Goblin Mindset: Time preference, gold now or in the future

Time preference is an economic term that relates to the value of getting something now compared to getting it in the future. 

The economic basics

Time preferences are usually analyzed at the level of the individual. Someone has low time preference if they prefer to be better off in the longer term and someone has high time preference if they prefer to focus on the short term payoff. 

In a lot of situations having a low time preference can be a distinct advantage, as it will help you focus on the best long term decisions. You can also use this framework to look at other players behaviour and use it when designing your auctioning settings. 

Low time preference is a luxury

What I mean by this is the fact that if you are just starting out it is more important to get sales quickly than to maximize your profit margin. Markets like transmog can be extremely profitable, but it takes a LONG time to realize that profit. So if you need a token now, it won’t help you. 

Being able to take the long view requires you to already have a decent amount of gold. 

When do we want it?

I always talk about the two main categories of items that players want as power increasing items and cosmetic items. Generally speaking people want their power increases right away. They are more willing to wait for cosmetic items if that saves them some gold. 

You can take advantage of this by for example setting a lower bid price for cosmetic items to entice players to buy your auctions. 

Think long term for yourself and use other peoples impatience

Work towards the point where you can always take the decision with the highest long term payoff without worrying about having enough gold for shopping deals tomorrow or buying your tokens. And always consider how quickly people will want the item you are selling and post it accordingly!

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