[RTC] Trading Tips

Last modified 2. August 2013, 00:51 | Page exists since 17. March 2013, 05:30

If you’re having troubles with your trades, perhaps the following tips can help you:

As the initiator

1) Clear Descriptions for Haves

Many people skim the posts in the Trading section when looking for things to offer on. You can increase your chances of catching someone’s attention by being clear about all major attributes of your Haves:

a) Give the full name of the species that you’re offering. When offering Tinsels, mention that you’re offering a Tinsel (don’t call your gold Tinsel by colour alone (e.g. “gold”) or by lineage (e.g. “Apolloan”)). When offering other species, use their full name (e.g. “bright-breasted wyvern” or “silver”).
b) Include an image of the egg or hatchling. If it’s a hatchling, try to use a gendered or ungendered image depending on what applies. Make sure to update the image if the state changes (egg hatches or hatchling genders).
c) Describe the lineage precisely and completely, but succinctly: “CB”, “6G stair with male shadow-walkers”, “5G multi-species (colour-gradient) spiral”. Don’t confuse the words ‘clean’ (= recognisable pattern in lineage) and ‘not-inbred’; it can serve as a deterrent for established players.
d) Make sure your offer can be seen. Don’t fog your trade dragons without good reason.

2) Clear Descriptions of Wants

Mention what you’re looking for in-thread.

a) When asking for offers, be specific what tier you’re expecting offers to be in, e.g. specify “would like anything equivalent to the value of two caveblocker hatchlings”. Don’t use subjective modifiers (“fair offers” or “nice offers”).
b) When requesting species swaps, be specific about what you accept. A “lineage swap” means that you want the exact same lineage and can be a deterrent if all you want is “swap for a different (generation) (species)” (e.g. “swap for a different 3G silver”) or even “swap for a different (species) up to (generation)” (e.g. “swap for a different silver up to 5G”).

3) Want-Reflection

Do you really need a gender swap, or will an incuhatchable, influencable egg do? Are you sure you aren’t willing to accept an ungendered hatchling for another round of gender-roulette? Try to be as open with your trade as possible; keep in mind the chance someone has exactly what you want and wants to trade it for exactly what you’re offering is often very small.

4) Minimised Trade Effort

Sometimes, small things that make your potential trading partner’s life easier can make all the difference.

a) Provide a trade link, don’t ask for PMs. That also means: Have the patience to wait for your cave-caught eggs to come off cooldown. If that means waiting for 24 hours because of your schedule, do it. Having to PM rather than offer on a trade link may seem like no big deal, but it’s a major hurdle for trading in practise.
b) Link to the lineage page, not only to a trade link. That saves your partner a click to get to the lineage.
c) Avoid the use of other links to get your trading post’s point across. Every link your prospective trading partner has to click is one link they’re less likely to look at. As such, avoid linking to your wishlist. Similarly, avoid linking to your Tinsel spreadsheet (if you have one). Definitely don’t ask people to look at your scroll for other things you might have or could breed for them – the fewest people will go through that effort.
d) Always double-check to make sure your links all work. When reposting a trade, use the “quote” feature, or copy & paste the source, to avoid having unintended ellipses in longer links. Know that your trade link expires if your eggs grow up – be around to cancel and recreate it. Be sure you’re linking to the right lineage pages. Make sure your two-way trade really is two-way and you didn’t accidentally set it up as a transfer instead (though many people will grab your creatures and give them back to you!).
e) Post your trade when people are there to see. People will only page back through threads a few pages (if that) when looking for trades; if you post during a time when the majority of the player base is asleep (roughly between 04:00 and 19:00 UTC), you decrease your chances of getting good offers. (People in other timeszones often page back further.)

5) Trade Updating & Clean-Up

Especially if you’re asking for specific breed requests, people will be wary of offering (or maintaining an offer) on your trade if you don’t make it clear that your trade is still active and relevant for them. Of course, since a trade in the Trading section is active by default, it’s the negative you want to account for:

a) Let people know that you are one of the people that clean up after your trade – that the trade is valid until you’ve deleted the post or crossed it out.
b) If you’re asking for something that’s easily bred, advise people to PM you before breeding, and hash it out with them in that conversation. (Remember to update your post!)
c) If you’re asking for best offers in quantity of a certain breed, update your post regularly with the current best offer.
d) Decline as early as you can – and make your decline policy as clear as possible.
e) For trades of longer duration, contact people whose offers you’re interested in (if you can find them) and let them know under what conditions you’ll accept their offer.
f) When you’re done trading, if you had a lot of offers of what you were asking for, consider editing the precise nature of what you ended up accepting (and potentially why) into your post so people know why their offer was not chosen. Full disclosure is everyone’s friend; and if it’s “spaced out while writing my ‘want’ list and noticed I still need (species) for my scroll goal when someone offered that! d’oh; sorry everyone else :(”.
g) If you’re planning on letting the trade run for a while, give an estimate how long it will be running for. Careful: Don’t use your local time; express it in relative time (e.g. “five hours from now”); people from many, many different timezones play this game.

