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Jan 05 2013
By: AzureBonds Hekseville Citizen 280 posts
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Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

[ Edited ]
23 replies 1084 views Edited Jan 5, 2013

This isn’t an “I Hate Lockwood!” or “Lockwood Sucks!” thread. I am merely reporting the information I found, and making a few personal notes as needed. While I can pretty much guarantee that there will be posts of that nature in this thread, I hope we can keep it civil and keep them to a minimum, and instead focus on the topic: Was Lockwood’s Auction Machine a success?

 

Just out of curiosity, I went through the completed auctions to see how things stood, and to see whether the Auction Machine was a success or not for Lockwood. Based on the average amount paid per item in the auctions as compared to the estimated cost of the item in the store, and based on auction mechanics, it undoubtedly was an unqualified success for Lockwood.

Lockwood’s decision to charge the winners what they bid was the correct financial decision. An extremely fair minimum bid was posted. The minimum bid they placed was below the price that they would charge in the store.

The Auction Machine is very similar to ebay, obviously. The person placing the auction (in this case Lockwood) puts a fair or lower minimum price on their items (usually) than what they expect to receive. In most cases, the winning bid is higher, sometimes significantly, than the opening price. It’s not fault of the person placing the auction if people want to pay more. Humans are competitive by nature. I know I got caught up in a bidding war on ebay once, and paid probably $15.00 more for an item I won just because the other person kept upping the bid on me.

The team at Lockwood understands marketing, and has a firm grasp on the pulse of Home. In the marketing realm, using Lockwood tokens instead of cash was a brilliant decision. Why? Look at the high bid for Kiburi the Lion for the answer. Which sounds more? 5000 tokens or $45.00? If using cash, would this person have paid $45.00 for that item? Probably not. So by using tokens instead, it gives the appearance that the bidder is not spending real money.

Similar to using a credit card, the average consumer doesn’t think of the price at the time of purchase. Swipe the card and go. It’s a similar situation here. Bid the tokens and go. Also, the average Home user is probably in the seventeen to twenty-five year old range. And a good percentage of people in that age group don’t really have a firm grasp on their finances.

As for the pulse of Home, everyone knows that a large portion of the community likes to see their names at the top of the leaderboard. That is the main reason why I think there were such large bids; knowing that, Lockwood gave them that option. And also people on Home like rare items; having things that other people don’t have and can’t get. I’m guilty of that with my EVO Arcade Joystick companion. I love the little guy, and show him off quite often.

Could they have made more money selling the items in the store directly? Absolutely they could have. Take the Linked Chain – Male. They made a rough total of $280.00. Selling it in the store at $1.49, I would guess they could have made easily a few thousand, and probably more.

But can you imagine the cries for blood if the items were placed in the store for the average price paid per item in the auction? Again, look at the Linked Chain – Male. I would think the price in the store would be $1.49. Compare that to the average price in the auction of $14.00. That’s a 1000 percent increase in price. Not bad… Not bad at all…

So from a purely financial point of view, Lockwood probably made only a small percentage of what they could have made placing the items in the store at the estimated price or even the minimum bid price. But based on the cost per make and the return, I would think they accomplished what they set out to do with the Auction Machine, to make a decent profit.

Lockwood is happy because they made money. Sony is happy because they made money. The auction winners are happy because they have a rare item that only a set number of people will ever have. On the flip side, non-winning bidders are NOT happy because they lost 10% of their bid (this was a known condition, not something sneaky Lockwood did), and the winners who bid high prices are probably not happy once they realize how much their bids are in actual cash, but they have no one to blame but themselves.

 

I do have a couple questions regarding how the auctions work.

1) Does the user have to have the tokens on hand to cover the bid before bidding?

2) If they don’t need to have the tokens bid on hand, is there a penalty for a user not completing the agreement upon auction close?

 

 

Other questions:

1) Do you see other developers following this example and creating Auction Machines of their own?

2) If other developers follow suit, what changes do you think they might make or like to see them make?

3) What item (generically speaking – personal space, for example), if added, would tempt you place a bid and attempt to win?

 

Again, I am in no way vilifying Lockwood. The Auction Machine is not evil. It is a carefully thought out and designed mechanism to make Lockwood money. All they are doing is using proven marketing strategies and knowledge of Home to generate revenue. The only thing I disagree with is the 10% token tax for non-winning bidders.

 

So without further ado, here are the results of the Lockwood Auction machine.

(NorseGamer, get out a plate, silverware and napkin. You are going to eat this up!)

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Hekseville Citizen
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success?

