FFXI was one of the first MMO titles to introduce a stable and entirely player controlled economy. The Auction House system (commonly referred to as the AH) provides the means for thousands of players to trade with each other without direct contact.
In the auction houses of FINAL FANTASY XI, sellers designate an asking price when they put items up for bid. The first bidder to offer a price higher than the asking price gets to purchase the item. These places are a magnet for players, since it's possible to get a better deal here than at the shops run by NPCs.
After the severe supply shortages during the Great War against the Dark Lord, the black market of Jeuno prospered even as common people suffered; but lately, with increasing number of adventurers looking to sell items which are useless for them but crucial for others, the auction house has become a pivotal part of Vana'diel society. These auction houses are the brainchild of private investors who used them as hubs of commerce in the heart of each nation. Auction houses have really promoted the circulation of goods, which is vital for the success of new adventurers.
The benefits of this system are not restricted to the main cities only, remote and far off areas also benefit through the new revolutionary delivery services and management utilizing linkpearls.
FFXI Auction System
According to the rules governing the auction houses, a seller places the items in the Auction House for sale and the highest bidder in the auction takes the goods home. The goods that are not sold over a period of 30 Vana'diel weeks (9 1/2 Earth days) are returned to their owners through the delivery box of their Mog Houses.
FFXI Auction Security
Vana'diel is not a perfect world; there are bad people around as well as the good. So with the security of the employees of the auction houses in mind, the authorities devised some interesting rules to protect the auction house staff from enraged bidders. They ensured that the windows of the FFXI Auction Houses are designed in such a manner that the employees are not visible to the outsiders. This measure also serves well as a deterrent to keep robbers and thieves away, as they can't even see their intended victims. This security feature serves the employees well; but is not always enough.
How To Use
The following is a step by step guide on how to buy, sell or browse the Auction House. To use the auction house, you will need to locate an Auction House counter or an AH NPC in certain locations of Vana'diel, Before the May 2011 Version Update there are 4 Auction House systems in FFXI, each corresponding to the 4 major nations: Bastok, San d'Oria, Windurst and Jeuno; afterwards all Auction Houses have been unified.
Finding an Auction House Counter
|Zone||Type/NPC Name||Position (pos)|
|Bastok Mines||Auction Counters||(H-8)|
|Bastok Markets||Auction Counters||(E-8)|
|Southern San d'Oria||Auction Counters||(I-9)|
|Port San d'Oria||Auction Counters||(H-10)|
|Windurst Woods||Auction Counters||(K-12)|
|Windurst Walls||Auction Counters||(I-11)|
|Lower Jeuno||Auction Counters||(I-7)|
|Ru'Lude Gardens||Auction Counters||(F-8)|
|Aht Urhgan Whitegate||Auction Counters||(E-6)|
|Western Adoulin||Auction Counters||(E-10)|
|Eastern Adoulin||Auction Counters||(H-10)|
The Auction House consists of the following categories:
|Main Categories||Tier 2||Tier 3|
|Ammo & Misc.||Ammunition|
|Food||Meals||Meat & Eggs|
|Breads & Rice|
To purchase an item from the Auction House, locate the item you need, select it and the options to Place a Bid or View Price History will appear. Make sure to view price history to see what the current popular selling price is on the item and then place a bid for the appropriate amount.
To sell an item, select the Auction House and go to "Sell". A list of items in your inventory that can be auctioned will appear. Select the item you wish to sell and the option to price the item will appear. The game system will confirm twice if you'd like to sell the item and if you're willing the pay the appropriate transaction fees on it.
To sell something on the Auction House, a seller will have to pay a transaction fee.
As of the February 2014 Version Update, Auction House fees have been standardized worldwide
|Single||1% of asking price + 1 gil, with the maximum being 10,000 gil per item.|
|Stack||0.5% of asking price + 4 gil, with the maximum being 10,000 gil per stack.|
Auction House Mini game
The Economy of FFXI can be considered a 'mini game' in its own right. Countless hours can be spent playing the Auction House equivalent to the real life stock markets. The following section will serve to outline certain 'gil making practices' which have emerged over the years.
Supply and Demand Calculation
With the onset of RMT and now the Special Task Force reactions to RMT, supply and demand for items are becoming increasingly erratic. It is common practice amongst players to predict demand for certain items depending on time of month, seasonal events and how many RMT were banned at any given time.
Non-RMT crafters will step in when a huge decline appears in the supply of certain consumables, for example, or farmers will jump in with ingredients for crafters. Watching auction house trends has been made easier by the emergence of a new online tool called FFXIAH, an online Auction House tracking system created by the community.
Sometimes crafters will pick specific items with which to make gil. Once they have settled on their choice items, they will attempt to control the market for pricing and availability. If a certain crafter has monopoly on an item, they are capable of creating an artifically short supply, thus exponentially increasing the price that they can successfully sell the item for. (Price Gouging)
On the other hand, there are also situations where players will attempt to create a high demand at high price situation. Examples of this can be seen on certain items where the seller buys from him/herself and attempts to 'wipe' the older bid history, thus making their desired price, the precedent. This is generally considered price manipulation and the STF has been known to ban accounts for flagrant use of this tactic.
Because of the way the Auction House system works, it is sometimes impossible to tell what the 'true' worth of an item is, as value for everything sellable in the game will fluctuate according to current player style/fad/situation.
When some sellers are disatisfied with the rate that their product is selling, they will occasionally place their items for significantly less than the current going rate. As the first set of RMT crafters began to effect the game for normal players, Market Flooding (and undercutting) became much more prevalent.
- an Item has a steady price history of 10,000gil
- Seller A places several of this Item on AH at 10,000gil each
- Seller B notices there is already a nice supply of the Item on AH; but, wanting to clear his inventory quickly, places his store of Items on the AH for 9,000gil each.
- If a buyer places a bid of 10,000gil for the Item, Seller B's inventory will be sold first, compared to Seller A. This is because the lowest priced item sells first.
- Along comes another buyer and he places a bid of 9,000gil for the Item. Again, Seller B's inventory will go first, then Seller A. But this in turn causes the recent sale (and perceived value) of the Item to fall by 1000gil.
- Seller B is undercutting to sell faster, but in return, risks ruining the profitability of producing or farming the Item.
Done on a wide scale, this can be used to drive competitors out of a market. Once the prices are no longer within their 'acceptable' profit range, they will move on to something else. This has historically been one of the primary tactics of both bulk synth crafters and RMTamong st, both of which can afford smaller margins to show reasonable profit over time than the typical hobby crafter.
Buy for Less, Sell for More
This term refers to buying from NPC/Bazaars for less then relisting on Auction Houses for twice to three times as much. In the early days of FFXI and during the major inflation of 2005, players stood to gain millions of gil from this type of AH farming. Though not so prevalent now, it still exists to a certain extent for certain items such as spells. This is more common in the starting town auction houses and when moving materials between starter towns and the main Jeuno system (especially low level equipment)