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Eclips

Protection for new unboxers from "sharks".

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Eclips    21
Eclips

No this is not going to eliminate all sharking altogether as that is impossible, but it's way better than nothing at all.

(Just an idea, not perfected at all)

 

The Problem:

There's been a huge increase in the number of people using premium search as a tool to find inexperienced unboxers just to get good deals as these unboxers have no idea the worth of their item. I've seen cases where within half an hour of a valuable unbox there are already 4 "sharkers" adding them on steam to try to squeeze as much profit as they can out of them.

 

Action has been taken in the form of a -trust on users who are known to use this method, however lots of these inexperienced unboxers haven't even logged into backpack.tf before, so this I feel isn't enough. 

 

Common method I'm seeing is highballing an Unpriced item at a super high price and I've noticed lots of newer traders think that just because a high tier trader has listed for that price that it must be worth that much. Basically manipulation, but the "sharker" hasn't said anything.

 

My Solution:

My suggestion would be to have protected users that their profiles can not be tracked through premium search.

sketch-1525651180528.thumb.png.59277ddcc14e6d47f8aa0d694cdad87d.png

Protected users could include: 

- Never logged into backpack.tf or other major trading websites - This I feel is the best idea as people who have not logged into a trading website before likely aren't trading altogether/don't know how to trade at all. This would not effect normal traders too much as if they aren't trading, then you won't be able to get the hat anyway. Also the easiest one to implement. 

 

- Low time spent on steam

- Low backpack value/huge increase in backpack value after an unbox

- High Value item being searched combined with any of the above reasons

 

This protection could be turned off as soon as the user passes a certain mark that considers them to be experienced enough (not entirely sure how this would work as of now).

 

Other Solutions:

- Banning people from using prem search altogether who are deemed to be using it wrongfully

- A [Request Price Check] Feature on the site that creates a page where users appointed by backpack.tf mods can comment and give accurate price checks. Could even work like a price suggestion by taking in all of the people's opinions on price and then giving a final range on price. 

 

Again, just some ideas I thought I'd share, so definitely not perfected. Other thoughts and ideas would help too.

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LaughingLollipop    285
LaughingLollipop

at a core level, sharking is a selling point of premium

 

sure some poor soul might pay to see who owns a hat, but the majority of folks are either

 

1) making more off 'good deals' per month than premium costs (usually by multiples)

2) aspiring to do 1)

3) bots spamming classifieds

 

attempting to place constraints on how good a deal can be before a user is ostracized and exiled ends up with hilarious shit like people paying 300 key priced taunts from 3 years ago for hats that sold for >250keys pure in the last week

or alternatively people who simply take the threshold, buy an item and price it such that its just on the edge. Gotta pay 10%? np, buy it for 10 keys list it for 99 pure you get off scot free

 

This is a classic example of a situation where having nothing to hide doesn't mean you've nothing to lose. Especially inexperienced traders.

 

This is hardly the only place where sharks seek prey, it just happens to be the most centralized and far reaching one at the moment. You could protect here, but then people will just go shark on servers (or revert to homebrew inventory scanning).

There is no way to help them all and most who claim to are merely in it to line their own pockets (see the lesser human form that refer to themselves as 'brokers')

 

 

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Eclips    21
Eclips
14 minutes ago, LaughingLollipop said:

at a core level, sharking is a selling point of premium

 

sure some poor soul might pay to see who owns a hat, but the majority of folks are either

 

1) making more off 'good deals' per month than premium costs (usually by multiples)

2) aspiring to do 1)

 

attempting to place constraints on how good a deal can be before a user is ostracized and exiled ends up with hilarious shit like people paying 300 key priced taunts from 3 years ago for hats that sold for >250keys pure in the last week

or alternatively people who simply take the threshold, buy an item and price it such that its just on the edge. Gotta pay 10%? np, buy it for 10 keys list it for 99 pure you get off scot free

 

This is a classic example of a situation where having nothing to hide doesn't mean you've nothing to lose. Especially inexperienced traders.

 

This is hardly the only place where sharks seek prey, it just happens to be the most centralized and far reaching one at the moment. You could protect here, but then people will just go shark on servers.

