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Active Stop undercutting. Seriously.

Discussion in 'Rules and Suggestions' started by Krelbit, Mar 13, 2016.

Question for the buyers - Would you be comfortable buying at a higher price for sellers?

  1. Yeah, if they're efficient and knowledgable they deserve decent compensation for their time.

  2. No, prices should be kept as low as possible for the benefit of the consumer.

  3. I seem to be on the fence with this one.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    TLDR: Store owners on this platform are making way too little in contrast to what they do. If put into hourly wages (which we do not earn), a large majority of this site's sellers are more underpaid than workers at McDonalds. Our prices have been slowly decreasing with the open market but as the market starts to become more barred, I see that our appropriate response is to raise the prices once again (albeit not too extreme, just so that our sellers can reach proper compensation for their time and effort into learning how to gen properly).

    Another rant thread! Yay!
    This one attacks low pricing and undercutting by sellers.
    This rant is unlike my other rants. This rant isn't targeted at @doulie. I know, so surprising. This one's for the sellers who undercut and lower their prices to edge up on the competition.

    Now, I love this site, and I love that I can sell pokemon on it, but is it worth it at the price I sell at?

    I wanted to test this out, so I thought up a little formula for this.
    [​IMG]
    Say your average seller takes 25 minutes to gen and sell a team of 6.
    So we'll divide 25 from 60 and get 2.4. 2.4 sales per hour.
    We'll multiply 2.4 by the price of your team, and that's how much PC you make in an hour.
    500 x 2.4 = 1200 PC / Hour.

    Now divide it by 150, and there's your USD profit.
    1200/150 = 8

    But wait, there's more! Multiply by 0.971 and subtract 0.3 to see what PayPal fees do to your payment.
    8*0.971-0.3=7.47

    Now that we've got an equation, let's apply it to every single price point on this site, starting from 300 and going in increments of 25.

    I made a chart showing a perfect scenario on this site. This assumes that you can make 2.4 sales per hour, and as many sellers know, that simply does not happen. After asking around I see that most sellers average 5-9 sales a day. For the average 6-8 hours that we're on per day, we'd have to make 14 to 19 sales in our time here to earn this kind of money. We'd have no time to enjoy the company of the community, and no time to enjoy the site. We'd have to be sale robots for our entire time here.

    [​IMG]
    At my current prices, if I were to make constant sales for 7 hours (lol) , i'd come out with USD $52.22 a day.

    On average, sellers at my price level make 1-5 sales a day. That's $3-$16 a day, on a good day. You know who makes 22 dollars a day?

    [​IMG]

    So now to the root of the problem. Competition. We all compete, and it small amounts it's a very healthy thing. But it comes to a point where you get some pretty rampant undercutting. Now, this price drop started in January of 15, when QR code genning came and never quite went away.

    Like your weird aunt that moved into your basement and does nothing but collect old Beanie Babies.

    [​IMG]

    At first, prices slimmed down from 300PC per pokemon to 200PC per pokemon. Looking at the graph, that was kind of okay, but was slipping. Fast forward to smea's release of homebrew for most of our current genning model. Prices flew down abysmally, hitting the 60 PC range, somewhere around $4/hour. As barriers started to rise and interest began to rise again, we were able to bring the prices up to 100PC, which is great, but there's still too much work to be done if we actually want to make our time worth something.

    Now, since prices are so low, and they've been this way for so long, we can't bring our prices up without being counter-priced by our competitors.

    To understand this situation fully, we'll have to take a look at the prisoner's dilemma.
    This is a good video which goes over it.

    We have to look at this at a standpoint to better the community. If everyone tries to serve themselves out here, we're going to collapse on our prices and we'll all be stuck in some weird storefront Wild West.

    "But Krelbit!" You say, "I keep my prices low so people will come to my store, and then when I build a reputation, I'll raise my prices!"

    No. It doesn't work like that. After you stick a certain low price point, your buyers become patrons to that ideology. Changing your prices will be incredibly hard, since your customer base is so used to your bullcrap cheap prices. If I go to Wal-Mart one day and buy a pack of gum for $1, and I come back the next day and see it's $3, and see a $1 substitute, I'm going for the $1 substitute.

