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Is the existence of a monopoly possible in the TF2 trading community?


Mengh.

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Somewhat spans this thought-provoking comment from https://scrap.tf/raffles/S4M607 - "I have never thought crapTF would ever get that big. But lets see how it goes. I guess its market dominance will not last too long as we introduced offer sending too, so lets see how our crapTF clone goes."

 

With the fact that any virtual item economy is typically a free market, there is a possibility of manipulation and control due to the freedom of doing such things. With StnTrading.eu adding in new features as to be on the same playing field as their biggest rival, Scrap.tf, it seems to me that there will be a lot of conflict between those two. However, in all essence, they're just slapping each other senseless.

 

Scrap.tf doesn't really have a lot of footing on market dominance, except for smaller items such as craft hats or weapons, as per their capability of being able to buy as many as they want. Most of the site's funding is from donations from their community as profitable trades are less often and a lot of stuff they sell goes unsold at times. I've had some runnings with Spyfly and StnTrading.eu in the past, mainly for the redesigning of the aesthetics of his site, however, never finished due to the lack of time as to do the immense amount of changes that was demanded throughout the process. Another person / service I'd like to include in this is Spirit and his Spirit Bots. Spirit is pretty profit-motivated, however, he knows how to successfully trade and understands the concepts of trading in heavy detail, even without his bots. Him and his bots do manage to hold some dominance in several markets (a range of items commonly found on backpack.tf classifieds), being advertised by the youtuber Pyrofuzion as a sponsor. The only problem for all 3 sites / services is that they all have flaws that stop them from actually being a decently-dominant figure for trading, either being lack of funds, lack of community or prices of items and their competitors'.

 

The question I'd like to pose is "In your opinion, is the existence of a monopoly possible in the TF2 trading community and is it worthwhile and reasonable for sites / services to be bickering and fighting over 'dominance' as to reach this goal of attempting to 'control the markets'?

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Hard to say. The main weakness of all three is that they can't use the steam community market. They rely on bots which are banned from the market. The market is the last foothold that is all user driven and should remain that way to prevent any monopoly from occurring.

It's a free market with few rules in place. It can be very easy to get lucrative profit.

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The only monopoly in TF2 trading is the one backpack.tf holds over prices.

 

With the introduction of bot.tf literally everyone has multiple bots, therefore there will never be a monopoly of trading, within backpack.tf at least.

 

As for independent trading websites, I can bet everything in this world that 99% of people who don't know about backpack.tf use scrap.tf instead. 1% must solely use stn's site (which lacks so many features and hurts to see it's design).

 

 

And in case stn reads this:

 

4c3ea588b0294c70b596867ad2bb8a29.png

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The only monopoly in TF2 trading is the one backpack.tf holds over prices.

I disagree. The prices are made by the people buying and selling. Backpack.tf just documents the sales.

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Collector's cosmetics and other veritable rarities are mostly held as monopolies. Between me, HarryG and Bob, we own at least 60-70% of the market in that respect.

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Collector's cosmetics and other veritable rarities are mostly held as monopolies. Between me, HarryG and Bob, we own at least 60-70% of the market in that respect.

 

w/bout me and my measly 3%

 

i'm still relevant damnit

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Posted · Hidden by puddingkip, November 20, 2016 - No reason given
Hidden by puddingkip, November 20, 2016 - No reason given

w/bout me and my measly 3%

 

i'm still relevant damnit

hey sugarcube can i have my 6 keys now

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I doubt there could be a monopoly, because if anyone wants to buy something, there will be competition that drives the price up. People won't always want to pay more and more to get something, and they'll drop out, which would hurt trading as a whole. Additionally, sellers aren't required to sell their items for certain prices if they don't want to. If there is, for example, an unusual that Person A offers to B for their Unusual and Person A likes it a lot, then they'd continue to trade for Unusuals over the quick pure that competitive quick buyers offer, removing the possibility of a monopoly in the unusual market, at least.

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I disagree. The prices are made by the people buying and selling. Backpack.tf just documents the sales.

 

Very true, I guess I didn't phrase it well, what I meant was backpack.tf as a platform for prices.

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On the market as a whole, it'd be very hard to have a monopoly. Once someone buys something you lose the monopoly.

On specific (rarer) unusuals it would be easy to get a monopoly. Once someone buys it, they are probably not going to turn around and resell for less (at least not right away). Only problem is getting return on investment. You need to find buyers willing to pay the price you're selling for. And of course, another could be unboxed, making your unusual more common, and as a result, less sought after.

