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Margin trading skill is a scam but no retribution.

Author
Vynka O'Dean
Minamoto no Tenchi
#1 - 2013-01-07 20:06:39 UTC
It is fact that scams happen and some players use a provided skill for it.
The Margin trading skill is one of them.
When a high priced buy option is set for materials on a station and a player comes to complete that order, it vanishes at selling time as the buyer can set orders without having sufficient funds. The result is that the seller has made an investment to complete the order but is stuck with the mterials and expendeture.

This is explaind to me as part of the game mechanics by the GMs. This would be acceptable if it was possible in the light of the retribution patch to identity the buyer so as a hunt or retribution through bounty or hiring a mercinary.

It is explained by GMs that it is not possible to see who the buyer was at and before the transaction.
The conclusion can only be that this "game mechanism" is no longer in line with the game visions of retaliation and especially the intentions of retribution. This is now set as a trap for any player and is provided as a game option.

There is simply two choices here.
1) provide the identity of buyers in their orders
2) remove the margin trading skill.

The current option is simply no longer a playing option and is now being exploited only.
Alex Grison
Grison Universal
#2 - 2013-01-07 20:54:14 UTC  |  Edited by: Alex Grison
3) easily identify a margin scam.

margin scams are all easily identifiable.

Revealing the identities of people who place margin orders serves no purpose.

The scammers would just use alts that never unlock. So if you went to throw away your money on a perma-stationed scam alt. feel free.

And the margin trading skill was not invented for scamming. It is a trade skill and people use it to invest in a more productive way.

They aren't going to change it or remove it. I advise that you learn to identify scams properly. Or stay away from investing.

You can't just get all cranked up and demand that something be changed or removed because you got scammed.

yes

Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#3 - 2013-01-07 21:46:05 UTC

While I don't want to see a removal of the margin trading skill, I support a few things:

1.) I'd like to see the creation of Financial Analysis Agents and Market Analysis Agents. Think Locator Agents that allow you to track financial transactions of players... This would allow you to track money, plan retribution, and creates an interesting meta-gaming tool.

2.) I support providing a little more information (like the player name) associated with a buy/sell order. Then you can run the above agents on them to help identify scammers, as well as for more nefarious purposes.

3.) I do NOT want to see margin scammers highlighted in red for any moron to avoid. If you are buying/reselling items for profit, I expect you to do research on what it's worth, and avoid orders you feel are too risky. A 2-second scan of buy/sell orders, without even a cursory glance at market history, nor an understanding of what is causing the market variation, is NOT sufficient to make an intelligent decision. As such, if the current buy/sell orders is the only tool you utilize for identifying a profitable transactions, you will RIGHTFULLY lose isk to margin trade scammers.

sabre906
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#4 - 2013-01-08 03:51:50 UTC
Remove margin trading. Don't got the isk? Don't trade.Roll
Schmata Bastanold
In Boobiez We Trust
#5 - 2013-01-08 12:52:56 UTC
Keep margin trading and let people learn of their own derps since they are obviously to lazy or st00pid to google "eve online scams" when they start playing game advertised as cold hard universe fueled by war, betrayal, espionage and scams.

Invalid signature format

RavenTesio
Liandri Corporation
#6 - 2013-01-08 13:04:44 UTC
The Skill is intended as a tool to improve your Market Trading ability, someone who is using it for Scamming is Exploiting said still and thus breaking the EULA.

There is no "EVE is suppose to be harsh" bollocks ... it is a plain fact, this is an exploit being used. Should someone being exploiting gameplay mechanics to their own benefit such-as keeping Concord stuck around a Wormhole (this one is no longer possible so can use is an effective example) then go off destroying ships as they please within a system; a GM would instantly ban that person pending a higher level CCP investigation, likely leading to the account suspension.

This seriously is NOT a scam by any stretch of the imagination, it is a simple exploit utilising a skill in the firm knowledge that EVE does not physically allow a negative bank balance unless imposed directly by CCP. The game just doesn't allow it.
Therefore Game Mechanics Exploit...

Want this to be fixed? Players should be capable of running up debt.
Gypsio III
Questionable Ethics.
Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork
#7 - 2013-01-08 13:26:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Gypsio III
Vynka O'Dean wrote:

When a high priced buy option is set for materials on a station and a player comes to complete that order, it vanishes at selling time as the buyer can set orders without having sufficient funds. The result is that the seller has made an investment to complete the order but is stuck with the materials and expenditure.


