Originally written by Eminent (u/CadeGuitar), who generously published a Trading Guide in “Eminent’s Life Skill Guide“. This well-received, 260 page guide has been added to and edited by me. It’s now kept current on GrumpyG, with Eminent’s permission. Thanks Eminent! ! I will update this Trading Guide with any new BDO patches/changes. (Eminent is currently taking a break from Black Desert Online.)

Eminent’s BDO Trading Guide

Trading is a foundational skill for any real life skiller. Trade is one of the biggest money makers in the game, and it completely changes the way you are able to play. Trade can be a big separator between an intermediate and endgame player. That said, Trading is also a huge trap that can really hurt new players. Leveling trade before you’re ready for it can be a huge waste of your time and money and end up leaving a sour taste in your mouth.

A huge milestone in trading is achieved once you hit Artisan 2. At Artisan 2, you can do a quest called To the Wild Desert! (or rather a chain of quests), which unlocks “the desert buff”. The quest line starts at quest, Peaceful Oasis. The Pilgrim’s Sanctum: Sharing Node Manager, Samaya, gives the buff for 100 energy. This “desert buff” is a 1 hour trading buff that gives 50% extra silver for all trade goods sold in the desert (as long as the origin of those goods is outside of the desert). Because of the order that modifiers are calculated in, you end up getting a lot more than 50% silver — making this an extreme opportunity for money making.

Patch 4-10-19 added a guide about the Desert Trade buff at the following NPC’s:

  • Sand Grain Bazaar — Atui Balacs
  • Pilgrim’s Sanctum: Sharing — Samaya

Artisan 2 Trading makes active fishing rival many grind spots, and it makes crate trade possible (which has led to billions and billions of silver for top life-skillers).

Deset Buff Tips:
  • Desert Buff only applies in Valencia City! NOT AREHAZA!!!
  • You must wait one hour after completing the Artisan 2 quest chain to obtain the buff

Should I Rush Artisan 2 Trading?

BDO Trading NPCs

Because of the benefits I mentioned above, many people get an uncontrollable urge to get Artisan 2 Trading as fast as possible. Additionally, many people talk about Artisan 2 as if it’s the holy grail of money making. In reality, there is no secret way to become immensely rich overnight. Artisan 2 Trading is a tool that can help you progress, but there will be no immediate payout for your effort.

So, should you rush Artisan 2 Trading? The answer for almost everyone is no. Taking it the slow and steady route is perfectly fine.

The only reason you should drop everything and actively grind for Artisan 2 is if you have a good reason that you’ll be using the buff for immediately. If you have only been playing for 3 weeks and someone told you that trade is a great way to make money….don’t.

Do not think of trade as the be-all end-all of making silver.

Do think of trade as a long term investment that will slowly earn you more and more income over time.

Trade For Money

Note: I understand that Artisan 2 Trading is important for making extra money at pirates, but I’m a lifeskiller that doesn’t know the first thing about pirates. So I’m not gonna talk about it.

There are 3 main ways that you can make money from trading:

  1. Active fishing
  2. Crate trading (processing)
  3. Imperial trading (port ratt delivery)

Active fishing I won’t talk about too much, but you can find out more information in the fishing section of the guide. In general, selling your fish in Valencia with the trade buff is going to make your fishing profits immensely higher (and you don’t have to compete with people over imperial).

Crate trading is a fairly large subject. The idea behind crate trading is that you process the materials that your workers get you up to t3, and then your workers turn them into crates (in a workshop respective to the type of material they’re working with).

There are lots of crates you can make, but the main “money” crates are:


Base Price


Meidah Timber Crate


White Cedar Plywood x5, Acacia Plywood x5, Blackstone Powder x1

Calpheon Timber Crate


Birch Plywood x5, Fir Plywood x5, Cedar Plywood x5, Blackstone Powder x1

Serendia Timber Crate


Maple Plywood x5, Pine Plywood x5

Balenos Timber Crate


Maple Plywood x5, Ash Plywood x5, Blackstone Powder x1

Steel Ingot Crate


Steel Ingot x10, Blackstone Powder x1

Bronze Ingot Crate


Bronze Ingot x10, Blackstone Powder x1

Brass Ingot Crate


Brass Ingot x10, Blackstone Powder x1

Don’t be fooled by the base prices for these crates. Although it seems like you wouldn’t profit making these, the important thing is the distance bonus, bargain bonus, and the desert trade buff. If you sold the Calpheon Timber Crate (50,790) from Trent > Valencia with the desert buff at Artisan 2 Trading, it would sell for 191,833 silver. That’s a lot more.

