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cleverpun

Addressing criticism of backpack.tf

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Distinctively Vincent
I have been on the website for a long time, and as far as I can remember I have never seen a suggestion where a mod went against the community vote without giving an explanation. If it happened, it was the exception and a mistake.

 

There was a period where a handful of suggestions were passed/closed against vote without mod comment within a short time span. There were a number of topics in the forums raising concerns about it (can't recall if these forums or the official steam group forums). That's when it was established as a rule. There's no hard site code necessitating it though, so I would imagine the occasional one still slips by.

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Cryomancer7

We had discussed this internally. And I was one of the proponents of this, but Brad made a great point. People can already check trade.tf and tf2finance whenever they want. Why simply re-post the same thing from another site here? At the end of the day, there's a reason why bp.tf is so popular. We are perfectly transparent with our decision making, as all rationales for going against the community vote are clearly explained in every suggestion.

 

We give our own assessment about currency values. Having more sources to determine your item values is better. And unlike these websites that use algorithms that are not publicly available, we set prices in a completely transparent manner. People who don't like it have other options - tf2finance and trade.tf.

Well, I think that can be discussed externally, because so many users (As me, I accept it) believe what the fact who doing the Keys rises is precisely, Backpack.tf. The mods should accept at least a part of the guilt for the site, and think a solution. And the reason why bp.tf is so popular is that, I like do, vote, and discuss on the suggestions, like all the users here I thought, but if I'm doing some wrong, i try to fix it, you should do the same, maybe you aren't selling Keys for 7.22 and buying for 7.11, but for the decisions of the administration the Keys are rising constantly. We don't should change the esence of backpack.tf, but yes change that error.

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puddingkip

Well, I think that can be discussed externally, because so many users (As me, I accept it) believe what the fact who doing the Keys rises is precisely, Backpack.tf. The mods should accept at least a part of the guilt for the site, and think a solution. And the reason why bp.tf is so popular is that, I like do, vote, and discuss on the suggestions, like all the users here I thought, but if I'm doing some wrong, i try to fix it, you should do the same, maybe you aren't selling Keys for 7.22 and buying for 7.11, but for the decisions of the administration the Keys are rising constantly. We don't should change the esence of backpack.tf, but yes change that error.

pentagon_f2120f_2811349.jpg

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Liddojunior

Well, I think that can be discussed externally, because so many users (As me, I accept it) believe what the fact who doing the Keys rises is precisely, Backpack.tf. The mods should accept at least a part of the guilt for the site, and think a solution. And the reason why bp.tf is so popular is that, I like do, vote, and discuss on the suggestions, like all the users here I thought, but if I'm doing some wrong, i try to fix it, you should do the same, maybe you aren't selling Keys for 7.22 and buying for 7.11, but for the decisions of the administration the Keys are rising constantly. We don't should change the esence of backpack.tf, but yes change that error.

 

I'm sure bp.tf has done what it can do to make sure they aren't leading the key market in ways that aren't manipulative. Evident that there is a cool down period and they stay behind what sellers can get. 

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TNC Phoenix®

Point of order; a salary is by definition a fixed amount. What mods receive is more like a stipend, not a salary.

 

Except 1 isn't true, because there is no way for mods to predict how and when users will donate items. Even if we could, chances are the best way to encourage more donations is by being objective (as in, ignoring as much bias as possible), because presumably users expect some measure of objectivity from their pricing site.

 

Further, most users only donate items one time. Others donate their time by making suggestions or being in the forums. Predicting how and what users will donate is impossible, for these and countless other reasons.

 

Despite what it may seem, the amount of work that being a moderator entails compared to the stipend received is not some magical, giant number—I would make more money working a minimum wage job. Moderators are ultimately volunteers, stipend or not. I wasn't even aware of it until I was hired, and if I never received it again I would still donate my time to the website. If anything, the stipend discourages price fixing; the amount of gain to be had by mis-moderating suggestions is infinitesimal compared to being objective and collecting the donations.

 

Even if it was possible to predict/increase donations as you claim, the best way to draw in customers is with a good product (business 101). Being objective, reliable, and easy to understand is why people use the pricelist, and the fraction of users that donate do so because they think we are doing a good job (or they want donator perks).

 

I know what you get is not technichally a salary, hence why I wrote "salary" and not salary.

What is a good product has nothing to do with quality, ethics or being a fair trader. 

iPhone is a loved product for man, but they are still made in factories being against minimum wages or organised unions. But the product they deliver is nice. 

 

 

http://backpack.tf/top/donators

 

And

 

http://backpack.tf/u/76561198072847708

 

You can see exactly who donated and when by checking the backpack. The history on every refined and key in the bot's backpack will show you every single donator and when they donated.