This bit is your problem. If you pay way over the odds for an item, you only have yourself to blame.
Aptenodytes
Reckless Abandon
#8 - 2013-01-08 13:34:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Aptenodytes
RavenTesio wrote:
The Skill is intended as a tool to improve your Market Trading ability, someone who is using it for Scamming is Exploiting said still and thus breaking the EULA.

Uh wtf? Using something other than its intended purpose is exploiting now? Tell that to anyone who has ever used a carrier, battleship or destroyer to mine, a destroyer to salvage, a Venture to PVP, a stealth bomber to rat for sec status, a hauler to fight in, a rookie ship as free transport, or pod express as a quick way home. If you ban everyone who has used something for purposes other than their intended then you're going to find yourself alone in New Eden. In fact CCP encourages people to find new and inventive uses for their toys.

Having said that, I can see a problem here, it is virtually impossible to tell in advance whether a margin trading scam is indeed a scam or not. Other than the old adage "if it seems to good ot be true it probably is", there is no way to tell in advance whether a buy order will succeed or fail, other than to acquire the goods and try to sell to it.

As an alternative suggestion how about the buy order in the market window turns RED if the owner's wallet is not sufficient to sell the minimum quantity? That way, genuine market traders would not be affected, and scams would still be possible, but detectable.
De'Veldrin
Adversity.
Hisec Miners
#9 - 2013-01-08 14:16:18 UTC
RavenTesio wrote:
The Skill is intended as a tool to improve your Market Trading ability, someone who is using it for Scamming is Exploiting said still and thus breaking the EULA.


Please provide the link that shows CCP stating this is an exploit. If they haven't stated this is an exploit, it's not an exploit, regardless of your personal opinion.

Let's be careful tossing that "e" word around, shall we?

De'Veldrin's Corollary (to Malcanis' Law): Any idea that seeks to limit the ability of a large nullsec bloc to do something in the name of allowing more small groups into sov null will inevitably make it that much harder for small groups to enter sov null.

Alex Grison
Grison Universal
#10 - 2013-01-08 20:28:00 UTC  |  Edited by: Alex Grison
RavenTesio wrote:
The Skill is intended as a tool to improve your Market Trading ability, someone who is using it for Scamming is Exploiting said still and thus breaking the EULA.

There is no "EVE is suppose to be harsh" bollocks ... it is a plain fact, this is an exploit being used. Should someone being exploiting gameplay mechanics to their own benefit such-as keeping Concord stuck around a Wormhole (this one is no longer possible so can use is an effective example) then go off destroying ships as they please within a system; a GM would instantly ban that person pending a higher level CCP investigation, likely leading to the account suspension.

This seriously is NOT a scam by any stretch of the imagination, it is a simple exploit utilising a skill in the firm knowledge that EVE does not physically allow a negative bank balance unless imposed directly by CCP. The game just doesn't allow it.
Therefore Game Mechanics Exploit...

Want this to be fixed? Players should be capable of running up debt.


Absolutely false. margin scams are not a breach in the EULA.

here is an excerpt from the Terms of Service

""An exploit is when someone bypasses normal game mechanics, such as by utilizing a bug in the game, allowing him to take advantage of other players without them having any means of preventing it whatsoever.""

1) The margin trading skill is a normal mechanic.

2) An order that falls to go through because of a lack of funds on a margined order is not a bug.

3) "...allowing him to take advantage of other players without them having any means of preventing it whatsoever" Margin scams are entirely avoidable. And they are all very easy to detect with minimal investigation.
A margin scam cannot be forced on anyone.

4) A margin scam is hardly a scam in the first place. You are the one who is making the initial investment. It is your responsibility to research the price of the item, and it's *actual* worth before making an investment.

5) CCP clearly knows of the margin trading skill. as well as its use to "scam" people. If they were truly not ok with how it is being used, surely they would attempt to fix it. Or remove the skill.


6) The margin trading skill in eve does not work the same as margin trading IRL. When you are using the margin trading skill in eve. The broker is not lending you any money. And you are still required to pay-in-full when someone attempts to fill the order. Therefor there is no debt on either party. The broker returns the money that was placed in escrow minus transaction fees. And the order is removed.


In fact. the most relevant piece of information on margin scamming, and scamming in general in the terms of service is this

""If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Although this little nugget may seem obvious, it is nevertheless true that people usually only act in their own self-interest. If you are being offered something that sounds too good to be true, you would do well by questioning the deal. ""


If you saw a man standing in a parking lot next to a used 1990 geo metro saying "SELLING USED GEO METRO 15,000$USD."

and then another man standing on the other side of the parking lot holding a sign saying "BUYING USED GEO METRO 25,000$USD

you might question the legitimacy of the deal.

