I've seen a couple (well, more than a couple) of threads regarding changes to the exchange. Thought I'd give my two credits since I've actually been using it more and more since headstart began.
Sorting features - Yes, we all want this. The ability to sort by price and/or name would be really REALY nice (if not totally necessary!).
Default sorting - Personally, I'm a fan of WoW's method of initially displaying auction results. They sort first by item quality (epic first, uncommon/common last), next by level (not really applicable to us, though you could sort by the "mark" value if possible), then by price (lowest first), and finally alphabetically (though you usually don't get this far). It makes it really easy to see what's available, with the emphasis being on the highest quality gear first.
Search reset button - Instead of having to backspace (or highlight and delete) your search text, a reset button would be handy. It could also reset any quality and/or rank filters. So basically totally resetting everything to default.
Item sales history - Basically, when you're trying to sell an item it makes the process of figuring out how much to sell it for a bit easier. When you drag the item to the Exchange for sale, there could be a button in the display that will let you view the last ten to twenty sales for it. That way, you know how much people are actually paying for it (rather than how much people are charging currently), and you can easily figure out how much to list it for.
In FFXI, this was a more general purchase history that both sellers and buyers used to track the fluctuating cost of an item. That way the buyer knows if the seller is overcharging, and the seller has a baseline price to start with (and they can adjust based on current availability and/or random markup). Unfortunately, FFXI's AH setup is very different from STO's, so I adjusted it to have a more seller-centric feel to it that could possibly work with the current Exchange functionality.
Name color coding - Just for ease of viewing, it would be nice if the items listed on the Exchange had their names color coded according to their quality level. Makes it really easy to tell the difference between common, uncommon, rare, and higher quality items at a single glance.
Subcategories - It would be really convenient if some categories (read: ship weapons) had subcategories associated with them. That way, if you're looking for a new cannon weapon, you can easily find it without having to wade through all the listings. As an example, subcategories could be structured as follows: Starship Weapons > Torpedo > Transphasic
Item comparison - As with items currently in your inventory, it would be nice if you could hover your cursor over the item listing's thumbnail and see the comparison view popup. It would default to your current starship's gear when looking at starship equipment, and your captain's gear when looking at personal equipment. Much easier than having to open the status screen and switch back and forth trying to figure out if the upgrade is worth it. :p
Sorry for the long list! Just wanted to throw these suggestions out!
As well as a max price filter...i don't' want to wade through items I know i can't afford. I'd rather type in a number than hit a check box stating i can/cannot afford it. this gives room to play with what you are willing to spend, not necessarily what you can spend.
Some other things would be nice, but not necessary. Like the ability to add remove columns to sort...say like rank, quality, subcategory etc. And a quick check box for "items i can use" filter. These would be a luxury.
Thank you for listening. If we are going to use the exchange, it should be functional and not basic.
I can't saw how much I agree with this. In order for this game to have an economy that doesn't resemble a 3rd world country in the 15th century, we NEED a way to electronically post and trade market orders across the server. World of ******** & Eve Online do this VERY well. Since everyone who plays STO are all on one sever (albeit split into thousands of nodes ala Eve) this has the potential for having a HUGE vibrant market. It is crucial that you put a lot of work into improving how the Exchange works and its interface.
It doesn't matter what you suggest. They will implement a total of ZERO of these suggestions.
Just look at the exchange for Champions Online. It is the very same system and they haven't taken any of our suggestions for that one either. I don't even think they have any staff working there anymore.