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Subject: GenCon 2018 No Ship Math Trade (Ends 7/19 9pm EST, Exchange 8/3 8am Union Station:Grand Hall) rss

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Ron Laufer
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On another note, I agree the meet-up was barely contained chaos. It was much better to have a actual place than to be in the halls, I think, but assigned seats would have been a much better idea. We know well before the con who would be there. If the organizer printed up signs ahead of time and laid them out in alphabetical order, it would improve things greatly.

There wouldn't be a need for a sign-in station either. there could just be an "I am here" checkbox on each sign. If paper/ink costs are a concern, the signs wouldn't even need to be very big, since they don't have to be seen from far away if they are in order. You could print 10-20 on a sheet of paper.

You'd come in, check if anyone is there you need to see, and if you have anything left, sit down at your sign and check the box. Then if you get up to check again or see someone sit down who missed you while you were up, or whatever, your sign would be checked, so people looking for you would know you were there and would come back soon. When done, dispose of your sign and leave. Better than wandering about, sitting wherever, calling out letters and names, etc.
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C Reagan
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A note on the room itself and Gen Con math trades vs at other cons. It is my understanding that other cons such as Origins and Dice Tower Con have been very supportive of math trades. Historically the Gen Con math trade has been run as an underground event of which Gen Con staff was unaware and/or tolerant. This year is only the second year working with them to have actual scheduled events and corresponding space so there is a learning on both sides on getting such space properly allocated. I believe this will improve considerably next year.
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D. Shannon
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gonzoron wrote:
On another note, I agree the meet-up was barely contained chaos. It was much better to have a actual place than to be in the halls, I think, but assigned seats would have been a much better idea. We know well before the con who would be there. If the organizer printed up signs ahead of time and laid them out in alphabetical order, it would improve things greatly.

There wouldn't be a need for a sign-in station either. there could just be an "I am here" checkbox on each sign. If paper/ink costs are a concern, the signs wouldn't even need to be very big, since they don't have to be seen from far away if they are in order. You could print 10-20 on a sheet of paper.

You'd come in, check if anyone is there you need to see, and if you have anything left, sit down at your sign and check the box. Then if you get up to check again or see someone sit down who missed you while you were up, or whatever, your sign would be checked, so people looking for you would know you were there and would come back soon. When done, dispose of your sign and leave. Better than wandering about, sitting wherever, calling out letters and names, etc.


This is an excellent suggestion.
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Josh C.
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As others have mentioned, I don’t know if my feedback will be helpful, so feel free to keep on scrolling if you want. This is an attempt to be constructive and helpful, please disregard if you’re having other reactions.

Regarding the impropriety issue, I don’t think anyone is accusing Ben of doing anything wrong or rigging the results to help himself. The issue, then, is the appearance of impropriety, which is something good to avoid whenever possible. Here are some possible going-forward solutions to minimize the appearance of impropriety:

1. The trade organizer should announce (all of these announcements in the description of the trade) that they are also participating in the trade. (This is almost always the case, but it may be surprising to newbies.)
2. The trade organizer should announce that they do not and will not look at other people’s want lists (and dollar offer amounts) when filling out their own want lists.
3. The trade organizer should announce when they are a programmer/developer/owner of the software running the math trade.
4. The trade organizer should announce when they have a financial interest in the results of the math trade, such as in the promotion of the math trade software or a business (or side-business) that will be benefitted by the effects of the math trade.

I think the above disclosures could be done in a tactful way that wouldn’t be too intimidating. Sure, the disclosures could scare a few people off, but I think they’re also more likely to result in happy math traders who will come back in the future (which is better for everyone in the long run).

Also, perhaps Abecorn could be edited to show all the cash offers that were made for your item (similar to how on OLWLG you see the cash “items” that were offered)? That would allow full disclosure after the trade was completed and give people comfort that no one was gaming the system (no pun intended).

And as for sirgalin’s suggestion:
sirgalin wrote:
The mod should have on hand a stack of white paper and a pack of black sharpies. Don't try to preprint signs or name tags or whatever. Just offer the ability for people to make big paper signs in black marker. It should be easy for people who show up to their first math trade to get in the game.

I think this is a great idea and found myself wishing on Friday morning that such an option were available. I also like gonzoron’s thoughts of groupings based on your user name.

Thanks to everyone who interacted with me on Friday and the days before! They were all positive experiences.
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Mike

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Wheatie wrote:
As others have mentioned, I don’t know if my feedback will be helpful, so feel free to keep on scrolling if you want. This is an attempt to be constructive and helpful, please disregard if you’re having other reactions.

