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Teeny Tiny Cat

Refined suggestions and site USD values

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2044
Teeny Tiny Cat

We have had issues for a long time in the way the site handles USD pricing for items. At present, we price refined based on cash sales, and then every item on the site gets a price derived from that. It has been pointed out repeatedly that this is not the best system, for two main reasons;

 

1)      The vast majority of cash transactions happen in keys which trade at 1.85-1.95 USD, putting refined solidly around 0.06 USD. The difference isn't a small one. Refined moves very slowly. It's easily possible to move thousands of keys at 1.90 per key before moving even a few hundred refined at 0.08 per ref. When considering the intrinsic dollar value of all items, you have to keep these values in consideration - that the intrinsic refined value of all items is around 0.06 USD per ref.

 

2)      Because refined moves so slowly, it's just not worth it from a time and energy perspective for highly reputable people to trade in refined. Refined moves most commonly on highly reputable sites such as marketplace.tf. People are willing to pay more for the convenience and added security. This additional value added is not part of the intrinsic value of the item itself and it certainly is not a value that gets transferred to all other items in the tf2 community, even keys.

 

So, what can we do to fix this problem? The best idea would be to instead price keys based on cash sales and then derive all item prices from that. However, this is currently not possible the way the site is hard-coded, and would require an enormous re-write on the part of the devs. While it’s always a consideration for the future, the mod team have decided that we need a better solution for now.

 

The idea we have come up with is something of a workaround. We will continue to price refined in USD but instead of using cash sales for refined itself, we will instead use cash sales for keys as the proof when pricing refined. We willthen use the ratio of refined to keys at the time of the suggestion to get a more accurate suggested USD value for refined. Cash sales for keys occur significantly more frequently, and occur in bulk outside of sites such as marketplace which may add a premium for the safety and security. This will be a much, much more accurate method for estimating the intrinsic value of items in the game in USD.

 

In practice, the way a suggestion for refined would work would be as follows...

 

Suggestion proof:

 

  • ·        Trade links and histories showing X sales of keys for X USD. For the purpose of the example, let’s say 1.85, 1.9, 1.95, and 2 

  • ·        Link or reference to the current key price in refined, let’s say 30 refined for example

  • ·        You would then work out the USD price of refined based on the proof shown, for example:
    • 1.85/30 = 0.062
    • 1.9/30 = 0.063
    • 1.95/30 = 0.065
    • 2/30 = 0.067
  • ·        From this you might make a suggestion at 0.06 USD or even 0.06-0.07 USD

 

We are happy to answer any questions that you have and explain our rationale further below. Hopefully the community will see that this is a positive change that makes for much more accurate USD values on all items on the site.

 

 

 

 

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Kostek    75
Kostek

I don't know why you would ever implement such a huge change like this without ever having a community poll or discussion first.

 

Refined should not be priced with the sales of keys because in reality the price of refined flows and changes differently to the price of keys.

 

The price of keys is always the same however refined fluctuates in price, if we make the price of refined originate from the sales of keys then the price will be very artificial since it won't display what refined sells for in reality which can be very misleading to newer traders and will cause far more problems than it solves.

 

 

 

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Xergoyf    78
Xergoyf
2 hours ago, Kostek said:

I don't know why you would ever implement such a huge change like this without ever having a community poll or discussion first.

 

Refined should not be priced with the sales of keys because in reality the price of refined flows and changes differently to the price of keys.

 

The price of keys is always the same however refined fluctuates in price, if we make the price of refined originate from the sales of keys then the price will be very artificial since it won't display what refined sells for in reality which can be very misleading to newer traders and will cause far more problems than it solves.

 

 

Refined should be priced with refined sales yes. But this change is in an effort to price everything on the site in keys (the more stable and commonly traded cash item) rather than ref. As you are well aware, refined suggestions are terrible due to lack of people selling refined for cash. Small sample size means larger errors and less accurate pricing. The change is made to make keys the source of the ENTIRE sites USD Values, rather than something that is never traded for cash in refined. This is being done to avoid a huge rewrite changing everything from ref to keys. Maybe refined needs 2 values, one for the key (used in determining backpack values) and as it is currently (a way of pricing refined in USD) which would clear up the confusion you are referring to. 

