Monday, May 20, 2013

TCS: The Sum Total of Zero

Bosena Local:
[20:12:50] EMO JAck > btw your market out here is fucked
[20:12:56] EMO JAck > everything is low priced
[20:13:03] 3D Horrorshow > yeah thats the idea lol
[20:13:12] EMO JAck > not when your selling
I keep the prices low in Bosena because it is healthy. There is a chance that someone may try to chase me out of the market to deny me the ISK personally. It is something that I think about with the current state of the Region. However, I'm going to assume that people prefer this pricing at the end of the day. Yes, they are putting ISK into TCS. However, it goes right back to people being able to fit and fly the ships that they need. The social experiment has expanded in unexpected ways.

Vov is debating buying all my ecm-300's and resisting them higher. I would either have to allow this, relist them higher myself, or undercut him if he did it. I'm very torn over the entire thing. ECM drones are irritating as hell and cheap to boot, yet, if I am to continue my quest for quality prices and a well stocked market I can't start succumbing to personal conveniences.

I'm trying for transparency. I pick my prices and keep them at simple, rounded numbers. A buyer knows what they are going to pay. It is clear and easy to add up. I don't play number games. 999,999.99 is not 1,000,000.00. It might as well be. Yet, something about the human mind causes it to see the first number and decrease the initial cost. It is called Psychological Pricing.
"The retail prices are often expressed as "odd prices": a little less than a round number, e.g. $19.99 or £2.98. Consumers tend to perceive “odd prices” as being significantly lower than they actually are, tending to round to the next lowest monetary unit."
I've come to understand convenience pricing. It is a very popular thing in Eve. Because you do not have to go anywhere to get this, you will pay a premium  I function under that same principle with TCS. I don't resell the items for a zero profit. I refuse to lose ISK on my sales. I will let someone undercut me by .01 ISK. In fact, I'm ready to sit on the entire store and not make money if someone else wants to go through the time and effort of keeping my sell orders from moving.

A point is reached when convenience pricing becomes a mixture between price gouging and profiteering. What makes it most interesting is that this most often happens between groups in the game that have a close interaction. As in corporations and alliances. People within the group begin to systematically pull profit from their own, personal social circle until that circle bleeds and hisses.

I don't think that bleeding out 'friends' is the goal. It is a side effect of the fact that most players are not professional traders but every player can function as one to lesser and greater degrees of success. The player that posts what would be considered an outrageous price does not care if the item sells or does not sell. The item is a spare. An extra. Eventually, someone will come along and buy it out of need or desperation. If people are not prepared they can pay the price for their ill prearrangement and be punished by buying and the seller rewarded by listing.

It is not a good business model. It does not have to be a good business model. That fact allows it to thrive. With every station in every system capable of becoming a full fledged market no area can be fully covered. But many people are not interested in running a market. Like any activity that becomes interesting it is hard to remember that people may find it fascinating and appreciate it but not want to undertake the task themselves. Somehow, I have to remind myself that not everyone is going, "I want to run the entire TCS market!"

If further TCS news...

I am also both proud and sorry to say that I am now the leaser of a shiny well used jump freighter. I was offered the loan of it by someone that has no current need for it and has left it moth balled. I accepted with the normal lease terms of "if I break it I buy it" and "when asked for it will be given back."  This means the probable end to my Orca tales as I jump it into low sec. Hence the sorry aspect. I'm tickled multiple colors about the Jump Freighter. I'll now be able to move hulls to my hearts content.

1 comment:

  1. i like the idea of your 'store'. i was doing some faction warfare for a short bit and my idea of selling 'ship fits' at the market was echoed by you... you were already doing it. i dont have a jf. i move everything by blockade runner to low sec. the ship hulls bugged me until i realized to base the store in a factory station then i can haul mins in and make the hulls. all in all it has been slow to generate business but i believe in the long term goal as solid. putting prices on the goods has been an eye opener for me. i bought most of the goods in jita to start and priced 20% over to cover costs of the long haul in. still some prices are lower than 20% because of prices in the market area. but my prices seem absurdly low when i compare to regional averages. how many times has the box come up that says "hey dummy thats way below regional average."? stick to the plan of reasonable one stop shop. build it and they will come. its been an eye opener and i appreciate your blog

    ReplyDelete