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TOPIC: Token Cost Discussion

Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #37

Brad Mortensen wrote:

Brokkr wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: I think it might matter on how the price increase was handled. If the price of token packs went up but the basic incentive structure stayed the same, I'm not sure the impact would be that great. For instance, maybe for $1K you'd get 90 packs instead of 120 packs, but you'd still get the 4 PYPs, Tooth, modules, etc.


If we do see a price increase I'd rather it be something like this. I don't know about anyone else, but I've become use to budgeting the same amount every year and would probably go down a pack level if they raised the level costs.


Everyone is focusing on the PYPs. Slashing the number of packs in an order by 25% would mean 25% fewer random URs. And I recoup a lot of the cost of an 8k through selling trade goods and UC/Rs on eBay. Most people might not care, and I’d have to math when details are announced, but it might be the straw that causes me to retire. Margins are negative as it is.

And the idea that any changes to the 8k would not roll down to the $250 deal or the price of a ten-pack is naive. I know it’s fashionable to try to stick it to the “big guys” and assume everyone else will escape any consequences, but that’s just not how economics works.

Re tariffs: I don’t think that’s a factor. Even a 20% tariff on the cost (not price) of a ten-pack is no doubt negligible. Assuming Matthew’s $1/ten-pack is accurate, and from my independent research it seems reasonable, we’re talking maybe 2.5% of the price of an 8k, and it’s probably less than that (or could be). Packs can be cobbled together for zero material cost, “just” labor, from tokens sent in for transmute.

For condensed packs, it would be under 1% because trade tokens can be reused many many times, year after year.


TL;DR - the tariffs are irrelevant, assuming they even happen.

This is all conjecture. I have no insider knowledge about any of this. And none of this means TD can/will/should raise token prices (or the opposite)

EDIT - Clarification: the point of this whole diatribe is that a 20% tariff on imported tokens, in and of itself, would not justify a price jump of $2k on an 8k order as some are suggesting. More like $200, if that, because of the prevalence of condensed orders. The next postage increase will likely have a bigger impact.


Total agreement. I spend a lot of time shopping around the random URs and other residual tokens to help cover the gap between what an auction brings in and the $8005 cost.

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #38

Wade Schwendemann wrote:

isauteikisa wrote: Let's not bullshit ourselves. An increase in the price of tokens would have no bearing on the ticket price of a run. Leaving aside any discussion of the repeated "oh, the ticket price is being raised for X limited purchase" and then the new price becoming the standard, runs are a limited quantity. No matter what convention you take TD to, there's only going to be a limited amount of hours // space // personnel to schedule runs in. If TD is selling out runs, they have carte blanche to continue to jack the price up until the market won't bear it anymore.


That is true, though they also don't want to alienate their veterans.

A PAX West sellout was an impressive surprise (to me at least). GHC and Origins dont sell out. I don't think PAX South did either.


Actually PaxSouth did sell out but not in advance. I don’t remember if it was Friday or Saturday but at some point the other coach and I were looking at the website and saw that there were no more slots available.
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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #39

I think $0.10 per token is a reasonable estimate of cost, so for an $8k order of 10-packs we are talking about $1,000 in cost for Jeff. A 20% tariff would be fairly significant in my opinion. If something has to be changed I'd say just cut down the 10-packs by 20% and keep everything else the same.

However the fact that many of us (especially me) get condensed or even super-condensed $8k orders the cost for Jeff should already be much, much less. Perhaps instead of raising prices or cutting 10-packs Jeff could offer more incentives for placing condensed orders. Open them up for the whole year, perhaps even offer a bit of a bonus for going condensed and more bonus for going super-condensed. This should make up for the tariffs by having fewer tokens on average for $8k orders. In other words, the more condensed packs that Jeff sells, the lower his token cost, and that should make up for the tariffs.