 

I am 100% in support of this change. It should make bp.tf's cash prices more realistic, while also fixing the chaos that is known as refined suggestions

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Kostek    75
Kostek
1 minute ago, Xergoyf said:

Refined should be priced with refined sales yes. But this change is in an effort to price everything on the site in keys (the more stable and commonly traded cash item) rather than ref. As you are well aware, refined suggestions are terrible due to lack of people selling refined for cash. Small sample size means larger errors and less accurate pricing. The change is made to make keys the source of the ENTIRE sites USD Values, rather than something that is never traded for cash in refined. This is being done to avoid a huge rewrite changing everything from ref to keys. Maybe refined needs 2 values, one for the key (used in determining backpack values) and as it is currently (a way of pricing refined in USD) which would clear up the confusion you are referring to. 

I agree that this pricing method will fix issues on the site however it will create an artificial price of refined which really feels against the entire purpose of the site, which is to give an accurate price on all items. Forcing a price on an item really isn't the way to go.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2044
Teeny Tiny Cat
8 hours ago, Kostek said:

I don't know why you would ever implement such a huge change like this without ever having a community poll or discussion first.

 

Refined should not be priced with the sales of keys because in reality the price of refined flows and changes differently to the price of keys.

 

The price of keys is always the same however refined fluctuates in price, if we make the price of refined originate from the sales of keys then the price will be very artificial since it won't display what refined sells for in reality which can be very misleading to newer traders and will cause far more problems than it solves.

 

 

The purpose of pricing refined is to give an intrinsic cash value to pure on which the value of everything else on the site can be based. Cash sales for refined occur incredibly infrequently compared to keys, and simply do not line up with the intrinsic value of it. As you said, key sales are stable and don't really change that much, all that changes is how many refined sell for a key. The average refined is worth ~$0.06, because keys frequently sell for ~$1.90 and 1 key is worth 30 refined at the moment. That's not artificial, it's just a fact. The fact that the few refined sellers sell slightly higher (if they manage to sell anything) is simply because there's barely anyone selling refined at all. We're not trying to capture that "flow" you mention, we're trying to capture intrinsic value which as you stated does not really change. The previous method of pricing may feel more authentic intuitively but it was significantly less accurate, and all the USD prices on the site rely on how we handle refined suggestions. 

 

You say it will cause more than it solves - I can't think of any problems it will cause. New traders don't buy refined for cash. Barely anyone buys refined for cash. And even if they do, they have the (sparse) choice of current sellers regardless of what proof we use when making a suggestion. Please explain what problems you see arising due to this change.

 

 

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Kostek    75
Kostek
1 hour ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

. Cash sales for refined occur incredibly infrequently compared to keys

MpDyTdS.png

? ? ?

 

1 hour ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

 The average refined is worth ~$0.06, because keys frequently sell for ~$1.90 and 1 key is worth 30 refined at the moment.

 

Again, the price of refined is completely independent from the price of keys. If keys and refined fluctuated together instead of independently from each other then refined would right now sell at 0.06, which is the price you listed. The reason this new method is artificial is because you are trying to lock the two currencies together in a patterned flow, when in reality the currencies sell differently than each other. 0.06 is not an accurate price because in reality, refined sells for much higher than that. And please don't use the "keys are 30 refined so one refined should be worth 0.06" excuse because as I said, both currencies flow independently from each other. In fact the same statement could be said in reverse "Refined is 0.08 so 1 key should be $2.40.

 

All this could be fixed easily however, instead of unnecessarily dragging refined into this, keys could just be given a fixed price in USD.

Refined and keys are not like US dollars and cents. They're two independent currencies and locking them together just won't work.

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polar    3452
polar
16 minutes ago, Kostek said:

MpDyTdS.png

? ? ?

