ARCHIVE: Sign Tutorial

Aug 23, 2018
ARCHIVE: Sign Tutorial

  • As of August 8, 2018, trade signs no longer function in any server on EcoCityCraft.

    Once 1.13 is released, you will no longer be able to use numerical IDs in your trade signs.
    Moreover, any signs that currently use numerical IDs will be rendered useless.
    Please refrain from using numerical IDs and convert any trade signs that may be using them.
    More info:

    Trade signs
    allowed the users of EcoCityCraft's Main Server to buy and sell items through specially created signs. Only ranks Resident and higher (Resident+) were able to create trade signs. If you are a builder, you can apply for the Resident rank. It is important to know not just how to create trade signs, but how to understand signs that other people have made, in case you want to buy things. Many people also have shops of trade signs in the server marketplace, as well as in various towns throughout EcoCityCraft.

    On August 8, 2018, the functionality of trade signs was removed entirely from the Main Server. Any existing trade signs can no longer have their items, ECD, or experience salvaged and will break like a regular sign.

    Understanding the Syntax(top)

    It is best to think of trade signs as exchanges, because they can be formatted in several ways. Trade signs allow the exchange of money for items, or items for money, or items for items. (experience can also be considered a trade-able item).

    In order for trade signs to work, you must correctly format three lines of text on a sign. When made properly, the first text line will become blue, and other information will automatically be filled. If the sign was made incorrectly, the first line in the sign will become red and the chat window will say "Error". When making a trade sign, all text must fit on the sign in order for it to work. This means that you may need to use shortened item names, and there is a limit of how many items, experience, and ecodollars that can be in a sign.

    Basic syntax of a trade sign


    Line 1: [Trade]

    Line 2: <what the sign wants>:<how many have been sold already>

    Line 3: <what the sign will give>:<number of items in stock>

    Line 4: The name of the sign creator, automatically added when the sign is made properly.

    If you are reading another person's trade sign, and you do not recognize the short name, you can type /itemdb <item name> and the server will tell you alternative names for the item that you may recognize. You may also use /dura <item name> to see information about the name.

    Tutorial: Selling Items(top)

    This basic step by step guide will show you how to create a trade sign to sell blocks of dirt for $1.

    For this tutorial, you will need:
    • to be a Resident or higher rank (Builders can not make trade signs)
    • to obtain or create a sign
    • 10 dirt blocks.

    Place the Sign(top)

    Place the sign either on the ground, on a wall, or even on special items like chests by holding SHIFT, to crouch, and clicking to place it.

    Enter Line 1(top)

    Enter the following text into Line 1:


    Enter Line 2(top)

    Line 2 is what the trade sign wants someone to give the sign. In this case, we are selling dirt, so we want people to give the sign money. In Line 2, enter what you would like to sell the dirt blocks for. In this tutorial, we're going to sell dirt blocks for $1 each.

    Enter the following text into Line 2:


    This means that someone will be able to pay the sign $1 to buy dirt blocks.

    Note. After the sign is properly created, ":0" will automatically be added after the text you entered, and Line 2 will look like "$1:0". The number after the colon indicates the quantity of the item that has been given to the sign, in this case, that is money.

    Enter Line 3(top)

    In Line 3, enter what the sign will give to the buyer in exchange for what they paid in Line 2. In this tutorial, we are selling dirt, so we need to put the quantity of dirt we are selling in this exchange, and the item name.

    First, you will need to enter the number of items that are being sold per transaction. We will be selling 2 blocks of dirt.

    The item name must be a proper name or short name that the server will recognize. You may not use numerical IDs. To know the proper/short name of an item, with the item in hand you can type /itemdb or /dura. In the case of dirt, the proper name is "dirt", the short names that could also be used are "dirt", "land", "earth". Sometimes the proper name of an item is too long to fit onto the sign -- this is why you may need to use the short name.

    You cannot place Potions of any kind in trade signs.

    We also need to enter the quantity of this item we will be stocking. You must have at least that quantity of items in your inventory in order for the sign to be made. For this tutorial, you were asked to get 10 blocks of dirt, and we will be stocking all 10 blocks.

    Enter the following text into Line 3:

    2 dirt:10

    This means that the sign will give a prospective buyer 2 blocks of dirt, and 10 blocks are in stock, meaning that a total of 5 trades can be done.

    Step 5 - Finish the Sign(top)

    Before you click "done" to finish creating the sign, the text you have entered should look like this:


    You can now press "done".

