Trade and Profit on the GTN


So, this afternoon I got home from work to check my various character’s sales and trading on the GTN (Galactic Trade Network). Since I generally post my trades for 2 days, I was very happy to see I received 5 emails which meant I probably cleared 60k in credits for a night’s work. YAY! I thought. But lo and behold one of those emails was a private mail from one person to me. Opening it up, I read it and immediately was amused. Why? Well read it for a moment and then I will explain my reply. I should have in retrospect screen shotted the reply, but please trust my, if nothing else I am a person of integrity. Anyways do read on:

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Ok, when I read this I chuckled. First and foremost when it comes to trading I believe in free market. Make as much profit as you can but sell in such a way that is cost effective and quick to turn around with minimal effort and maximum efficiency. Secondly, I chose specific skills that would ensure that other than a time sink, I wouldn’t have to spend much for materials or time gathering. Slicing in this case is the premier skill when you are dealing with augments.  Also, I check the market for a the median price and then price accordingly to what the market bares at the time of my posting. Finally, I am neither ultra liberal nor left wing. Because I undercut my competition and still make profit I should be called a corporate thug who despises any sort of regulation. In retrospect, I am a trader that makes money. So…yup I got a solid laugh and 40k credits for a night’s work.

Look, I’ve seen this sort of thing on the forums of every MMO I have played. The bottom line is so long as the sale exceeds the overhead by at least 40% then it is a solid profit. I am in no way trying to drive the prices down, but I will sell at what profit I can based upon what I see in my trade research. There have been several times when the prices were so low I refrained from selling for a few days as I felt there wasn’t enough profit in it.

My reply:

Dear (name withheld out of decency),

Thank you for your business advice. I appreciate your advice and I’m always open to new ideas. However, I am neither liberal nor left wing. I sell at the median of what the GTN bares while still making profit. Due to my skill sets, this does not incur much in the way of overhead costs. I do wish you all the luck in the galaxy in your business endeavors!

Respectfully,

Jhexi

Well, there may have been a couple missed words as I didn’t screen shot it. But I assure you, I am never rude to my competitors. It’s nothing personal, just business. Now if I am making an epic item that does cost me dearly in materials and gathering, I wait until I know I can make a very solid profit out of it. Undercutting your competitors is a time honored tradition when dealing with MMO trading/auction houses. It takes maybe 3-5 minutes to research the item crafted on the GTN and make your offer. This is simple and clear. Now I’m not asking people to agree or disagree with what I do. But competition is a part of trading on the open market. As a trader/crafter you have to balance time, effort, and cost of the crafted item vs the price you offer to move your goods. As long as there is reasonable profit, there is no reason to inflate prices beyond what the market bares. Sort of basic economics.

Anyways, Jhexi is on her merry way to move more goods and services across the galaxy. If the day comes she is Star Wars The Old Republic-06-20-2015 1-07-01undercut too much, hell that’s what slicing runs are for on Yavin!!! I invite all commentary on this subject AS LONG AS it’s constructive and respectful. Anyways, drop a comment or two! Till next time, may you never get stranded in an asteroid belt and may your blasters stay true!

Trade and Commerce Blues POST 3.2


Ok, first off, I love the game and nope I’m not rage quitting. But there is a problem that I have with the Post 3.2 changes when it comes to item modification. IT’S DESTROYING THE CRAFTER’S MODIFICATION MARKET ! How so do you ask? Well, here is the deal, end game crafted modifications really aren’t that useful past lv 50 unless you are trying to squeeze and extra point here and there when min/maxing the modifications. The mid-level and low level market for modifications used to be somewhat lucrative, especially for Ear pieces and implants. Patch 3.2 lowered the commendation costs by half for all Mods at the various modification vendors. This really destroys the need for Cybernetics/Barrel Modifications/Enhancements at the low to mid-level range. At LV 50, it’s very easy to get (140) modifications for a complete armor set at an approximate cost of I think 200 or so Basic Commendations. Those modifications will last you easily to Lv 55 and with a little diligence you’ll do the same for Basic Lv 50 Modifications. Where then is the need for Cybernetics/Barrels/Enhancements?

Now Artifice still has a niche for the Implants and I think Relics. But seriously, even if all of the end game mods are useful, the whole crafting process has been thrown on its heels due to the Commendation drop in cost. This isn’t very good trade and commerce practice. In the current state, player made crafted items are decreasing in value and therefore decreases the actual need to gather/craft items. It also hurts the raw material/components trade. What is left for crafters? Well, Orange/Purple Custom gear is one outlet especially now that the Appearance designer has been implemented. I do like the designer implementation and think that it does open up a new market, especially as we start seeing more showcases on the net of creative outfit designs. But this still doesn’t address the core issue of crafting in the game as a whole.

On Ebon Hawk, even a DPS character starting at LV 15 can get between 20-30 Basic Commendations per day by doing a daily KDY run and 1 instance. What this equates to is using the Commendation Vendors twice per 10 levels to completely outfit a full set of modable gear. Done this way, your character/avatar is really set all the way to Lv 50. You no longer need to seek out crafters with the exception of perhaps Ear pieces / Implants / Relics.

So what is the solution? There really isn’t one unless Bio Ware changed a few things dealing with crafting. One would be increase the Vendor mods back to previous prices which would help make crafted items more competitive or attractive to buy. The other is to make crafted item stats more valuable than that of the Vendor Commendation market. Of course you can re-engineer greens to blue and blue to purple. The problem with purples is the amount of re-engineering required to obtain the purple modification and then even worse the no fragging kidding amount of time/cost requirements of finding the purple rare mats to craft the modifications in question. Can it be done? Yes. But the time and cost involved makes it somewhat prohibitive. To counter this, make the crafted blue modifications a little bit better than the vendor commendations and the rares to be equivalent to at least 2 levels higher with specific tertiary stats included (alacrity/accuracy/critical/power etc). This would motivate the crafter to try for said materials and creates a demand in the market for them. The other is to make it easier to find crafting schematics for interesting customizable gear that can be worn for appearance or for modification.

Finally, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF THE FORCE, take gold spammers seriously out of the picture! It’s obvious that because the game can be free to play, gold spammers are rampant. There isn’t an easy solution to this either. I offer two possibilities here. The first is to make earning credits at low levels a lot easier to obtain or at least more lucrative by increasing quest completion credit value. The other method is trading in commendations for credits. Something like this was done on EQ2. There, with so many tokens you can by a bag of platinum coins or other little niceties. Use commendations to do the same in this game. Either of these may bring about price inflation of Cartel bought items that get resold on the open market. But with the advent of the Outfit Designer, Cartel prices are starting to drop on the GTN. I’ve already seen it over the last few days. I’ve also seen green items that look cool get serious resell value.

Ok, I’ve expressed my concerns here. I don’t want my readers discouraged or thinking I hate the game. Point in fact, I love SWTOR and it’s beautiful story telling as wellStar Wars The Old Republic-05-03-2015 17-26-20 as it’s epic scope. Point in fact I’ve gotten Damios up to Lv 55, attended 2 OPS and am going strong. I’ll write more about his exploits on Makeb and then his current adventures on Rishi. Why Rishi? Because that place kicks ass! The pirate’s haven central and I do love the area. So far, it has to be one of my favorite places to adventure.