Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When the freight train comes

Iiene of Kul Tiras wrote in a comment to my post about screwing with the self-proclaimed alchemist king: "When a freight train is coming through.. The smart move is to get out of the way. What was he supposed to do? He probably figured out at "I transferred servers" and "Ghostboci" that you had huge piles of stuff to sell. i would have. Anyone with any sense would have. You had 740 freaking lotuses! How the hell is anyone going to compete with that kind of product being dumped in their market? 740 lotuses means 1480 flasks... at 23 gold each that's 34K in gross sales."

I hate to attack commenters who come here often (lying), but I'm so fed up with this "I'm just a small guy what could I do" bullshit as I can be.

Let's ignore the fact that he had no idea who I was. I sold him arctic furs after my post making fun of him hit the air. After all he did not have to know my name, he could see me as a "freight train" just by looking at my sales on the AH.


His ultimate error was to ignore that 2320 flasks arrived to the server "from thin air" and these flasks will drive the prices down one way or another. While I was selling flasks, people kept farming lotuses on the server, but couldn't sell them as I didn't buy them. If he bought them and stockpiled them, now he sits on 7-900 extra lotuses. If he ever want to get rid of them, he'll have to drop prices to increase demand. If he keeps his old prices, he will sell the same amount as he did in the old times, so the stockpile of lotuses (700*45 = 31.5K) will sit in his bank eternally.

Now let's get back to the point: what on Earth could he do against the "freight train?". Well, he could do exactly what every smart people without proper capital can do: sell his time. Having the stockpiles is one thing. Selling them is another. To sell them, I had to research the prices (including day-of-the-week effects), list them on the AH, and pick the gold or the expired auctions from the mailbox.

To sell frost lotuses as flasks, on the top of the above, I had to buy lichbloom and some other herbs, find elixir-spec alchemist, buy vials, trade all the stuff to him, wait until he crafts, pay him, trade back, send to the seller alt.

I had 720 lotuses. Just to wait for crafting is 720*2/60 = 24 minutes. I gained 720*2*1.25 = 1800 flasks. On the top of that I had 520 flasks transferred. That's 2320 flasks to sell. You have to sell them as singles (as poor M&S only buy one at a time). I overlisted a little (didn't know market), so I got 25% of the stuff back. It means I had to open 2320 sales and 580 expires from the mailbox. Every AH page is an extra minute. I had 2-3 pages at a time, and I couldn't go semi-AFK like with glyphs because I had to see what sold and what did not. That means 58 minutes sitting by the mailbox.

Time, time, time, on the top of the overpriced lichblooms (I did not know farmer and dried the AH in 2 days, increasing lichbloom prices to 2G from 1) and the payment to my girlfriend for the crafting and also her time (= work fees I had to pay).

Assuming he was a professional flasks seller, he had a streamlined industry. He was an elixir spec alchemist, he had macros, he knew the market prices, he had contracts with lichbloom farmers, and so on. He could do it much faster.

He could offer me his services. I sold the flasks for 30G -1.5G AH cut. If he would offer to buy them all for 25G and also the lotuses for 45G (lichbloom and other herbs + 12G, crafter fee +5G, elixir procs /1.25, altogether 25G/flask), I would accept his offer. If I hesitated he could easily drive the prices down to 27-28G where I could no longer say no. Notice that I couldn't fight him, as my supplies will end one day. There is no point selling them for 20G for a week, just to win and can't sell more because my bank is empty.

Assuming that with a streamlined industry he could handle one flasks in 10 seconds and he could sell for 30G, that's 3.5G/10 secs (30*0.95-25), 1260G/hour income. Not 5K/hour, but still not 250G/hour daily quest shit.

There is no such thing as "I can't do anything, I must step aside". There is only "time for finding new ways".

