Finding the Best Deals in the Marketplace
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I won't go into detail about making a monetary profit off the market place, as other guide have the subject covered. However, I haven't seen anybody discuss the tricks I use to look for the best deals on the market in my hunt for mastery levels. This guide will cover some tips I used to get around the somewhat limited interface of the market and figure out the most efficient ways of purchasing mounts and allies to collect.
For many, purchasing new mounts is one of the best ways to rack up mastery. But you might encounter an issue; When you search with "hide collected", you'll see little to no mounts at all!
Why's this? For some reason, the marketplace will only search the first 99 pages of the category. All the mounts left to collect are pushed out of the way by dozens of Pemblocks and Meownts always listed. But there's a simple way to force the marketplace to sort through all listings; simply search "mount" or just the letter "u" and it'll display all the mounts left to collect, thanks to the fact almost all mounts are prefixed with "Mount:". The three exceptions to the prefix are: Kazuki, Kougetsu, and the Trotting Turkey. Fortunately, all three contain the letter "u" in their name.
This same tactic also applies for Allies, as every ally is prefixed with either "Ally:" or "Pet:".
Of course, if you want to simply browse through the non-Pemblock/Meownts mounts to see what the current mount market looks like or maybe hope to score some nice deals, there's another way to filter them out. By searching for the vowels not found in Pemblock or Meownt, typing "a" or "i" in the search bar shows you almost everything else. (Note, most Pemblock/Meownt variants, Eggster Bouncer, Cygnus-01 Neon Speedcycle, F4-S.T. Prototype Rocket, Stormy, Scoops, PWN-E, Skully, Moulder, and the Restless Eye will not show up in these searches. "s" encompasses most of these and maintains a wide variety if those are of interest.)
But if you don't see this? That's likely because you have your currency set to "All" instead of "Flux". For some reason, having it search for listings of all currency will exclude mounts in a pattern I don't yet understand. I highly recommend keeping your currency set to Flux at all times, as it is rare to see listings of alternate currencies cheaper than the Flux listings when approximately converted into Flux.
If you see a deal that looks appealing, like 5 Chaos Chests or 10 Dragon Coins for a mount, make sure you check how much Flux each of those units is worth and compare to Flux listings. Do the math and you may see that alternate listing will cost you more Flux overall than a raw Flux listing.
Speaking of the Restless Eye, this is one example of a mount where you can save some flux by making it yourself. Take a look at its price:
This isn't too much of a difference than the price of the average mount. But if you put some reasearch into how t's made, you'll see that it's crafted with 2 Hearts of Darkness at the Shadowy Market crafting bench. Now look at the price of Heart of Darkness on the marketplace.
As you can see, you can buy 3 Hearts of Darkness for nearly the same price as one Restless Eye; by purchasing the mount directly, you are essentially paying a 2,500 flux convenience fee to save you the trouble of crafting this. There's nothing strictly bad about convenience fees like this, and it certainly saves you a bit of time. But if you're looking to get the best deals for your flux, it would be more efficient to do one segment of a Shadow Tower and craft it yourself. This is particularly relevant to many of the Heart of Darkness crafted mounts, allies, and sails.
If you're considering buying something that's made up of other materials, do your research and take a look around the marketplace to see if the item itself is actually cheaper than what you could get from buying the raw material and crafting it yourself, including the price of Glim to Flux for sails and the Treasure Isles mounts. (Be sure to look at the price of the material in bulk, as this is almost always cheaper than individual units listed)
With these tips in mind, you should be able to find the best offers on the market and earn the most mastery with your money.