[MUD-Dev] UO and eBay figures

Koster Koster
Tue Apr 17 17:28:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Original thread here:


Some of the interesting material is quoted below. I didn't quote
dissenting opinions, just the stuff that attempts to justify it.

start quote--->

04/14/01 10:11 PM

<<...>> You can earn $20,000 a month from UO on eBay!  Following the
comments in some of the other eBay threads, I've just completed an
analysis of the money earnt by the top eBay sellers over the last 14

I've examined all their auctions completed in the last 14 days. I've
counted the number of auctions posted, the number where anyone bid,
and added up the winning bids on all completed auctions, so I can show
what these folks have been paid.

Here's the results...

  Name                Auctions    Sales    Percent    14 Day Earnings
  ====                ========    =====    =======    ===============
  Ragnar22                 365      162        44%           $9338.22
  www.uoVendor.net         412      221        54%           $5469.67
  UOTreasures              194      105        54%           $3431.17
  ingotdude                424      121        29%           $2789.62
  Zuzany                   146       55        38%            $859.97
  majim at uoemporium.com     111       32        29%            $697.30
  Rdial1                    46       26        57%            $574.31
  =====               ========    =====    =======         ==========
  Total                   1698      722        57%         $23,160.26

  This means the top eBay sellers are earning nearly $20,000 a month
  from "playing" the game.

  Then, look at what they've sold...

  Shard                 Gold     Ingots     Logs  Reagents  Scrolls
  =====                 ====     ======     ====  ========  =======
  AOL Legends      1,400,000          0   10,000         0        0
  Atlantic        15,100,000    243,000  100,000    31,000    1,000
  Baja            23,700,000    181,000   60,000         0    1,000
  Catskills       24,900,000    240,000   50,000     2,000        0
  Chesapeake      25,500,000    198,000   75,000    11,000    1,000
  Drachenfels      6,000,000          0   15,000         0        0
  Europa          29,500,000          0   31,000    17,000    1,000
  Great Lakes     49,000,000    270,000  216,000   504,000    1,000
  Lake Superior   17,700,000    135,000   30,000   104,000    5,000
  Napa Valley     12,600,000    100,000   26,000         0    1,000
  Oceania          8,000,000          0        0         0        0
  Pacific         30,900,000    240,000  105,000    22,000    1,000
  Siege Perilous   3,100,000          0        0         0        0
  Sonoma           7,100,000    110,000   55,000    17,000        0
  ===========    ===========  =========  =======   =======   ======
  Grand Total    254,500,000  1,717,000  773,000   708,000   12,000

I pass no judgement one way or the other here, I just present the
facts for comment by the players, the OSI staff and the merchants

I have to say I'm impressed with the money floating around
though. Maybe I'm in the wrong job?

Solitary Professionals Alliance

(neophyte ) 
04/15/01 01:38 AM

 <<...>> This is Ragnar22.. My comments  <<...>> [re: SPA
Setting record straight, ...

Im very impressed with the table sheet this guy came up with. I dont
know what 14 days he measured, I was rather surprised to see I had the
most sales. People have to realize that any average joe can't come on
and play the game and make 20,000$.

Did anyone mention, how we started off? I sold regs in game for 1.5
gold profit, per reg. I did this for 1 month and made 1.6 million gold
only then to be hacked and lose all of it. Later on I came back in the
game and called myself, Ragnar's Royal Reagent Service. I sold tons of
in game regs on the atlantic shard for gold.

It was then I found a guy selling gold if you buy lots you could get
it cheaper. I thought of this as an investment, since I did rather
poor at the stock market, this would be the same thing, but with just
a little effort.  Through my time I had help from the old owner of
UOV, Oracle and other suppliers. I started an ebay offset company
called Royal Reagent Service, we sold about 90 to 150$ per week in

I watched and learned the market for months. I understood the people I
was serving and the customers, my feedback rating grew slowly. It was
2 months later, I made little over 1500$ and spent all that money on
Pacific Gold. I then opened up on two shards.

