Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cherry Pickers (Part 1)

We recently had a question appear in our Inbox:

I have a general question about mtgolibrary bot.  I typically ran in Pro but have started messing around with Lite doing a bulk bot.  What I am trying to figure out is if there is a way, say I have someone sell me a rare worth 5 tickets, but my bot is set up to sell 20 rares for 1 ticket, is there any way to stop someone from just picking up that rare out of my collection for .05 or is that something only Pro can do?  So it would be buy bulk on the lite and sell on the pro?  Or a way to set up the pro correctly that it can sell at market value but buy as a bulk bot?  Or is this something that transfer collections would have to be set up to work correctly to have both bots working at the same time.  Thanks

So basically, the reader doesn’t want to get ripped off.  (Who likes getting ripped off?)  I use the term “cherry-pickers”.  These are people/dealers/bots who go around to these LITE bots, scan their collection for jewels and then pick all the good cards, leaving the chaff behind.  These people/dealers/bots then turn around and sell those cards for a massive profit.

So, how do you deal with this situation?  How would you advise this email poster?  Possible solutions to this is the subject of this series, one of which will be discussed next time.


  1. disable "Mark all tradable" and only set them as tradable before your "lite" bot refills your pro bot :)

  2. It would be nice to have a feature on bulk bot selling to only sell cards based on the pro bot price list. That is, if I'm buying and selling commons at 1:100, have a setting to not mark commons for sale if they are worth more than, say, 25-50 cents. So I can siphon off the best cards for the pro bot but still leave most of the normal cards for normal bulk trading. Just an idea.

  3. I find it pretty funny that the user doesn't want to get "ripped-off" - - - wonder if they're willing to admit that they "ripped-off" whoever they bought the card from :)

    However, I'm pretty sure that you can override the prices you're willing to pay for each card. I know Quarterofsix does this. He has a bulk bot that sells 95% of the cards on it for the bulk price, but somehow overrides the price when the card is wroth $ (like if you try to pull it off his bulk bot - it'll list the price off his normal bot.)

    Maybe he codes that himself though.

    Regardless - just do what the other person suggested - turn off the make all tradeable option and manually add the cards you choose to. (if the effort isn't worth it - then maybe it's not that big of a deal after all.)

    1. he could be running the pro version thus he would be able to set prices higher when selling and setting his minimum price to whatever he advertises for = most of his trades will just look like all the cards are worth the same, if you happen to pickup a card worth more, the real price kicks in...

    2. buying bulk for 0.005 to sell for 0.01 isnt ripping off anyone.
      a bulk bot requires to invest 200-300$ in bulky commons/uncommon to get started and this, in a successful scenario means you will make 2-10 tix profit a week on that bot.

      Go into every single bulk bot to look for Wastelands/unhinged lands etc exclusively to sell for 1-5-50 tix a card you got for 0.01, now that's ripping off.

    3. And the fact that your bot bought an unhinged land or wasteland for pennies wasn't a rip-off? lol stop it.... The whole point of bulk bots is to rip people off who don't know what they're selling (or accidentally sell something they didn't mean to). It's no more clean or dirty than a "cherry picker".

      I own a bulk bot and a regular bot. I NEVER have either bot make any cards tradeable.

      If you don't want to get "ripped-off" it's that easy.

    4. we dont cherry pick, we buy in bulk, like 1000 cards for 0.005 (5$). 900 of them will never sell ( for example: Forest 7th edition who will buy that?) 95 will sell within 3 months for 0.01 (1$~) and in every 1000~ cards you get a 5 lucky cards that together will be worth 2-3$~.

      Total you spend 5$ in 1000 cards only sell 100 of them for 3$~ within 3 months.

      Yes you will always win in the long run, but those "cherry pickable" cards is the only source of "profit" in bulkbots. a bot that buys a bulk common for 0.004 to sell for 0.005 will need to trade 2000 cards to make 1$ profit, which wouldnt even pay the electricity/internet/pc that runs the bot.

      Bot customer tend to forget that to run these bots that "ripoff" they require investment of 300-500 event tickets, plus a pc able to run multiple bots (top end CPU, 16gb ram, solid state drives) etc etc.

      A bulkbot is not setup with the intention of buying a unhinged land as a ripoff, but a cherry picker, doesnt nothing than make wishlists of top commons/uncommons and in 30 min of surfing in bots selfishly grants himself 100+$ in profit. I dont mind that my cheapest bulkbot sell 1 cent ponders/delvers/vapor snags etc to my usual customers that buy and sell on it everyday. Now a Customer that comes to my bots to exclusively pick underpriced cards, or to sell me a card when I'm buying it 1-2 tix over every other bots sell price... thats not welcome.

      To avoid both these types of customers that visit my bots just to "ripoff" I removed my bots from the WikiPrice service.

    5. Thats interesting, i did not know you could remove your bot from the wiki. Also i agree with x4dow, your not making all that much money, myself i just use it to fuel my regular bot with older sets crap i don't want to have to list. This is the nearest i had of what would look like a discussion about the bot, there should be a forum for the users!!! (or is there?)

  4. U can email Albert to remove your bot from wiki. The only disadvantage of removing it is that u won't sell quickly for 19.9 when the cheapest on wiki is 20. The advantage is that if you miss a pricelist update or a card value ramps up or drops quickly you won't be abused as easily

  5. Hmm i'll have to think about it then, i find the biggest problem i have with this bot anyways is the wiki updates not enough. I'll try to buy some cards and sometimes have to do 10+ trades to get the cards from the cheapest using the wiki (they either don't have them anymore or they updated to higher).

    Would you be able to tell whether it hurt your business or not; did you get less customers? Once you are established i guess its not as much a problem, but if you are very competitive selling low then it could hurt not appearing as the cheapest all the time....
    hmm food for thoughts, quite interesting.

  6. its a matter of what kind of customers you have. the Wikiprice ones arent "regular customers" will only use your bot because it buys for more than other sells, or because it sells for less than other buys.

    It affects your regular customers thou as when they could sell 75 cards to you for a total of 50tix and realize that your bot is buying some cards higher than some bots sell (and feel happy) they will instead only be able to sell whatever your bot isnt buying high, since the "nice deals", such as cards your bot is buying a bit high or selling a bit low, are all gone.

    I prefer that my regular customers findout that my bot sometimes might buy a card that is worth 10 for 11 rather than having someone finding that out on wiki price, pick 4 for 40 on Bot A and sell to mine for 44 for easy profit, just to then after 6 hours my bot updates the price list and sets them to sell at a cheaper 9 tix per card (resulting in me losing 8 tix in 5 min).

    Hope you get my point, i know its confusing.

    1. hey there i never saw the answer, thanks. Yeah i get it... i'll think about it seriously. The wiki updates are so slow they almost never show the correct prices anyways!