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Anything with a limited rarity is most certainly up for monopoly. If someone with 400$ worth of steam market funds were to buy out the whole community market of Crate 83's, they'd most likely own 70% or more of said crate. Seeing as they no longer drop, if they manage to get all other crates that are on the market, they have successfully created a monopoly. 

 

tl;dr anything that doesn't drop and will never drop is subject to monopoly.

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Anything with a limited rarity is most certainly up for monopoly. If someone with 400$ worth of steam market funds were to buy out the whole community market of Crate 83's, they'd most likely own 70% or more of said crate. Seeing as they no longer drop, if they manage to get all other crates that are on the market, they have successfully created a monopoly. 

 

tl;dr anything that doesn't drop and will never drop is subject to monopoly.

Well, There would probably be almost no Return on Investment. If someone sees someone buying all crate #83, they will highball theirs to the seller. Many would do this, leading to the monopolizer to paying WAYY too much to secure a monopoly. And anyone who he refused to buy from (ex: price too high), could just undercut him by a few cents. Good luck selling millions of crates for profit.

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Collector's cosmetics and other veritable rarities are mostly held as monopolies. Between me, HarryG and Bob, we own at least 60-70% of the market in that respect.

 

What I find funny is that collectors items are essentially normal items that sell for ridiculous prices. To 99% of players, they are expensive hard to sell cancer. You and your buddies are the only reason the market hasn't collapsed on them already :P

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What I find funny is that collectors items are essentially normal items that sell for ridiculous prices. To 99% of players, they are expensive hard to sell cancer. You and your buddies are the only reason the market hasn't collapsed on them already :P

I've personally owned a couple of collector weapons myself. Hasn't taken me too long to resell them, so I always accept them as adds.

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And of course, another could be unboxed, making your unusual more common, and as a result, less sought after.

 

Unless you snag something that's been retired, leaving little worry of others entering the market.

 

Of course, getting someone to actually pay big bucks is the core problem. I'm under no illusions that my permanently 1:1 Orbiting Fire Old Man Frost will ever bring in major dollarydoos.

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Unless you snag something that's been retired, leaving little worry of others entering the market.

 

Of course, getting someone to actually pay big bucks is the core problem. I'm under no illusions that my permanently 1:1 Orbiting Fire Old Man Frost will ever bring in major dollarydoos.

A few retired hats can be outrageous, especially 1 of 1s.

http://backpack.tf/stats/Unusual/Conagher's%20Combover/Tradable/Craftable/17

Sometimes they can get pretty crazy. Why anyone would pay 450 keys for this is beyond me.

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Well, There would probably be almost no Return on Investment. If someone sees someone buying all crate #83, they will highball theirs to the seller. Many would do this, leading to the monopolizer to paying WAYY too much to secure a monopoly. And anyone who he refused to buy from (ex: price too high), could just undercut him by a few cents. Good luck selling millions of crates for 

 

Well, yes and no. Lets say the crates stop dropping and they're already going for 50cents to 1$ each. When they go that far and theres only 100 or so left, you can easily make a monopoly.

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Well, yes and no. Lets say the crates stop dropping and they're already going for 50cents to 1$ each. When they go that far and theres only 100 or so left, you can easily make a monopoly.

I'm not just talking about monopolies. I'm talking about monopolies where it's worth it (to make profit.) If you can buy all 100 at that price, that works. Then resell higher. But lets say some people are trying to sell for $2, do you buy theirs? What about $3? What about $10? What about $50? How far do you go to eliminate competition, without cutting in to your own profits?

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w/bout me and my measly 3%

 

i'm still relevant damnit

 

No you're not, lie down before you hurt yourself

What I find funny is that collectors items are essentially normal items that sell for ridiculous prices. To 99% of players, they are expensive hard to sell cancer. You and your buddies are the only reason the market hasn't collapsed on them already :P

 

What if I told you that Unusual items are simply normal items with extra pixels that sell for ridiculous prices? To 1% of players, they are expensive hard to sell rubbish. You and the rest of the community are the only reason the market hasn't collapsed on them already, if you ask me.

 

 And we're not buddies, Raven's gone soft. He has a girlfriend now, how can you be a collector king if you have cooties? Absolutely dreadful, an embarrassment to the art if you ask me. I'd say me and the other collectors laugh at him behind is back, but I think Bob's to busy laughing at me and I don't even know if /) L I E N K I Y can laugh.