That would be a perfectly legal scenario as well.

it would be legal for him to sell you the used geo metro at 15,000USD.

And it would also be perfectly legal for the other guy to change his mind, rip the sign up and leave the moment he saw you buy the thing for 15,000

yes

Crimeo Khamsi
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#11 - 2013-01-08 20:56:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Crimeo Khamsi
Um, as much as I think the margin trading scam is inappropriate for EVE (you cannot, in fact, always identify it, no matter how clever you are), you can already identify who the scammer is for retribution purposes.

Go look at your wallet transactions, and it will tell you the name of the person who sold you the goods. If it is in fact a scam, this will always be the same person who is pretending the buy the goods (but then having the buy order fail).


Anyway, in response to others:
Quote:
Margin scams are entirely avoidable.

True. However, everything in Eve is "avoidable." Just sit in your hangar and don't touch any buttons, and you have successfully avoided every possible threat. This does not imply that it is a good game mechanic.

Quote:
And they are all very easy to detect with minimal investigation.

False.

For example, if you are trading in rare items, you will often encounter situations where normal market (NON-SCAM) forces will cause buy/sell gaps between regions to be upwards of 50-100%.

In any such situation, you have absolutely zero way of knowing if it is a margin trading scam or not. A margin scam can work with any gap of more than 30%, even with a large volume and no minimum order amount. So a normal fluctuation of 50% is completely indistinguishable from a margin scam done well.

As another example, any order in the entire galaxy with a total volume of 3 or less cannot be distinguished from a margin trading scam with 100% certainty. Because an order with up to 3 items and no minimum buy amount can still completely fail with level 5 margin trading, which means zero risk to the scammer, and a potential profit with any buy/sell gap.



So the only way to "avoid" such a scam completely is to never trade anything with more than about 20% profit margin, and to never buy anything without at least 4 units total volume on the buy side. Which means you have to avoid like 50% of the trades on the market. NOT an acceptable solution for any serious trader.

If there were a way to always identify it, then it would be fine. But there isn't, and a trader would have to cripple themselves to be sure. That's why this scam is different than all the other scams: you can never be sure about ruling it out, and avoiding it is unreasonably expensive.
Alex Grison
Grison Universal
#12 - 2013-01-08 20:59:44 UTC
Crimeo Khamsi wrote:
Um, as much as I think the margin trading scam is inappropriate for EVE (you cannot, in fact, always identify it, no matter how clever you are), you can already identify who the scammer is for retribution purposes.

Go look at your wallet transactions, and it will tell you the name of the person who sold you the goods. If it is in fact a scam, this will always be the same person who is pretending the buy the goods (but then having the buy order fail).


Why would you want to seek retribution on a throwaway and perma-docked alt? and how would you even do that? by sending them angry messages?

yes

Epsilon Bathana
EPS Kings
#13 - 2013-01-08 23:25:09 UTC  |  Edited by: Epsilon Bathana
Alex Grison wrote:

....

6) The margin trading skill in eve does not work the same as margin trading IRL. When you are using the margin trading skill in eve. The broker is not lending you any money. And you are still required to pay-in-full when someone attempts to fill the order. Therefor there is no debt on either party. The broker returns the money that was placed in escrow minus transaction fees. And the order is removed.

...


Isn't the returning of the escrow to the person who placed the buy order WRONG?

In my opinion he is at default and the escrow should go to the "damaged" party, being the player who tried to sell against the buy order. Additionally the intended seller shouldn't have to deliver any of the goods (also in case of buy orders for multiple items with/without a minimum quantity set.

In order not to completely penalize honest traders, the change could include a 1 (x?) day notice period, in which the buyer is summoned to provide additional ISK to complete the transaction. Of course during that time the buyer can't cancel or alter the outstanding order.
Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#14 - 2013-01-08 23:51:56 UTC
Alex Grison wrote:
Crimeo Khamsi wrote:
Um, as much as I think the margin trading scam is inappropriate for EVE (you cannot, in fact, always identify it, no matter how clever you are), you can already identify who the scammer is for retribution purposes.

Go look at your wallet transactions, and it will tell you the name of the person who sold you the goods. If it is in fact a scam, this will always be the same person who is pretending the buy the goods (but then having the buy order fail).


Why would you want to seek retribution on a throwaway and perma-docked alt? and how would you even do that? by sending them angry messages?


^^ This is why I proposed the creation of Financial Analysis Agents and Market Analysis Agents. Follow the money and you'll find the person responsible... then you can perform a worthy act of retribution.

