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Market Manipulation?

GalaxyStrong's Avatar

09.27.2013 , 05:58 PM | #11
Let me get the conspiracy theory wheels going.

What if it's BIO-WARE trying to influence the market for their own reasons (trying to speed up OR slow down gear progresion).

Just a thought but, who knows???

wainot-keel's Avatar

09.27.2013 , 08:57 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by GalaxyStrong View Post
Let me get the conspiracy theory wheels going.

What if it's BIO-WARE trying to influence the market for their own reasons (trying to speed up OR slow down gear progresion).

Just a thought but, who knows???
Too bad they don't have those reason on Red Eclipse. I'd love something like that.

Thraka's Avatar

09.28.2013 , 04:30 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Larkie View Post
Sorry, no, I don't believe they're buying your mats and reselling at half the price - I think you're wrong or lying though I'd assume just wrong.

As for selling at substantially lower prices.. I don't know what the actual prices are but I wouldn't be surprised if they're perfectly reasonable prices. What a lot of resource sellers think of as "normal" prices are actually quite atrocious if you expect anyone to be able to craft and sell their items for a profit.
Well, the way some have expanded on it, yes, it would be unlikely. What I said was that I see pushes that at times are as much as half of normal price at times. When I have seen my own stuff bought and reposted lower it was about 20-25% lower, and not often.

As for what is 'reasonable', that's defined by the market itself, and varies. But as an example, turadium on my server hovers around 2k/unit. You see variation, of course, but 2k is around average. What I have seen lately is the typical mild undercuts one would expect, 1-5%, say, jostling for top position, and then suspect sellers coming in and posting small stacks for, say, 1500. That is doubly strange because typically, smaller stacks ask higher unit costs, and it is also a big undercut.

I theorize that maybe these are folks who don't actually gather at all, and who put out 'seeds' to pull the market lower, then buy a lot of materials at a low price to post back when the market comes back up. I have no idea if this is working for them or not, honestly. It may just be someone experimenting. Time will tell.

splitmoon's Avatar

10.01.2013 , 04:15 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Thraka View Post
Well, When I have seen my own stuff bought and reposted lower it was about 20-25% lower time will tell.
I would seriously doubt that someone is buying a material at a higher price just to sell lower?! if you were attempting to seed the prices lower you use your own materials then buy out everyone that came down with you... but saying that it would be risky in case it does not reach it's high again in a reasonable time... people will see this variation and expect the lower price every time and may bring the price down globally. Unlike EvE this game does not have any hard market data so everything is really speculation....
"Hey ~ HPS isn't everything, it's the personality that counts"

Ms_Sunlight's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 07:46 AM | #15
Let me see... someone running a hugely unprofitable business that nonetheless always seems to have an endless supply of cash... when that happens in the real world we call it "money laundering". It could just be someone messing with the markets for fun though - there are plenty of players with hundreds of millions of credits out there.

I've also seen market wars over personal grudges. When the level 50 black-* crystal schematics became learnable, 2 crafters on The Red Eclipse got into a feud and started an undercutting war that lasted literally weeks and must have lost them both a fortune, selling crystals for 20K or even less when mat costs were significantly higher. I can't complain though, it's how I learned all the schematics cheaply
Carilie - Scoundrel // Dastelen - Shadow // Dras'yra - Sniper // Elonie - Sorcerer // Undali - Powertech
Server: The Red Eclipse // Guild: The Onyx Guard / The Orbital Guard

Ancaglon's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 09:50 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Cezablythe View Post
If they are buying your items purely to sell at a lower price... I would say they are people who have Bought game credits.
Err. I'm pretty sure that there's no serial numbers on those credits so this really doesn't seem possible. It really does sound like an effort to drive someone out of the market, but not a very smart one.

Dallayna's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 11:53 AM | #17
Sounds like you've got what I call an "Econ 101 Moron" and, I've dealt with something similar on my own server for a couple of months.

The way their theory works is that they post a bunch of stuff at a very narrow profit or slight loss in order to drive off everyone else and corner it. Once they think that the market's been cornered, they slowly raise their prices a bit, thus "ensuring" a steady profit.

This is how I messed with him.

I kept gathering and posting the results over and over again at a price that was reduced enough to force him to drop his price further to just under profitability. Costly in the fact that it tied up quite a few credits in mats that weren't going to sell for a while but, actually, I'll admit it, it was kinda fun. (insert evil grin here)

Granted, it took a couple of months but eventually, he got the idea, went away for a little while to rethink his position and when he came back, he was being far more polite to everyone with his postings by just matching everyone else.

See, their theory only works if everyone involved can't keep generating product with the click of a few buttons and a little bit of time. Also, admittedly, someone recognizing what they're doing and how to throw a wrench in the works doesn't hurt either. So, my suggestion is to settle in because this is going to take a while.

