Lack of goods

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There can be several reasons for this. Primary reason is that majority of players use level one goods such as stone, wood, cotton, wheat, oil, etc for their level two factories and shops. So, they do not sell those goods on the market or to the Bank (the Bank puts the goods on the market with slight delay).

Because a lot of level one goods are relatively expensive to produce due to high zoning requirements (for example a forest requires 9 zones, quarry requires 5 zones, etc), a lot of players over build level two factories, which leads to the shortage of lower level goods. Oil and fish might be the only exceptions to this situation, because a fishing fleet requires only 1 zone and oil field only 2 zones.

While there is a market bonus incentive to sell goods on the market, a lot players find it more rewarding to create chains and sell the highest level goods in their own stores. This drives demand for low level goods even higher. It is much harder to place a forest compared to a sawmill or a furniture store at later stages in the game, again, because of the zoning requirement.

Unfortunately, lack of the goods on the market does not mean that the price will go up, because the price is based on the production, rather than demand. So, while you might not see any stone on the market, it can still decrease in price - because it is being overproduced to fuel the production of marble. In this case it just goes directly from a player's quarry to his stone chopping house without ever being on the market.


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