My sales were close to double and my ppl were starting to rely on me
for good service. I then sold regs to gold and exchanged my gold using
a broker service and moved to Great Lakes. Again we tripled our volume
in sales, and money was more smooth.

I decided to do a final fourth expansion to Catskills, business was
OK. I looked at the gold market, and I never really wanted to sell
gold because I could make more money buying gold and buying regs and
selling them. But later, I just sold the gold and took a little profit
to help cover costs.

That is around the time I expanded to every single east coast
shard. Ebay was getting very crazy, I had late nights, screaming at
myself trying to keep up. Thats when you develope systems of handling
customers, doing your best job. I then moved to the west coast and
decided to find reg suppliers.  My days of reg shopping are up.

Today we are one of the largest UO supplier companies. We do not have
these items out of thin air, we pay a lot of suppliers and Uo
community in gold and items for their work. We respect the game and
OSI. When we sell items like this at this rate, we never play the
game, nor can anyone ever compare us to a good roleplayer or in game
player. We are just businessmen and respectable old players.

Your money is yours, if you do not wish to spend it on gaming items,
that is your choice. The amount of hours it takes you to make 50,000
ingots or find 60,000 regs, work it out. We are cheaper. But theres
always the fun of the game and getting the stuff yourself right? We
don't believe thats the fun of the game, its the reason I quit the
game several times.

If you see these top names in this list and think anyone of us made it
here with our eyes shut. Thats no the case, you can probably say we
dont have lives. It does take a professional, there are many many
aspects to this business. I will admit I do like my job and I love the
people I've met.

Just realize people just how small we were, just how long it took,
just how we were all players once like yourself. We love the game with
our hearts and wish to see it here for many years to come and even
into the next generation of UO gaming. We'll be here always to keep
this convient. But be warned, like all businesses, the uo business is
sick one. You may not see it as the customer, but the competition is

Thank you all for your comments,

Ragnar22 of Ebay/Royal Reagent Service/www.uodudes.com

check us out at


(neophyte )
04/15/01 05:10 AM

 <<...>> IngotDude Reply  <<...>> [re: SPA


What an interesting post. I thought I would get in a reply here to let
you 6-10 hour per day players know why we do what we do(or at least
why I do what I do) and to clear up those "Earnings" numbers

We are providing a service to those who do not have the time to
acquire these items on their own. In other words...  "The buyers are
paying for the time it takes us to acquire these items for them"

I sell mainly resources (Ingots, Logs and Hides). People ask me all
the time if I would sell to them for gold. Sadly I have to say no for
two reasons.  #1 I buy much of these resources for gold myself why
would I want to sell them for gold?  #2 These items are reserved for
those who do not have the time to play the long hours and work for the
items. Nor do they have gold to buy them with from other players.

Some players simply do not have the time to acquire these resources
and do the fun stuff as well... or.... Lumberjacking, mining and other
laboring skills simply do not fit into their UO goals but the
resources they produce do.  That is where the ebay seller steps in and
I am proud to be of service to each and every person who has given me
his or her patronage.

We do not twist any arms. Those who pay for our services do so on
their own free will. Some people say what we do is not right. People
are paying for entertainment here. This is no different then paying
$250 for a Super Bowl ticket or paying $50 to take the family to a

Now lets clear up those numbers ;-)

First of all the word "earnings" means profit, if the originator of
this post did not intend for these numbers to represent profit then
he/she needs to clear that up.

I did not profit $2700 from my ebay sales Ragnar22 did not profit
$9800 UoVendor did not profit $5400

There is no way we can acquire the item's we sell without having to
purchase most of it. Taking an educated guess I would say profit
margins range from 10-25% depending on what items each person sells.
Those numbers are NOT earnings, they represent sales volume only(Some
of it unpaid). The costs to operate our businesses are
unbelievable. There are other costs besides purchasing our
inventory. My ebay fees alone were $750 last month! There are PayPal
fees, credit card charge backs, auction software subscription fees and
the list goes on and on just like any other business.

I am throwing in this next paragraph because some of the replies in
this thread are scary to me.

