82 Comments

Summary:

If you want a glimpse of the future of work in the broadband age, you can find it, of all places, on MTV’s website. To my knowledge, their recent gaming news segment, “Is Mining Virtual Gold Exploitative?” features the first video footage shot inside Chinese gold […]

If you want a glimpse of the future of work in the broadband age, you can find it, of all places, on MTV’s website. To my knowledge, their recent gaming news segment, “Is Mining Virtual Gold Exploitative?” features the first video footage shot inside Chinese gold farms, those gray market companies which collect and sell virtual gold (primarily from World of Warcraft) to wealthier gamers in the developed world. (The New York Times filed a story on the phenomenon last year, but company managers were considerably more leery to speak on record with that reporter.)

Drawing from an fascinating upcoming documentary by UC San Diego grad student Ge Jin (YouTube clip from his film here), the MTV segment features interviews with workers and managers of several gold farms, which resemble a cross between a 24 hour LAN party and a very shabby college dorm. By the segment’s estimate, an astounding half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month – from the acquisition and sale of WoW gold to US and EU gamers.
Why is this is the future of work online? Consider the numbers, youth, and low wages of the gold farmers, and the growing interest in outsourcing tasks online. Amazon recently launched a non-game application for this, known as the Amazon Mechanical Turk.

In Second Life, a Hollywood production company is outsourcing its Second Life projects to its Vietnamese branch, where highly-skilled workers can create professional 3D environments for a fraction of the cost, were it done here. It’s easy to see how the Chinese farmers of Warcraft might evolve into the blue collar workers of the 3D Internet.

MTV producer Matt Sunbulli put us in touch with Ge Jin, and we asked him about this phenomenon, and sought his own thoughts on its relation to the future of work online.

How did you locate these gold farms?

Ge Jin: I have a friend who had been operating a gold farms in Shanghai since 2003. So his gold farm is the first one I visited. My friend’s gold farm closed in 2005, so did most gold farms in Shanghai. Many of them migrated to smaller cities with lower housing and human resource costs.

So I contacted other gold farms through my friend’s old network… I was lucky enough to find several gold farms that were open to me in Jinhua, Nanjin, Lishui and Hangzhou. Again I was lucky to win their trust. It’s probably because I’m from the same background as many gaming workers (many gold farm owners were former gaming workers.)

Were gold farmers afraid the Chinese government would shut them down?

GJ: The ones that allowed me to film there were not afraid because they are located in cities where local goverments are tolerant of this industry. There is no national policy regulating this new industry yet, so it’s up to the local governments to judge.

Most local governments have no motive to shut down these gold farms, as they reduce unemployment and even reduce the crime rate by reducing unemployed male youth on the street. Some gold farms refused my visit because they don’t want to pay tax and choose to operate underground, or they are worried that their labor practice is problematic…

What does WoW gold farming suggest about the future of work?

GJ: I think these gold farms indicate that the game platform has the potential to engage more people in Internet-driven economy. The gaming workers in China don’t have skills like English, software or graphic design to participate in other forms of Internet-driven work, but they can communicate and navigate in a 3D game world whose tools and routines they are familiar with… So if more social and economic activities happen in an accessible 3D game world, people who don’t have access to other culture capital but gaming knowledge will be more likely to be included in global interaction.

  1. Great post. Fascinating topic that I’ve been wanting to learn more about for some time. Moral issues probably too complicated to judge (and who’s in a position to any way?) but great coverage here in the spirit of better knowing how the world is working these days.

    Share
  2. Sounds like a great way for some Chinese to earn money!

    Share
  3. wow. this is kind of scary. seems like a breeding ground for exploitation abroad. certainly see the genius of mechanical turk, and actually gave it try about 6 months ago just to see how it works. Still hasn’t caught on yet in mainstream, but I think you’re right — it is the future in how some types of work will get done. The exploitative nature of the model is a bit concerning though.

    Share
  4. Pretty fascinating. Just goes to show how in capitalism, wherever there is a need someone will set up a business to fill it.

    Share
  5. For some reason this hearkens me to Tad Williams’ “Otherland” series of novels. Could I pay someone $100.00/week (part-time wages) to take over the role of an NPC in an MMORPG? Would that less robotic interaction add enough to in-game immersion to make it worthwhile? Which is to say, would having live actors give you a competitive advantage over competitors? Obviously (and I’m dating myself) the world of text-based RPG MUSH/MUD/MOO games proves that you can find able enough actors online.

