Barter Network

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussion' started by M4ster_M1ner, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Hey EMC,

    I'd like to hear your ideas about if and how a "barter network" on EMC could work.

    Picking up on [SUGGESTION] Barter Shop Sign and [Barter] That's right, a Bartering Service, I'm thinking about if it is possible to have convenient barter on EMC - even without need for any specific coding / changes on the server side.

    The main problem: volatile nature of rupees.
    It is a problem for shop owners, because prices of most items change too often and too fast - keeping up with that is tedious, which in turn drives shop margin higher and thus makes shops and trading more expensive or even too expensive.
    Also, for anyone that holds some substantial amount of rupees over time (and a buy/sell shop simply has to in order to be able to bulk-buy from suppliers), it is quite a disaster to find out that the value has dropped like 25% or more over a period of few months.

    The goal: be able to trade items in a convenient way, so that, taken all aspects into account, it is better than to trade using rupees.

    Is this possible?

    Here is one idea for practical barter shops:
    • set both buy and sell prices in rupees that are significantly (at least 50%) higher than current average on the market, take care not to hit the /shop price; EDIT: actually, the /shop price doesn't really matter
    • choose your diamond price (e.g. 200r / diamond) and then calculate all other prices prices in diamonds - take care to have consistent pricing across different items so your barter ratios are as intended
    • keep your rupee balance around zero
    • set up at least diamond, emerald, coal and iron ingot buy/sell chest shops with very low margin, so that the customers can swap "barter currencies" for rupees when they need to: before selling items to you they can buy diamonds from you (or another item if in stock) to "borrow" you rupees until end of the deal; after buying from you they can sell diamonds to get their rupees back
    • write explanation for customers on how to use your shop
    • along with each shop-sign, add a sign stating the price in diamonds
    - people that want to just buy stuff for rupees won't go to your shop, because it is "expensive"
    - people that just want to sell stuff for rupees can't do that without first buying something from you, because your rupee balance is zero
    - users of the shop come out of the shop with the same rupee balance as before trading, it is easy to check if the trade was completed
    - removing the rupee volatility problem allows for lower margin which means cheaper trading.

    Problem (immediate):
    - a rogue customer "R" could wait for a seller "S" to buy from the shop in order to raise the rupee balance above zero and be able to sell - and then "R" will try to sell his stuff before "S" could reach the needed chest-shop.

    Perhaps there is a simple solution for this problem too - like warning to sellers to take care and give partial shop-ban to thieves (/res pset thief shop:sell f)

    Problem (distant):
    if many shops switch to barter, value of rupees will drop and average prices on the market will rise, possibly so far that barter-shops would need to adjust their prices as well.
    But if this happens, then I'd expect that the awareness of the problems in the community would rise to a level that would make a change in policies and a better solution for all - perhaps implementation of barter shop-signs possible

    I'll try to make an example shop and see how it goes.

    Barter network:
    Perhaps there could be a "barter network" of a shops that follow the same concept / setup and the same rupee price of diamonds, so the prices would be easier to compare. The shops could also share information about violations, so a thief caught in one shop would be banned in all of them.
  2. Sweet! I'm really surprised how far this bartering idea has gone. As I stated on my thread before, I thought my idea would flop and nobody would want to just trade items. I love all your ideas!! I may get myself an alt to "handle the payments" so I can keep my 40k lol
    ArkWarrior1 likes this.
  3. I would really love to see bartering become a popular thing on EMC. This would really help players, kinda like me, who are having a hard time making money.
    Blondekid42 likes this.
  4. I'm not completely following this idea. Rupees are just a mediary for what is actually a barter system. Also, the value of rupees have been pretty steady since I got here, about a year ago. That was right after the mass inflation. I have actually been quite impressed at the staying power of the rupee to be honest.
  5. Not really, because they are obtained outside of the game - login, voting, supporter status, website.

    I also did expect more steady inflation.
    But, while overall buying power of rupees did not drop as much as anticipated, this is only because some of the items get mass produced and for some items the demand has significantly dropped (e.g. wool, diamonds).

