Forum:Price manipulation warnings on item pages

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Forums: Yew Grove > Price manipulation warnings on item pages
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This thread was archived on 18 January 2011 by AndorinKato.

As I'm sure we all know, price manipulation (PM) clans buy out the stock of an item to artificially raise it price by a large factor, before selling all their items for massive profit, deflating the price. While it can be profitable to sell targeted items to PM clans during the buy-out phase, any player left with the items after the dump point is going to be out money- potentially a lot of it, depending on their stock of the item and the severity of the oncoming price crash.

To an extent, and with a little work, price manipulations can be observed and even predicted. PM clans often hold open clan chats which anyone can enter in order to learn which item is to be bought up (by the general populace, which, of course, is going to lose money after the dump date passes without their knowledge). The Grand Exchange graphs on the RuneScape website can be used to track an item's price history; a sudden, sharp climb with no clear reason behind it is likely the work of a PM clan. And, of course, any item which is sharply declining in price but easily selling at minimum after such a spike is definitely being dumped. In the latter case, these items should be avoided by anyone who doesn't want to spend extra on something for no good reason.

What I think we could do is set up a voluntary system by which articles of items can be tagged with a template like "The price of this item is suspected to be under the influence of a price manipulation clan. Players are advised that buying this item before the dump date could result in substantial financial loss." The exact wording, of course, is open to debate, but the message to get across is that if you have this item and the PM clan dumps, you're screwed.

Something like this is sometimes done informally -- have a look at the Phoenix lair teleport article, where Aburnett helpfully provided a message stating that the item is being merched (but more encyclopedically so).

Yeah, I know, the wiki is not a crystal ball, but as I said, it's possible to accurately predict and observe the effects of PM clans. Looking at the main page of the Grand Exchange section of the RS website, it's obvious that a few of the teleport scrolls are being merched, and it appears possible that black two-handers and obsidian mauls are crashing. Anyway, if there is dispute as to whether it really is easy to spot a merched item, an oversight system could be set up for use of the template. Create a set of guidelines that must be met before an item could be tagged as being merched, or possibly require manual approval of each template placement by a committee of duly selected users and/or the community. I do not like that latter idea because I believe it is unnecessarily bureaucratic, and I would rather mis-tag an item as a merch target than leave out an item that truly is being hit, but it's simply a suggestion.


Have at it. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 07:07, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Could be implemented through Template:Infobox Item with a parameter. In fact, if we create a /history subpage of the GE pages (maintained by bots or something, I don't know), it could be detected automatically. But that's probably overthinking it. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 07:13, November 13, 2010 (UTC) 

It'd probably be difficult as well. The bot would have no way of distinguishing a legitimate sharp climb (as uncommon as they are) from a PM clan. As an example, House Teleport tabs spiked when Love Story came out because of the increased demand due to one of the quest rewards. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 07:19, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Possibly I have actually removed these types of warning many times, either because the message was outdated, or I thought it was simply normal supply and demand at work. A key factor before approving this would be to ensure items are removed from the list (template removed from article) when we think the merch is over. Andorin has already addressed the other item I would be concerned over, by have a few people actually discuss the item in question, rather than the temmplate being arbitrarily applied by a single individual.--Degenret01 07:14, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

With regards to outdated templates, it could have a note in small text that says something like "If this item's price has stabilized, remove the template." Or the maintainers of the system could keep an eye on the category for these pages and clean the templates as necessary. I would be willing to help with that. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 07:19, November 13, 2010 (UTC)
Or it could use the GE templates to change itself to "may have been affected by PM clans and appears to be crashing" when it sees a sharp decline instead of a sharp rise. Again, this may be overthinking it. I'm just looking at automating it to some extent, since having it done manually is prone to oversights. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 07:23, November 13, 2010 (UTC) 