 

Again, the price of refined is completely independent from the price of keys. If keys and refined fluctuated together instead of independently from each other then refined would right now sell at 0.06, which is the price you listed. The reason this new method is artificial is because you are trying to lock the two currencies together in a patterned flow, when in reality the currencies sell differently than each other. 0.06 is not an accurate price because in reality, refined sells for much higher than that. And please don't use the "keys are 30 refined so one refined should be worth 0.06" excuse because as I said, both currencies flow independently from each other. In fact the same statement could be said in reverse "Refined is 0.08 so 1 key should be $2.40.

 

All this could be fixed easily however, instead of unnecessarily dragging refined into this, keys could just be given a fixed price in USD.

Refined and keys are not like US dollars and cents. They're two independent currencies and locking them together just won't work.

 

(1) Do the math. 1700 X 0.09 = $150 in one day. For keys, 2800 X 2.05 = $5740 in one day. It's not even close. Even on a reputable site. Now factor in all the sales on SCM - http://steamcommunity.com/market/listings/440/Mann Co. Supply Crate Key - and all the purchases for keys on the Mann Co store and all the trades for keys on outpost and other forums like the forums here and compare to cash trades for refined.... 

 

It's not even close. The total amount of cash trading value in keys is AT LEAST 300-500X that of refined trading in keys. And yet for a long period of time the site was using refined as the basis of item valuation in money. 

 

(2) Yes, the price of refined is different from the price of keys and aren't always in sync. But to say they are completely independent is a gross over-generalization. They are both intrinsic parts of the tf2 economy and are definitely linked to each other's value to a significant degree. In the 7 years I have been around tf2, VERY RARELY do you see their prices running independently from one another. Most of the time you see the common trend of them in an inverse relationship with one another. 

 

(3) "All of this could be fixed easily" - Umm, no. it's something we have tried to push for 4 years and the devs have not been able to use keys as the basis of item cash value. 

 

(4) Let me ask you this. Is it better for us to have an accurate price on refined - something that matters to a few traders who sell in bulk on marketplace for a few hundreds of dollars worth of items - or is it better for us to have an accurate price on ALL items for EVERY single person in the tf2 community? 

 

The answer to this question is obvious. If your answer to this question is the former, then all I can assume is that you are upset because this will affect your personal trading activity and that you aren't thinking about what's best for the community as a whole.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2044
Teeny Tiny Cat
24 minutes ago, Kostek said:

MpDyTdS.png

? ? ?

 

Again, the price of refined is completely independent from the price of keys. If keys and refined fluctuated together instead of independently from each other then refined would right now sell at 0.06, which is the price you listed. The reason this new method is artificial is because you are trying to lock the two currencies together in a patterned flow, when in reality the currencies sell differently than each other. 0.06 is not an accurate price because in reality, refined sells for much higher than that. And please don't use the "keys are 30 refined so one refined should be worth 0.06" excuse because as I said, both currencies flow independently from each other. In fact the same statement could be said in reverse "Refined is 0.08 so 1 key should be $2.40.

 

All this could be fixed easily however, instead of unnecessarily dragging refined into this, keys could just be given a fixed price in USD.

Refined and keys are not like US dollars and cents. They're two independent currencies and locking them together just won't work.

 

You're missing the point. We are not aiming to display the price refined sells for in cash here. We are aiming to accurately display the intrinsic value from which all USD values on the site can be taken.

 

Yes the ideal would be to price keys in cash and be done with it. That is not an easy fix, it's an entire re-write of the site, and not something we are able to do at present. 

 

 

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Kostek    75
Kostek
7 minutes ago, polar said:

 

The answer to this question is obvious. If your answer to this question is the former, then all I can assume is that you are upset because this will affect your personal trading activity and that you aren't thinking about what's best for the community as a whole.

 

Firstly, I don't know why you would believe this, since I do not trade in refined whatsoever and this will not affect me in any way

 

7 minutes ago, polar said:

(4) Let me ask you this. Is it better for us to have an accurate price on refined - something that matters to a few traders who sell in bulk on marketplace for a few hundreds of dollars worth of items - or is it better for us to have an accurate price on ALL items for EVERY single person in the tf2 community?