Before making a large amount of crates you should check SomethingLovely’s crate calculator with your own circumstances to make sure you’re still making profit.

Rather than focusing on a single kind of crate from that list you’ll probably be doing a myriad of them, just processing different materials as your workers bring them in.

When calculating how profitable a crate is, make sure to take into account the silver difference vs you selling it on the marketplace (including tax).

Many people like to say “I made 800m from trade” after turning in their crates. In reality there are three different components here:

  1. Workers
  2. Processing
  3. Trade

Most likely, the majority of your profit comes from the processing portion.

Imperial Trade From Port Ratt (Margoria)

Port Ratt imperial trade is a high level activity which is one of the most profitable things you can do using purely the Trade Skill.

For Ratt trade you need an epheria ship, preferably Skilled 1+ Sailing Skill, and m1+ Trade Skill (but probably m7+). The idea behind it is that you go to Moran, the Trade Manager in Port Ratt, load up your ship with his trade goods (you can do more if you have upgraded boat gear), and then deliver the goods to the Imperial Trade Manager in the relevant city/server.

Port Ratt Trading Profits

Trade Good Trade To Trade Per Item Load Cost Load Profit # Items
Oriental Saber (M1)
Oriental Saber
Altinova 840,625 2,500,000 18.5 mil 25
Golden Dragon Ink Slab (M5)
Golden Dragon Ink Slab
Calpheon 990,078 3,310,000 18.8 mil 25
16/7 Split
34.5 mil 23
Haso Silk (M6)
Haso Silk
Valencia 994,073 3,703,000 19.8 mil 23
Millennial Wild Ginseng (M7)
Millennial Wild Ginseng
Heidel 1,511,159 4,383,800 30.3 mil 23
Pure Gold Censer (M8)
Pure Gold Censer
Velia 1,753,167 4,989,600 34 mil 22
15 Velia
7 Heidel
4,700,000 32 mil 22
12 Calpheon
9 Velia
35 mil 21
Haso Celadon Porcelain (M9)
Haso Celadon Porcelain
Altinova 2,168,812 5,160,000 39 mil 20
18/4 Split
4,232,400 38 mil 22
Oriental Spice (M10)
Oriental Spice
Calpheon 2,067,031 5,754,000 37.5 mil 21

Table Credits to Fliorea (jimcdiver#7772)

If you get creative with your splits you might be able to come up with a profit for your time.

If you are doing Port Ratt trade, you will 100% need to be in the Traders Discord or else you will spend many wasted hours.

Leveling Your Trading Profession

Leveling the Trading Life Skill can often be a slow and grinding process for many. Here is a list of all of the game items that help boost Trading Profession XP.

Short & Sweet: Trading XP Item List:
  • Trader’s Clothes – Luxury Vendor’s Professional 5 Trading Clothes: 10% or Skilled 2 Trading Clothes for 5% XP (optional conversion into a Costume, which can then be stacked with Silver Embroidered Trading Clothes, costs 1,500 Pearls)
  • Silver Embroidered Trader’s Clothes – 5/10/15/20/25/40% Trading EXP (0 to +5)
  • Time Elixirs – 8 or 10% Life EXP (5 to 15 minutes)
  • Perfume of Swiftness – 20% Life XP (stacks with Elixir of Flowing Time or Verdure Draught)
  • Verdure Draught – 20% Life XP for 15 minutes
  • Whale Meat Salad – 10% Life EXP for 75 minutes (crit: 15% for 90 minutes)
  • Seafood Cron Meal – 10% Life EXP for 2 hours
  • Loyalty Life Exp Scroll +50% Life Exp (300 Loyalties)
  • Life Mastery Gear: Ex. Loggia’s accessories. View our Loggia Life Mastery Guide
  • Guild Buff (Experienced Cry) – 10% Life XP
  • GM’s Blessing or other event buff – 10% to 15% Life XP
  • Villa Life EXP Buff – 10% (via Tent or traveling to Valencia)
  • Pearl Shop Items
    • Value pack +10% Life Exp
    • PETS: Choppy, Hedgehog, Penguin, Marmot, Shadow Wolf, Little Lamb, Ferret, and most cat pets +1% Life Exp per Tier (up to +20% for 5 pets) and has a chance to learn a Trading EXP buff (up to +25% for 5 pets)
    • Secret Book of Old Moon +50% Life Exp (1,250 Pearls)
    • Extra Life EXP Scroll +50% Life Exp for 1 hour (50 Pearls)