Regarding the impropriety issue, I don’t think anyone is accusing Ben of doing anything wrong or rigging the results to help himself. The issue, then, is the appearance of impropriety, which is something good to avoid whenever possible. Here are some possible going-forward solutions to minimize the appearance of impropriety:

1. The trade organizer should announce (all of these announcements in the description of the trade) that they are also participating in the trade. (This is almost always the case, but it may be surprising to newbies.)
2. The trade organizer should announce that they do not and will not look at other people’s want lists (and dollar offer amounts) when filling out their own want lists.
3. The trade organizer should announce when they are a programmer/developer/owner of the software running the math trade.
4. The trade organizer should announce when they have a financial interest in the results of the math trade, such as in the promotion of the math trade software or a business (or side-business) that will be benefitted by the effects of the math trade.

I think the above disclosures could be done in a tactful way that wouldn’t be too intimidating. Sure, the disclosures could scare a few people off, but I think they’re also more likely to result in happy math traders who will come back in the future (which is better for everyone in the long run).

Also, perhaps Abecorn could be edited to show all the cash offers that were made for your item (similar to how on OLWLG you see the cash “items” that were offered)? That would allow full disclosure after the trade was completed and give people comfort that no one was gaming the system (no pun intended).

And as for sirgalin’s suggestion:
sirgalin wrote:
The mod should have on hand a stack of white paper and a pack of black sharpies. Don't try to preprint signs or name tags or whatever. Just offer the ability for people to make big paper signs in black marker. It should be easy for people who show up to their first math trade to get in the game.

I think this is a great idea and found myself wishing on Friday morning that such an option were available. I also like gonzoron’s thoughts of groupings based on your user name.

Thanks to everyone who interacted with me on Friday and the days before! They were all positive experiences.


My big issue is the cash offers by the person running it. Below is what Ben has received so far this year in no-ship math trades sorted by item. This is why I wouldn't participate in any trade he is running. You may be fine with that but there is a conflict to me.