The sad thing for him is that now he keeps selling his flasks at 34G but random sellers undercut him in the 27-30G region. These random sellers emerged from the lotuses that were farmed and unsold. They used to sell (mostly to him) their lotuses, now, with that option closed, ask a friend to craft flasks and sell them at any price. After all, they farmed the herbs, so it's free...

Note: 2320*28.5= 66.1K That was my income from selling flasks. Obviously the other 129K came from something else. However the fast selling of flasks caused by him allowed me to reach cap so soon.

31 comments:

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Oh! You want some? Ok.

You know what "Cognitive Dissonance" is.

Well, you think you do. But clearly, you do not. At least you don't recognize when YOU ARE DOING IT.

Anyway... Let's look at the fundamentals. You have analyzed... in excruciating detail... how you pwned the market. spending dozens of hours of effort to SWING YOUR E_PEEN in the financial crushing of your enemies.

Except... your 'enemy' would have none of that. He stepped back and said "Knock yourself out, m8"

SURE, he COULD accept your offer to buy your flasks for 25 gold... at which point you would simply SCREW HIM by going ahead and making more flasks with your stockpiles of lotuses.

Hey! You're a Sociopath! That's what you do.

But instead... he just got out of the way.

You then spent dozens of hours of your time executing a campaign of domination. Never recognizing the Cognitive Dissonance involved.

You were thinking it was YOU who were the superior strategist... but you were just wasting time. He still owns that market... still has whatever mechanics he had before.

And you? You simply converted the stockpiles you brought into gold. No genius needed there at all.

Chris said...

At this point it is actually to soon to tell if the other guy made the right choice or not.

If he can regain market dominance in a week or two, then he probably did make the right choice.

On the other hand, if enough people continue selling lower priced flasks that he sees a marked drop in profits then stepping aside was a bad choice.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Chris:

He can regain market dominance immediately.

He didn't blow his resources fighting off Gevlon, Ne can step right in and go.

Why wouldn't he be able to? Did he blow whatever stockpiles he had? No.. If anything he accumulated more.

Back to business as usual.

Nathan said...

My first instinct was that if he didn't have the capital to purchase the inventory as you would in any acquisition, stepping aside may have been a decent choice, but as I started to write that, I realized it was wrong.

While Grevlon may have only been temporary competition, by not competing with him he opened the door up to more competition. If he had been able to step in at his fixed prices and regain the increased profits he was enjoying after having chased his competition out, then waiting may have worked, however that's not the way of things. In the market you have to constantly compete. If you don't others will.

By stepping back for a week or two he did not avoid lower profits for higher later, he avoided lower profits now for lower profits later. All he seems to have done is stopped making money for 2 weeks. Yes his stock may have increased, but with limited demand he either has to create demand with lower prices or sit on inventory and hope to keep competitors out long enough to unload it all at higher prices.

If he lacked the capital to buy out the entire inventory then his contracts should have dictated which of Grevlon's supply areas to attempt to purchase for his own use. If he had frost lotus sellers at below the deflated prices Grevlon's supply was going to bring, then he could focus on the flasks to ensure his supply and relative control of that area of the market. Even if the the frost lotus was then removed and turned into flasks, the price of materials would then go back up and the price of the final product with it. If his frost lotus supplies were higher, he could have purchased them in order to attempt to inflate the price of his final product, and his margins, by keeping material costs high while getting his raw materials below cost. It seems that his only problem in the market should be when a large supply is introduced into both the markets for raw materials and the final product. Let's face it, the goblin way isn't to screw him, it's to make money. Had he competed heavily in the flask market, there would have probably been more profits in selling the raw materials as raw materials as opposed to flasks. One goblin here, the other there, both make more money and don't begrudge the other his gold.