@ Crimeo: 98% of the time you can identify a margin scam if you do a little research. The remaining 2% you might not be able to tell... but I'm not convinced the "I can't tell cases" are actually "margin scams" instead of people legitimately not having isk...

In the end, giving someone the ability to identify a buyer prior to buying from them seems reasonable to me.... then the community can spearhead a "margin scammers" thread with lots of forum fun.....
Alex Grison
Grison Universal
#15 - 2013-01-09 00:18:43 UTC
Crimeo Khamsi wrote:
Um, as much as I think the margin trading scam is inappropriate for EVE (you cannot, in fact, always identify it, no matter how clever you are), you can already identify who the scammer is for retribution purposes.

Go look at your wallet transactions, and it will tell you the name of the person who sold you the goods. If it is in fact a scam, this will always be the same person who is pretending the buy the goods (but then having the buy order fail).


Anyway, in response to others:
Quote:
Margin scams are entirely avoidable.

True. However, everything in Eve is "avoidable." Just sit in your hangar and don't touch any buttons, and you have successfully avoided every possible threat. This does not imply that it is a good game mechanic.

Quote:
And they are all very easy to detect with minimal investigation.

False.

For example, if you are trading in rare items, you will often encounter situations where normal market (NON-SCAM) forces will cause buy/sell gaps between regions to be upwards of 50-100%.

In any such situation, you have absolutely zero way of knowing if it is a margin trading scam or not. A margin scam can work with any gap of more than 30%, even with a large volume and no minimum order amount. So a normal fluctuation of 50% is completely indistinguishable from a margin scam done well.

As another example, any order in the entire galaxy with a total volume of 3 or less cannot be distinguished from a margin trading scam with 100% certainty. Because an order with up to 3 items and no minimum buy amount can still completely fail with level 5 margin trading, which means zero risk to the scammer, and a potential profit with any buy/sell gap.



So the only way to "avoid" such a scam completely is to never trade anything with more than about 20% profit margin, and to never buy anything without at least 4 units total volume on the buy side. Which means you have to avoid like 50% of the trades on the market. NOT an acceptable solution for any serious trader.

If there were a way to always identify it, then it would be fine. But there isn't, and a trader would have to cripple themselves to be sure. That's why this scam is different than all the other scams: you can never be sure about ruling it out, and avoiding it is unreasonably expensive.



I trade items with well over a 100% profit margin on a daily basis. I have never been margin scammed. No investment is without risk. Margin trading is working exactly how CCP intends it to. We know this because they haven't changed it. Just the fact that CCP hasn't changed/nerfed margin trading pretty makes this thread resolved.

I would also like to see where CCP has stated that "margin scams" are an exploit. Because as stated before until CCP calls it an exploit. Its not an exploit. Especially on something like this that has been around for a long time, and brought to the attention of CCP who-knows-how-many times.

yes

Alex Grison
Grison Universal
#16 - 2013-01-09 00:21:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Alex Grison
Epsilon Bathana wrote:
Alex Grison wrote:

....

6) The margin trading skill in eve does not work the same as margin trading IRL. When you are using the margin trading skill in eve. The broker is not lending you any money. And you are still required to pay-in-full when someone attempts to fill the order. Therefor there is no debt on either party. The broker returns the money that was placed in escrow minus transaction fees. And the order is removed.

...


Isn't the returning of the escrow to the person who placed the buy order WRONG?

In my opinion he is at default and the escrow should go to the "damaged" party, being the player who tried to sell against the buy order. Additionally the intended seller shouldn't have to deliver any of the goods (also in case of buy orders for multiple items with/without a minimum quantity set.

In order not to completely penalize honest traders, the change could include a 1 (x?) day notice period, in which the buyer is summoned to provide additional ISK to complete the transaction. Of course during that time the buyer can't cancel or alter the outstanding order.


When a margin order fails to go through there is no "damaged" party. The money on escrow goes back to the person who placed the order. And the person with the items keeps the items. technically the only person with "damages" is the person who placed the margin order. Those damages being the market fees they paid to put up the order.

Margin trading in eve does not work like margin trading in real life. The trader is not borrowing any money. and thus has no debt to default on. Because of this, there is no reason for a margin call as you described.

