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The Actual Value of an Elegant


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When the Forge rolled around it's safe to say I was rather surprised by the new store system which had been implemented. I'd heard the rumors, but the actual introduction of the spool system and store came as a welcomed surprise. However, I did take note of the fact that the store was selling skins directly, a practice which is certainly more morally grounded than the market and also gives us more information than initially realized. Let's break it down:

When a player purchases a skin set (we'll be using the individual pricing sets for this post), they pay $2.99 for a character's entire set of skins. This isn't just the elegant, but also includes the distinguished body skin, the spiffy pants, spiffy gloves, and finally, the classy shoes. Many people will arbitrarily set the value of the elegant at the $2.99 marker however this actually isn't accurate, as we have to account for the elegant item's value in terms of relation to the other items in the set.

When balanced for the spool scale (Classy=45, Spiffy=150, Distinguished=450, Elegant=1300) we can calculate the total spools a set contains and how much we can partition off to the elegant itself. Then we can take that number and compare it to the total spools and price to get the actual money value of the elegant by itself. All in all, one 3 dollar set contains 2095 spools of cost value, 1300 which can be attributed to the elegant. That means the percentage of the initial cost that can be attributed to the elegant is 1300/2095 spools, or about 62%. 62% of 2.99 is approximately One dollar and eighty five cents,

Ok, so why does this matter?

This is important because when we actually compare what Klei themselves values the elegant skins at, compared to what the market prices them at, we can see a significant disparage between the two. If elegants were being sold at their actual value then we wouldn't be seeing the ridiculous prices we have today.

I'm not trying to make any major statements on the morality of the market in this post, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves and the reader decide that. I just want to make sure people are informed. Note: If I were to balance this based on the larger packs we'd see the elegant valued at less, however this wouldn't be privy to this post as it is focusing on individual pricing.

Anyways have a nice day! :D

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I'd honestly say that the market values are closer to their "actual" values. These skins have no cost of production besides the initial art+programming pay, so the cost is entirely set by your basic economics course structure of supply and demand. You can say that $1.85 is the actual value of elegant heads all you want, but unless Klei decides to sell Wendy GoH for $2.99 in the DST store, I'm going to say that if people are willing to buy it at 20$, then that's what we're going to have to follow.

Edit: I think I did interpret your post a little incorrectly, apologies. Thanks for doing the math to calculate how much Klei is setting the set Elegants to.

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I know it's a lot easier to include the pants in the cost of a set, but I just want to make a quick note that not all characters included pants in their set. Off the top of my head I know that Wickerbottom's and Wendy's Gladiator sets didn't include a pants slot skin. So for some characters and sets the value might vary slightly due to this.

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1 hour ago, Sinister_Fang said:

I know it's a lot easier to include the pants in the cost of a set, but I just want to make a quick note that not all characters included pants in their set. Off the top of my head I know that Wickerbottom's and Wendy's Gladiator sets didn't include a pants slot skin. So for some characters and sets the value might vary slightly due to this.

Thanks for pointing that out. It shouldn't affect the overall price too much, but I did miss that.

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"Actual value" is a weird, and inaccurate, way of putting it.

Especially since the major issue with this post is you're talking about nonmarketable skins with an infinite supply. The major point being infinite supply.

Supply and demand is what attributes value.

Still an interesting post regardless.

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4 hours ago, Zeklo said:

"Actual value" is a weird, and inaccurate, way of putting it.

Especially since the major issue with this post is you're talking about nonmarketable skins with an infinite supply. The major point being infinite supply.

Supply and demand is what attributes value.

Still an interesting post regardless.

The point I'm trying to put across is that the company who produces the product has its value set it at a standard (regardless of the infinite supply), tangible amount, but it's generally ignored in other places. Also I use terminology like "actual value" because if I put it in more obscure economical terms it could potentially bog the post in trying to account for every detail, and most people wouldn't understand it, likely myself included. I understand there's a greater fluidity here though with it being online cosmetics in terms of personal value, however there is an official standard that is largely ignored.

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4 hours ago, DarkXero said:

You can't weave non-event elegants with spools. Until then, we can't determine the actual value.

Event elegants only share the rarity tag with non-event elegants, not the scarcity.

