Introduction Before we begin let me explain that as with other lifeskills, there is no easy way to reach Master level with trade. There are no quick steps you can follow that will give you the rank in a short space of time, it can take anything from a week or two to months depending on how active you are. The pay-off however is worth it as it unlocks one of, if not the best AFK money maker in the game. There are currently two ways to level up the trade skill and I will explore both routes in this guide. The first is active trading which will require you to sit on a mount (wagon, ship, elephant, donkey, camel or horse) and trade NPC crates between different trade managers. The second is to have your workers craft trash crates and then sell them the other side of the map. The benefit of the second method is that you can continue to play the game how you want as your workers will craft the crates for you and you need only load them up and sell them. The second method does however require you to use an exploit to over-stack your horse, however according to my latest reply from the GMs they are not currently punishing people for using it. There appears to be a current nerf that shows that Beg1 to M2 may take around 80,000 crates. Setting Up Spoiler: CP and Nodes Both methods require you to have sufficient CP, so if you're a new player or you rushed to level 55 you'll want to complete your quests to get your CP up. If you're looking for a somewhat AFK method to grind CP then you can try alchemy and cooking for the byproducts that increase CP. Method 1 - Active Trading For this method you can't actively trade unless you have the trade manager you bought the items from connected to the trade manager you're selling the items to. In order for this to happen you need to connected the nodes between the two trade managers. For instance, if you are buying from Bahar in Velia and selling to Situa in Heidel, then you need to ensure that Velia and Heidel are connected. Famme's map is very useful for not only seeing the various nodes, but for working out the CP cost to connect each one. Reports on EXP gain differ, but from my own calculation with two alts selling NPC trade items, distance is NOT a factor. It seems that it's the number of crates that you sell that is a factor only, however be warned by selling items to a trade manager who's no more than 500m away will result in you only receiving 1/3 of the EXP. Method 2 - Crate Trading In order to receive the EXP from crates you don't need to have the nodes connected, but this does mean you miss out on any extra silver and will only get the BASE price for each crates. If you have a lot of silver or don't care about profit this isn't a huge issue, but if you're looking for profit you will miss out on distance bonus. EXP gain is based on number and distance, selling 7,157 crates in the same town you've crafted in won't get you the same EXP as selling the crates the other side of the map. As you don't need the nodes to be connected for EXP it's up to your whether you want to connect places up. Spoiler: Workers, Workshops and Raw Materials Method 1 - Active Trading As it stands your workers can't trade for you, so everything must be done by yourself. You'll also only need two things to get yourself going after you've set up your node network; silver and a mount. It's rather difficult to not make a profit with active trading so the only silver you'll really need is perhaps 100-200k to start your initial purchase of goods. With NPC trading it is best to go for a mount that can carry many items as well as move fast, so donkeys/camels/horses aren't a great idea as they can't hold many items. Ships like the fishing boat and Epheria Sailboat offer more room, but are limited to shore nodes and will require you in most cases to unload the items manually and take them to the trade manager. Your best bet is either a wagon on an elephant, Dulfy's guides on elephants and wagons goes more in depth on how to acquire each one. If you're a new player you can purchase wagons directly from stable NPC if you don't have the silver to buy the better wagons off the marketplace. I personally use Merchant Wagons as they are easy to buy on the marketplace and aren't as short in supply as Noble Wagons. Method 2 - Crate Trading Raw MaterialsCrate crafting requires a lot of raw material so you'll either need your workers to be working on every available node of the resource, or be prepared to spend a lot of silver. In general, every trash crate will require 10 units of the base resource (ore and timber, rather than shards and planks) and 1 black stone powder. When it comes to what crates to make, different tests have shown that all trash crates offer similar EXP, so it doesn't matter whether you're making herb, mushroom or ore crates. More expensive crates like Calpheon, Brass and Jewellery give the best EXP, however it's best to save these until you have the M2 buff. Which type of crates you want to make is up to you, you can focus on one specific ore and timber crate or you can focus on multiple kinds. You can acquire BSP either buy buying it directly from the marketplace or via grinding crystals. There are three ways to acquire crystals, either by killing mobs and getting them as a drop, buying