Thursday, October 24, 2013

Squeezing Sand

I have always found market trading to be exhausting. The push and pull of the various sides as they shift and maneuver their prices made my eyes glaze. I'd watch Detta sweep in and sweep out hundred of millions of ISK richer as we talked while I stared at my deadspace modules that I needed to sell. With caution I'd place them on the market only to watch myself instantly undercut and my items sit for weeks while I leaked tears and rarely remembered to adjust the prices.

Over in Solitude, I've been fighting a market battle. The market is manipulated over there by a few (one?) individuals. I found myself saying, "the entire market" but that is a frustrated over exaggeration. As with any area not attached to the major, populated regions of high sec Empire, there are a selection of semi-common goods missing from the market. Most of these items are what I consider more specialized T2 items such as long range T2 ammunition which one would most commonly use in the Naga.

Persistence does win me a foothold. The person buying and relisting all of my cynosural field generator I's finally stopped after they had purchased almost a hundred of them. Mine are now sitting at a reasonable price in the station for the boys. I've also re-listed any items purchased and re-listed like that.

It set me to thinking about my little concept of greater game health vs personal wealth. On one hand I want to say, "It would be better for the game for people not to be greedy." However that is not a realistic outlook. It is rather stupid and naive and it is not what people pay for. But watching the manipulation of a market in an area like Solitude makes me rub my chin a bit and ponder the health of transactions. Capitalism?

On one side the fact that someone is bringing the stuff in and listing it and providing for people is good. If people chose not to do the work themselves to bring the prices down they chose to do what they chose to do. Laziness is punished by an emptier wallet. I'm not bothered by this at all.

What I am irritated with is the buyout and re-list. And that irritation is because it is not my way and it is in my way. That person isn't wrong. They are just maintaining their market superiority. I dislike it and wish to change it. Therefore I re-list and push the prices at the lower point that I ant them to be at. This is the game of market PvP. No one is wrong on ether side. My irritation comes from me wanting things my way and wanting people to fold and bow to my view of how things should be. On the flip side I am annoying them because I'm trouncing all over what they work at and maintain due to my disapproval of their pricing strategies. I'm sure they'd like for me not to be in their way as much as I'd like them not to be in mine.

But in the world of wide eyed socialism I wonder how destructive is some of our ISK making habits to the community we supply. I was talking with one person who avoids his alliances jump freighter service do to the high prices. He has started to run a market to combat prices and fill in gaps and is doing quite well in just the basics. It is more work for him and he enjoys it but would the benefit be better if the alliance prices were such that they'd encourage more over all use.

Do I start a cult of reasonable priced markets? Where the market owner will make plenty of ISK without cinching down on every ISK. I have my philosophy of course which I liberally slather all over my blog. I don't expect everyone to find salvation in it. I don't think people who do things their own way are evil and need to be burned as witches and demonic forces. I'm not even into cults nor am I often interested in changing peoples mind as my goal.

I find myself struggling with these thoughts. The separation of idyllic reason and gritty reality makes me feel the fool. I cannot doubt that they are born of my own frustration and personal need more than anything else which makes them suspect.

4 comments:

  1. The "controlling the market" nonsense only works if he is alone in the region with trading knowledge and logistics ability. As soon as there are two, your approach is the optimal. He just needs some time to recognize that he can't win against you as every time he buys you out, you get money from him.

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  2. This is the kind of thing that makes EVE wonderful, you have the opportunity to role play as a 'fair market' capitalist.

    Are you familiar with the assorted free, freed, and fair market concepts? I personally am too cynical for any of that bullshit in real life, but it makes for an interesting read and might provide you with some scripture to evangelize with in New Eden.

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  3. Don't forget that your relister is doing a valuable market service too: he fills out the high end of the market. This makes it less important for you to keep goods continually available; if you don't notice for a day that you're out of that good, your hub still functions, if not quite as nicely for your customers. The customer pays more and is a bit unhappy, but not as unhappy as if there was no part at all to buy. The relister makes profit and is rewarded enough to keep using his limited orders supplying your trade hub.

    Personally, if I faced an aggressive relister I would raise my prices somewhat. Not necessarily a lot, but if you expect a lot of goods to be relisted you might as well make money off your relister. So increase the profit margin.

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  4. Oddly enough almost all highly successful traders use a Buy Low Sell Reasonable strategy or depend on patchday and metagame trading spikes. Buy Low Sell High leads to few sales. (Gevlon is a good example of this).

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