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Starkontrast

How Should Markets Make Money?

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My brother AccuNut and I will be running a market once the game is released and have been thinking about how market owners will make their money.

 

We have come up with a few ideas on how this should work, as their has been nothing mentioned as of yet on this subject.

 

Here they are:

  1. Market owner (MO) takes a percentage of the sales. (ex. Item sells for $10. MO takes 1%. Seller gets $9.90.) -- thanks ATMLVE
  2. MO is paid per each listing by the seller. (ex. $10 to post one item for sale, $10 to post 1,200 items.)
  3. MO is paid per each item listed by the seller. (ex. $10 to sell one item, $20 to sell two, $30 for three, etc.)
  4. MO is paid based on cubic units of storage space taken by the items sold. (ex. at $10 per cubic unit, a listing occupying five cubic units of market storage would cost the seller $50 to post for sale.)
  5. MO establishes listing "types" (raw resources, ship parts, blueprints, etc.). seller is charged using any of the above methods based on item "type". (ex. raw resource listings charged using method #1 cost 1% of sale, while blueprint listings cost 5%.) --This option allows the most freedom to the Market Owner as they could use different charge methods for each listing "type". (ex. MO uses method #2 for raw resource listings and method #1 for blueprints.)

What are your thoughts on these methods? We'd love to hear your own ideas on how markets should make a profit as well.

Let us know what you think!

 

 -Don't forget to "like" the post!

​Thanks for reading,

Starkontrast

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Hello everyone! Just thought I would chime in and introduce myself. I do not have much to say in my own post, as Starkontrast and I put all our ideas into the one above.

 

We are excited to hear what you think!

 

Thanks,

AccuNut

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Method 5 would be the best, this is something that should have a lot of freedom and increased complexity.

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Method 5 is the most interesting that you've placed, but I'd like to see it as follows:

 

A flat % of sale price, plus a carry-over charge based on the length of contract on the market and volume (m3) of goods.

 

It'd be pretty cool to have the maximum volume of goods allowed to be sold on the market match the volume of "storage areas" in a marketplace, but that might be pretty unwieldy.

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Market 5 definitely is the best option in my opinion. It allows freedom and creativity. But honestly, all this stuff is player made. If you're a huge market, you can charge people whatever you want to sell their stuff, to a point of course. I don't think you need to define rules, I think it'll be more 'go with the flow'. You try a system, you charge what you want, and if it works then great. If not, try something else! And if you don't have competition, charge more!

 

Also, minor issue I have to point out, but in number 1 you list 99% of $10 as $9.99. It's actually $9.90. Sorry, I gotta be that guy, but I just like math.

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Define Market. A virtual exchange? A physical shop front?

Oh yeah, that's something OP and his brother should know.

 

OP, JC has said that all physical goods in the game will have to be moved physically and manually. So if someone orders anything physical from your market, it'll have to be either picked up or delivered.

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I assumed markets to mean a physical location, be it on a planet or a space station. Seems like "virtual markets" would have little use since you need to physically take delivery of the goods.

 

The interesting part will be market-holders having to defend their marketplaces, will make for some interesting economic warfare..and the regular kind of warfare.

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Thanks for the input!

I really like VoxtheFox's idea on an additional charge based on the length of time items will be in the markets storage! This would avoid the potential issue of players using markets as storage by listing items at outrageous prices knowing no one would buy them. Great job!

 

in number 1 you list 99% of $10 as $9.99. It's actually $9.90. Sorry, I gotta be that guy, but I just like math.

 

Good catch! editing now.  :)

 

Oh yeah, that's something OP and his brother should know.

OP, JC has said that all physical goods in the game will have to be moved physically and manually. So if someone orders anything physical from your market, it'll have to be either picked up or delivered.

 

AccuNut and I will ​also be offering transport of goods, but that topic will be on another thread. B) 

 

Keep those suggestions coming!

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What I plan on doing is having the opportunity to sell or buy from the market it self, so if you can't find someone to trade with just trade with the market

 

Good idea! - Perfect example of where an employable NPC type (basically a script driven market stall holder, market operator etc) would be really useful for everyone.