Receives $100.00 (Cash) from daramere
Receives $15.00 (Cash) from freezerpen
Receives $20.00 (Cash) from dkim06
Receives $25.00 (Cash) from dkim06
Receives $26.00 (Cash) from joekidd00
Receives $28.00 (Cash) from darthjer
Receives $50.00 (Cash) from dkim06
Receives $6.00 (Cash) from joekidd00
Receives 10 Days in Europe from ponchoviking@yahoo.com
Receives 10 Days in the Americas from wessed
Receives 10 Days in the USA from komi_9
Receives 3012 from jocose
Receives 504 from krusovice_8
Receives 60 Seconds to Save the World from mikeamills
Receives 7 Wonders from admiralbs
Receives 7 Wonders from joekidd00
Receives 7 Wonders from komi_9
Receives 7 Wonders from tpirmann
Receives 7 Wonders from ziggy678
Receives A Castle for All Seasons from xmetaldethx
Receives A Fake Artist Goes to New York from markbesada
Receives A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) from bambaiya
Receives A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (second edition) from totalrath
Receives Above and Below from datlan
Receives Above and Below from gee whiz
Receives Acquire from taekwondeal
Receives AEG Big Game Night Box 2017 from mikeamills
Receives Alhambra: The Card Game from darthjer
Receives Among the Stars from dtwiley
Receives Android: Mainframe from darthjer
Receives Android: Netrunner from mozzik
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Receives AquaSphere from smedleyg
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Receives Archipelago from dpdearing
Receives Archipelago from monopolyllama
Receives Archon: Glory & Machination from boardgame punk
Receives Arkham Horror from kwijybo2000
Receives Arkham Horror from rahlan
Receives Ascension: Storm of Souls from hcdunn88
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Receives Carcassonne from ponchoviking@yahoo.com
Receives Carcassonne: Catapult from tmcddodd
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Receives Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers from cheesinglee
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Receives Evolution: The Beginning from dschleicher
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Receives Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga from elephantlaboratories
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Receives Fresco from cheesinglee
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Receives King of Tokyo from juice1uw
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Receives King of Tokyo from tmcddodd
Receives King of Tokyo from wessed
Receives King of Tokyo from xmetaldethx
Receives Kingsburg from rhombusleech
Receives Krosmaster: Arena – Frigost from jocose
Receives Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game from gobdorian
Receives Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game from bigmikew
Receives Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game from pixel_current
Receives Legends of Andor from juice1uw
Receives Legends of Andor from markbesada
Receives Lemming Mafia from actualslack
Receives Lemming Mafia from tpirmann
Receives Letters from Whitechapel from gee whiz
Receives Letters from Whitechapel from miktay811
Receives Lord of the Rings from markbesada
Receives Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation from weirdben
Receives Magestorm from reinfire13
Receives Magic: The Gathering from novakarma
Receives March of the Ants from weirdben
Receives Marrakech from crushinat0r
Receives Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia from mandor
Receives Mousquetaires du Roy from peakhope
Receives Mr. Jack from chenty
Receives Mr. Jack from jtflynn@yahoo.com
Receives Mr. Jack Pocket from mrb3303
Receives Munchkin Quest from magichair
Receives Munchkin Zombies from creagan
Receives My Village from duellj
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Receives Mysterium from awschmitkons
Receives Mysterium from corsairs
Receives Mysterium from defeldus
Receives Neanderthal from modjoaquin
Receives Neanderthal from sxrxnrr
Receives New York 1901 from sxrxnrr
Receives Nottingham from will98683
Receives One Night Ultimate Werewolf from mich_sal
Receives Pandemic Legacy from prr
Receives Pandemic: In the Lab from juice1uw
Receives Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu from bbobb
Receives Paris Connection from markbesada
Receives Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set from aaronr
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Receives Pax Porfiriana from aesopdoom
Receives Penny Press from daliles
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Receives Race for the Galaxy from thorphin
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Receives Scrabble from freezerpen
Receives Seasons from rahlan
Receives Seasons from root_down
Receives Seeland from bambaiya
Receives Sentinels of the Multiverse from lamberttao
Receives Shadowrun: Crossfire from dunklezahn
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Receives Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective from chadum
Receives Sidibaba from actualslack
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Receives Small World from dhaveck
Receives Smash Up: Munchkin from shezzy153
Receives Space Alert from joekidd00
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Receives Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery from cptnemo
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Receives Spectral Rails from reinfire13
Receives Splendor from swapthing
Receives Spyrium from kwijybo2000
Receives Spyrium from nessus77
Receives Star Munchkin from ezzvaldez
Receives Star Trek: Catan from komi_9
Receives Star Trek: Fleet Captains from taekwondeal
Receives Star Wars: Destiny – Two-Player Game from cinnibar
Receives Star Wars: Destiny – Two-Player Game from dschleicher
Receives Star Wars: Imperial Assault from juice1uw
Receives Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – The Force Awakens Core Set from fallenwon
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Receives StarCraft: The Board Game from travisbach
Receives Steam from bcwhite27
Receives Steam Works from 425suzanne
Receives Subdivision from vitaliyf
Receives Sunrise City from sxrxnrr
Receives Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King from brianmayer00
Receives Super Munchkin from ezzvaldez
Receives T.I.M.E Stories from dr_sumo
Receives T.I.M.E Stories from jtflynn@yahoo.com
Receives T.I.M.E Stories from throat_rip
Receives Terra Mystica from kemoarps
Receives Terra Nova from arthur_brooking
Receives Terror in Meeple City from juice1uw
Receives The Builders: Middle Ages from jtflynn@yahoo.com
Receives The Capitals from aesopdoom
Receives The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Blood of Gondor from admiralbs
Receives The Mines of Zavandor from actualslack
Receives The Pillars of the Earth from bbobb
Receives The Princes of Florence from shezzy153
Receives The Resistance from chunnert
Receives The Speicherstadt from yffip
Receives The Struggle for Catan from arthur_brooking
Receives The Witcher Adventure Game from fathersyn
Receives Thebes from daliles
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Receives Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization from bambaiya
Receives Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization from desolationjones
Receives Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization from gammaraygames
Receives Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization from kemoarps
Receives Thunderstone Advance: Numenera from aasplund
Receives Thunderstone Advance: Numenera from bferg88
Receives Thunderstone Advance: Numenera from jlebowski
Receives Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin from rhombusleech
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Receives Thunderstone from acceptableice
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Receives Thunderstone from lowjinx
Receives Thunderstone from weirdben
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Receives Thunderstone: Doomgate Legion from ksuquix
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Receives Ticket to Ride from freezerpen
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Charles Boyung
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I still fail to see what the problem is.
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Fred Quintanilla
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A conflict between what? I don't know Ben and this is my first time using Abecorn, but I just don't get how he could do anything inappropriate. Anyone participating selects what they are willing to receive for their trades. If he receives a lot of trades, it's because he's offering a lot to trade. The fact that the person running a trade also enjoys trading shouldn't be surprising.

You can say that you wouldn't participate in a trade that involves cash, but I don't think you can cast aspersions on the person running that trade for offering it.
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C Reagan
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Wheatie wrote:
I also like gonzoron’s thoughts of groupings based on your user name.


I didn't originally read it this way, but this is a great idea. A names go here, B names next area, C names next and so on. Not full alpha order, but close enough to find each other.
 
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Chris Stevenson
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I think that someone could reasonably not be enthused about it. There is a difference between 'a group of fellow gamers getting together, getting new games to try, and finding good homes for unwanted games' and 'selling your games to a store.' If the buyer of your game is just going to flip it for more money, you might reasonably be more concerned about getting a 'good' price for it than if you were selling it to an acquaintance at a meetup.

For example, let's say I'm at a meetup and I mention I'm thinking of getting rid of game X. Player A says that, hey, they've been wanting to play that game, and they offer me $20 for it. Later, I find out that Player A might have been willing to pay me more. Do I care? Probably not? But what if I was in that exact same situation, but Player B hears me saying I'm thinking of selling. He offers me $20, I take it. Player B then immediately walks across the room and sells it to Player A for $30, because he knew that Player A was willing to pay $30. Now I'm probably pretty irritated - at best - with the situation. I probably feel that, since we were in a friendly environment, not a business environment, Player B should have just told me that Player A was interested in the game.

