The Elder Scrolls Online fan-run item market endorsed by Zenimax Online
Psst. Hey you, looking to score a Beech Lightning Staff of Flame in The Elder Scrolls Online? I know of a place that could hook you up. The fan-run TESO Elite Forums has set up an unofficial marketplace, where you can post the stuff you’re looking to buy or sell. The marketplace has even been endorsed by developer ZeniMax Online.
— Elder Scrolls Online (@TESOnline) April 10, 2014
The whole reason this third-party marketplace exists is because there isn’t an official, in-game auction house in TESO. As gameplay designer Nick Konkle explains to Shoddy Cast, ZeniMax decided not to include a global auction house (a common feature in many MMOs), because it could devalue the best gear in the game. It’s not clear, then, why ZeniMax would endorse a workaround that accomplishes something similar.
TESO Elite’s marketplace seems pretty functional. You post the item you want to buy, sell, or trade, which server you’re on, and there’s even a feedback system to keep everyone honest. If you want to take full advantage of it, the forums even include a simple how-to guide.
We have reached out to Bethesda for comment on why it's endorsing a third-party market. In the meantime, be sure to read Chris’ review of The Elder Scrolls Online.