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Shinobu

Adventures in Marketing

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When I first got to Homecoming, people had been at it for a week or two.  The market was active.  I found it easy to bootstrap myself from two pieces of rare salvage, to a couple of IOs to sell, to several IOs and I was in business.  I made over a billion in a week.  And I was all self-congratulatory, and aren't I smart, and now I'll tell other people how to do it.  Selling on the market those first couple of weeks was EZ mode.  IOs were going for 5 million a piece.  Popular ones were going for 10 million, 15 million.

 

Then the market got crowded.  Lots of people tried the same tricks I used.  Prices on many IOs dropped below 2 million.  This is a good thing overall, more people can afford nice builds, but you have to work harder to make money.  In my head, I knew the answer was to sell in volume, but in practice I didn't do it.  I would craft maybe 10 IOs per market character and list them, and then wait maybe 2 days to craft more.  I'd completely forgotten what selling in volume looked like.

 

And my friends were all, have you conquered the market yet?  And I was like, not quite but I'm working on it.  But really, I wasn't.

 

Over several weeks I've maintained about a billion influence total.  I had between 500 and 600 million on my main / first character, and the 2-3 others I was working on would have maybe 100 to 200 million on them at any given time.  On my electric/shield scrapper I was running a Council Earth farm, and I'd craft any recipes that dropped, but I'd keep the purples and you only maybe get a few recipes a run so I was making maybe 20 million a day at best.  Not to say this was bad -- I was making money, and in a week or so I was approaching 200 million influence.  But compared to a billion that first week?  I was barely moving the needle.

 

Not to say that most players wouldn't be trilled to have a billion influence lying around -- but my goal is to be able to buy Winter Packs by the fistful without even thinking about the cost.  Is that too much to ask?  Is that so wrong?

 

(/em adjusts monacle)

 

Enter my fire farmer.  I'd intended to build one eventually, but I finally started the project Monday.  Once I hit 30 and got relatively well IO'd (those Winter IOs will have to wait, never mind the Purple IOs for when I hit 50), I was able to self-PL using an AE fire farm map set to +2/8 (later turned to +3/8).

 

I watched a video about how you can turn off experience at 50 and earn up to 8 million influence per map on this farm.  Sounds good -- except!  AE tickets are where the real money is at, if you're willing to craft and convert.  I already knew this, so I set for AE rewards, and before I was level 40 I was at the 9999 ticket cap.  I was forced -- forced! -- to spend them.

 

I bought recipes, bronze roll, level 30-34.  Everyone has their own favorite setting but that one is mine.  I got a lot of recipes for a few thousand tickets.  Admittedly, it takes a lot of time to craft and convert so many disparate recipes, and it takes experience to know what might sell, but such a wide mix of recipes forces you to look at IOs that you might not have considered selling.  Some of those lower-level IOs are in short supply and go for 3 to 5 million influence, instead of the 1 to 2 million that many level 50 IOs sell for.

 

I crafted so many recipes that I filled my inventory with crafted IOs.  70 IOs!  And then I remembered:

 

Oh yeah -- THIS is what marketing in volume looks like!

 

I made 100 million in short order, even with buying all of my converters from the auction house.  By this morning I had over 150 million and about 170 converters to use on over 50 crafted IOs in my inventory, so I tossed a bunch more onto the market and should easily have 200 or 250 million by this evening.  And the question is, why haven't I been doing this on all of my market toons?  (Aside from, it takes a lot of time and effort, of course.)

 

So that's my market advice for the day.  Volume.  Don't craft 10 recipes and call it good.  Craft 50 or 100.  If you farm, run an AE ticket farm and roll as many recipes as you can hold.  Craft everything that doesn't require rare salvage -- and maybe some of those, if it's the right kind of recipe.  List a lot of stuff, make more money.  ^_^

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Yep, volume is the key especially in the current market. I only really market on one character but I aim to craft and convert 50-80 enhancements per day (depending on how my current niche is doing).


Defender Smash!

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Also, place bids well ahead of time for several hundred Enhancement Converters at 100K each. They'll fill over time and you'll have them on hand when you need them, instead of having to pay 125K to 150K each. That's 25 to 50 million Inf per 100 savings...

