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How does sharking work exactly?

Discussion in 'SteamRep General Discussion' started by Maddux, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Maddux

    Maddux New User

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    So from what I put together, sharking works on the premise of deception of item value. (please do correct me if i am wrong about aspects of this, not 100% sure if i understood how sharking worked, but i figure i would ask the following questions).

    After looking around and getting some general insight about sharking, its all about price deception. So if you tell somebody and convince them their ear buds are worth 10 keys and they sell them to you, is that considered sharking?

    So now if the price of items is an effect on if a user is defined a shark or not, where are those prices generated from? The recent discussion regarding backpack.tf has brought up many different thoughts regarding price manipulation (I don't personally believe/care about it, but it was discussed). Since prices are generated off what other users and the backpack.tf staff want them to be, how can sharking have a solid definition? What i always thought and still do is trading is based on if both users enjoy the items in the window, regardless of a value set by a website, then the trade should go off without a hitch. I realize how i believe and work with trading is not the views everybody else has regarding it.

    So now, in another thread i glanced over i saw a website similar to steam rep was in the works and it would tag people deemed sharks. I have no idea if the sharking database was merely for testing other things, or it was in time going to become a full fledged database. The idea of scammers being marked is 100% awesome, and the definition of a scammer does not have a ton of wiggle room, unlike the definition of a shark, witch has a much broader definition. If i remember correctly, an admin said that one of the reasons Steam Rep don't tag for sharking is just because it can be taken in so many different ways, and also i presume the ton of extra work that will bring to the already overworked staff.

    Example
    I start buying ear buds for 10 keys each, (currently valued at backpack.tf's standard at over 20 keys) and a user friends me and we begin the trade. He accepts the 10 key price and the trade goes fine. A few hours later the user comes back and complains that 10 keys is only half of the defined backpack.tf price of ear buds. I decline the trade back and then i'm reported to a various amount of websites.
    Now the delema here is why is a price set by a website the price that should be abided by? I realize some items have a somewhat set price, such as items that can be purchased directly from the VALVe store. But other items that you and I, the users, debate about prices for cant be taken as word of law, merely a guideline as Brad Pitt said.


    I bring up this issue because i'v noticed a lot of talk regarding "sharking" and different ways to deal with it, and an entire database dedicated to tagging and banning people, when a solid definition is impossible can really be a heart breaker to traders. If i really want the price of ear buds to be, lets say 10 keys, and i get a few buyers but all comeback and complain that i "sharked" them, how is what i'm doing (defining prices based on what i believe and want them to be ) different from what backpack.tf does? I understand backpack.tf has a MUCH larger audience and many more visitors per day than my little steam profile, but the principle is still there.

    I understand that each server, community and group can decide who to ban and for what ever reason they want. But as popular as Steam Rep is, a sharking version of steamrep can really destroy a players carrier. I'm just worried that with this new website, its going to attempt to put to much control on how steam and trading works. When does a user become considered a shark? How much % difference does there have to be in the assume value of an item based a website and various other websites until you are deemed a shark? If its something like a zero tolerance system, where prices have to be exactly the same, that compleatly prevents any profit at all to be made (i doubt that's how it will work). I'm just concerned that there are going to be so many different databases and systems that a user can be "checked out" before a trade that the entire purpose of trading is defeated.

    I hope you do not mind me posting this here, but i figure this would be a decent discussion topic. Also, the example i brought up above is not a true action by my self, just an example i came up with for a possible situation. With this thread, i don't have any intention to bash the work on the sharking database, its a lot of hard work to build a successful database and i don't want to take away from that, but i'm just concerned on how this will function and effect the trading community.
  2. McCreW

    McCreW New User

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    In my book I would definitely call your example sharking.
  3. Maddux

    Maddux New User

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    To discuss, where do you get your value of items from? If we are both defining prices from 2 different sources, how can an example like mine be considered sharking?
  4. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    you are already aware on a bunch of issues, so I only go into one of them, the question "who" sets the prices for items. basically that is the community. sure, on a buds going for 24 keys or 27 (or w/e, I don't know, don't really care either, tho funny on backpack.tf its 24-25 keys, and on the tf2 spreadcheat its 27 keys, and didn't go bother on OP to check what they go for there). But once such a price is a established price, around, ppl buy it for that "price". Sure, here and there you find a trader that goes under the price (like a sale), but in general you will find them at the same price.

