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When to stop selling tech


Armand2REP
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[quote name='Armand2REP' timestamp='1311433702' post='2762085']
At what level in the game do you stop selling tech and what level do you start buying tech?
[/quote]

[font="Verdana"][size="4"]Each Alliance will offer their own advice/guides on what level of Infra to make the switch from Tech Seller to Tech Buyer.

Me personally, I'd recommend 3999 Infra as a good level to switch from Tech Selling to Tech Buying. Some Nations even push that to 4999 Infra, but 3999 Infra is a good level to start loading up on Tech.[/size][/font]

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Of course those guides are based on what's best for the alliance and not necessarily what's best for the individual nation. It's to the alliance's benefit to keep sellers selling for as long as possible given the market hence their recommendations. It used to be that those guides said to make the changeover from selling to buying at the time a nation began doing labor camp swaps or basically between 2300-2600 infrastucture depending on the resource build the nation has. This is because the opportunity costs for selling verses buying start to climb rather steeply at this point cutting sharply into the profits a seller can make.

A standard 3BR w/Uranium nation waiting at the 4k jump to start buying is actually losing money if he's doing what every buyer wants him to do; $3 million for 100 tech deals by the time he gets there. With five aid slots he can complete a max of five such deals every 30 days. So he pockets somewhere around $1.4 million per deal. That's a total of $7 million every 30 days or $233,333 a day of extra income. That's what's sold to sellers all the extra money they make and they should do it as long as possible.

Problem is, left unmentioned are the costs that eat into that profit. They're unmentioned because no one wants sellers to realize it's not that profitable to sell for as long as is frequently recommended. By continuing to sell which means keeping tech at 50 to maximize profits, a nation foregoes 3 happiness points they would be receiving for having more than 200 tech. At the 28% tax rate that's $3.50 a day per citizen. The sample nation would have at least around 45,000 tax paying citizens. That's $157,500 a day of income they give up by selling instead of buying. Keeping tech at 50 also means not receiving the full 10% off infrastructure upkeep. At the 4k jump this is costing the sample nation another $100,000. So those unseen costs total $257,500 a day and he's only making $233,333 a day or a $14,167 daily loss. Even at the old standard these costs consume around 60% of the profits.

So sellers make no where near the extra money that's being claimed they make.

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Ok, it's now 4 days after the last post, but it took me some time to write this out, so I hope this isn't considered grave digging.

When reading the above post, one wants to check the numbers and while not going into the last figure, the numbers used are generally correct (Except that 45000 citizens at 4k seems a bit too optimistic).

BUT.

When I got at the 3k infra level and had to decide wether yes or no continuing selling tech, I was a 3 month-ish nation. In those 100-ish days, I did read all the guides I could get and I knew what tech did to the economy of my nation. I used some time to set up a spreadsheet to optimise my tech selling and decided to continue as a tech seller. From what I remember, I was able to make a worthwhile profit till deep in the 4k infra level.

Now, what's so different to the above post?
Well, let's look at the influence of tech deals on your income.
There are two parts:
- The economical influence on bills and happines level
- The profit of doing tech sales.

Now, how is all of this influenced by the tech you have?
The more tech you have, the less bills you pay and the more happiness (income, taxes) you get. So, more tech is higher income. Since bills and taxes are a daily business, the time period over which you will be using that tech has an influence on the profit made. So, longer is higher income.
The less tech you have, the cheaper you can buy tech and the more profit you make doing tech deals. So, less tech is higher income.
Now, put all the above in a spreadsheet and optimise your tech selling career.

