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The problems facing Auctions


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So at first I was going to make a raffle poking fun at Auction adverts, but as I kept writing out my points, I realized that Auctions, as a whole, are very, very flawed. Here's why I feel this way, and I hope we can have a serious discussion about this.

((EDIT 03/07/17: The way I phrased some of this made it imply that all auctions are like this, when they really aren't. A good number of people are behaving adequately when it comes to auctions, but there is still the problematic sector. This is talking about the latter of these people.

Also, apologies if some phrasing is otherwise confusing, it was written at the end of the day, possibly only an hour before I fell asleep. Just poke me with whatever's confusing and I'll try to edit it.))
 

  • We have a rampant advertising problem, in which people are getting cheap, practically free advertising by annoying other users.

 

This is the original point of the raffle that never got made, and I feel it should be my first point. People are abusing raffles for the sake of advertising. What do they give in return? Cheapskate raffles. I've seen, on more than one occasion, someone raffle something like a Winter Noisemaker while in the same breath advertising an Unusual most users can't even afford. This might be a personal problem, because I try to make raffles that are fun, or at the very least make a point. To see my raffles lumped up with what can be chalked up to penny advertisements is very discouraging.

Then again, it might not be a personal problem. Jesse already made a poll about this, and while the majority thought it wasn't a problem, quite a few people disagreed. A sizable portion of the user base does not like auction adverts. And it's easy to see why, because it's a huge loophole.

 

  • Auction adverts are rules lawyer-ing the site rules.

 

Remember: it's against the rules to advertise a trade outside of the site. That means sites like TF2Outpost, Backpack.tf, bazaar.tf, can't be linked to for the purpose of selling your items. If you put your items into an auction; set it at, oh, 95% of its value; and let it run for a week though? That's fine. What happens here is that someone can advertise an "auction", when its not really an auction at all!

 

  • Auctions are being used as a "standard" trading platform instead of an auction.

 

There is no rule that says that auctions have to have a minimum or maximum value, so as I said before; put items into an auction, set the minimum bid at 95% of its bp.tf value, let it run until someone places a bid. This is admittedly my biggest problem with Auctions right now; I see way too many people using it to "sell" stuff instead of "auction" stuff. Of course, if people want to pay that much for an item, that's one thing, but I see too much of this as opposed to this.

 

Of course, why would you even want to use Auctions, when...
 

  • Auctions are essentially a worse version of standard trading.

 

There is one benefit to automated auctions, and that is automation. Everything's done for you, to an extent. That's nice, right? Well, the problem is, there's not a real incentive to use them outside of that. You have a time limit; if you forget to pay, you get banned; you have to do a confusing site inventory setup; all sorts of minor problems that makes the whole thing seem like it's not worth it. To be frank, unless I wanted to get rid of an item quickly, I would just, y'know... put up a couple of listings on TF2Outpost and Backpack.tf. I wouldn't face an auction ban, and I also get to pick and choose offers based on my preferences.

There's a lot of other, smaller problems facing Auctions, but these are pretty much my main gripes.

I want to know your thoughts on the matter, whether its your own problems with auctions, your proposed solutions (remember, this is not the suggestion forum), whatever. 

Edited by Shiny Substitute
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Here's something I read someone say to "fix" advertising...

 

Add a new section of raffles for only advertising auctions... Well... what's the point of having a section of just advertising auctions when you can just go to auctions yourself

 

Same can be said about auction advertising in general... I don't want to join no auctions, so I stay in raffles... but that seems to not work with all those cheap "SHAMELESS AUCTION ADVERTISEMENT!" raffles with only like 1 uncraft weapon and they're advertising something like a Burning Team Captain for like double the price

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My only problem with the auctions is that next to the raffle system's set limits, the limit as to how many auctions a user can make is only caused by the allowed capacity of the site inventory (Which might I add, confused the hell outta me when I first attempted to utilize it). Therefore, a user can spam multiple auctions for items that may or may not be preferable, that really clog up the entire page and make it tough to sift through for the ones that I would consider worth entering. Only other slight grudge is with the one day period in which to give your bid, before a ban. I accidentally bid on an auction while curious about them when they were first reintroduced, and had my trade holds not finally been removed that very same day, I would have had a ban over a single scrap that I wasn't allowed to submit.

 

PS: Sorry for the text wall, hope this helps <3

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Devil's advocate here

 

" A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. " - Steve Jobs (1955-2011), circa. 1998

 

When was the last time you've bought an item you were actually looking for a long time, rather than buying an item you found on the fly because it was interesting.

Most of my currently owned items (especially more rare/expensive ones, like my unusuals or my Eye-catcher) I have bought without even realizing I want them.

I mean, I would never in my entire life think that the Bot Dogger isn't ugly as hell, but I saw a classified listing promoted on bp.tf's front page and I was intrigued.

Same with unusual weapons, never would've thought I would buy some expensive weapon that wasn't an australium.

And the Eye-catcher. Oh boy the Eye-catcher. Some high tier trader was quickselling it for 22 ref, and since I use one for my Scout, I decided to buy it... Now I use it on all of my loadouts.