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Here they are:

  1. Market owner (MO) takes a percentage of the sales. (ex. Item sells for $10. MO takes 1%. Seller gets $9.90.) -- thanks ATMLVE
  2. MO is paid per each listing by the seller. (ex. $10 to post one item for sale, $10 to post 1,200 items.)
  3. MO is paid per each item listed by the seller. (ex. $10 to sell one item, $20 to sell two, $30 for three, etc.)
  4. MO is paid based on cubic units of storage space taken by the items sold. (ex. at $10 per cubic unit, a listing occupying five cubic units of market storage would cost the seller $50 to post for sale.)
  5. MO establishes listing "types" (raw resources, ship parts, blueprints, etc.). seller is charged using any of the above methods based on item "type". (ex. raw resource listings charged using method #1 cost 1% of sale, while blueprint listings cost 5%.) --This option allows the most freedom to the Market Owner as they could use different charge methods for each listing "type". (ex. MO uses method #2 for raw resource listings and method #1 for blueprints.)

       The best way to make money off running a market will probably be the percentage based approach. When I first thought about it, I thought price per volume would be a good way to go but now that I've thought it out a bit, I don't think that would work very well. For instance, I initially thought that since almost all goods will take up physical space in the market area, the main limiting factor for a market (at least in the beginning) will be pure volume of storage space. So for bulk items like basic raw materials, it would probably make sense to charge per cubic units of storage space. However this does lead to several changes in market behavior:

          Not every item will have the same ratio of price to volume, so the percentage cost for lower ratio items would be much higher than for higher ratio items. For example: Say you charge $5 (is there a term for the in game currency yet? idk) per cubic unit of space. Item A sells for $20 per cubic unit and item B sells for $100 per cubic unit. That would mean 25% of item A's income would go towards the cost of selling while only 5% of item B's income would go towards the selling cost. Therefore, as it's 5 times less profitable to sell item A as it is to sell item B, merchants will likely start to favor items with higher value to volume ratios. These higher value items may have a lower velocity (the rate at which they pass through the market), so you may end up with a lot of stagnant orders waiting to be sold.

      TL;DR: I guess long story short is go for a percentage based approach. It's just less headache for everyone and shouldn't affect market behavior too drastically in any particular direction.

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TL;DR - Markets themselves should not be owned or run by people. Control of a market should come from owning the goods for sale and the property used to store and transport those goods

.

 

I don't think giving players the ability to regulate things like sales tax is a good game play decision. All realism aside here, allowing the "market" owners to decide what people pay in taxes, especially for individual goods, is a recipe for a broken economy. Just think for a second about all the possible exploits, manipulations, and just plain griefing that could be done with such power. What happens when someone buys all the stores in a system (or, heaven forbid, multiple systems) and starts charging everyone 50% sales tax? Another example: you're at war with Group A, who primarily flies ships that use a ton of component X, so just increase the sales tax on that component to 1000% and voila, their entire doctrine is worthless because they can't afford to buy the parts/materials they need for those ships.

 

Things like that might be fun for the 2-3 people who own markets, but it's absolute garbage for the rest of us. That's why I think it's a huge mistake, game-play-wise, to allow players to control things like sales tax and transaction tax.

 

That being said, players should absolutely have the power to regulate other important things, like docking fees, storage fees, etc. I think the most money in DU will be made by people who own property and access to specific valuable spaces. In a world where goods need to be moved, and resources at locations are finite, the most money will be made by shipping agencies and the mercenaries who protect them. If you guys want to control the market, I'd suggest building tons of huge warehouses that people can rent in close proximity to major trade hubs. Then start hiring people to move things, and as mercenaries to protect people moving things. Eventually, you'll have a major market share because you'll own all the implements for getting things to market.

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TL;DR - Markets themselves should not be owned or run by people. Control of a market should come from owning the goods for sale and the property used to store and transport those goods

.

 

I don't think giving players the ability to regulate things like sales tax is a good game play decision. All realism aside here, allowing the "market" owners to decide what people pay in taxes, especially for individual goods, is a recipe for a broken economy. Just think for a second about all the possible exploits, manipulations, and just plain griefing that could be done with such power. What happens when someone buys all the stores in a system (or, heaven forbid, multiple systems) and starts charging everyone 50% sales tax? Another example: you're at war with Group A, who primarily flies ships that use a ton of component X, so just increase the sales tax on that component to 1000% and voila, their entire doctrine is worthless because they can't afford to buy the parts/materials they need for those ships. [...]

