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Open for Business - Store owners thread

Discussion in 'EA Land/The Sims Online Stratics Forums' started by DGLita, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    I thought it would be useful to start a thread for store owners, to discuss issues with running a store.

    I would like to kick this off with the post by Maxis Luc on the tso blog. He stated the following:

    " <font color="blue"> With the dynamic object pricing, it will be easier for stores to make money. Store owners should be able to hire more users to keep the stores open, creating a new user to user job market in the city </font> ."

    I wonder how other store owners feel about this?

    This was my reply on the blog

    " <font color="blue"> For a start dynamic pricing can go up as well as down, much like the stock market, and you can lose as much as you gain, so it isnt really helping stores to make more money.

    The main issue with your comment though is the user to user job market in stores. I suggest you send an anonymous sim round the stores and ask if you can be a roomie. I can guarantee the resounding answer will be No Thanks.
    Store owners are a seperate breed of sim, they are commited to their stores and are prepared to spend practically 100% of their sim time running it. They also invariably have multiple accounts to run the store for extra inventory room.

    Roomies on the other hand see it as an easy way to make some extra money while they go running around the city, because the owner will be keeping the store open for them. (At this point I would like to say that I was fortunate enough to have a roomie who was as commited as I am, but they are very very rare. I am now helping her set up her own store)

    Roomies will generally throw a bit of stock out and then never be seen again. Store owners cannot afford to give up part of their precious store space to someone who wont commit. If you really see this as a job opportunity for roomies then you need to do something about property limits, because while we are limited to a set number of blocks in a property we wont be prepared to share that space with anyone else." </font>

    I really do take issue with the statement that dynamic pricing is helping stores make money. Now before I go any further, I actually DO like dynamic pricing but i'll come to my reasons for that in a minute. But for Luc to state that dynamic pricing will help stores is misleading at best. You might make a profit on an item that has increased in value, if you have followed suit and increased the price, but that extra profit dissappears when you restock that item.

    Prices dont just increase though, they decrease too, and thats when you get the real stinger as you may end up having to sell something at a loss. Larger stores can absorb this loss but for the small undercapitalised store it can be devastating, and will more than likely lead to the closure of that store.

    Even so , I like dynamic pricing. There is an opportunity to stock up when prices are low and sell when/if they increase, but holding onto that stock while you wait can be an issue for inventory. Also, people have become less 'price resistant' as you just cant count on a price for a specific item anymore. Unless they want to jump from store to store, they are more likely to buy when they see an item at a price they are prepared to pay

    I really wish though that the retail price would dissapear from objects on sale, you dont see 2 prices on goods when you normally go shopping so why do we have to have it here in EA Land? I think this is more likely to help stores than dynamic pricing ever will.

    On the subject of roomies, someone posted on the blog an idea for renting out space in a store. I think that would be an excellent idea, and would overcome the issue of the 'invisible roomie' as the owner would be making a real gain from having roomies.

    As it stands, the owner is the all round loser when it comes to taking on roomies. Its the owner that has put up the money for the property AND the initial investment in stock to get full discount. Roomies come along and ride free on the back of that. If they had to pay a rent on the store space they take up this would then be a great incentive for owners to take on roomies. The issue of property limits would still have be addressed though.
     
  2. "With the dynamic object pricing, it will be easier for stores to make money. Store owners should be able to hire more users to keep the stores open, creating a new user to user job market in the city ."

    I don't believe he means roomies when he is talking about "hire more users". What if you could pay someone to keep your store open for you for an hour or two without them actually being a roomie?

    Perhaps it is a job contract giving a sim temporary babysitting priviledges rather than becoming an actual roomie.

    I agree completely that the "retail" price of things should be taken away completely. With the catalog gone and dynamic pricing in place, every store should begin to have different prices for things depending upon the cost of things when they bought them. No longer, should EA be dictating a price according to old catalog prices. It is not fair for a store owner to have to lower their prices below cost just because the "current retail" price is lower than what they paid for their stock. It should be their choice to lower the price and take a loss without every joe blow in town coming by say they are running a scam because their list price is higher than retail. I can't count the number of times I was called a scammer because crafted items sales price is higher than listed retail prices.

