
- On 13 January 2009 the update caused the GE to malfunction. When a player attempted to buy or sell an Item, they would lose connection. A quick fix was put in place shortly afterward that Stopped the player from submitting orders. It was fixed a few minutes after the initial update.
- On the day the Grand Exchange was released, if a player had a cat next to the counter and clicked on the counter, the cat was shown in the chatbox instead of the clerk. This has been fixed.
- There is a glitch, that when a player presses the buy and then sell button quickly, they will be able to go out of the grand exchange while still having the search option on screen.