Self-righteous Sunday: Economic douchebags

| Sunday, February 21, 2010
I stumbled across this yesterday on the official forums.
go blurting about the Frozen Orbs in trade? Some of us are trying to make some money on these without morons going around saying, "Don't sell your Orbs they're trying to rip you off!"

Really now. Had one guy today making a macro claiming that we were practicing insider trading. People have the access to information and therefore not insider trading.

Please just shut up.

A good businessman doesn't rely on the ignorance of others. I mean good in two way: capable and moral. A capable businessman creates wealth by adding efficiency to the economy and by opening new markets. Someone who turns a useless raw gem into a useful cut gem is creating wealth and if they make them in bulk to save time, that's adding efficiency, while if they are the only seller, they are creating a market. Perfectly informed people who give different values to good and services can meet for mutually profitable exchange and this is in fact the most efficient use of resources. It is the theory behind free markets. A moral businessman doesn't exploit the ignorance of others.

Anyway, short version for your benefit: frozen orbs are going to be tradeable for trade goods such as eternals and frost lotus. This is going to drive up the price of frozen orbs and drive downt he price of the trade mats. I imagine frost lotus in particular will drop a ton, since as long as it costs significantly more than orbs, people will be converting them. Orbs will certainly go up, but the fact remains that they are easy to get: they come from the randoms that we all do anyway, and if there is a major shortage, they can even be purchased with badges. Right now they're barely worth more than the 5g vendor price, I predict they'll go up to 20g.

What can you get out of this?

If you want to exploit those who haven't read the patch notes, buy their orbs that they think are worthless. If you want to be a bit more ethical, save up your orbs for when they cost more or you can trade them for more valuable goods.

If you don't have orbs, but you do have frost lotus, this is a good time to sell it.

You probably see orbs going way past 20g right now. I've seen them up to 40g already. This is a speculation bubble, and it will pop. It cannot go above the price of frost lotus because that is the most valuable trade. Even the ceiling price of frost lotus will start dropping already as people anticipate the price drop and start selling it.

Whatever you do, ask yourself: Is this adding value? If no, then stop leeching and get a real job. If yes, then get all the gold you can grab.


Daxlim said...

I don't really see it begin less ethical to buy Frozen Orbs for a reduced price now. As businessman you take risks. There is a big chance you can make more money in the future, but it's also still a risk because prices can drop massively too. It's in the future, so nobody knows. Like you said yourself: it's probably going to be a bubble. Frost lotus droprate will increase with 50% too f.e, so that's going to drop for sure.

Point is, I don't see it as exploiting unless people knew about this pre-patchnotes (that would have made it insider trading). If I'm going to trade and spam my "WTB Frozen Orbs" right now, I'm not going to think about whether or not the seller knows about the patchnote. It's just me knowing this and wanting to take a chance. It's up to the seller wheter or not to be up to date and figure out how much they want for it. And up to me to agree with his price or not, taking risks in mind. Everyone has their own responsibility that way. And unless I (could) do it maffia style by holding a gun to their head, it's simply honest business.

So I agree about the those that make macros being stupid conspiracy theorists that think the whole world is out to get them. But unless someone can read minds and are able to target only those that do not know, it's not unethical to try and get some of a possible rising "stock" before it sells out. Besides, people not knowing about this are likely to vendor them anyway, which gave a higher return than AH did. That's truly a shame and now they make some more money out of it, even without going to the trouble of reading up.

So in short: adding value can also be in the way of taking risks and doing research instead of someone else. Whole companies are built on that concept.

Klepsacovic said...

Taking a risk does not by itself add value. The whole idea of "risk must be rewarded" is a ridiculous assumption. Productive activities should be rewarded and if there is risk involved, there will have to be greater incentive, but the risk itself is not productive.

Daxlim said...

I'm not saying that it should be rewarded. But just like a more controlled kind of gambling, it can be rewarded. Those that buy those items now are taking a gamble that they're worth more later. The one selling them is sure of his money now. That's not exploiting. I just can't see it like that.

Taking your theory, somebody that owns a shop doesn't add value either. He doesn't create anything, all he does is buy cheap and sell high. Is that also unethical? I hope you'll agree that's just honest business practice.

Perhaps a second hand shop is the best example in this case, because they also buy from regular people.

Dwism said...

I think there is a huge difference in relying on the ignorance of others, and making items for sale available. Therefore i strongly disagree with Daxlims comparison.

It is flawed and silly.

If you are making gold by trying to get as many orbs as possible before all the "casual noobheads" get with your program, or if you have something for sale that noone else can get, those are two very different things. and if you cannot see the difference, I feel very sorry for you and those around you.

That is the same as saying "if he can't be bothered to know that it is very difficult to see whether I post 100 bullets or 1000 bullets, it is his own damned fault" or "he didn't know the meat was gathered from a rat-farm? what is he, stupid i mean I called it real-cow-meat and everything, everyone knows that means rat-meat".

not saing that Daxlim would say or do those things, just saying that there are not very far between.

