The addition of the Antique Dealer was welcomed by many because it meant there was finally a way to clean up your inventory and make a profit while doing so! Well, sort of. The profit is in currency for the Antique Dealer itself, but still, it’s an important tool once you have it. Originally I planned to talk about what things buy and sell for at the dealer, and their opening bids but… to be honest there are a lot of items (and not all of them are included at the dealer, yet), and I am one person… so it’s not feasible. On the other hand you can use the FOE Wiki to look up any item and there’s an extremely good chance that they’ll have the auction information right there with it. In lieu of providing exact details I will instead give some general tips, and a strategy to using the dealer well.

You will be able to unlock the Antique Dealer in the Early Middle Ages, so those of you who are enjoying building power houses in Iron Age are missing out… for now (we all know eventually you’ll need space and be forced to age up, because the events aren’t stopping and the items keep getting juicier). While the Antiques Dealer isn’t a reason in and of itself to age up, it is definitely something to look forward to once you do. Using the Antique Dealer means you can get your hands on some really cool event prizes that maybe you weren’t here for at the time of release, or you missed out on for whatever reasons, or if you’re like many of us you just want more of because they’re fantastic. Whatever the reason, the dealer will give you a chance at them in one of two ways: at auction or to buy them outright.

Before we get into the two ways to acquire something, lets talk about the currency of the Antique Dealer in general: Trade Coins and Gemstones

Trade coins are relatively easy to acquire, as everything you sell will give you coins. It’s pretty easy to amass a decent quantity of these right off the bat, and to maintain them so long as you’re conscientious about your gambling at the auction house (more on that in a bit). If you feel like spending diamonds you can also buy additional coins, but it’s not recommended (or typically necessary).

Unlike trade coins, Gemstones are harder to acquire and cannot be bought with diamonds. So either what you’re selling gives you gems, or it doesn’t. In addition there is no set number of gems you’ll get from an item you’re selling, it’s always a variable between two amounts, and you can get anything from the bare minimum to the max or anywhere in between the two. So when it comes to spending these bad boys it’s best to be considerate of them.

The Auctions

Do you like to gamble? Does the thrill of EBay really make you happy? Well then you’re going to love the auctions that happen at the Antique Dealer!

Auctions will only ever ask you for coins, and never for gems. This is good since the gems are harder to get, however coins are not unlimited either (unless you can afford a lot of diamonds spent on this venture). Coins can feel unlimited though, and that’s what makes the auctions dangerous, because gambling can quickly get out of control when a bidding war starts.

An auction will always follow the following parameters: 2hrs in length (approximately) with a 30min cool-down for all involved (if you opened it and started the timer, you’re considered involved) after a winner is declared; each auction will be for the concurrent 50 (if memory serves correctly) players to open the Antique Dealer, so you might see the timer already ticked down by a couple of minutes if there hasn’t been a lot of activity; all items have their own unique starting bid, but beyond that you only have to outbid the person ahead of you by 1 coin to become the highest bidder; and finally when there are 30 seconds or less on the clock a new bidder putting in will reset the timer to 30 seconds, to give all participants a final chance that the item (and bidding wars are ongoing until someone wins because others give up). Since it is ongoing until a winner is declared, it can last more than 2hrs; it all depends on how fierce that bidding war gets.

When an auction ends the winner will be shown as well as the final bid amount. If you’re the winner then there will be a button for you to accept the winnings. This will last until you pick up your item, so if you happen to place a random bid right before bed and it’s a slow enough time, you could wake up to a shiny new item. Other than the potential to accept a winning item, all participants in the auction will see the timer at the bottom before a new auction starts. If you’re very active then this is something you’ll look for. Otherwise you might never even see it.

