Technology Update Supply-Side Strategies

WRITTEN BY

Good Afternoon.  I'm Mitch Trale.  As a Technologist at PucaTrade, I'm responsible for the software and hardware that keeps our exchange open and running smoothly.  I also spend a lot of my time thinking about our marketplace dynamics -- supply, demand, pricing, rate of trade, and other econometrics. 

 

This is the second in a two-part series on the state of the PucaTrade marketplace.  In this post I will lay out our current strategies for reducing supply and demand imbalances on the site, with the specific goal of making it easier to find a trade as a Sender on Puca.  If you have not read part one, you may want to do so here.  

So let’s start again with our Siege Rhino example from part one.  There are 500+ Rhinos ready to be sent at any given time on PucaTrade, and on average 10 new Rhino trades are committed each day.  In order to support the many Senders (suppliers) who want to commit a Rhino trade, we plan to build a Trade Reservation System, which will run alongside our existing trade initiation tools.

We are calling this approach to trading Dibs, and we feel this structure has the greatest potential to save card Senders time, energy, and value.  When I talk about a Trade Reservation System for sending cards, I am essentially talking about a managed queue of ready Senders forming behind each card on PucaTrade.  

 

Dibs are like market Sell Orders, scheduled ahead of time by Senders, and initiated automatically by PucaTrade.

 

A sender could place a Dib on any card on the site, with some flexibility on price, condition, and so on.  In doing so they are pre-committing to sending that card to the next Wanter whose Want matches the Sender’s criteria.  If I put a Dib on a Siege Rhino in NM (English), the next time someone Wants (and can afford) that card, the Want to will never appear on the Send Cards page, because it will be auto-committed to me, the Dibber.

 

Note that Dibs would be supplemental to our existing trade process; Dibs would not replace the Send page.

 

This feature is in many ways exactly what people have been asking for from PucaTrade since the beginning:  a reliable, efficient, and semi-automated way to find trades.  With Dibs, you won’t have to refresh the Send Cards page, hoping that a Siege Rhino will appear.  You can simply get in line with the rest of the Senders, and you will be notified by private message / email / etc when a Rhino trade has been found for you.  You will then have 24 hours to confirm the trade, at which point you will have 48 hours to send the card out like any other trade.

Dibs seem like they will be cool tools for dealing with the supply-side competition around finding trades.  Going back to our original Rhino example:  what happens if all 500+ people with Rhinos put Dibs on them?  We said that 10 Rhinos are traded on average each day.  Does this mean that some people will have to wait 50+ days to send their card?  That doesn’t seem ideal… And what about people who put a Dib on a card but then traded it away, or don’t want to send the card when their trade comes up?  These situations will delay the trade even further, while we try to find another person to pair with the Wanter.

In order to prevent these potential slow queue issues, we must make Dibs valuable, and must distribute them conservatively.  There must be a cost to putting a Dib down, so that there is risk associated with not being ready to send when your turn comes up, and so that every Sender doesn’t just put Dibs on every card they have.  We cannot allow trade to become something that only happens through Dibs, as wait times would increase considerably, and the additional complexity of using these tools would make it even harder to start as a new member on PucaTrade.

Our current plan is to release a limited supply of Dibs into the community this Summer.  We will distribute them once, and will closely monitor their use around the site.  We believe Dibs will be very useful and powerful, and we want the decision to “put a Dib on it” to be one that Senders make judiciously.  Should trade efficiency increase across some of our key card markers (Standard cards with high supply and shifting demand, competitive / playable foils, Modern staples, etc), we will continue distributing Dibs on a regular basis, and may even make them a permanent part of the PucaTrade marketplace.  

We’ve put a lot of thought into designing this Trade Reservation System, to both alleviate the strains we’ve seen on the supply-side, while also making the process of finding a trade to send on Puca much more automated and convenient.  We think Dibs will be a huge boon for high-frequency traders, as well as casual traders who just want to get in line on the Rhino, or a new Planeswalker, or a Pre-Release Foil that they know will drop in value.  In these cases, Dibs can save traders time and money, and we think that’s a pretty valuable proposition.

 

Thanks for reading about our current market outlook, and about our goals for the site.  I'll sign off by saying that we hear you out there.  We hear you on social media, we hear you on other websites, we hear you in UserVoice.

You want fair trading, fair value, and convenience wherever possible.  These are reasonable desires and we are working hard to deliver tools and enhancements to PucaTrade which will improve the trading experience for everyone.

Check back with us soon for another update.  We’ll have some spoiler screens and other feature details to share with you, as we tackle the next big upgrade this Summer, to PucaTrade: Future Sight.

 

 

Mitch Trale

Mitch Trale, aka MCT, aka JOHAN MAGNUS '94, is a Technologist at PucaTrade.

Living & thriving in Oakland, California.  Thanks for the trades.

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