them off crystal vendors or by buying them directly off the marketplace. It's up to you to figure out which crystals are best to buy depending on whether you still want to make a profit off selling trash crates or whether you want to just pump out as many as possible. WorkshopsThe workshops you'll want to buy are metal and wood workshops, I'd avoid using crop and mushroom workshops as they don't provide enough EXP when compared to wood and metal. In order to find the workshops, simply click on the town to open it up, then in the top right hand corner you'll see the following drop down menu. You can then use this menu to highlight all the available workshops. Clicking on each workshop will also tell you how much CP is needed to purchase it. As distance is a factor when it comes to turning in trade crates you'll want to be as far as way as possible from your selling destination. There's no point in using places like Heidel or Altinova due to their somewhat central location, which means you can't maximise your EXP gains with distance. I'd recommend purchasing workshops in Trent, Epheria and Calpheon. Calpheon offers a lot of workshops and you can always used workers and materials from Epheria and Trent to craft in Calpheon. WorkersThe types or workers you use depends on how much time you are on-line, remember that when you're offline then workers will only complete their current task and won't repeat until you come back on-line. Giants are useful if you are AFK but logged in as their stamina allows them to craft multiple crates without needing to be fed. Goblins work faster, but will need you to be constantly feeding them. Humans offers a middle ground of speed and stamina. You'll also notice that as a worker levels up and is promoted the speed at which they complete each crate is increased. You can also hire the worker Bravant in Trent as he has a latent +2 Ore skill which means he'll craft 3 ore crates per task. He's a useful worker to have and will cost you 500 Amity and 100,000 silver to hire. Be warned though you can't promote him so whilst he may be useful in the short run you'll want to level up your workers for the goal of a +3 Artisan worker. Trent workers are the first you'll want to use, followed by Epheria and Calpheon. Remember that as long as the raw material and workers are based in Trent then you can use the workshops in Calpheon and still have the crate showing as crafted in Trent. Make sure you use up all the workshops in Trent/Behr/Longleaf first though as the trip to Calpheon can be lengthy for a worker. Remember! The same crates that are crafted in different towns will not stack. Copper ore crates made in Trent (using Trent workers) will not stack with copper ore crates made in Calpheon (using Calpheon workers). You'll also want to watch out for specific skills for Professional and Artisan workers. "Advanced Packing Skill" is only available for Artisan grade workers and will allow the worker to craft 4 crates rather than 1 at a time, it will however use 4 times the raw materials. "Packing Skill" is only available to Professional grade workers and will allow the worker to craft 2 crates rather than 1 at a time, once again they will use 2 times the raw material. These skills don't magically give you extra crates, but are very useful as they allow you to craft crates quicker. Getting these skills is RNG based as there's no sure way to acquire them. These skills are also not limited to just one per worker as if you're lucky you can end up with multiple skills, however you will never be able to get the same skill multiple times. Spoiler: Buffs To truly maximise your trading EXP gain, you'll want to be running as many buffs as possible whilst you complete your trade runs or turn in your crates. Below is a list of all currently available life skill buffs, some are difficult tom acquire and others are not. Items that cannot be used at the same time as another are marked with either a * or a # Value Pack - A flat 10% to all lifeskills Pets - 4% for each T4, 3% for each T3%, 2% for each T2 and 1% for each T1. The maximum you bonus to life EXP is 16%, however some pets can learn extra skills that will increase certain life-skills by 3%. Hawks and other avians pets can learn a rare, RNG based, Trade Skill. Guild Experience Cry - Obtained only through a guild, has to be activated by a guild master and offers a 10% life skill increase for 1 hour. Villa Buff - Costs 5 million to buy an invitation to a villa for 7 days, you can then purchase a 10% life skill increase. 90 minutes will cost 100k and 180 minutes will cost 300k Trade Outfit - 10% trade EXP at +1, which increase by 5% with each enchantment level. Tailoring Coupon Trade Outfit - 10% trade EXP *Sute Tea - 8% life skill increase for 90 minutes or 110 minutes. Cannot be used with other food. #Elixir of Time - 10% life skill increase for 5 minutes or 10 minutes. 