    We've got to raise our prices, and we've got to raise them as a community. If everyone raises their prices except one person, everyone's going to flock to that one person. Sure that person may see it as great, until they get swarmed with orders and see that they're making close to no money, even with all of their sales. This is when demoralization and bad quality come into their product, and may leave the buyer with a shitty impression of the site.

    Sure, we may lose a customer here, or a customer there, because they don't have the willingness and ability to pay for pokemon. But the customers we get balance out the customers that we miss, and we can waste less time and do less work.

    A market is defined by its price, its supply, its demand, and its barriers to entry. The barriers to entry on the pokemon genning market are starting to rise. Nintendo has patched freehax, blocking browserhax and menuhax access to newer updated consoles. With this new scarcity and barrier to entry in our market, we have the opportunity to actually make a decent amount of money for the time we spend here.

    Please consider it, because this site's starting to finally pick up in popularity, and we're still basically making piss-all per day, and I say this as one of the current top 5 sellers on the site.

    Chaos told me "I'm getting paid $18 per hour in my job. I dont feel like working for less than what I'm earning in my free time."

    Even if we're not making $18 (That's $13.62 USD, probably before taxes, lol shit Canada) per hour (love you Canada), I feel like we should be making something a bit above what the greasy kid behind the McDonald's register is making. Actually, McDonalds workers will soon get paid at a starting $10 salary.

    So really, we get paid less than the kid who sits at the register and sneaks a handful of fries every 5 minutes. [​IMG]
    Edit: The article is a year old. We already get paid less than aforementioned child.

    "Come on Krelbit, it's just a hobby, I do this for fun, not as a job."
    Doesn't mean your time isn't still worth anything.
    I have a job and make a decent amount of money myself, and I believe if I choose to earn money during my free time, I should at least get a good damn amount of it.

    "But Krelbit! No one buys from me. I need these low prices as a way to attract customers at all!"
    No. You attract customers by being a decent human being and finding a niche. Niches are all the more common in competitive markets. Find a way to differentiate your store.
    My personal niche is speed.
    Yours could be customer service. Or very thorough gens, even down to the SID level.
    There are lots of ways to carve a name for yourself and this is not acceptable that the only way you think to raise your customer base is by undermining the economy and community.

    I'll take this as a chance to up my prices to 175PC per pokemon.

    [​IMG]


    I implore you to do the same, if not, raise your prices at all. Try it for a week or two. I promise it won't be so bad.

    Thanks for reading my shit rant. Have a great one.

    P.S. I tried to John Oliver this one as much as I could. Comment some feedback for me! How did I do?


    References​
    The iEconomy: How Much Do Foxconn Workers Make? (2014, February 24). Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/the-ieconomy-how-much-do-foxconn-workers-make/?_r=0
    Hicken, M. (2015, April 2). McDonalds to give a pay raise to hourly workers. Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/01/news/companies/mcdonalds-pay-raise/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2016
  2. notsoclutch

    notsoclutch Rare Breed Staff Member Admin Let It Reign Battler Donor

    Eh, I dont mind I suppose. I feel like Ive paid 200 PC in the past, so 175 is fine. Just dont go all OPES on me, and I'll support you Krelbit. ;)
     
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  3. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    It's not like I want 175 to become industry standard or whatever, but being paid more than a McDonald's worker would be preferable.
     
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  4. Matt_192

    Matt_192 Official Server Crasher Staff Member Admin Will Not Fall Journalist Friendzilla Donor Dex Contributor Iron Will

    Yay, a long rant ;)

    Yeah I fully support this. I'm already aware that myself and a few other members are used to paying 300PC per Poke from IATS sellers, so a middling price point that works for all would be preferable.
     
  5. Nenkendo

    Nenkendo Youngster Joey

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    yay now i can waste more of my money on this site: thanks Krilbit <3
    Nenkendo
     
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  6. yunerotroy

    yunerotroy Youngster Joey

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    1. No, prices should be kept as low as possible for the benefit of the consumer.
      1 vote(s)
      11.1%

    2. I seem to be on the fence with this one.
      1 vote(s)
      11.1%
    both 11.1% omg
     
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  7. Matt_192

    Matt_192 Official Server Crasher Staff Member Admin Will Not Fall Journalist Friendzilla Donor Dex Contributor Iron Will

    Well yeah, that's how percentages work .-.
     