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The thing I’ve noticed about this server is that profit margins go away very quickly and that people are willing to work for almost nothing.


[NPC] Outcast Torch: I got the latest and the best.
[NPC] Outcast Torch: I want to buy a lot. A LOT. Think you can get it?
[NPC] Outcast Torch: Again! Do it again, man!

 

They put SUPERHEROES in my trading game?!?

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The thing I’ve noticed about this server is that profit margins go away very quickly and that people are willing to work for almost nothing.

Really? Because I find the exact opposite. I spend less than 1 million buying a recipe, crafting it and then converting it into an enhancement that sells for 2million-6million. That's a pretty decent profit margin IMHO (and I'm including the cost of the enhancement converters).

 

Now if you're talking about just crafting enhancements then yeah there's generally very little profit there but that's because converters are so cheap.


Defender Smash!

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This is pretty intensive though, you are farming and crafting and converting that's a lot of time invested. I don't craft or farm for INF on my marketing toon, though I do farm to PL toons. You can do it without the farming if you want. I drop about 500M or so a day on superpacks and just convert all the ATOs to brute ATOs and make 100M of profit with the added bonus of getting a ton of merits for converters and other stuff. I dropped 500M on winter packs recently and made back 300M in profit, but winter packs are more swingy than the other ones, you can get bad luck and break even because you just can't buy as many with 500M. I'm think of moving to 1B a day but the converting will take sooo long at that point.

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My farm toon is largely for PLing, but since I'm self-PLing I might as well make a profit along the way.

 

I've been doing the super pack thing too, although only maybe 200 to 250 million a day at best.  I find that I don't necessarily turn a large profit on them, but I've racked up a lot of merits and other things in the process so it's worth my time even if I break even or produce only a narrow profit on the ATOs.  But I haven't been patient enough to convert all of them to brute ATOs either, I've sold a mix of other things as well.

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What’s a Winter Pack? Sounds like a loot box?

 

MCM

 

Under special salvage at the bottom of the market list is where you can buy the two different super packs for 10 million a pack, and the winter packs for 25 million a pack.  The hero & villain super packs contain ATOs -- AT-specific special enhancement sets, and the rogue & vigilante packs contain another set of ATOs, so that there are two sets for every AT.  Winter packs contain 5 sets of winter-themed Enhancements.

 

I guess they're like loot boxes, they were sold for cash originally and they contain random rewards -- 5 rewards hidden under cards, only the last two (the "rare" and "very rare" rewards) can be ATOs or WIOs.  But they can also be other things that you probably don't want as much.

 

I agree with Alphabet Soup II that trying to buy the Winter packs to turn a profit is problematic.  A)  While some of the WIO's will sell for the cost of the pack, if you hit a bad streak with few WIO's in several packs it's a big blow, and B)  For as much money as you have to outlay and recover from selling the WIO's, you're not getting to keep nearly as many other rewards.  I'd rather open 10 hero & villain super packs vs. 4 Winter packs.

 

Of course, there's also C)  I'm addicted to using WIO's in my builds so I don't want to sell them anyway.  :P

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Same way you convert anything else.  All options are available:

 

1.  By Rarity, which gives you a random other ATO.

2.  By type, which gives you the other type of that ATO.  Brute's Fury to Unrelenting Fury, for example.

3.  Within set, to get the one you need.

 

For Winter O's, you can't convert by type because there is only one set for each type.  But you can random-convert to a different WIO, or same-set convert.

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One thing I realized this weekend was that, if you farm for tickets, you don't get IXP -- incarnate experience.  This is something I probably should have known, but I think in the past I've either farmed on characters who were high veterans and I didn't notice or care about IXP, or I wasn't 50 yet so it didn't matter, or it was back in the old days when you couldn't earn IXP from anything outside of incarnate trials and anyway you didn't have a choice between tickets or regular rewards on farms.  You got AE tickets and you liked them!

 

I got my farmer to 50 and then Saturday night I decided to PL a second farmer on my main account because of reasons.  Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning I got my 2nd farmer to 50 (much easier now that I have an alt account farmer to do it with), and after getting IO'd out (I went for a "cheap build", no Winter O's, no purples, since I haven't even finished my expensive build for my main farmer yet) I took the new farmer out for a spin.  I wanted to earn money quickly so I set for AE rewards, and part way through the run I was like, huh, I'm not getting any incarnate experience.