At the very least he could have maintained some profits and kept future, more permanent,competition out by competing. Via large price cuts or AH camping he could have been making money the entire time, and begun making more money more quickly. Instead, he turned over his market share and now is going to have to compete all over again. Granted, he DID have enough goblin knowledge to win the market once, and he can probably do it again.

cursed said...

a little off topic here. i know you don't wish any more ss of people buying resilient parchment so i didn't take any, but i wish i did. i found a moron much greater than yours and here's the story.
i purchased and posted 10 parchments at a price of 24g each. i knew they wouldn't sell at that price but by keeping them in AH for a week at that price i could really screw with anyone using auctioneer. i finally decided to make my move and i lowered the price to 8g. i was tickled pink when 1 moron bought 5 of them. i headed back to the AH to check on the status of the other 5 and almost died laughing when i saw that the moron who bought the 5 relisted 4 of them. like a good competitor, he undercut my parchments by 1c. so, the parchments he bought off me for 8g he now had listed for 7g99s99c. this alone would qualify him as one of the greatest morons ever but it gets better. not to be out done i cancelled my parchment auctions and relisted for them for 2g each. my moron upon seeing such a great deal and an opportunity to corner the market bought them all and relisted them at his price of 7g99s99c. i was laughing so hard that tears were coming out of my eyes as i ran over to the vendor and bought 5 more parchments which i listed again for 2g each. my moron bought those too and again relisted them at 7g99s99c. so i ran off to the vendor again and did another 5. he bought them again! i think i am a little bit less human now but omg this was funny.

Chris said...

If I am reading the post correctly, there are substantially more people selling now than there were previously, and at a lower price.

It is unlikely that there has been a sudden upswing in the demand for the flasks, which means that every one of those that sells is one that isn't his, and therefore a reduction in his profits.

As a matter of fact, smart buyers would have noticed that the flasks Gev were selling were much cheaper than normal and bought up substantial stocks thereby reducing the current demand. Hint : If I bought 40+ last week due to a price dip, I probably won't be buying any more for a few weeks.

Therefore he hasn't regained the level of control he had previously. If he does drive those sellers out - and yes, he *should* have the resources to do so - then yes he made the right choice. If for whatever reason he doesn't do so then he screwed up.

The fact that he is still listing at 34 seems to indicate that he isn't actually trying to do so at this point. It indicates an "I'll wait them out" strategy. That only works if nobody else has the patience to stay in the market in the long run. The people he drove out before probably won't, but the possibility remains that someone will try to stick around, and to drive him out will require engaging in a price war. That war will be costly.

THAT is why I say it is to soon to properly judge the correctness of Cagno's actions.

Gevlon said...

@Iiene: I've pwned no market! I just sold my flasks at 90% of the previous market price. He pwned himself by stepping aside.

Yes, I had to spend several (though not dozens) of hours selling since no one else did it for me. I would have paid someone to sell them for me by selling him the flask lower than the price.

You are completely wrong by assuming I would sell him for 25G and screw him later. This scheme requires ENDLESS resources on my side. If you offer to buy my netherweave bags for 8G to upkeep your monopolist price of 12G, then I WILL screw you by selling more at 8G. The reason for that is that materials cost 4G and by selling them at 8G I make profit. However flask materials cost 25-26G. I cannot buy more materials to sell him for profit.

What neither of you seem to get is that by transferring I've created 2300 flasks on the server. The damage was done to him in the second I've arrived. There is nothing he could do against price drops. But he could get a share for his work.

@cursed: send that screenshot. Buying parchment is one thing. Cornering the parchment market is quite different.

Anonymous said...

You work for 20 dolars a day profit. then you see that the next 10 days you will have to work for half a dolar profit. would you work? or would you take holidays?

there is something that you dont understand gevlon. he lost nothing (in terms of time invested - benefits,not in absolute terms). if he would have competed, he would lost hours of works for less or no profit and even losts. his only mistake was to tell you that he was going to leave the market, not to leave the market.

if i have to work the next month por 10% of my profit in RL, i would take holidays. wouldnt you?

akanet said...

@Anon

The central idea here is that agreeing to a noncompete is a pretty terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon said it once ."The worse is that he smiles at you, accepts your offer and stabs you in the back, like all goblins would do."