In short, the nature of the buyer could affect the price at which one is willing to sell. It is not necessarily the case that just because one is happy to sell a game to one buyer for $X dollars that one is happy to sell the same game on to a different buyer in different circumstances for $X.

I think one could reasonably expand the narrow situation above here. I don't know exactly what the business plan is, but my inference would be that - given the quantity and repetition of games involved - he is using the math trade to purchase games at below market values for the purpose of reselling them on at a profit (I mean, he could be collecting them and redistributing them to charity, but that seems less likely). Does that mean he's doing something 'wrong?' No. Does that mean one should take issue with the situation? Not saying that either. But I can see someone reasonably having an issue with it.
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Mike

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Cash in general. In theory I guess you could do the same thing in any trade system but it would be too much manual work in olwLg. Basically you have an opportunity to look at the minimum amount someone would take and compare it against the sell value of the item to see if you can make money off it. I suppose someone could go through and put in cash offers for everything based off a value spreadsheet but doing it manual would be tough. Anyways each of these cash offers increases the amount of items in the trade and the trade is made to maximize the number of trades so in theory it brings down the value you are getting in the trade even if you are ok with it.

Looking at the trade results it appears Ben is running a for profit business with these trades so to me it is a conflict.
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Daramere wrote:
I think that someone could reasonably not be enthused about it. There is a difference between 'a group of fellow gamers getting together, getting new games to try, and finding good homes for unwanted games' and 'selling your games to a store.' If the buyer of your game is just going to flip it for more money, you might reasonably be more concerned about getting a 'good' price for it than if you were selling it to an acquaintance at a meetup.

For example, let's say I'm at a meetup and I mention I'm thinking of getting rid of game X. Player A says that, hey, they've been wanting to play that game, and they offer me $20 for it. Later, I find out that Player A might have been willing to pay me more. Do I care? Probably not? But what if I was in that exact same situation, but Player B hears me saying I'm thinking of selling. He offers me $20, I take it. Player B then immediately walks across the room and sells it to Player A for $30, because he knew that Player A was willing to pay $30. Now I'm probably pretty irritated - at best - with the situation. I probably feel that, since we were in a friendly environment, not a business environment, Player B should have just told me that Player A was interested in the game.

In short, the nature of the buyer could affect the price at which one is willing to sell. It is not necessarily the case that just because one is happy to sell a game to one buyer for $X dollars that one is happy to sell the same game on to a different buyer in different circumstances for $X.

I think one could reasonably expand the narrow situation above here. I don't know exactly what the business plan is, but my inference would be that - given the quantity and repetition of games involved - he is using the math trade to purchase games at below market values for the purpose of reselling them on at a profit (I mean, he could be collecting them and redistributing them to charity, but that seems less likely). Does that mean he's doing something 'wrong?' No. Does that mean one should take issue with the situation? Not saying that either. But I can see someone reasonably having an issue with it.


If any of this is the case then said person shouldn't be willing to take cash in a math trade for their items because they have no control who gets their items at all. And in fact, they shouldn't really be participating in any math trades whatsoever, because the same can hold true for non-cash items as well.

Oh, and if he IS buying them "below market value" to resell them, so what? If the people were interested in selling them at "market value", they could easily do it online here (either in a math trade such as this or in another

And you also need to remember - he isn't necessarily giving money to the person he got the games from anyways - there are chains involved. So he may have paid $20 and gotten 7 Wonders (I have no idea what he did or didn't get), but the person giving him 7 Wonders likely didn't get the $20 from him - they likely got some other game that they were interested in from someone else, who got something they were interested in and so on. It's entirely possible, especially in a no-ship math trade (where game "values" typically have a little more variance), that the person he gave $20 to was getting rid of a beat up copy of Monopoly he found at a thrift store for 99 cents and the chain just worked out that Ben ended up with 7 Wonders after lots of "trading down" (or trading up, depending on how you look at it). This may seem like an extreme example, but it really isn't. I've seen trade chains with $10 games getting traded up and down all the way up to games that sell on the secondary market for $100 or more.

And without his money listings, those chains may not have happened at all, which is why I don't have a big problem with money involved in math trades even though I rarely offer it or take it for any of my items.
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FrankNBeans13 wrote:
Cash in general. In theory I guess you could do the same thing in any trade system but it would be too much manual work in olwLg. Basically you have an opportunity to look at the minimum amount someone would take and compare it against the sell value of the item to see if you can make money off it. I suppose someone could go through and put in cash offers for everything based off a value spreadsheet but doing it manual would be tough. Anyways each of these cash offers increases the amount of items in the trade and the trade is made to maximize the number of trades so in theory it brings down the value you are getting in the trade even if you are ok with it.