 

I still finished up the run because I wanted those tickets.  I've decided that AE ticket farming is one of the best ways to make money.  I mean, I could be wrong -- I'm probably wrong -- it takes time to run the farms, you aren't getting any purple recipe drops or pvp drops, and you can just buy uncommon recipes by the fistful from the market anyway.  But there's something about getting 70 random recipes that I like.  It takes longer to craft them, but you get an amazing variety of things, some of which you only need to craft and list on the market, no conversions required.

 

The upside to this kind of marketing is that, if you want to keep that IO, it's at max level.  I mean, assuming you're level 50 when you claim everything.  I claimed a lot of recipes on the one farmer when I was still 49, which... was okay if I'm just selling them, but I was still working on my build and was half a level from 50 so that was kind of a mistake.  But normally I'm buying recipes from the market at some odd level like 31 (cheaper to craft), and if a cool IO comes up that I might want, I just sell it anyway because I don't want a junky level 31 IO in my build.  :P  (I usually consider this a feature, because I'm crafting to sell, not crafting to stock my base with things I might use one day.)

 

Anyway by Sunday night I'd made something like 700 million on my "sort of new" farmer (the one I started on Monday), mostly through sales from AE ticket recipes.  It's hard to say for sure how much I made, because once I got over 400 million I started buying Winter Packs to help finish my build.  I think I've bought 8 to 10 Winter Packs, and I'm still over 400 million influence, so that would be 600 to 650 million, maybe a bit more.  On my "even newer" farmer on my main account, I'm up to about 120 million now from two rounds of AE ticket purchases.  The plan is to earn a lot of money on that one, and then maybe down the road I can upgrade that build, but first I want to get my incarnate powers unlocked and set up so no more ticket runs for a while.

 

I mostly farmed and marketed over the weekend, especially Saturday night and Sunday, which got a little boring.  I could have done even more marketing but at some point I'm just like, you know what, I'm going to join this MSR right now instead!

 

I did do quite a bit of buying hero & villain packs / selling ATOs from them over the weekend too.  I got the distinct impression that a lot of people are doing this now -- most of the ATOs were selling for considerably less than 10 million, many of them for 5-7 million.  I don't really see how that can be profitable at those prices, you barely average more than 1 ATO per pack.  But the Brute ATOs still sell very well.

 

It's also hard to judge prices from the last 5.  If I see that the last five of something are selling for, say, 5 million, and I place my IO for sale for maybe 4.7 million and it sells for 5 million instantly -- well, 5 million is the buy-it-nao price, not the high end of the market.  On the other hand, I decided that the high end of the market for Luck of the Gambler +7.5% IO was slightly over 7 million.  I sold a bunch of these for 7 million this weekend, usually listing them for maybe 6.9 million, and they sold quickly.  Then I listed some for 7,000,001 influence, and while I saw sales for as much as 7.5 million, none of my 7,000,001 inf IOs sold.  So I pretty much have the high end of that market pegged at the moment, and hopefully it doesn't slip even further and force me to relist all of those ones I priced at least 100,001 influence too high.  :P

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The upside to this kind of marketing is that, if you want to keep that IO, it's at max level.  I mean, assuming you're level 50 when you claim everything.  I claimed a lot of recipes on the one farmer when I was still 49, which... was okay if I'm just selling them, but I was still working on my build and was half a level from 50 so that was kind of a mistake.  But normally I'm buying recipes from the market at some odd level like 31 (cheaper to craft), and if a cool IO comes up that I might want, I just sell it anyway because I don't want a junky level 31 IO in my build.  :P  (I usually consider this a feature, because I'm crafting to sell, not crafting to stock my base with things I might use one day.)

 

Unless you plan on boosting there's no reason to keep anything at any level when you can just sell it and rebuy it attuned for the same price.

 

Sounds like you've found a good moneymaking niche. Can always just mix ticket and exp runs til you're incarnated out. If you pick the right things the first time it doesn't even take that long on a farming toon (I did not, I'm still grinding levels in the 80s because I need the emp merits to correct my initial choices).