    For that matter, it is my understanding that stores in the future may not even have access to a catalog at all and will only stock objects they can purchase through auctions from EA.

    Running a store during these timultuous times can prove to be profitable and store entrepeneurs can also lose large sums of money depending on market trends.

    For the first 3 weeks starting up in EALand, I am not at all surprised that Luc found data to support that stores was one of the "best ways to make money" in EA-Land.

    Over the next few months, I hope many start to realize that making money in EA-Land is different than making money in TSO.

    The business of Custom Content and Running stores will mostly handled by players that do not actually "play the game" of TSO. I would imagine that most Custom Content creators have no desire to play the game and will even choose to set up shops with their Custom Content using simoleans they purchase with real cash. It is not hard to imagine that many stores will be financed and capitalized the same way.

    For TSO players we will benefit from increased number of stores in the game as well as the increase of content coming from subscribers rather than waiting on developers to put something new in game.
     
  3. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    If you right about hiring people to run the store Gracie, then that would be a fantastic move. I hope thats what Luc means then, will be very good news
     
  4. If you offer good pay, I might even come look for a job with ya Lita! LoL.
     
  5. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    your hired! and i pay better than robot factory lol
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'll do it for 2.50 less then Gracie !

    Great post btw DGLita !

    Polly
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I would like to see the cash register item have to be used more, as a means of ending the afk-epidemic that has become so prevalent in stores. Stores like Gracie's, and it sounds like yours too, Lita are given a bad name and shoved further down the list by the full-of-afk-sim stores that are circumventing time out in one way or another. Something needs to be done so that the honest, hard-working owners/roomies in stores are given their just rewards, and the 'here 5 minutes out of every hour' ones are given their just desserts, IMHO. Maybe something along the lines of, if a store is reported for circumventing time out, and it is PROVEN by EA, (ie they IM the sim and get no response within the 15 minutes) then EA can come in and wipe their hours to 0 hrs. 0 minutes on the top 100 list....with the old 3 strikes and you're out clause.....after the 3rd time of this happening, wave bye-bye to your account. (I also wish EA would start doing IP bans but that's a whole other thread).

    Aside from that, yes I can see how dynamic pricing could both help you and screw you, just like MMO's and stocks in RL....it's a make your bet, take your chances kind of thing, so those who are not betters, if they keep with this plan, very well might end up changing lot categories. But then that begs the question of is that what EA is wanting....since there are so many people making stores, to weed out the ones who *really* don't like the store category but are just doing it to make a fast buck (simolean)?
     
  8. I think it's just crazy that some of these stores have 8 or more people all hiding, and never actually there.

    If this is one person with 8 accounts, lol, that's a waste of 80 dollars a month, just get a top 100 score.
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I think it's just crazy that some of these stores have 8 or more people all hiding, and never actually there.

    If this is one person with 8 accounts, lol, that's a waste of 80 dollars a month, just get a top 100 score.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Before it seemed to be trial accounts.....EA plugged that loophole with ending the trial accts and having only the permanent free accounts. I think I heard that a person cannot own a free account and a premium account...if that is the case, then that part should be gone. If a person CAN have an account that is a freebie acct while holding a premium account, then that bug needs to be squashed too or things won't get any better. It can still be done, but people have to get their friends to sit on the lot with them I guess in order to make it work, or 2 roomies have all 4 of their accounts on at the same time or something. 4 accounts paid per person would be alot more common than 8 for sure. This was another reason I was a proponent for not being able to log in with more than one account at a time in EA Land.....to stop this type of exploiting. I understand that it would be yet another way the good and fair players pay for the cheaters, but *sigh* I don't see any way we're gonna make some of this stuff a thing of the past, or at the very least force people to try to find different ways to cheat/exploit, without us all being willing to give up some luxuries.
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Concerned about AFK sims sitting on a lot... let's think about this.

    The developers have mentioned allowing multiple sims from the same account in EALand at one time.