Looking at the trade results it appears Ben is running a for profit business with these trades so to me it is a conflict.


Again - why does it matter what he is going to do with the things he is buying/trading for? You aren't going to get something you aren't happy with unless you screw up your listings yourself, so everyone in the trade gets rid of something they don't want and gets something for it they wanted more. All he's doing with his large number of listings/trades is making more trades for everyone happen.

If you honestly believe there's even a chance he's doing something to manipulate the results to get more trades for himself, you have no idea what goes into determining the results of a math trade. Manipulating them to the extent that you believe he is doing would be incredibly time consuming, and if Ben is a software developer (since I believe he wrote abecorn), he could spend a fraction of the time doing it would take to do this and instead do some dev work and he would make FAR more money than the little bit of profit he would make reselling these games, especially since you have to consider that he then has to spend the time listing them for sale and then shipping them (or if he's selling them locally, delivering them).
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Ron Laufer
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creagan wrote:
Wheatie wrote:
I also like gonzoron’s thoughts of groupings based on your user name.


I didn't originally read it this way, but this is a great idea. A names go here, B names next area, C names next and so on. Not full alpha order, but close enough to find each other.
That wasn't my intent, but would be a fine compromise.

I was just thinking actual assigned spots for every person, laid out in alphabetical order by username. (you could announce whether it's sorted by BGG username or abecorn username ahead of time, and put both on the sign just in case if they differ.)
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I've done several OLWLG previously, this was my first actual Abecorn trade (on the first one I couldn't figure out how to get past the enter and want to the verify and accept). Among issues I have with Abecorn is multiple names for the same item and it reverting to a different version (i.e. Don't Mess with Cthulhu showing as Time Bomb and if I look up Time Bomb there is no link on BGG that Don't Mess with Cthulhu is a re-implementation of it leaving me an elimination puzzle to figure out what it is.)

And that sweeteners are NOT listed in the final trade data. Thank you greynomad38 for including the expansion as there was no way I would have known (at least that I've found so far) that it was in the original listing.

Pertaining to previous discussions on this thread:

faquin wrote:
A conflict between what? I don't know Ben and this is my first time using Abecorn, but I just don't get how he could do anything inappropriate. Anyone participating selects what they are willing to receive for their trades. If he receives a lot of trades, it's because he's offering a lot to trade. The fact that the person running a trade also enjoys trading shouldn't be surprising.

motoyugota wrote:
I still fail to see what the problem is.


We can't see what anyone put as their minimum accepted cash offer, Ben can if he chooses to see it. If I say I will accept $10 for Game X he can offer that amount knowing he could get it for that so why would he offer $12. Abecorn could still slot it toward a different offer.

He's making cash and trade offers for multiple copies of the same game without Duplicate Protection which indicates that he is acquiring for resale/trade purposes which he has confirmed when asked. With as many trades and offers as he is making there are bound to be some instances where he has down-traded at a loss.

To avoid this it SHOULD be made plain that he does have a self-interest in the trade results andI thought Wheatie put that very well:

Wheatie wrote:

Regarding the impropriety issue, I don’t think anyone is accusing Ben of doing anything wrong or rigging the results to help himself. The issue, then, is the appearance of impropriety, which is something good to avoid whenever possible. Here are some possible going-forward solutions to minimize the appearance of impropriety:

1. The trade organizer should announce (all of these announcements in the description of the trade) that they are also participating in the trade. (This is almost always the case, but it may be surprising to newbies.)
2. The trade organizer should announce that they do not and will not look at other people’s want lists (and dollar offer amounts) when filling out their own want lists.
3. The trade organizer should announce when they are a programmer/developer/owner of the software running the math trade.
4. The trade organizer should announce when they have a financial interest in the results of the math trade, such as in the promotion of the math trade software or a business (or side-business) that will be benefitted by the effects of the math trade.


creagan wrote:
Wheatie wrote:
I also like gonzoron’s thoughts of groupings based on your user name.


I didn't originally read it this way, but this is a great idea. A names go here, B names next area, C names next and so on. Not full alpha order, but close enough to find each other.


I would have had a hard time splitting myself in half to be in two 'alpha-' locations as I also had another traders items (and a third if there had been more room for another name on my paper).

ninja I also know there have been responses while I've been writing this.

Edit: Grammar/typo's/missed words above

I had a number of promo's offered as did several others. They are often not enough to trade item for item on their own and if traded in a group I'm probably only going to offer/be offered value for the ones wanted reducing trade probabilities. In trading individually on a no-ship small cash offers become much more viable.




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blackgold369 wrote:


creagan wrote:
Wheatie wrote:
I also like gonzoron’s thoughts of groupings based on your user name.


I didn't originally read it this way, but this is a great idea. A names go here, B names next area, C names next and so on. Not full alpha order, but close enough to find each other.


