06 July 2009

Fair Play

It began like this...


Act 1: Teh typoe

Rigs are expensive.

Generally, the price of rigs goes from high to ridiculously high... I think it has to do with the expertise involved in modifying a ship and the materials, of course. Rather than spend all that money, I have learned to shop around for the best regions for materials and prices, to set up clever buy orders, bring all the stuff in and let my fit crew do the work themselves. It has been years since they learned the trade from Prof. Jalvon Ryder at UC, and that 3-run T2 polycardboard BPC he brought; since then they have become rather good at inventing new variations.

Anyway, having rigged my racing ships, I still like to collect the materials so these accumulate in the hangar -just in case I have to ever build a replacement. Occasionally we will take all that stuff, build a rig and put it for sale. So Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, late at night the rig came out of the oven, I gingerly took it to Dodixie and checked market prices. There were a couple of people buying but, who cares, it's not like I sell stuff a buy order price...

Just before going away to sleep, I set my sell order. Looking back, I think I may have made a typo. Or three.


"Yes, I am sure." Click.

"Wait a minute, I take that back. Can I take that back? Oh..."

Four hundred million ISK.

Do you have any idea how much time it takes to save that money? And how much fun you could actually have spending it? Imagine the kinds of ships and fittings, maybe even faction... several times over. How many fully-fit cruisers? How much time to fly, I don't know, as militia or pirate or anything, because, you know, you can afford to lose your ship?

Well, I think it is like a small fleet worth of money. I had just given away a small fleet.

Hissy fit.

Act 2: Talk to the man

Having come back from my walk, I apologized to those around I upset with all that yelling and, with a fresh dose of caffeine by my side, looked at my screen. The holo smirked back at me.

The rig had sold, of course, immediately. And because it was a sell order at basically one thousandth of its price -as opposed to, say, a direct sale to the best buyer- the system had dutifully sold it at my price. Right, the one I typed in myself. Not at 50%, not at 1%, but at 0.1% of market value.

May I say, this does not exactly feel like leaving a good tip.

And, how frustrating of course, there was nothing I could do to take it back. Rewind time? Undo my mistake? I don't know, raise the price, anything? Nothing! To! Do!

So I did the next best thing and I shared my feelings with the happy winner.

2009.06.23 21:39
Grr... I should not play this late at night..

Enjoy you rig :)

He had done nothing wrong, he just was there at the right place and the right time to win Quin's Stupid Typo Lottery. I just let him know how upset I was for having done something while sleepwalking.

I thought he would laugh all the way to the bank. Instead, he replied two days afterwards...

2009.06.25 21:05
I put buy orders up for t2 rigs mostly to keep the scammers buy orders from working. I base my prices on current jita buy order prices. My point is - even tho you may not have gotten what you could have using a sell order, you didn't get scammed and you got jita fair market value for your rig. If you were tired and not paying attention the result could have been much worse, you'd have sold it for 451k instead of 340mil w/o my buy order up to prevent it.

Now, now, he thought I was accusing him of scamming (I was not), politely pointed out he was buying at a fair price (he was) and that, had I been scammed, it could have been worse.

But... how come I did not even get scam price?

Wait a minute...

All I got was my lousy price. Was he telling me he'd paid 340M to someone?

I replied telling him I was not blaming anyone but myself. By the way, could he please double-check that he had paid all that money?

2009.06.25 23:16
No, no... I am not blaming you, I'm blaming me. Just wanted you to know why :) I really felt awful when I realized I had sold it and at how much, and thought "this guy is going to think I am stupid." Nah... just way too sleepy. It was a three-figure typo. Okay, it was stupid.

But not a scam.

Yes, I saw there was an order for 300M or more and that made it all worse, 'cause I did not even get a million.

By the way, could you check again how much money you paid? Because in my log, the rig went at 444K -that was my sell order price. I know the buy order was yours, but did it really take 340M from you wallet?

Oh... had he sent all that money, that I did not receive? If he was right, then hundreds of millions of ISK had just gone poof. Suddenly it was not just my money, it could also be his money that was missing in the trading system. Our money. And if something was missing, maybe we could get something back. (Some NPC was probably pocketing them. I have lived in the Republic, you know, and I recognize the fishy smell of government corruption - I just did not expect the same from the SCC. Someone would have to explain this. Petition! Lawsuit! Death by a thousand papercuts!)

So, first step in a corruption case: get the receipts.

At least we had moved on from "lost all that money" to "maybe will get some of it back."

Act 3: Surprise, surprise!

I came back next day to find an evemail.

2009.06.26 09:32

I didn't think to check my wallet transactions. I have no problem correcting the situation for you. :)

It turns out there was no need to petition, the money had not disappeared. He had paid my price originally but genuinely thought he had paid his price so he really thought he was poorer. He was actually sitting on a pile of money and just had not noticed.

Then I checked my wallet:

Fair Play

He had transfered the difference over to my account!

I am impressed. I mean, it was a stupid mistake on my part and maybe he had no obligation to help me fix it, other than what he thought would be fair. And he thought it would be fair... to pay the buy price! I also have my own theory about this, I think that if you are nice and polite to people, people tend to be nice and polite to you -but then again, I am reminded that "asking nicely" is not the the fix for "stupid mistake."

At the end of he day, I am actually happier it all turned out this way. This means that not everyone out there is out to scam, backstab, burglarize, gank or grief you, that there is genuinely good people that do care whether someone else is having a rough time or made a mistake. Or maybe it means that being nice to other people really takes you places -charisma tanking FTW. Maybe I was just lucky.

And the difference between sale price and buy price? I think that is the best money I have ever spent. 'cause a ship can be killed, even a small fleet can disappear in the blink of an eye (doh), but the feeling -no, the certainty- that there are strangers in the cluster capable of a random act of fairness, well, that is so much harder to kill.

So here is to Ballistic Mystic, thank you so very much!

I am setting you +11 blue forever. Maybe we will meet again...



  1. Holy Diogenes, Batman! An honest capsuleer!

  2. 400 million ISK. You make it in one sale. It takes some of us weeks of grind. This used to be frustrating, and now it's just cause to giggle at all the people concerned with the wallet balance.

    I only want one more item in the game, and then I win, materially speaking. I wonder what I'll do with the ISK that piles up afterward!

  3. Nice story, Quin. I've been on both sides of similar situations...and did the "right" thing by making the ISK right. What goes around comes around...I accidentally traded valuable items to the wrong person in the station list once, asked politely if he'd mind returning it, and he cheerfully did so. He's still blue in my personal list nearly two years later. Not everyone in New Eden is out to rip people off...not even all of us pirates :)

  4. Lucky. I remember when I was starting out with trading I made a typo that reduced my entire wallet to 0. Lucky for me I had "only" 200m in it. It's one of those things you do once and then hopefully never again. Very heart-warming he sent you the ISK though :)

  5. @Erbo - /looks up Diogenes here. The guy lived in a tub! Haha, he was a capsuleer like us! :P

    @Norrin - It still takes weeks for me to buy all the salvage, contract couriers to bring it in -yes I am that lazy,- babysitting the sell order to actually selling the rig. It's just a different grind.

    @Mynxee - Charm-tanking pirates ;)

    @Myrhial - Lucky indeed, and it is that feeling is what makes the loss not matter anymore :).