All investments in eve are long positions. You cannot sell short.

yes

Zan Shiro
Alternative Enterprises
#17 - 2013-01-09 00:41:43 UTC  |  Edited by: Zan Shiro
Quote:

Why would you want to seek retribution on a throwaway and perma-docked alt? and how would you even do that? by sending them angry messages?

this basically.

margin scammers, contract bait and switchers, trade scammers, etc.....there are usually permdocked alts. thier owner is out ratting in 0.0, wh'ing etc. They jsut alt tab to see someone take the bait and pull orders/contracts and such.


Also unless buy orders have magically gotten better since I had indy burn out and stopped doing it...pretty much most of the time buy orders sucked ass. If an indy actually making stuff to fill buy orders....you are doing it wrong most of the time. If I saw an omfg this is a great buy order...it was raising flags.

Best way to counter this is not buy from the station the buy order is at. This is one way margin scammers get you. They usually have a sell order they isk war to get top of the list. YOu buy it to fill the "great deal" buy order. they jsut sold tons of product baiting you with the buy order.

My counter to this was have goods in storage to sell from elsewhere (i had my usual production lines flowing at the time). That way you sneak in whatever sales they could cover and they did not make thier isk off of me buying it. Then sell of the rest however you want to. No skin off your nose really and the scammer didn't make his sales.
Alex Grison
Grison Universal
#18 - 2013-01-09 00:45:23 UTC  |  Edited by: Alex Grison
Zan Shiro wrote:
Alex Grison wrote:

Why would you want to seek retribution on a throwaway and perma-docked alt? and how would you even do that? by sending them angry messages?

this basically.

margin scammers, contract bait and switchers, trade scammers, etc.....there are usually permdocked alts. thier owner is out ratting in 0.0, wh'ing etc. They jsut alt tab to see someone take the bait and pull orders/contracts and such.


Also unless buy orders have magically gotten better since I had indy burn out and stopped doing it...pretty much most of the time buy orders sucked ass. If an indy actually making stuff to fill buy orders....you are doing it wrong most of the time. If I saw an omfg this is a great buy order...it was raising flags.

Best way to counter this is not buy from the station the buy order is at. This is one way margin scammers get you. They usually have a sell order they isk war to get top of the list. YOu buy it to fill the "great deal" buy order. they jsut sold tons of product baiting you with the buy order.

My counter to this was have goods in storage to sell from elsewhere (i had my usual production lines flowing at the time). That way you sneak in whatever sales they could cover and they did not make thier isk off of me buying it. Then sell of the rest however you want to. No skin off our nose really and the scammer didn't make his sales.


Which brings us back to "If it looks too good to be true, It is"

If you aren't smart enough to catch on that an instant 450,000,000 in profit from an item already 500,000,000 over priced at the same station as the buy and sell orders, You shouldn't be trading.

(This post isn't directed at you Zan Shiro. But at the people complaining about margin trading)

And as always, if you believe that you have been the victim of an exploit. You are, of course free to petition the issue.

yes

Felsusguy
Panopticon Engineering
#19 - 2013-01-09 01:07:57 UTC
The only time people sell to buy orders, realistically, is when it is a general commodity. No one pays attention to buy orders for the most part. Either way, no one would (or should) spend more ISK on something than it is sold for normally, and thus if the buy failed they could recoup most of their investment by selling it normally.

Margin Trading, however, is one of the most useless skills out there. The only purpose it serves is to make an order before you can pay for it, which fails anyway if you don't get enough ISK to buy it. By the time you get enough ISK, you could have just made the order then. Why would anyone need to make an order before they could pay for it if it doesn't serve a purpose if they can't pay for it anyway?

The Caldari put business before pleasure. The Gallente put business in pleasure.

De'Veldrin
Adversity.
Hisec Miners
#20 - 2013-01-09 14:01:45 UTC
Felsusguy wrote:
The only time people sell to buy orders, realistically, is when it is a general commodity. No one pays attention to buy orders for the most part. Either way, no one would (or should) spend more ISK on something than it is sold for normally, and thus if the buy failed they could recoup most of their investment by selling it normally.

Margin Trading, however, is one of the most useless skills out there. The only purpose it serves is to make an order before you can pay for it, which fails anyway if you don't get enough ISK to buy it. By the time you get enough ISK, you could have just made the order then. Why would anyone need to make an order before they could pay for it if it doesn't serve a purpose if they can't pay for it anyway?


This has been explained, ad naseum, all over the forums.

The problem isn't the skill. The problem is the human hubris that drives people to make poor decisions with lots of money.

De'Veldrin's Corollary (to Malcanis' Law): Any idea that seeks to limit the ability of a large nullsec bloc to do something in the name of allowing more small groups into sov null will inevitably make it that much harder for small groups to enter sov null.

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