We do not make money while we "Play" UO, We make money from "Working"
our business. Yes it is work! I work 12-18 hours per day without
getting the opportunity to kill a single orc or roll a peep( I do get
to kill an occasional ore thief though *chuckle* ). Initiate the new
guild recruits or attend the wedding of Sir Brian and Lady Rosa? 
... Well .. Don't get to do that either.  I have been a business
manger for over 20 years and believe me when I say "THIS HAS BEEN MY
TOUGHEST TASK" If you do not already possess business management
skills then I do not recommend it. I have watched many people quit
their job to sell UO items only to see them flop like a fish and have
nothing to go back to. The failure rate in this business is no
different than any other business. For those who do take that giant
step and attempt to go into business for themselves... I wish you the

Thanks for reading ;-)


(neophyte )
04/15/01 09:10 AM

 <<...>> 20,000 a month from UO (I wish!) :)  <<...>> [re: SPA


My name is Majim. I'm a 36 year old male addicted to UO. :) I run a
small ISP where I live. My cat Mystique is sitting next to me bugging
me for attention as I type this so bear with me. I do most of the
sales and deliveries for UO Emporium. (www.uoemporium.com) First off,
I would like to say, I rarely ever make message posts. I just don't
have the time or the brain power to duke it out intellectually with
those who do this regularly.  I humbly bow to those debaters out there
who keep the boards fresh and alive daily. I may not agree with all of
you but I respect your opinions and read what you have to say quite

But today while reading I was amazed to see that we made it into the
top sellers list on Ebay for UO in the message titled 'Making 20,000 a
month on Ebay' (I wish) posted yesterday. We feel honored to even be
noticed. (Thanks for including us SPA!) :) As some of you know, our
group called UO Emporium has been around for a long time now. Some of
you will remember us from up to 3 years ago when we we're running
vendor shops on Sonoma and Baja called 'Grand Master Emporiums'
stocking close to 40 vendors every few days with scrolls, potions and
whatever else we could get our hands on. Ahh....those we're the glory

To tell you the truth, the first time I was ever offered 350.00
u.s. dollars for a million gold on Sonoma (Way back - hehe), I thought
it was a joke. I was in Santa Barbra at a conference and got an email
from a guy I knew in game. When the money order showed up at my door
when I got home from the conference my jaw hit the floor. 350 dollar
u.s.! Well being from Canada (eh?) that's like a million dollars up
here (you know igloos cost a lot to maintain - my cable modem heats
it). Ok, maybe not a million but 500 dollar Canadian for sure. A
business was born.

3 years later we now total 17 people (all friends in real life) who
all work together as a group. And as a note to OSI if they are
listening, I got every single one of them hooked on this
game...hehe. We all live in the Vancouver, B.C. area in Canada. These
are our core people who log, mine and buy and swap items on a regular
basis in UO during part of thier normal playtime.  These 17 people do
not include an ICQ list of hundreds of other people all around the
world who we trade items with in game on a regular basis over the
course of a month. We have made a lot of friends in the last 3 years
of playing.

I think the best month we ever had in our history of selling was just
under 6,000 u.s. in sales. That was huge money for us! That month we
went crazy and posted hundreds of auctions for all kinds of stuff we
had collected that we finally gathered up from all our accounts
accumulated from 3 years of playing for most of us. After doing that
for one month, I found I could simply not keep up. I had no life. I
was delivering for hours and hours a day. It was more of a blowout
excess stock month. Granted, most of the stuff we we're selling was
like 10 and 20 dollars a shot so it was a lot of deliveries! We're not
looking to repeat that kind of month as myself and most of the staff
do have lives outside of UO. It was fun though to do for a short

An average month of sales for us these days is somewhere between 1500
and 3000 dollars u.s. This includes all our Ebay auctions as well as
all the sales we do directly off our website. Now this may seem like a
lot of money but when the bills are paid and the money is split up
between all parties involved, each person pretty much has to keep
thier days jobs. (life sucks) It's a part time job at best for most of

The money I personally make (my share of the pot) goes towards great
vacations my girlfriend and I take every year now. We have been to
Europe for 1 month and Mexico for 2 weeks all because of UO so far and
we're already planning our next one! Needless to say after the first
vacation trip to Europe my girlfriend started playing UO (hehe). A
quick note of thanks goes out to Richard Garriot and all the great
people who made UO what it is today. It has allowed us to have better
vacations! Woohoo! Who would have known? If you would have told me
three years ago I would be doing this today, I would have thought your
we're crazy.

