Points Market

Points Market
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Thanks to yaspuma [336169] for this great tutorial!
 
What this guide will do:
Teach you how to make loads of money off the points market
Teach you how to protect while doing it
Nearly eliminate the need for a bank (Even upgraded with large amounts of merits)
Teach you how you can single-handedly control the points market
Show you noob mistakes and how to avoid them.
Note: Points prices are now capped at 50k.


Points Overview

Points are a commodity that are used for a variety of things, most importantly, energy refills and faction upgrades. The price of points has been steadily increasing since the begginning of the game. In June ’06, the price per point was approximately 12k. They now go for almost 24k (as of 8/07). The reason for this is simple: as more people attain higher levels, they make much more money, causing inflation. High levels need points for refills and have the money to spend on those valuable points. You can use this to your advantage.

Points Market

The Points Market is the trading post for buying/selling points. The rules are simple: you can check and buy every minute, but you get your points or money (if you buy/sell) at each 10 minute mark. You can have a maximum of 5 listings on at a time.

The market is a great way to make money: I consider it one of the best. I average about 50,000 an day doing it (usually a good hour or two), sometimes much more. I’m going to show you how to make much more than me, and protect you from the many mistakes you can make.

Buying and Selling: The basics.

Buying:
When you click on the link you’ll notice 25 listings, sorted from the cheapest to the most expensive price per point. As a rule, you’ll always be clicking the first listing. This is the cheapest price per point. Be aware that the price per point fluctuates greatly over the course of a day, and a week. The cheapest points are found on Sundays, and the most expensive points usually are up at peak hour on Saturday (right after the maintenance). Prices for points roughly coincide with the server activity: the busier the server, the more expensive the points (except on Sundays, because people get two free points that day). Bearing this in mind, before you start playing the market, you should check the market yourself. Check every few minutes at first, to get a feel for the true price of the points. After a couple of months the current prices listed throughout this guide won’t be accurate anymore. When you’re looking, notice points listed for hundreds of dollars cheaper than the next most expensive (the second listing). Those are the points you probably want to buy. For example, it is currently common to see points ranging from 23,799-23,850. This is fairly average, as I’ve found from doing those points market checks I’ve mentioned. From here, you’ll want to set a target price limit for yourself. This limit largely depends on how much money you’re willing to invest in points. Minimally, to even begin, you’ll need to have about 47,000. This will allow you to buy 2 points at the price you want to pay. When I got seriously involved, I found there to be a soft cap on how much money maximum you can use for the market. This is currently about 7 million. Why a soft cap? Well, simply, due to the fact that you can only have 5 listings at a time, and and it’s nearly impossible to sell 300+ points at the price you want to sell them for every 10 minutes. Also, showing everyone how much money you’ll be making sets yourself up as a target to be attacked after they’re sold. This guide touches upon protecting yourself later.

With the current prices (23,799-23,850), I’d set myself these limits:

 Investment
 Limit
 50k  22,000
 200k  23,000
 500k  23,500
 1mil  23,550
 2mil+  23,600

Setting yourself these limits will help you maximize profit. There’s nothing worse than pouring all your money into points selling for hundreds of dollars more than a new listing which is much cheaper. You want to have a chance to buy those cheap points. People often buy a donator pack, use it, and then sell the points on the market in bulk for a significantly cheaper price than their peers. Remember, the cheaper the buying price, the greater your profit. Set a limit, and stick to it. If, by chance, you do have all your money invested in points, and some cheap ones come along (say 20-22k), don’t sweat it. There will always, repeat, always, be another chance to buy them.

So now you’ve got your limit and started buying points. Some notes to remember: keep a rough idea of how many points you’ve purchased, and use the same browser window to do all your transactions. Points are lost. It happens. One loss could ruin your entire profit for the day. If your points don’t arrive by the twelfth minute after buying, use the back button on your browser to get the link for buying confirmation. Send a bug report under lost points (bottom of left pane on the page), and include the browser link. Include all information. I’ve had two instances where they were lost, and I’ve done hundreds of points transactions. Rare, but it does happen.

Selling:
Now you’ve bought all your points, they are waiting to be resold at a higher price! Now you have some power to control the market. First thing to remember is that you can only have 5 listings. I’ve found the most effective way to resell points is to sell them in ranges, not a set number five times. For example, if you’re selling 100 points, I wouldn’t sell five groups of 20. The reason for this is that five people might not be looking for or able to purchase five sets of twenty. In my opinion, it would be more practical to sell them in scaled lots, such as 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. There may not be five people that are looking for groups of 20, but there may be five people who are looking for more or less than 20. This helps you in another way, too. The faster you move those points, the faster you will have more investment money to buy more points.

Now how much should you sell them for? This is where you gain ultimate control over pricing trends on the market. You might think that selling the points cheaper than everyone else might get them sold faster. You’d be right, but you’d also be shooting yourself in the foot at the same time. You do not want to sell points cheaper than absolutely everyone else, unless you need the money immediately: say you’re going to bed and want to buy a new house, or everyone is selling them for the exact same price. A complete list of 25 people selling points for 23,799 is disasterous for someone selling points at 23,800: they’ll never get sold. Sell them for 23,798. Use range to your advantage.