Conservative, Easily-Obtainable Total: +78% (Verdure Draught, Sute Tea, Scroll)

Detailed Trading Skill XP Item List

Trading XP ItemTrading XP BuffDurationIngredientsAcquisition
+2: Silver Embroidered Trader’s Clothes
Silver Embroidered Trader's Clothes
Trading EXP +15%
+2 Movement Speed
Armor, Gloves, Shoes, Helmet
Processing » Grinding
Processing » Heating
5x Cotton
Processing » Grinding
any Magic Crystal
 10x Powder of Crevice Powder of Crevice
● Marketplace (Current Price: 330k) & Rarely at Marketplace: +1: 2.1 mil., +2: 15.1 mil.
● Worker Crafted: Level 1 Costume Mill

NOTE: cannot use tailoring coupon on this
Elixir of Time
Elixir of Time
Life Skill +10%
Life Skill +15%
5 min.
[10 min.]
8 min
[15 min.]
1x Weeds
1x Salt
1x Sunrise Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
 1x Monk’s Branch
 1x Trace of Ascension
 2x Blood 3:
Weasel Blood
Fox Blood
Raccoon Blood
Cobra Blood
 2x Powder of Time
 6x Fire Flake Flower
 5x Maple Sap

Processing » Simple Alchemy
1x Aal’s Tear (at Material Vendor for 22k)
Processing » Simple Alchemy
1x Blue Reagent (at Material Vendor for 50k)
● Marketplace (Current Price: 8.9k) Crit: 98k, [Party] 159k
● Alchemy Tool (Apprentice 1, Crit: Professional 1)
Verdure Draught
Verdure Draught
Life Skill +20%
Movement Speed +3
+200 LT
15 min. Simple Alchemy Recipe:
Worker’s Elixir x3, Elixir of Time x3, Elixir of Swiftness x3, Tears of the Falling Moon x1

2 other Simple Alchemy recipes on bddatabase.net
● Marketplace (Current Price: 243k)
● Processing > Simple Alchemy
Sute Tea
Sute Tea
Life XP +8% 90 min.
110 min.
Tea With Fine Scent x2 + Milk x3 + Salt x1 + Butter x2

view recipe on bddatabase.net
● Marketplace (Current Price: 9.1k, Crit: 71k)
● Cooking Utensil: Skilled Lv.1 (Crit: Professional Lv.7)
Value Pack
Value Pack
Life XP +10% 1-90 Days Purchase Pearls with real $$$ or obtain via Loyalties (you earn 100 Loyalties per day for logging in). Rarely through events, rewards, etc. ● Marketplace (Current Price: 88 mil. lucky pre-order required)
● Loyalties: 1,400 (14 Days)
● Pearls: 1,500 (30 Days, $15)
[Costume] Trader’s Clothes
Costume Trader's Clothes
Trading EXP +5%
Trading EXP +10%
Armor, Gloves, Shoes, Helmet
Costume (Appearance) with Pearls
Apprentice Trader’s Clothes:
+0% XP, Beginner 7, 1 extra Bargain
Skilled Trader’s Clothes:
+5% XP, Apprentice 5, 2 extra Bargains
Professional Trader’s Clothes:
+10% XP, Professional 5, 3 extra Bargains
Purchase Apprentice to Professional Trader’s Clothes at the Luxury Vendor. To convert into a costume for appearance slots, purchase Pearls with real $$$ and buy an Equipment Tailoring Coupon: 1500 Pearls ($15) – pre-order at Market (Current Price: 72.5 mil.)
[Villa] Turning Gates
Life EXP +10% 90
3x Gold Bar 1G (300k)
9x Gold Bar 1G (900k)
Villa Rental (7 Days):
1x Villa Invitation
1x Gold Bar 100G (10 mil.)
Villa Buff Locations: Karashu, Shakatu, Kiyak, Muna, Marzana, Talia
Perfume of Swiftness
Perfume of Swiftness
Life Skill +20%
Movement Speed +5
+200 LT
20 min.  1x Blue Whale Oil
1x Weeds
1x Salt
1x Sunrise Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
 4x Powder of Time
 6x Everlasting Herb
Processing » Filtering
Bottle of River or Turbid Water (gathered with an Empty Bottle)
● Market (Current Price: 7.4 mil.)
● Alchemy Tool (Skilled 1)
Blue Whale Oil: (Market: 4.4 mil.) or butcher Blue Whale with a butcher knife (requires group matchlock hunting) Dulfy’s Blue Whale Guide
Extra Life EXP Scroll
Extra Life EXP Scroll
Life XP +50% 60 min. Earn 100 Loyalties per day for logging in.
Life scrolls are rarely obtained through events, Challenge rewards, etc.
● Loyalties: cost 300
● Pearls: cost 50