Klepsacovic said...

@Daxlim: The shop is doing far more than simply taking risk. It is bringing products from factories and warehouses into communities where they are needed. To portray shops as merely buying low and selling high is inaccurate. A secondhand shop, at the very least, provides a location for exchange of unwanted/wanted items, which adds significant value by allowing exchanges which would otherwise not take place.

@Dwism: You've reminded me of music piracy; it's so easy to do and causes no direct and immediate harm, so it's hard to see right away why its unethical. It's just some mouseclicking, that's all.

Daxlim said...

If you are making gold by trying to get as many orbs as possible before all the "casual noobheads" get with your program, or if you have something for sale that noone else can get, those are two very different things. and if you cannot see the difference, I feel very sorry for you and those around you.

Look, you don't have to feel sorry for me or anyone around me. Can we please try not to turn a disagreement into a flame war?

Apparently my examples failed, I know they weren't perfect, but I hoped the would be good enough to get the point across.

All I wanted to say is that when I know that a price of an item is very low now, and could be worth a lot more in the future. There's nothing wrong with trying to buy them while their still low, like stock.

You apparently see it as deliberate exploitation of the heads. Personally, I'm baffled that that's the first thought that crossed your mind: "exploitation of poor people". Come on! It didn't cross my mind when I tried to buy them yesterday. I actually still use them to craft entry epics and wanted to get as much as possible cheap while I still could. I failed btw, but I don't feel grudgy, just to bad I noticed this chance too late.

Like a sale that's about to end pretty soon. Which, in this case, it was.

Others could have different plans with them, but calling it unethical is going to far.

It's everyone's own responsibility, nobody needs to be "protected" from the clutches of "evil men/women". So those that didn't know could have made more if they actually read the notes (myself included), now they made a little less. That's all in the game, even in the RL stock market.

You win some you lose some.

It's unethical to complain about that imho.

Pazi said...

In other news "...oops we meant righteous orbs, not frozen orbs ...." ;)

IMO lying and hiding informations are the same.

If you know that the other one only does business with you because he doesn't know about something (in this case the upcoming patch) then your are exploiting him. This is unethical.

If he does know (if you tell him about the patch) and still sells the orbs then it is ethical.

Unknown said...


In this case, someone who comes along and buys a Frozen Orb on speculation that he can turn a greater provide IS adding value. What you are failing to grasp is that the value is work value, but value the the particulars of the trade. There are two ways that this exchange adds value that I can think of off the top of my head.

The first method is that since we cannot know exactly what every person will do with their Frozen Orbs we ARE adding value. If we are buying Frozen Orbs that would have otherwise been sold as vendor trash for 5g, then we are most certainly adding value. For the longest time it hasn't been worthwhile to sell Frozen Orbs, it is not unreasonable to anticipate that people who have tried to sell Frozen Orbs got frustrated and vendored them instead. Thus we are saving Frozen Orbs and converting them into more valuable Frost Lotus. This adds value.

The second value that you have missed is that not everyone desires to hold onto something just because it will sell better in the future. Some people want or need money NOW. Generally speaking, if you want to sell an item NOW, you are most likely going to have to drop the price of the item significantly to do so. Frozen Orbs -will- rise in price when the patch hits. However they are still rather worthless. There is no reason why anyone would or should pay 50g for a Frozen Orb that can be turned into a 50g Frost Lotus that may not even be worth 50g when it is sold. Thus our seller is left in a situation where he MUST lower the price he is willing to accept for the Frozen Orb in order to sell the orb NOW. In this case the value we are adding is letting the owner of the Frozen Orb get his gold NOW rather than LATER.

Damien254 said...

It amazes me that this can be viewed as "unethical". I'm being unethical because people are too ignorant or too lazy to gather information about a game that they more than likely play on a daily basis?

The patch notes were plastered all over most major WoW sites as soon as they came out. It's not my job to inform the general WoW community of every change that is going to happen.

I should probably stop doing nightly scans and buying out in-demand mats that are significantly below market price. I should send in game mail to all those sellers and inform them of their ignorance. That's assuming that it is ignorance and not just the fact that some people want to make a quick sale.

I should probably stop making transactions with people who don't run auctioneer altogether because I have information that they don't and that just wouldn't be right.

Let's take it a step further; I should probably stop PvPing bad kids who use awful specs and out of line gear. Not because it's their only option but because they're ignorant to a better way of doing things. They're too lazy to do the research. I should stop the duel and inform them of their faults before I proceed to embarrass them; if I don't I'm being a douche and exploiting their ignorance.

Post a Comment

Comments in posts older than 21 days will be moderated to prevent spam. Comments in posts younger than 21 days will be checked for ID.

Powered by Blogger.