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Thread: Suggestion for Matty: Tiered on-sale times on Sale-day.

  1. #1
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    Suggestion for Matty: Tiered on-sale times on Sale-day.

    Ok, that title might be a bit confusing, but hopefully I didn't scare off too many folks.

    I'm sure it's been proposed in the past, but here's an idea that I think Matty should seriously consider.

    We all know the problems with the first hour or so on Matty, yeah? The server-load is monumental. HOWEVER...! After the first or so hour, it has with recent server-capacity increases become much easier for the fans that come on LATER onto Matty, to order their toys.

    So, why not capitalize on this FULLY? Why bother with the giant road-block that is ONE on-sale time on the 15th of every month?

    Why not tier the assortment of toys up in a few waves, that go on-sale every 1.5 hour after the first one?

    Like so:

    Wave 1: 11.00hours (25% of assortment)
    Wave 2: 12.30hours (25%)
    Wave 3: 14.00hours (25%)
    Wave 4: 15.30hours (25%)

    Now, this might not be so fun for some of us international fans... but since we're much fewer than the U.S ones, this might still work for us. Why? Because it will make a lot of fans wait perhaps all the time until next day until they order! And then we can all sleep soundly and get up early and nab our toys. ^^

    Alternatively, if Matty is afraid to use this perticular tiering of sales, for fear of NOT selling out, I think perhaps THREE different on-sale dates, but with something like 1-7 days between them, would also work wonderfully.

    This one is actually already a PROVEN METHOD, as even tho Merman sould out very quickly in both assortments that he was split into, the second assortment was EASY to get, because the traffic was essentially halved. :-D

    Like so:
    Week 1: 33% of Assortment
    Week 2: 33%
    Week 3: 33% ( that makes a 100%)

    As such, it will be much easier for everyone to get their figs, because the worst of the rush IS ALREADY OVER!!

    Man...! I'm a genius! I'm ********* ( insert word for natural human replication) brilliant!! I just solved the problem of the information highway roadblock that's been gimping Matty since Month 2!

    Am I cool or WHAT?

    So... what do you think, guys? Good idea, yes?

  2. #2
    Pizza flows through me HordeFan's Avatar
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    I was thinking tiers for the different lines. Noon: MOTU, 1pm: JLU, 2pm: Ghostbusters, etc. Something like that would might help too.

  3. #3
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Your ideas are excellent.

    I think the problem is that if Mattel changes the one sale time/one sale date, DR will charge them more.

    It's the same reason they don't purchase more bandwidth for their sale dates (assuming DR even operates that way, they just may not have enough bandwidth to begin with).
    A Want List of Sorts: Peekablue, Saurod, Veena, Calix, Evilseed, 200X Head Pack, Mara, Point Dread & The Talon Fighter... and all the other POP & NA characters.

  4. #4
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    I don't care for either of those options. Trying, and potentially failing to buy something four times would be 4 times as frustrating. This would be compounded by re-sellers being encouraged by each successive sell-out and tempted to order more.

    Putting each item on sale seperately would be even worse, as it punishes those who give Mattel more money -- by buying more of their product -- with multiple shipping charges.
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  5. #5
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super He-Man View Post
    Putting each item on sale seperately would be even worse, as it punishes those who give Mattel more money -- by buying more of their product -- with multiple shipping charges.
    Yeah - putting items on sale separately would be bad with this company's ordering system. You'd end up paying $40 for shipping sometimes.
    A Want List of Sorts: Peekablue, Saurod, Veena, Calix, Evilseed, 200X Head Pack, Mara, Point Dread & The Talon Fighter... and all the other POP & NA characters.

  6. #6
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    All that would do is ensure the server got all-out walloped four times instead of one, as virtually everyone tries every time.

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Jor-El's Avatar
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    It's the site/infrastructure that is screwed. How can some people sit on WSOD for almost an hour when others get through in seconds? How can I have two separate browsers and get through on one I opened secondary, while my initial browser still can't get through?

