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A good exchange is exactly where buyers and retailers conduct their company. A seller associated with BTC deposits BTC using the exchange's address. He is able to then use their positive BTC balance within the exchange to market his BTC with regard to Dollars (or even other coins). Likewise, a buyer associated with BTC deposits USD using the exchange and then uses the total amount to buy BTC through sellers.
So the best price to buy bitcoins for is then 105. ... A seller of BTC deposits BTC with the exchange's address. He can then use his positive BTC balance in the exchange to sell his BTC for Dollars (or other coins). Similarly, a buyer of BTC deposits USD with the exchange and then uses the balance to buy BTC from sellers.
So, let's say the last trading price is 100 EUR/BTC. Two people want to sell bitcoins but not for 100 EUR. One sets a limit order for 105 and the other for 110. So the best price to buy bitcoins for is then 105. When a person places a buying market order, it will look for the best price and it will buy from the one trader for 105 EUR. If the buyer wants to buy more than just one bitcoin, he will continually take the lowest price available. Doing this, the "price" of bitcoin will increase as the lower-price sell orders are no longer available.
Real exchanges, like MtGox or Bitstamp, are really just a medium between traders. People can set limit orders to buy / sell bitcoins for a certain price. The exchange will match buyers and sellers when conditions of both the buyer and the seller are met.
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