    They have also mentioned the ability to have a lot open without having to keep a sim (or account) online.

    Get rid of the faulty top 100 list and you've just taken care of the AFK sims sitting around. EALand needs a search feature that includes a way of offering paid advertisements or key word lists for the inhabitants of EALand to find what they are looking for.
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    "With the dynamic object pricing, it will be easier for stores to make money."
    It's not easier until we are able to track costs and be able to see what we purchased at. Otherwise, we have to create individual store inventory systems (offline) in order to try to track things... and guess what... My opinion is that this game is not worth that effort.

    "You might make a profit on an item that has increased in value, if you have followed suit and increased the price, but that extra profit disappears when you restock that item.

    Prices don't just increase though, they decrease too, and thats when you get the real stinger as you may end up having to sell something at a loss."

    I agree about profit disappearing as the item is restocked at a higher price due to retail going up. I do not agree that decreasing prices "makes" anyone lose money. We haven't lowered any prices and things still sell. Some people look at the prices and others do not. We each choose how to "play the market" and truthfully, I'm not working with decreasing prices until I'm given the proper tools to track what I paid for the items that I want to decrease.
     
  12. Dogsoffour

    Dogsoffour Guest

    The truth is that most people could care less if you are there or not at your store. They want to pop in, check a price, and then buy an item. I no longer greet people when I am there because about 10% return the greeting.

    I remember years ago there was a very long thread here about a store that had roomies stuck in beds [​IMG]. Those times have changed. People want convinence, and a good price. Stores want to make profit, and stay in the top 9 (nearly imposible without afking)



    Edit: On the dynamic pricing issue... I don't think there is really much advantages for stores here because most stores leave the prices at 50% of their cost. If someone was changing their prices every 10 minutes, its not too likely to sell.
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    With all the griping about AFK sims in stores that I've seen both here and on the tso-e blog... I think it's clear that there are at least a handful of people that care.

    I agree with you. Shoppers "want to pop in, check a price, and then buy an item. I no longer greet people when I am there because about 10% return the greeting."

    I greet sometimes and not other times... why greet when most shoppers do not return the greeting.
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    The truth is that most people could care less if you are there or not at your store. They want to pop in, check a price, and then buy an item. I no longer greet people when I am there because about 10% return the greeting.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    OK, so 10% return the greeting.....it's not about how many return the greeting, it's about the fact that you give it. Wal-Mart greeters still greet and those poor guys sometimes don't even get smiles much less a 'hello', from people. By your logic because of this, Wal-Mart should change policy.....not.

    <blockquote><hr>

    I remember years ago there was a very long thread here about a store that had roomies stuck in beds [​IMG]. Those times have changed. People want convinence, and a good price. Stores want to make profit, and stay in the top 9 (nearly imposible without afking)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's just it, if AFKing was not allowed, or turned a blind eye to, then those doing it would get busted and it would no longer BE nearly impossible to make it to the top without afk'ing. Also, to me a top 10 spot that I hadn't worked for would only be a partial accomplishment, if even that...it'd be like "OK, my name is in the top 10....and?" Then too, if my idea on the restructuring of the top 100 list, so that the list shows in order of VH but offline properties are skipped, it would no longer be necessary to be in the top 9 to be visible without scrolling down. I'm all for keeping the top 100 list, because some people really do like the ACCOMPLISHMENT of getting on the list....but extended afk-ing while you rake in the simoleans is NOT accomplishment, so if that's gonna continue to happen then yeah, might as well chuck it so the non-cheaters have a fair shot. EA said they might in the future make it so that store lots could be run without sims being there.....I didn't see them anywhere condone circumventing timeout NOW like some people seem to think they did.
     
  15. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    Now that buy mode is no longer available to players, stores need to stay open. The devs such as Lee and Greg made it clear in conversations in the Community house that they had no problem with store owners being AFK to keep their stores open. I even had a message from Greg to me stating that, and I copied it and kept it as a jpeg file.

    What they DID take issue with is stores manipulating the top 100 list by keeping a number of non roomie afk hidden sims on the lot, but they dont seem that much interested in it at the moment, probably because they have a whole load of other issues to deal with.