The fact that both are put into the same tier by Klei is more than enough evidence to suggest that they're intended to value approximately the same, regardless of scarcity. If this wasn't the case, I'd argue they would have made a separate tier for event items.

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I think you are missing a point in the maths, and implying all skins of the same tier are worth the same.

The old Elegants and Distingished skins are way harder to get, since you can only get them by extreme RNG luck. Buying them in the shop is WAY easier than getting them as drop or by trade inn. Not even counting the massive amount of lower quality items you need to TRY to get an Elegant in the trade inn.

That, and the supply / demand structure makes these items impossible to compare, and giving them the same value in a maths equation is just wrong.

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5 minutes ago, mochilo said:

I think you are missing a point in the maths, and implying all skins of the same tier are worth the same.

The old Elegants and Distingished skins are way harder to get, since you can only get them by extreme RNG luck. Buying them in the shop is WAY easier than getting them as drop or by trade inn. Not even counting the massive amount of lower quality items you need to TRY to get an Elegant in the trade inn.

That, and the supply / demand structure makes these items impossible to compare, and giving them the same value in a maths equation is just wrong.

Again, yet Klei has set both types of skins to the same tier, implying they hold the same intrinsic value. Just because someone says one particular skin is worth more than others, and it's enforced because of the scarcity, doesn't actually change the fact that the standard value has already been set. You may very well be fine with overpaying for a skin, but it's still overpaying.

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Nobody "says" a skin is worth more than others. There are more Wendy / Wilson players, than Wes / Woodie players, so some skins will be sold more than others. Do you have numbers for skins sold for each character? That would be an interesting point for you to make an actual "prices theory".

You keep missing the price of an item is related to how rare it is (how hard to get) and the supply / demand. Plus, Klei can't tell the owner of an item for how much he should valuate it. That's a nonsense. And I don't think they ever meant to do so.

Still making maths implying points you made out of nowhere.

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17 minutes ago, mochilo said:

Still making maths implying points you made out of nowhere.

Man there are so many hilarious responses I could make to this statement but for the sake of keeping it civil I'll just let it speak for itself. "Maths"

17 minutes ago, mochilo said:

You keep missing the price of an item is related to how rare it is (how hard to get) and the supply / demand. Plus, Klei can't tell the owner of an item for how much he should valuate it. That's a nonsense. And I don't think they ever meant to do so.

I'm not talking about the price, I'm talking about the intrinsic value, which I measured in my example in US dollars. The price of a skin may be really high, but the point that it's inherently valued is fixed, regardless of rarity. I can understand that there is some fluidity in reality with online cosmetics.

17 minutes ago, mochilo said:

Nobody "says" a skin is worth more than others.

Actually they do, which is a big part of why I made this post...

Rarity effects price, not necessarily (although often) actual value.

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RandomSmart@ssRon gets first the Roseate Elegant A: "Cool! I bet I can sucker 100 bucks out of another chump on Steam Market for this, hehe!"

First Roseate Elegant A is on market, 100 ostentatious bucks!

RandomCollector/fanboy-girlAsinine sees the new Roseate skin on market and begins to tremble: "Oh man, o' gee, I MUST have this NO MATTER WHAT!", and buys.

WHAM! Initial value: 100 bucks!

 

It's a functionally fair free market, both buyer and seller did so out of volition. Is it morally fair? Obviously not, as RandomCollector/fanboy-girlAsinine has a compulsion/obsession implicitly exploited by RandomSmart@ssRon - and a compulsion/obsession is what gives the starting bar summit. Indeed that initial 100$ pricing will go down under the pressure of supply and demand or, more accurately, because other RandomSmart@ssRons would wanna sell quicker and will drop said price tag - thus the general consensually comfortable end price (at least for people in "1st degree economies") will stabilize at around 20-30$. Is it morally fair for the rest of not-obsessed-with-collecting (and from "2nd degree economies") people a 20-30$ value per 1 purely-cosmetic skin that still would be nice to have? Reading this thread and many others like it, I would believe it isn't. Therefore I as well desire Klei be stepping in and regulate the pricing with its alternative in vain of Gladiator-Snowfallen collections (aka 2-3$).

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1 hour ago, Mr.Mulk said:

Man there are so many hilarious responses I could make to this statement but for the sake of keeping it civil I'll just let it speak for itself. "Maths"

Not sure if you’re implying that this is a typo, but in the UK it is “maths” rather than “math.”

