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Contract fees change discussion

Elizabeth Norn
Nornir Research
Nornir Empire
#1 - 2017-03-17 16:09:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Elizabeth Norn
Contracts had their fees increased in the last patch, at first the change wasn't included in the patch notes, but CCP Fozzie spoke to those involved in the change and the information was added, I'm mentioning this because I feel these changes were rushed and did not take into account how different contracts are from the market. In addition, the broker’s fee still goes to NPCs in a player structure, unlike the market where it’s possible to list items for no broker’s fee.

The maximum possible values for contract sales tax, broker's fee and deposit have been increased by a factor of 10. This change impacts the cap for these values, but does not impact the percentages for contracts that are not valuable enough to hit the cap.

For those of you who don't know, a standard sale or want to buy Item Exchange contract has three fees associated with it, the first two behave as they do on the market (albeit with different values and an upper limit), while the third is refunded on the acceptance on your contract, these are Sales Tax, Broker's Fees, and Deposit. Previously the caps were quite low, but this worked well because of what is usually sold there, and the contract system's main differences to the market which are:-

  • 14-day contract duration limit.
  • Inability to extend contract duration for virtually no cost.
  • Requirement to delete the contract (and lose its deposit) then recreate it in order to change price.
  • Contracts are much less popular than the market.

Previously there was very little difference between the cost of listing something, and selling something, however now it’s actually more expensive just to list something, up to a certain value, than it is sell that item.

It soon becomes significantly more expensive merely to list something on contracts, than it does to sell an item with the same price on the market. This is a combination of the bullet points above. Contracts as a whole see much less usage than the market, many items on there would be considered extremely low volume meaning such a high tax on displaying your goods hurts even more as contracts can expire before someone even looks for the item.

I feel that without a very unlikely contract overhaul or replacement that the deposit needs to be looked at again. If you want to increase the tax on selling something, the sales tax could easily be increased, although I feel that with contracts’ already heavy limitations that isn’t necessary.

All that said, the cost to list/sell very expensive contracts (the sales tax caps out at 100b contract price, broker's fee at 25b, and the deposit at 10b) is fairly low, but these sorts of contracts can easily evade taxes by requesting an item rather than ISK as payment. I have taken to asking for PLEX for my T2 BPOs instead of ISK, since contracts aren't taxed unless they involve ISK, we'll have to wait a few weeks/months before seeing whether this will actually work, but with the changes to PLEX it becomes a lot more feasible for items outside of Jita too.

Here’s some charts of the cost to list and sell items showing you can quickly it can become two to four times as expensive just to display your products compared to selling the same priced item on the market.

Cost to list and sell chart side-by-sides

The numbers, using max trade skills and a broker’s fee of 2.24%.

Cost to list tables
Cost to sell tables.

Some more tables and charts.

The initial image I was showing people, with in-game screenshots. Note that the percentage listed for the broker’s fee doesn't match the ISK cost, so potentially It may be meant to be even more expensive, or maybe it's just a typo.

Terrible infographic.
Caleb Ayrania
Invisible Exchequer
#2 - 2017-03-17 17:12:21 UTC
Premature feature injection..

in my EVE?

Yeah I agree the tweak/nerf of contracts fees should be looked at a bit more..

Wonder if the CSM signed off on this, or knew about it at all.
Zahara Cody
Imperial Corrections Service.
#3 - 2017-03-20 09:04:13 UTC
Typical CCP.

Hating is free, that's why poor people do it the best.

Rivr Luzade
Coreli Corporation
Pandemic Legion
#4 - 2017-03-20 10:11:29 UTC
Weren't we supposed to get market order functionality for contracts in return, like adjusting prices without having to relist and renew contracts that expired?

UI Improvement Collective

My ridicule, heavy criticism and general pale outlook about your or CCP's ideas is nothing but an encouragement to prove me wrong. Give it a try.

Messenger Of Truth
Butlerian Crusade
#5 - 2017-03-20 15:14:21 UTC  |  Edited by: Messenger Of Truth
I would love to see the contracts system get a bit of (thoughtful) dev time - e.g.

* more options for length of item exchange contract
* ability to see the items in your own courier contracts (as you can with item exchange contracts) - if you have multiple courier contracts outstanding, then there is no easy way to find out what hasn't yet been delivered
* courier contract delivery times - similar to length of item exchange contracts, the minimum courier contract delivery time is rather restrictive. When things need to be moved urgently, people would pay above the odds for a contract that would be completed in say 2 or 4 hours (ofc gankers would like this type of contract too).
* bug fixes around the refreshing of the contract/inventory totals when you split stacks while creating a courier contract (the volume is wrong on 2 windows at once!)
*the ever-rumoured courier contract dropbox, so that haulers are widely prepared to deliver courier contracts to citadels.
* public item exchange contracts accessible via APIs, so that third party contract market interfaces can be written (similar to Alternatively updating the market so that it handles blueprints with different runs/research levels.

Trade Hub Price Checker:

Visit "Haulers Channel" in game for all matters courier-related.

Structure name/system API:

Sheldon d'Albion
#6 - 2017-03-24 11:14:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Sheldon d'Albion
First thanks Elizabeth Norn for pointing out this change.
I didn't pay attention on it except that last time I try to sell something trough contratc ,
I was a little surprised by the cost .

It looks like CCP make us pay ( not for the wall ) but for development of the citadel contract .
Nothing seems to be free in this game even if you pay your monthly fee.

CCP should have done the same implementation they did with the player market
raise of the NPC transaction tax, brokker fee and let the player control the citadel broker fee .

But as you say this change almost not perceived by the majority of player .
So it is not as if we are going to massively protest in Jita .

My 2 cents

@Zahara Cody : I get now your pun " So rich it hurts !!!" :)
Elizabeth Norn
Nornir Research
Nornir Empire
#7 - 2017-03-26 23:15:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Elizabeth Norn
Oh yeah I forgot to mention this before, but you can actually save money by buying your own contracts if their cost is less than 20b due to the differences between the Deposit and Sale Tax caps and percentages.

The same applied for contracts below 2b before, but it was a small amount (up to 5m difference) so barely worth doing, but now it can be up to a 50m saving on a 10b contract which is fairly significant. I didn't account for this on my tables (I just noticed an error with the old sales tax too).

Rivr Luzade wrote:
Weren't we supposed to get market order functionality for contracts in return, like adjusting prices without having to relist and renew contracts that expired?

I don't remember hearing that, but there was a change in the plan on when contracts would have their fees changed.