Support if it's possible, and from TLUL's posts, I'd guess that it is. Real Mad 08:25, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per TEH mindreader - He's a witch, burn him! Where's mah torch? Or my seers headband. Either will do - [Pharos] iPhone Edit 13:02, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per nom. --中亚人/中亞人 (Chinasian/Jeffwang16) 跟我谈话 15:42, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Sounds good. ajr 15:49, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - It would be awesome if the template could be automated.  Tien  17:45, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per nom. Rune battleaxe.png RangedwhipRune battleaxe.png 18:44, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

  • It's not our job to advise users on their fiscal planning, or ensure they're purchasing wisely. It's their responsibility to make informed decisions. Adding the suggested advisement crosses the line between being neutral source of information and actively holding the hands of our readers. They have all the tools necessary to make informed decisions: our GE price for the item, a link to the GE price page, our price history chart and a link to the GE's price chart. It's not our place to connect those dots and interpret the data for them. It's theirs. (wszx) 19:13, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - As WSZX said, it should not be our responsibility to monitor the activity of merch clans. There is a historical graph of the price of the item if the viewer so chooses to look at. They have the tools and information to decide whether to buy, sell, or neither. Therefore I oppose if I'm interpreting this correctly. Farming cape (t).png Lil cloud 9 Talk 22:40, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Whilst it is not our duty to advice about possible merching, it can be viewed that it is our duty to note extreme price changes, seeing as we are a wiki about everything in RuneScape, including extreme price chamges. What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 22:54, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Conditional support - I like the idea, though I am worried that people may forget to remove the notification. I'll accept it if we require a date to activate the template, something like RuneScape:Featured images/cd. That way, after a specified amount of time passes (probably 1 or 2 weeks), then the notice can either be removed or it can be added to a category that people commonly visit so that it can receive the attention it requires. --LiquidTalk 00:21, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

Support - As long as it gets taken down in time this can only do good. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 01:28, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

Support conditionally - If we can agree on objective criteria such as price rising by at least 4% a day for 3 days in a row, then we can do this. Otherwise, there will be too much effort wasted on deciding if an item is really being manipulated or not. Another benefit of having objective criteria is that it would make it relatively easy for someone to change their Grand Exchange Market Watch updating bot to add adding/removing the template to the bot and automate the problem away for the rest of us. --MarkGyver (talk) 04:11, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

I don't like the objective part. That means that a price that is legitimately rising 4% a day (due to increased demand) may be slapped with a warning, while a manipulated item rising at 3.99% a day will not. The problem with objective criteria is that they leave no wiggle room. Look at the vote count in Alaska for an example. I'd say a subjective standard generally agreed to among the community with a healthy dose of common sense is the best option. --LiquidTalk 21:03, November 14, 2010 (UTC)
Alternative proposal - While I still insist on there being an objective test for possible manipulation, I concede that the criteria should only be a guideline, though one that is rarely demonstrably wrong. After much thought on balancing automatable and objective criteria with the need for flexibility to allow humans to exercise judgement, I've decided that it might be better to make it a "sudden price change warning" template instead of a "price manipulation warning" template. This way a bot could automatically add the warning based on objective criteria without having to decide what the cause is, leaving that to the humans. In addition to your date-activated template removal, the template could have parameters for current price status (rising, leveling, or crashing) and human-decided cause (manipulation, updates, bug abuse, etc). This should make it fairly simple for bots to do stuff with, while making it convenient for humans to do what the bots cannot, such as adding the template to an item a clan mentions. --MarkGyver (talk) 23:31, November 14, 2010 (UTC)


Comment - Since there obviously is consensus to pass this proposal, we now need to decide what our standards are going to be. We have ideas for a subjective standard and an objective standard. Please focus your discussion on this. --LiquidTalk 01:13, November 21, 2010 (UTC)

For the record, I support Mark Gyver's idea of using an objective price change standard and naming the warning "sudden price change warning" instead of price manipulation warning. A sudden price change is as useful and as informative, without the subjective bickering over whether or not it qualifies as manipulation. --LiquidTalk 01:13, November 21, 2010 (UTC)

Good enough for me. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 01:51, November 21, 2010 (UTC)