    I understand there is quite a bit of risk around having live actors but managing people is managing people and if it wasn’t challenging it wouldn’t provide nearly as much advantage.

    Share
    1. 3 years later id say where can a sign up? i need a job!!!

      Share
  6. “By the segment’s estimate, an astounding half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month – from the acquisition and sale of WoW gold to US and EU gamers. “

    Have you ever heard of the “smell test”? That claim fails miserably.

    Share
  7. $100 is almost 800 china rmb. 800 might not sound a lot to most people here, but university graduates in china only earns around 1500rmb (if they can get any job, and the living cost in the city is pretty high).

    Share
  8. This future has been with us for quite a while. In India, and other developing nations, young people have been doing low-level jobs for the west since 10 years now. Only the nature has turned fanciful – Gold Farming, 3 D environment building and all that – it is still grunt work.

    Share
  9. Yet another Chinese export…

    I am not the first one to blog about the Chinese Gold Farms (these companies where Chinese video gamers collect virtual money, mainly from World of Warcraft game, then resell it to western gamers); however I read this new article…

    Share
  10. Just a great exemple of the Chinese sense of business (even though I think I recall hearing similar stories in Eastern Europe – can someone confirm ?).

    Share
  11. It sickens me that industrialized violations of a game’s Terms Of Service, blatant cheating, and widespread activities best described as organized crime can be called “a need with a business to fill it”.

    It undermines everything that true gamers, who do not cheat, exploit, or bribe their way spend countless hours working to achieve.

    It reduces game enjoyment, unbalances game economy, causes extensive violations of rules, and industrialized, automated farming of in-game resources, frequently causing problems for real gamers who need these resources for quests or the in-game economy.

    For players who want to play the game as it is intended, gold farmers are a scourge.

    In World of Warcraft, there is a plague of automated bots abusing trial accounts to spam ads for gold selling and powerlevelling “services”.

    No matter how you twist it, buying gold in an online game whose TOS explicitly forbits it is blatant cheating and exploiting.

    That several publications seem to be fascinated by “new markets”, completely oblivious to the problems these cause, just attract more people to these “services” thinking they are legitimate services.

    The first probable effect of this widespread abuse will be removal of free trial accounts, in order to ban these criminals more effectively.

    Share
    1. This also seems to lead to crime.

      Many players of World of Warcraft have their accounts stolen by these Farmers.

      This includes payments made from the players credit card and their in game “Toon” being used and abused.

      The genuine player is left both out of pocket (Real money) and loose several items ingame that they have spent many days, months and some times years to obtain.

      Share
  12. World of Warcraft features:Adventure together with thousands of other players online all together, hunting never needs to be done alone. Enjoy hundreds of hours of gameplay with new quests, items, and adventures updated regularly.Explore sell wow gold breath taking world with miles of forests, deserts, snow-blown mountains, and other exotic places.

    Share
  13. Making A Living From World of Warcraft Gold Trade…

    Wow… This is incredible… “… an astounding half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month – from the acquisition and sale of WoW (World of Warcraft) gold to US and EU gamers. Why is this is the future of work online? Consider the num…

    Share
  14. I was just looking arround the net for a way to sell my trial account and ran into this article. It seems to be a legit business to me though. Because you have to pay a monthly subsciption right? Why not sell gold to pay for the subscription. People have been doin this for years. Remember Diablo, II thats when i remember gold being sold for real money. I also ran into a BOT today on the warcraft server i play on. I asked for a job. But i did’nt get a response just a web addrees. I wanted to duel it. But poof! just like that it was gone. Getting paid to play games like this would freakin RULE. Can’t wait for the revolution.

    Share
  15. They took R jobs!

    Share
  16. Half a million does seem high. I’ve been looking for a WOW farm for over a year now. I’m one of the top ten sellers at playerauctions.com and finding suppliers is one of the hardest thing for an American to do. Most of my gold farmers are college students right here in the USA. They’re all I can find!

    Share
  17. congratulations to all the members and addicts of the world of warcraft, anyway this is life because chinese people like gambling

    Share
  18. hey who has money to give me in wow

    Share
  19. looking to buy massive quantities of wow gold. will pay top price and pay instantly. email me for more info, looking for large indian and indonesian gaming operations

    Share
  20. i don’t believe it :D

    Share
  21. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  22. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  23. [...] en un granjero virtual de oro.  Parece ser que medio millon de chinos estan ganando dinero  adquiriendo y vendiendo oro  a compradores en otros paises. Si no vives en China, esto no nos interesa para nada, pero es [...]