    Spreading out sale times would kill me. I have to order at midnight/1am as it is! And we probably wouldn't be able to combine shipping.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Lody's Avatar
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    ohohohohoh

    OR

    They could just invest all the money they make off of us into servers that can handle the web traffic
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  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior RyanSD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lody View Post
    ohohohohoh

    OR

    They could just invest all the money they make off of us into servers that can handle the web traffic
    Now that's just downright logical! Mattel will never go for it.

  10. #10
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    Hmm... I think some of you are being too negative about this. Remember, there is some arguments for this.

    1.The figs have been easy to get, after the first hour or so.
    2. Mer-man was easy to get. He was broken up in two assortments.

    Surely, you can see that there is at least a clear possibility that this would be the fastest, and simplest, way to get rid of the WSOD? I mean... really.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    Your ideas are excellent.

    I think the problem is that if Mattel changes the one sale time/one sale date, DR will charge them more.

    It's the same reason they don't purchase more bandwidth for their sale dates (assuming DR even operates that way, they just may not have enough bandwidth to begin with).
    Hmm... do we know this for sure? I suppose this really is a question for the ask Matty thread. If Scott says its logistically impossible, I think we can all assume that you're right: DR would ask for more money to do that.

    I think I'm going to go ask this right now!

  11. #11
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    Nope, can't see it at all... really. People are not going to chance that try #4 will have enough product and will continue trying, and gettting frustrated, the previous 3 times.

    If it's as easy as you make it sound, because there will always be product after the first hour, the solution would be even simpler: If you don't want to be stuck on the WSOD, WAIT AN HOUR, AND THEN ORDER!
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Mijet's Avatar
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    I'd be fine with an honest, "Look we know what you want us to do, but DR wants too much for more bandwidth and we just can't do it." Instead of "we are working on many ways to fix this" or "Hey look we nao haz CAPTCHA!!!" both are horrible answers, there's 1 real solution, more servers. If they're not going to(or can't) then quit giving us a run around saying "we're trying everything" and just tell us they can't/won't.
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  13. #13
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    The other problem with this, as I see it, is the dreaded "buy the limit to sell later at higher prices" crowd would then have 4 chances to beat us to what we want to order for our own collections. Don't know about everyone else, but I would be really ticked if I tried all 4 times and didn't get anything, only to see some other person post "too bad, I got in all 4 times and have 40 to sell... want one for $50?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mijet View Post
    I'd be fine with an honest, "Look we know what you want us to do, but DR wants too much for more bandwidth and we just can't do it." Instead of "we are working on many ways to fix this" or "Hey look we nao haz CAPTCHA!!!" both are horrible answers, there's 1 real solution, more servers. If they're not going to(or can't) then quit giving us a run around saying "we're trying everything" and just tell us they can't/won't.
    I think the problem with this is that DR is the actual host, and it may not be fiscally responsible to buy more server space to accommodate one customer (Mattel as DR's customer here...), which means they'd pass that cost on to Mattel, which means Mattel would find something to cut costs or increase margins, so either less accessories or higher prices. There are things they may be able to do from a programming perspective that could change how traffic is handled, though... who knows.
    Last edited by mjharwood; January 14, 2011 at 12:17pm. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  14. #14
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Predabot View Post
    Hmm... I think some of you are being too negative about this. Remember, there is some arguments for this.

    1.The figs have been easy to get, after the first hour or so.
    2. Mer-man was easy to get. He was broken up in two assortments.

    Surely, you can see that there is at least a clear possibility that this would be the fastest, and simplest, way to get rid of the WSOD? I mean... really.
    Okay, direct answer didn't work. Analogy time.

    Imagine a big white wall by the sea, with something you want behind it. You want past it, and you have two options - wait for the sea to wash it away in an hour, by which time it may be too late, or try and knock a hole through it with great difficulty.

    Now imagine the same scenario with four succesive walls instead of one. There is a chance you will only need to get through one wall, or two, but you need to assume that you will have to break through all four, as the chances are less for each wall than for the single wall before, and you will have to spend hours waiting for each wall to go, or fight much harder for longer each turn.

  15. #15
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super He-Man View Post
    Nope, can't see it at all... really. People are not going to chance that try #4 will have enough product and will continue trying, and gettting frustrated, the previous 3 times.

