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Rift Rex - The Inevitable Price Drop

For players interested in buying and selling Rift Exchange coupons, understanding how the market works is important when it comes to getting the best value. While there will be some small changes here and there, for the most part we can speculate on the game's market pretty easily. Through this article I will be looking at the market and I will look at what the best times for buying and selling these exchange coupons is. It is important to note that I am only looking at the REX; not other items. Different things have different methods to analyzing their value over time, so the focus will be solely on the REX right now.

REX Prices Will Drop

When you look at anything from an investment point of view, it is important to look at its market. In the case of REX, there are two potential markets it can cater to:

  • Long term members that want more items from the cash shop
  • New players that want items from the cash shop or want to unlock their selling privileges on the auction house

In the case of the latter, you are looking at a group that is already arguably small. On top of this, as they get the items they want, they no longer need REX, therefore decreasing the demand. The same goes for the new players who want items from the cash shop, although there will (with any luck) be a flow of people as the game goes on. Regardless, we are going to be cutting out one piece of this pie, and that will undoubtedly have an effect on the market.

Although the demand for the REX coupons will be getting smaller as time goes on, it is also important to look at the supply aspect. After all, if both of these are increasing and decreasing at a similar rate, the prices should remain stable. The problem here, though, is that the supply is virtually unlimited. Being that any given player can spend as much money on the REX coupons as they wish, without any real limits in place (above what they earn or have saved), the supply never ends. As such, as demand fluctuates, it will cause a much bigger impact on the price.

Before continuing on, I want to break off on to a short look at inflation. This is something we experience in every online game, because the amount of gold players earn is always greater than that of what is being destroyed by game means (for example, costs for repairing items and such). This is probably in part because without it, players would not be able to accumulate a lot of money (which we all love), but it does end up inflating prices as well and causes items to cost more. In some cases this will increase things (like in TERA's case, their subscription passes kept going up in value) but in others it does not have the same effect due to the lowered amount of demand as time goes on.

What we can reasonably expect from the REX coupons Rift offers is a lowered cost as time goes on, but we will hit a median where players are no longer seeing enough value in purchasing them with cash, which will reduce the supply. As this goes on, the prices should rise back up again, and it should turn in to a revolving cycle (although it may not be too noticeable as people get used to paying certain prices, and we will consider that as a plateau). What is this point, though? As of a couple of weeks ago they were selling for around 1.3 thousand platinum. As of today (this article's writing) they are down to as low as a thousand, and in some cases a little lower than this. As of right now, the price for gold based on buying REX coupons and selling them versus buying from gold farmers is about equal. It does cost slightly more (around 15%) for the coupons, but that comes with the security of knowing your account will not be banned and also that you did not go out and support the growing number of bots within the game.

At this time I believe that the low point will be around 500 platinum. It just seems like a good balance between what the farmers are offering (it will cause their offering to be half as costly) and the benefit of security. I think some players may end up selling theirs at a lower price point, although that is going to be pretty few and far between. I just can not fathom that many people throwing out sums of money at what is essentially (at least in Rift's terms) not that much gold. Once you get down to the 250-300 mark, it costs $40+ to get a couple pieces of gear that will be replaced later on, and I just do not see that happening. Along with this, the majority of Rift's best items are earned solely through game playing and can not be bought anyways, so that limits the market for the gold. Many players have more gold than they know what to do with, as there is nothing to spend it on once you have played enough to earn all the best things. In my case, for example, I find that buying REX is the best usage for my gold; I just do not have anything else I need to buy, although I like banking up for the Loyalty perks and any cash shop items I may later decide to spring for.

When to Buy and Sell Rex Coupons

Please note that this is in no way investment advice. It is simply based on my own feelings on the matter. Anything you do with this information is completely up to you!

With that said, I think right now (or soonish) is the best time to sell REX coupons. This is more than likely going to be their highest price point ever (unless something major comes out in the shop that causes players to flock to them and drive up the demand more than the supply). As can already be seen on the auction house, there are far too many coupons already for sale, and that number is growing daily. This does not even take in to consideration the number of players attempting to sell theirs through the chat system instead of the auction house. The chances of this happening (at least based on what we have seen so far) is pretty low, though, in that Trion likes to allow most things to be obtained within the game itself, rather than forcing people to pay for items.