    Share
  24. Hi klancy kennedy, you can get the gold from http://www.swagvault.com/?2278, I think it’s the best gold sale website. IGE is ripoff.

    Share
  25. You can check out the prices of gold on sites like http://www.rpgSE.com (not a sell site) They track prices daily from a host of different games including World of Warcraft.

    You can really tell when a bunch of the overseas farmers get banned by the huge price spike the next day!

    Share
  26. They should simply work some more on the social options, and make it possible for ppl to ignore by defalut all /w from people not in their guild which include the phrases “www.” “cheap” “gold” and so on.

    Share
  27. China a Manufacturing Hub for Virtual Currencies?…

    “Gold Farming”, which refers to the production of online gaming currencies and items for the sole purpose of selling them for cash on the secondary market, has been a hot topic in the blogosphere for over a year now. Terra Nova, a popular b…

    Share
  28. [...] playing Second Life hoping to get rich, you’re wasting your time. You’d be better off gold farming. var bz_url=’http%3A%2F%2Fwww.netbusinessblog.com%2F2007%2F03%2F26%2Fsecond-life-blows%2F’; var [...]

    Share
  29. [...] know about Chinese Gold Farmers, check out these links. Ogre to Slay? Outsource It to Chinese Inside World of Warcraft Gold Farm, Future of Work Chinese WOW players speak out Life at the gamers farm « Essential Chinese Vocabulary and [...]

    Share
  30. [...] imposes online gaming curbs Inside World of Warcraft Gold Farm, Future of Work read this link: GigaOM » Inside World of Warcraft Gold Farm, Future of Work Topic: ‘Gold Farming’ Posts relating to the ‘gold farming’ phenomena (ie: collecting and [...]

    Share
  31. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  32. Well then… So let me get this straight, everyone is happy about this? For those who have neevr played the game, refrain from comment in the future, you’re clueless to society, and would serve a better purpose as a coffee stand.

    This is like applauding someone with Down-Syndrome for clubbing a baby seal. Everyone seems to find it amazing that someone has built a business on profitting from a private company (which is against many laws), so they tend to ignore the bad parts. ‘It’s a kid with down-syndrome!’ instead of ‘Oh no, the baby seal!’.

    Has anyone checked into buying and selling gold, and the scams attached? While you hail praise to the genious in charge, why not ask him how come too many accounts get hacked shortly after the sale, stripped of everything they had worked hard for just to have those articles sold for virtual gold, then re-sold for actual cash. Nearly 95% of all hackings (up until recently) were from buying accounts, power leveling (another service offered), and these ‘underground gold farms’. Recently, due to the lowering of interest in purchasing gold, etc, these people can’t get their income fix. So they have started cracking accounts constantly.

    No one realizes there is an in-game economy to be respected as well. It may not impact one’s wallet on the outside, but it does impact the players who pay for the game. This is nothing more than the national mint producing $1 million for everyone. It doesn’t help, it’s, as mentioned above, a plague.

    Share
  33. STOP BUYING WOW GOLD!!

    Unless you’re lvl 70 and using it to buff your gear for PVP, you’re ruining the game for legit gamers.

    It is a major threat to the enjoyment (and reputation) of the game which Blizzard will not tolerate for much longer.

    If legit players lose interest because they always get done (in every aspect of game play) by suped up Gold buyers, they will stop playing and Blizzard will lose their $127.5 million per month paycheck. 8.5 million subscribers all paying $15/month is an investment worth protecting I’d be guessing.

    Think about it…

    Share
  34. [...] James Au ha escrito un post sobre el tema en GigaOM, donde el productor de la MTV Matt Sunbulli le responde 3 preguntas [...]

    Share
  35. [...] Diventa un procacciatore di oro virtuale. Mezzo milione di Cinesi al momento guadagna denaro  acquistando e rivendendo oro di Wordcraft a giocatori di altri paesi. Se non sei un giovane lettore che vive in Cina, magari non e’ una [...]

    Share
  36. [...] GigaOM » Inside World of Warcraft Gold Farm, Future of Work [...]

    Share
  37. Very interesting topic. I actually saw a documentary about Chinese gold farmers a couple of days ago and was fascinated. I’ll try and find a link to the doco so you guys can check it out.

    Share
  38. Wow this is an excellent post! One of the few real writeups on what the chinese farming industry really is like.

    If anyone has a link to that documentary you are talking about, please post it! I wouldnt be surprised to see something about this on CNBC or something like that talking about business and outsourcing etc..

    Share
  39. Scary. Makes you wanna shake people and yell at them: “IT’S A GAME!”