    Lets compare that in the wild for something else. say you want a computer, with specific parts, and all the shops differ slightly in prices, and some shops have 'm on sale. The "accepted" price is what most have it for displayed for, and the sale, well ppl hunt those for being cheaper.

    Also, did you know that the overal average price is a accepted lawful price of something? Hell, even bitcoins fluctuate, couple months ago they went skyhigh up to 250 % of original value, and then it went down to the original value. Apparently some ppl wanted bitcoins really bad.

    As you remarked, SR doesn't mark for "sharking" only if its really bad we might apply a caution tag.
    SR also doesn't set prices, not our job, and frankly we don't care about prices from the SR point of view. All we say is that one is bound by their trade agreement to not scam eachother. What the price agreement is in value, is irrelevant for the report. Just the determination that one of both parties failed to uphold their end of the agreement.

    On the sharking database, I would first start to develop some rules around them before starting to build a site. We had enough issues that cannot be resolved to satisfaction on this to handle them.
  5. McCreW

    McCreW New User

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    I get my price from outpost I see what the b/o's are and what people offer on the item.
  6. Maddux

    Maddux New User

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    Thats what i'm concerned with, the "who" part of setting prices. And yeh, i have realized once a price is "set" as you said, the general audience buys and sells for that price. But if i were to start buying for far under what the "set price", i could have issues with services such as a shark database because if 2 users agree on a trade right there (not scamming of course) then i should not have to be worries about getting marked as a shark, or being barred from playing on certain servers.

    I can see your point of view with that statement, but there is no general website in the real world where you and I can vote on prices on lets say televisions and have the price of that item effected.

    I'm not sure if this question can be answered, but for extreme sharks, does SR does their own small investigation? Or is the word of reputable websites enough?

    I agree. SR has clear rules outlined on what a scammer is. With a sharking database a 100% accurate definition just cant be achieved Sharking seems to be up to staff discretion rather than a 100% definition.

    From my point of view, it seems that sharking databases are just trying to have users conform to a set of guidelines. Even in the real world people can "shark" other people, but you dont get in trouble for that, it's the buyers fault for not doing proper research about an product or service before spending money on it. Barring scammers from servers is a lot different than barring sharks from servers. Thank you for bringing your view to this, i was int aware of some of the things that were brought up. I just believe the line between sharks and scammers is slowly disappearing and there is a huge difference between the 2. Hopefully some more interesting discussion can arise from this, i'm quite interested to hear what member who have been here longer than I think and deal with sharks.
  7. Maddux

    Maddux New User

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    That's one of the things i'm talking about, it seems most outpost users get their prices from backpack.tf, again reinforcing the statement of a "trading bible". The only difference between the example i have above and backpack.tf is the following backpack.tf and other popular spreadsheets have. Again, that example is not something i have done, just an example.
  8. McCreW

    McCreW New User

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    Yeah I know it's a pretty good example too, I myself also don't use either bp.tf, spreadsheet, trade bible, etc.
  9. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    There are no global definitions that accord in key respects, and unless this happens, things will be in flux :)

    Pointless to speak about definitions right now, bottom line is deal fairly with others, or servers may ban. Simple really.
  10. gukingofheart

    gukingofheart New User

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    Some considered it to be sharking when you offer less/more by over 200%.
    You also have to talk to different forums you belong to.