Now, how about the actual act of participating in an auction, and the strategy behind it? This is probably the most important piece, so listen up: set the maximum you’re willing to pay in your mind, and then stick to it. Auctions are essentially gambling, and if you’re not careful you could lose everything to one item, and is it really worth it? Probably not. Unlike casino gambling you don’t lose any trade coins unless you win, but depending on how high the bidding is pushed that could be a lot of coins! So set the amount you’re willing to spend, and then stop bidding if it goes above and beyond it. Like anything else in a game, there are always trolls out there ready to mess with you. Someone could be pushing the bid up for the express purpose of hoping you pay through the nose for it, essentially driving the price up for no other reason than they enjoy watching others suffer. Don’t give in. Set your maximum worth, and walk away when it goes above it. There will always be another shot.

Since there is 2hrs to any auction, the next thing to think about is when to bid. The sooner you (or anyone else for that matter) bids, the faster the price starts to go up. If it is an item you’re interested in, it’s best to keep an eye on the timer (even setting an alarm on your phone to return if it’s that major to you), and go back when it’s within a minute of finishing to enter the bidding war, if the price is still in your agreeable range. If you know you won’t be back in time, you can take a chance and enter a bid and hope for the best. It’s a long shot, but every now and then it pans out. It can’t hurt to try, you lose nothing if someone outbids you after all.

Obviously there are going to be items that are in demand and hard to get. Many of these are the items that give attack boost, as fighters like to annihilate their targets. Another popular one are set pieces for the Cherry Blossom Garden, because that set is the bomb dot com (at least for now, the future could change that but we’ll see). On the flip side you have items like the Pavilion, Menagerie, and other things that just fell flat when they were released, and aren’t really anyone’s cup of tea. You might think these items are useless, but what if I told you that you were wrong? This is where the strategy for earning gems comes into play.

Anything that is sold at auction is something you can sell back to the dealer to earn gems for. That means if you can pick these items up cheap they’re worth it for the gemstones. If you’re really lucky, you’ll even profit on the trade coins. Cheap is the name of the game with these though, and in general you want to spend 15k or less in auction to make it worth it for the gems. It might seem like knowing what opening bids are helps to determine cheap, but you really don’t need to. Again, 15k or under is a good standard. If you can snag something for less than 10k that’s better, and if you get it for less than 5k there’s a chance you can profit on the trade coins as well as the gems when it comes time to sell it back. The most important thing to know about auctions is that anything put up for auction will sell back for gemstones.

Buying Things Outright

On the other side of the coin, you can directly purchase things from the dealer. You may only purchase one of each item shown, and nothing will fill the space until the shop refreshes at midnight server time. The only other way to refresh the shop is to spend diamonds, but who wants to do that? Patience is a virtue here, especially because who knows what you’ll get refreshed with. It’s an extremely low percentage to get what you want, so just wait.

When the shop refreshes at midnight server time, it will only affect the six items for sale, and not any currently active auctions. When it refreshes too, all the items refresh whether you purchased them or not. Finally, even if you were to purchase a Renovation Kit from the Antique Dealer today, another one could show up upon refresh and at that point you’d be able to purchase it again.

Some items cost just trade coins, and other items cost both trade coins and gemstones. Generally speaking, the better the building (aka how popular is it, you know Inno has these details), the more expensive it is. Getting a whole set (and upgrading it) can cost hundreds of gems and thousands of coins. When you start making your purchases from here, especially with things that need a lot of pieces or upgrades, be prepared for what the total cost will be to make a complete set/item. Make sure you have a general feel for if you’ll be able to afford it over time, or if you simply don’t have the coins/gems available to reasonably make it happen. In this instance it can be worthwhile to be frugal when it comes to purchasing things you maybe don’t need immediately, if you can just be patient. This would include stuff like troops, supplies, coins, medals, etc. Some things to outright avoid are silly decorations and other items that just clog up a city for no good reason. Everything else that has strategic value is worth considering, but you have to decide how much you need it to determine if it’s worth spending the coins/gems on. That’s not something anyone can really answer for you, because depending on where you are in the game is going to shift your needs.