I would have had a hard time splitting myself in half to be in two 'alpha-' locations as I also had another trades items (and a third if there had been more for another name on my paper).


This type of exception as well as the one where the abecorn name does not match the bgg name will happen. The latter was very few people in this trade, I believe. It would work close enough.
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This was my first math trade, so i wasn't sure how it would go. i've read and heard things so i had an understanding of sorts. This trade was about what i expected. a bunch of people looking for a bunch of other people in a controlled-chaotic way so they can get on with the rest of their Convention.

Maybe I see it differently because i only had 7 trades total? i was in and out in 40 minutes so i have no complaints.

As for the software...since this is my first trade i have nothing to compare it too. The software for me was fine. I added what i had, i added what i wanted, and i filled in the matrix. done.

To the notion of the cash and potential nefarious activities...i say really? If you have that much time and energy to manipulate the algorithm on the back-end to your favor...you really should be focusing your smarts on something else.

i was pleased with my results, and if i have more trade bait in the future i would do it again. Thanks to all of those i engaged with.
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Qwaserity here...

The "nice gentlemen" who did the yelling calling out single trades...

Feel free to bombard me with any comments/questions/concerns that you have. While I've run events before, this was running my first math trade. Bein did the software, the room was all my fault (for better or worse).

I did want to alphabetize the room or run a chain like last year. Imagine my surprise when (FIRST) we couldn't get into the building right away, (SECOND) we had lots of tables and (THIRD) people just piled in and sat wherever.

THANK YOU to the hotel across the street which let me walk in as a complete stranger, use their business center and print out the sign in sheet which I left in my hotel.

I will read all emails sent to me; this is how we can make it better and faster next year. Time, setting, software, setup, anything else let me know. You may have a brilliant idea; you may have a stupid idea but you will have an idea that will be heard.

Daryl Janisch

P.S. I know there has been some discussion about some trades. Full disclosure I traded about $200 worth of stuff for $200 worth of stuff. My value, not the retail values. But I'm happy with what I got.

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blackgold369 wrote:
I would have had a hard time splitting myself in half to be in two 'alpha-' locations as I also had another traders items (and a third if there had been more room for another name on my paper).


In my "pre-print and pre-seat" scheme, you could go to that trader's spot, write "see blackgold369 for ___'s items" on their label and leave it there, and go sit at your own place.

If it were just letter-based tables, you'd have to leave some note on that table similarly.
 
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What sort of recourse is there for a complaint about a no-show for a trade?

I was to receive $25 from user misterdavidjaques.

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He did not show up to the trade and has not replied to any messages I've sent through BGG or Abecorn. It appears he only had a single trade; sending $25 to me and receiving Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia from user rahlan

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I talked briefly with rahlan at the trade and he too said he'd not received any response from messages sent to misterdavidjaques.

Since he never responded to a trade request I have no way to leave negative feedback for the trade on BGG.
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blackgold369 wrote:
We can't see what anyone put as their minimum accepted cash offer, Ben can if he chooses to see it. If I say I will accept $10 for Game X he can offer that amount knowing he could get it for that so why would he offer $12. Abecorn could still slot it toward a different offer.
This is the one example I've seen given of potential shady behavior that is: a) possible, b) quite easy to do without anyone noticing, c) would have a tangible benefit to the trade organizer to do so, and d) would create a tangible loss to another trader.

As such I think it does behoove bien to find a way to make it impossible for him to do this, if only for appearances' sake. (By which I mean with changes to the rules, not changes to code that we can't verify). (The same possible "scam" exists with OLWLG, BTW, in a limited fashion, since the organizer would have already had to list a bunch of cash offers, and then only "want" the target item with the lowest one wanted by the target item, if any. Not as flexible as it can be on abecorn with its arbitrary size cash offers and wants. But I wanted to point out that we always have to put a certain amount of trust in the MT organizers, as well as the code developers.)

In the olden days, trade organizers often posted their wantlists publicly first to prove that they would have no way to manipulate the results.
With abecorn having no separate wantlist period, I'm not sure how that would work, but maybe some solution along the same lines could be found.
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gonzoron wrote:
blackgold369 wrote:
We can't see what anyone put as their minimum accepted cash offer, Ben can if he chooses to see it. If I say I will accept $10 for Game X he can offer that amount knowing he could get it for that so why would he offer $12. Abecorn could still slot it toward a different offer.
This is the one example I've seen given of potential shady behavior that is: a) possible, b) quite easy to do without anyone noticing, c) would have a tangible benefit to the trade organizer to do so, and d) would create a tangible loss to another trader.