With this, every goblin got to deal each day...in this game and in the world outside.

On one hand you have no problem sell copperrods for 1232892384% profit and then you say what Gevlon did is not ethic*...think about :-)

Anonymous said...

to the topic above....to say it straight* The market is your b%tch, step aside and let someoneelse f%ck with it, is never a good thing and you should never ever allow anyone*

Triv said...

I think a lot of you are failing to realize that we are talking about the alchemy market. Flasks people. The margin on flasks is minuscule to say the least. Which upon a little thinking makes me understand why he used flasks and lotus' when he transferred over. It a market with so little margin you do not have to drop prices to much to underbid any competition meaning you retain most of your investment and don't deal with competitors while trying to "exchange" your product back in for gold.

If I were the so called "king" of whatever industry and someone came in with a ton of stock like that after transferring over and I saw them listing their product at near or even less than the average market buyout I would have tried to see if I could buy their product from them direct and save them the AH fee's. Yes, it's a possibility that you might be running into a train but more likely based on the pricing you are dealing with exactly what he said he was.. someone who transferred in with a lot of stock. If he dominated the server then he knows exactly what the margins are. These things are key.

Iiene, I am going to quote you here and then ask you to explain your logic when it's over.
"SURE, he COULD accept your offer to buy your flasks for 25 gold... at which point you would simply SCREW HIM by going ahead and making more flasks with your stockpiles of lotuses."
I am only assuming here that you have assumed that Gevlon was actively with an elixir master or had one set up to cover the business. Also, I fail to see where the issue is when he agreed to buy his flasks for 25G (assuming he agreed). I can show some pretty solid numbers that prove that at Auctioneer Avg Buyout cost that an elixir masters break even is near 26g (my server data, generalizing for the greater market). With a group of suppliers you can drive that number down but not by a large ammount simply because it's a market based on mats with very little margin as well. He could have bought the supply assuming he was actually the top dog of the market and continued to work the market his way still making a smaller profit until his newly acquired stock sold and then merge into his old habits again.

Maybe that's where the article came from. Seriously, as someone trying to work the AH you need to know your numbers. You need to know your exact margins and your ability to compete. Maybe not ability so much as desire. If it becomes evident that someone is competing with you, you must first ask if you need to address the competition. Are they really competition or are they a small fry, are they a one timer, are they simply clueless? If they are competition you should already be prepared to quell them. Your post sounds like it assumes he was the top dog as he says, saw competition, walked away from it, and hoped that when he came back his business would return to normal. Business doesn't work that way. Scaling back to let a big competitor blow their wad hoping to return to significance when it's over is a recipe for failure.

Smart business plans with factual numbers backing them and a driven force behind them will always win over a company that "has been the leader in this particular field forever" but has not really done so by competing in the market, they were the market. Just because KMart was the big thing in the 70's as the superstore doesn't mean that they trump Walmart because they had market dominance forever because nobody competed with them.

Graylo said...

Like Nathan, I wonder if he had the capital to really buy you out. At the prices you suggested (25*520) and (720*45), he would have needed 45,400 gold to buy you out. Even if he could have talked you down to 35,000 gold that is still a big chunk of change. Even someone at the gold cap, may be risk adverse enough to put so much gold into one investment, and as you say this just increases the supply on the server reducing the prices in the end.

If I was him I would have gone head to head with you to make sure you didn't stay in the market, and try and use the increased competition to negotiate lower prices from my suppliers. That way you may be able to maintain your current profitability through reduced costs, not lose market share, and be more profitable in the future if prices go back up.

Chris said...

@liene

"And you? You simply converted the stockpiles you brought into gold. No genius needed there at all."

He got a major competitor to take a vacation from the market.

If the guy thinks that he can just come back after two weeks and reclaim what's his, he's obviously never met a goblin before.

William said...

I'm not sure what is hard to get, Gevlon explained it pretty good.