    Whether you like it or not, stores have been given the green light by the devs to stay open, and until they say otherwise that is going to happen, in my stores and others as well. What I dont do however, is manipulate the top100 list with a load of non roomie afk sims. I have 6 paid for accounts, so I could easily do that but I dont because I value the priviledge given to me by the devs.

    Stores staying open AFK isnt hurting anyone (except maybe other stores that dont do it), and we are providing a service to the community by keeping stores open. How mad would you be if you needed to buy something and couldnt because there was no where to shop? Remember also that a lot of players are in differnt time zones and play at different times, they need stores to be open.

    If you dont like shopping at an afk store, then dont do it, but I think you will find that your options are pretty limited.

    A much bigger problem to the community are the botters, and these should be the hot topic. This is the real menace to the community, botters ruined the economy in the production cities and will do so here as well if they are not stopped. I know the devs are working hard on this. It does seem to me that botters are being allowed to get away with it for now, as some of them are pretty obvious (locked money house, 3 or 4 sims inside, no repy or slow reply when you message them) but I have a feeling they are in for a nasty surprise.
     
  16. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    On the latest blog update, Lee mentions store rebate in TC3. Does anyone know what this is and how its works.
     
  17. I dont understand what a store rebate is either.
     
  18. I thought rebate was just another word for discount.
     
  19. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    Im actually thinking of renaming this thread Closed For Business

    Im really puzzled, but I have tried to stay positive and defend the game anf the curent strategies, but now Im at a loss.

    Im sure someone can make sense of this, but here goes. Payouts lowered, and lowered and lowered - apparently to stop the bots. Dont see that hapening tho.

    Prices rising and rising and rising, is that to stop the bots too?

    And now for the finale, discount for stores is fast dissapearing. I dont even know why they bothered to lower it to 31%, why not just do away with it altogether?? We all know its heading in that direction anyway.

    Get rid of the 2 tier pricing structure, get rid of the payouts. Dont let sims earn ANY money, and then skilling will become pointless too.

    So thats that sorted then, no payouts, ridiculous high prices in store, and no skilling. Then we can all cancel our subscriptions and save ourselves a shed load of real money and just go back to real life, or sims 2. I miss my sim families
     
  20. <blockquote><hr>

    and it is PROVEN by EA, (ie they IM the sim and get no response within the 15 minutes)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was a store owner once, and I was dobbed in by someone notorious for running afk stores back in AV. Even though I answered the IM from EA straight away (since i wasn't afk), I still had my account suspended.


    I agree, remove the Top 100 listings and provide a search engine for those that are online only. I specifically try to avoid properties in all catergories that are on top of the lists, especially those with a lot of afk sims.
     
  21. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Im actually thinking of renaming this thread Closed For Business

    Im really puzzled, but I have tried to stay positive and defend the game anf the curent strategies, but now Im at a loss.

    Im sure someone can make sense of this, but here goes. Payouts lowered, and lowered and lowered - apparently to stop the bots. Dont see that hapening tho.

    Prices rising and rising and rising, is that to stop the bots too?

    And now for the finale, discount for stores is fast dissapearing. I dont even know why they bothered to lower it to 31%, why not just do away with it altogether?? We all know its heading in that direction anyway.

    Get rid of the 2 tier pricing structure, get rid of the payouts. Dont let sims earn ANY money, and then skilling will become pointless too.