If Jeff also starts using 10x versions of the cheaper trade goods that would cut his cost even lower for condensed packs. But that also brings up a good point: for condensed packs and especially for super-condensed packs the cost should be pretty minimal because the trade goods are recycled. So there might be only around 50 brand new tokens in a fully condensed $8k purchase, for a total cost of about $5 (or probably higher since at least one of those tokens has an RFID chip inside).

What I'm surprised about is that Jeff hasn't raised the shipping charge higher than $5. The USPS Small Flat Rate Box now costs almost $8 to ship. Not such a big deal for $8k orders but for transmute orders and people ordering a few 10-packs he is losing money on each shipment.
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Last edit: by Kirk Bauer.

Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #40

Bit unclear about concerns over tariffs. My company is significantly affected by recent tariff decisions and our customs manager wonders about sourcing more goods outside of China, but she also pointed out that our products that can be classified as toys are exempt. There are tons of exceptions even beyond whole categories that aren't affected, nevermind that a lot of what gets talked about is different than what happens. Short term trade policy is not very efficient for correcting systemic problems.

And, I have some doubts production is that large an expense. Based on our experience with publishing a CCG produced in China, I'd imagine shipping would be a more significant expense. So, first cost very different from landed cost.

Anyway, the argument that 8k bundles squeeze out 250 or 1k bundles or whatever is really because the 250/1k/2k just aren't that cost effective, not that the 8k is too cheap. Can make the 250 better. Could also condense the 250.

I don't know. I actually like getting some c/u/r each year to where I get tempted to do a separate 250, but I remind myself I can get c/u/r from doing runs and making treasure pulls. Only 8k bundles math out to be reasonable value, and that, even, is getting worse for me if I factor in declined value in Teeth without thinking that URs are gaining in value - PYPs seem to be higher in value but URs on eBay or listed out individually don't seem to be rising so I'm kind of curious as to what is driving PYPs so much. I should maybe start offering PYPs, especially given how uninteresting I find 2020 URs.

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #41

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Maybe he prepurchased a bundle and doesn’t need to up the price yet?

Kirk Bauer wrote: I think $0.10 per token is a reasonable estimate of cost, so for an $8k order of 10-packs we are talking about $1,000 in cost for Jeff. A 20% tariff would be fairly significant in my opinion. If something has to be changed I'd say just cut down the 10-packs by 20% and keep everything else the same.

However the fact that many of us (especially me) get condensed or even super-condensed $8k orders the cost for Jeff should already be much, much less. Perhaps instead of raising prices or cutting 10-packs Jeff could offer more incentives for placing condensed orders. Open them up for the whole year, perhaps even offer a bit of a bonus for going condensed and more bonus for going super-condensed. This should make up for the tariffs by having fewer tokens on average for $8k orders. In other words, the more condensed packs that Jeff sells, the lower his token cost, and that should make up for the tariffs.

If Jeff also starts using 10x versions of the cheaper trade goods that would cut his cost even lower for condensed packs. But that also brings up a good point: for condensed packs and especially for super-condensed packs the cost should be pretty minimal because the trade goods are recycled. So there might be only around 50 brand new tokens in a fully condensed $8k purchase, for a total cost of about $5 (or probably higher since at least one of those tokens has an RFID chip inside).

What I'm surprised about is that Jeff hasn't raised the shipping charge higher than $5. The USPS Small Flat Rate Box now costs almost $8 to ship. Not such a big deal for $8k orders but for transmute orders and people ordering a few 10-packs he is losing money on each shipment.

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #42

Kirk Bauer wrote: I think $0.10 per token is a reasonable estimate of cost, so for an $8k order of 10-packs we are talking about $1,000 in cost for Jeff. A 20% tariff would be fairly significant in my opinion. If something has to be changed I'd say just cut down the 10-packs by 20% and keep everything else the same.


Remember, tariffs are charged on wholesale, not retail.

So, the alleged tariff on an $8k, 960 ten-pack order would be about $200, and you’re suggesting that is “significant” enough to warrant slashing 192 ten-packs out of it (that’s over $1500 worth of tokens to us). I could not disagree more.