If he waits 2 weeks, the 2 weeks of lotuses are not bought by him, the prices will go down as there is an abundance of mats.

If he buys all the lotuses, he wont sell more than he used to, he just has 2 weeks of lotuses wasting space.

If he buys the new flasks at a discount, and say Gevlon did have a supplier for mats and tried to screw him, who ever has the biggest stock will win in the end regardless. The person that puts the most effort in should have an advantage in most things in life.

The same goes for a battleground, another player should have an advantage if he played for months grinding his resil gear over me if I just started pvping, doesn't mean I cant outwit him but if I give up I am not gaining anything.

After all isn't the AH our same faction pvp battleground?

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon

The owner of the Flask market was probably making a profit of 500 to 1000 gold a week. If they were also a raider, burning through 300-500 in other consumables and repair bills a week, expecting them to have more than 5,000 gold on hand is absurd.

Anonymous said...

Golden Rule: Buy Low; sell normal.

RyanC said...

A bad strategy applied 100% is better than no strategy.

The Goblin continually puts out flawed strategies (except for inscription, which is the textbook for that profession) but he executes them 110% and as such, hits the gold cap constantly.

What made him successful in his case, was not his genius, but in fact the Moron of the Week who decided no competion was better than competition...because he was (ironically) greedy.

Competitor A backed off competing with the Goblin because he wanted to sell his flasks at the higher price. Period.

What he should have done, was figure out who he wanted to screw more: the goblin or the people on his server. It is possible to divide the market between himself and a Goblin, but that involves trust (of which Wow has very little). The alternative is the willingness to earn less per flask, until the Goblin (sitting on a massive stockpile of inventory, also a business no-no)would talk.

Put simply: to say there is no room for competitors to work together is true idiocy of the highest order. If such were true, price fixing scams could not, and would not exist and they would not be illegal.

But they are, and it's because any economic system, with a couple major actors working in concert, will ALWAYS derive a higher price for their services than a couple major actors, working against each other.

It looked like you had a willing partner, and screwed him over. Now that trust is gone, and the ability to hose over the flask buying citizens of your server is gone.

Which is a shame, because I'd rather screw over 10,000 people than one any day of the week. But that's just me!

Joshua said...

@Iiene You are missing a central part of this. The guy TOLD Gevlon he was leaving the market and TRUSTED Gevlon when he said he was going to offload a few flasks and leave.

Its a game. And just like real business you should always assume the guy you are working with is lying to you.

Also your argument that this guy still owns the market is silly. If he did there wouldn't be any or at least very few frost lotus for gevlon to buy. No one SCREWED anyone (obviously because there was no exchange of gold afterwards *rimshot*) It was just business.

Gnome of Zurich said...

Wait, gevlon, if his account in this post is accurate sold 2320 flasks in 2 weeks, at a 3-4g profit over ah material costs. So gevlon would have made around 8k profit in that time, or 4k per week if had bought all his mats at prevailing prices.

So ownership of the market is clearly worth that much.

if our monopolist is losing 75% of the business by selling for 5g more (to undercutters and people who go without or look in trade or to friends for flasks), he's still selling around 300 flasks a week, at now 8-9g profit, or 2.5k or so, plus he's spending 1/4 the time making and listing the flasks, so gold per hour is probably higher.

This is only a mistake goblinwise if by pricing higher he loses enough of the market that this niche no longer meets his gold needs, or he no longer sells enough for his streamlined production and elixir spec to be worthwhile versus other options.

I fully accept that others will ride my coattails when I play in a market. bully for them. If they can make even more money than I do, good on them. But I think much of the time, in the markets I know, I am making the most gold/hour of any of the people on my server, even if they sell more things, or sell fewer things for better profit per item. I have good reason to believe this, because in most cases I have tried many of the alternative strategies and found them wanting (relative to the one I settle on).

Perhaps it is my gnomish outlook that makes me judge the outcome of the ah battle in terms of gold per hour rather than market share and who gets pwned.