There are three main methods for leveling our Trading Skill:

  1. Junk Crates: 10 Ore/Timber (unprocessed) and 1 Blackstone Powder
  2. Active Trading: NPC (Trade Manager’s) Trade Packs/Goods + Wagon/Elephant
  3. Container Trading: rented Container + NPC goods + some rolling

If we look at those methods on a spectrum, it’s something like this:

Trading XP Efficiency

Laziest                                                              Fastest


Junk Crates                 Active Trade               Container

Let’s delve a little deeper into each method.

Trading Junk Crates

Crates are made by your workers using some sort of material and black stone powder. You need a relevant workbench to make crates (the workbench doesn’t need to be in the same town as the worker).

A “junk” crate is a crate that’s made using raw materials rather than processed ones. The image below shows an example of a junk crate made in a Wood Workbench:

BDO Junk Crate for Ash Timber

As far as I know, all crates give the same amount of Trading Skill XP. The difference lies in the cost to make them — junk crates are significantly cheaper. Thus, before Artisan 2 Trading (and maybe afterwards, it’s up to you), you’ll be making junk crates instead of “money” crates.

Greater Distance = More Trading Skill XP
While all crates give the same amount of Trading Skill XP, there is one important modifier (besides xp buffs), which is distance bonus. The more distance between the origin of the crate (where you made it) and where you sold it gives more Trading Skill XP (and increases your profits).

This means, in order to maximize our Trading Skill XP, we want to trade our crates as far as possible.

The way we’re going to do this is by trading from Grana/Wisdom Tree to Arehaza.

Some people might disagree with that decision, so let me try to justify it a bit (and then you can decide where you want to make your crates).

Distance bonus caps out at 150%. If you trade Grana -> Arehaza you’ll have a 128% distance bonus. Old Wisdom Tree -> Arehaza is a 118% distance bonus.

BDO Best Worker for Trading Grana Crates

On the other hand, if you create crates in Altinova to trade in Port Ratt, you would get a 150% distance bonus. So that begs the question, why don’t we just make our junk crates in Altinova?

It’s important to think about your long term goals. When you make money crates, you are forced to sell them to Valencia (for the desert buff). Otherwise, you will lose money. This means Grana is the best choice for origin location (Wisdom Tree is only if you want a crazy crate production empire).

This means, if you invest all of your energy getting Artisan goblins with +3 packing in Altinova, you’ll have to abandon them as soon as you get Artisan 2 Trading.

On the other hand, even though you’ll have to make more crates for Artisan 2, if you make them in Grana, you’ll develop workers that you can use for a very long time for money crates.

I’m not going to force you either way, it’s your decision. If you don’t care about Grana workers (ex. You’re only getting Artisan 2 for fishing), Altinova might be the best choice for you.

When deciding what kind of junk crate you’ll make you can use SomethingLovely to calculate your profit/loss (probably loss) for each kind of junk crate.

Your decision should be based on the availability of resources, the profit/loss of each crate, and what packing skills your individual workers have. Because there are so many variables involved, I can’t tell you specifically what trade crates you should make.

