Promo items – How much are they worth?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by spiralspy

So, you just bought a stack of five promo boxes from the supply depot, opened them and got 5x junk? Well, Shit happens!

You now have five items you don’t want. Selling them off on the auction house would be an idea, but unfortunately you are not the only unlucky person on the planet. Every promo box floods the market with rejects and the excess supply naturally causes prices to drop as sellers try to undercut each other. This naturally begs the question: what are promo items really worth? How do/can you calculate their true value?

The real price of an item has nothing to do with it’s popularity. It is it’s acquisition cost and therefore the minimum amount of money you have to sell for in order to not make a loss. For all points and purposes, the acquisition cost of a promo item is equal to the cost of it’s containing box (assuming one item per box).

As it stands now, for $23.74, Threerings will either sell you a pack of 5 Promo boxes or a pack of 7500 Energy. A single box is therefore worth 7500/5= 1500 Energy. In crowns, that is somewhere between 90k cr and 120k cr, depending on the current exchange rate. Here’s a plot of the box value in crowns (y-axis), depending on the exchange rate per 100 energy (x-axis):

promoboxvalueplotIn other words, at an exchange rate of 7000 crowns per 100 energy, you would need to sell promo items at about 105k. If you get less for them, then your dollars would be better spend on buying a 7500er energy pack.

Now, I hear you saying, “105k cr for the common promo items?! Not gonna happen!”. And you are probably right. Common items will only sell under value unless allowed to become rare (which means holding on to them for months).

The only way to ensure that you are not making a loss on boxes is to play it big. Playing it big means, acquiring enough boxes to end up with every item in the promo, then selling the rare ones for at least the break even price plus your combined loss from the common items.

Conceptually, a promo item falls into one of three groups:

  • Common – Common items will sell for (considerably) less then the acquisition cost due to their abundance.
  • Uncommon – Uncommon items will sell for roughly their acquisition cost, making them a net neutral gamble.
  • Rare – Status whores will pay big time for these.

Statistically, buying 100 boxes for 10.5m cr should gain you every item in the promo (yes, I know, math students will cringe at that statement, but it is sufficiently accurate for our purposes). What you need now are the gambling odds of the box in question (as published on the wiki page of the promo). Sort the items into the three groups mentioned above (common, uncommon and rare). A typical promo  has around  60% common, 35% uncommon and 5% rare items in it (but it varies from time to time). That means, our 10.5m cr investment is split up as follows:

  • 6.3m cr for common items
  • 3.68m cr on uncommon items
  • 525k cr for rare items.

The 3.68m cr for the uncommon group can be ignored (uncommon is defined as “sells at the break even point). The common group will be produce a giant loss. How big the loss is depends on when you sell off (it’s worst in the middle of the promo). By experience, I would say that on an average you can get 50k per common item (this is a highly debatable opinion!). This is about 50% of the acquisition cost, so the common group produces a  loss of 3.1m cr. This money has to be regained through the rare items. Given the distribution above, there should be 5 rare items, so each of them needs to fetch at least 105k +3.1m/5 = 725k.

Conclusion (aka TL;DR)

As a rule of thumb, a promo box is worth between 90k and 120k (depending on exchange rate). The rare items are about 7 times as valuable as their boxes if you sell common items off at half of what the boxes are worth. None of these numbers contain profit nor transaction fees.