[ Edited ]
Jan 5, 2013

Token prices:

80 tokens = $0.99

480 tokens = $4.99

1180 tokens = $10.99

2780 tokens = $23.99

6240 tokens = $49.99

 

Notes:

1) All dollar amounts are estimates.

2) The 10% token tax for non-winning bidders is not taken into account, as I don’t have that information.

3) The tokens purchased by non-winning bidders to participate are not taken into account, as I don’t have that information.

4) The dollar amounts listed are based off of the largest token package available to cover the tokens noted. Item Grand Totals may be different than the individual auction totals added together.

5) Not all users spent $50 for 6240 tokens, and the smaller token packages have a higher cost per token. Therefore the actual amount of money received is also higher.

 

 

Drey Limited Edition Sunglasses – Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       3000 tokens = $25.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       7483 tokens = $61.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/748 tokens = $6.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       965 tokens = $9.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         6156 tokens = $49.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/616 tokens = $5.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    13,639 tokens = $105.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            682 tokens = $5.25

 

Kiburi the Lion Rideable Mount:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $2.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 250 tokens = $2.00

Advertised Number of Winners:                    20 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       5000 tokens = $45.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       34,678 tokens = $325.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/1734 tokens = $16.25

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       1501 tokens = $16.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         13,182 tokens = $100.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/659 tokens = $5.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    47,860 tokens = $375.00

Total Number of Winners:                              40 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            1197 tokens = $9.00

 

Figment Occasion Gown and Shoes – Female:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $3.99

Minimum Bid:                                                 250 tokens = $2.00

Advertised Number of Winners:                    20 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       3500 tokens = $38.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       23,275 tokens = $190.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/1164 tokens = $9.50

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2200 tokens = $22.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         18,271 tokens = $150.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/914 tokens = $7.50

Auction 3 High Bid:                                       2800 tokens = $24.00

Auction 3 Total Wining Bids:                         16,378 tokens = $140.00

Auction 3 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/819 tokens = $7.00

Auction 4 High Bid:                                       3100 tokens = $26.00

Auction 4 Total Wining Bids:                         27,250 tokens = $230.00

Auction 4 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/1363 tokens = $11.50

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    85,174 tokens = $700.00

Total Number of Winners:                              80 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            1065 tokens = $8.75

 

Figment Signature Watch - Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       2200 tokens = $21.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       12,967 tokens = $105.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1297 tokens = $10.50

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2001 tokens = $20.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         12,605 tokens = $100.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1261 tokens = $10.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    25,572 tokens = $200

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            1279 tokens = $10.00

 

Sapphire Droplet Earrings - Female:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       1100 tokens = $11.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       8547 tokens = $75.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/855 tokens = $7.50

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2368 tokens = $22.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         10,063 tokens = $85.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1006 tokens = $8.50

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    18,610 tokens = $150.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            931 tokens = $7.50

 

Figment Occasion Suit - Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $3.99

Minimum Bid:                                                 250 tokens = $2.00

Advertised Number of Winners:                    20 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       1000 tokens = $10.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       7183 tokens = $60.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/359 tokens = $3.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2000 tokens = $20.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         8865 tokens = $77.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/443 tokens = $3.75

Auction 3 High Bid:                                       1400 tokens = $15.00

Auction 3 Total Wining Bids:                         6373 tokens = $52.00

Auction 3 # of Winners and Average Price:   19 Winners/335 tokens = $2.75

Auction 4 High Bid:                                       1400 tokens = $15.00

Auction 4 Total Wining Bids:                         15,215 tokens = $130.00

Auction 4 # of Winners and Average Price:   20 Winners/761 tokens = $6.50

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    37,636 tokens = $300.00

Total Number of Winners:                              79 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            476 tokens = $3.75

 

Gold Cascade Earrings - Female:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       3000 tokens = $25.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       10,135 tokens = $80.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1014 tokens = $8.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2999 tokens = $25.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         12,113 tokens = $100.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1211 tokens = $10.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    22,248 tokens = $185.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            1112 tokens = $9.25

 

Figment Signature Ring - Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $0.99

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       1300 tokens = $14.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       4576 tokens = $48.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/458 tokens = $5.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       810 tokens = $9.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         5778 tokens = $49.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/578 tokens = $5.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    10,354 tokens = $75.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            518 tokens = $3.75

 

Figment Chronograph Watch - Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       810 tokens = $9.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       6599 tokens = $51.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/660 tokens = $5.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       250 tokens = $2.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         1297 tokens = $12.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/130 tokens = $1.25

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    7896 tokens = $63.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            395 tokens = $3.00

 