But honestly, an excessive concern with beating your ah competitors in any other way than gold/hr (frankly, with worrying about beating them at all) seems positively orcish or human, hardly goblin.

Wow economy, like any economy worth the name, is not zero sum. I don't need anybody else to lose for me to win.

Sanfierro said...

In your article you mentioned waiting a minute to check the new page of the mailbox. There's a trick you can use to shorten this wait -- after you clean out your fifty visible mails, type /reload in chat. This will reload your UI and, in the process, remove the cooldown on checking mail. Assuming that your UI can reload in less than sixty seconds minus however long it took to grab the mail, this will be a significant speedup in mail collection.

Bristal said...

@anon
"You work for 20 dolars (sic) a day profit. then you see that the next 10 days you will have to work for half a dolar profit. would you work? or would you take holidays?"

This view is classic of short-sighted hourly workers. A businessman has HUGE future profits at stake when the market changes or the competition introduces a new strategy or a novel product is released. A Goblin has to work HARDER to respond to those changes to keep the market share she has achieved.

Walking away and hoping the previous conditions return is certain ruin.

Ayonel said...

Yeah, the guy couldn't win this one. This is a rare case where I disagree with you Gevlon. You weren't being a goblin here, you were intentionally screwing the guy to teach him a lesson. Only he didn't know class was in session.

I'm not half the goblin you are, just. A humble bag seller, but I'm pretty sure that if you had sold him the flasks for 25 you would just turn around and start undercuting him. You Already screwed him what, three times? My point about bag selling is that most of the other bag sellers are very antagonistic towards one another, so much so that most buy all AH cloth at any price just so others can't have it. I'm pretty sure that if I told one of them that I would send him my cloth and pay him 1 gold per bag to craft so that I could then post the bags at a lower price than him, he would either tell me to go screw myself, or he would agree and then keep the cloth. You seem to think that is the goblin thing to do.

The other guy's mistake was simply thinking that he was helping you out, avoiding a fight, and had a gentleman's agreement(which some folks, even in wow) actually honor.

I don't think the guy was all that shrewd, but very few people realize that they they are dealing with the devil until they've already lost their souls.

Ayonel said...

Another thing I have to take exception to is the idea that lying, cheating, and deceiving is part of the goblin way. Further, a number of posters argue that lying is to be expected. Yet if there was no trust, why would I ever trade a JC 1000 gold worth of gems in the hopes that he would actually cut them and trade them back to me for 100 gold payment? I wouldn't.

In fact, trust is critical for many professions. I thought that being a goblin was about making money and taking advantage of people's ignorance. It isn't dishonest to sell someone parchment for 40 gold if they are dumb enough to pay. It is dishonest to make an agreement with someone and then not honor that agreement. Is it only a game? Sure. But some people try to play honorably, fwiw.

Granted, I trust very few people irl or in- game, but I wouldn't make a deal with someone and not honor it.

Breevok said...

lie
–noun
a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.

Right so this is what we are all talking about. So lets review a typical WoW player - be it a Goblin or not.

We 'lie' all the time.

Take that guildie that is just an annoying so and so - that you dont really want to run with when doing a few heroics, because you don't want to have to listening to them on vent/put up with their shocking DPS/read accounts of their prowessness in party chat/*insert reason here - rather than telling them straight up that they arent welcome to run with you because you think they are an idiot?

When that epic piece drops you've been waiting for for weeks and a pug gets it with a roll of 100 verses your 96. Do you honestly mean it when you type 'gratz' in raid?

When you log in after a long day and someone says "How are you?" do you always tell the truth?

Lies happen all the time - and whether its in business (WoW or IRL), work or personal life. I'm sorry but if I was brutally honest with my boss all the time I'd be out of a job. I lie. You lie. We all lie.

Addressing specifically what Gevlon has posted about - yes there were lies told. However there were so many warning signs that Cagno must be blind, stupid or both.