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  8. BlazingInfernape

    BlazingInfernape Pokémon Champion Team Elite

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    An this is why me and another member are creating a sort of PP Union. To help bring the prices up. Also I fully support your idea krelbit and I believe this should be official
     
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  9. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    We can't egg doulie for a higher price floor. Price floors lead to decreased quality and more shady trades.
    Believe me, I've tried. This effort has to be for the community, by the community. It can't ever be official.
    Ew math
     
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  10. AceBreeder-Brock

    AceBreeder-Brock Administrator Staff Member Admin Will Not Fall Trusted Seller Badge Smaug Tournament Coordinator Journalist Battler Friendzilla Donor Dex Contributor Iron Will

    Yeah I agree that something could be done to help everyone I don't know exactly what though and how it would work out. I've been a seller here as well and my prices were the same and still are from the very beginning 250 PC for a fully custom pokemon b/c that was the norm at the time even when the market was having its ups and down I stayed to my pricing. Oh and I didn't gen had to do everything mostly manually with a psave to help through with. Am going to admit something right now I prefer doing it through psave then genning (you might think am crazy lol) even at the time when anybody could gen for free. idk I guess I liked the research I had to do when making the poke. I haven't seen a lot of customers since the market turned it down too a reasonable 100 PC for the other known and experienced sellers and then new sellers went even lower when it came to undercutting. Am actually good with 100 PC I think its the norm and makes sense because the games ORAS has been out for years now. However I see why Sellers want it to be higher/ have a higher minimum and can agree to it, Then it all matters if the buyers are willing to pay higher, as a seller you gotta change your pricing around for the situation at hand unfortunately me myself got lazy after exams to do so haha. My guess is the new games (if it has lots of new pokemon maybe more then XY) would probably raise the market pricing then it all matters if the new sellers would go up aswell.
     
  11. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    Well that's the situation right now. As Nintendo implements more updates less players will have access to homebrew and hacks. This decreases the total supply of pokemon. If supply shifts back, we get a higher equilibrium price. However, the market has been stagnant for too long so it needs a kick to get off its ass or it's only gonna go downhill from here.
     
  12. BlazingInfernape

    BlazingInfernape Pokémon Champion Team Elite

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    Yea, That's why I'm starting this union to help bring the community back up to a decent standard.
     
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  13. cj-97

    cj-97 LUCIOBAAALLLLLLL! Staff Member Admin Will Not Fall Trusted Seller Badge King of the Ring Iron Will

    Completely agree with everything here and I'm joining you in raised my pricing.
     
  14. GiaQuando

    GiaQuando The Great Tactician Will Not Fall Trusted Seller Badge Smaug Friendzilla Donor Dex Contributor Iron Will

    Well it is true the work we do is quite cheap...
    I raised my prices too cause now that my free time is even more limited it's harder for me to make the pokes :/
    Joined ya too and hope those undercuters will realize that the more they undercut the less they earn and the more damage they do to themselves :p
     
  15. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    Added more rant content. You're welcome, @Matt_192.
     
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  16. Matt_192

    Matt_192 Official Server Crasher Staff Member Admin Will Not Fall Journalist Friendzilla Donor Dex Contributor Iron Will

    This whole thread be like

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    We can like all we want but some of the people that did like really need to take action, if they want actual money coming off of this.

    P.S.[​IMG]
     
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  18. Matt_192

    Matt_192 Official Server Crasher Staff Member Admin Will Not Fall Journalist Friendzilla Donor Dex Contributor Iron Will

    Agreed. Personally this doesn't apply to me as I'm not a seller, but we also need to raise awareness to all the buyers on the site as well of the current problems.
     
  19. Loli-Shark

    Loli-Shark Pokémon Champion Will Not Fall

    You did the maths and that's cool, but Imma put my share of the maths down here.

    Minimal wage for 18-20 in the UK per hour is something like 5.13 pounds. An average gen, personally for me - I understand people may take longer or shorter based on their methods - is about 10 minutes. 10 minutes is a sixth of an hour. So we do 5.13/6 which leaves us with 0.855. That's about 90p per sale of a pokemon.

    Next, we look at the general exchange rate. 150 credits gives you 0.71p. This means you need to charge more than 150 credits per pokemon.

    Actually, to get the 90p that you deserve - counting this as a 'real job' - you should charge an extra 40 credits, give or take.

