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2008-01-29

Entrecard Credits Market Value  

I sold out. I closed EntreBank after just a few days and sold 10000 credits to Entrecash for $55, which was their advertised buy rate. As of the moment, it will cost you $80 to buy those 10000 credits from Entrecash. And seeing as how I didn't get a single nibble regarding borrowing ECs, I decided to cash out and walk away from the table. And if the folks at Entrecash can make $25 profit on the transaction, then more power to them.

I expect that Entrecash will make a profit on my ECs. And I also expect the value of ECs will continue to drop. Here's why:

1) Fast clicking chaindroppers can cruise through 15-20 card drops a minute. Keep that pace up and drop 600 cards (between two accounts) and you might end up with 800+ ECs (after the return drops) for your efforts. Do it every day for 2 weeks and end up with 11000+ ECs. Now what? Buy ads? Spend them in the Shop? Continue to accumulate ECs? Sell off what you have? Because it's easy to get ECs--lots of ECs--and lots of people are getting lots of ECs. And if more people are wanting to sell them than are wanting to buy them, the price (and corresponding value) is going to continue to fall.

2) The current ranking system is driving up the price of ads as more people join Entrecard and are dropping cards left and right. My Internet Marketing Adventures account had a sticker price of over 300 ECs for an ad last week. Why? I was dropping cards like crazy! I got an added boost from some well placed ads featuring my Entrecard on sites that have real traffic and not just chaindropping traffic. And once I made the Most Popular page I got additional card drops from those who figured it was a good strategy to drop on all the cards in the Top 30. Success begets success. Did the value of an ad on my site change much? Probably not, even though the cost to advertise on it went through the roof. We're paying more because more people are in the game and even when the laws of supply and demand are in play (no wait time), the price of an ad stays artificially high because of card drops.

3) I suspect (sorry, no data) that many Entrecarders enjoy watching their credit counts go up, even when it makes more sense (to me) to spend most of one's available credits on today's ads instead of tomorrow's higher priced ads. Assuming that two sites have equal traffic and the biggest difference in their ad price is when they joined Entrecard and started actively card dropping, the newer and less expensive site would be the better value. Waiting another week to advertise will likely cost you more and will weaken the value of your ECs.

It's worth mentioning that 10000 ECs were just sold on ebay for $61. As it turns out, the seller got a couple of dollars more than I did for my 10000 ECs...with a lot more risk and effort. But the ebay auction validated the price that Entrecash was offering on their website. (Chicken and the egg?) $55 per 10000 isn't enough to quit one's day job over, but I expect that we'll start to see more services in the Store and Entrecard related transactions start to reflect the current prices. We'll also see some opportunities arise where market information isn't perfect and sellers of goods or services are unwittingly providing bargains due to the dropping value of Entrecard credits. For example, BloggersShowroom.com is offering to put your 260x154 ad on their site for $10 OR 100 ECs a month. That's a great exchange rate! Even if you had to buy (and who would?) the 100 ECs for $1, your ad cost is only about 3 cents a day.

Of course, Graham could change the ranking system or otherwise manipulate the flow of ECs and then this post would be moot...and I'd have to write another one!

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