    This is supposed to be fun.

    Share
  40. Check out this gold secrets site for WOW craft, i found it really usefull well worth membership! Its one of the only sites ive been on where the sale gargon is right.

    Share
  41. This statement is so ridiculous, I can’t believe people are quoting it as fact: “By the segment’s estimate, an astounding half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month – from the acquisition and sale of WoW gold to US and EU gamers.”

    “By the segment’s estimate…” so we’re going on one grad students estimate based on some time he spent in gold farms? As I understand it and how it worked in Diablo 2, most gold is farmed from the exploit of duping items or gold, not from anyone working some insane amount of hours.

    What seems more feasible to you? The fact that a skilled exploiter can find a way to dupe items and as such make tons of gold to sell, or a HALF A MILLION people are playing WoW as a job. Please.

    Share
  42. Bane WoWDojo Moron Monday, January 7, 2008

    “”This statement is so ridiculous, I can’t believe people are quoting it as fact: “By the segment’s estimate, an astounding half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month – from the acquisition and sale of WoW gold to US and EU gamers.”””

    Well do you have any numbers to refute it…..well….I didn’t think so. The simple fact is as long as there is a market there will be farmers selling gold. Blizzard may work to try to stop it but in the end the black market will live on.

    I do however agree that this activity and others like have been the beginning of some horrible changes in game by Blizzard to help eliminate the problem. Ruining some aspects of the game.

    “”“By the segment’s estimate…” so we’re going on one grad students estimate based on some time he spent in gold farms? As I understand it and how it worked in Diablo 2, most gold is farmed from the exploit of duping items or gold, not from anyone working some insane amount of hours.””

    Tell me smart one, have you spent anytime in a gold farm operation, again have you? It seems to me that you are so eager to discredit the author based off your assumption and no fact. That kinda leaves you and your little write up void of any meaning what so ever.

    Hmmmmm. Diablo 2…WOW Diablo 2…WOW Diablo 2…WOW Diablo 2…WOW. Oh ya this is WOW not Diablo 2. The two games are so dissimilar in nature and time that this comparison is INVALID. If there were a major exploit in WoW to make gold…I have a feeling that a lot more folks would be doing it and Blizzard would be on top of it like a fat boy on a cupcake. Blizzard had very little reason to fix problems like that in Diablo 2, however they have every reason to protect their monthly income from WoW.

    “”What seems more feasible to you? The fact that a skilled exploiter can find a way to dupe items and as such make tons of gold to sell, or a HALF A MILLION people are playing WoW as a job. Please.””

    It seems feasible to me that half a million starving Chinese people are busting there ass to make gold to sell for hardly nothing by our standards, while the leader/owner of such operation is making an ass load of money off of it. It seams that hungry people will do just about anything to make money to feed themselves and their families.

    So please the next time you post please engage what little bit of brain matter you have before typing.

    THIS HAS BEEN A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT OF NO MORONS ON THE INTERNET.

    Share
  43. [...] these systems are highly volatile and difficult to control, leading to strange gamer phenomena like gold farming or panicked runs on virtual banks. With that in mind, I asked Crawford, Twofish’s founder and [...]

    Share
  44. [...] Stephen Totilo wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptthese systems are highly volatile and difficult to control, leading to strange gamer phenomena like gold farming or panicked runs on virtual banks. With that in mind, I asked Crawford, Twofish’s founder and […] [...]

    Share
  45. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  46. [...] . Virtual Farming – Nearly half a million people in China are making money by playing a game, earning gold and [...]

    Share
  47. [...] στο παιχνίδι (π.χ. εικονικό χρυσό). Το GigaOm αναφέρει ότι οι gold farms του WoW δείχνουν το μέλλον της εργασίας: 100.000 άνθρωποι στην Κίνα εκτιμάται ότι εργάζονται [...]

    Share
  48. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  49. [...] dei “gold-farmes” e sulle loro condizioni di lavoro, dopo il documentario di Ge Jin (qui in un intervista), anche MTV overdrive (tv internet di mtv) propone un servizio [...]

    Share
  50. [...] Wagner James Au (2006-11-26). “Inside World of Warcraft Gold Farm, Future of Work“. gigaom.com. Retrieved on [...]

    Share
  51. [...] there’s a thriving economy there worth millions of dollars every year. Whether it’s WoW or [...]

    Share
  52. [...] co-founder Mark Jacobs said Mythic had unleashed a “strike team” against gold sellers, individuals and companies who sell an MMORPG’s virtual currency to other players for real money — in fact, [...]