When selling with a range, I recommend selling them for a few dollars greater than the cheapest price. 23,800 is good when the lowest prices are 23,79X.

I said you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you constantly undercut everyone else’s price. This is because there are hundreds of other people buying or selling points at any given time. If you’re undercutting everyone else, expect to see people selling points cheaper than yours. If you sold for 23,699, expect to quickly see listings for 23,698. Ultimately, you’re driving the prices down, and that is cutting into your profit. If you are selling for just above the cheapest rate, you’ll drive prices up. One night, in the matter of hours, I went from selling at 23, 798 to 23,849. When you are dealing in the hundreds of points, those are profits in the thousands of dollars.

How to protect yourself:

When you’re dealing with hundreds of points at a time, you set yourself up to be a tasty target to those who want to mug you. They know that you’re carrying around loads of cash, and at the 11th minute mark, if your points are gone from the market: they know that you’ve received your money. How do you protect yourself? First of all, the most effective method is having good stats. There are many guides, drugs, and people renting out houses that will help you achieve that, but that will only get you so far. There is always going to be someone stronger than you, or a group of people who will attack you.

The first thing you want to do is carry only as much money as you’re spending on points. You can bank the rest or donate it to your faction (if you have one), but I would invest excess money in cheap points. The most I’ve ever had invested in points that I was buying/selling was 7million. This speaks the soft cap I’ve mentioned before. If you’re carrying around 10 million or more, then start looking for some cheap points. You can always resell those points later when you’re ready to make that large purchase.

When I make a large purchase, I always plan for it, which you should be doing anyway. I wait for a time when points are selling for good prices, and sell all my points right above the buying limit I made. This guarantees profit. Right after I add the listing, I’d jump on a plane and come back, knowing they’re sold and I haven’t been mugged directly afterwards. Then I’d buy that house or weapon. Remember to save a bit of money for yourself afterwards! You still want to be able to buy points and/or buy some items at the other country that you can sell when you come back. Imagine seeing a price for Xanax under 600,000, and not being able to purchase it!

Why Banking is nearly Obsolete:

Testing, testing, testing. That’s what I’ve done to come to this conclusion. At one point I had about 10million sitting around that I considered investing for the interest. Keep in mind that I’ve made the mistake of upgrading my interest six times using merits. I’ve calculated that it’s more profitable to re-invest my weekly earnings from job/casino/crimes into a weekly deposit in the bank than it is to invest for larger periods of time.

After this, I looked at my weekly interest for that money. In my case, for 10 million, it was 200k for 1 week. Not bad? Well, it was bad, for me. I realized this quickly after one night making 100k in the points market. I figured that even if I made 15k a day (a very bad day) in the points market, I’d still make more with that money than in my heavily upgraded but next-to-useless bank.

The bank, I’ve found, would only be useful if you’re saving up for buying anything above a ranch/palace, or you have 20million+ just lying around. Consider investing your money into expensive weapons that have stable resale values in lieu of banking it. This will protect you in the long run, and give you the option of banking if you’re stuck with large amounts of cash.

Don’t be a Noob:

You shouldn’t, under any circumstance, be selling points for +/-1k of the current mean price in the market. You will either lose a lot of your money, or your points will never be sold. You and your points will be added to someone’s profile. Also, you should be keeping track of the points you buy and sell. If you lose points and don’t realize it: you’ve just lost tens of thousands of dollars.

“Someone already bought these points”

Get a faster computer and/or internet connection. Click faster. But don’t worry too much. Most noobs or people who don’t usually play the point market recognize cheap points and will immediately buy them. Once again, don’t sweat it. If you do happen to get them, go ahead and put it in your profile. There’s no greater satisfaction than bragging at the expense of someone else /sarcasm.

Ideal Scenario:

You have 5 million ready to spend, which is enough to buy the bulk listings, you get started on a Sunday morning (everyone gets their 2 points from voting, and many sell quick for cheap), and you have an hour or two on your hands. You check every minute, and buy with half of your money every 10 minutes. You want keep half of your money lying around so while your points are listed for buying, you can still buy more. Don’t do crimes that could get you jailed or hospitalized.

In a Nutshell:

Buy at your limit, which is generally 200+ less than the cheapest prices,
Sell a small amount above the cheapest prices,
Don’t carry large amounts of cash without investing it in points.

Quick Math:

Buy 100 points for 100 dollars below selling value: make 10k! Do this two or three times an hour, make 50k for two hours, 100k for 4.
Typical scenario: 50 points on the market for 23,500, going rate 23,799. This purchase alone is worth nearly 15k, and is very common.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I’d like to say thanks to Impact for helping me along. I hope that you make lots of money on the points market, and feel free to send anything my way if this guide helps.

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