    If you look at goods that still require manual labor, the buying power of rupees did drop significantly since last summer. Most obvious: wood, obsidian - the price has at least doubled since July 2015.

    I was absent from EMC from Sept. - Dec. 2015. When I came back, my shop was empty and I had to increase almost all prices to get back in business - changing like 600 shop signs.

    It would be very interesting to see what forces are at work here and how much each of them contributes.
    - Influx of new players who produce goods and want to obtain distinct rupee balance
    - Efficient / mass production / farming
    - Players hoarding rupees, inactive players with significant rupee balance
    - Recession?
    - Change in the esteem of supporter status (?), low supporter percentage
    - Less people buying rupees from the website?
    - What else?

    Anyway, barter shops do not have to bother with all those questions around rupees.

    Rupee banks
    Another idea comes into mind: "rupee banks".
    If we have barter shops which not only do not need rupees, but need to have no rupees and also players who care not to have a high rupee balance, than a new service would make sense:

    Shops with high rupee balance, which trade only few items, mostly "barter currencies" like diamonds, emeralds, coal, which frequently update prices and generate income from conversion between rupees and "barter currencies".

    Actually, all buy/sell shops with significant rupee balance are "rupee banks". Just most of them are too expensive - they have too high margin - and for the most part, IMO, this high margin is a real sign of high inflation.
  6. As I was typing this, my computer lost power and died, and I am not going to re-type all of the mathematical derivations I used to form my counterpoint. Long story short, I like the idea, and it works out really well for some items, but a lot of raw materials would produce serious disparities in value when compared to rupee prices.

    I am basing my mathematical assumptions on a constant of value known as the work minute (wm), which states how many minutes it takes a player to obtain one unit of the material. I then derived the wm ratio for some materials, and then compared it to current rupee values of those items to determine if this would be a practical system for common items.

    Assuming a miner posesses a Fortune III diamond pickaxe and mines straight through a chunk non-stop, encountering no caves, dirt, gravel, lava, monsters, small green aliens ect., and assuming that one chunk posesses an average of 2 diamond ore per chunk, the wm ratio for diamond is .7wm, meaning it takes about 45 seconds of time to create one diamond. This math accomodates for the following:

    Ore size and its effects on the likelihood of finding it.
    Fortune III bonuses.
    Mining speed of an unenchanted diamond pickaxe.
    Average chunk yield of diamond ore.

    This does not take into account irregularities in the mining terrain, such as dirt, or the fact that most people do not have the patience to mine non-stop with an unenchanted pickaxe.

    Assuming a large 2x2 tree farm of spruce or jungle and an unenchanted diamond axe, wood has a wc value of .0073wc. With small trees, this value goes up, with enchanted axes, this value goes down somewhat.
    1 diamond = 96 logs. This is nowhere close to the rupee exchange rate, which is more like 1 diamond for 40.

    Assume a standard mining arrangement with an Eff 4 pick, (ignoring high efficiency stone grinders for now, because those are probably not main sources of cobble compared to mining waste).
    Value = .0013 wm or 1 Diamond is worth about 540 Cobble. 540 Cobble can be conservatively valued at 270r, which is nowhere close to the value of one diamond, which could buy only about 240 in an ideal situation.

    Assuming an ideal in-plot cow farm with Looting III, leather has a wc value of .054wm
    How much is leather worth in diamonds? 1 Diamond = 12.9 leather, which is pretty close.

    An ideal sugarcane farm sets the value of paper at .00127wm
    1 Diamond = ...551 paper Wow... Again, this is pretty close to predicted rupee exchange values.

    Using above information, books have a wc value of .055wm
    1 Diamond = 12.7 books, which is a tad bit high, but still reasonable

    Using normal crafting rates, they are worth about .205wm
    1 Diamond = 3.4 bookcases: Accounting for the normal markup rates for crafted items, this is also really close.

