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How Do Trade Authority Shops Work and Where to Find Them – Starfield Location Guide

Becoming an intergalactic smuggler
Screenshot via Bethesda Game Studios

Whether you are smuggling documentation that could destroy lives, have hold of important and confidential information making you a bit of a whistle-blower, or stumbled onto some twisted items like harvested organs, you will want to get rid of these as quickly as possible. Whilst the acquirement of these items can get you into some serious trouble, they’re high risk also comes with high rewards of credits that will definitely help you sleep at night. If you are wondering what to do with your newly acquired contraband, this is Vincent’s guide on everything you need to know about Trade Authority Buildings in Starfield.

What are Trade Authority Offices?

Trade Authority Offices are the only landmarks in Starfield where you can sell your stolen goods. Marked as contraband, these are items that are illegal to sell onto normal Vendors in major cities. Regardless of which solar system you are visiting, having any goods that have been stolen or illegally obtained can result in jail time if you get caught carrying. Therefore, you will want to find a safe place to put these to reduce the risk of being found. Whilst you could store in your Ship’s Inventory, this can backfire against you if you get identified as holding contraband during your travels. Because of this, you need to find a place to sell your goods immediately to avoid any legal repercussions.

Contraband can only be sold inside Trade Authorities, specifically at the Vendors inside these Authority Buildings. Each Vendor has a limited amount of credits to offer you meaning that you may not be able to sell all of your contraband in one attempt. You should also make note that any travelling to and from the major cities can result in you being flagged by authorities for holding illegal goods. Because of this, you need to make sure that your contraband is safely hidden before landing.

Related: Starfield All Perks Explained – What to Level Up First.

To tell whether you have contraband or stolen items however, refer to your Inventory and anything with a red mark has been stolen whilst anything with a golden mark is labelled as contraband. This is important to note as contraband will reward you with a bigger prize when selling to Trade Authority Officers.

Where to Hide Contraband

There is only one method in hiding contraband so that it doesn’t get spotted by the law, this is to use a Shielded Cargo Hold. Whilst you can still get identified, the chances of it happening are much lower with the Shielded function. You can get this specific Cargo Hold by purchasing it via Lon Anderssen at Red Mile, Porrima III. The Cargo Hold is available as a part for 4750 credits under Cargo Parts Tab in Lon’s store.

For those looking for the best way to move contraband in and out of planets, head to The Den where there is no identification scan on visitors, allowing you safe access to the Trade Authority Building without being scanned for your illegal goods.

All Trade Authority Locations in Starfield

Trade Authority Buildings can be found in most main Starfield cities: New Atlantis (Jemison), Cyndonia (Mars), Akila City (Akila), Volii Alpha (Neon), and The Den (near planet Chthonia). The specific location you need for each Trade Authority are as follows:

  • The Well in New Atlantis, Jemison – The entrance to The Well is found by using the elevator close to the MAST District Train Station. On the other side of the elevator, exit through the tunnel and enter the Trade Authority Building on the right-hand side of the Security Building.
  • Spaceport in New Atlantis, Jemison – This is a Kiosk found at the Spaceport. It cannot be used to sell contraband however. This can instead be used to sell general items you have gathered and no longer have use for in your Personal Inventory.
  • Cyndonia, Mars – Inside the Central Hub, head down through the ramp and turn right at the end to find another Trade Authority Vendor.
  • Akila City, Akila – This Trade Authority is located behind GalBank in the major city.
  • Volii Alpha, Neon – As soon as you land in Neon, head left where the Trade Authority Building can be found immediately.
  • The Den, Chthonia – Not located directly in Chthonia, but The Den can be found in close orbit to this planet inside the Wolf Star System. Head to the central sector of The Den where the Trade Authority counter can be found.

Trade Authority Tips & Tricks

As Trade Authority Vendors are the only people you can speak to when passing on your illegal problems to another party, you will have noted that they have their own limitation of how many credits they can dish out per day. Whilst the reset for these credits is approximately 1-3 days, you can use the seating area nearby to the Trade Authority counter you have visited to pass time. Yes you may look a little weird staying there a full 24 hours but it is worth it if the credit reset happens with you still in the building. Not all Trade Authority Buildings will have this close-by but those that do should be exploited to its fullest potential so that you are not spending too much time holding onto contraband as you go in and out of planets and docking which is tempting the risk of being flagged by authorities.

Be sure that you stock up on Digipicks with the Vendors after selling your goods which will put up the credits of the Trade Authority Officer, offering you another chance to sell more stolen or contraband items. Digipicks are important to have and stockpile as they are used even if you fail an attempt to lockpick. You will find yourself going through a ton of these in your playthrough in the hunt for contraband items. To increase the Vendor’s credits further, purchase Med Packs when available as these are always an essential item to have on you.

Finally, be sure to put upgrades into specific skills such as Security, which will upgrade your lockpicking abilities; making it far easier to pick locks that have contraband inside. Commerce is another great upgrade to get extra bang for your buck as contraband can sell for higher value than their default amount by having this skill unlocked and upgraded.

That was our guide on where to find all Trade Authority Buildings to sell contraband in Starfield. For more on this game, be sure to see all GJ coverage written here. Thank you for reading this guide.

About the author

Hadley Vincent

Hadley is a Freelance Writer for Gamer Journalist. They have been with the company since October 2022. With a BSc Honors in Psychology, Hadley focuses their creativity and passion for Video Games by primarily covering Horror, FPS, and anything with a great narrative. You will often find Hadley covering the latest indie horror games or deploying into Call of Duty's DMZ. They love a good story and one that can keep them up at night, be that for its scares or its lore.

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