For example Gevlon stated that when Cagno stepped aside "I instantly canceled my frost lotus auctions".

And this action went unnoticed? How in the name of all things good did Cagno not know that Gevlon's alt was also posting Frost Lotus as well as flasks and suddenly they disappeared?

This is just one of several big neon flashing signs (with loud sirens blaring to boot) that should have given Cagno even just a small inkling that something was afoot.

So where I personally see this from is thus:

1. Gevlon lied. Fact
2. Cagno is naive/stupid enough not to notice
3. Gevlon makes his gold cap back quicker than he thought he would
4. Cagno has either dodged a bullet or made a fatal error and lost dominance in the flask market.

Would be be having this conversation if Cagno hadnt been duped by the falsehood? Probably not, as I don't know if Gevlon would have posted an account of the story if Cagno had played the situation differently.

However, for me, this is all about lying to Cagno - and whether Cagno is a true goblin or a M&S.

Gevlon lied and won (probably) - and a subset of readers cry foul.

If Gevlon had lied and lost - the same subset would be crowing on about how Gevlon got stung. No doubt the 'lying is bad' justification would still be used.

Really this had just been an opportunity for the critics to criticise and the supporters to support. Ultimately, it was a post on a blog written by a guy who plays WoW and has something to share with anyone interested enough to log in each day and read.

The tirade that followed - are the thoughts of the readers of a post on a blog written bya guy who plays WoW and has something to share with anyone interested enough to log in each day and read. Nothing more.

But please don't give me the rubbish about 'lying'.

Does my bum look big in this?

Anonymous said...

The more and more I read this blog the more and more I`m convinced Gevlon`s understanding of economics goes about as far as a searched wikipedia article. The other dude made a simple market concession strategy. I`m not saying the other guy is an economics wiz either, but he made the right move by getting out of the way. Then as soon as you tried to get aggressive with him, he threatened to force you out of the market, which he likely could`ve done via a price war, but that wouldn`t really help anyone, and starting a price war is one of the worst things you can do in business. Google the article `how to fight a price war` written by a harvard student for several cases of why it`s a bad idea and how to not do it.

He made the right move by letting you know his pricing intentions and making his pricing intentions transparent (note I said pricing intentions, not selling strategy or anything else). He probably didn`t consciously do this, he just got a few things right by shooting from the hip.

All Gevalon did was LOLundercut! and the guy let him because he was SMART and realized he realized Gevlon had a large temporary supply. After Gevlon leaves the market it`ll be back to business as usual, and if gevlon doesn`t leave the market, the seller will probably undercut him until gevlon wishes he had.

When you face someone willing to dump. Let them. It`s not a sustainable strategy, especially when you have a clear edge in resource acquisition. The flask seller didn`t get owned here at all.

Joshua said...

I'm sorry I'm confuse as to why everyone "assumes" Gevlon will leave the market.

Gold is Gold and he has already paid a player to make a max level alchemist(when done quickly is expensive) and make a bunch of flasks. The ONLY serious competition is an M&S that drove all the other comp away. Why leave?

Granted Alchemy is slightly more time consuming than say being a scribe . . .

Ayonel said...

@breevok

I fully expected to get ripped for my comments. Frankly, I expected more brutality. I appreciate Gevlon's blog and generally only comment when I think I have somethig to add.

What you do in your response is make the case of the absolutes: we all lie all the time, and it frequently doesn't hurt anyone, so all lies are ok. But me saying grats, declining your invite, or telling your sigoth that her huge ass looks great in those pants are not lies that hurt someone or could be construed as a business covenant.

While it is true that people often say and do things that are not honest, the question is one of whether you cause the person material harm.

That said, I was calling Gevlon out, though not as well as Ilene, on the fact that at some point his goblin behavior morphed into "wow, this guy is a rube, let's see how far we can take it'. I agree that cagno or whatever was unbelievably naive, or foolish, but Gevlkn was past amkkng money and on to just messing around with the guy. If he didn't need the money, and didn't want the market, then what was his motivation other than messing with the rube?