 

 

And as for your other point about us having incentives for money. I make $12 / hour in my regular job. I make $<1 / hour for my contributions as a moderator. And I get paid the most because I go through more suggestions than any other mod per month. Some mods like cleverpun and woifi who spend most of their time moderating forums, comments in suggestions get paid next to nothing. 

 

We aren't in it for the money. If that were even remotely the case, I would spend my time working irl or at the very least trading tf2 where I make WAY more than I make moderating. We all signed up because we genuinely thought we could make a difference in the community. Believe that or not. Whatever the case, money as a motivator should be dead last on your list of possible alternative motivators as we really make next to nothing compared to the time we devote to the website. 

 

So in total you have had 145 people donating money through Paypal? No more since you opened the site?

And for the other thing, backpack history is not always correct. I noticed if you trade for an item and retrade it fairly fast it does not show your name in the item´s history. 

 

 

Again like I stated, the threads created on other forums about backpack.tf were about power abuse or corruption. And their arguement for why that is are hard to disprove. You are in power as moderators, you (not the players) have the last saying.

And wether you get 1 ref per day for your work or 1000 keys per day you still get something.

My point as I was saying is that power can corrupt and you gain from having people donate. 

 

And as I also stated, these people saying you are bias, will have a hard time to proof it. Just as asking all mods to proof they have made objective suggestions everytime is hard. This is why I am saying that supporters and non-supporters of the site can argue with eachother over and over. 

 

What I could see would end the dispute would be that Brad provided income revenues for the site, and showing where the money went. 

At the same time I am aware that doing a thing like that could be devistating since you have competition. 

And the bottom line is, people that dislike you will probably dislike you guys even if you had proof. 

 

Do like other companies do before you. Keep doing your service and as long as you are going plus there is nothing to change really. :P

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puddingkip

So in total you have had 145 people donating money through Paypal? No more since you opened the site?

145 people donated more than $11 dollar. many more donated I can assure you. However if you have way too much free time you can theoretically calculate how many people at least must have donated. http://backpack.tf/top/donators a total of $3843.02 has been donated. If you substract all the donations by the top 145 you know that the leftover amount (quite a lot) divided by $11.04 (max amount they could have donated without appearing). I remember being around #80 there, now I'm not even on it :(

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Acadium

Another reply by sharpie660:

 

I do agree my 1st argument doesn't take in scale, assuming they don't get paid much. (I have to trust the information given to me by the mods under scrutiny) I never mentioned paypal. I just meant gifting (through trading or otherwise, almost laundering the metal) metal to a middleman who then sells it. It's free keys, which rise in value. You may not profit MUCH, but there is if so much a single one of you buys and sells keys, directly or otherwise. And as for scale, I want proof of that scale. I want to know how much you get paid each week. (Different from week to week I know) I also want no keys going to the mods.

The reason you are behind the prices is because you drive them. Key prices are ALWAYS slightly ahead, because when people see your new price, they put up their buy price a bit higher than that, to encourage buyers. That also means their sell price gets moved up to maintain profit. I just think when you accept or pitch new prices, you have to remember that in effect, the price will have a ~.22 hike as people try to encourage buyers. It's basic economics.

Frankly I don't think cleverpun or any mod bought his way in, I'm just noticing in your argument some holes. And with holes come suspision. Just because you have a mod tag, and a donator tag, doesn't relate them in either way. You can be a mod AND a donator. I'm just saying your argument doesn't add up. Just because you have both, seperate tags, doesn't mean you didn't buy in.

The transparency, which you strive for, is low. The direct votes by the community don't matter. The proof again, is tainted. The mods are the only c&b, with no others to watch them.

 

(Also clarification on his 3rd argument: "What I meant was that having a donator badge AND a mod badge doesn't mean anything. It is no proof he didn't buy his position. It just acknowledges he donated and is a mod. It doesn't say that his donations didn't have a secondary purpose.")

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TheVeeEss`

One of the things I find to be a bit of a flaw in the system regarding backpack.tf and keys is that I feel that the pricing of keys keeps increasing because traders see that there is a change in the price.

 

Now, I know that the last statement might seem quite stupid and obvious, but hear me out before you bash me.

 

Every time the price of keys are repriced, the price often changes by about one or two scrap every time. On tf2outpost and bazaar, people see this and price their keys one scrap higher because they know people will buy them for one scrap higher than what it's priced at because it's only a scrap, and there are a lot of people who don't care that they're buying keys for only a scrap higher.

