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 Post subject: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-15 8:03 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
I've been monitoring a few card prices for a while now on mtgo and I have come up with a theory about it that I can't prove or explain. I'm pretty sure no humans are interested in these cards.

What seems to happen is that there's furious trading between the buy and sell bots so that the prices never fall below some arbitrary value. They just bubble around the limit.

What benefit is derived by the bot chains from all this activity? Is there some kind of tax benefit to it? Or is it like bookmakers laying off the risk whenever their cashflow starts to look low? Or am I just imagining this stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-15 10:22 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
OldVig wrote:
Or am I just imagining this stuff.


You're imagining "this stuff."

You might want to check out Pete Jahn's state of the program article series (PureMTGO) for trending data on MTGO prices, and their influences. While I can't say anything about "all bot chains;" I can say I know an owner of a bot group. He also owns a B&M gaming shop in NC and his bot chain is funded and influenced by humans. I would venture to say most successful and reputable bot groups are very similar (especially when they have a web presence outside of MTGO).

Although, I could see anonymous spam chains buying and selling to/from other bots

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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-15 10:36 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
What do bots get from buying/selling to one another? I don't think any bot buys at a price as high as they sell, so a bot would only buy from another bot if their sell/buy prices matched.

Also, i don't really know if that info is logged. If a bot sells to a bot, and then that bot turns around and sells back to the original (or another, i guess) bot, do we know? Is there a database where this levels the average sale price? I really can't foresee any situation in which the retrading could float the value of a card artificially in this way, unless there's something i'm missing.


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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-15 10:37 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
Treamayne wrote:
OldVig wrote:
Or am I just imagining this stuff.


You're imagining "this stuff."

You might want to check out Pete Jahn's state of the program article series (PureMTGO) for trending data on MTGO prices, and their influences. While I can't say anything about "all bot chains;" I can say I know an owner of a bot group. He also owns a B&M gaming shop in NC and his bot chain is funded and influenced by humans. I would venture to say most successful and reputable bot groups are very similar (especially when they have a web presence outside of MTGO).

Although, I could see anonymous spam chains buying and selling to/from other bots


Could you PM me the B&M name? I'm moving to the Charlotte area soon, and would really like to check out as many different places as possible :)

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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-16 9:34 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
I guess i am influenced by reading about speculative buyouts and such. I'm supposing that a bunch of bots were programmed to not let the average price fall below some set level so that the owners will ultimately end up with at nett profit having forced the price above a natural minimum. It does assume that the people underwriting this are conspiring to keep the prices up. If any party tries to dump stock then the others just grab it at bot speed to retain the monopoly on supply.
I'm just paranoid for sure.
But stuff in good supply* does seem to be too expensive compared to scarce cards.

* you get to see stock levels on wikiprice


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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-16 10:03 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Where's the benefit?

Obviously there is no benefit for 2 bot chains to keep buying and selling each other the same cards as that's basically a zero sum game that consumes energy and thereby costs money. On the other hand, if there's a 3rd chain that is buying higher than the 1st chain sells for it would make sense for the 2nd chain to buy everything they can from the 1st chain to sell to the 3rd chain. The question then becomes: is there some way to trigger 3rd chain into buying too high? Perhaps you notice they have little stock on a card, you buy it out and their buy price increase, maybe do this a few times until their buy price exceeds 1st chain's sell price, pick up many more form there and unload ASAP to the 3rd chain to reap the rewards. The question though is: will the owners of these bot chains not have fail safes in play to prevent exactly this kind of manipulation? Likely competition is monitored closely: leading to price adjustment long before 3rd chain's buy will ever exceed 1st chain's sell and 3rd chain is as likely to notice 1st chain's sell to be low and just buy from there. The one reason I could see this happen is if one chain identifies a weakness in the algorithms of another chain and abuses those, but you expect that to be caught quickly.

Theoretically it would be feasible to corner the supply of a certain card. Congrats: you now have a monopoly. However, prices were likely increasing as you bought out the card and will likely drop as you sell the card and supply enters the market again. Now it's entirely possible for a card to end up at a higher price after you sell out, but it's also possible that a card won't live up to hype and the price drops further. You're basically gambling on desirability of the card in question and you can do that with smaller volumes as well. Energy consumption again means that if you break even card prices wise you still have extra costs, so you need to do significantly better than break even.

IRL some cards are rare enough and underpriced enough that you have relatively little risk buying them out: even if you sell all the new price level will likely be above your buy in, often to the point where shop's buylist prices exceed the original retail price, and the cards are so rare a buyout doesn't take buying a lot. This is why Old School card prices have been behaving the way they have been recently. I doubt the same applies on MTGO where few cards have the rarity of old paper cards and none are protected by the Reserved List.

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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-17 1:37 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
The only benefit I could see it transaction data. If the data shows the cards moving for about the same price a large number of time, the price looks established. This could buoy some card prices from falling.

It does seem like a stretch as retailers have to move product to make money, and prices are usually set by how much people want a card.

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 Post subject: Re: MTGO card prices ???
AgePosted: 2018-Aug-20 7:12 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
That would only be a benefit if people are willing to buy at that price. The higher you set a price the fewer people are going to find it acceptable, at some point you're just going to find that hardly anybody will buy it. Of course it helps if it looks like it sells briskly at this price, but there will always be a point where it just exceeds what people are willing to pay. Where do you find this transaction data in any case? You also have the difficulty that often sellers undercut the market if they want to move something while it isn't moving. This may trigger a cascading effect of going lower and lower until the card starts selling. It seems unlikely that a majority of bot chain operators are working together, leading to there always being plenty to undercut if your price is too high.

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