I’m in PC NA server and this is my personal guide to making gold in ESO. Your own experience may differ especially if you are from a different server. Also I did not include a section about Writs because I haven't really done those purely because I don't like doing them even if it only takes a few minutes. Please feel free to share information on writs.
Use zone chat and/or forums to join a guild with a guild trader, but shop around to see which trader best fits you at lowest requirement versus competing guilds in same area. For example one guild trader I joined has 10k weekly sales requirement whereas another in same city requires 100k weekly sales. BIG difference. Maximum listing is capped at 30 listings per trader so you may end up joining more than one.
I experimented with various guild traders and below is how I rank them. Again this is my personal tier list and your experience may vary.
1. Rawl’kha – Everything seems to sell the fastest here, and I can price things a bit higher to boot. Call it convenience fee that people are willing to pay.
2. Capitals of each faction (Mourhold, Wayrest, Elden Root) + Belkarth – Everything sells rather quickly in these locations too.
3. Major cities of each faction + Vivec City, Hollow City – Ranges between Okay to Good. Some cities, such as Daggerfall and Vvardenfell seem to move goods better than others but I’m going to go ahead and put them all in same tier.
4. Minor traders + Anvil, Abah’s Landing, Orsinium – By minor traders I mean those lonely traders you see in random places. These locations do make sales and almost never have any requirements, but I’d still upgrade from these locations as soon as possible unless you don’t carry too much inventory.
5. Refuge traders – I buy stuff from these locations to support them and also because I often find great deals in these locations, but only if I happen to come across them.
First, regardless of which path to riches you take you should install addons below:
*For those on consoles you can access following website to access Tamriel Trade Center: https://us.tamrieltradecentre.com/pc/Trade/Search
• Master Merchant (MM)
- Pro: Shows you actual price items were sold at
- Con: Limited to guilds you are in, and therefore data is limited and narrow
• Tamriel Trade Center (TTC)
- Pro: Shows you breakdown of listing prices in average, high and low among other data
- Con: Can be misleading because listing price and sold price can mean very different things
• Harvest Map
- This is one of basic addons that shows you all nodes such as ores and chests. You can download a "master file" and voila, you now have all locations of all resources in the game, including chest locations.
• uespLog (UESP) & Arkadius Trade Tools
are other trade add-ons that have been recommended by community. Feel free to try them out!
What you do is use add-ons such as MM & TTC to interpret actual market value. Let’s take couple scenarios below as an example.
Scenario 1: “Infused Green Pact Glove’s TTC’s sampling size is 450 listings with an average listing price of 1500 gold, lowest listing price of 700 gold and highest listing price of 5000 gold. MM’s sampling size is just 2, with sold price coming in at 500 gold.” In this scenario I would list the glove anywhere between 500g and 1500g depending on how fast I want to sell it. Since this is a low value “junk” I might want to just list it at 500g to clear my inventory. 700g might work just as well too since your item will still be THE lowest in the market unless someone recently listed at a price lower than 700g that TTC did not capture yet.
Scenario 2: “Infused Spriggan Dagger’s TTC sampling size is 150 listings with an average listing price of 90,000 gold, lowest listing price of 75,000 gold and highest listing price of 200,000 gold. No MM data available.” In this scenario I would list the dagger anywhere between 88,000 and 110,000 gold depending on how fast I want to sell and also which guild trader I belong in. Unlike the aforementioned Green Pact glove because this is a high value item I’m willing to sit on it for a while. If your guild trader is in the most popular spot, you might be able to sell the dagger at higher price than 110,000 but I like to unload my inventory as soon as possible, but everyone is different. Some might be willing to gamble and also afford the time.
1. Buy low, sell high: Always works in any MMO you play. It’s a gamble that pays off if you are market trend savvy. Payoff is biggest during patch transitions, see PTS section below for more info.
a. Pro tip: If you aren’t actively farming, buy popular mats such as Kuta and Tempering Alloy cheap and sell them for small profit. They are very easy to sell and you’ll find undervalued mats readily available in random guild traders you may come across as you farm Skyshards or whatever you may be doing. This alone will most likely take care of guild trader requirements. Easy to do and win-win situation for all parties involved.
2. Farm popular motifs/recipes. Currently thieving/murdering NPC’s in Vivec City gives you a chance of looting very valuable motifs (Hlaalu, Redoran, Telvanni). Farming chests in Vvardenfell also has a very small chance of dropping Buoyant Armiger motifs, which can sell for as much as 500k. Farming urns in Vvardenfell (i.e. Dreloth Ancestral Tomb) can net you valuable Morrowind Furnishing recipes as well. Note that current inflated prices are temporary and as with all motifs/recipes there will be a gradual price drop.
