Flipping items is not rocket science
Despite what a lot of players think, flipping items is actually pretty simple and straightforward. The idea is to generate a profit by buying items below the average market price and after a while selling these items above the average market price (the buy low, sell high principle that works with any business).
Best items for flipping in the Grand Exchange
Before getting started you should understand that you can’t flip everything. Certain items are simply losing their value all the time, thus making them literally a black hole for your gold coins.
Then there are items that simply won’t sell only at certain times. The Santa Hat, for example, doesn’t sell in the middle of July etc.
Finding profitable items for flipping in GE
The easiest way to find a profitable item is to look for items that are in great demand such as things that are directly linked to skilling. For example herbs, seeds, ores, etc. are all required and in great demand because players are always trying to level up their skills using these items.
After you have chosen your item, it’s time to take a look at the price graph to make sure your items overall price trend is upwards, not downwards. You don’t want to end up with stuff that are clearly losing their value. To do that we simply enter our item name + grand exchange into Google search, for example “iron bar grand exchange”.
Now that the graph is displayed we can clearly see that the Iron Bar has an overall upward trend. You have to look at the entire graph, not just the last (right side) tip of the graph to understand where the trend is going.
If you don’t understand graphs that well there are plenty of tutorials and guides available online about how to properly analyze graphs and how to spot trends in the price movement. It’s really interesting stuff so I recommend looking into it! ;)
Buying and Selling on the Grand Exchange
After analyzing the market we have finally chosen which item to flip – for this guide, it’s the Iron Bar used mainly in the Smithing skill to make weapons, armor, arrow tips and nails.
The first thing we do is called a test buy. We simply buy one of the Iron Bars and put in a higher price than the average market price to make sure our item buys instantly. This is how we know exactly what the current price of our item is.
As you can see on the picture to the left we entered 567 gp as the price we wanted to buy, but the item actually bought for 566 gp giving us back the change of 1 gp.
We now know that 566 gp is the actual price that Iron Bars are going for in the Grand Exchange at this moment.
Remember the price graph? The trend is clearly upwards so we are pretty confident that we can sell the Iron Bar back to the market for a higher price than 566 gp.
Picking the right price for selling
The trick is to put the item up for sale and increase its price by five percent. To do that simply click on the +5% button and Grand Exchange will automatically adjust your selling price.
But that’s not the price we want to sell because a lot of other people are probably doing the same.
We need to target the “Desperate buyer” who rushes to GE and makes a buy order immediately with +5% without worrying much about market prices. These type of players just want to receive the item as fast as possible so they can go skilling and advance their levels.
In order to sell to these players the price must be adjusted in a way that it’s still above the overall market price, but below the +5% price. When we adjust our selling price in this way, we make sure the desperate buyer will buy from us first. Makes sense?
Instead of trying to sell for 595 gp (the +5%) we are lowering the price to 577 gp aiming for a quick 11 gp profit per Iron Bar.
As you can see just a few moments later someone had bought our Iron Bar for 577 gp! I am sure if we waited long enough, we could sell it for 595+ as well, because the general price for Iron Bar is currently climbing. For now let’s settle with just 11 gp profit per Iron Bar.
Now we just have to repeat this process and buy 5000 Iron Bars giving us a good 55,000 profit flipping the Iron Bar.
Valuable items = More profits!
The Iron Bar in our example isn’t a valuable item and because of this the profits are smaller too. If you want to make more money flipping items on the Grand Exchange you just have to buy and sell things that cost more. The price difference is bigger there and so are your profits.
NB! I advise you to invest only 10-20% of your entire capital into flipping. This way you can safely trade without losing your entire cash pile should the trend change and prices fall.