    SO IN TOTAL, THAT'S APPROXIMATELY 190 CREDITS PER POKEMON.

    Cool. So we know what price we should be selling them for. 190 credits. So, when compared to the normal, minimal wage in England, we're getting a cheaper price. But this isn't a real job.

    The crux of my problem with this is that we're taking it in the viewpoint that this is your only source of income. And to that, so many negatives can be said.

    Furthermore, I find issue with the certain discounts that some shops have. Cool, they have initiatives to get more people into a specific group, but it's a tad unfair to those who just want a deal and to go. Another issue that can be mentioned is that some people, like myself who charges 20pc for a pokemon, don't care too much about being a business tycoon that takes all of the sales. I'm more of a, look, have whatever you want for free because everyone needs a hand. Plus, with the loopholes in this system, you can make pokemon and trade them for a magikarp. Yeah, some might say that I'm being too dumb and missing out on money, but seriously, I couldn't care less.

    So while, if this was a real job, I think prices should be fitting of the 190pc with no discounts for anyone, so everyone is on equal footing, I know that won't happen. But them, like previously mention, this isn't a real job and quite frankly, you should get one if this is a serious way to get income.

    To close, if I saw someone selling the exact same thing as someone else but for less, then I'm in. You always look for deals in real shopping, so why not do the same? Yes, you may have slower service or be less happy, but as long as you get what you want in the end, does it really matter if I paid 90p for a virtual pet?
     
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  20. Krelbit

    Krelbit Guest

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    Let's break this down.
    Interesting to see you went on a per pokemon basis. I went on a per-team basis, giving about 7-9 minutes to gen and the rest of the time as bulk in trading. For the Americans, 90p is roughly 1.27. 5.13 pounds comes out to about 7.26, and the national minimum wage for Americans (may differ from state to state) is 7.25. So, unbridled by site fees, to make minimum wage you have to sell at approximately $1.20 to break even with minimum wage, or 120PC.


    Now If we factor in site fees, by dividing by 0.66, we get 1.83 actually, so a pokemon being sold at 175 isn't too far off, especially at my assumption of 25 minutes per team sale.

    Now again, I know this isn't a real job. It's a hobby and a way to blow my free time with making a nice buck and socializing with friends who share common interest. BUT, if I'm putting in an amount of knowledge and skill that others may not be able to replicate, I feel I should be compensated, and clearly, if anyone owns a store here, so do they.

    I'll say it again, it's not my only source of income, but my time is still worth something, and the amount of time i've taken to learn, obtain, and keep up with events, research transfer-only moves, teach basics of battling and pokemon stats, research complimentary natures, and moves qualifies this as a (very) niche market of skilled labor.

    Like, team discounts? I see your point, and I'm on the fence with those. At first sight it looks to be a bit more of a community effort. Joining a team gets you a sense of community, so that's more about user retention. At the same time there are many drop and shop attitudes with this site which can only be expected. However, as this thread pertains to undercutting people, I don't seem to see a direct correlation with this.

    It's seriously a good thing that we do have someone like you that can shill out the free time. My suggestion would only be not to overdo it, because then the users begin to annoy and depend on you. Giving out 2-3 free pokemon per user is actually an awesome thing! It helps the newer users pair the site with a good and helpful image, and stimulates them to spend more time here and maybe involve themselves as a community member and buy PC to help support the site.

    At 190 PC per pokemon for an hour, a user would end up with 1140 PC for that hour. I feel like that's misrepresentative, since I can sell a team for 875 in 25 minutes, and after asking @cj-97, @GiaQuando, and @Chaos, their sales take about the same time to gen and trade. Since you seem operate on a single pokemon basis, your time frames are very distorted in comparison to teamsellers.

    Ah, but you're not every buyer. Some people want their pokemon fast. Some want their pokemon with SIDs and bells n whistles. It's the premise behind rush shipping. Why do you think people buy things with Amazon Prime if they can just use normal Amazon and get it 5-6 days later? Currently, the market for fast and legal pokemon is bigger than the one of people who want to wait. You can see this very evidently in breeders. People would rather pay more than go to a breeder because they know that the breeding process will take time.

    Your presence as a freebie distributor is one that is appreciated (just don't overdo it) by users on this site. Thanks for sticking around even though you do get shit-all for your work.

    Have a nice day.
     

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