    Share
  53. [...] really impossible to compete with overseas labor when it comes to gold farming. That’s just the long and short of it. Now if you want to go [...]

    Share
  54. [...] there’s a thriving economy there worth millions of dollars every year. Whether it’s WoW or [...]

    Share
  55. I play for Gold Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    This is sad. You losers need to get a life and quit feeding these people. Go play poker. Live poker. Face to face. Or chess. or something. No RPGs, no sad pathetic LARPs…

    Share
  56. I don’t give 2 shits about that, but they need to get a better job than staying 24/7 on a computer.
    That and the fact that they keep spamming all the chanels whit they’re shit. I honestly hope this “gold selling market” Will be dealt whit, It not only ruins the economy but at the same time you lose intrest to play, not only that you will run out of gold soon, and you will depend on these chinese no lifers( seriously, from what i’ve seen, thats what they are, and it’s very sad)

    Share
  57. [...] . Virtual Farming – Nearly half a million people in China are making money by playing a game, earning gold and [...]

    Share
  58. [...] en un granjero virtual de oro.  Parece ser que medio millon de chinos estan ganando dinero  adquiriendo y vendiendo oro  a compradores en otros paises. Si no vives en China, esto no nos interesa para nada, pero es [...]

    Share
  59. Just to let you all now world of warcraft is not allowing gold farmers to make the game experience crapy just so you guys can get some money.
    (please stop buying gold) Also if worldofwarcraft admins (me) find people being powerleveled, gold farming, and item farming. You will be temporaley banded and if we catch you agian your account will be deactiveated.

    Share
  60. Seems Very Interesting. I have some info on wow myself :P

    Share
  61. These Gold farmers need to be stoped they are screwing up the WoW economy

    Share
  62. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  63. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably isn’t [...]

    Share
  64. Hey man nice post, I’ve added you to my RSS reader :) I have a blog about making world of warcraft gold, you can check it out if you want :)

    Share
  65. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. A half million Chinese now earn income by acquiring and selling World of Warcraft gold to gamers in other countries. If you’re not a young person living in China, this probably [...]

    Share
  66. [...] Become a virtual gold farmer. Setengah juta orang Chinese saat ini memperoleh income dari  Trading World of Warcraft gold dengan gamer dari negara-negara lain. Jika anda bukan penduduk China, option ini mungkin bukan [...]

    Share
  67. Even if you buy wow gold, the risk still remains.
    I’ve bought some gold before but in small amounts, nothing big.
    Blizzard is rather curious, especially on the big trade transfers.

    So watch out

    ———————————–
    Signum meum:
    How many Alli do you get if you divide an Ally to Alli? You get G. Bush on a shhtick :P

    Share
  68. Over 10 million pay to play. So why is it hard to believe that half a million play to get paid? Personally, I’m annoyed by their existence but I understand where they’re coming from so I cut them some slack(a little). They get food on the table and your gaming experience is slightly impeded upon.

    Share
  69. I’ve worked with some people that own the “chinese gold farming companies” and I have to admit they are shrewd business men and they know what they are doing.. On the other hand I still think it’s craaazzzyyy that people spend so much money on gold. But that’s just my opinion, because I find it very easy to farm.

    Share
  70. personally i have found an amazing site that has links to all of the best professional gold and leveling guides!

    psion13245.blogspot.com

    i highly reccomend checking it out

    it has helped me a bunch

    Share
  71. [...] en un granjero virtual de oro. Parece ser que medio millon de chinos estan ganando dinero  adquiriendo y vendiendo oro a compradores en otros paises. Si no vives en China, esto no nos interesa para nada, pero es [...]

    Share
  72. It’s a shame how every time-consuming job needs to be exported over seas. Even something as simple as a game becomes a black market, people are always trying to exploit everything. I really hope that these people are working for them selves for the most part. Taking a look at the bright side, at least they are making money off World of Warcraft, if they didn’t have that, who knows what they would be doing.
    Nways, I never paid for gold and never will, it’s just stupid depending on others to make gold. I rather pay to learn how to get a lot of gold myself. Which is exactly what I did, to help others out. Here’s a website that has plenty of advice on how to make a lot of gold in World of Warcraft http://www.wowgoldbook.com this website has a lot of useful tips for new and experienced players. Like I said I never needed to buy gold with real money, no one has to.