Breevok said...

@ Ayonel

Firstly, if you felt my comment was a 'rip' then so be it - and alas brutality isn't in my make up - at least not in my first response. I didnt post to troll, and I don't expect a flame war to ensue from this juncture.

Secondly I am glad we agree that everyone lies. I will therefore address your comments regarding the severity of lies and their impact on those you have lied to.

I concur that there are 'ok' lies, and 'non-acceptable' lies. Ripping off the pensioner down the street for all their life savings by defrauding them is, of course, not acceptable. Infidelity again (to me personally) is totally wrong. I could just make a list of 'bad' lies to support your arguement.

Where I smile to myself is when I see comments such as "the question is one of whether you cause the person material harm".

Material harm? The result of the lie was that Cagno has ended up with less gold than he would have if Gevlon hadn't messed with him. Gold in a game called World of Warcraft. Where the said 'liar' is cow who walks on two legs that regularly turns into a tree to cast healing spells at other cows, zombies, elves, trolls and orcs.

No harm was done to Cagno. He's still living and breathing. His home still exists. His family and friends are still alive.

Its a game. And we all play the game as we want to play it.

If the truth is so important in WoW - then congrats for those lvl 80s that camp out in Goldshire/Razor Hill and gank new players, who when asked why they are doing it give the honest answer of 'because its fun/because I can/because horde/alliance are scum'. Those are the people that ruin a game for others - and not a lie to be seen.

Personalyl, I rip people off all the time in WoW. If I do a vendor scan after any auctioneer search and buy up all those items for sale which the sellor could vendor for more - I am ripping those people off. Why? Because they allowed me to do so.

Have I lied to them? No. Could I have done the right thing and sent them a whisper and let them know they would vendor for more? Yes I could. Do I? No I don't

It's not lying... but it sure isnt being a good up standing citizen either.

To conclude - no "person material harm" was inflicted onto Cagno. In fact no great harm was done to him in game either - No accounts were hacked, nothing illegal was done. Just people using the game mechanics and player intereactions to move one set of code strings from one place to another.

Ayonel said...

I didn't consider your response harsh at all, but I guess I expected someone to at least call me an idiot or blast my line of reasoning. Mostly, the people on this site do that rather politely.

Agreed, it's a game and no one is materially hurt in a real sense. However for the game world to work, a lot of the same social mechanics have to be in place. Consequently, there has to be some trust between people. I have a small group of people send me money and greens and trust that I send them back more than just a few dusts. Trust must exist between some players for these things to work. Therefore most players have to be trustworthy most of the time or the economy collapses. At least, many people can't practice their trades.

With respect to your vendor purchases, I don't see how you are doing anything wrong at all. If someone wants to sell something for less than it is worth, it isn't your responsibilty to save them from themselves. To me, being a goblin is precisely about finding ways to make money by taking advantage of market inefficiencies, and yes, other people's stupidity.

I guess that I differentiate, and it's hard to be eloquent typing on an iPhone, between taking advantage of someone who is simply stupid, lazy, or uninformed, and taking advantage of someone who is simply dumb enough to trust you at your word. It's a matter of intent. Am I looking to make money, or am I looking to screw someone? Though the end result may be the same( I make money) the intent matters to me, and probably to lots of other people too.

Oxymustard said...

Anonymous 07 October, 2009 10:56

]if i have to work the next month por 10% of my profit in RL, i would take holidays. wouldnt you?
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There is a difference in this matter, first of all: the alchemist is not on a payroll. He owns his shop. By buying all the materials on the market and turning them into flasks and selling them as fast as possible he tries to avoid other people from depleting the mat stocks on that realm (if you take a 2 week leave your suppliers will simply sell to someone else) thus creating more competition (sure you won't lose any money/stock but the money you could be earning goes to your competitor who gains a larger stock and more money.