 

I disagree. In a procedural, effectively endless universe such market failures seem unlikely to me. We face the danger of monopolies in real life because space and resources are limited on Earth. We don't face the same problems in this game.

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I disagree. In a procedural, effectively endless universe such market failures seem unlikely to me. We face the danger of monopolies in real life because space and resources are limited on Earth. We don't face the same problems in this game.

 

Sure, space is theoretically infinite, but it will take stargates to get to those stars, and stargates are expensive and take a long time to build, according to the devs. So space will be limited to those system that have stargates. This isn't No Man's Sky where you can just fly anywhere virtually for free.

 

Besides, you don't have to control all the resources to be in control, you just have to control the ability to sell them. For example: buy a huge amount of basic resources, then jack up the listing price for your market to 1000% of the sale value. Now everyone has to pay 10x the value of their sale price just to put their goods on market, which is obviously unsustainable and nobody would list any goods. So the entire economy stops. But you, the market owner, don't care because you saw this coming and you've got a huge surplus of minerals to last you through. Or, even worse, you can now list your goods for free because the cost of the list price just goes right back into your own pocket. So now you can buy all the minerals off everyone else directly at whatever price you want (because they can't use the market so they have no choice) and then re-list them for any price with no competition because you're the only person who can afford to use your market. Instant monopoly, and the only solution would be to leave. But what happens if you get so rich you can take over all (or even most) the market, especially the market at the starting zone?

 

At the end of the day, there's so much room for game breaking exploits; and even if the game doesn't break it's still radically un-fun game play and shouldn't be allowed. Giving a single person the ability to dick everyone over on a whim is a terrible, terrible idea, no matter how "realistic" it might be, or how much you might want it to happen.

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Besides, you don't have to control all the resources to be in control, you just have to control the ability to sell them. For example: buy a huge amount of basic resources, then jack up the listing price for your market to 1000% of the sale value. Now everyone has to pay 10x the value of their sale price just to put their goods on market, which is obviously unsustainable and nobody would list any goods. So the entire economy stops. But you, the market owner, don't care because you saw this coming and you've got a huge surplus of minerals to last you through. Or, even worse, you can now list your goods for free because the cost of the list price just goes right back into your own pocket. So now you can buy all the minerals off everyone else directly at whatever price you want (because they can't use the market so they have no choice) and then re-list them for any price with no competition because you're the only person who can afford to use your market. Instant monopoly, and the only solution would be to leave. But what happens if you get so rich you can take over all (or even most) the market, especially the market at the starting zone?

 

What's stopping people from building a competing marketplace next door?

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If anyone can build a market anywhere without a significant input of resources then what's the point of being able to control one anyhow? Why wouldn't I then just build my own market with 0% sales tax? Which would reduce the system to either a meaningless step in the process, or to a barrier all people would have to reach to participate.

 

Face it, no matter how you frame it, direct player control of markets is at best pointless and at worst game-breaking.

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If anyone can build a market anywhere without a significant input of resources then what's the point of being able to control one anyhow? Why wouldn't I then just build my own market with 0% sales tax?

 

Because people expect to not get robbed when going for a trade, so trading hubs would require some kind of security, which needs to be paid for. 

 

And I didn't say anything about a new marketplace not requiring "a significant input of ressources". But when there is no functional market around, there may be a strong incentive to build a new trading hub even if its costly.

 

Or otherwise, trade may just naturally shift elsewhere. Even if building a new marketplace next to the illustrious Mr. Fatcat you described doesn't pay off, people may just flick him off and trade at the anarchical meadow next door, and risk getting attacked rather than pay for his absurd prices.

 

Face it, no matter how you frame it, direct player control of markets is at best pointless and at worst game-breaking. 

 

 

I very strongly disagree.

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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. But the obvious solution is to have regional (perhaps in this case system) wide markets that are run as an extension of the game itself, like in EVE Online.

 

Then we can avoid all of the issues you and I just stated.

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The problems that Vorengard stated do appear to be valid. However, NQ has stated that their involvement in any market will be near zero. They only recently stated that there may be some NPCs at the start to help generate an economy. They expect us to deal with these issues on our own.

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The problems that Vorengard stated do appear to be valid. However, NQ has stated that their involvement in any market will be near zero. They only recently stated that there may be some NPCs at the start to help generate an economy. They expect us to deal with these issues on our own.