We never have been big gold sellers in general right from the start
although we sell a bit from time to time. We simply have never found a
good way to make gold that would allow us to compete fairly price wise
with others selling gold. Most of the items we sell are logs, ingots,
leather, regs and items we collect in the game or get as prizes. We
found out a long time ago that people were willing to pay for the
things that we're the most boring to do in UO. So that's what we have
stuck to in general.

We have occasionally bought items for re-sale off other suppliers for
money as well. In that above mentioned 'best sales month' we spent
about $800 dollars on goods bought from others just to keep up with
our regular orders for our customers while we we're selling off our
excess goods. So in reality we actually made a little over 5000
dollars total profit in our best month ever in the 3 years we have
been playing. (can't complain)

Now we know some sellers buy thier gold and items off others regularly
for resale. We have done this a bit from people we have traded with
extensively in game who we know are honest. But we have never been big
fans of buying stock off other suppliers to re-sell to our
customers. At least not for real money. The concept goes like this. If
we just make goods on our own, and sell 2000 dollars in a month, that
whole 2000 dollars is ours to keep. If we have to buy goods like gold
off others for real money and resell it, then we would have to sell 2
or 3 times the amount or more to make the same 2000 dollars in
profit. We want to play and not just buy and re-sell things as some
others do. But if that's what others like to do..more power to them!

Here is our 'secret' on how we make our money just for the record as
far as UO Emporium is concerned. We can't speak for any of the other
sellers and how they get thier goods but after much thought we came to
the conclusion to let everyone know publicly here on the forums. Many
people know this already as all anyone ever has ever had to do was ask
and we told them. Personally, we have never found any 'easy' ways to
make money in UO when playing by the rules in the three years we have

1) We chop a lot of logs (a GM lumberjack can get about 3k-4k logs per
hour) and mine some ingots. We have a couple GM lumberjacks on most of
the main shards now. We have a few GM miners on some shards.

2) We collect leather from killing animals with our fighters.

3) We kill monsters and go on treasure hunts together both of which
supply us with a little gold and some goodies to sell for gold in

4) We sell our logs, ingots, leather and a little gold for real money.

5) We trade with others to get ingots for our logs 1:1. This gives us
a supply of ingots since it takes longer to mine ingots than chop logs

6) We sell our logs for gold. We then use that gold along with gold we
get from hunts etc. to buy regs, blank scrolls, empty bottles, arrows,
bolts etc to sell for real money.

7) Sometimes if the offer is good enough, we will even sell some of
those other things we are buying for gold in game for even more gold
if it means a profit to us.

8) We get prizes off our accounts during the year like everyone else
and we sell those off for real money and gold.

9) We trade daily with all kinds of players. We buy some things for
gold, others we swap for goods we have at a profit to us in the
end. Sometimes, if we know the trader well, we may buy some items for
real money.

10) We do cross shard gold trades occasionally with people we trust.

That's about all there is to it. We have never been into rares or
housing in general although we have sold a few off from time to time
we have personally found.

Most of the time, we log to get the main source of our income in
game. We probably chop upwards of 30k-40k logs per day average as a
group. Sometimes more if we are feeling ambitious. A million logs
(across the shards) in a month is not an unreasonable goal for all of
us together. It's only an hour or less per day from each of us to do
boring work. It's something we know we can get a fair dollar for in
and out of game. Everyone who is a part of UO Emporium contributes to
what we call our working monthly capital by chopping logs or
contributing something of equal value on a regular basis which gives
us the resources to buy and sell other things in game to make a profit
as well.