15% life skill increase for 8 minutes or 15 minutes. Can only use one elixir at a time. Loyalty Shop Scroll - 10% life skill increase for 1 hour, 300 loyalty points. Perfume of Swiftness - 20% life skill increase for 20 minutes Hearty Grilled Turkey - 10% life skill increase, only available from Thanksgiving event *Whale Meat Salad - 10% life skill increase for 75 minutes or 15% life skill increase for 90 minutes. Cannot be used with other food. Trade Routes and Moving Crates Method 1 - Active Trading As explained in the introduction, there is no easy or quick way to level up trade and it will require a few weeks of active trading or at least 80,000 trash crates. If you're going via the active trading, then as long as you are trading over a distance of 500m or more, you don't really need to follow a set path. I personally start in Velia and trade with Heidel until the stocks are exhausted, I then move on to Glish/Keplan, Calpheon/Florin/Farms, Olvia/WGC before returning to Velia. Depending on your CP and how much silver you want to make, it's up to you to choose the trade path you run. Larger distance do mean more profit, but mean you're selling less items per hour. Method 2 - Crate Trading By now you'll have amassed a few thousands crates, so it's not time to load up your horse and move the crates. Below is an image guide on how to over-stack your horse. The current weight limit for a horse seems to be 7,157 trash crates and this can take anywhere between 10-20 minutes depending on your weight limit. You'll want to get yourself a Golden Coral Belt for the weight increase and either a set of Hercules Might gear or an enchanted trade outfit. You can also use various crystals and buffs to increase your weight for the duration of your stacking. My current LT maximum is around 2k and I can carry around 105 crates at a time, the more crates you can carry at once the faster your stacking will be. Spoiler: How to Overstack a Horse 1) Bring your horse close to your storage so that when you open it up you can also see the horse's inventory. 2) Move the maximum number of crates you can from your storage to YOUR inventory. (In order to find the maximum just move your enough crates until the system tells you 'This is too heavy')(Note, if any of your weight buffs run out whilst you move crates it will be difficult to move crates between yourself and the horse) 3) Move the crates from YOUR inventory to the horse's inventory . 4) Move another stack of crates from your storage to your inventory. 5) Move the current stack of crates in your HORSE'S inventory back to YOUR inventory 6) Move the new stack from your inventory back to the horse's inventory. 7) Move a new stack of crates from your storage to your inventory, then repeat the process. This is the process for over-stacking your horse and the maximum number of crates you can carry will determine how long the process will take. If you are following the images and only moving 50 crates at a time, then reaching 7,150 crates shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes. After you've fully stacked your horse, all that remains to be done is to move it manually to your destination. Make sure you are always watching your horse as I've stood up to get a drink a few times and come back to find my horse stuck in the middle of a bandit group who kill the horse and make me lose a large chunk of the crates. Be warned that remote collecting your horse can also make you lose a large chunk of your crates. It's best to auto-path or manually ride to your destination as long as you are constantly watching the horse and ready to save it. In my case I auto-path from Calpheon to Karashu's Villa east of Alitonva to pick up my buff, I then ride to Sang Grain Bazaar and cross the desert to Valencia before moving on to Arehaza and selling the crates after popping all my buffs. The Master 2 Quest I've gone into detail on how to utilise the M2 buff and how to complete the quest in my silver guide here. It is best to not attempt the quest until you're at least M2 in trade so you can get it all done in one. Once you have completed the quest you can then speak to the NPC at Sharing Node, pay 100 energy and get the 50% buff for 1 hour. You do not need to be invested in the node for the buff. The quest itself isn't difficult but can be quite lengthy and tedious. The only requirement to start the series is that you must be over level 54, you must then head to Idellab Oasis in the desert and speak to Ashim for the 'Peacful Oasis' quest. The quest chain is then as follows with the link leading you to all the information you'll need to complete the quests. Over The Sand Dunes -> What A Desert Sufferer Needs -> Conspiracy of the Lavania League -> Marzana the Red Viper -> Knowledge Required for Conversation -> Proof of Faith #1 -> Proof of Faith #2 -> Secret Letter to the Royal Court -> Conflict Between the Two Merchant Leagues -> Identity of the Assassin -> Fall of the Oberin League -> Rest Are on the Barren Sand* -> Token of Lavania League -> Have You Ever Done This Before? -> To the Wild Desert! Questions? If you do have any questions or see a mistake in this guide then please let me know in a PM or in this thread. I'm happy to help someone out who's already started following the guide or is making a move on their own. Spoiler: Change-log Update 07/06/2017: Corrected information on workers as well as trash crates, current tests that involved selling 100 crates of each type shows that ALL mushroom, ore, timber, vegetable, fruit and herb crates award the same XP. Update 17/07/2017: Added information about Bravant as well as updated current number of crates needed for M2.