Market bidding is the process of purchasing commodities from a colonized island's commodities market. Market bidding can be done from a ship, from a stall or shoppe, or from a market, fort or palace. If the fort or palace is inactive, bidding will not be possible from the building until the taxes are paid.
Bidding on commodities
Commodities spawn on colonized islands in accordance with demand. Players can "bid" for these commodities through the market bidding interface.
The market bidding interface can be confusing at first glance, but it is fairly straightforward. In the upper-left-hand area, a pirate may view all the commodities that spawn on the current island, as well as the current high bid and volume on each. In the center-right, pirates may place bids. In the upper right, pirates can view the coffers and deposit or withdraw from them. In the lower right, bid tickets currently held on the ship or in the stall/shoppe are displayed. The lower left displays the status of the pirate's current bids and the bids held on the ship or stall/shoppe.
How market bids fill
Spawn rates for a commodity are driven by the price people pay for the commodity. As commodities spawn, they are divided amongst the highest bidders' bid tickets until all tickets at the highest price are filled, then the next price level down will start to fill. Note that it is not necessary to bid higher than the current price; matching the current high price will cause new bids to start filling at the same rate as existing bids.
Bid tickets fill at about the same rate no matter how many units the bid ticket is for, with only a slight preference to filling large bid tickets faster. So, a bid ticket for 200 units will fill with more units per day than a bid ticket for 100 units, but no where near twice as fast. Many smaller bid tickets will fill faster than one large bid ticket, but this will cost more in fees than with larger tickets.
The higher the bid volume or the lower the price, the longer it will take for that bid to fill. If there is a need for this process to go faster, then multiple smaller bids or a higher price may be necessary.
The bidding process
Bidding takes place via the form boxes on the right side of the screen. "Bid" corresponds to "High bid" in the left-side table. The quantity entered into the "Bid" form box is what a pirate is willing to pay per unit of the selected commodity. "Units" corresponds to "Volume"; whatever is placed in the "Units" form box is how many units a pirate wishes to purchase.
As numbers are entered, the "Cost" and "Fee" areas are automatically adjusted. The "Cost" is the "Bid" value multiplied by the "Units" value.
The "Fee" is composed as the sum of two components: a fixed 5% of the "Cost" and a variable component that depends on the "Bid" - which is the price paid per individual commodity unit. This variable component is either 5% of the "Bid" or 10 PoE, whichever is higher. Any decimal numbers in the final total fee are rounded off to the next highest digit.
A common misconception is that the Fee is simply 5% of the total Cost plus 10 PoE. This is not correct: any Bid of 200 PoE or less per unit will have a the fixed 5% of the Cost plus 10 PoE fee, but any Bid of more than 200 PoE per unit will have the fixed 5% of the Cost plus 5% of the Bid price.
For example, bidding for one unit of wood at a bid price of 20 PoE per unit will result in a Fee of 5% of the Cost (1 PoE) plus 10 PoE, so the fee will be 11 PoE total. If the wood is bid at a price of 1000 PoE per unit, however, the fee will be 5% of the Cost (50PoE) plus 5% of the Bid (also 50 PoE in this case), so 100 PoE in total.
This formula is important to keep in mind because it can help the planning of bids to obtain maximum value. Any bid prices greater than 200 PoE per commodity unit will see increasing savings by ordering larger quantities.
For example, bidding on only one item at 300 PoE will cost a total Fee of 10% of the Cost (the fixed 5% plus 5% of the Bid - which at 15 PoE is also 5% of the 300 PoE Cost). But by bidding on a quantity of 20 the total Fee is only 5.25% of the Cost (the fixed 5% plus 5% of the bid price, which at 15 PoE is only .25% of the 6000 PoE Cost).
The bid ticket
Once a bid is placed, a bid ticket is placed in in a pirate's inventory (if done from a market) or inside a stall, shoppe, or ship. These can be found under the collapsible section "Bid Tickets" in a player's inventory and under the Market Bidding screen in a stall, shoppe, or ship. The bid ticket is a handy reference to see if a bid is filled yet and a way to transfer and sell commodities if not officer or above.
Delivering a bid
In order to deliver a filled bid ticket, a pirate must be at the original island and at a receiving location with a hold. This could be: a stall or shoppe that pirate owns or manages; an unlocked ship in that pirate's crew (assuming they have the correct hold access rights); or a ship owned by that pirate. To deliver a bid, call up the market bidding interface. Select the ticket to be delivered from the ones listed there, and click on the "Deliver" button. Clicking "Deliver" will deliver as much of the bid as can fit; if not all the commodities fit, the bid ticket is amended and can be delivered in entirety at another time.
Canceling bid tickets
Bids for commodities can be cancelled if they are unfilled, or partially filled. This is done by clicking "Deliver" on the Market Bidding screen. If the bid ticket is unfilled, The entirety of the "Cost" is returned, excluding the fee. If the bid ticket is partially-filled, the filled commodities are delivered and the remainder is converted into the original cost and is sent as PoE to the coffers. If the partially-filled ticket will not fit into the delivering location, the bid ticket is split into three things:
- The portion that can fit goes into the hold.
- A new bid ticket is created for the number of commodities that couldn't fit but were filled. It is created as "filled" also.
- The unfilled portion is returned as PoE.
Note that in order to cancel a bid, a pirate must be in a location where they are able to receive the bid (see above).