Finally, there’s one thing you should remember when selling your crates (besides not forgetting to pop all your xp buffs…..speaking from experience). It seems that as of July 2017 there was a shadow-nerf (sort of) that affects how your xp gain works when turning in crates.

If you turn in 30k crates at Beginner 1 trade you will not get the level you expect. This is because 500 crates at Beginner won’t give you the same amount of xp as 500 crates at artisan. This means you should sell your crates in small batches (like 500 at a time), in order to get the full xp from your turn-in.

Biohack had to learn this lesson the hard way. Read his post about this on reddit: “Sell All” 1 click reduces trade xp

Active Trading

Active Trading refers to bringing trade packs along a route on a wagon or elephant. The benefit to active trade is that the only investment that needs to be made is the cp to connect the cities you’re trading between. In fact, you’ll actually earn a fair amount throughout the process if you choose wagon trading over elephant trading…

BDO Trading Elephant

Trading with an Elephant
Elephants require a 40 million silver investment, and possibly some Pearls on skill reset coupons (because you need specific skills for the elephant to be good). That said, elephant trade is very fast Trading Skill XP which rivals rolling, and the elephant itself may be useful for other things in the future depending on your play style. Elephant trade is 100% active.

Patch 4-10-19 introduced a quest which guides you on how to obtain the Miniature Elephant. It’s for level 55+ and called The Adorable and Trusty Porter, Miniature Elephant. Pick this quest up at NPC Bochlo, the <Stable Keeper> in Sand Grain Bazaar.

After you get your trading elephant, you need to level it to 15 (just autopath it for like 3 days), and it needs to learn the skills “Quick Run” and “Joyride”. Without these skills, your elephant is useless and a wagon would be better.

One important thing to consider is effort. Trading with an elephant is significantly faster than using a wagon, but it’s completely active (unlike wagoning). If you’re going to be 100% active anyways, it would be much better to just do container trade than elephant.

Trading with Wagons
On the other hand, wagons require less of an investment and have the benefit of being semi-afk. While your wagon auto-paths between cities you have a few minutes of downtime to read a book or watch your favorite show. The downside to this is that it is less xp than elephant. However, wagon trade will bring in more profit than with an elephant because you can train horses in the meantime (see the training section to learn how to maximize your profits when training horses).

BDO Trading Merchant Wagon Craft Recipe

If you’re using a wagon, you should be using a Merchant Wagon (easy to buy from the market). If you’re going to put gear on it then use merchant wagon gear. You only need to get weight limit on your wagon for the heaviest inventory that you’re transporting (aka, look at the weight of the trade goods on your route, calculate how much it weighs… if you can carry it without gear then don’t waste your money).

Also note that there is p2w wagon gear that adds weight and speed.

I personally avoid wagon gear simply because it degrades. The time spent having to go repair makes the already negligible buff to your xp (4% speed) even less. If you aren’t lazy like I am, then I won’t discourage you from using wagon gear, it just wouldn’t be my choice.

For active trade you generally fill up your mount’s weight/inventory (whichever comes first), go to the next point in the route, sell out your goods, buy out the new goods, and repeat. Once you have completed the route, you’ll generally want to hop servers so that the trade goods reset.

Trading Route by Yuma (Velia) – Beginner to Apprentice

BDO Velia Trading Route

This first trade route, created by Yuma, is meant for Beginner to Apprentice levels for early Trading Skill XP. The route goes in the following path:

  1. Loggia Farm
  2. Velia
  3. Finto Farm
  4. Balenos Forest
  5. Velia
  6. Bartali Farm
  7. Marino Farm
  8. Toscani Farm
  9. Western Guard Camp
  10.  Velia

Make sure to have all of those nodes connected in order to get full value for your trade goods.

Let’s look at the individual trade goods for this trade route:

BDO Loggia Farm Trading BDO Velia Trading BDO Finto Farm Trading BDO Balenos Forest Trading BDO Velia Trading BDO Bartali Farm Trading BDO Marino Farm Trading BDO Toscani Farm Trading BDO Western Guard Camp Trading BDO Velia Trading

Trading Route by Yuma (Velia, Heidel, Glish) – Apprentice to Artisan 4


This second route, created by Yuma, is between Velia, Heidel, and Glish. This can be done until Artisan 4 Trading Skill.

