First off I am not looking at the bugs in the system (there are many) Nor I am looking at items that cannot be sold (certain potions, dyes, etc etc) I am going to explore the ups and downs of the actual system and how it is used. I will be looking at these from the owner and the customer view. This is coming from an experienced commodity broker who has seen these brokers come and go. 1. Vendor fees OK everyone who has tried one of these says the vendor fees are outrageous. They can get you. You have to be smart with your pricing, markups, quantities, etc. But I don't think they are the game stopper everyone thinks they are. 5% weekly fee on items you sell (if you don't use your commodity vendor to sell items you pay no weekly fee) is a little higher than a regular player vendor. If you work out the vendor fees of a regular player vendor you come out roughly at 4.2% per week. The 5% commission on buying items is not too bad either. You are paying for a unique process that only those vendors can do. The 5% commission on selling items...that is pure silliness. The regular player vendors have no such commission and gain a distinct advantage here. The devs would be good to remember that people paid real life cash by buying a booster pack to use these vendors. To subject them and only them to this gold sink is crazy. 2. Pricing, Mark Up Like I said earlier, you have to be smart. Running these vendors poorly will soon deplete your bank account and have you screaming foul. I think a proper difference between the sell price and the buy price is roughly 30%. This means if you sell something for 2000 gold you should buy it for 1400 gold. The difference in sell and buy can be lowered if you have a fast moving product but 30% will allow an item to sit on your commodity vendor for 1 month and still let you get a small profit. Here is how it will work out. A player sells you this widget for 1400 gold. They get 1400 gold, your vendor pays 1470. It sits for 1 week priced at 2000 gold, costing your vendor another 100 gold in vendor fees. 2nd week another 100 gold gone 3rd week another 100 gold gone 4th week another 100 gold gone. Then it sell for 2000 gold. The player uses 2000 gold, but your vendor only gets 1900 gold. So if you do the math you made 1900 gold gross after 1870 in expenses and made 30 gold net. Of course if it sits for less time you make more gold. 3. Quantities First off the ability to just buy 1 or 2 or however many you need is a godsend to many players. Why have to buy 10 packs from a player vendor when I just need 3 to get this imbuing done? So that is a great concept and works well. Now as an owner you have to set the right quantities for buy and sell. If you are using the 30% idea you want to have a quantity that will sell in a month. If you set it to buy too many, trust me people will sell to you and using up all your gold supply. If you set it to buy too little, people will sell to others and get accustomed to selling to the others and stop looking at your stall. But if there is any question...always opt for a smaller quantity. And make sure you learn the system and set it properly. 4. Quantities and the UI. New commodity vendor owners screw this up all the time. It is to the point that whenever you set up a commodity vendor you better come on a second account or have a trusted friend tell you how things look. Everyone seems to understand the buy limit...but then they screw up the sell limit. The sell limit should be renamed to the reserved limit. Because if you have a number other than zero in that spot...the vendor won't sell that amount. Example if I have a buy limit of 1000 and a sell limit of 300...This means my vendor will not offer to sell any of those items until the stock is above 300. When I get 575 in stock the vendor will list the extra 275 for sale. It will not dip in to the first 300 of the quantity ever. I have tried to explain this to many newer commodity vendors. They sit there and wonder why they buy and buy but nothing ever sells. It is usually because in the UI they set their buy limit and sell limit to the same number. The other common mistake is they put no buy limit and thus can buy as many as their gold reserves will allow. This is a sure fire recipe for having all your gold taken and leaving the commodity vendor business complaining. 5. The Buy but no Sell commodity vendor. OK some have taken it upon themselves to skirt the 5% sale commission and the slightly larger weekly fee. They just use the commodity vendor to buy and then remove the items to sell on their own regular player vendor or on a rented luna vendor so they can be advertised on some search engine. This all well and good but there are a couple flaws in this thinking. One, when you separate what you are buying from what is selling, you are doomed to have too much of one thing. You could counteract that by adjusting your buy limit as you pull off items but it takes a very logical mind and good amount of work and attention to detail. Two, when a player sells you something...they have no idea what you are going to charge at your vendor because many times they don't even know where your vendor is located. This promotes ill will in the community because they assume you are buying for 100 gold and selling for 10 mill. I like the fact that you see what I am buying it for and what I am selling it for even if you don't agree with the markup. It allows the customer more information in his decision to sell to you. 6. Stall Rental The stall rental is just potential grief. A guy sets up...and is doing pretty ok...has some customers...has some suppliers...has reasonable pricing and markups...etc. Then he has to spend a 100k (or more) to defend his stall each week. Or he can bid on another stall and move. If he does neither he will have to reclaim all his stuff within a week...bid and win a new stall and set up again. This is one of the reasons my stalls are in Fel. Less competition for stalls. On top of that their is a flaw in the bid system. Say I bid 20k on a specific stall and I lose because it wasn't enough gold and the owner or some other player out bid me. My bid stays there until I manually remove it and I keep bidding week after week at no additional cost to myself (other than the initial 20k). Now week after week, the owner of the stall loses 20k from his bid matching protecting the stall unless the player comes back and removes his bid from my stall. The only way as the owner to stop defending against this same bid week after week is to let the bidder win by moving or abandoning my stall. 7. Price wars. Oh yes there have been some price wars on Atlantic. It has gotten cutthroat among some of the major commodity vendors and it actually has benefited the normal players. You see people were vying for suppliers and customers. So the price a player has to pay for goods came down, and the price a player will receive for goods they sell has come up. The margins have shrunk. Some of the cuthroat practices are selling large quantities of slow movers to "buy only" commodity vendors so they have no money to buy anymore. Runes and tamed animals with vendor critiques have been seen. Price fixing, liquidations, stall bidding, etc etc. You name it and it has been done. Mostly benefiting the average player because of the shrinking margins. It can be fun if you are into that. So you have to remain smart, or at least smarter than the next guy. You have to figure out when it is best to lower or raise a price and deal with the consequences. Otherwise UO bankruptcy is in your future. Summary. There are many things that are wrong with the system but there are some serious benefits. Those who still only shop Luna with search engines are really paying too much and should at least check the magincia bazaars. The fact that players can liquidate there hunting loot at a commodity vendor and not have to run a vendor themselves is a major plus. Being able to buy or sell 1 or 2 or 100 or 60,000 at a time is great for the average player. Having multiple people supply a vendor reduces "the grind" that so many complain about, because each persons excesses they are willing to sell usually translates into someone elses shortfalls they are willing to buy. I would love to hear other peoples perceptions on the commodity vendor and though there are some big flaws in the system would love to discuss what should be happening and how we can make it happen for the community on these vendors.