    I think what it comes down to for lowest/highest price is how many others use that same price. It's not very common for people on outpost to offer a weapon for an unusual..but what if 50% of the low ballers did that..then is sharking or has demand truly crashed? Something to think about.
  11. HissTheHeavy

    HissTheHeavy New User

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    If two people don't really know the price, or both do and the seller agrees to sell it for less, it's not sharking. If both players agree to a price, I wouldn't call it sharking. However, if the seller is new, it could be considered sharking in my point of view, as they are less likely to know of any prices or sites where they could find prices. Deception is bad, but if the seller is fairly experienced, it is really their responsibility to check the price, maybe on a site or with friends. If you put up a trade knowingly lowballing, really you should let a seller
    know before trading.
  12. D2Girls

    D2Girls New User

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    If you're being deceptive, and / or lying and not informing the other person of the item you're trading for. Basically ripping them off, then thats sharking. I really dislike it, and if I were the moderator on a website, I would permaban for extreme cases for it. Most sharkers are also complete scammers, anyways, and actually a lot of the really rich people that *are* legit, like Mattie, Satan, etc, their backpacks wouldn't be worth anything without a huge amount of 'sharking/ripping people off'. Sharking will always be around, but in most cases there's nothing you can do about it except frown upon it.
  13. gukingofheart

    gukingofheart New User

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    Yes, but where do you draw the line for quicksell, ripoff, and sharking?
    I lowball but always assume the trader knows the price by default..if they ask, I will tell them.
    Lowball, not shark..ripping off? What does that even define as?
    A trader can't always get a buyer for full price, not everyone can sell their item for what it's worth, there just isn't enough buyers to always go around.
  14. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    Say what?

    You are suggesting Mattie sharked his way to his bp?

    Mattie spends hard earned cash on hats, and Satan doesn't give a toss about them, he crabs them and loses as much as he wins :)
  15. Maddux

    Maddux New User

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    saywhat.jpg

    Collections such as Mattie's and Satan must have taken ages to compile, along with a lot of cash as well. I recently checked Mattie!'s backpack and it was one hell of a collection.



    With all the other comments here, there is a common trend of ripping off. The reason i posted this topic was to understand where the "main prices" come from. There is just so much user interpatation that its difficult to tell what is sharking. With sharking there are things that can be done about it, the website that is being created sort of like SR but relates to sharking would be helpful, but again, i'm just curious where these prices are going to be coming from.


    Exactly. Is there a % value where "getting a good deal" turns into sharking?


    I'm curious to see the view of a community like outpost or MCT (i think MCT handles sharks, i dont remember). I'm fully with removing people who take advantage of users, just wanted to see if there is some sort of guidelines about it.
  16. Randinie Grey Beard

    Randinie Grey Beard New User

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    I am sorry you feel 'rich' people didn't earn their backpacks through hard work and effort, but you couldn't be more wrong about how they got to where they are. Yes some did it through immoral actions but most did it the old fashion way, they worked for it, they did not sharked/ripped off anyone. I find it disheartening that you have no information of any kind to say these things about people you have never met or know anything about. Please do not let the actions of a few poison your beliefs for everyone.
  17. Eoj Nawoh

    Eoj Nawoh Retired Staff Partner Community

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    Melkor likes this.
  18. Maddux

    Maddux New User

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    That still does not answer some of my other questions.
    1- Where do the value of items come from to show the deception of item prices? The main website backpack.tf seems to be where 99% of prices come from, (not bashing backpack.tf) but why do their prices dictate the guidelines of sharking? If you are not using backpack.tf's prices, than disregard the 2nd half of this question.
    2- What if i purchase lets say ear buds for 10 keys, but i personally value that item at 10 keys, while others value it at lets say 25 keys. Who's price is right and why?
    3- You say sharking is when a shark misleads a person, what if i friend you, say "hey, can i buy your Ear Buds for 10 keys?" you say yes and we trade. Is that considered sharking? I did not tell you the price was 10 keys, i just offered that and you accepted.
  19. AcesGamer

    AcesGamer User

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    It isn't so much about the value of the item than it is about acting in bad faith.

    http://forums.acefortress.com/threads/definition-of-sharking.16051/

    This definition we came up with pretty much covers up all situations.
    Melkor likes this.
  20. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    The only question anyone can answer is what defines sharking in general terms and EOJ did that.

    As for the rest, it is only individual servers which take action regarding sharks, which obviously is next to useless.

    There are moves afoot to do something about this, but the obstacles are myriad and I do not see a solution any time soon.