Make sure to have all of those nodes connected in order to get full value for your trade goods.

Let’s look at the individual trade goods for this trade route:

BDO Velia Trading BDO Heidel Trading BDO Glish Trading

Trading Route by Yuma (Heidel, Altinova) – Artisan 4+

BDO Trading Route Map

The third (and last) trade route, created by Yuma, takes you from Artisan 4+ Trading Skill.

The route goes:

  1. Heidel
  2. Stonetail Horse Ranch
  3. Tarif
  4. Omar Lava Cave
  5. Altinova
  6. Tarif
  7. Omar Lava Cave
  8. Tarif
  9. Stonetail Horse Ranch
  10. Heidel

Make sure to have all of those nodes connected in order to get full value for your trade goods.

Let’s look at the individual trade goods for these nodes:

BDO Heidel Trading BDO Stonetail Horse Ranch Trading BDO Tarif Trading BDO Omar Lava Cave Trading BDO Altinova Trading BDO Tarif Trading BDO Omar Lava Cave Trading BDO Tarif Trading BDO Stonetail Horse Ranch Trading BDO Heidel Trading

Trade Good images are taken from SomethingLovely’s Trade Pack Reference.This is a great resource you can use to look up any node that has trade goods available for purchase. It even lists pricing for fish and other trade items like Pirate Coins.

All trade routes were designed by Yuma, who made this great guide for active trade. I do have a few qualms with the guide, and I will discuss these in detail below. But all in all, I think it is a helpful guide. There was a lot of thought put into the routes and it’s helped a lot of people get high level Trading.

These trade good tables show that you need to put some thought into the route rather than following it blindly. Just like most aspects of the game, it should be changed as your own situation changes. For example, if you start doing Yuma’s third route at Artisan 4, you might ask yourself if you want to stop at Omar Lava cave, which only sells Artisan 6/7 goods. Yuma’s trade routes might not be the very best routes for everyone. They are simply the routes that Yuma used on his/her way to Master 2. They aren’t set in stone and I want you to be aware that there are many other paths to follow, and you can stray from these routes. I have submitted my own trade route below. But first, lets explain what factors went into it.

Trade Skill XP Influencers

According to Yuma, there are several factors that determine how much xp a trade pack gives:

  • Distance bonus
  • Weight
  • Price
BDO Junk Crate for Ash Timber

Greater Distance = More Trading XP
I agree that distance bonus plays a huge part, and that also applies to crates as well. From my understanding, % distance acts as % bonus xp. In particular, if an item is traded at a location that is less than 500m away, there is a large xp penalty (basically a nerf to rolling).

Does Weight Effect XP?
On one hand, weight is difficult to test. You would have to find goods that are the same price, the same distance, the same required level, and different weight. Even then, you would need to do enough tests to say with a degree of certainty that weight matters.

Most importantly, you will be filling your wagon to close to max weight every trip anyways, so I don’t think it’s even an important aspect to consider. I think it’s mostly a tinfoil theory, but even if you believe in that theory it’s not harmful enough to matter.

Does Trading Price Effect XP?
As for price, that is a very significant claim. I had always been told that the level required to buy the item was the main contributor to how much xp that item gave. The fact that Yuma claimed that the xp is determined by silver and NOT level has some large implications.

There are 2 complaints I have about Yuma’s claim.

  1. He never mentioned his method of testing if silver was the deciding factor for xp; or whether he tested at all, it could have been merely an observation
  2. If it was just an observation, nearly all of the trade goods along his routes follow a pattern of “higher level = more silver” which would make discerning between the two difficult.

That said, my preconceptions are no more credible than his. After all, I’ve never seen any proof that level is the deciding factor in Trading Skill XP, it was simply told to me by someone else (and who knows where that rumor started).

BDO Glish Trading

Testing How Price Impacts Trading Skill XP
For my test, I’m taking 2 alts with Beginner 1 Trading. Glish has 2 Beginner 1 trade goods with a vast disparity in silver cost:

  • Magic Binding Oak Branch (25,425)
  • Freharau’s Dry Mud (4,563)

If silver plays a role in xp gained, then the Magic Binding Oak Branch should bring in far more xp then the Dry Mud.

