Friday, August 3, 2012

Cherry Pickers (Part 3)

In this series, we are looking at the scourge of “cherry pickers” and looking at possible solutions to deal with this problem.  Last time I mentioned the idea of raising your prices to discourage these vultures.  Another solution is to simply ban the users.  (Add the user to your buddy list, and right-click, ignore.)

This totally eliminates the possibility that a cherry-picker, once identified, will ever cherry pick your account again.  Nothing like the ‘death penalty’ to make certain something never happens again.

Anyone who has been banned this way will be upset.  Understandably so.  If you ban a legitimate buyer, then you will really have negative consequencesWizards of the Coast customer service may decide to get involved if the consumer decides to create a fuss.  If you leave a contact email, expect to receive one for each account you’ve blocked.

Even blocking a parasite is tricky.  You have to wait until they are online before you can block them.  This requires a certain amount of vigilance and baby-sitting so you can time the block correctly. 

Bottom Line:
This is a tricky solution which will demand constant attentiveness with an outcome which will be difficult to gauge its effectiveness.  Someone who is going to go around and pilfer gems from bots, is probably going to have multiple accounts so you’d have to ban a user multiple times.

This also means you are going to have go through each and every trade you make and determine from that whether or not your customer is a vulture, an informed customer, or just plain lucky.  All this constant attention to detail sounds like more work than it should be and might make one a little paranoid; especially when you consider that your time is worth so much more than the relatively little amount you’d be saving by implementing this solution.


  1. If someone can't run a bot/business properly maybe he or she shouldn't be doing it at all.

  2. dealing with cherry pickers is part of running a bot/business properly.

  3. This is just stretching it.

    I've already told the best (and only true way to do anything about this) answer to how to stop this:

    Don't have the bot make cards tradeable!!!

    Sort through them yourself everyday. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes. If you don't want to spend that time - then maybe owning a bot isn't for you.

    As far as this article - it's pretty silly advice. Most "cherry pickers" have MANY accounts. It's also much easier to make your cards untradeable until you review what you've bought, then it is to read through your trade logs and try to determine if someone is doing this or not.

    And MTGOtraders/Cardbot/Marlon recently caught heat and had very bad public relations issue to deal with because they were banning or charging "known" speculators more than a normal person. They had to publicly issue an aplogy and write lengthy responses on why they had the practice in place (basically saying that speculators - whom are similar to cherry pickers - are bad for the economy.)

    Most MTGO users view bot owners as the "parasites". Although, I see us as a way for people to trade cards with each other indirectly. WE are the middle man who gets paid for being that. :)

  4. the big ammount of bots results in dispute between them and its beneficial for the regular "mtgo user".

    the more bots out there, the more buy prices get closer to sell prices.

    Without any bots all you would have was people saying:

    Buying XXX 10 tix . Selling XXX 20 tix.

  5. fyi if you do chose to go the 'block the account' way you can just use the Blacklist option... It's easy and you don't have to buddy them then block them...