    If it's as easy as you make it sound, because there will always be product after the first hour, the solution would be even simpler: If you don't want to be stuck on the WSOD, WAIT AN HOUR, AND THEN ORDER!
    Well, I have been going on later and getting my figs, the few times that I want a fig' that is. ( I love ALL eras, but still pick and chose, 'cause I'm poor.)

    But I would like for there to be no WSOD whatsoever. That's what I'm trying to achieve here, Super He-man.

    If a lot of people started going on the site an hour later, we'd still get WSOD then instead.

    Now, I do realize now that the Scalpors would probably get on and buy figs again, on the secondary time-slots. But, I don't think it would be so bad, because the subscriptions has weeded out a lot of the scalpers, and the after-market for these figures have shrunk substantially in recent months.

    But still, there is a contingent of scalpors still on the lose, and on the hunt, so to speak. But there's an easy solution for that.

    Drop the limit on the secondary time-slots. On the first time-slot, you can still order 10, if you want to. But on the other time-slots...! You only get to order a maximum of 4 per customer. This, makes it a little bit harder for the scalpors to utilize the secondary time-slots.

    Heck, we can even decrease it more and more per time-slot. Look at this suggestion:

    Week 1 - 1st of month: 10 figures/customer (50% of stock)
    Week 2 - 15th of month: 4 figures/customer (33% of stock)
    Week 3 - 30th of month: 2 figures/customer (17% of stock)

    See? If they did that, then the scalpors wouldn't bother very much with the secondary time-slots. And this would almost completely remove the problem that they pose, since there is fewer scalpors around anyway.

    So, what do you think about this version of my suggestion?

    Also: FLARK!! I missed the shot at asking Toyguru this question...! >_<

    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    All that would do is ensure the server got all-out walloped four times instead of one, as virtually everyone tries every time.
    Not likely. Mer-man proved that there's a very good chance that this would work, as even tho' he sold out real quick even on his second on-sale date, there was significantly less WSOD, and most had no problem ordering him. ( Unlike on the first sale-date where WSOD was rampant)
    Last edited by Predabot; January 14, 2011 at 12:49pm.

  16. #16
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    The problem that I see there is that, if the first hour has the best availability, we'll still get the WSOD for the first hour, just like now. Even if it's much easier to get it an hour later, people won't chance it, just like now.
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  17. #17
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    Well, I guess it's not entirely perfect, but I suppose you have to weigh it in against anti-scalper measures, which the chopping up of availability is.

    Still, with this system you could actively, safely, make a choice to NOT get WSOD, and still get your figure. That's a whooole lot better than right now, yeah?

    Waiting an hour or so now, still leaves you with too much of a risk of not getting your fig'. This system lessens the risk significantly.

  18. #18
    Ray of Sunshine Lookie's Avatar
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    Programming wise this would be a mess. Changing limits, resetting availability counts, and multiple availability times... Way too much work for what would not be much of a change to how it is now. Let's give the Captcha a chance and see how it is after that.
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  19. #19
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Graph time!



    Mer-Man's a USELESS example, see the stats for why: http://motucrec.blogspot.com

    Both of his sales were the first to sell out in an hour - only intended-for-NYCC-exclusive Faker even approached it. Only with Hordak & Man-at-Arms did two in a row happen, and only with Adora & Trap-Jaw did one-hour-or-less become routine.
    Last edited by Reboot; January 14, 2011 at 01:37pm.

  20. #20
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how you measure this WSOD-threshold? And are you actually taking into account that Mattel has upgraded the server multiple times? I think it's fairly plausible that the threshold for WSOD has changed several times. Ergo, the graph may be a bit different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lookie View Post
    Programming wise this would be a mess. Changing limits, resetting availability counts, and multiple availability times... Way too much work for what would not be much of a change to how it is now. Let's give the Captcha a chance and see how it is after that.
    That is disconcerting if that is the case... That the programming is too complicated.

    But are you absolutely sure about this? Maybe the system is more flexible than what we know? They have changed the on-sale date many times. And with Merman they had two different dates. With Faker, and I think He-Ro, they had different limits as well.