 

My point being, not a lot of people go on this website for auctions, and the auctioneers know it, which is why they make advertisements in raffles. And honestly, why do people care so much?

1 hour ago, Shiny Substitute said:
  • We have a rampant advertising problem, in which people are getting cheap, practically free advertising by annoying other users.

 

If you are here for just the free stuff and all you see is a bunch items worth a craft weapon-scrap, of course you're going to be annoyed, but the number of raffles with valuable items doesn't change, unless the rafflers themselves to stop doing them.

If you are here for the personality in raffles, then it's still there, you just have to scroll down a little bit more, which I admit might be a problem for someone with bad internet or someone lazy.

And free advertisement is bad in what way? People already advertise their youtube channels and SFM artwork, why not auctions? One could argue that one takes effort and other ones are just them trying to profit, but at the end of the day, all of this is made for advantage of the raffler.

 

1 hour ago, Shiny Substitute said:
  • Auction adverts are rules lawyer-ing the site rules.

 

Okay, that's actually hypocritical and I agree with you

 

1 hour ago, Shiny Substitute said:
  • Auctions are being used as a "standard" trading platform instead of an auction.

 

Depends on the auctionee and whether or not they are bright and actually auction stuff that might be interesting to certain groups of people but not others (i.e.: collector's, rare craft numbers, unusuals, painted items, items with parts, items with halloween spells and so on and so forth) or if they think they're being funny by auctioning a craft hat for 1.66 ref.

 

1 hour ago, Shiny Substitute said:
  • Auctions are essentially a worse version of standard trading.

 

Agree, the format might need to be changed around.

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I have to agree with you on all those fronts. Never really put in perspective the whole trading aspect of it, but you're right, it really is kind of just used as a platform for trading since the actual "auctioning" system has several flaws in it already. Not least of which is the sniping bids at the last second. That in itself is another issue that should really be addressed.

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Lots of people are setting up auctions where it's priced above bp.tf listings - I could buy an unusual for cheaper, quicker and not be fought over it.

 

I think if we can search and/or filter auctions then the need to advertise will decrease - those selling unusuals don't have to compete with people auctioning unique weapons.

Edited by Koya et le Mot Juste
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There's actually a good deal that can be said about just how stupid it is to allow auction advertisements in raffles, and many of them you've listed nicely above.  The fact that all other forms of advertisement, including things such as puzzle raffles in addition to normal trading, not only makes allowing auction advertisements illogical but completely hypocritical.

 

The reason for Jesse's poll ending with auctions being favored 2:1 (made a comment regarding that in that particular raffle) is that there tends to be 2-3x more open auctions at any given time than there are raffles (as of writing this, there are 345 auctions and 118 raffles).  If it's simply to a game of numbers, auctions being favoured would almost always win, considering the vast majority of users only do things in their own self-interest, hence people wanting to make cheap advertisements for their own benefit in addition to simply joining raffles in a huge spree.  If it was a decision given to the more regular rafflers of the site, I'm positive that the vote would've shifted in the other favor.  And this brings me to the most basic of points...

 

Raffles are made for generosity.

 

Yeah, simple enough really.  The point of raffling is to share with the world your items, your ideas, your thoughts and work, your own personal agenda.  That sort of thing.  It's out of an act of your own willingness and generosity that makes raffles what they are.  By allowing auction advertisements, that idea is thrown out the window.  Into a moving train.  And its corpse is flattened and dropped off half a mile away and is rotting somewhere in the woods.  Advertisements are simply a tool for personal gain, not generosity.  It completely destroys the whole reasoning for raffling in the first place.  Take into consideration that someone is capable of not only using dirt-cheap items in comparison to what they're advertising, they're also capable of spamming these raffles out for as much as their daily raffle limit allows, ultimately ending up with possibly dozens of raffles from only a single individual for the topic of a single auction.

 

And before someone notes that "sharing your art is the same thing", no it isn't.  This is not the same as someone showing some art they've made, a video they've done, or anything of the likes, as that's sharing it for others' enjoyment, appreciation, or feedback.  Asking for people to subscribe to you for said video or ask for art commissions, however, would be a form of personal gain, and that is banned.  So why auction advertisements, something else that fits under the same exact principle as asking for subs or anything of the likes, aren't also banned, I don't even know.

 

So yes, as someone who makes a lot of raffles and auctions, I'd prefer if auction advertisements were removed.  They're annoying, waste room, and in the words of Austin from ShoddyCast, they just make no goddamn sense.

 

They could just be removed and that'd be that, but I'd imagine people complaining about "not being able to find your particular auction".  If a person is patient, they would scroll through and briefly look at every auction page, which admittedly doesn't take much time.  But a better way to implement such a thing would most likely be a better form of auction searching or sorting.  That just brings into the issue of how to do that for the various categories (probably by the separation through value) and whether or not Geel even works on auctions.  But yeah, that's something that can be talked about for another day.

