Welcome to LBO! LBO is a new kind of marketplace, so we've assembled some common questions you might have about it.
What is LBO?
LBO stands for “Last Best Offer” and it’s a new way to buy digital goods. Rather than dictate a price to you, we allow users to pay what they want, for the goods they want.
Why should I use LBO?
Say there is a game you have been meaning to try out, it is a few months old, but still a popular title. You check around your favorite retailers and find that they are all selling it at full price, even though one site had a flash sale that ended yesterday! Well we at LBO think just because you missed the flash sale doesn’t mean you should pay full price. Come give us a visit and we will get you a great deal without making you wait for the next sale!
How does it work?
It's simple! Find a title on LBO that you want to buy and make an offer. Your offer will get evaluated by our system and will either be accepted or you will receive a counter offer. Rest assured, no matter what you will get a discount!
How do you evaluate my offer?
Our prices are decided by the group. When you make an offer for a title, you are using your voice to tell us what you think a game is worth, kind of like a vote. If the price you offer is in line with what other users are paying we will sell you the game at that price, and your price then influences what other users pay for the same title. But just because you voted one way doesn’t mean you always get what you want. If the price you offer is too low, we will give you a counter offer based on what others are paying.
If everyone on the site offers $1, then the price will be $1?
Not quite, we let our partners choose a minimum price for all of their products. We do this because we do not want to devalue effort put in by developers to just pennies on the dollar. That said, we know if the minimum price is too high you won’t buy the game, and if you don’t buy the game, nobody gets paid. It is in our best interest for transactions to occur, so if a game with a minimum price of $20 keeps getting offers of $10, that is information we take to our partners.
If the counter offer is what everyone else is paying, shouldn’t I just try to get the counter?
No! It’s true the counter is what everyone else is paying, but if you got the counter, you may have been able to get a much better deal! Our goal is for prices to reflect the demands of the market. To do that, prices must be able fluctuate based on demand, meaning offers above AND below what other people are paying will be accepted. Accepting the counteroffer also makes games more expensive for everyone else.
Why does accepting the counter force others to pay more?
The goal of our site is to let the market dictate price. To do that we need honest input from users about the amount they are willing to pay for goods and services. When you said you would pay $5 for a game but then take the counter offer of $7, the amount you were actually willing to pay was at least $7, and may have been higher. To compensate for this, we assume you would have paid slightly more and factor in that higher price when evaluating future offers from other users.
I got the counter, now what?
Now you have a decision to make, you can accept the counteroffer we gave you or try again in 24 hours. But this is where strategy when playing LBO comes in...do you think other users will accept that counter? If so, that means that the price is likely to go up in the next 24 hours as accepted counter offers push prices higher. If not, then you can try again in 24 hours, but keep in mind you are always risking paying more later.
I think I am getting it, it's kind of like a stock market?
EXACTLY! A share of company stock has no inherent value, it is only worth what the collective market thinks it is worth. We at LBO think the same is true for all products. A key for a game that nobody wants isn’t worth much, but a key for the hottest new title is worth more! How much more? That is what we are here to find out!
One of your games was priced lower on a flash sale elsewhere. Why is that?
We at LBO operate using a different business model and philosophy. Take a look around your favorite shop and you are bound to see hundreds of ancient titles still priced at $59.99. We think that’s crazy. That is why we work with creators to sell games at a constant discount, so while everyone else is selling a given title for $59.99, our users are paying far less. However, because we are always selling at a discount sometimes other sites will be able to negotiate temporary sales at a slightly lower price.
My friend and I offered the same price for a game. Theirs was accepted, but I got a counter-offer. What gives?
The market is constantly changing.Constantly. In the time between you and your friend’s offer 1,000 people may have accepted counter offers for the same title, pushing prices upward.
What is that number in the upper right hand corner?
That is your level! With each purchase you make on LBO you will be given experience points based on how well your offer fits in with the wider group, and whether or not you purchased with the counter. Higher levels give users access to more features of LBO including lower accepted offers and better counters!
Are you guys doing creepy stuff like using my browsing or purchase history to determine if my offer is accepted?
No way. We at LBO do not believe in behavioral or demographic price discrimination.
How do you process payments?
All transactions are processed via Stripe, a world leader in secure payment processing, meaning your sensitive data is safe and your payments are protected.
Where do you get your game codes?
We at LBO have always and will always get our goods directly from content creators. Unlike shady sites that use so-called "Authorized Distributors" to fill their inventory, we at LBO only get our content directly from creators. Not only do we want you to get a good deal, but we want the artists you love to be supported as well.
What is the gray market?
Gray market sites, sometimes called code reseller sites, are sites that allow users to purchase stolen, or otherwise fraudulently acquired steam keys. Their company names/url typically consist of a letter of the alphabet, 2, and the first letter of the alphabet. Other popular sites claim not to be gray markets, but get their keys from unknown or questionable sources.
How do these sites hurt developers?
When you purchase a game from one of these sites in the vast majority of cases the developer sees none of that revenue. Zero, zip, nada!
How does LBO help protect developers from the gray market?
Gray markets survive because of the zig zagging motion of prices in the games industry. These wild fluctuations in price allow key sellers to purchase thousands of keys when a given title is on sale, then sell the keys on gray markets for a slight discount when the sale ends. Because titles listed on LBO are always sold at a discount, consumers are no longer forced to decide between waiting for the next sale, or visiting a gray market site. LBO provides consumers with the same low prices as gray market sites without hurting developers.
How else does my purchase at LBO help developers?
In letting market demands dictate price, LBO can help smaller developers get a better sense of how consumers view their products. For example, they can see how the value of their products decrease over time, which can help them price future titles more competitively at launch.
I only see Steam codes, do you guys sell PS4 or Xbox One codes?
Unfortunately not yet, but we’d like too! Our plan is to start selling console codes once we get a grasp of the PC market. So please keep checking back!
You guys don’t have the game I want!
Lame! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of the game, developer/publisher, and the price you would be willing to pay in the subject line. We’ll reach out to the publisher, and work on getting codes to sell on the site! This really helps us convince publishers to list their games with us, and lets us know the types of games our audience is interested in, so please send in all the games you can think of!
You guys are a startup right? Shouldn’t you have a section of the website talking about how you “work hard and play hard”, your dogs, or office ferret?
Unfortunately we’re not that cute, clever, or fun. We toyed around with the idea of a mascot, Otti the LB-Otter, but soon found out that otters don’t make for cute mascots. If you have a better idea or drawing send it to email@example.com and we’ll put it on the blog.
My question isn’t answered here…
Sorry about that! We’d love to able to answer your question, so why don’t you shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org? We’re always here and willing to help =D