DISCLAIMER: These are purely my views on the market and this is NOT merchanting advice. Neither Tip.it or I can be held responsible for any losses should you decide to merchant or do anything as a result of my views.
First off, I'm sorry to the Editorial Panel and the community for not being able to write any articles recently. It's been a busy first semester for me, but I'll be back now that it has settled down and second semester is about to start.
Recently, Jagex has thrown us, and the market more specifically, around like a rag doll. We have heard groundbreaking announcements in fast succession after the release of the first Wilderness vote. Some may argue that the news of 10th Anniversary prizes was the start; however, I view the game related updates to be more relevant. Soon after the vote came an actual referendum. If you do not know what a referendum is exactly; it is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. More or less, the players have the opportunity to change theirs and others' game play for the rest of the existence of RuneScape. Jagex doesn't stop there however, they leak, in the knowledge base, a mention of new lifepoint boosting armor. After a day or two of rest, Jagex releases three videos which contain armors never seen in RuneScape before. These are believed to be the new "torva" armor. Also the release of the new Dwarf quest pictures and the Behind the Scenes, put the icing on the cake. But what exactly are so many updates and teasers in rapid succession going to do to RuneScape's economy?
First off, the Wilderness vote and referendum caused a massive sell off of everything not associated with PvP. The items that were associated with it, were bought out. Also, the idea of junk trading was threatened, which caused the massive sell off of a lot of junk. This in turn resulted in many merchants selling off their unbuyables, causing a massive drop in street price of many items - partyhats in particular. With the availability of partyhats now increasing, the market for them has opened up. Their street prices crashed as merchants became more desperate to dump their junk to the general public. The purple, green, yellow, and blue partyhats took the biggest hit, along with ALL the edibles (including half wine), the low end wearables, and even the cracker. As far as armor and potions go, all high level armor crashed hard, including the Elysian, and most potions and food became bought out. However, none of these effects lasted for very long after the release of the referendum and the effect of players capitalizing on the bought out items.
After the referendum, the fact that it would be another 3 weeks at least before free trade and the wilderness would be back, people dumped their bought up food and potions, and bought back their armor to wait for a closer time. Furthermore, the Elysian is still fallen and even the Divine street price fell to between a purple partyhat and a yellow or green partyhat. The rare market was still the same, but the rapid price drops did slow down after the merchants realized they had more time to sell off their junk. However, that was not the last loop that we were thrown.
January 1st was the release of the Behind the Scenes, like always of course. Except, this month called for the release of a NEW God Wars Dungeon boss. Every time any new boss is scheduled to be released, potions go up and so does every single supply needed for serious monster hunting. But, this boss is NEW and there is the promise of better, high levelled equipment. This in turn caused some people to panic sell all their old high levelled equipment in hopes of buying the new equipment when it is released. With all hype in top gear now, where is the market? Partyhats have settled a bit, but purple is still falling. Small wearables have also settled down, but are still being sold for junk and cash. The Elysian has also settled. HIGH levelled potions and secondaries are rising, while low-levelled food is still crashed, such as sharks. Armor is again crashing and anyone over 130 combat is in full gear to be prepared for the release of the boss. It may be a good time to be a skiller right now.
What does the future hold though? In my opinion, torva will upset the already upset rare market. Merchants will trade partyhats and other bought out rares for the new armor so that they can make hundreds of millions off it. However, junk will trade hands again unless free trade is brought back. Partyhats will again take a hit in street price and this will be a perfect time for want-to-be owners to snatch them up. Small wearables, I'm afraid will drop down more than they are now. For the first few days however, most of the drops will NOT be sold, but kept for personal use, so give it a few days. As far as potions go, plan for them to skyrocket, in particular Saradomin Brews. Bandos, Armadyl, Ahrims even will eventually drop down to a much lower price as the demand drops.
In the end, all I can say is this: If you're a skiller, get to skilling, if you're a killer, get ready, and if you're a merchant, hang on for either the best merchanting chance of your life or the worst disaster your bank will ever experience. Just remember one thing: in free trade, cash is king.