 

Fixing one problem but sweeping a new one under a rug doesn't help anybody,  Either way, I have never heard anyone complain about this issue until this thread was posted, No one except for a few cash traders ever use the suggested value in USD for an item.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2044
Teeny Tiny Cat
9 minutes ago, Kostek said:

Fixing one problem but sweeping a new one under a rug doesn't help anybody,  Either way, I have never heard anyone complain about this issue until this thread was posted, No one except for a few cash traders ever use the suggested value in USD for an item.

 

You still haven't identified what this problem actually is...

 

Also, just because you haven't noticed people complain doesn't mean they don't. This has been discussed as an issue many times even in the couple of years I've been here. The most recent discussion I recall can be found below. You may want to watch his youtube video, he makes a lot of good points.

 

 

 

 

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Kostek    75
Kostek
1 minute ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

You still haven't identified what this problem actually is...

 

Also, just because you haven't noticed people complain doesn't mean they don't. This has been discussed as an issue many times even in the couple of years I've been here. The most recent discussion I recall can be found here: 

 

 

What I'm trying to say, is that fixing one problem but making another doesn't help anybody. There must be a way to fix both.

 

You may think that refined having a forced price isn't that big of a problem, but it can be very misleading to a lot of people, especially with an item like refined which is a major currency in the game.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2044
Teeny Tiny Cat
2 minutes ago, Kostek said:

 

What I'm trying to say, is that fixing one problem but making another doesn't help anybody. There must be a way to fix both.

 

You may think that refined having a forced price isn't that big of a problem, but it can be very misleading to a lot of people, especially with an item like refined which is a major currency in the game.

 

Who does it mislead and in what way? What practical problem actually arises? You have made no actual argument here, just repeating that it's a problem over and over doesn't make it one. Traders who sell refined for cash can continue to do so at whatever price they choose and the tiny proportion of people who buy it can continue to buy from the pool available. 

 

 

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Kostek    75
Kostek
12 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

 

Who does it mislead and in what way? What practical problem actually arises? You have made no actual argument here, just repeating that it's a problem over and over doesn't make it one. Traders who sell refined for cash can continue to do so at whatever price they choose and the tiny proportion of people who buy it can continue to buy from the pool available. 

 

 

 

You're making an odd argument, because forcibly changing the price of refined in itself also does not solve any practical problems it only changes the USD pricing of some items on the site, but as you have already quoted: "Traders who sell refined for cash can continue to do so at whatever price they choose and the tiny proportion of people who buy it can continue to buy from the pool available. ", the same can be said for items. Traders can choose to sell their items at whatever price they choose and buyers can buy at whatever price they want.

 

You have already brought up the point that people complain that backpack.tf prices items in USD incorrectly but with the new change, refined is priced incorrectly so what problem has this new change solved exactly?

 

What I'm saying is not to reverse the change but to eliminate both problems,  because with this new pricing system as I already said,  a new problem is made while another one goes away.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2044
Teeny Tiny Cat
4 minutes ago, Kostek said:

 

You're making an odd argument, because forcibly changing the price of refined in itself also does not solve any practical problems it only changes the USD pricing of some items on the site, but as you have already quoted: "Traders who sell refined for cash can continue to do so at whatever price they choose and the tiny proportion of people who buy it can continue to buy from the pool available. ", the same can be said for items. Traders can choose to sell their items at whatever price they choose and buyers can buy at whatever price they want.

 

You have already brought up the point that people complain that backpack.tf prices items in USD incorrectly but with the new change, refined is priced incorrectly so what problem has this new change solved exactly?

 

What I'm saying is not to reverse the change but to eliminate both problems,  because with this new pricing system as I already said,  a new problem is made while another one goes away.

 

Not some. All. Literally every item on the site. It has a huge effect on accurate pricing for the entire community, as opposed to a tiny proportion who trade refined for cash. Polar explained this to you already.

 

It has solved the problem of USD prices being inflated. I don't understand your question, it implies the answer.

 

You, once again, have not identified what practical problem this presents. I'm not going to keep going around in circles with you. As polar and I have both told you, we cannot eliminate both "problems" as we cannot entirely re-write the site at present.

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