There is no way to help and most who claim to are merely in it to line their own pockets (see the lesser human form that refer to themselves as 'brokers')

 

 

The problem is how easy it is to find unboxers with prem search. Of course we cannot get rid of sharking altogether, but it'll help stop a large portion of it. If you were to shark on trade servers that would likely take a very long time and be highly ineffective. 

 

Premium search's purpose is not to be used as a tool to shark the inexperience, and now that seems to be a "selling point" for it which is not what was intended at all. 

 

Yes you do get the occasional almighty deal but you shouldn't be deliberately searching for people you can prey on with a tool like premium. 

 

The whole point of introducing something like this is to show sharkers that we don't simply accept it in our community.  

 

Honestly if you are trying to defend sharking, you either shark yourself or have questionable morals.

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Dinner    3
Dinner
16 minutes ago, LaughingLollipop said:

at a core level, sharking is a selling point of premium

 

sure some poor soul might pay to see who owns a hat, but the majority of folks are either

 

1) making more off 'good deals' per month than premium costs (usually by multiples)

2) aspiring to do 1)

3) bots spamming classifieds

 

attempting to place constraints on how good a deal can be before a user is ostracized and exiled ends up with hilarious shit like people paying 300 key priced taunts from 3 years ago for hats that sold for >250keys pure in the last week

or alternatively people who simply take the threshold, buy an item and price it such that its just on the edge. Gotta pay 10%? np, buy it for 10 keys list it for 99 pure you get off scot free

 

This is a classic example of a situation where having nothing to hide doesn't mean you've nothing to lose. Especially inexperienced traders.

 

This is hardly the only place where sharks seek prey, it just happens to be the most centralized and far reaching one at the moment. You could protect here, but then people will just go shark on servers (or revert to homebrew inventory scanning).

There is no way to help them all and most who claim to are merely in it to line their own pockets (see the lesser human form that refer to themselves as 'brokers')

 

 

The issue is though this is where they can find it as quick as possible. If this was actually added and it's a smart idea more likely a lot more traders would be not at a risk and could be safe. Sure they could just browse through the millions of names but that'll take for ever. It's a good idea I like it

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flckmachines    8
flckmachines

I've been pretty lucky with my unusual unboxes recently. I unboxed a Strange Scorching Translator and an IAPTM Duck Billed Hatypus within the last two days, both of which are unpriced. Within less than 12 hours of getting the duck hat I was getting adds left and right from people wanting to offer on it, and judging from the subject of the thread i'm guessing they used Premium to find me. I know for a fact that these people don't really give a damn about my unusuals; they just want to make a quick profit. 

 

This shit is really putting me off trading. I'm not much into it anyways and am more interested in the core TF2 gameplay and the competitive scene, but now I have even less of a desire to get into the trading lingo if there is no genuine interest in the items being traded. 

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Torb | Elite Spell Trader™    189
Torb | Elite Spell Trader™

most trading involves people not giving a damn about the looks of an unusual, rather its worth and whether its a good trade

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Pepsi    4
Pepsi

This is a pretty decent idea. I like the idea of people who have never logged into BP.tf or Outpost not being able to be tracked using premium. 

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3.50    1329
3.50
2 hours ago, Eclips said:

The whole point of introducing something like this is to show sharkers that we don't simply accept it in our community.  

The community may not accept sharking, but the site accepts it (or at least, won't punish for it, which is not any different.)

 

Allowing the -trusts for sharking are all the site is willing to do, and those do nothing to help the uninformed traders that are victimized.  It lets the community (falsely) feel like it's doing something, without actually affecting the sharking (which happens outside of, or at the very fringes of the "community").