    Share
  73. “We regularly track the source of the gold these companies sell, and find that an alarmingly high amount comes from hacked accounts. These are the friends, relatives, and guildmates you may know who have gone through the experience of having characters, gold, and items stripped from them after visiting a website or opening a file containing a trojan virus. Our teams work to educate players and assist them in avoiding account compromise, but the fact remains that the players themselves are often these companies’ largest target as a source for gold, which the companies then turn around and sell to other players.”

    Source: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/basics/antigold.html

    No mention of gold farming or “half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month” which would be $50,000,000 a month. You’d think they’d notice that much gold moving around lol. Maybe next time quote Blizzard instead of MTV.

    Share
  74. “It seems feasible to me that half a million starving Chinese people are busting there ass to make gold to sell for hardly nothing by our standards, while the leader/owner of such operation is making an ass load of money off of it. It seams that hungry people will do just about anything to make money to feed themselves and their families.

    So please the next time you post please engage what little bit of brain matter you have before typing.”

    You sir, are an idiot.

    Share
  75. Guys don’t fight, there is plenty of love for everyone.

    Share
  76. this is some good info.Thanks!

    Share
  77. This is quite the interesting read. Blizzard will never be fully able to stop gold farming. They might be able to slow it down a little but as long as there is always a demand for gold there will be someone that will sell it illegally.

    Share
  78. If you’re looking to purchase virtual currency here’s a couple tips to help you find a reliable website.

    I have worked in the RMT or Gold Farming industry for a few years and before that owned a Gaming Center. I have heard a ton of horror stories from customers over the years in reference to the dealings of sites they had been scammed by in the process of buying game currency & power leveling for online MMO games. The shady things the sites in this industry pull would fill a book so be very careful.

    Here are 10 things you can do to protect yourself from being scammed:

    1. Most important of all use Paypal to pay for your transaction. Why? PayPal does not honor Virtual Goods Sales which enables you to open a dispute with PayPal at anytime you feel your being scammed and get your money back 100% of the time.
    2. Do not use Bizrate/Shopzilla as a method to decide if the site is safe to work with. The Chinese take advantage of the reporting methods they use and load up their ratings with fake feedback. Instead use sites like ripoffreport.com and alexa.com as these sites have not yet been exploited with fake feedback.
    3. Visit the site and see if anyone is actually manning the “live chat”. If no1 is working the site probably not safe to order from it. If you do get a worker in “live chat” talk to them for a bit and determine weather it is an actual person or an auto responder that just drops “canned” messages. If you find its a real operator that is a good sign site might be ok to order from.
    4. Phone Contact – If the site has a phone number listed that you can call them on or if they actually perform a “Voice Verification” phone call they are safer to go with.
    5. Look for a site that is selling more then just currency and power leveling. If a site sells tangible goods too then it’s a good sign. This can also offer a way to test them out… if they sell game time cards you can buy one (you’ll eventually need it anyway) and see how the transaction goes. If all goes well then you can be pretty sure they are legit and feel safer to order with them.
    6. Another way to find out if a site is safe if to ask friends and guild mates for recommendations if they have purchased mmo goods before. People you actually know are going to give the most unbiased feedback.
    7. Google the sites name and do some research that way. If a load of stuff comes up when you Google the site name add some negative words to the search. There is no point in adding positive words to a site look-up because all that typically shows you is the sites fake marketing and SEO work.
    8. Site Content is a sign of a legit site. If they have an “about us” page, blog or forum associated with the site then they are more likely to be legit. Most fly by night sites do not take the time to build in these social outlets.
    9. If you ever share you account info with a site (should only be necessary for power leveling orders), even a trusted one, be sure to change your password when your order is completed. You don’t want to risk your account getting pillaged by an ex-employee or the site itself should it ever hit hard times.
      1. If it is “to good to be true” stay away! Any site offering something for next to nothing should immediately be suspect.

    Well I hope this help to insure a safer purchase of virtual goods for anyone who bothered reading all of this :)

    I am working on a new project we will be starting one of the only American owned and operated RMT sites. We will specialize in using “Player Sellers” for stock verses going to the Chinese gold farmers.

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Site Manager

    Found it at http://www.afkloot.com/blog

    Share
  79. It’s crazy that people are willing to risk accounts that they put thousands of hours into just to save a couple of hours farming… And it’s obviously a large enough percentage to keep several of these sweatshops competing with each other, too. Wild.

    Kind of pitiful considering how easy it’s been to make gold since Cataclysm came out, and that’s not even taking into account the unending gold fountain of Northrend.

    Share
  80. Hmm that was quite interesting, trying to make a living off make a virtual living for others, if that makes sense lol.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post