Trade profits are too low

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grauenwolf
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Trade profits are too low

Postby grauenwolf » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:29 pm

The trade profits seem far too low. A typical real world merchant marks up his prices by 50 to 100% and he only has to truck the goods across town. Given the expense and risk of interplanetary travel, the new chart seems far too stingy.

Without the occasional windfall there is nothing to counter-balance the devastating cost of a pirate attack. Especially in trade-heavy games where speculation is a core aspect, not just a way to earn a little cash on the side.
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby AKAramis » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:59 am

If you're talking shipping rates, The prices for shipping have been worked out to have roughly the same profit margins as CT Bk 2, over expenses for basic "budget box" ships. Ship costs are somewhat different from prior, especially due to the fuel rate changes.
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grauenwolf
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby grauenwolf » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:08 am

No, I'm talking about the trade tables. I didn't look closely at cargo rates because that should be a low risk, low reward alternative to trade.
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby AKAramis » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:36 am

grauenwolf wrote:No, I'm talking about the trade tables. I didn't look closely at cargo rates because that should be a low risk, low reward alternative to trade.
In that case, yeah, you're right. The Right column should probably be the simple inverse of the left. I recall pointing something about that out during Alpha, but was more focused upon ship design and getting the freight and passage costs reasonable.

But note that historical speculative shipping often didn't make even 20% over cost of operations. Still, that could make one a VERY rich man.
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Kaelic
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby Kaelic » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:19 pm

grauenwolf wrote:No, I'm talking about the trade tables. I didn't look closely at cargo rates because that should be a low risk, low reward alternative to trade.
I thought this at first too, but I noticed the DM values have gone up across the board. It seems there is more focus on buying low, and selling high, rather than getting a %300-%400 boost. Compare the DM tables for planet types/goods and you'll see what I mean.
grauenwolf
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby grauenwolf » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:12 am

That might work out then.
msprange
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby msprange » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:10 pm

This is obviously something that needs a lot of scrutiny - I will just say this before you all dive in, however...

We are going to be drawing a line between the spec trade that the players (and other small-time independents) do, and the kind of trade performed by the big bulk freighters operated by corporations working under all sorts of contracts and pre-planned goods. We'll cover that in a future book (Merchant Prince) but this chapter concentrates solely on the ducking and diving/bit dodgy/small guy trying to scratch a living kind of trades.

Happy to consider any revision on those terms.
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grauenwolf
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby grauenwolf » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:49 pm

Thinking it over, what I'm looking for most is high variability. Players should expect the occasional windfall, but also not be surprised by a string of bad trades that bring in little or no profit.
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby msprange » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:55 am

Are you finding that is the case with the current values?
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DickTurpin
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby DickTurpin » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:23 pm

Running the numbers for average rolls (assuming a 10 on 3d6) and no trade code DMs, any player with a Broker skill of 1 or better will usually make a small profit (15%). At that level, losses will happen fairly often, but players can always choose not to buy or sell if the rolls come out really low which will lessen the risk.

At a player DM of +6 it goes up to an average of 65% profit on each deal and the chance of taking a loss drops to almost nil. As always, paying attention to the trade code DMs for the current and destination worlds will skew the results in a positive direction no matter what the skill level of the broker.

Hiring a local broker makes sense if the players do not have a Traveller with a DM of +2 or more, otherwise it is not really going to make much difference. With the fees charged, a hired broker with a +5 DM nets about as much as a Traveller with a +3 DM and a hiring a +6 DM broker will add less than 1% more to the net profit.

These numbers sound reasonable to me, a skilled character (or NPC) can stand a good chance to make a fair profit on speculative trade but there will not be many huge windfall deals made. It makes hauling freight more competitive with trading, just like hauling passengers is now more profitable as well. In 1st edition, I would only carry passengers and freight the first few jumps to build up an investment fund for speculative trading, now all three are in a better balance and will likely be continued throughout the game.
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Re: Trade profits are too low

Postby Nerhesi » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:58 pm

Anything that lowers the profit gained is great.

Using MGT1, after finding a couple of Radioactives, advaced robotics, or any other high-cost item, favourable DM trade-world, the Traveller group was able to secure 10s of millions of dollars in a couple of in-game Months.

I dont believe in forcing mishaps or adventures on them, so I'm not in the business of stopping free-traders from you know.. making money :) But if we could control the rate so they would want to do something other than "lemme just run 2 months of this, get battledress for us all, then we can "adventure" - that would be great.

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