People keep saying this, but it isn't how math trades work. The amount of money you're willing to accept for a game and the amount someone else offers for it are almost unrelated. Out of over 1,300 trades, only 2 were direct swaps. If you want $10 for Game X, it's highly likely that someone else will trade $8 that they offered for it to someone else and still receive your copy of Game X, while you receive the $10 you wanted from someone else. It's happened in every math trade I've been in, and it's how the system works. Offering more money only means that there are more items in the pool that you can potentially trade to. The amount the specific item you want is willing to trade for is almost irrelevant. Direct trades are so infrequent and actively avoided by the algorithms that this would be a waste of time.
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faquin wrote:
gonzoron wrote:
blackgold369 wrote:
We can't see what anyone put as their minimum accepted cash offer, Ben can if he chooses to see it. If I say I will accept $10 for Game X he can offer that amount knowing he could get it for that so why would he offer $12. Abecorn could still slot it toward a different offer.
This is the one example I've seen given of potential shady behavior that is: a) possible, b) quite easy to do without anyone noticing, c) would have a tangible benefit to the trade organizer to do so, and d) would create a tangible loss to another trader.


People keep saying this, but it isn't how math trades work. The amount of money you're willing to accept for a game and the amount someone else offers for it are almost unrelated. Out of over 1,300 trades, only 2 were direct swaps. If you want $10 for Game X, it's highly likely that someone else will trade $8 that they offered for it to someone else and still receive your copy of Game X, while you receive the $10 you wanted from someone else. It's happened in every math trade I've been in, and it's how the system works. Offering more money only means that there are more items in the pool that you can potentially trade to. The amount the specific item you want is willing to trade for is almost irrelevant. Direct trades are so infrequent and actively avoided by the algorithms that this would be a waste of time.


Exactly right. And the only time those direct trades WOULD happen is a situation where no one else wanted said game for anything that the person offering it would take for it, so again - any impropriety is null and void again - all that would be doing is causing MORE things to change hands, which means MORE people get things that they want, not fewer.

It seems to me that the people in every math trade discussion that complain about results really don't understand how math trade really work.
 
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motoyugota wrote:
faquin wrote:
gonzoron wrote:
blackgold369 wrote:
We can't see what anyone put as their minimum accepted cash offer, Ben can if he chooses to see it. If I say I will accept $10 for Game X he can offer that amount knowing he could get it for that so why would he offer $12. Abecorn could still slot it toward a different offer.
This is the one example I've seen given of potential shady behavior that is: a) possible, b) quite easy to do without anyone noticing, c) would have a tangible benefit to the trade organizer to do so, and d) would create a tangible loss to another trader.


People keep saying this, but it isn't how math trades work. The amount of money you're willing to accept for a game and the amount someone else offers for it are almost unrelated. Out of over 1,300 trades, only 2 were direct swaps. If you want $10 for Game X, it's highly likely that someone else will trade $8 that they offered for it to someone else and still receive your copy of Game X, while you receive the $10 you wanted from someone else. It's happened in every math trade I've been in, and it's how the system works. Offering more money only means that there are more items in the pool that you can potentially trade to. The amount the specific item you want is willing to trade for is almost irrelevant. Direct trades are so infrequent and actively avoided by the algorithms that this would be a waste of time.


Exactly right. And the only time those direct trades WOULD happen is a situation where no one else wanted said game for anything that the person offering it would take for it, so again - any impropriety is null and void again - all that would be doing is causing MORE things to change hands, which means MORE people get things that they want, not fewer.

It seems to me that the people in every math trade discussion that complain about results really don't understand how math trade really work.


Doesn’t matter on the direct trade. And it doesn’t mean necessarily more positive trades. And everyone is affected even if they don’t want cash for any of their items. The algorithm is set up to maximize the number of items traded. If a person went through and put in Multiple minimum amounts that people were willing to accept for the item it creates an exact match and creates more items in the trade so it is going to maximize them. You would pretty much be guaranteed to get the items for the cash you put on it. I ran through multiple samples in excel and proved out multiple ways it is easy manipulated. The way it affects others not taking cash is that it trades items at this lower cash value. Run through some of the people’s trade values in what they gave and what they received using what’s my collection worth. See if they gained or loss. Run Ben’s trades through and see how he did.

Anyways, that is why I wouldn’t participate in a trade using Abecorn that Ben is making cash offers in.
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faquin wrote:
People keep saying this, but it isn't how math trades work. The amount of money you're willing to accept for a game and the amount someone else offers for it are almost unrelated. Out of over 1,300 trades, only 2 were direct swaps. If you want $10 for Game X, it's highly likely that someone else will trade $8 that they offered for it to someone else and still receive your copy of Game X, while you receive the $10 you wanted from someone else.
Hmm... good point, and I was almost convinced, but then I thought about this sample case:

A has Game1 and wants Game2, but is willing to accept $10
B has Game2 and wants Game3, but is willing to accept $18
C has Game3 and wants Game1, but is willing to accept $12

Everything works out as the MT gods intend and they pass their games upward and around the loop, making 3 items traded, 3 users trading.