Again, this is in a distant past and I don't remember all the details, but generally it goes as follows
- day 1: get 15M and buy X amount of tech (X= somewhere between 120...200) (only first run)
- Till day 11: pay bills, collect taxes.
- day 11: Send tech out and buy the extra amount needed for your 5 tech deals whenever you get at zero tech (keep it cheap)
- day 11: buy X amount of tech (X= somewhere between 120...200)
- till day 21: pay bills, collect taxes.
- day 21: Send tech out and buy the extra amount needed for your 5 tech deals whenever you get at zero tech (keep it cheap)
- day 21: buy 200 tech (200, that's because you will now be holding to the tech for 20 days, so you maximise your economical benefits)
From now on, you do alternate on ten and twenty day back collections and buying X tech or 200 tech.

It is some work to find the best point of how much tech you should have to get the best income, but it is easy to show that being a tech seller at 4k infra does not get you a nett loss, even if you don't buy the best amount of tech.

Example:
At day 1 get 15 M, buy 200T
At day 11, send out the 200 tech, buy+send the 50 tech from slot 5, buy 200T
At day 21, send out the 200 tech, buy+send the 50 tech from slot 5
Profit: Slot 5 is a standard deal and over the 30 days, the seller will make 1.4 M (Rounded for ease)
Slot 1 will also be a standard deal, all tech is bought from 0 tech up. Another 1.4M
Slot 4 will be the tech bought from 150 to 200, no profit
Slot 2 and 3 will give profit though: together another 1.4 M
So, nett profit: 4.2M which is indeed not the 7M some people expect, but it is far from losing money doing tech deals.
At the 4k infra level, 4.2M is roughly 10% of your monthly nett income at 4k infra (or 16% at 3k). To me, that was worth the trouble.

And it gets even better: you have your 4M profit on day 1. On that day, you can buy 4M worth of infra, which will give you 30 days of extra income.

Then of course there is also the changing tech price: more and more 3M/50T deals are becoming the standard. That tech/$ rate would paint a whole different picture than the above.

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[quote]
Except that 45000 citizens at 4k seems a bit too optimistic).
[/quote]

Well, maybe for your resource build it would be but I found a number of nations at or greater than 45,000 at the 4k jump. Might not be the norm but certainly reachable. The real point to my post is guides suggesting sellers sell later and later do so to benefit the alliance and not necessarily the individual nation where it's possible to actually be losing money by selling to the point recommended. Of course there are schemes that can be used to stretch the time selling is reasonably profitable. However even with those you have problems with diminishing returns, not only profits but what those profits can buy. So even making a profit can be more trouble than it's worth when the $5 million you made at 800 infrastructure buys 500 infrastructure but only yields 100 at 3800. It's fine for those looking to squeeze every penny they can out of their nation to maximize growth. That's not most new players however. They want easy money and let's face it alliances have trouble getting new sellers to follow the simple scheme let alone a scheme such as you're talking about.

There is also the problem that waiting means delaying becoming a buyer. It's similar to the when do you start your wonder clock question. Just as wonders can only be accumulated so fast, tech is similar so any delay can have repercussions down the road like facing nations with 2 or 3 times more tech than you. Or not having the tech needed for the Great University when the guides tell you should be buying it. There are a lot of factors that go into it, more than are suggested by guides telling sellers to sell until this point.

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I switched over at 2K infra, but that was back when nations were a lot smaller than they are now.

I now usually recommend somewhere from 3K to 5K infra. You want to be big enough so that you can afford to fill all your slots with tech deals, because there isn't a lot of point in stunting your infra growth just so you can buy 200 tech a month or so. Might as well wait until you can afford to buy 500 tech a month, and that usually happens somewhere around 4K to 5K infra.

Assuming 3M/100T deals, in order to buy 500 tech per month you're going to be spending 15M per month on tech. You want also to be buying your monthly wonder as well, which is going to be somewhere in the 30-40M range (until you start buying military wonders, then it goes up), so you want to be netting at least 3M per day (taxes minus bills) or you're going to be spending more than half your nation's profits on tech and wonders, and you'll never be able to afford an MP anyway. 5M per day is better, and once you're around 7M per day you can sort of buy tech without even thinking about it.