 

When I heard this statement I took it to mean that NPCs would not be selling any goods. I assumed that since they are providing the game currency they would also provide some form of global market structure that is immediately accessible by the players with taxes and fees levied as monetary sinks, like in EVE Online. 

 

Say what you want about EVE, but their market structure is the more life-like and vibrant than any game out there. I would vastly prefer a similar approach, as opposed to one where players can prevent people from trading (through means other than by blowing up their ships of course.)

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When I heard this statement I took it to mean that NPCs would not be selling any goods. I assumed that since they are providing the game currency they would also provide some form of global market structure that is immediately accessible by the players with taxes and fees levied as monetary sinks, like in EVE Online. 

 

As I understand they are contemplating NPC robots that act as player-owned vendors, i.e. you put a robot somewhere and drop stuff you want to sell into its inventory.

 

The plan is to have no money sinks. Literally none. Money that is in the game stays in the game forever (unless a player carrying cash decides to stop playing and logs out forever along with the money).

How new money makes it into the market is a hotly debated subject, as you can imagine. There was thread about it somewhere...

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TL;DR - Markets themselves should not be owned or run by people. Control of a market should come from owning the goods for sale and the property used to store and transport those goods

.

 

I don't think giving players the ability to regulate things like sales tax is a good game play decision. All realism aside here, allowing the "market" owners to decide what people pay in taxes, especially for individual goods, is a recipe for a broken economy. Just think for a second about all the possible exploits, manipulations, and just plain griefing that could be done with such power. What happens when someone buys all the stores in a system (or, heaven forbid, multiple systems) and starts charging everyone 50% sales tax? Another example: you're at war with Group A, who primarily flies ships that use a ton of component X, so just increase the sales tax on that component to 1000% and voila, their entire doctrine is worthless because they can't afford to buy the parts/materials they need for those ships.

 

Things like that might be fun for the 2-3 people who own markets, but it's absolute garbage for the rest of us. That's why I think it's a huge mistake, game-play-wise, to allow players to control things like sales tax and transaction tax.

 

That being said, players should absolutely have the power to regulate other important things, like docking fees, storage fees, etc. I think the most money in DU will be made by people who own property and access to specific valuable spaces. In a world where goods need to be moved, and resources at locations are finite, the most money will be made by shipping agencies and the mercenaries who protect them. If you guys want to control the market, I'd suggest building tons of huge warehouses that people can rent in close proximity to major trade hubs. Then start hiring people to move things, and as mercenaries to protect people moving things. Eventually, you'll have a major market share because you'll own all the implements for getting things to market.

If people set the sales tax super high or do other things to try and gouge the market, someone else will just set up a new market with better conditions to attract merchants to theirs. Since there is no limit on the number of markets or who can create them, competition will prevent long term market failures. If I see some else set up a market with 20% sales tax I guarantee you the first thing I'm doing is setting one up next door with 15%, and then someone else will probably make one with 10% ... Anyways, in a game like this, economic pvp is a perfectly viable form of gameplay.

 

 

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. But the obvious solution is to have regional (perhaps in this case system) wide markets that are run as an extension of the game itself, like in EVE Online.

 

Then we can avoid all of the issues you and I just stated.

 

Even in EVE the markets aren't really stabilized in any way. The prices are all determined by players. Especially with the new citadels, people are creating 'offshore' tax havens where they control the tax rates. It hasn't broken the game as the markets are competing to attract customers. Not to mention there is Lenny Kravits2 paying off Mercenary Coalition to kill the markets because he doesn't like them. If you feel there is a corrupt market in DU, just get some friends and attack it! That's content for everyone

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The way I see it happening is that there are likely going to be specialist markets based around the types of goods looking to be brought and sold.

 

Someone might operate a refinery with an attached market unit buying ores at one price and selling refined metals at another with no fees

 

There will be specialist metal exchanges where people buy and sell moderately refined metals that take a lot of space but aren't really much of a target for pirates, who steals a ton of nickel?? These will be fairly common.

 

Then there will be high security, high value commodity markets with thick as hell walls that sell the sort of low volume high value items that pirates love and they will have top of the line defenses and well paid 24/7 police patrols watching them, these are likely to be super rare.

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