    So thats that sorted then, no payouts, ridiculous high prices in store, and no skilling. Then we can all cancel our subscriptions and save ourselves a shed load of real money and just go back to real life, or sims 2. I miss my sim families

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think its obvious what is going on, the economy is blowing out and they are trying everything they can to bring it back in line.
    Payouts have gone down because there are far to many simoleans being made in the game. Have any of you heard a dev say lately they have the economy under control. I haven’t for a long time now and never in regards to EA Land. In fact I do remember a dev saying that once the economy is under control we will implement the buybacks, that was some time ago now.
    And now our pay for jobs has even gone to the wall. Must be a lot of simoleans in EA Land is all I can figure.
    Object prices have gone up to retrieve these simoleans.
    The store discounts have gone to 31% to retrieve even more simolean.
    Well I think now they may have stopped the huge amount of simoleans from being produced in the game. I also think gradually they will retrieve the simoleans that have already been produced.
    I can even understand why they are doing it, they have to, to be able to launch their buybacks. If they don't go ahead with the buybacks, who will make all this custom content and all the other things they are promising we can make heaps of money from. Who will do that if there is no buybacks and no way of getting that money. I cannot only see what they are doing but if any of you remember some of my posts in here, from the last couple of months, I even predicted it.
    Object prices will eventually come down and the discounts will likely go back to somewhere around where they were.
    I can’t however see payouts going back up, even if they do have an answer to the bots.
    If the payouts go back up more than just a very small percentage, the economy will blow out again. Or if EA does launch the buybacks, they will be buying so many simoleans they will not make any profit.
    Lets face it, if we can make 1k an hour how many of us will firstly play the game doing money objects for 10 of the hours we play each month, just to pay our subscription. And how many would then go further and actually get into being paid to play. Because of that I think about 300 or 400 simoleans an hour would be all we can expect to be able to make tops.
     
  22. vapd3317

    vapd3317 Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Lets face it, if we can make 1k an hour how many of us will firstly play the game doing money objects for 10 of the hours we play each month, just to pay our subscription. And how many would then go further and actually get into being paid to play. Because of that I think about 300 or 400 simoleans an hour would be all we can expect to be able to make tops.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Perfectly explained. How many of you actually believe EA is going to let you play for free? If they allow you to sell back 10,000 simoleans each month, you effectively negated any profit they made from your subscription. (@ $1 per 1000 simoleans....rounded off of course, provided the sell back is at the same exchange rate as buying them from EA)

    Seriously folks, don't for once believe EA is going to allow each user to pursue that objective by increasing payouts and money making possibilities to put themselves at a deficit.

    Not intended as a hostile post at any individual or entity,...more of a reality check.
     
  23. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just wanted to throw an interesting point out there:

    If the number of simoleans leaving the game exceeds the number entering the game (if EA is paying out more in exchange rates than they are bringing in), then the value of the simoleon falls compared to the dollar (and other real-world currency). The more of one type of currency there is being traded for another type, the less valuable the first type becomes.

    That's the way the real-world economy works; since the simolean has now been tied to the real-world economy, don't you believe for one second that EA will allow simolean-to-dollar trading to exceed dollar-to-simolean trading.
     
  24. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Just wanted to throw an interesting point out there:

    If the number of simoleans leaving the game exceeds the number entering the game (if EA is paying out more in exchange rates than they are bringing in), then the value of the simoleon falls compared to the dollar (and other real-world currency). The more of one type of currency there is being traded for another type, the less valuable the first type becomes.

    That's the way the real-world economy works; since the simolean has now been tied to the real-world economy, don't you believe for one second that EA will allow simolean-to-dollar trading to exceed dollar-to-simolean trading.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I doubt anyone has ever believed that EA would allow trading to proceed in any way except their favor - and it has nothing to do with RL markets. Nothing in the TSO finacial apparatus has any similarity to a real life economy.
    This is the problem - one of the main ones, at least.
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    On the subject of roomies, someone posted on the blog an idea for renting out space in a store. I think that would be an excellent idea, and would overcome the issue of the 'invisible roomie' as the owner would be making a real gain from having roomies

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I also think this is an awesome idea.

    It would be a great way for people to sell stuff without fully commiting to opening a store (expanding to size 8, etc etc). Would be a great way for new players to get started off.

    It would also be good for established players who could have little outlets of their main stores all over town.

    Polly
     
  26. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    I also really wish they woudl look into ways to encourage specialisation of stores. I thuoght when they messed with discount this weekend that that was the aim.

    Almost every store you go to (yes mine too) offers you a bit of everything. My other store just sells furniture, and it is doing good business. I wish there were more like it