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Yes, we get it. Prices change due to supply and demand. But I don't think that's what this thread is about. It seems to be more about finding the value of an elegant under the conditions of the supply being infinite (such as the unlikely case of being able to weave all skins).

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5 hours ago, Mr.Mulk said:

Again, yet Klei has set both types of skins to the same tier, implying they hold the same intrinsic value. Just because someone says one particular skin is worth more than others, and it's enforced because of the scarcity, doesn't actually change the fact that the standard value has already been set.

I disagree that's being implied.  I think you're reading things that aren't there.  Just because they're in the same rarity tier does not mean they have the same intrinsic value, or that they should have the same intrinsic value.  Your point is based on a faulty premise, imo.

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11 hours ago, Mr.Mulk said:

Man there are so many hilarious responses I could make to this statement but for the sake of keeping it civil I'll just let it speak for itself. "Maths"

I bet you can't be fun or hilarious even if you tried. If you were, your theory would still be wrong.

6 hours ago, Sinister_Fang said:

Yes, we get it. Prices change due to supply and demand. But I don't think that's what this thread is about. It seems to be more about finding the value of an elegant under the conditions of the supply being infinite (such as the unlikely case of being able to weave all skins).

This thread is about a Wendy user complaining because his favourite skin is 15 dollars on the Steam market. The theorical prices for intinite supplies exposed here is just a vague argument to support his agenda, while being not real xD

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2 hours ago, mochilo said:

This thread is about a Wendy user complaining because his favourite skin is 15 dollars on the Steam market. The theorical prices for intinite supplies exposed here is just a vague argument to support his agenda, while being not real xD

Hey, at least be accurate. He plays Willow.

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2 hours ago, mochilo said:

I bet you can't be fun or hilarious even if you tried.

I was commenting that I wanted to avoid ad hominems, like the one you just posted. Discussions all too often can go sour when users start insulting one another because they share a different opinion on a subject.

2 hours ago, mochilo said:

This thread is about a Wendy user complaining because his favourite skin is 15 dollars on the Steam market. The theorical prices for intinite supplies exposed here is just a vague argument to support his agenda, while being not real xD

Did you read anything I've said? I don't mean to come across mean-spirited because I'm legitimately not trying to be, but it's clear to me now that we're gonna go back and forth, not because either of us is right or wrong, but because we're arguing two different sides to two different arguments.

 

Spoiler

Clearly a Wendy fan:

image.thumb.png.0ac47e6dd614239850284cd72a7a7557.png

Also I literally made the comment in the post:

I'm not trying to make any major statements on the morality of the market in this post, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves and the reader decide that.

 

 

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On 1/30/2018 at 11:52 AM, Mr.Mulk said:

Elegant=1300

Slight error in calculation; Elegants cost 1350 spools to craft so the value of the Elegant in a skin set is actually 1350/2145*$2.99 = $1.88 assuming the skin set has every body item.

On 1/30/2018 at 11:52 AM, Mr.Mulk said:

This is important because when we actually compare what Klei themselves values the elegant skins at, compared to what the market prices them at, we can see a significant disparage between the two. If elegants were being sold at their actual value then we wouldn't be seeing the ridiculous prices we have today.

As people have mentioned already, you can't just directly compare the value of weavable Elegants to non-weavable Elegants. You can actually get weavable Elegants cheaper from off the market than Klei sells them for. (sorry for exposing you Klei ;~;)

But you can't buy weavable skins off the market! That's true, but you can get them indirectly off the market. What do I mean? Take a look at this screenshot.

Spoiler

EhVKrYW.png

Notice that the cheapest Distinguished skins cost $0.15. You can unravel Distinguished skins for 150 spools a piece. Let's assume 1 Distinguished skins = $0.17. An Elegant is worth 9 Distinguished skins using spool conversions. (150*9 = 1350). At a rate of $0.17 a piece, 9 Distinguished skins would cost you $0.17*9 = $1.53. Let's play devil's advocate and assume you buy distinguished skins when they're a bit more expensive at a rate of $0.20 a piece. $0.20*9 = $1.80 which is still cheaper than Klei's set price.