Now that you know our 'secrets' (hehe), I'm sure everyone is going to
run out and start chopping wood. Well, good luck to you. The boredom
factor will set in quickly. Why do you think we're able to sell a
bunch of it every month. As mentioned earlier people will pay for
things that are boring to do!

As most of our customers have known, if you ever want to know anything
about us or the merchant business in UO, simply ask. All of us at UO
Emporium are legitimate honest players who just love playing UO. We
have no big secrets on how we get all the items we sell. We are just
more organized and work well together as a group. You may want to
think of us as a 'merchant guild' that just happens to play on a lot
of shards.

As an afterthought...a good question to ask for anyone buying gold
is...where does all that 254 million gold (2 weeks sold on Ebay) come
from that the above sellers are reselling? We have no idea
personally. We have a hard time getting 20 million in a month between
all 17 of us. It's not the legitimate sellers on Ebay who are selling
items at a 25% markup in most cases who are making all that gold. They
buy it from others privately. You can bet your britches those public
resellers are not cheating one single bit since they are the ones
under constant public scrutiny.

It's the people that these public sellers buy from in bulk constantly
who remain private and out of the general public's view. And in the
public gold sellers defense, it difficult at times to determine who is
legit and who is cheating. But as a word of advice to them all, if
they actually asked a few questions from who they we're buying from
occasionally instead of just blindly buying and reselling...you never
know what they could learn. I know from personal experience. I started
asking questions and all of a sudden, some private sellers just
stopped talking to me. Sniff...Sniff...nobody likes me anymore...sigh.

We stay away from these private sellers personally at UO Emporium. If
they are not up front about who they are and where they live and how
they have made thier gold etc, we don't buy from them. We never have
been able to figure out after playing for 3 years how some of these
private resellers can afford to sell seemingly limitless quantities of
gold for so cheap. (At least over the last year anyhow) But then
again...maybe we are just stupid...we chop logs...how smart can you be
when your a lumberjack anyhow?  For all we know, they have dozens of
people killing liches all day in some third world country.

On the other hand, it's not hard to figure out where the ingots and
logs that are being sold are coming from. Most of them we assume as
being mined/chopped by players and the public sellers are purchasing
them for gold they have bought in bulk. There is tons for sale on the
trade boards daily for gold. It all goes back to the gold when you
really think about it. Where does all the gold come from? I wonder if
that many liches even spawn in a two week period? Hmmm....

Quick advertisement: Say if all 17 of us here are just plain idiots
and you know the answer to obtain limitless gold legally in UO with
little or no effort...we have a great sales mechanism in place that we
have developed over the past three years. You could make a lot of
money. Email me now if your the next genius with all the answers! 
Enquiring minds want to know!  Sorry, no cheating
allowed. Thanks. (*waits patiently with crossed fingers*) :)

And one more note for those of you who say that Ebayers ruin the game
be selling the time we spend in game for real money etc. Sorry to have
bothered you while your playing a game you purchased for money and pay
money to play every month over an internet connection you pay money
for on a computer you paid money for that runs off electricity you pay
money for in house/apartment you pay money for etc. etc.

Maybe you have forgotten, so let me refresh your memory...we live in a
money driven world. You think because this is a game that different
rules should apply? I must have missed that chapter in world economics
that said..it's ok to charge money for everything in life EXCEPT stuff
in video games. That's TOTALLY different! I should have went to class
that day instead of skipping out and paying 50 cents per game play at
the arcade...:) (I've waited three years to say that in public...I
feel so much better now! hehe)

Stay safe everyone and for goodness sake people...remember, this is
supposed to be fun!


