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October 16, 2003

The ISK Report

Prices are easing upwards on isk again. I've once more increased my sell price, now it's right at $3 per million and I still can't stock enough isk. I'm getting more aggressive in my efforts to buy larger lots, but am still cautious. I don't buy if I'm not reasonably certain of at least break-even status on reselling, after fees.

The 500 million lot I mentioned yesterday did sell, at exactly $750. Someone sniped it at the last moment. It had been sitting bidless, in part, I'm sure, due to the high opening ask price for an auction. But the seller was also, to me, questionable for a lot of that size. He has one solitary feedback entry, positive, dated October 14, 2003. To wit: "You can thrust , but need time to trade he did communicated." (sic) Also, the seller required payment in cashiers check or money order, both non-revokable instruments. I rated that transaction as high risk, and the potential reward, while attractive, was not attractive enough to outweight that risk to me. I keep having these visions of the Russian mafia cornering the isk market...

After reading Julian's tale of scam on Play Money, I am resolved to remain cautious. There's no real way to prevent someone from doing what happened there, on the seller end. All we can do is eyeball the feedback looking for warning signs. On the buying end we can check out the sellers' records (or lack thereof) and take them into consideration. As we used to say on Wall Street, "Bulls and bears make money, pigs make shit." Greed bites the hand that feeds it.

It would be interesting to see Paypal try to exercise their guaranteed delivery policy where two verified Paypal members are concerned and virtual funds are involved. I suppose they would point to the shipping address and say the goods were not shipped to that address so we're not involved. But what if I changed my address, as buyer, to "X-Sense Chemical Refinery Station, Stetille IV, Moon 11, Sinq Liason?" Would they then argue that's not in the United States? Darn, they'd have me there too, if the servers are actually in Iceland. I'm not, in fact, sure where the servers are located.

All of this is feed for the discussion over at Terra Nova. We're now into talking about the place of privacy policy in gaming and the possibilities of digital signature-based currency. I admit to being bad: I've broken my resolution to post my longer comments here, rather than as comments there. I do try to come back here first, but then I find myself thinking, "this really has more to do with Terra Nova than dislogue," which is arguable. If it's something I get passionate about (and I probably wouldn't post if it weren't), it's fair game here. To make up for my frailty I've linked to the posts where I commented.

But I also have a self-imposed policy of avoiding politics, as much as I can, here. And I do wax passionate on politics, as any of my family or friends can testify, so the passion test isn't sufficient. I'll have to muse over it more.

I shut down the old blog site faster than I originally planned. I've got the redirect up and will leave that for at least a few days. Then I'll try playing with my old dynamic DNS settings to extend it indefinitely so I can reclaim that PC as a game machine.

Posted by dan at October 16, 2003 08:31 PM | TrackBack

Hey Dan -- you could also try posting longer things here and then posting a link to them in the comments thread over on TN...

(I'm often faced with the same quandry of whether to post on TN or in a comments box elsewhere.)

Posted by: Greg Lastowka at October 16, 2003 09:22 PM

If your trying to make money off EVE auctions, be warned of the official policy.. I got this message a little over a week ago.


After a thorough investigation we have concluded that your account "" have been involved in selling various items from EVE-Online on Ebay from your account. Selling items on Ebay is strictly against the EULA and we therefore have no other option but permanently banning your account.

Best regards,
The EVE Online Team

Even got a follow up message a few days later asking "How did we do?". Quite funny actually.
Well funny for me since I had liquidated and hadn't been active since the very public wave of bannings back in Sep. If I had had a bunch of cash tied up in it then the matter would be quite different.

Posted by: - at November 9, 2003 11:12 AM
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