    Maybe changing these settings aren't so difficult? I'm guessing where it would be complicated is to automate these procedures, instead of going in and changing it manually all of the time. I'm guessing manually isn't very cost-effective in the long-run, but automatically isn't cost-effective in the short run.

    Hnn...!! Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Man, I really want to ask Toyguru about this. Time to register on Matty methinks.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Predabot View Post
    I'm not sure how you measure this WSOD-threshold? And are you actually taking into account that Mattel has upgraded the server multiple times? I think it's fairly plausible that the threshold for WSOD has changed several times. Ergo, the graph may be a bit different.

    That is disconcerting if that is the case... That the programming is too complicated.

    But are you absolutely sure about this? Maybe the system is more flexible than what we know? They have changed the on-sale date many times. And with Merman they had two different dates. With Faker, and I think He-Ro, they had different limits as well.

    Maybe changing these settings aren't so difficult? I'm guessing where it would be complicated is to automate these procedures, instead of going in and changing it manually all of the time. I'm guessing manually isn't very cost-effective in the long-run, but automatically isn't cost-effective in the short run.

    Hnn...!! Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Man, I really want to ask Toyguru about this. Time to register on Matty methinks.
    I seem to recall someone (or several someones) already asking about this and TG saying it just wouldn't work logistically. Don't expect the details of why, because they won't/can't share that... but it has been raised before.

    Also, the two different sale dates was because they had quantities come in at different times, not because they intentionally held some back. And changing the sale date affects the entire bulk of on-hand stock, not a portion of it.

  22. #22
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Predabot View Post
    I'm not sure how you measure this WSOD-threshold? And are you actually taking into account that Mattel has upgraded the server multiple times? I think it's fairly plausible that the threshold for WSOD has changed several times. Ergo, the graph may be a bit different.
    1) The graph is a single sale on a day vs. the "four sales, 25% each, 90 minutes apart" scenario you outlined in your first post.
    2) Nothing about the graph is precise - that's why neither axis has numbers. It's illustrating the CONCEPT for you - the WSoD goes away because traffic goes down. If there was another lot of figures released X minutes later, traffic would then spike straight back up, triggering the return of the WSoD as the crappy server overloads all over again. You're missing that whole point and assuming that the WSoD would stay away "because it goes away after an hour".

  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior Morbebanur's Avatar
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    The problem here goes with the issue for the line the law of supply and demand. Just because you divide the supply into four parts does not change the total amount that the demand requires. Is a small example the numbers are just plucked form the air. There 10,000 figures made for that month’s figure, 9,000 goes to the sub holders, 100 hold back for returns that gives them 900 to sale. Now we have 1800 people who want the said figure even it you take the 900 dived it up like you said there still 1800 people who want at less one. So the problem here that Mattel needs to fix is to either fix the amount supply (which the claim to have done many times) or change the amount of demand (which the only way a smart company wants a change is with an increase). So there 2 ways to fixed one is to cut demand or increase supply. So we can give the ideal but until supply is more than demand we will always have issues got the figures we want.

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior Lody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    Graph time!

    http://i53.tinypic.com/34phn2r.png

    Mer-Man's a USELESS example, see the stats for why: http://motucrec.blogspot.com

    Both of his sales were the first to sell out in an hour - only intended-for-NYCC-exclusive Faker even approached it. Only with Hordak & Man-at-Arms did two in a row happen, and only with Adora & Trap-Jaw did one-hour-or-less become routine.
    To quote the great philosopher Homercles:

    "Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that."

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  25. #25
    Skeletors evil colorist Predabot's Avatar
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    I'd say we are pretty much there, when it comes to supply and demand. Just looking at the forums, there are quite a few subscribers, and that's a good part of the demand there already.

    And we seem to be fairly close to saturation when it comes to the amount of peeps that get a hold of the figures via the website as well, judging from the fact that the figures STOPPED selling out in 5 minutes a few months back.

    I still don't see why a tiered on-sale date wouldn't work. All of the elements that I would deem necessary for it to work seems to be coming into play.

    Higher production-runs
    Less scalpers
    Longer sale-times
    Subscriptions
    You name it.

    Now... I'm gonna' go ask this question. ^^

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