Special Edition Panthabot Khanda - Female:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $9.99

Minimum Bid:                                                 400 tokens = $4.00

Advertised Number of Winners:                    50 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       2140 tokens = $21.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       28,067 tokens = $245.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   48 Winners/585 tokens = $5.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2239 tokens = $21.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         16,981 tokens = $135.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   24 Winners/708 tokens = $5.75

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    45,048 tokens = $370.00

Total Number of Winners:                              72 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            626 tokens = $5.00

 

Linked Chain - Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       2150 tokens = $21.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       14,901 tokens = $125.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1490 tokens = $12.50

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       3000 tokens = $25.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         18,314 tokens = $150.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1831 tokens = $15.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    33,215 tokens = $280.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            1661 tokens = $14.00

 

Jade Celtic Earrings - Female:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       1000 tokens = $10.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       6034 tokens = $49.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/603 tokens = $4.90

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       2000 tokens = $20.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         8499 tokens = $75.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/850 tokens = $7.50

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    14,533 tokens = $120.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            727 tokens = $6.00

 

Special Edition Panthabot Gladius - Male:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $9.99

Minimum Bid:                                                 400 tokens = $4.00

Advertised Number of Winners:                    50 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       4500 tokens = $43.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       40,312 tokens = $330.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   50 Winners/806 tokens = $6.60

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       3921 tokens = $46.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         46,315 tokens = $375.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   50 Winners/926 tokens = $7.50

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    86,627 tokens = $715.00

Total Number of Winners:                              100 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            866 tokens = $7.00

 

Ruby Choker and Bracelet - Female:

Estimated Store Cost:                                     $1.49

Minimum Bid:                                                 60 tokens = $0.80

Advertised Number of Winners:                    10 winners per auction

Auction 1 High Bid:                                       2301 tokens = $22.00

Auction 1 Total Winning Bids:                       19,887 tokens = $160.00

Auction 1 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/1989 tokens = $16.00

Auction 2 High Bid:                                       3000 tokens = $25.00

Auction 2 Total Wining Bids:                         21,298 tokens = $180.00

Auction 2 # of Winners and Average Price:   10 Winners/2130 tokens = $18.00

Item Grand Total Winning Bids:                    41,185 tokens = $340.00

Total Number of Winners:                              20 winners total for all auctions

Average Cost per Item (All Winners):            2059 tokens = $17.00

 

High Bid Only Grand Total:                                   70,955 tokens = $560.00

Grand Total Winning Bids:                                      489,597 tokens = $3925.00

Message 2 of 24 (1,077 Views)
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Wastelander
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success?

Jan 5, 2013

The only thing this money grab was successful at is making me like Lockwood less. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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Fender Bender
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success?

[ Edited ]
Jan 5, 2013

Persnonally i didnt have an issue with the Auctions machine, it was a new venture by Lockwood, and if they consider it a success and choose to continue it remains to be seen. To a degree I commend them for trying something new, and if prices paid were over the top then that is down to us, noone is forcing us to bid anything at all.

 

My issue always was, and will continue to be, this tax they so far charge everyone for making a bid, even those with losing bids. I dont have experience with auctions (other than eBay), but I have never heard of any auction operating with these principles, which, quite honestly I think is unethical.

 

If Lockwood bring the Auction back without the tax, if I see something I like I may bid for it.

 

But if they insist on keeping the tax, then I personally will not be bidding on anything.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

Jan 5, 2013

AzureBonds wrote:

 

 

Again, I am in no way vilifying Lockwood. The Auction Machine is not evil. It is a carefully thought out and designed mechanism to make Lockwood money. All they are doing is using proven marketing strategies and knowledge of Home to generate revenue. The only thing I disagree with is the 10% token tax for non-winning bidders.

 

So without further ado, here are the results of the Lockwood Auction machine.

(NorseGamer, get out a plate, silverware and napkin. You are going to eat this up!)


 

I sure did. This was a fantastic read. Azure, would you be open to the idea of having this republished in HomeStation?

 

 

NorseGamer

Editor-in-Chief, HSM

www.hsmagazine.net

 

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

[ Edited ]
Jan 5, 2013

Well, I can only speak from what I know and seen frim my friends.

They really have got into it.

A few of my friends have even won some things, which I congratulate them on their winnings.

 

Personally, I feel like Lockwood did a good thing with the machine. It's just like the gift machine, except you're actually working towards getting an item. Instead of being gifted.

I think Lockwood knew that slapping rare on the items, would have more users spend their money on tokens to bid for them.

It works the same in the real world, let's say 10 rare exclusive action figures come out of Star Wars (Example btw, not meant to be took literal.)