Figure out exactly how much your mats are costing you to generate and build up a few stacks.

After that you've got two options: either 1) do what everyone else has said and post them at your normal prices for him to snatch up and repost at a lower amount or 2) put them up for just over the amount it costs to make the stack which will force him to post at a loss for each stack. Either way, your goal for awhile isn't a profit but ensuring that he continues his slow march to the poor-house.

Granted, you're going to loose a little money for a bit which means you'll have to use other options for profit but you're ensuring that this bozo is going to either bleed himself to bankruptcy or get the point that playing fair's better for everyone. Either one isn't going to happen overnight but if you keep at it, one of them will happen.

Good Luck and hang in there dude!
I Defeat Enemies Endless! Add Another!

Thraka's Avatar

10.03.2013 , 08:27 PM | #18
Dallayna, I think you are close to the truth of it here. I decided to engage fully today. I struck when the market was very short on stock, with other gatherers discouraged and holding their commodities. I bought out all of the tanking auctions, and posted sales ~ 20% above nominal to correct. The market responded quickly. Other sellers began posting in normal ways, slight undercuts or matches.

The suspects fairy quickly responded, posting 5's and tens about 20% below again. I bought those out as well. They responded again by trying to post at 10% below. I then undercut them by one credit. I successfully forced them to raise their prices, and denied them the opportunity to sell because I had significant inventory.

I decided against trying to form a cartel, and I am pleased with the results. The people I would have considered forming a cartel with simply behaved reasonably, competing with me on price without trying to totally tank the market. I am not trying to price fix, and I don't mind being undercut as long as said undercuts don't destroy the market and drive suppliers out. I am specifically trying to stop this seeding, and it has been successful so far.

I have a decent warchest, not infinite, but enough to stockpile a very large reserve of underpriced materials if need be. The biggest thing I notice is that I need to be vigilant, and I am heartened to see that the other traders seem to be responding well. I am not looking to corner the market, just to keep it at the point where we can all compete honestly with one another and make a decent profit.

Surprisingly, my warchest has expanded rather than contracted. This says to me that I am not unfairly manipulating the market myself, but rather correcting someone else's manipulation. Hopefully, the other sellers will take a cue from me and work together to punish these manipulators. So far, it seems folks are doing just thst.

I agree, it is a long term matter, but then again, I really enjoy this aspect of the game. Not a lot of people realize how much PVP is involved in playing the GTN. One has allies and enemies, forms strategies, and makes attacks.

I don't blame you a bit for feeling good about besting your competition, especially the ones playing dirty pool. It's at least as good as beating down a challenger in a warzone, and IMO far better.

asbalana's Avatar

10.04.2013 , 01:45 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Thraka View Post
I agree, it is a long term matter, but then again, I really enjoy this aspect of the game. Not a lot of people realize how much PVP is involved in playing the GTN. One has allies and enemies, forms strategies, and makes attacks.
LOL, in a way the market and economy are the real pvp in mmos.

Trintric's Avatar

10.04.2013 , 08:59 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Thraka View Post
It's not casual, or a mistake. It's the same names, over and over. They hit all price ranges(99 stacks, 20s, 10s, 5's, etc.) with undercuts of hundreds per unit, and in materials from all gathering skills. I have had them buy my stuff and reposted it immediately for nearly half price at times. This is a consistent thing, and has the effect has been to A) force gatherers to make substantially less money for their time, and B) to cause drastic shortages in the market at times.

So, what is the game here? Drive other gatherers out of the market, then raise prices with a monopoly? Seems a bad plan, since other gatherers can always resume gathering if prices improve. I can't quite work out what the use of deliberately bombing the market could be.

I may very well have some of those names if we're on the same server. I look at the per unit prices and I, 95% of the time, undercut the lowest listed price. Sometimes by a couple thousand for the higher priced Items.

As for your choice "A" goes, I couldn't care less if I "force" the other gatherers to lower their prices. Often those prices are just ridiculous considered the effort involved .... bending over.

As for "B", that lies more with the buyer and their desire to see lower prices.

What's the game? In LARGE part because I know how frustrating it can be when you see things at artificially increased levels. And you know what it's called ...Greed. So yeah, I'll take a huge cut in profits just because I know I'm getting the product out at very affordable rates. Yes, it makes me feel good. The other part just wants to sell fast so I can outfit my characters. I don't want to "play" the market's ups and downs and wring every last credit out of it I cam. Sell fast and hard, and it's Christmas morning when the mail comes in.

Now as to the 'method', it doesn't do any good to put one or two stacks up. You need 10 to 20 stacks, priced low enough that 1) It sells fast 2) provides a decent profit 3) is not prices so high that another seller has time to undercut me leaving me with unsold items.

As for the buying and then reselling at less that you bought it for .. well that's just nuts. I always see someone selling at 23 per unit. Different stuff, but always at 23 per unit.