 

The problem is twofold:

1) The premium features have legitimate uses.  At the core if it, it's more information and power in the hands of the user--and the user is responsible for whether they use it for good, or for ill.  It might get abused, but so does any other knowledge.  Shut down the ability to find new unboxes?  They'll go back to finding hats with outdated prices, buying up the underpriced ones below their outdated low prices from unaware traders, and selling the overpriced ones for their outdated inflated prices to other unaware traders.  Or other similar tricks.  Also, as mentioned before, automated backpack scanning using scripts/bots has existed for a lot longer than premium on this site.  The only party to actually take any kind of effective action on the matter is Steam, when they set the default inventory settings to "Private".  Anyone who sets their inventory to "Public" opens themselves up for scamming/sharking attempts.

2) The premium users/abusers pay money to the site.  Premium costs money.  Users don't like paying money unless it helps them make more money.  The site likes money, and they need to sell premium subscriptions to get it, so they're not likely to restrict the ways in which their tools can be used.  That would make the tools less appealing, and fewer people would pay for them, costing the site money.

 

At the end of the day, sharking is always going to be a little bit of a grey area.  From what I've seen, this site is not going to take a stance on an issue that's kind of grey, if it costs them money--particularly if there's no way to restrict the abuse without restricting legitimate use along with it.

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JayTee    622
JayTee

Idk about this, bp would lose a fair bit of money from sharkers I guess.

 

I think a good thing to do was to keep them protected or not show up until the unboxed unusual is tradable perhaps, but that actually might be worse......

 

Seriously idk, without punishment for sharking theres nothing we can do to stop it tbh, and that won't really stop it, just stop the famous ones.

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kaytradamus    58
kaytradamus

It will never happen. Unfortunately premium makes it very easy to shark people. Ive had a guy come to me back when i used to broker, saying that he had 5 people add him to offer on his unusual within a day of unboxing it. Its never going to stop unfortunately, people are greedy

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Eclips    21
Eclips
7 hours ago, 3.50 said:

The community may not accept sharking, but the site accepts it (or at least, won't punish for it, which is not any different.)

 

Allowing the -trusts for sharking are all the site is willing to do, and those do nothing to help the uninformed traders that are victimized.  It lets the community (falsely) feel like it's doing something, without actually affecting the sharking (which happens outside of, or at the very fringes of the "community").

 

The -trusts were implemented in order to help stop sharking so I doubt that the site accepts it and instead I think they just don't have any options for what to do about sharking. Sharking I agree is a very hard problem to solve and yes it does seem to be giving backpack.tf a steady flow of money, but it's getting out of hand.

 

Without action, sharking seems to be accepted by the community and the site, and the shark numbers will just multiply day by day. 

 

I don't completely stand by my solution suggested as yes there are floors to it, all I'm saying is something more needs to be done.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2572
Teeny Tiny Cat

While it's an interesting idea, the only easy one to implement would be never logged into backpack.tf and unfortunately that would leave a massive blind spot when it comes to scammer alts which have often never logged in themselves. Tracking item histories through accounts is one of the ways we are able to identify these accounts and I'm not sure it's worth losing that. The info could be available to mods but not users I suppose, but we rely heavily on users reporting things for us to investigate so taking that information away from them is not ideal either. 

 

 

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RED265    111
RED265

@Teeny Tiny Cat may i suggest with enough -reps, a sharker is banned from bp.tf permanently? Could be like 2 sharking instances where disparity is evident, banned a week. 5 sharking instances, banned from bp.tf premium. If an account still has like 7 sharking instances, perma banned?

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2572
Teeny Tiny Cat
1 minute ago, RED265 said:

@Teeny Tiny Cat may i suggest with enough -reps, a sharker is banned from bp.tf permanently? Could be like 2 sharking instances where disparity is evident, banned a week. 5 sharking instances, banned from bp.tf. If an account still has like 7 sharking instances, perma banned?

 

That isn't how trust works, please read this: https://forums.backpack.tf/topic/53663-guide-for-reporting-on-the-main-site/?do=findComment&comment=595067

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RED265    111
RED265
2 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

yeah i know. I'm saying let's say someone does several uneven trades and gets a -rep by the mods. Then another few uneven trades despite the -rep, leading to the mods to give another -rep and a temp ban?
And perhaps a ban for traders with these sharks with -rep to show that the sharks's profiteering methods are not favored.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2572
Teeny Tiny Cat
13 minutes ago, RED265 said:

yeah i know. I'm saying let's say someone does several uneven trades and gets a -rep by the mods. Then another few uneven trades despite the -rep, leading to the mods to give another -rep and a temp ban?
And perhaps a ban for traders with these sharks with -rep to show that the sharks's profiteering methods are not favored.