Big fans of the series who have the money to throw down for those action figures, would spend over thousands to just get one figurine for their fan collection. Why? Because the term rare attracts personality types that have to get their hands on one of a kind items.

 

Also to anyone who says the machine wasn't a success, perhaps you should have went to the Lockwood space the times it was actually jam packed at the machine.

People weren't there because of the scenary folks, it's because they saw the term auction and it peaked their interest.

 

Personally, I did not bid into the auction machine at all. 

The items, may being the dress was cute and did interest me in a slight way..I wasn't going to go through all the madness of bidding for it.

If I had my way, I would have bought it out right in the store just fine. Smiley Tongue

Perhaps they'll be another version for the future? (Hoping black and blue.)

 

Do I see other developers partaking into the auction/bidding machine? 

  • At this moment, not a chance. I believe Lockwood has founded something, that another third party might take notice of. Though, since the machine was just a test run for Lockwood. Another third party might not have such great luck, so they might want to stay clear of the failure.

If other developers decided to go that route, what changes would they make?

  • If any company takes note of it, I think Juggarnaut would do it. However, it wouldn't be like how Lockwood did theirs. Juggarnaut would have it to where the highest bidder gets the item immediately. Items would bid out fast, then their would be only one of a kind just like it. Not 20 others having the same dress, or locomotion. I think if another big company took note of it, it would be nDreams. However I feel like theirs would have it to where you could only bid if you had reach a certain level on orb runner. Making it even more exclusive to those who don't play Orb Runner.

What items would tempt me to bid?

  • In terms of Lockwood, probably this dress;

LKWD dress

 

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Wastelander
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

[ Edited ]
Jan 5, 2013

I don't think I've ever once complained about prices on Home before on the forums. Companies are free to charge what they want and let the market decide the outcome. But my neutrality was predicated on everyone having an equal opporunity (personal income issues aside) to acquire an item, be it a store item or reward item. For 99.9% of the items on Home, everyone has the opportunity to acquire it at the same time if they choose to put up the asking price or do the reward requirement. Supply was unlimited, aside from say limited time items. Goods were non-rival (this is an economic term for items which are not "used up" the more people consume them).

 

What this auction machine does is take virtual items, which by definition should be non-rival, and make them rival and scarce. And then people must engage in an economic battle of will and wallet to acquire the good where the losers are deprived of access to the item. That's what's "evil" about it. It's like the Satanic inverse of Jesus dividing the loaves and fishes. It's taking something that's by its very nature is inherently non-scarce and making it scarce just for the lolz and $$$.

 

That's to say nothing of the annoying time consuming nature of this device. I dread the idea of more developers picking up on this idea and having to monitor multiple stupid auctions for virtual items every day. If Home goes that way, I''ll be reconsidering how much time and money I put into the service. If I were Sony I would never have allowed Lockwood to start doing this. It's taking the Home economy down a bad, bad road.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

Jan 10, 2013

People are incredibly stupid for overbidding as high as they do. I got the exact same Kiburi LMO as the high bidders for a mere 300 tokens.

 

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

Jan 10, 2013

:^/ One detail that has been left out of consideration is the bandwidth.

 

Because Home does not cache our furniture nor clothing items on our hard drive out of a fear of piracy, they must be sent to us over the Internet every time we access them. This is an ongoing bandwidth expense for Sony, but I have no idea how much the developers who sold the items are expected to subsidize this, if any.

 

So, let's consider a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the principle. Let's suppose that, say, a locomotion item is auctioned for $25.00 to ten winners, when the same item could have sold a thousand copies at $2.50 apiece in the store. The auction fetches $250.00 instead of $2,500.00 through the stores. The auction returned one tenth the gross profit.

 

However, if there is any ongoing fee for bandwidth, the ten auction winners are using one hundredth as much bandwidth to enjoy their wares as the thousand store customers would have. So, in the long run, the auction may have been more profitable after all.

 

;^) Of course, this dynamic hinges entirely upon whether the developer incurs any bandwidth expense at all, and how much, if so. Still, it's a factor I've not seen discussed before, and now that I've thought of it, I'm curious.

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Fender Bender
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Re: Lockwood’s Auction Machine: Success? (Pricing Stats Included)

Jan 10, 2013
With how much paid items are released weekly vs real updates and home upkeep that is done, to make home run better, im sure sony would rather see that $2500 over the $250, with auctions they had to wait to get the small chunk of change. So they had to pay for the bandwidth of the space and advertising for how long? So really did anybody make money, lose money, or break even?
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