There are two elements to trading that are new to 2014, both of which I very much enjoy. In the past, Trading was even more of a “wild west” scenario than ever, and I applaud Bunt for taking steps to correct the issue without damaging the soul of the fan feed. Ill try to break them down for you to understand for your own trading needs.
Description: This number represents the number of ratings that any trader has received since the start of 2014. Read that sentence very carefully, because it is NOT the number of completed trades the person has had. Ratings can be given for both offers and actual trade completions. The higher the count, the higher the amount of offers/trades that person has had.
Usage: This number is wholly representative of the person’s activity, and nothing more, so don’t take it as a representation of trustworthiness. It can be a great indicator of a person who is WILLING to trade, if you need to get a string of offers going. It can also be a good indicator of how new someone is to trading, so they may guard their good cards a bit more. If a person has a low count, and a small collection, player name and notoriety may mean more to them if you are looking to trade commons for commons.
This graphical representation is a measure of the average stars that trader has accumulated over their career. This is more the representation of their quality as a trader, but its not the only thing. You will realize that trustworthiness is a combination of all the numerical indicators and also gut feeling. Here is how I usually break it down:
* = Something is up with this guy or they are new and had a few bad experiences
**= Again, likely new and not aware of the unwritten rules of trading, or someone that is a lowballer
*** = Average score, most traders have a variation of a 3 star rating
**** = With 4 stars, they either haven’t had many offers, or they really have nice cards to overpay
***** = I have yet to see an experienced 5 star trader
If a collector’s post says “I rate high on every trade” it doesn’t mean they are held to that standard. Some traders use it as a hook to field offers, because the rating is only given when YOU offer someone, not on the other side of it.
If a trader only fields offers and never makes them, they can really be in control of their rating. Once a trade is accepted, both parties get to rate each other. Be careful of taking advantage of this generosity, because it is far from guaranteed. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make offers, because that isn’t logical as a part of the game. You need to make offers to be successful, just be conscious of how you do it. A lot can be gleaned from the post on the feed.
This is my favorite indicator on the board because it measures the QUALITY and QUANTITY of someone’s collection. I currently have a mid 60s score because I only have about 700 BUNT cards (I have been a Huddle User much longer). However, I am at the point of trying to acquire some of the rarer inserts, so Im not going to chase people with mid 30s scores. I know they likely wont have the cards I need.
Here is my breakdown of scores:
- Less than 30 – Brand new
- 30-40 – Green and new, likely not many cards, but worth looking at for dupes
- 40-60 – Tenured collector, will likely have some inserts to trade for
- 60-80 – More tenured, will likely have some higher end inserts and lots of dupes
- More than 80 – Top collector, will likely have lots of high end inserts and tons of cards
I usually reserve my trading for people in the 40-80 range, as I have found that people with high collection scores are a bit more stingy with their nicer stuff. They have most of what they need from either offering out on their own, or buying packs, and don’t really need my minimal amount of cards unless its something desirable and/or brand new. Don’t offer a bunch of your unwanted dupes, because in all likelihood, you wont get what you want. Remember, I am only outlining a profile based on my experience, but you may find that there are exceptions to everything.
How to Use This Information
Carefully. That’s about it. With any program that has intrinsic value as a part of the gameplay, there will be people looking to take advantage of that. These scores arent perfect and there is no way to prevent manipulation of the indicators. I have been in Sports Cards for a very long time, and there is saying we go by. “If its too good to be true, it probably is.” The only thing you can do to prevent a negative experience is to watch out and be careful with giving your trust to people. I hate to say it, but its just a part of life.
Hope this helps you navigate the fan feed trading boards.