In the end, after trading an identical number of goods on both accounts, both characters reached Beginner 5 with 34%.

This tells me that silver has no impact on the xp of trade packs. (3 trips were done on both accounts to reach that % to get past the 1 pack = 1 level thing at early beginner levels)

This isn’t proof that level has an effect on Trading Skill XP, but it at least dispels a rumor that might mislead people.

Does Trading Level Requirement Effect XP?
As for testing whether level plays a role? For that I would have to level 2 different characters to Apprentice 2 (lowest Apprentice I could find), and then test Beginner goods on one account and Apprentice goods on the other.

I couldn’t do the test on a single account because I don’t know the decimal % that I’m at. For example, I could be at apprentice 2 28.4% — perhaps selling 16 beginner goods would get me 10% of a level, and then selling 16 apprentice goods would get me 9% of a level. This doesn’t mean the apprentice goods gave less xp, it would simply look that way due to rounding. Therefore, I need to use 2 different alts for the test.

At this point the question is whether or not I want to spend 15+ hours of my time leveling 2 alts and doing tests for something that doesn’t really affect me in any way…

BDO Trading Horse

Yep, that’s exactly what I did.

2 days of testing later I came to 3 very interesting conclusions.

  1. Bargaining gives more xp (Note: 1 player reported this as incorrect. Needs testing. Use at your own risk!)
    • On my second character I levelled using the exact same amount of the exact same trade goods, but was getting significantly more xp. I realized that I had the magnate debuff when I was levelling account #2 (magnate auto-bargains)
  2. Imperial goods give more xp
    • When I was testing whether apprentice goods would give more xp than beginner goods (after both characters were levelled to apprentice 2), it turned out that the beginner goods were giving significantly more xp. I realized I was using imperial beginner goods, and non-imperial apprentice goods.
    • Imperial trade goods have a higher base XP reward than regular trade goods. It’s important to note that you do not have to deliver these goods to an imperial trade manager to get the benefits of the extra xp.
  3. Trading level requirements do NOT effect XP
    • Using the method mentioned earlier, over the course of 2 straight days of tests I came to this conclusion. This was a complete shock to me, and completely changes the way I would approach active trade.

Rather than changing trade routes frequently as you level, it now appears more optimal to focus on trading the most goods per hour.

Additionally, there should be 1 single “most optimal” route. This route understands the effects of the distance bonus (in terms of xp), as well as the time it takes to travel from one city to another, and finds the sweet spot between them.

Don’t Focus on Long Distance Trades
It would, of course, be nonoptimal to trade for maximum distance bonus (basically wagoning across the world) because the bonus xp you get from distance would be nothing compared to trading more goods in that same amount of time.

Don’t Focus on Imperial Trade Goods
The inclusion of the most imperial trade goods as possible is a good thought, but it seems unlikely that you could do that without sacrificing distance (you would probably have to go way out of your way to hit all of the imperial goods).

Quantity/Hour is King
Because our only concern is transporting the max amount of goods per hour (outside of 500m), there should be, mathematically, a “best” rotation. So based upon all that we now know, IMO the following trade route would be beneficial for leveling Trading Skill:

BDO Trading Route to level Trading Profession

This route has the advantage of trading between trade managers that are very close by and also have a lot of goods to sell.

Technically it would be best to just trade between Velia and western guard camp (and then hop servers) if possible, but if you are playing efficiently I believe you would still be on server hop cooldown by the time you do 2 trips of that.

Because of that, rather than laze about, you run down to Heidel. While you’re down there, you trade with Moretti Plantation because you want to maximize the time you spend doing short distance trade and minimize the time you spend doing long distance trade (aka the trip between Velia and Heidel).

The longest distance bonus will be your trades between Velia and Heidel. In order to maximize your xp here, you’ll want to trade the imperial goods on the trip with the most distance.

In addition to being low distance, this route aflso has a low requirement for trade level.

90% of the route can be done from Beginner 1, and the Trading Skill level you need to complete the entire route is Skilled 10.