6) IOUs

They’re not part of the game and the moderators of the Trading section will regrettably smack your fingers if you as much as speak the word, but you are allowed to mention that you accept IOUs in your signature and you’re allowed to refer to your signature in your posts.

IOUs are great because they tend to be the best deal you can make: You can increase your request slightly because you’re made to wait (e.g. getting three red hatchlings rather than two) and they get what they wanted despite not having what you want on-hand at the time. Everyone wins. (Well, obviously only if it’s followed through; do be wary about who you accept IOUs from – but rejecting the notion altogether does mean you will lose out on some very good offers.)

7) Attitude

Courtesy in Trading is in the eye of the beholder, but there are a few things that can greatly increase your long-term value within the Trading community:

a) Try to respond to all PMs.
b) Avoid yelling at potential traders. “Will bite!” or “Don’t offer anything else!” makes you look like a jerk when a decline is just a click away.
c) Avoid tying up people’s trades, especially if they’ve PMed you politely. Keep in mind that 24 hours of an offer on your trade link means 24 hours it isn’t offered in a different trade (unless it’s asking for PMs, but see above – asking for PMs is a good way to reduce trading chances, so it’s not reasonable to expect it of your trading partners). If you do, however unintentionally (e.g. you’ve made someone keep an offer on your link for longer than they would have liked because their chances were good, but then something better came along), consider compensating the user with a common hatchling. It’s a fun side-chore, it doesn’t hurt, and it smooths over feelings of rejection very well. :)

8) Miscellaneous

As a final tip: You probably want to check your PMs one last time before you accept something on a trade link; PM offers are often better than tradelink offers, and of course the best offers will always be made at the worst possible time, i.e. when you’ve just accepted something on the trade link. ;) Checking your PMs one last time before you do at least minimises the time window where this unfortunate constellation can occur.

Footnote: A lot of the above tips only apply if you want as many offers as possible on your trade. When you’re offering something excessively rare (“very rare” does not qualify – I’m talking about things like 2G Tinsels), these tips are not important; in some cases, you will even want the opposite – such as asking for PMs and fogging your baby.

When offering on a trade

1) Egg Ratio

Avoid offering more eggs than are being offered – the person may either be egglocked and then could not accept your offer even if they wanted to, or they might be keeping slots free to accept announced egg gifts or IOUs from someone else. Similarly, avoid offering eggs on hatchling trades (unless, of course, they’re expressly requested).

If you must offer multiple eggs, consider PMing the user and asking if they would like you to split the offer. If their signature or profile suggests that they accept IOUs, offer to raise the extra eggs for them.

2) IOUs and Quantity

When people ask for a number of specific hatchlings for freezing or common CB hatchlings on their trades and their signature suggests they accept IOUs, if you can spare the time, PM the user instead and offer a greater amount than they are asking (1.5 x is a good multiplier, e.g. if they are asking for 2 hatchlings, offer 3; if they are asking for 10, offer 15, and so forth). Of course, this is only sensible if the user’s wishlist extends that far, but if it does, it can practically result in a trade guarantee.

Sneak Trades

This section is supplementary and meant for the obsessive-compulsive trader. :)

1) Hunting for Lineage or Gender Swaps

Sometimes, you will find people offering exact lineages like the one you have in the Trading section, looking for goodies, while you’re looking for a lineage swap. Similarly, sometimes people are offering a specific gender of a species when that’s exactly what you’re looking for, and you have the other gender of that species, but they’re not asking for a gender-swap.

In that case, it does not hurt to PM the person making the offer asking if they will consider lineage- or gender-swapping with you. If you offer a common hatchling or two with the swap (you should if you can – if you want, you can do that as an IOU if the user accepts them!), it’s even a net gain for the user and makes up for the time changing their trade around.

2) Gender Swap Trade Hijack

As long as you are fully prepared to be declined (and don’t offer on trades expressly asking not to offer eggs, please!), you can offer incuhatchable eggs or ungendered hatchlings on gender swap trades. For nearly all users, it’s far more important that they get another dragon like the one they have than it is that it’s already verifiably that gender. Of course, they will still prefer getting ones that are gendered right, but especially since for many people, the window of time between ‘the hatchling gendered’ and ‘the dragon matured into an adult’ is very short, the chances your egg or ungendered hatchling will be appreciated is non-zero.

If you can, though, PM the user to let them know that you’re offering it as a fallback only and you certainly expect and encourage them to take a gendered hatchling over your offer, to prevent frustration (since, unfortunately, without the supplement, many people assume you’re arrogant and actually expect to be first pick).

Neike Taika-Tessaro