Proposal - Add "template:manipulate" to Template:Infobox Item, with template:Manipulate having

|(item 1 being merchanted)={{Manipulate warn}}
|(item 2 being merchanted)={{Manipulate warn}}

With template:manipulate warn having a warning box appearing at the top of the page. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 12:21, November 22, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Sounds good to me, and Joey's idea isn't bad either. These will be added to the Exchange: pages right? 222 talk 00:10, December 4, 2010 (UTC)

Hmm... According to the title Forum:Price manipulation warnings on item pages it is about item pages. Also the template infobox item is on item pages only, so if we would do it to the Exchange: pages we would have to add the warning message thing to Template:ExchangeItem. Still, i think the supporters support the warning to the item page, and i think that would be best too. It is the most visited page, and people will go there too for price info. Some even might not know about the exchange page. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 12:22, December 7, 2010 (UTC)

Bump - Any additional input? There isn't a very good consensus here to act upon without more input. --LiquidTalk 00:45, December 15, 2010 (UTC)

Notice of intent - I really can't pull a consensus for anything unless more discussion occurs. I'll come back in a week and if this is still the last message up here, then this will be closed. --LiquidTalk 16:11, December 19, 2010 (UTC)

Since more discussion is needed: Support adding warnings to both exchange and main articles. I'm not sure of the technical details, but I think [[Template:Price change warning]] (or whatever it's going to be called) should be added to both Template:Infobox Item and Template:ExchangeItem. The warning should appear for each applicable item in both the main namespace article and the Exchange: namespace page. --MarkGyver (talk) 21:27, December 19, 2010 (UTC)

This request for closure is complete A user has requested closure for Price manipulation warnings on item pages. Request complete. The reason given was: Inactive for 2-3 weeks

--中亚人/中亞人 (Chinasian/Jeffwang16) 跟我谈话 20:22, December 31, 2010 (UTC)

BUMP - HELLO?! --中亚人/中亞人 (Chinasian/Jeffwang16) 跟我谈话 15:50, January 1, 2011 (UTC)

Hai2u Full Slayer Helmet! Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon Platebody! 00:58, January 2, 2011 (UTC)
There is no need to bump threads unless you have something constructive to add. ʞooɔ 00:59, January 2, 2011 (UTC)

Support then - Yes. 222 talk 01:11, January 2, 2011 (UTC)

Remove warnings - Merching is annoying and unpredictable. Full Slayer Helmet! Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon Platebody! 01:14, January 2, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - Note that when Jagex reintroduces free trade and all it's evils, the upper and lower limits on GE prices will be removed, this might make it more difficult to interpret whether price manipulation is going on, without a upper and lower limit, supply and demand is all that controls the prices. 222 talk 01:23, January 2, 2011 (UTC)

Removing trade limits doesn't remove market/average price, just max and min prices. Even though clan-based price manipulation will become much harder without the GE's restrictions, prices will still sometimes fluctuate rapidly, such as after updates. Therefore, price change warnings will still be useful. --MarkGyver (talk) 06:21, January 2, 2011 (UTC)
That's essentially what I said! I said that with upper and lower limits removed, prices will more easily fluctuate. 222 talk 11:01, January 2, 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we said about the same thing about the economic results of the market becoming free again, but I did disagree with you about the difficulty of interpreting price manipulation/fluctuation. Specifically, it will not get any harder to detect price fluctuations, since the "market price" would still be on the official GE site, even with max/min removed. As for the difficulty of determining if it's manipulation or not, it's going to be exactly as subjective as before; no more and no less. --MarkGyver (talk) 04:09, January 4, 2011 (UTC)

This request for closure is complete A user has requested closure for Price manipulation warnings on item pages. Request complete. The reason given was: With free trade in 2 weeks, it isn't possible to manipulate prices anymore, so this wouldn't do anything

ɳex undique 22:27, January 18, 2011 (UTC)

Closed. Free trade renders this proposal obsolete. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 22:28, January 18, 2011 (UTC)