I’d rather all token prices just increase by 3% to cover it, not slash the packs by such a huge number. Make an $8k $8240, a $1k becomes $1030, a $250 becomes $258.

I do agree, postage could be increased. It must cost close to $100 to ship a condensed $8k, for which Jeff only charges $5 no matter how many you order. So maybe just change that from a flat $5 to a sliding $5postage/$500 or something. Won’t hurt the $1k-and-less buyers much, and he doesn’t lose hundreds shipping big orders to Onyx buyers.
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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #43

Brad Mortensen wrote: I do agree, postage could be increased. It must cost close to $100 to ship a condensed $8k, for which Jeff only charges $5 no matter how many you order. So maybe just change that from a flat $5 to a sliding $5postage/$500 or something. Won’t hurt the $1k-and-less buyers much, and he doesn’t lose hundreds shipping big orders to Onyx buyers.


It should cost closer to like $40. A condensed 8k comes in three boxes- a small flat rate and either two medium flat rate or two large flat rate (I don't remember which of the two it was exactly).

As a callback to earlier parts of this thread regarding whether TD should be promoting $250 over $8k orders- the $250 bundles also take a medium flat rate box to ship, so shipping out 32 of them individually costs TD about $450 as opposed to the $40ish to send them out bundled together (with the $5 each time it's more like $290 to $35 but the point is the same). Looked at another way, promoting $8k bundles with extra incentives is a fairly effective way for TD to defer most of the shipping costs onto other buyers in the secondary market.

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #44

It seems likely to me that TD might be keeping the charge for shipping low to lower the barriers for token purchases, they might be absorbing the difference between actual shipping costs and what they charge as a cost of doing business. Just like so many companies now offer free shipping on items.

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Last edit: by Mike Steele.

Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #45

Mike Steele wrote: It seems likely to me that TD might be keeping the charge for shipping low to lower the barriers for token purchases, they might be absorbing the difference between actual shipping costs and what they charge as a cost of doing business. Just like so many companies now offer free shipping on items.


Their large order incentives are also part of a super synergistic relation. That whole: "Save us hundreds in shipping by buying the whole bundle at once and we'll throw in an extra token that costs us pennies to make, which you can sell for $500+ on the secondary market" (thinking dragon orbs specifically here if that wasn't apparent). XD

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #46

I think any numbers we try to toss out are likely mis-informed to the point of near uselessness.

Jeff and certain others are the only ones that actually know the numbers and we're throwing darts at a dartboard not even knowing what numbers are actually on the board.

For all we know, more token sales may mean Jeff gets better deals on shipping from China (whole shipping container vs partial), better deals from the company producing the tokens (better per-token rates for longer runs due to fixed costs being spread over more tokens) , etc. Meaning maybe his per-token costs could go down even if tariffs have a negative impact.

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #47

Fiddy wrote: I think any numbers we try to toss out are likely mis-informed to the point of near uselessness.

Jeff and certain others are the only ones that actually know the numbers and we're throwing darts at a dartboard not even knowing what numbers are actually on the board.

For all we know, more token sales may mean Jeff gets better deals on shipping from China (whole shipping container vs partial), better deals from the company producing the tokens (better per-token rates for longer runs due to fixed costs being spread over more tokens) , etc. Meaning maybe his per-token costs could go down even if tariffs have a negative impact.


True. Token Sales are kind of like True Dungeon's Golden Goose, I'll bet they are careful on changes they make to avoid killing it. :)

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Token Cost Discussion 9 months 2 weeks ago #48

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Fiddy wrote: I think any numbers we try to toss out are likely mis-informed to the point of near uselessness.

Jeff and certain others are the only ones that actually know the numbers and we're throwing darts at a dartboard not even knowing what numbers are actually on the board.

For all we know, more token sales may mean Jeff gets better deals on shipping from China (whole shipping container vs partial), better deals from the company producing the tokens (better per-token rates for longer runs due to fixed costs being spread over more tokens) , etc. Meaning maybe his per-token costs could go down even if tariffs have a negative impact.


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