3. Farm chests: In general I found this to be the second or third most effective and more entertaining way to make gold, though currently (and temporarily) farming the new motifs above are probably better.
a. Target a zone with high value items such as Spriggan or Spinner sets.
b. Develop a treasure chest route that is most efficient. Note that in certain zones chests are concentrated in certain parts of respective zones. For example if you are farming Spinners there is a cluster of chests concentrated in northernmost part.
c. If you have enough Champion Points have at least one character with 75 points invested in The Shadow to unlock “Treasure Hunter” passive. This allows you to get better quality loots.
4. Farm Dolmens, World Bosses and Public Dungeon Bosses: I tried farming each, but chances of getting what you want is very low and you end up with too many of certain categories of loots. Take Public Dungeon for example. These bosses only drop gloves, shoulders, weapons and shields. Weapons and shields are VERY rare, so you’ll end up with ton of just gloves and shoulders. To be fair the same is true with chests, but they have a chance of dropping everything so your loots will be much more evenly spread out.
a. Delve Bosses: Drops waist or feet set piece
b. Dolmens: 100% chance to drop a ring or amulet set piece. Purple drops are very rare.
c. World Bosses: 100% chance to drop head, chest, legs or weapon set piece. Weapon set pieces are very rare.
d. Public Dungeon Bosses: Have chance to drop shoulder, hand, or weapon set piece. Weapon set pieces are very rare.
5. Farming mats: With recent patch crafted sets became valuable, which means mats became valuable. This has always been a reliable way to make money as they are easy to farm and sell quickly. Until Clockwork City patch (or after) this method might be the best way to make money. Make sure to farm using a character with max craft skills because 50% of the time the mats you see scales to your crafting skill (i.e. Metalworking). Note that Nirncrux has a small chance of dropping from clothing, woodworking and blacksmithing nodes in Craiglorn. Potent Nirncrux can fetch over 10k while Fortified Nirncrux is worth about 2k~3k.
i. Kuta, Tempering Alloy, Ancient Silk and Rosin in particular became valuable.
ii. Dreugh Wax is also valuable but is often farmed by bots and therefore less profitable than others.
iii. Certain Alchemy mats such as Columbine, Corn Flower, Lady's Smock, Mountain Flower and Nirnroot are worth gathering for own use or to sell. Personally I gather all of them because they are always useful.
• Monitor this forum for potential nerfs/buffs that could make a huge difference in your profitability: https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/categories/pts
• PTS notes are subject to change, so take below advices:
o Any changes to PTS notes may drastically increase or decrease certain items. Immediately buy now valuable items on the cheap and sell them, but only for a few days. With each day there is a danger of more changes that may nerf the items that you invested in. Mother’s Sorrow was a good example where it became BiS, then unpopular in a matter of days. If you aren’t sure, don’t stress and just wait for patch to become live.
o Don’t go around unloading everything you have that was valuable due to PTS changes. Sharpened Spriggan weapons for example took a huge hit as people started going off on selling frenzy, but the price bounced back once people figured out that it’s still going to be one of BiS items. If you were one of those people you lost a great deal of money. Even if Spriggan weapons did become no longer valuable you still would not have lost too much gold and therefore would have been worth the risk.
• Any changes to sets or others that affect value of certain items can have dramatic changes to the market. Take below for example:
o With recent changes crafted sets became valuable.
- As soon as I saw this I knew raw mats would become valuable so I invested in Kuta and Tempers. I bought about 300 Kuta’s for about 2000g each and sold them for 3500g-4000g each. That alone was about half a mil profit.
o Sharpened became less valuable while Infused and Precise became more valuable.
- I invested in a bunch of Infused/Precise Necropotence & Red Mountain weapons to sell later. However Red Mountain no longer became popular and Necropotence took some hit as well. My investment here was a wash, and my point here is to reinforce the notion that playing with PTS patch notes is a gamble. You can make money, but you can also lose money. Knowledge is key here but the rest is just dumb luck.
• Most people have this skill but if you don’t, get the Rapid Maneuver skill. It’s from Assault skill line and gives you Major Expedition and more importantly Major Gallop skill which increases your mount speed. You can unlock this skill just by completing a Cyrodiil tutorial quest available at lvl 10. Godsend for farming and also new characters.
• Off-peak hours are generally better for farming, but not always. You aren’t the only person with the same idea.
• Invest in speed sets such as Jailbreaker (Minor expedition stacks with Major expedition), Fiord’s. Being Orc, having Steed mundus w/ full divine helps as well.
• If you have popular mats, sell now and buy them back later because the mats are currently inflated though they have been gradually coming down since the patch. Keep some if you feel that you may need them, but unload the rest. Conversely try to farm your own mats rather than buying them.