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Some years ago I ran an experiment. Note that this was before scm and scrap.tf where the majority of trading happened on outpost. I started buying jarate and bushwackas (before the nerf the most used sniper melee) at bp.tf price and simply bought all available for sale leaving only a few unsold highballers behind. Prices started to raise of course, I was selling fine above bptf price because i kinda was the only seller with a constant stock. In the end i owned like 50 each.

I found it interesting and scary that with a couple of ref you could influence a specific market so much.

Valve decided to cancel my experiment for me by releasing a new crate that rereleased the jarate a few days after I started. I managed to quicksell most to avoid taking losses in the end.

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No you're not, lie down before you hurt yourself

 

What if I told you that Unusual items are simply normal items with extra pixels that sell for ridiculous prices? To 1% of players, they are expensive hard to sell rubbish. You and the rest of the community are the only reason the market hasn't collapsed on them already, if you ask me.

 

 And we're not buddies, Raven's gone soft. He has a girlfriend now, how can you be a collector king if you have cooties? Absolutely dreadful, an embarrassment to the art if you ask me. I'd say me and the other collectors laugh at him behind is back, but I think Bob's to busy laughing at me and I don't even know if /) L I E N K I Y can laugh.

I'm pretty triggered right now buddy. Also cooties are acceptable if your girl is a saucy minx like mine. 

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Some years ago I ran an experiment. Note that this was before scm and scrap.tf where the majority of trading happened on outpost. I started buying jarate and bushwackas (before the nerf the most used sniper melee) at bp.tf price and simply bought all available for sale leaving only a few unsold highballers behind. Prices started to raise of course, I was selling fine above bptf price because i kinda was the only seller with a constant stock. In the end i owned like 50 each.

I found it interesting and scary that with a couple of ref you could influence a specific market so much.

Valve decided to cancel my experiment for me by releasing a new crate that rereleased the jarate a few days after I started. I managed to quicksell most to avoid taking losses in the end.

Now that I think about it, I kind off attempt a monopoly myself. Pretty much buy all the specialized Killstreak fabricators that are team shine, popular weapons, and reasonably priced. It worked out pretty well as I made them into kits and sold each at a $0.50-$3 premium over the average price. It wasn't really a monopoly as the only reason it has been working is others sellers also sold theirs at a premium. It was the only near monopoly I could almost manage with a $100 bp which I continueed till I really got into unusual trading. Now I have everything stuck into two unusuals.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hard to say. The main weakness of all three is that they can't use the steam community market. They rely on bots which are banned from the market. The market is the last foothold that is all user driven and should remain that way to prevent any monopoly from occurring.

It's a free market with few rules in place. It can be very easy to get lucrative profit.

I dont want to disappoint you... But.... Many of us use and abuse the SCM ;) - (the number of transactions is publicly available but i wont be saying that here)

 

 

With the introduction of bot.tf literally everyone has multiple bots, therefore there will never be a monopoly of trading, within backpack.tf at least.

Those who can afford it. Not usually those new to trading. And those new to trading wont get far. Thus giving sooner. (Once again as previously stated in another argument together (Ruining Trading))

 

 

The question I'd like to pose is "In your opinion, is the existence of a monopoly possible in the TF2 trading community and is it worthwhile and reasonable for sites / services to be bickering and fighting over 'dominance' as to reach this goal of attempting to 'control the markets'?

You raise a good Question. I believe that we are all service providers. I think that those who want to do good in the community will succeed, the goal should not be personal gain but a benefit for the community.

I think that a Monopoly even if possible, would not be too effective, as there will always be someone selling something for less and buying it for more.

Creative minds will progress and create new and better services for the users.

While Automated Services benefit a single user. They ruin the person to person in-game trading aspect.

Hundreds of Users who would of had to go into a Trade Server, in order to sell or buy things, now can all do it in a single online location.

And its getting crowded. I am unable to remember when was the last time i traded a Human, aside from paying an employee, yet... i trade thousands of items every day.

Its sad what Automated Services do to trading, enjoy while you can =D. (I take no responsibility, i am only here to prove a point.)

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Typically, monopoly's aren't powerful because they have complete control over a product's supply, but rather that item's production. If your "monopoly" evaporates as soon as you begin selling your supply (ESPECIALLY if your product isn't "consumable" or doesn't experience expiration), it is meaningless, and, depending on the market, often not even profitable.
 
 
 

What I find funny is that collectors items are essentially normal items that sell for ridiculous prices. To 99% of players, they are expensive hard to sell cancer. You and your buddies are the only reason the market hasn't collapsed on them already  :P



The collectors cosmetics are certainly niche, yes, but collectors weapons should be quite accessible and desirable to the average trader.

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