Trade offers an opportunity to prosper and profit off the townspeople’s hard work. Traveling merchants bring goods from abroad, and gladly pay gold for what your town is producing.
In order to start trading, your town will need to erect a Trading Post. This structure serves as a focal point for all trade, where you can deposit goods for export, along with any gold you are willing to trade.
The Trading Post is a great way to acquire goods before your town can produce them. In fact, in the beginning, it is the only method by which you can acquire heavy tools. So if you are interested in milling grain into flour or eventually having your town produce its own tools, you will want to invest in purchasing this valuable commodity.
Likewise, you will not find cows conveniently roaming in the wild, so if you are planning on filling your barn with milk-bearing cattle, you will need to trade for them.
Once the Trading Post is build, merchants will begin to visit throughout the year, traveling in wagons heavily-laden with wares they have to offer for sale.
Each merchant is interested in different goods, and they in turn bring different goods with them to trade. Prices fluctuate with demand, and you may find that wares you bought in the past are suddenly much cheaper, or more expensive, on subsequent visits. This may prove costly in times of desperation, or be a great buying opportunity.
An upgraded Trading Post will attract wealthier merchants with more exotic goods for sale, so always keep an eye out for who’s visiting.
In order to make any trade deals, you must first transfer goods to the Trading Post. This is done from within the Trading Post UI. Simply select the goods you wish to trade, and set the desired quantity. It is possible to set this value higher than what your town has in storage if you wish for your Trader(s) to keep transferring goods as they are produced.
In order to purchase goods from visiting merchants, your Trading Post will need to be stocked with gold. Gold is generated through taxes, or from selling your wares at the Trading Post.
When buying wares, it is possible to either immediately mark the goods for transfer to the town storage, or leave them in the Trading Post for future trading.
Gold resulting from trades is always stored in the Trading Post unless manually transferred out.
Note that, because of all of the valuables stored within it, the Trading Post is liable to become a prime target for raiders. So be prepared to defend it if you are playing with raiders enabled.
Each merchant has their own selection of goods they are interested in buying, and what they have on offer. Generally, this list is larger than what they bring or ask for in any given visit, so you cannot always rely on a familiar merchant to always be trading for a given resource.
When you are ready to trade, make sure that the Trading Post has the goods you wish to sell stocked. This process can take time depending on how heavy the resource is, so plan ahead.
Likewise, if you are planning on buying, make sure the Trading Post is stocked with gold.