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  1. #1
    Wenchie's Avatar
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    Cartels - how far is too far?

    I've recently found myself in position where there are several people on my server trying to control the prices of a handful of items on AH.

    They have been contacting players (like myself) that also sell these items to get them to agree to only sell at an agreed price. The items themselves are not in particularly limited supply, for example, the item I was contacted about recently is one of the new meta cuts that already has 5-6 suppliers on our server and has several copies of the recipe available on AH. Personally, I do not see the point in trying to force this price to the levels they are aiming for as the supply isn't limited enough to warrant it.

    I declined the offer to join them politely, and suggested that if they were so certain about the huge profit they would make from this new pricing that they were welcome to buy out my auctions and resell them.

    Not a new situation, I'm sure. However, now I'm finding endless spam notes in my mailbox demanding I join their group, and endless whispers while I am trying to get on with the game. How far should I let these silly games progress? If it continues, should I just report them for harassment?

  2. #2
    Well, imo, cartels are wrong and should be destroyed utterly. Just report them for harassment, the good news is that once all your competitors get a temp ban, you can run away with the market. Ignore and report, you'll come out on top.

    I was actually going to join a market to destroy a cartel on a meta cut last week, it ended up not needing me, as it ate itself, though I did help down spiral it to half price.

    You'll honestly make more money not participating in it anyway. Are they buying out your cuts? If so, profits inc, if not, are they undercutting you? Then the market is working, if they don't undercut or buyout tho, they've essentially removed themselves from the market.

  3. #3
    Report their mail as spam and report any whispers they send you as harassment. As Pheonix said if your lucky they will actually get some form of temp ban which means you will have some free time to exploit the market without them around so their fools to themselves...well their obviously fools if they thought they had any chance to to control the market anyway.

  4. #4
    A cartel would have to have more than a handful of members to ensure continued success (and they would all have to have DEEP pockets). It's a nice concept in theory, but there are too many factors beyond their control (ie. you, and everyone else that recognizes what they're doing) to make it last more than a couple weeks, tops.

    I'm sure you could REALLY start to upset them if you just started setting anyone who sends you a /tell on ignore. Or, if you want to be particularlly malicious, make a nice macro in trade that identifies all of the members you know of and blow the lid off what they do to the public (possibly with a tip on how to help break them apart).

    But that all depends on how malicious you're feeling at the time. Personally, if it was early enough and I haven't had coffee, I'd have a nice trade macro selling "Items below (Name of some of the players) "Cartel" prices!"
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  5. #5
    Wenchie's Avatar
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    hehehe all good suggestions, thank you

    I must admit, I could see from a mile off that there would be no profit in joining their group. Far too small a market and far too many people supplying it. I'll keep an eye on who's buying my cuts out and see how many of them are from the cartel!

  6. #6
    Kathroman's Avatar
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    I think that a lot of times, people are drawn to the idea of a cartel, and don't actually understand how it works. It's sort of like a Ninja or a pirate - everyone fantasizes about being one, but if someone handed you a detailed job description of a pirate, it wouldn't seem nearly as glamorous, I'm sure.

    Anteres is right, there are too many components of an ACTUAL cartel that can't be done in WoW. The biggest one being that you actually have no means of fully controlling the supply and demand of the market. People don't need to use the auction house in order to exchange goods - it just makes things easier.

    A WoW cartel is unsustainable. The basic principles of the economy directly counter it: The markets that are easiest to control are usually things that people don't really need, so there won't be many sales, and the things that people really need are readily available and thus, are much more difficult to control.
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  7. #7
    Xsinthis's Avatar
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    I've never dealt with a cartel before, the closest I've come is when the "ninja" ink trading change hit before cata, I messaged my known glyph competitors and asked them to raise their threshold and fallback prices. We drove the price up pretty high for about a day or two before other people noticed and jumped in.

  8. #8
    Sterling's Avatar
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    If they're trying to keep the price for said meta artificially high, why stop them? This cartel isn't hurting you, it's helping. Just keep selling for as high as you can.
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  9. #9
    Wenchie's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to stop them...I just do not see a benefit to joining them and dislike being threatened and pressured to do so.

  10. #10
    Lanoitarus's Avatar
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    Smart choice: keep making money at whatever price you can until the cartel collapses.

    Evil choice: Piss them off by selling that particular cut at the absolute minimum cost you possibly can without losing money in the highest volume you can sustain. This trades money for spite and isn't nearly as clever as it is fun.

    /ignore is your friend.