Container Trading

BDO Container Rental

There have been plenty of guides on how to do container trading, and there’s not a whole lot more I can bring to the table. I don’t have any way to improve this method even further, but I will say that this is the single fastest way to level trade (unless you’re Biohack and are making like 30k crates a day).

I did Beginner to Master 2 from traditional rolling, and then m2-m9 with container. Everything past that was from crates.

Every hour of container trading will save you 15m worth in trash crates. In addition to being way faster xp than rolling, I find it to be a more “fun” (less mind-numbing) activity.

You may have heard that the container method is “too p2w” to be practical. There may or may not be truth to that. In reality, the only p2winning you have to get is weight. You can p2w more for convenience, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Container Training Method:

  • 1 or 2 Containers (10 cp each, rent them from a Storage Keeper) You can get by with 1 Container if you place and pick the Container up after using it.
  • Residences in Lynch Ranch (4 CP) and Toscani Farm (5 CP)
  • 100 empty storage slots in Heidel and Velia (either p2w the storage or use like 80cp)
    • I had a 10×10 farm setup prior to doing container and dismantling that gave me enough cp for 2 containers and all the storage needed.
    • You have to decide if it’s more worth it for you to temporarily dismantle your network or just fork out some cash for storage
  • Over 1000 weight, probably like 1200+? Idk exactly, p2w weight + Trader’s Clothes should be fine. If you have the loyalty weight too (max +200LT) that’s even better (IMO buying weight is the best use of your loyalties)
    • For easily obtainable +weight gear available in game visit this BDOplanner +440LT gear set (keep in mind, you can’t equip gear and Silver Trader’s Clothes at the same time and the Pearl costume coupon (Equipment Tailoring Coupon) does not work with Silver Clothes) However, the coupon will work with the Trader’s clothes from the Luxury Vendor.
    • +2 Silver Embroidered Trader’s Clothes: Weight Limit +200LT, Trading EXP +15%, Movement Speed +2
  • A will of steel

Now on to how the method actually works.

BDO Container Method Route Map

Before going into the method itself we have to understand what a “container” is.

A container is an item that you rent from any Storage Keeper for the price of 10cp. You place a container in any residence and it lets you access the storage of the nearest town/city. A potential use for this is for cooking – rather than running to the bank constantly to get more ingredients, you can get a container so you pretty much never have to leave your residence.

In our case, containers are used to transport trade goods in bulk.

The container in Lynch Ranch will access the Heidel storage, while the container in Toscani Farm uses the Velia storage.

From here, the method is super simple. You start in Velia, buy an inventory of trade goods and roll them to the bank. Do that a second time and you’ve pretty much sold out the trade goods in that town (and your bank will be full). Whistle your horse and path to Heidel. Do the exact same thing there.

Now that you have 2 banks filled with trade goods, run to Lynch Ranch, grab the trade goods out of your container and roll them to Murana Lynch, the Trade Manager, who is also the Node Manager, to sell (don’t forget to pop your Trade & Life xp buffs).

If you try to autopath your horse from Lynch Ranch to Toscani Farm it will be a huge waste of time. At Lynch Ranch, look for a gap in the fence and then just run down the side of the mountain, and then you’re basically at Toscani Farm — it takes like 10 seconds.

At first you’ll probably nearly kill your horse doing this, but once you find the right angle you can get down without taking any damage at all.

Repeat the process in Toscani Farm, this time rolling to the Node Manager/Trade Manager there named Ovidio Toscani. Run back to Velia, hop servers, and repeat the whole trade route again.

The advantage to this over traditional rolling is that you are selling the goods more than 500m away, which means you aren’t subject to the distance penalty. It’s also faster to roll to the bank than it is to roll to finto/alejandro, so the method is just all around genius.

Inside your residences, make sure to place the container close to the door to minimize travel time (extra rolls suck).

Do not place your container so close that your character stands in the doorway. You will block other players from entering their residence.

Final Thoughts on Trading

BDO Trading Wagon with Donkeys

In the end, Trading is a wonderfully complex skill that opens the door to many possibilities in Black Desert Online.

Only power level trading if you have a good reason for it. I can’t really tell you what that “reason” is. Only after careful thought and planning, should you change your playstyle to accommodate trade.

If I was gonna do it again, I would do a combination of wagon + trash crates.