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.
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.