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3999 is the "break-even" point for most nations with a reasonable trade set and one or two wonders. You will make pretty much the same amount selling as you would holding onto 200 tech, and if you try the strategy Kippa suggested of jumping to 100-150 before a collection you generate a small amount of profit. People that advocate getting a head start on tech buying will look at this and say "Hey there's hardly any profit, why would you sell tech at 3999?" The key concept here is not profit but cash flow. Selling tech means you get a lump sum of $15 million on day 1, whereas holding onto tech will give you profit on day 20. Having that extra cash on hand is crucial for being able to keep your wonder clock going and making a strong jump over the 4k infra mark. Remember if you start buying tech you'll immediately be out 15 million (assuming you max out slots) which stalls your growth for at least one collection cycle. Cash flow is the key, not profit.

Also here's a fun little cycle to think about:
1) Majority of nations between 3-4k decide to stop selling tech because it's barely profitable.
2) Supply of tech sellers gets tighter, driving standard price up to 3/50.
3) Selling tech between 3-4k now extremely profitable. :lol1:

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[quote name='Kippa Tarxien' timestamp='1311784571' post='2765324']


Again, this is in a distant past and I don't remember all the details, but generally it goes as follows
- day 1: get 15M and buy X amount of tech (X= somewhere between 120...200) (only first run)
- Till day 11: pay bills, collect taxes.
- day 11: Send tech out and buy the extra amount needed for your 5 tech deals whenever you get at zero tech (keep it cheap)
- day 11: buy X amount of tech (X= somewhere between 120...200)
- till day 21: pay bills, collect taxes.
- day 21: Send tech out and buy the extra amount needed for your 5 tech deals whenever you get at zero tech (keep it cheap)
- day 21: buy 200 tech (200, that's because you will now be holding to the tech for 20 days, so you maximise your economical benefits)
From now on, you do alternate on ten and twenty day back collections and buying X tech or 200 tech.

It is some work to find the best point of how much tech you should have to get the best income, but it is easy to show that being a tech seller at 4k infra does not get you a nett loss, even if you don't buy the best amount of tech.

Example:
At day 1 get 15 M, buy 200T
At day 11, send out the 200 tech, buy+send the 50 tech from slot 5, buy 200T
At day 21, send out the 200 tech, buy+send the 50 tech from slot 5
Profit: Slot 5 is a standard deal and over the 30 days, the seller will make 1.4 M (Rounded for ease)
Slot 1 will also be a standard deal, all tech is bought from 0 tech up. Another 1.4M
Slot 4 will be the tech bought from 150 to 200, no profit
Slot 2 and 3 will give profit though: together another 1.4 M
So, nett profit: 4.2M which is indeed not the 7M some people expect, but it is far from losing money doing tech deals.
At the 4k infra level, 4.2M is roughly 10% of your monthly nett income at 4k infra (or 16% at 3k). To me, that was worth the trouble.

And it gets even better: you have your 4M profit on day 1. On that day, you can buy 4M worth of infra, which will give you 30 days of extra income.

Then of course there is also the changing tech price: more and more 3M/50T deals are becoming the standard. That tech/$ rate would paint a whole different picture than the above.
[/quote]

4M of profit on day one would be better used by saving it until the nation intends on collecting taxes. Purchasing infra on the first day of a sled is not going to do anything but raise the nations bills for the next 20 days. Not to mention, if they are at 4K infra, 4M of infra is not going to be very much at all and there is a significant increase above 3999 infra in infra daily upkeep so again - bad idea. If a nation purchases 20 infra and ends up at 4020 infra, they are increasing their daily bills.

As Nathan pointed out, selling tech at 3999 infra is a waste of time and money. I know this infra level sucks for new nations since it is a very slow part in a nations growth, but having nations follow this plan is pretty complicated for anyone who doesn't play CN except for a bit of fun, and really seems like it would only eek out a few extra dollars out of tech trading.

Edited by phillip110
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