Selling Items Back

Here’s the real meat and potatoes of the Antique Dealer–selling your stuff to buy better things. When you first start working with the dealer you’ll only be able to sell one item at a time, and that can be a real drag. It is worthwhile to pick items you don’t need, that sell for very little (and no gems), to sell en-mass to get the next slot unlocked. If you still have enough cheap stuff left over, it’s worth doing it again to unlock the third slot, too. When I say cheap, I mean cheap. Items like silly decorations or non-premium production buildings you’ve won in GE that are worth only a couple hundred coins and no gems what-so-ever. They’re worth sacrificing so that you can have more slots to work with. You have to sell a certain number of items to unlock each slot, and hovering over the locked slot (or probably tapping it on mobile) will tell you how many you have left to go before it unlocks. It’s a total combined amount, so once you have two slots open that means you can go up by multiples of two instead of just one at a time. Similarly, three slots means multiples of three. So for example 400 total items to unlock the fifth slot might seem like a lot, but it’s really just 100 sales using all four spaces you currently have available each time (4 x 100 = 400). Eventually though you’re going to run out of cheap things to sell, and even further down the road you could run out of things to sell in general, which is where strategy part two comes in: how long to spend on the sale.

You can set the exchange time at 2 hours, 8 hours, or 1 day. The longer you set the exchange time for, the more you will get out of the Antique Dealer. For example, a Fountain of Youth will sell to the Antique Dealer for 5,940 Trade Coins and between 5 and 8 Gemstones as a base income at 2hrs. If you up it to 8hrs this becomes 7,430 Trade Coins and 6-10 Gemstones. Up it again to 1 day and you max out at 8,910 Trade Coins and 7-12 Gemstones. So that’s a decent increase and all you have to do is wait a day. Considering this game is a marathon and not a sprint, waiting a day is well worth it for a currency that you cannot acquire any other way and is quickly spent if you’re active with the shop and auctions. As soon as you start dealing with objects that offer gemstones, you should be looking to set them at the maximum exchange time to earn the maximum amount possible. Of course the amount of gemstones you actually get will always be a crap-shoot, but in our current example with a FoY, it’s a lot better to get a minimum of 7 gemstones than it is a minimum of 5 gemstones. That’s a 40% increase in gemstones after all.

If you’re willing to spend diamonds you can further boost the outcome by selecting that little box but again… the Antique Dealer really isn’t worth you spending real money on. Patience and a good head on your shoulders will get you to the same place. Don’t be a fool and their money and part ways too soon.

Locking Your Inventory

Selling things in the Antique Dealer can be dangerous, so it’s important to lock up the valuables! This means as you get things that you do not want to sell on accident (or to just keep the list from being super long), you should literally lock them into your inventory. You can do this by opening your inventory, selecting the little padlock icon, and then anything in your inventory that you activate the padlock for will become locked. You save your locks by deactivating the original padlock icon that you clicked on to give you the locking ability. Anything you padlock cannot be sold in the Antique Dealer, and you will not be able to sell it outright from your inventory nor will it show up in the selectable list when you’re in the dealer itself looking for things to hawk. This is important because all it takes is to be going too fast and you could lose something important to you, and Inno Support is unlikely to help you get it back (unfortunately). So you will want to be very mindful to lock up anything you don’t want to chance selling. If you should place something from inventory that is locked into your city, and then later pick it up with a Store Item consumable, it will no longer be locked. So remember to lock it back up! The same is true for spending fragments to build something, once you use them all the next time you earn those fragments they won’t be locked anymore so fix that ASAP!

The Antique Dealer overall is a fun tool to help build up your city with the things it needs to thrive, and to keep your inventory from overflowing with a bunch of nonsense you didn’t want anyways but won along the way. If you use it well you can really thrive with it and do some great things, you just have to be careful not to lose your shirt in there. It’s a fine line between making a profit and getting good stuff, and throwing virtual money down the drain (or real money, if you’re a big diamond purchaser).