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I usually slot attuned IOs, because my friends like to run lower-level TFs a lot.  I also did this on my first farmer because I was slotting at level 32 with the idea of self-PLing the rest of the way.  But for my second farmer, I don't expect to run the character on TFs often (or at all) so the cheapest route was just to hit at least 47 first, then slot level 50 IOs that I got from crafting (although I did have to buy a few from the market).  I may or may not boost some of them later -- there are a bunch of sets that I'll probably unslot and replace in the future once I can afford to do so.

 

In the past I played more often with people that would run level 50 content nonstop -- ITF, STF, LRSF, etc., and we would also trade PLs for new characters, so it was very easy to IO at level 50 with non-attuned IOs.  But yes, I've mostly been taking advantage of attuned IOs for my other characters.  ^_^

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For me the biggest realization of the new market was that volume trumps quality, a fully tricked out build costs less than 1 billion inf and that you can drastically improve a new character by buying attuned IO sets as soon as possible. I've been doing marketing probably 3-5 days a week depending on how much time I have to play and if I want to dedicate 15-30mins of the day's playtime to set up 50-100 things for sale. So far I've finished three builds (well, the Ill/Cold needs 1 more purple and leveling to 50 and a final respec to slot a lot of the stuff) while constantly ramping up the price: Fire/Time was somewhere around 250-300 million, TW/Elec ended up being around 500-600 and I'm estimating the Ill/Cold is slightly higher than the TW/Elec. Despite having a "total build value" of around 1.5 billion, I've stocked up around 2.5 billion inf plus an unknown amount in useful enhancements (random purples, LotG +Rech, etc) without farming at all.

 

Farming probably generates more income if you want to put in the time, but I find it extremely boring so I've decided to do large volume sales on the AH instead as that eats up less of my total playtime and allows me to focus on content that I actually enjoy. Plus, with the current prices of items I can still generate more influence than I need for a completely tricked out character in the time it takes me to level said character to 50, which is why I've already cut down from refreshing my marketer every session. Then again, someone who gets to 50 much faster needs a quicker source of income to kit out characters as fast as possible.


Torchbearer:

Sunsinger - Fire/Time Corruptor

Cursebreaker - TW/Elec Brute

Coldheart - Ill/Cold Controller

Mythoclast - Rad/SD Scrapper

 

Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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Yeah, I think I'm currently pulling about 100 million inf an hour from marketeering, which seems like it would be at least in line with a high end farming build if not faster.  Since most non-purple leveling slots are averaging sub 5 million, its like 3 minutes of marketeering per level to fully outfit a character, with a few hours maybe at 50 to get them fully decked out.

 

I continue to be amazed at the pricing resilience of LotG despite how relatively cheap and easy it is to make them.

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Since you can slot 5 per build, it makes sense that LotG +7.5% recharge would maintain a relatively high price when other IOs have dropped in price.  It makes it a lot more difficult for demand to outstrip supply.  Right now the only other thing that keeps prices high is scarcity (pvp IOs, purples, ATOs, or sub-50 IOs sets like the Miracle unique). 

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Yeah, they're super high demand.  I'm just surprised more people have not stepped up to meet that demand.  I was making one LotG +7.5% per minute for an hour straight at a 3 million inf markup, and they sold almost as fast as I could put them up.

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It's probably because it's a a relatively click-heavy market niche. On average you're got to convert each enhancement 5 times. I prefer niches with a smaller profit margin but where I only have to convert one or two times on average.


Defender Smash!

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I think I am also coming to that conclusion.  I noted that based on the prices of the other LotG pieces, the in set conversion step was netting under a million in average profit, while the Reactive Defense->LotG conversion step was almost 2 million for far less clicking, so I started just doing that and putting up whatever LotG pieces come out.

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I seem to get the LotG 7.5 at a higher rate converting from other sets than within set. Actually a lot higher. Obviously a small sample and observational, but still. If I get one of the lesser selling pieces i just defense convert again.

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When I tried this last night, I settled on a compromise. I noticed there are a couple of LotG that sell for a couple million less than the rest of the set on average, so I just reconvert those. It may become the global recharge, but even if it doesn't it still more than pays for the extra conversion.

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