Culver City (CA) - Virtual gold trading used to be confined to eBay and a select group of real-money trading (RMT) sites, but Sparter is now allowing the regular joe to buy and sell currency for many popular games. Think of it as a Peer 2 Peer trading sites where World of Warcraft, EVE and Everquest 1 and 2 players can buy virtual money and also put up excess loot for a modest 10% commission. To protect customers, Sparter puts all real money into escrow until the completion of the trade.
Veteran gold buyers will be familiar with Sparter's website. You simply pick your game, server and in the case of World of Warcraft, your faction (Alliance or Horde). Gold sellers are ranked according to unit price and by their reputation. At last check, 500 gold for the Medivh server was selling for around $67.44. We didn't see any outstanding offers for Everquest 1, 2 and EVE Online.
After a purchase, the buyers money is put into escrow and the seller must deliver the gold within a certain timeframe. Failure to deliver means a refund to the buyer and a decrease in reputation for the seller.
With prices like that, an astute player could make a tidy amount of real money by selling off excess gold. In order to sign up as a seller, Sparter requires a real name and regular phone number, along with a mobile phone number. The company also needs a Paypal account for payment info. There is no charge to list gold for sale, but there is a pretty hefty 10% commission after the sale is complete.
It's been a few weeks since eBay banned auctions of World of Warcraft gold and other online game items. The world's largest auction company argued that those auctions were hard to enforce and fell into a legal grey area. Since then virtual gold buyers and sellers have flocked to other trading sites, that have been selling stuff for years, like WoWMine and Swagvault.