Important Notes:
This does not take into account tax you would still have to pay if you bought the skin sets from Klei. 
This cost of this method fluctuates with the costs of the cheapest Distinguished skins. My example used the current market prices and assumed you bought them immediately. You could always try and buy them for a lower price like $0.14 a piece and wait a few weeks for people to sell them to you.
This method only works for weaving during an event, as event items become unweavable once the event is over. As of now, Klei is still selling the Snowfallen skins in the store.
Lastly, this method only compares itself to individual skin sets set at $2.99. The Snowfallen bundle costs $9.99 and gives you 12375 worth of spools. Using this conversion, an Elegant would amount to 1350/12375*$9.99 = $1.09 (not accounting for tax). This was even cheaper for the Forge bundle.

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Spoiler
4 minutes ago, KoreanWaffles said:

Slight error in calculation; Elegants cost 1350 spools to craft so the value of the Elegant in a skin set is actually 1350/2145*$2.99 = $1.88 assuming the skin set has every body item.

As people have mentioned already, you can't just directly compare the value of weavable Elegants to non-weavable Elegants. You can actually get weavable Elegants cheaper from off the market than Klei sells them for. (sorry for exposing you Klei ;~;)

But you can't buy weavable skins off the market! That's true, but you can get them indirectly off the market. What do I mean? Take a look at this screenshot.

  Hide contents

EhVKrYW.png

Notice that the cheapest Distinguished skins cost $0.15. You can unravel Distinguished skins for 150 spools a piece. Let's assume 1 Distinguished skins = $0.17. An Elegant is worth 9 Distinguished skins using spool conversions. (150*9 = 1350). At a rate of $0.17 a piece, 9 Distinguished skins would cost you $0.17*9 = $1.53. Let's play devil's advocate and assume you buy distinguished skins when they're a bit more expensive at a rate of $0.20 a piece. $0.20*9 = $1.80 which is still cheaper than Klei's set price.

Important Notes:
This does not take into account tax you would still have to pay if you bought the skin sets from Klei. 
This cost of this method fluctuates with the costs of the cheapest Distinguished skins. My example used the current market prices and assumed you bought them immediately. You could always try and buy them for a lower price like $0.14 a piece and wait a few weeks for people to sell them to you.
This method only works for weaving during an event, as event items become unweavable once the event is over. As of now, Klei is still selling the Snowfallen skins in the store.
Lastly, this method only compares itself to individual skin sets set at $2.99. The Snowfallen bundle costs $9.99 and gives you 12375 worth of spools. Using this conversion, an Elegant would amount to 1350/12375*$9.99 = $1.09 (not accounting for tax). This was even cheaper for the Forge bundle.

 

Didn't even think of this option, thanks for pointing it out.

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I will add one more point you totally missed. Some Elegant skins in the market are sold cheaper than the new ones. What about these, should everyone just sell them more expensive to make them even to the Klei store skins? xD

Edit: ok I just read Korean already destroyed that one argument bringing in the cheap Distinguished skins :D:D

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21 hours ago, Kiena said:

I disagree that's being implied.  I think you're reading things that aren't there.  Just because they're in the same rarity tier does not mean they have the same intrinsic value, or that they should have the same intrinsic value.  Your point is based on a faulty premise, imo.

You can unspool non-event skins as well, and they're worth the same amount of spools as an event skin of the same rarity. That doesn't sound like a very faulty premise to me.

5 hours ago, mochilo said:

I will add one more point you totally missed. Some Elegant skins in the market are sold cheaper than the new ones. What about these, should everyone just sell them more expensive to make them even to the Klei store skins? xD

This is about supply and demand again. Too much supply, not enough demand. BUT, if you could spend spools to weave them, then yes, the price would rise because their value would be tied to the value of spools.

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1 hour ago, Sinister_Fang said:

You can unspool non-event skins as well, and they're worth the same amount of spools as an event skin of the same rarity. That doesn't sound like a very faulty premise to me.

I can sell item A for 1 unit. I can sell item B for 1 unit. I can buy item A for 3 units. I can't buy B with 3 units.

See the problem?

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4 hours ago, Sinister_Fang said:

You can unspool non-event skins as well, and they're worth the same amount of spools as an event skin of the same rarity. That doesn't sound like a very faulty premise to me.

Spools can only be used for event skins - the conversion only goes one way for the rest of the skins.  If you were talking about the intrinsic value of spools, this would be a different conversation.

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