Please allow stacks of items to be posted in the exchange with a "per item" price to allow buyers to purchase only part of a stack. Make the "per item" price an option when the seller creates the listing.
Economic Side Effects:
My observations have been that people always list new items on the exchange as slightly cheaper than the pre-existing items, and that people always buy the cheapest item listed. During time periods where there are lots of sellers but few buyers, the prices of items drop (due to every seller trying to be the cheapest). When their are more buyers than sellers, the prices of items increase (due to all of the cheap items being bought, increasing the price that someone can list the "cheapest" items). By allowing someone to offer "10 Widgets at 100 Energy Credits per widget", I believe the market for stackable items would see a rapid influx of new goods and a long term overall decline in prices.
Since there is currently no fee on auctions, this should have no affect on the overall supply of energy credits within the game.
I've recently been grinding diplomacy, and as I result I've also ended up going into business selling Data Samples. On average, I'm picking up ~10 data samples per diplomacy mission. In general Data Samples are sold with a stack size of 1. Since players are limited to only having 20 items on the exchange at a time, I find myself constantly running back to the exchange to list new items. First thing I do when I get up in the morning is hit the exchange; then I check it again after breakfast and again as soon as I get home from work, and then anytime I'm near a space station while playing. I'm feeling more like a Ferengi than a Star Fleet Envoy, and I'm still not able to list items fast enough to avoid having a backlog of data samples in my inventory.
From a buyers perspective, all the UI might need is a "137 available at this price" notice added to the item in the exchange listing, and then a "How many would you like to buy" popup after the buyer decides to purchase. I believe the popup for buying stacks of Commodoties could be reused for the exchange with just minor tweaking.
From a seller's perspective, we'd need a check box on the page where you post your item for sale, something like "Allow buying parts of the stack"* and then change the "Price" field to a "Price each" value if the check box is clicked.
*Get a UI guy to fix the text. I'm a software engineer not a UI designer.
Originally Posted by DoggyDude
A stack on the exchange is a "deal" its not intended to be "I have 10 of these for 1000 ec each".
Just come up with more attractive deals for your customers.
I've never wanted to just buy one data sample. I've also never had an issue with holding surplus.
I realize how it currently works. I'm proposing an enhancement.
The exchange isn't a store where you get to stand there and make a sales pitch. People search for the item, and then see a list of what's for sale with the cheapest item on top. Almost no one will scroll through to realize that on page 17, they can buy 100 of the item for the cost of 50. Generally searching through those listings is a waste of time. This is a game about flying starships not the stock market, no one wants to have to search through the exchange.
If a player needs two DNA samples, and I've got 137 DNA Samples in my inventory, they won't want to buy my stack of 137. They just want two. I'd rather be able to sell multiple items as a "per Item" basis. You may like buying extras DoggyDude, but at anywhere from 4k to 20k each (which is what I've seen prices on non-rare data samples run), most people don't want to buy more than they need.