    From this limited data selection, one rupee appears to be worth about .00583wc. Interestingly I can use this number to indicate the degree of inflation of the server economy compared to old prices if I can get enough accurate pricing data.

    TLDR, I like the idea, but the market is a bit too unstable to impliment it for some items.

    As for the rupee banks, I really like the idea of those. Number one point for those is that they could be used to protect against accidentally going bankrupt from shop sales.
    M4ster_M1ner likes this.
  7. You mean wm (work minute).
    That would be 2.859 r / s.
    I calculate currently with 4 r/s (1r = 0.00417 wm), or at least 3 r/s (1r = 0.00556 wm).
    I remember it was around 1 r/s (1r = 0.01667 wm) like 1.5 or 2 years ago.

    Your calculation of effort needed to produce distinct items is valuable for analysis,
    but any shop, including barter shops, will follow supply and demand, it will follow market prices.

    If a stack of wood costs 2.18 diamonds on the market right now, than a barter shop could set prices like this:
    1 Diamond 1001:999
    64 Oak Logs 2200:2160

    That would be 0.2% margin on every sale + 1.8% margin on oak logs = 2% total margin on oak logs.
    (That would be a low margin shop.)

    I've checked my rupee logs and I see that some people already use my diamond chest-shops as rupee bank - it has under 1% margin. :)
  8. Whatever works for you dude, I just threw out some rough approximations to make my point in that direct conversion of items does not scale to rupee values.
  9. I don't see where this would matter with barter any more than with trade using rupees.
    If people now buy stack of wood for 240r, why wouldn't they pay 2 diamonds for it, or vice versa?
    The fact that it is barter does not change demand and supply.
    Blondekid42 likes this.
  10. Ya know what? When I get my alt account, I'm going to make a barter shop. I'll even tag it with +barter to make it easier to find. ^_^ Yall are great at ideas lol.

    I might buy my alt in about a month since I have a big dentist bill coming up, but still. I'm sticking to my guns for bartering, like it or not.

    Monsieur Sachrock refused my trade offer for a diamond voucher because he "only accepts rupees." That's just silly to me. I may be ranting a lil, but still. Rupees aren't everything lol.

    Nonetheless, keep the train rolling and it will hopefully be accepted EMC-wide!
  11. There is an experimental barter shop on smp6, /v 12163 or /v +barter.
    Please check it out - thank you for any comments / suggestions!

    This setup is a try to make barter as easy as possible,
    but I'm not sure if people will understand it right away.

    For now, everything you can buy costs 1 diamond and everything you can sell, sells for 1 diamond.


    Here you can buy 54 Sand for 1 Diamond,
    or sell 58 Sand for 1 Diamond.

    Here you can give the diemonds for the stuff you've bought,
    or you can get your diamonds for the stuff you are about to sell.

    Of course, you can also, for example, take 54 Sand and give 102 Stone.
    In this case, no diamonds are needed.

    It is important that the rupee balance of the whole trade is zero.

    Please try it and let me know what you think.

    Blondekid42 and tuqueque1 like this.
  12. There is a chest-shop with signed book "BarterShop Guide" in front of 12163 - please read it.

    Why barter shop is better than the best EMC shops?

    Let's see how many oak logs I need to sell in order to buy 1 diamond.

    SMP1, 1212, 34 logs
    SMP1, 2222, 35 logs
    SMP1, 1307, 29 logs (out of stock)
    SMP1, 1728, 64 logs
    SMP1, 911, 29 logs (good deal!)
    SMP1, 1547, 64 logs (out of stock, derelict)
    SMP1, 1521, 59 logs

    SMP2, 3456, 37 logs (out of stock)
    SMP2, 3800, 42 logs (out of stock)
    SMP2, 3470, 55 logs

    (this is tediuos - so many nonexistent / empty / confusing / derelict shops)

    SMP6, 12211, 29 logs (same as 911)
    SMP6, 12221, 32 logs
    SMP6, 12659, 32 logs

    SMP6, 12163, 29 logs (best deal)

    Long story short - barter shops can more easily have good deals than shops using rupees.