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Monday, August 15, 2005

Tax Me

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Well, even though I am not a fan of Station Exchange, I have been poking around the Station Exchange forums lately to see how that little experiment is going. It's pretty hard to tell - some say the servers are dead and others disagree.

I did get a laugh out of this thread . In it, a bunch of posters rush to give advice, some of it completely absurd, regarding the complex tax issues surrounding the Station Exchange.

I'm not going to start giving tax advice on the thorny topic of virtual item sales but I will give you this free tidbit: You probably shouldn't make tax decisions based on the musings of an anonymous message board poster. I can see people explaining to an IRS agent now: "No, you see, sir, DarkMagi292 clearly states in this thread that since I made three dollars on Station Exchange, my entire computer system and house are tax deductible. Also, UberMeatShield81 says I can claim my alt as a dependent and take depreciation on my Parade Steppes Pony."

That thread is made even more humorous by the ominous postings of "SOELegal," presumably someone in the SOE Legal Department. Why that person would choose to post on a message board is beyond me, but it is entertaining.

Of course, I am not predicting a lot of income for the average Exchange user anyway, based on my vague impression that there will be a ton of wannabe sellers and very few buyers. I am willing to admit I may be wrong about this.

I thought it was really cool that SOE put out some numbers and facts from the Station Exchange beta. You can check them out here. Someone once told me that during the gold rush, it was the people that supplied the picks that really got rich, and, in this case, it seems to be the people who supplied the pristine teak boxes.

I found it interesting that the average price of a plat was $20.41 on the beta Exchange Server, while IGE prices for my server were going at $7.50 (based on buying 10 plat for $74.99) last week. Now there is no gold available for my server on their website. Someone in this thread mentions plat on a live Exchange server going for less than $3.00 per. But, that figure is probably due to the recent duping events. So it is hard to get a read on the Exchange economy.

With regards to the fees, a player in this thread sold a low level Froglok for $13.00. Only thing was, there is a $10.00 listing fee and an additional 10 percent service charge, making the profit a grand total of $1.70. As other posters pointed out, there may be a PayPal fee involved as well.

I'm curious to see how the numbers on the Station Exchange servers look after they are in full swing for a while, and I hope SOE continues to release official numbers so the rest of us can get an idea of how things are going.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Pop by and check it out :-)

1:46 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Gee, what a completely on-topic comment which truly fits with the subject matter of this blog.

I can't wait to enroll my guild in one of your office team building activities.

I only wish my blog got more insightful comments like this.

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well at least its not only the blog that provides us with a good laugh but also the comments ;)

20$ for a plat ... i thought about moving to the exchange server for a momement.


6:55 AM  
Blogger warm_machine said...

meh... that spam post isn't as good as the last one on abortion and the right to life.

As for SE, I moved two of my toons (one to each server) when they were offering free moves. Other than that, I've not interest in playing on either of them in the near future.

I do; however, have an interest as to why SOE charges SOO much to move a toon from server to server! You'd think you're hiring someone to kidnap them or something!!!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

So there was this one time at team building camp!

I'm just ignoring SA hopeing it will just go away.

Nice post thoguh Aggro

10:41 AM  
Blogger Mr.X said...

I've been watching the exchange closely, and laughed out loud at that thread. It's not that complicated - if you make money, you are supposed to report it. You might get away with not reporting it too, but the penalties are severe if you get caught.

Buyers pay no fees. But sellers get socked with a bunch of fees and they all seem pretty high to me.

There are definitely people buying, and my impression is they're paying an average of $10 per plat. This nets the seller a whopping $8 per plat, or even less considering use taxes (in 3 states). Maybe it's because I can't make plat quickly, but I can't imagine selling it so cheap.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Zuki said...

Great work on your blog - it was very enlightening. You've got a lot of useful info on there about team building so I've bookmarked your site so I don't lose it. I'm doing a lot of research on team building exposed and have just started a new blog - I'd really appreciate your comments

10:19 AM  

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