Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Competitive Pricing, Regulars Only!

Special Buddies Explained

Theros release did teach us many things, to both experienced and new bot owners.
Firstly, most of us noticed a massive increase in the volume of trades. This was not just caused by the influx of new MTGO players but also by the massive price swings on Theros cards.
As we all know, new sets are not so easy to judge and deal with as older ones are, which have more consistent prices. When it comes to set releases some of us choose to not buy them all together for a while, others will deal it, but with big profit margins and others take a gamble and buy it at a high rate (this one often disappoints).

While the Theros set release might sound a bit off-topic, it has some of the features which cause us to think about which profit margins to go with. Like I have shown on my last article, on the same card, some will buy for 28 and sell for 36; others will go with buying for 30 and sell for 34.
The first bot isn't simply a "rip-off" bot, there can be many reasons for a higher profit margin. Some botters don't have as much time to tune their pricing as often as others (personal prices), or have higher rental fees. Higher profit margins will reduce dramatically the number of bad trades.

I don't want to open a discussion about Bot-Raiders, but often, when I buy a card for too much, or sell it too cheaply I have this thought: "I wouldn't have minded selling it this low (or buying too high), if it was one of my regulars, instead of being someone that never used my bot that came in and bought (or sold) 12 copies of it at once.". Special buddies will not solve the occasional "bad deal" but will make it more likely to happen to your regulars.

Assuming the values above: The riskier bot that buys for 30 and sell for 34 and your "safer" bot that buys for 28 and sell for 36;  you now have a chance to compete and give a deal to your regular customers. If you give , for example, a 5% bonus on buying and 5% discount on selling to regular customers, you will now buy that card for 29.4 and sell for 34.2, this makes you a very fair bot to your regular customers, and if the card value goes up from 34 to 35, the chances are that you will sell it to your regular customers for 34.2 (while the riskier bot sold all his copies to a raider for 34 that won't come back, which means that his regulars will look for it elsewhere).

Special buddies feature will allow you to be the "safe" bot to new customers, and the "riskier" one to your regulars, which will make sure the regulars carry on being regulars and give you a "safe gap" against professional traders.

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