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Thread: Discuss: AH Friction and Low Volume Commodities

  1. #1
    The Transcended
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Discuss: AH Friction and Low Volume Commodities

    The auction house, as currently implemented, is quite clunky. It is painful for buyer and seller alike in terms of the amount of time it takes to get business done. We call this "friction" in the market. It is a hidden cost of doing business for all people involved. For higher volume items, like PvP cards, this mostly just means higher prices. We can debate (and have debated) about whether that's good or bad. The wheels of the market are still turning. However, for lower volume items, like equipment (especially from-chest equipment), the friction effects are much more pronounced to the point that the wheels of the market are nearly stopped and no market can exist.

    Before Set 3, I was able to fight through the friction and complete playsets of everything in the game. With the new equipment, however, the market is completely stifled and I have been stymied as both buyer and seller, both in buying what I'm missing and clearing out my duplicates. As a seller, it is just too painful to keep listing and relisting with a two day timer when the demand curve indicates only a single sale per week (per published data). Similarly, as a buyer, the supply is so low (due to the above frustrations, probably) that I have to just keep checking and re-checking over and over in order to find an item that isn't massively over priced to what the market "should" be based on the source pricing (chests).

    As more and more items are released into the game, it will continue to intensify this problem unless the player hours per day spent on the AH also increases to compensate. More items to watch, spread over the same number of player hours per day, means each item receives less player activity to keep its micro-market moving. Left unchecked, this problem could easily start to affect older PvP cards too, not just equipment.

    What solutions are there to this problem? Do you even think it is a problem? Please discuss.

  2. #2
    Yes, it is a problem. We need a higher volume of players to solve the inconsistency. Perhaps longer listing specifically for equipment might make sense, even if only for the short term until we have a more robust PvE economy. That being said, part of the reason for the inconsistency is there is no real price discovery as it is exceedingly difficult/impossible to evaluate the true worth of these items in relation to an unreleased experience. As such we may be stuck with the current status quo until PvE is less of an unknown.

  3. #3
    While player volume would certainly help the AH urgently needs a major overhaul (this is actually the thing I'd most like to see right now ...even more than PVE!).

    If it actually facilitated/encouraged auctions with actual bidding, you could list stuff much quicker and let the market determine the price instead of working out the price first and listing accordingly.
    At present the standard response to seeing an underpriced item is to make a note and try to buy it at minimum cost when the auction expires: this is much more profitable than bidding it up to what you consider a sensible price (which is still quite likely not to get you the item)

    The best way to do this would to put in a minimum time between the last bid and the auction ending. Even 20 seconds could make a huge difference as items often get multiple bidders trying to snipe them but I would prefer 12-24 hours as a maximum (selectable by seller)

    An ebay-like system of automated bidding up to a cap would also help (though ebay clearly demonstrates that it wouldn't solve the sniping issue)

    I would also like to see listings be potentially indefinite with the (perhaps still 48 hour) countdown starting only with the first bid.

    Other people have suggested a "bid/ask" system which would allow you to post items you want -sounds harder to implement and I'd like to see auctions myself but it would still be a step up from here.

    We also need a massive interface improvement.
    -You should be able to fit 30-50 items on my screen
    - the entries don't need to be anything like as large (I only need one picture of the card! or one entry with price ranges if looking at multiple cards).
    - There should be much more information about the item market in the listing page
    - you should be able to search for a particular card and get only that (no cloud kings in my cloud queen search please)
    - commas and fixed width for numbers of course
    - ending times for auctions (so at least we can all snipe on an equal footing)

    Much of this could perhaps be outsourced by allowing bots (they're not a problem if everyone can set one up easily)

    I've been doing quite well out of the AH lately but I'd much rather it worked well and we could go back to playing the game itself. [yes i do realise Ah trading that I do is my own choice ]

    As an aside you can usually get a particular item you are looking for restocked or sold to you at a fair price (not necessarily cheap but at least reasonable) by mentioning it in chat.
    Last edited by Timlagor; 10-31-2015 at 02:31 PM.

  4. #4
    And yes there is tons of stuff that never sees AH simply because it's too much hassle. Only a small percentage of what I list sells each time and that's being fairly selective about listing and mostly competitive about pricing (sometimes I'm listing items I rather want for my collection but don't mind parting with for enough lucre).

  5. #5
    Master Theorycrafter
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Liberty Lake, WA
    Streamlining the "List Item" process would be a huge help. As a previous poster said, being able to research current prices while selecting the item I want to sell would be a huge boon. My current process:

    1.) Hit list item.

    2.) Find card in my collection I have an extra of.

    3.) Close List Item and go back to Buy tab.

    4.) Search for the card and see what current price is.

    5.) Go back to List Item.

    6.) Find card again.

    7.) Post Sale

    Lots of steps!

