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Assuming some kind of "warp gate" or "Space lane" that makes FTL travel between different stars feasible... What goods would be most likely to be traded? Especially, what would Earth want to import vs export compared to colony planets.

To expand on this, I'm developing a "space trading" game where you haul goods from one system to the next (similar in some ways to the Empire Builder Rails games and I'm trying to pick about 10-20 cargoes (colonists would likely be a cargo!) that would make thematic sense to import or export from Sol and it's various colonies.

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    $\begingroup$ Aslum this is a really open ended question. Can you find a way to narrow your focus. Goods demand is relative to cost. We don't know how cost effective it is to move good through space. Nor do we know what kind of supply and demand exists in your world. In short the answer could be pretty much anything. If it's cheap enough you could make it profitable to ship bobble-heads across the galaxy. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 22 '17 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ To add to @James's comment, a lot of trading these days is about adding value, so an answer could be more about "Where the skills are" instead of "Where are the goods" $\endgroup$ – Simon Fraser Feb 22 '17 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ Similar question: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/5214/… $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 22 '17 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ similar question: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/62409/… $\endgroup$ – EveryBitHelps Feb 22 '17 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Precious Materials in a Galactic Empire $\endgroup$ – SRM - Reinstate Monica Feb 22 '17 at 21:25
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In the absence of some rare unobtamium style plot device mineral, I could still see the following being viable:

  • Biological products from species that require hard to reproduce environments (high gravity, low gravity, live on a gas giant, whatever)
  • Cultural items (art, food, etc) that while they could be reproduced elsewhere, would not be "authentic"
  • Manufactured goods which are monopolized either through specialized expertise that has been built up and would be difficult/expensive to duplicate, or through legal means such as copyright or patents
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! A pretty good first post! $\endgroup$ – PatJ Feb 22 '17 at 18:22
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All resources fall into 4 categories: Raw Resources, Completed Goods, Food, and Labor. The majorly of trade involves the first three but Food and Raw Resources tend to be the biggest.

Earth because of its large level of development and placement in the green zone would most likely import raw resources and export Food and Completed Goods.

Far Mining colonies would most likely be importing Food, Processed Goods, and Labor.

Colonies in the "green zone" of their stars could very well create agriculture hubs and begin exporting Food as well.

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More raw materials for refining and processing. If done on a big enough scale, mining space ore could become cheaper then earth mining. You don't have to worry about pollution from the mining either.

There are also certain isotopes of some materials that just don't form on Earth on a large enough scale that are abundant elsewhere.

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In space, mining asteroids is easy. Building up organic material is hard, especially if you don't have a working ecosystem already. Conversely, mining can be hard to do on Earth, but if you want organic material just go outside and do some gardening - pull some weeds, dig some dirt, that kind of thing. A clever entrepreneur could make a fortune trading space-mined gold for Earth dirt and Earth dirt for space-mined gold. The gold would be valuable on Earth because it's gold, at least until people catch on (and even then they can still sell other metals like titanium or iron); the dirt would be valuable because it can form a base for terrestrial plants, which will grow and produce MORE dirt. Eventually, the economy will settle, but someone getting in quickly will make a fortune selling cheap things for cheap things.

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