 

Trust is a caution/warning to check the value of trades, but if someone has one what it means is that there's no solid proof they're actually manipulating anyone. Which means there's no grounds to ban them from using the site.

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metablack20109vr    2
metablack20109vr

Doing this may be bad for the buisness of the site,no one will start buying the premium feature anymore,cuz,lets be honest,most of people who buys the premium feature see it as an investement to snipe aka shark freshly unboxed unusuals by noobs

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Eclips    21
Eclips
25 minutes ago, metablack20109vr said:

Doing this may be bad for the buisness of the site,no one will start buying the premium feature anymore,cuz,lets be honest,most of people who buys the premium feature see it as an investement to snipe aka shark freshly unboxed unusuals by noobs

That's just completely wrong. Most people buy premium for the double listing bonus, 30 min bump times and promoted listings which makes it extremely useful for creating buy orders/sell orders whether you are a bot or not. Premium was never intended to be used for sharking, it has only become so over time.

 

PS: You look a lot like a scammer alt.

Private profile, this: https://backpack.tf/item/2643390689,  https://backpack.tf/friends/76561198809894726. Very interesting.

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3.50    1329
3.50
10 hours ago, Eclips said:

 

The -trusts were implemented in order to help stop sharking

Ehh...I don't know about that.  If that was the intent, it was not an impressive attempt.  Anyone who would know about the site and might see the -trusts, would not need them in order to avoid being sharked.  The people who need the warnings won't see them because they won't know where to look for them.  The sharking won't be affected by a few -trusts.

 

So I don't see the -reps as a solution to the problem, but really only as a way to allow honest traders to easily identify and avoid dealing with the dishonest ones after the fact.  And that's a very small punishment to sharks, because though many people are honest enough to shun sharks, plenty see nothing wrong with dealing with them; certainly enough that business goes on.  Once the sharks have the items, a few "-trusts" won't slow them down.  The only things that would slow their business is if they were banned from using the site, or if people were punished for dealing with them.  If they can be proven to be lying/misrepresenting, they'll be banned, but unless and until that happens, nothing will be done to them that matters.

 

That "-trust" info is a nice thing to have, don't get me wrong--I'm one of the people who will refuse to deal with a person who is dishonest or rude, out of principle.  So I like having that information.  It doesn't slow the sharking down one bit, though.  They can still shark, and still unload their goods.

 

All that said, I'm not disagreeing with you on any major points.  Sharking is a major issue, but a complicated one full of grey areas.  And you're using your brainpower constructively to come up with ideas to help the community, so +1 internets to you for that.

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humann    95
humann

Who cares about the -trust, the players that get sharked doesn't know about the site, that's why they get sharked in most of the times. 

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2572
Teeny Tiny Cat

We have made a change to premium to prevent search by quality only. Users will now be required to input a specific item to premium search. Hopefully this will help to protect new users who unbox items.

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flckmachines    8
flckmachines
5 minutes ago, Teeny Tiny Cat said:

We have made a change to premium to prevent search by quality only. Users will now be required to input a specific item to premium search. Hopefully this will help to protect new users who unbox items.

Thank you admin, now i'll stop getting pestered by fucking idiots.

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Strife    8
Strife

Definitely a positive change. I guess I'll have to search less lazily for level 100 stuff now :D

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IDGCaptainRussia    1
IDGCaptainRussia

I fully agree that something must be done, and the change Teeny made doesn't effect me what-so-ever. I wasn't even aware people just search for unusuals that way (I always use to find specific items), but then again, I'm too morally correct to even attempt a shark.

 

This should hopefully do down on alot of sharking, but it won't stop sharkers from searching hats from the next new cosmetic case (because valve gives us items in a very specific way each update)

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Fire ̷̨●̷̨°    62
Fire ̷̨●̷̨°

.

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