Edited by The Predecessor
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I totally agree with Shiny and the predecessor, auction ads need to be banned on raffles.

 

 

4 hours ago, Xephy said:

And free advertisement is bad in what way? People already advertise their youtube channels and SFM artwork, why not auctions? One could argue that one takes effort and other ones are just them trying to profit, but at the end of the day, all of this is made for advantage of the raffler.

 

People who's creating content on youtube, make poster on SFM, draw, paints, do music etc ... can share them work for getting feedback on them creations and progress.

Sharing art stuff can't be compared to advertising an auction.

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4 hours ago, Xephy said:

If you are here for just the free stuff and all you see is a bunch items worth a craft weapon-scrap, of course you're going to be annoyed, but the number of raffles with valuable items doesn't change, unless the rafflers themselves to stop doing them.

If you are here for the personality in raffles, then it's still there, you just have to scroll down a little bit more, which I admit might be a problem for someone with bad internet or someone lazy.

And free advertisement is bad in what way? People already advertise their youtube channels and SFM artwork, why not auctions? One could argue that one takes effort and other ones are just them trying to profit, but at the end of the day, all of this is made for advantage of the raffler.

 

With the Auctions format being wrong as a whole, resembling more a site like BackpackTF where you list your items for, say, 95-100% of market value, free advertising for Auctions hardly differs from free advertising for trades. Perhaps that's a problem with both people and the way the site made Auctions work.

Edited by Django Corleone
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7 hours ago, Shiny Substitute said:

I see way too many people using it to "sell" stuff instead of "auction" stuff.

Yes! Thank you! I'm tired of being the only one who feels this way. Why is so hard for people to understand that an Auction is NOT for Selling items?!

 

I've made some suggestions in the past regarding this and the advertisiment issue

 

This for the ads that don't seem to get banned anytime soon: https://forum.scrap.tf/topic/12168-link-auctions-option-when-creating-a-raffle

 

And this to have better Auctions: https://forum.scrap.tf/topic/12157-minimum-bid-bar-and-limit-on-auctions

 

But *sigh* honestly all of this is pointless, Jesse already said that Geel doesn't pay attention to Auctions and won't do for quite some time because of personal issues, so I guess that we just have to deal with Auctions being "broken" until they get attention or until they get removed again..

 

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18 minutes ago, Gaia's Minion said:

But *sigh* honestly all of this is pointless, Jesse already said that Geel doesn't pay attention to Auctions and won't do for quite some time because of personal issues, so I guess that we just have to deal with Auctions being "broken" until they get attention or until they get removed again..

 

 

This is where I love you. Every other person on this topic is ignorant of this important fact. All of this talk about auctions being broken and the need for them to be fixed, and no one actually understands that Jesse hates auctions and is unmotivated to work on them BECAUSE THEY ARE SO BROKEN. Geel added this, so for once, I feel Jesse is forcing Geel to actually fix something he made.

 

Do not take my word for this, this is just an assumption made from a conversation with Jesse two or three weeks ago.

Edited by Ezekiel
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All I do is make auctions of Specialized killstreaks with no minimum or maximum, and advertise it twice in a raffle with at least 6 hours between each raffle and each one with at least a refined in it .-.

Its what an auction is isn't it? no minimum, bid what you think its worth, or by how much you want it, and those who only care about raffles are still getting something nice. doesn't matter what I put in the raffle message as so very few even actually read them.

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I honestly think that auctions aren't really a problem, I mean, sure. They're annoying. But lots of people raffle something like a noise maker anyway, and since I click on every raffle, I don't mind. Maybe a rule should be set where someone has to put the word "Auction" in the title?

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At first I thought it was fine, but as it happens more and more, now it's just pissing me off. Auctions are falling apart from simple things that are usually easy to fix. But the problem is that people see all these little problems (and to be fair there is a lot) as 1 giant problem. Some of these things I could fix (mostly because I have in some of my stuff). I can see why they don't want to fix this, but they can't just ignore a problem which donators, moderators, and just normal users notice as a problem.

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3 minutes ago, Jdragon5048 said:

At first I thought it was fine, but as it happens more and more, now it's just pissing me off. Auctions are falling apart from simple things that are usually easy to fix. But the problem is that people see all these little problems (and to be fair there is a lot) as 1 giant problem. Some of these things I could fix (mostly because I have in some of my stuff). I can see why they don't want to fix this, but they can't just ignore a problem which donators, moderators, and just normal users notice as a problem.

As Gaia said earlier

 

On 3/7/2017 at 7:18 AM, Gaia's Minion said:

 

But *sigh* honestly all of this is pointless, Jesse already said that Geel doesn't pay attention to Auctions and won't do for quite some time because of personal issues, so I guess that we just have to deal with Auctions being "broken" until they get attention or until they get removed again..

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Mudakip said:

As Gaia said earlier

 

 

I know that is why I said what I said. I program as just a hobby but when people says I should do this I do it even if I can't I'll ask my friend to do it for me. I mean are Jesse and Geel the only 2 people who know how to do this kind of stuff.

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