D, the Honest Trade Organizer, wants to buy games at bargain prices, but doesn't look at the wantlists. D figures that each of those games is worth about $15.

D offers $15 for Game1, $15 for Game2 and $15 for Game3.

Trademax sees that it can make 5 trades with 4 users trading as follows:
A gets $15 from D, who receives Game1 from A (direct trade)
D gets Game1 from A, who recieves $15 from D

B gets Game3 from C, who receives $15 from D
C gets $15 from D, who receives Game2 from B
D gets Game2 from B, who receives Game3 from C


Now, if D is replaced with E, the Shady Trade Organizer who DOES look at the wantlists. E has two options once he sees that $18 want on Game2. Either go ahead and offer the $18, or offer his original $15 since that's what he thinks its worth. He offers $10 on Game1 and $12 on Game2, though.

If E offers $15 for Game2, the results look similar to D's version, except that direct trade with A is for only $10. Effectively by looking at the hidden info, E has robbed A of $5.

If E offers $18 for Game2, TradeMax can make 6 trades with 4 users trading by doing the 3 direct sales to E. This hurts C who is $3 poorer than he would have been, and further enriches E by $3, who (even considering that he paid $3 more than intended for Game2) got 3 games for $40, averaging less than the originally estimated $15 each. It may be a wash for B, depending on how she valued Game3 vs. the $18.

It's been a while since I looked into the algorithm, but I believe that if TradeMax could make more direct sales, it would, since that bumps up the number of items traded, which is the first metric it solves for.




The point is, I'm pretty sure that this degenerate case can be extended to the trade at large, and that looking at the wantlists would benefit a trade organizer that wants to buy games more cheaply, and hurt the people who accept money offers on their game.

I AM NOT ACCUSING bein OF THIS, and actually, the fact that there weren't very many direct sales probably is pretty good evidence that he didn't do anything like it. But the possibility exists for abuse of that privilege, so if we can close the loophole somehow, we should.
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gonzoron wrote:
faquin wrote:
People keep saying this, but it isn't how math trades work. The amount of money you're willing to accept for a game and the amount someone else offers for it are almost unrelated. Out of over 1,300 trades, only 2 were direct swaps. If you want $10 for Game X, it's highly likely that someone else will trade $8 that they offered for it to someone else and still receive your copy of Game X, while you receive the $10 you wanted from someone else.
Hmm... good point, and I was almost convinced, but then I thought about this sample case:

A has Game1 and wants Game2, but is willing to accept $10
B has Game2 and wants Game3, but is willing to accept $18
C has Game3 and wants Game1, but is willing to accept $12

Everything works out as the MT gods intend and they pass their games upward and around the loop, making 3 items traded, 3 users trading.

D, the Honest Trade Organizer, wants to buy games at bargain prices, but doesn't look at the wantlists. D figures that each of those games is worth about $15.

D offers $15 for Game1, $15 for Game2 and $15 for Game3.

Trademax sees that it can make 5 trades with 4 users trading as follows:
A gets $15 from D, who receives Game1 from A (direct trade)
D gets Game1 from A, who recieves $15 from D

B gets Game3 from C, who receives $15 from D
C gets $15 from D, who receives Game2 from B
D gets Game2 from B, who receives Game3 from C


Now, if D is replaced with E, the Shady Trade Organizer who DOES look at the wantlists. E has two options once he sees that $18 want on Game2. Either go ahead and offer the $18, or offer his original $15 since that's what he thinks its worth. He offers $10 on Game1 and $12 on Game2, though.

If E offers $15 for Game2, the results look similar to D's version, except that direct trade with A is for only $10. Effectively by looking at the hidden info, E has robbed A of $5.

If E offers $18 for Game2, TradeMax can make 6 trades with 4 users trading by doing the 3 direct sales to E. This hurts C who is $3 poorer than he would have been, and further enriches E by $3, who (even considering that he paid $3 more than intended for Game2) got 3 games for $40, averaging less than the originally estimated $15 each. It may be a wash for B, depending on how she valued Game3 vs. the $18.

It's been a while since I looked into the algorithm, but I believe that if TradeMax could make more direct sales, it would, since that bumps up the number of items traded, which is the first metric it solves for.




The point is, I'm pretty sure that this degenerate case can be extended to the trade at large, and that looking at the wantlists would benefit a trade organizer that wants to buy games more cheaply, and hurt the people who accept money offers on their game.

I AM NOT ACCUSING bein OF THIS, and actually, the fact that there weren't very many direct sales probably is pretty good evidence that he didn't do anything like it. But the possibility exists for abuse of that privilege, so if we can close the loophole somehow, we should.
Your exactly right and that is the point I was trying to make. Cash in general in the trade system gives people the lowest possible amount normally. Because of trade maximizer pretty much every cash offer will always be accepted if it meets the minimum for the item. It has to because it maximizes trades. It doesn’t mean more games traded.
 
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