Selling ships

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
suburban_fox
Cub
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:50 pm

Selling ships

Postby suburban_fox » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:04 pm

I have a question. I couldn't find rules in any of the books for selling ships... say a player decides to a) sell their starting ship for whatever reason, or b) acquires another ship (say a failed pirating attempt results in them taking over the pirates' ship) and decides to sell one of their two ships. How would this work in the game?

Obviously they won't get full price for it, but since these things cost millions, even at half the list price these things will net the players several million credits, so I feel there should be more to it than "yeah, so you get xx% of the value, which is xxMCr! Congrats, you are now super-rich!". Would it work the same way as selling cars... they'd put it up for sale in Ship Trader and wait for a buyer then negotiate a price, or what?

So, yeah... just wondering how other people have handled the sale of ships, since I'm sure the situation has come up before. It hasn't happened yet, but I have a scenario planned for the next session that could well end up with the players acquiring a second ship, and I want to be ready.
paltrysum
Mongoose
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:16 pm

Re: Selling ships

Postby paltrysum » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:18 pm

I would think that they could get close to full price minus any damages (which could be construed as "quirks") that the ship has incurred. The game seems to imply that most ships the players acquire are used and might be decades or even centuries old. If they had to pay full price (using ship shares, ship awards, and credits spent during play) then it stands to reason that they could sell a ship for similar prices.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
ShawnDriscoll
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2381
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Selling ships

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:00 pm

My ships are famous. End up in museums of the rich and fabulous.
AnotherDilbert
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2253
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Selling ships

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:17 pm

Core p164 has some information for you.

You are unlikely to actually own any starting ship free and clear. It probably has a mortgage.

If you sell a ship with a mortgage you might get 5 - 10 % of new price. Still a lot of money.


If you "find" a ship somewhere, it is probably not legally yours. You might get a finders-fee, or you might fence it, neither is likely to be anything close to new price.


If you do manage to get hold of the unencumbered title to a fairly new ship; then congratulations, you are rich!
Nobby-W
Mongoose
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:10 pm

Re: Selling ships

Postby Nobby-W » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:51 am

suburban_fox wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:04 pm
I have a question. I couldn't find rules in any of the books for selling ships... say a player decides to a) sell their starting ship for whatever reason, or b) acquires another ship (say a failed pirating attempt results in them taking over the pirates' ship) and decides to sell one of their two ships. How would this work in the game?

Obviously they won't get full price for it, but since these things cost millions, even at half the list price these things will net the players several million credits, [ . . . ]
I've done a little bit of work on a 'cheap ships' economy of secondhand or surplus starships. Generally a used starship is worth the economic value of the ship - i.e. given its revenue generating potential, what is worth spending to get that return?

This will be dependent on the ship's running costs, how long before it needs a major refurbishment and its revenue generating potential. Selling the ship through a broker will also cost you the broker's margin. If the cost of refurbishing a ship rises above its capital value then it might just be scrapped. Without going into a whole ECON 101 lecture, If there's scarcity on the market for secondhand hulls then this will put upward pressure on the costs for cargo or passenger transport, so the revenue generating potential will be reflected in the going rates for shipping.

As an example, say we have an A2 class far trader. Assume this can carry 6 passengers, 60 tons of cargo and 10 low berths, and that we will average flying at 80% of capacity. Under the stock trade rules, the cargo can realise Cr48,000, the passengers can realise Cr50,000 and the low berths can realise Cr8,000. Averaging 2 jumps per month (24/year) this comes to approximately 2.5 million. Annual fuel costs are approximately 1 million and crew salaries are around Cr200,000. Annual overhaul costs around 0.1% of the ship's new price, or around Cr500,000. This gives running costs in the region of Cr1.7 million and revenues of Cr2.5 million for a net profit of Cr800,000.

If we assume that we want a ROI of 15% to represent the somewhat risky investment of a free trader, its market value would be around Cr5 million. This assumes that there are no major repairs coming up. If it needed a major strip down of the jump drive or power plant or major refurbishment work done on the hull then the value would be its economic value minus these costs.

If the ship could do something more profitable (e.g. speculation or smuggling) then it might be possible to find buyers willing to pay more, but in practice the market value will be related to whatever the mainstream application of the craft will bear.

This also leads to the question of 'why bother?' if the economic value of the ship doesn't justify the cost of building it then nobody would do that. Some possibilities include:
  • Government subsidy to promote economic development in backwater regions. Perhaps an A-class trader can service colony worlds or poorer regions without needing a large scale investment in infrastructure to support it. Imperial authorities might find is cheaper to subsidise the production of smaller, streamlined trading ships than to build out larger class B or C starport facilities on poorer worlds that couldn't support the volume to justify the investment.
  • Surplus military transports - perhaps the ships are naval surplus transport ships being sold off.
  • Relics of a bygone era. DC3's were used in large numbers after WWII - right up to the 1970s in fact. They remained popular decades after much better aircraft became available because they were practical to operate in remote areas without good logistic support.
In the light of this sort of scenario, the value of used starships is probably quite low, in many cases just a few million credits.
steve98052
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 378
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: Selling ships

Postby steve98052 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:20 pm

In the case where player characters defeat pirates and end up with their ship, the most likely situation is that the pirate ship is stolen property -- something the pirates took over from a softer target, and either abandoned their previous ship because it was too battered to use any more, or kept in expansion of the pirate band.

In that case, it's probably owned by the insurance company that paid off the loss to someone who had insured it before it was stolen. So what do you do with it?

Go to the nearest starport and report your capture of the ship. Register your intention to either operate the ship, license operation to a (you hope) trustworthy crew, or place it in secured storage if you can't operate it.

If you're in a backwater port, you'll probably just get a flight plan to a better connected port where you get to register the capture again.

If you're going to operate the ship, you need a crew -- probably temporary, maybe working passage.

When you register the capture at a connected port, you get papers granting you legal possession until the legal owner is identified and contacts you back. If you've licensed operation to someone else, they get papers too. The papers restrict what you can do with the ship, but it's probably notmuch more than checking in to look for a reply from the owner.

Eventually, the owner gets your registration of capture. (Presumably a message was sent through the xboat network, either directly to the presumed owner or broadcast through the system.) They send a message to tell you what they want to happen: either a direct meeting or a meeting with someone they trust to negotiate on their behalf.

The result of the negotiation will most likely be an offer to sell you the ship, because the insurance company doesn't want to own ships. Then it's your problem to sell it. If you have a good reputation but can't afford to buy it, they might lease it to you, with an agreed price you can pay to buy it. If you have a great reputation, they might authorize you to sell it for them and keep a share of the proceeds.

Whatever happens, capturing a pirate ship will be a jackpot. You get a ship for a bargain price from the insurance company, and can operate it with a much smaller mortgage than a comparable ship acquired normally. Or you get a portion of the sale price if you sell it to someone else. If you captured any of the pirates, you might get a wanted criminal bounty. It's a good thing to do.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3276
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: Selling ships

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:35 pm

I would treat it more like a used Car..

As soon as you buy it, drop 25%. Then 5% per year after that to a minimum of 25% of full value.

Minus any damage.

Salvage rights will be 10% - 20% of full value, after a year or so working its way through the Prize Court.

Black Market ships are 50% of the above values.

To BUY a used ship on the other hand... 90% of new minus 5% per year minimum 50% of full value. Assume it needs an Annual Overhaul before it is safe to fly. Then add quirks...

That can still be a lot of money, but most ships are not owned outright, so the bank loan must be paid off (in full) before any profits are received.
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 14 guests