Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cherry Pickers (Final Thoughts)

This topic of cherry picking is somewhat a touchy subject.  If you are the victim of a cherry-picker, you get  upset and feel like you have been robbed.  Some can make the argument that we botters are in essence, cherry pickers.  We low-ball when we buy cards and we cherry pick the good ones to sell at a vast profit.  Arguments like this quickly degenerate into semantics.  It all boils down to definitions and perspectives.

So to answer the question of are we indeed cherry pickers, we need to ask the question whether or not we botters do actually serve a legitimate service.

The answer to that is relatively easy to answer.  We are essentially middle-men, where we facilitate buyers and sellers.  Since the term “middle man” has a negative connotation, some have come up with different terms to essentially mean the same thing: finder’s fee, service fee, and transportation costs are some of the terms I have come across when dealing with these individuals and I too have complained that their costs are exceedingly high compared to the “service” they provide.

I was reminded when I looked into refinancing my mortgage.  All these little fees, which added up to over $2,500 and they “cheerfully” tried to make the point of “no closing costs”; a -$10 entry on the list of fees that would be charged to me.  All of this of coarse meant that my mortgage would be extended by 10 years.  And somehow, the bank didn’t mention all the profits aka interest they would be receiving.

Being in a position to walk away from this “deal”; I did.  As it concerns MTGO; WotC can do the same thing.  It would be trivial for Wizards to remove all bots from their servers.  But what would happen to the secondary marketWould drafters continue to draft if they were unable to sell off their 87 copies of Terramorphic Expanse? 

In fact, WotC actually welcomes us.  They have placed dedicated machines to offset the server load.  Wizards also does not have an individual card store.  Yes, WotC could make a boatload of money selling individual cards but that would also hurt MTGO in the long run.  Instead, the powers made a conscious decision to let us do what we do best; even if many players think that we are cherry pickers, rip off artists and greedy.

1 comment:

  1. the reasons why bots take profit margins over trades are:

    Bot require initial investment (hundreds of $$ in tickets and hours setting up) and a expensive computer. You wouldn't do that for free would you?

    Bots sometimes make trades that result in loss (buying a card for a high price and then that set rotates, or that card value drops being sold later for a cheaper price than you paid for).

    All trades in bot have a 2.5-3.5% rental charge. that means if you buy a card for 18 and sell for 22 you will be paying up to 2.8tix rental fee resulting in only 1.2 profit! (unless you have a lifetime pro license which also costs 1300$~ and needs to be paid for). This means that buying for 19 and selling for 20 is actually LOSS.

    Cherry pickers in the other hand never have a "loss" factor.
    they buy bulk for 0.1 go into another bot and sell for 2 tickets.
    then buy from bot B for 0.25 and sell on Bot C for 3 tickets and so on. its easy, "riskless"(wiki price saying someone buys and possibly not buy anymore?!?) and big profit margins with little or no effort (making a wishlist with all top common/uncommons to load in bulkbots isn't hard).

    Now the argument could be "if a bulkbot doesn't sell all 10 top commons to 1 cherry picker, will still sell all of them to 10 other people for the same price".
    True the "end result" is in theory the same, but I rather see my "regulars" get surprised and happy for my cheapest 1cent per common bot has delver of secrets and vapor snags in stock for 0.01 once in a while than having my bulk bot stripped out of any valuable commons to a single person that doesn't even want to use them, just wants to quickly sell them for profit, a someone (cherrypicker) that wont comeback to my bot unless he's overpaying for a card or selling a gem for cents.

    The bot owner side of the story :)