 

However, as a result of this phenomenon occurring so many times, these sales count as proof and it gets to a point where a suggestion is then made and again, the price of keys go up by one or two scrap based on these sales. Once again, opportunists will take advantage of this and sell keys for a scrap or two higher than the actual price, and the whole cycle repeats. (Each changes because of the other.)

 

I understand the whole idea of Adam Smith's supply and demand, and in this economy, there is always a demand for keys, one of the reasons is because some people don't want to spend USD on keys from the store or anything so they use refined metal to buy keys.

 

The thing is, most people who trade these keys don't understand this concept of supply and demand and this TF2conomy; basically, what happens is that they see the price of keys on backpack.tf and decide to sell it for a scrap higher, not caring about the actual value of keys, refined metal, or anything like that. They just aim to make a quick one scrap profit off of a sale and they're fine.

 

However, this is just something I've been thinking about, and although it can be proclaimed as unrealistic, whatever, I don't care. What if we were to have a fixed price for keys in terms of refined? I honestly don't think that anyone would complain---buyers would be able to buy for close to the same price and sellers wouldn't care as long as they make their one or two scrap profit. As a result, the price that people sell their keys at would not increase and both parties would be happy.

 

I'll admit, there are probably flaws in my argument, it may not be well-structured or coherent or anything, but it's also 1 AM right now, so bear with me if it sounds like complete shit is coming out of my mouth. I could also be wrong, so I'm open to any debate. I'm somewhat familiar with backpack.tf pricing and rather experienced at trading overall, so bear that in mind as well. Constructive feedback is welcome. :)

 

 

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Synister
-snip-

Too long for me to bother reading most of this, but I did glance by the iPhone thing and feel like I should clarify that this isn't a good analogy at all.  Apple's product is the iPhone.  Backpack.tf's product is information.  For the product to be "nice" like the iPhone, the information would have to be un-biased and accurate (and many other things, those being the two key points).

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cleverpun

Another reply by sharpie660:

Frankly I don't think cleverpun or any mod bought his way in, I'm just noticing in your argument some holes. And with holes come suspision. Just because you have a mod tag, and a donator tag, doesn't relate them in either way. You can be a mod AND a donator. I'm just saying your argument doesn't add up. Just because you have both, seperate tags, doesn't mean you didn't buy in.

I was not using that argument as proof I didn't purchase my position--I was refuting the erroneous idea that my donator rank was related to my moderator rank. If my argument has holes its because the idea I was addressing was misinformed to begin with.

 

words

You're assuming that A. everyone trades at bp.tf prices (which is wrong in both directions) and that B. listing incorrect information would cause the market to conform--they would actually just ignore the incorrect price.

 

If Kelley Blue Book listed a new car as being worth much more or much less than it actually is, the people who use it would catch on quickly. It would only affect their reputation, not the market.

 

Ehm, I merely skimmed through this but did a flame war break out here?

have you ever used an internet

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MC22

I was not using that argument as proof I didn't purchase my position--I was refuting the erroneous idea that my donator rank was related to my moderator rank. If my argument has holes its because the idea I was addressing was misinformed to begin with.

 

 

You're assuming that A. everyone trades at bp.tf prices (which is wrong in both directions) and that B. listing incorrect information would cause the market to conform--they would actually just ignore the incorrect price.

 

If Kelley Blue Book listed a new car as being worth much more or much less than it actually is, the people who use it would catch on quickly. It would only affect their reputation, not the market.

 

 

have you ever used an internet

Yes I have, as I must have used an internet to access this site, no?

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Cedar

Lol

 

This thread.....

 

I always love listening to these idiots Bp.tf conspiracy theory's, better than anything else.

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MC22

Lol

This thread.....

I always love listening to these idiots Bp.tf conspiracy theory's, better than anything else.

There's a thread for that

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Brad Pitt

145 people donated more than $11 dollar. many more donated I can assure you. However if you have way too much free time you can theoretically calculate how many people at least must have donated. http://backpack.tf/top/donators a total of $3843.02 has been donated. If you substract all the donations by the top 145 you know that the leftover amount (quite a lot) divided by $11.04 (max amount they could have donated without appearing). I remember being around #80 there, now I'm not even on it :(

 

Let me clear up some facts here -- the top donators page includes the top donators, not all donators. In theory, it should list the top 150 donators of all time, it's not limited to people who donated more than $11 or any amount. The reason why it's not showing 150 is simple: some are hidden because they are either banned or tagged as scammers.

 

The total amount donated is the total amount of those 150, not all donations. No donations have ever been Paypal, donations have always been item-based and redistributed to staff.

 

Since October 2012, we've received around $7000 in item donations. It may seem like a big number, but distribute this over to 7-8 people and it's a fairly low "salary" over the course of 1 year.

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