    When looking at the sign, it should look like this:

    • On Line 1, the "[Trade]" text should become blue.
    • On Line 2, ":0" will be added by the server. This number will indicate how much of the item on line 2 has been deposited by people. In this case, money.
    • On Line 3, nothing will change.
    • Line 4 will automatically be added by the server, and will say your in-game name (ign). The name may appear shortened.
    This sign basically is basically says to someone, if they right click on it, they will give it $1, they will get 2 dirt, and 10 dirt is in stock.

    If this has not worked, the Line 1 text "[Trade]" will appear red, and your chat window will say "Error".

    Collecting and Restocking(top)

    When someone purchases things from your trade sign, it may look like this:

    • The sign now says that $1 has been stocked, and that now only 8 dirt blocks are stocked in the sign.
    To collect money from your sign, with an empty hand, you can right click on the sign, and in this case, the money will be added to your balance.

    When a sign no longer has items stocked, people can no longer buy things. For items like dirt, have the item in hand, and right click the sign (hold SHIFT to crouch and click to add larger quantities faster). If there is money or items deposited in line 2, they will appear in your balance or in your inventory.

    • If you have experience that you want to sell, you can check how much you have available by doing /exp. If you want to sell your available experience, just enter exp as the item name.
    • You can not restock experience into a sign. You will need to remake the sign.

    Tutorial: Buying Items(top)

    By changing the order of how you make the sign, you can purchase items instead of selling them. The following example shows how you can format a sign to buy 2 dirt for $1, with $10 stocked in the sign.



    This is what the sign may look like when someone sells it dirt, so that 2 dirt is now stored in the sign for you to collect, and it has $8 remaining.


    Note that when the sign no longer has money stocked in line 3, the sign can no longer buy items. It is not possible to restock money in signs. You will have to remake the sign entirely to again buy things.

    Tutorial: Item - Item Trade(top)

    You are not limited to using money to buy or sell things. You can trade items for items too. The following example shows how you can format a sign to buy a bucket for 3 iron ingots, with 6 iron ingots stocked in the sign. Remember, if you are reading a trade sign and you are not familiar with the short name, you can do /itemdb <name> or /dura <name> to see information about it.



    This is what the sign may look like when someone does an exchange.


    Tutorial: Storing Money(top)

    One of the many flexibilities trade signs offers is the ability to store money. You could choose to do this to prevent you from easily spending money, or to set money aside for whatever reason. However, storing money in trade signs is absolutely risky, and if a glitch happens where the sign loses the money, the server staff will not do anything to help you. This has been stated by andrewkm on several occasions.

    But, if you still want to take the risk and store money in a trade sign, you can make a trade sign that sells something that no one can give or is very expensive to give the sign on line 2, and trade only $1 for it on line 3 while storing money on line 3. In the following example, the only block that can not be obtained by anyone is the command block (short name: cmdblock).



    Even if someone managed to obtain a command block to give the sign, they would only receive $1.

    You could also use very expensive blocks like diamond blocks (dblock) or bedrock.



    Tutorial: Storing Experience(top)

    You can also store experience in signs. Similarly to money, you can use an unobtainable item or a very expensive item to secure experience in the sign. In the following example, a command block is used to hold 825 experience (prior to Minecraft 1.8, 825 exp was 30 levels of exp).



    Important Notes(top)

    • Item ID numbers work in Minecraft 1.7, however in 1.8 they may be removed. It may not be a good idea to use item numbers in trade signs anymore.
    • Trade signs can not store enchanted tools. If you try to put an enchanted tool into the trade sign, it will un-enchant the tool, and stock a plain version of the tool.
    • If you are going make a trade sign that stocks a plain tool like diamond pickaxes, be careful if you have an enchanted version of the tool in your inventory. It is possible when you make the sign, it may stock your enchanted tool, removing the enchantments. It is best not to have any enchanted tools in your inventory when creating or stocking tools into trade signs.
    • Trade Signs do create lag in an area. Fewer trade signs = less lag.


    • Q: What if someone else breaks my sign? Will they get the money or items in it?
      • A: No, no one can break your signs but you.
    • Q: Can I use these with exp?
      • A: Yes, you can! Just put exp as the item name!
    • Q: Can I refill my signs without breaking them?
      • A: Yes, with the item in hand simply right-click the sign and it will be added. Unfortunately you cannot add EXP or Eco-Dollars to signs and you must break the whole sign if any transaction includes EXP or Eco-Dollars.
    • Q: The [Trade] on the top of the sign turns red instead of Blue, what does this mean?
      • A: This could mean that you did something incorrect while following our steps, or that you do not have the required amount of Items/Money/XP with you at that moment.
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