  6. #6
    The Transcended
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Good points so far.

    I would definitely like to see longer listing timers (maybe 7 days?) to smooth the supply curve out a bit.

    So long as we have an auction system I also agree that it needs quite a bit of improvement before the auctions can properly serve their price discovery purpose. (I still believe that the general "ongoing auction" concept that comes inherently from a standard bid/ask market is more effective at price discovery.) Proxy bidding like eBay seems good. Maybe some of the "uncertain end time" tricks could also work.

    I agree that it just takes too dang long to go through the listing process, which synergizes (in a bad way) with the short listing timers. Not only is making a listing painful, but I have to do it every two days instead of every seven (or 10 or 30) days.

  7. #7
    The listing times/lengths don't bug me as much as the trouble it is to track equipment inventory, where the equipment comes from, and what card it links to.

    For the few people that bother with listing cards on the AH, even less bother with listing equipment.

    The price of the equipment should be heavily determined by the difficulty in acquiring it, which should make Legendary equipment obtained from opening chests the most expensive to acquire.

    I don't think I'll bother with Equipment trading until something like HEXTCGBrowser supports its linkage with HEX API.

  8. #8
    I think this problem is too complex to solve it by modding the AH system (maybe it isnt a solution too) My oppinion is that only time can solve this, since there are too much components determing the supply/demand.

    Of course time spent checking the daily AH prices will exponentioally increase with more spare cards, if you want to get a proper amount of plat/gold (it isnt the listing system, what is wrong, since you can bulk list in 3 clicks, although it might get a good use of improvements)

    In my eyes the main reasons of the AH being cumbersome to sell cards are these:
    - Set 3 pack production according to the demand (I just want to state that Im totally fine with the tourney rewards!! J )
    - Most of the players look for the chased cards. This is especially true for set 3 cards. Set 1-2 cards arent in the draft format so there is a better price/card rate, but many of those cards also on the periferia of the game and barely sell for 30p
    - The spotlight is mostly on the above mentioned chased cards (Good news is we now have Style points, that increase the specific sales. Forum threads can also cause few cards to get to their peak, but only for a short while ) Also becouse of the 100k tourney, the constructed play has its time to shine now (happy about it) There are small amount of decks can compare a T1 deck so this limits the scope further.
    - To sell, you need to keep the best price, so listing again and again is a must except 30p card
    - Equipment is pointless to sell without real PVE (except a few good ones)

    Also many factors can change this: change of the meta, new set, PVE or more game modes, future events, real gold sinks, double back and so on..
    To be honest, it always take time to make profit out of the AH and its all about the timing and scaling the odds of a price drop or peak…

    Huhhh This was a long one.. dont want to be a smart a**, just wanted to talk about it and looking forward to youre oppinion.
    Have a great day and a good time playing Hex all! (be it for the fun or for the profit)
    Last edited by Valnir; 11-04-2015 at 05:28 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nicosharp View Post
    The listing times/lengths don't bug me as much as the trouble it is to track equipment inventory, where the equipment comes from, and what card it links to.
    I agree with this. I might list my chest equipment, but it is such a pain to know which ones have some value (chest) and those with none (arena). Right now I have a sea of equipment and I have no idea what to do with it, except wait for crafting. Might be nice to add a filter under chests for the different types, Chest, Arena, Dungeon, etc.

    For Buyers, I think HEX should give the option search for a card, and then the equipment for that card shows up in the AH. To take the extra step of, ok what was the equipment called for the Mindcaller, remember that and then search for it creates extra time lots of people probably dont want to deal with.

    even better: Imagine a world, where you search in the AH for a card (to buy), it brings up 3 windows, the AH information for the card and both equipment slots for the card. Then you can buy all three elements easily in one pass, instead of searching all 3 to decide if you want to add it to your Dungeon deck. That would definitely be a benefit for the buyer (and thus the seller for increased demand, hopefully).

    As a seller, it would be great to have the lowest current price populated (as an option). I used the Auctioneer add on in WOW all the time to post my stuff to sell. Spending the time to search for the lowest price, note it down, and then post several cards/equipment is insanely time consuming and painful. (Which I have pretty much stopped doing)

    I am for the bid/ask system and then also having the ability for a 1 week (or longer) posting. With the low supply/demand, I do not want to spend 2 hours posting a bunch of equipment to see only a handful sell. Might as well do a draft or Arena run (greater value of time).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoss View Post
    I would definitely like to see longer listing timers (maybe 7 days?) to smooth the supply curve out a bit.
    The issue here is that people don't want to wait that long for auctions they bid on to close. Sellers could change the times for lower volume cards but that's even more hassle on the seller end.

    The solution of course is for auction timers to be based on first and latest bids (stays listed until someone bids, doesn't close for at least X time after last bid)

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