Trading is a feature added on 23 March 2006 that allows players to trade items with the trader in each camp's trading hut. An item's price will increase if the item is rare at a specific hut and decrease if it's plentiful there. Foreign goods might bring a premium in the trading hut, whereas locally produced items will probably be discounted.
How to trade
Trades use two pulldown menus to select a type of item from your inventory and a type of item from the trader's inventory. After submitting your choices, the trader will propose a trade.
Trades consist of a swap of one item of the more expensive type for a single item or a bundle of items of the cheaper type. Some items (such as bananas and bottles of beer) are equal in price, as the trader will tell you, and can be traded 1-for-1 in either direction. Otherwise, the trader usually collects a small commission by shorting you one item (plus roundoff) when you trade down (trade a single item for multiple cheaper ones).
Once the trader makes the offer, you can either accept the proposed trade (for 1 AP) or reject the proposed trade (for 0 AP). If both parties have the required amount of items, and if you have enough empty space in your inventory to temporarily carry both groups of items, the items will be successfully exchanged. After the trade, you have an opportunity to make the same trade again (for 1 AP).
Item prices listed here are only approximate; the actual price of an item will vary based on several factors:
- Quantity: An item will be more expensive if a trader has an unusually low number of them in stock and cheaper if the trader has many more than usual. This has been the case since 24 May 2006.
- Trader familiarity: Prices are very good for the first 24 hours after trading with a new trader, or good for 24 hours after trading with your home trader. After some time, however, prices will worsen as the trader tires of you ("You do realize that there's an entire island out there to explore, don't you? How about bringing me back something more exciting than what you have now?"). This can be solved by visiting a different trader or by leaving for several days. (See Suggestions:Implemented#Trading Hut Prices That Reward Foreign Travel.)
- Language skills: When you have no language skills, a foreign trader will almost always offer you one less item, or demand one more item, on each trade (see Talk:Trading for details).
Also note that:
- These prices are valid when you trade up (trade multiple items for a more expensive one), but you usually pay a commission when you trade down; 20 bullets will buy a rifle, but a rifle will only buy 19 bullets (see Talk:Trading for exact exchange rates).
- Round-off can make some trades unusually harsh. For example, you will need two GPS units to buy one rifle, even though 17 bullets buy a GPS and 20 bullets buy a rifle. It is better to trade a GPS unit for "cash" (a cheap item type like bullets or darts) and accumulate enough cash to buy a rifle than it is to trade GPS units for a rifle directly.
- Most of the important items in the trading hut can be obtained for free by searching in the camp ammunition and medical huts. The trading hut is useful for off-loading unwanted inventory, or for obtaining large quantities of a specialized item. See Items for details on where to find specific items.
Trading points can be acquired three different ways.
- If one is participating in the tutorial.
- OR it's your first trade in the game.
- OR it's not your home trader (The first trade yields 100XP and kicks off the trading for 24 hours)
- AND your first trade with this trader was less than 24 hours ago.
Fulfilling one of the first three conditions and the last one means you get points with the number of items you traded, (i.e. if you trade 2 gold coins for a first aid kit, you receive two points).
- See Trading hut stock reports for current information on the stocks of various huts.
Traders do not have unlimited supplies of items; instead, they are periodically resupplied by the server. It is believed that native traders restock only native items and outsider traders restock only outsider items. However, since traders also receive items from other players, it is often possible to find both outsider and native items in a given trading hut, as well as anything else other players may have traded in.