From the buying point of view, waiting it out a bit longer is probably the best plan. You do have to decide on how much risk is too much, though. For example, if you have no problem paying 900 platinum each for the coupons, go for it at that point. It is worth noting that as the prices go down you can continue to buy more cheaper and cheaper if you need them. If you are a more passive player, though, it is better to wait until they bottom out (unless there is an item you are dying to have that you really do not want to wait for; just realize that in this case you are not going to be getting the best value for your money).

In any case, attempting to flip the coupons for a profit has not been working too well with the people I have seen attempting it (buying multiple and then trying to sell them at a higher price). Because the price is not at a stable point yet, there is a lot of risk involved with this and the gain from it is minimal, if there is any at all. For that reason, I highly suggest not doing it!

Update February 2014 - Settling At 900p

In an interesting situation, the price of REX, while it is down, has seemed to find its settling point at around 900 platinum. While it will fluctuate up and down a little from this point, it does not really shift in any direction. So if you can buy them cheaper than 900 you can usually sell them for 900 for a profit. And if you are buying them for over 900 you can usually just wait a bit and buy below that. This, of course, depends on supply and demand. The more people there are trying to sell them the cheaper they are going to go (in the short term) and the less people the higher the price will go (also short term, being that as the price goes up more and more people are going to jump in and start selling theirs as well).

I really expected these to take a lot longer to settle on a price, but it appears the Rift community has spoken with their wallets. Whether or not it is going to shift from this point in the future is hard to tell for certain. The game is still thriving and there are great, huge communities all over the place and across the servers, so it is definitely possible that we have hit a somewhat stagnant area on price until something big happens. At this point I can see three events causing some disruptions:

  • Pay to win items are sold (which I highly doubt is ever going to happen, and it would cause more damage to the game than it is really worth, possibly crippling it for good)
  • Those who buy the vouchers the most (with platinum) end up finishing whatever it is they are going for, which causes there to be more sellers than buyers, lowering the price. While I originally believed this would happen somewhat soon, it looks like a lot of people have been taking advantage of being able to max out their loyalty rewards without having to front any cash at all to do so
  • Those that are buying the vouchers for cash so they can turn them in to platinum will stop for some reason. Maybe it is because the economy has problems, or maybe because they just do not need any platinum any more

In any of these situations, we will undoubtedly see some sort of disruption in the price, although how big it is and how long it will last is still not known and will be determined by both the severity of the situation and how the community as a whole responds to it. I have the feeling it will be a while before we hit this point, though, meaning that if you are getting involved with the vouchers at this point you are probably in a pretty safe spot (assuming you are wanting to stay stable, and not take risks on winning or losing in the process).

Update April 2014 - Up to 1000p

It is hard to tell whether this is really an increase in price or not, but the REX now goes for about 1000 platinum on average. While the thought process was that the price will continue to drop since people are knocking out all of their cash shop items that they want, there was one thing missing: inflation. The amount of gold (or in this case platinum) that is floating around on the game is constantly increasing, due to not having enough gold sinks. As a result, the price of items starts to go up as people become more and more rich. Now, this leads to a hard question to answer: how much has inflation hit the REX?

Here is what we have to consider. Inflation may not have hit as hard as it should have, so the actual price could be 1000 platinum, relative to how it used to be (or an increase of around 12%). On the other hand, inflation could have hit hard, in which case 1000 platinum today could be worth the same as 300 platinum a couple of months ago. In this case, the price of REX, in terms of its buying value, has definitely gone down a lot, but its cost in terms of the platinum (or its perceived value) has gone up. Without information on the market within the game and a more detailed analysis of pricing over time it is hard to tell which of these cases it fits in. I would venture out and say, though, that inflation has hit it enough to at least make it the same price now that it was in the past, if not a little lower (or a lot lower).

Conclusion

REX coupons within Rift can be a confusing area for some people due to the nature of how they work. We are used to games allowing players to transfer subscription time, but buying and selling actual credits in the game is much more rare. Because of this, it is easy to get caught in the wrong mindset and end up losing money in the process. Hopefully through this article you have gotten a better understanding as to how the market is likely going to move with these (based on experience gained from prior games, plus what has been seen so far within Rift directly related to the REX). In any case, keep in mind that things can change at any time, so what is true right now may not be true in the near or distant future. As such, this is all based on speculation and there is risk either way!

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