One Man's Trash...
At this point you've leveled up enough to have access to a few of the lower-level Unique items. You may also have found a few of your own: it's unlikely, but possible, that you've found a valuable Unique by this point. Maybe your gear is lacking - your Cold Resistance is only 12%, or you haven't seen a weapon upgrade since Act 1.
In any event, you might be ready to dip your toes in to the world of Trading. Because you're still new, you should be careful about how and what you trade, and shouldn't spend more than a few Alchemy or Chaos Orbs on items at this stage of the game. More experienced players can, and sometimes will, take advantage of you, so it's a good idea to double-check values in chat before buying or selling.
To answer a common question: no, Path of Exile does not have a simple buyout Auction House. You'll need to find other players to trade with directly.
You must have at least one character at at least Level 25 to trade Unique or Currency items to other players. Like many online games, there are a number of illicit businesses that sell in-game items (usually stolen from compromised accounts) for real-world money, and this is a measure to try to block them from easily evading detection.
In the past, the main method by which players traded involved third-party sites like poe.trade, and you may have heard such sites mentioned in passing in chat or in other guides. As of this writing, this is somewhat outdated.
Instead, you'll want to use the trade listing pages on the official Path of Exile website. These listings come in two main forms:
- Item listings, for searching for items with particular ranges of stats. You might, say, want a Rapier that deals at least 300 total Elemental damage per second. Or you might be looking for a Unique like the Ngamahu's Flame axe.
- Bulk currency trades, for exchanging currencies for one another.
If you can't find an item in the listings, check for typos and be sure you're not using too specific of a search term. For example, a Rapier might have your desired elemental damage in lots of different ways, and it's better to search for the total elemental damage than it is to search for fire, lightning, and cold in set ranges.
Warning: some players will intentionally list items below their actual value to deceive people trying to price-check. If you're trying to sell an item, don't use this search - and especially not just its first few cheap entries - as a reliable guide to pricing.
Making the Trade
Once you've found an item you'd like, you can click the "Whisper" button on the listing to copy a pre-made message that will help your seller find the item you want in their stash. For example, here's a whisper for an item listed at the time I wrote this page:
- @ThisIsSomeonesUsername Hi, I would like to buy your Lightbane Raiment Ornate Ringmail listed for 1 chrom in Incursion (stash tab "S"; position: left 7, top 1)
This tells the player I'm messaging what I'm buying (a Lightbane Raiment Ornate Ringmail, one of the most common/useless uniques), what I'm paying ("1 chrom", i.e., a single Chromatic Orb), the League I'm buying in (Incursion, then the current Challenge League), and where the player can find this item in their Stash (in the stash tab named "S" at coordinates 7,1).
If they're available to trade, they'll likely have you meet them in their Hideout. You can visit their Hideout by right-clicking their name in the chat pane and selecting "Visit Hideout". You can then right-click on their character to select the option to trade.
If a player doesn't respond, just try another - they may be away from their keyboard, in the middle of a difficult Map, or otherwise not available to trade.
Warning: Some unscrupulous players will try to scam new players by replacing an item with a lookalike. Make sure you mouse over the item and check its sockets, links, affixes, etc. before accepting a trade!
Listing Your Own Items
There are two ways to list an item for trade:
- Placing them in a Premium Stash Tab, which can be purchased as a Microtransaction. In the options at the top of such a tab, there is an option to make tabs Public, allowing them to be indexed by the trading system, and then to set the prices for items located in them.
- Listing them on the Trading forums on the official website. Posting on the official trading forums includes a UI through which you can select a character, browse their stash, and select items in it. Make sure you select the right forum for your League.
Cheap items are typically listed in "Alc" (Orbs of Alchemy), with 1 Alc being the cheapest item likely to be worth anyone's time (at prices lower than that, the item may very well vendor for more).
Mid-tier items are usually listed in "C" (Chaos Orbs). A typical good-but-not-rare Unique item might be worth a Chaos Orb or two, and so would a typical decent max-level Rare item.
Very valuable items are usually listed in "Ex" (Exalted Orbs). You're not experienced enough with the game to afford such items, or to know how to price them - stay far away from this sort of trading until you know what you're doing!
A good method for pricing is to start high and work your way down. If you think an item's worth around 5C, for example, you might try starting it at 20, then going down: 20, 15, 10, 8, 5, 4, and so on until you get a bite. If you get a lot of whispers immediately on posting an item, it is almost certainly underpriced - consider relisting it at a higher price.