(neophyte )
04/15/01 01:16 PM

 <<...>> UOTreasures from ebay  <<...>> [re: SPA

Hello everyone. I actually do read these boards and post occasionally
:).  There is a big difference between profit and revenue, which has
already been exhausted within the other posts. To give you an idea, I
spent $15,000 out of pocket in the month of January alone. I make
about 10-15% on my money.  Basically every free moment that I have is
spent managing this small cottage industry. There is nowhere near
enough money to justify the time and money that I put into it. I do it
because, frankly, I enjoy it. It beats the hell out of a 9 to 5 job
(of which I have had plenty :)), and enables me to be just about as
close to free as US Law allows. Here is an old post that I made to
these very boards (my two cents worth):

I have read the posts here and see some valid arguments against house
camping and the trammel house placement. However, I am not ready to
assess all of the blame for this on ebay sellers as some have done. I
believe there were many UO players - who sell nothing at all on ebay -
that were the main culprits of this. The goal of these players was not
to sell items on ebay at all, but to do cross-shard trades to get gold
on their own shard. On that note, it seems that some are very quick to
accuse all ebay sellers of being dupers, exploiters, and much
worse. While this may be true in some cases (the bug guides come to
mind), in many cases it is unfair.

There are many ebay sellers that I know personally, who do this for a
myriad of reasons. Some sell to supplement their income, some sell to
make money to buy the UO items that they want, and some sell as a full
time job. My argument here is that I think this is an absolutely
WONDERFUL phenomenon.  People are conditioned from the day that they
are born to believe certain things about the world and the way it
works. I don't want to get into a philosophical discussion here, but
these people are achieving the ultimate - they are truly free! They
can live on their own terms, and enjoy what they do every day! I think
it is also very good for Ultima, the company, since when items in the
game are given "real" monetary worth, people are MUCH more interested
in playing the game and accumulating items. Although it is a great
game that can be played for fun, it also has a secondary dimension -
the time you spend playing the game is not wasted - you have actually
did something worthwhile in the "real" world (boy, I wish I made money
when I used to play Atari - I would be Bill Gates :)). I can see it
now, parents encouraging their kids to spend more time playing games
to pay for their own college education! This is an unbelievable
occurrence in my mind. While I do agree that every exploiter, bug
user, duper, etc. should be banned for the game, the majority of ebay
sellers simply do not fall into this category.  They have found
something that allows them to play the game they love, and

enhances their real life as well. What could be better? As far as the
assertion that people who buy things on ebay are "gaining an unfair
advantage", here is my response to this. UO is not real, it is a game,
meant to be played for enjoyment! When a person spends real life money
that they have worked for, who is someone else to decide what they do
with it? UO is a game, yes, but it is also entertainment. Do we spend
money to go to the movies? Do we spend money on cool electronic
devices? Do we spend money on computer software? I ask then, what is
the difference?  Entertainment is entertainment. The truth is, the
interactivity of Ultima makes it the ultimate entertainment. I would
personally rather spend $15 to buy a game item that to see that Tom
Hanks movie for the 15th time.  Additionally, there are many people
(myself included), who simply do not have time to play games for hours
upon hours. Having the ability to buy things you want saves you TONS
of time to do other things. Do you really want to chop wood from a
virtual tree for 50 hours or get up at 5am every morning to try and
get that monthly rare spawn? Some people do, most don't.  If you enjoy
that sort of thing AND have plenty of time to spare, then by all
means, go to it. But if you want time to do other things in your life,
like see your family occasionally or go outside, then the ebay option
is at least there for you.

I think people should pay close attention to Everquest. I believe that
the game will lose a tremendous number of subscribers due to the
recent decision they made about prohibiting the sale of items. This
decision turns EQ into just another game, nothing more. UO is a great
game and so much more - virtual items with real life worth add a
dimension that has never been seen before in gaming. In fact, a large
number of people play the game because this is a well known fact! This
phenomenon also guarantees that UO will continue to thrive. Think of
any game that has come out in the last 20 years. I can think of none
that have a life of much more than a year or so before people move on
to something else. UO, meanwhile, is beginning its 4th year of
service, and the numbers who play the game are actually GROWING.  Make
a little money while you are having a great time, who could ask for


(neophyte )
04/15/01 01:30 PM

 <<...>> BTW: The tax question  <<...>> [re: MidnightCosmos

Just a sidebar, I am a licensed with the federal and state government
to conduct business through my company. Additionally, I pay my
quarterly taxes on every dime that I make :).

<---end quote

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