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Messages - Dread Pirate Roberts

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Silk Road discussion / Scheduled maintenance Sunday
« on: April 14, 2012, 10:10 pm »
Silk Road will be down for maintenance starting at 8 pm UTC on April 15th for about an hour.

Silk Road discussion / Re: 420 Sale and Prize Giveaway!!!
« on: April 13, 2012, 06:18 am »
A BUNCH of sellers have decided to join in the fun and add their sales to the list:


just one week left  ;D

Technical support / Re: Cash advance???
« on: April 12, 2012, 05:58 pm »
okay so just finalized my order for 4btc and just gained another 5btc with an order making my total coins in escrow 14btc and my cash advanced limit is the same 4btc?

DPR can you better explain how the limit is set please?

the total you have in escrow from sales you've made is the upper limit of your cash advance limit (hedged or unhedged, doesn't matter).  Sometimes the limit is lower if you are new or havn't been doing as much business lately, but it's never higher.

Silk Road discussion / Re: 420 Sale and Prize Giveaway!!!
« on: April 12, 2012, 02:26 am »
Hey DPR, any word on how you'll give the grand prize winner their vacation while keeping it anonymous? Or if you can't say for some reason but you do have a plan, I understand too.

yep, it's anon.  We won't release any details until the winner is back from the trip, for their privacy.

Silk Road discussion / Re: 420 Sale and Prize Giveaway!!!
« on: April 11, 2012, 08:02 pm »
just to be clear, the more you spend, the more chance you have of winning, so doing lots of small purchases won't be better than doing fewer big purchases.  and yes the servers should be up to the task, todays trouble didn't have anything to do with server load.

Technical support / Re: Silk Road down today?
« on: April 11, 2012, 06:12 pm »
sorry about that.  it was a guard node issue, so some people had access while others did not.  I think we have it sorted out now.

Silk Road discussion / MOVED: Customer review for Seller Exotica
« on: April 11, 2012, 05:54 am »
This topic has been moved to Rumor mill (https://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion.to/index.php?board=7.0).


Technical support / Re: Cash advance???
« on: April 11, 2012, 12:20 am »
seller's only, check out the seller's guide  8)

Silk Road discussion / 420 Sale and Prize Giveaway!!!
« on: April 10, 2012, 01:20 am »
Grab your sleeping bag, stock up on supplies and get ready to camp out on your computer for 49 hours, because on April 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM, the greatest sale in the history of the Silk Road kicks into gear, and you're not going to want to miss a minute of it.

This 4/20, every 420 seconds, some lucky buyer will win one of our 420 great prizes! From $50 gift certificates to a brand new iPhone 4s, some lucky person will be chosen every 420 seconds to win a prize.

Of course, we aren't stopping there. We are also offering a grand prize trip of a lifetime. A trip for two with all the trimmings to paradise, all expenses included. 12 days of the nicest weather, the clearest blue waters, and the finest accommodations you can imagine are all included. You won't even need to pack for this one, as we're including $2,000 spending money for your travel wardrobe and incidental (cough *weed* cough) expenses. From the time the limousine picks you up at your front door, until you're swimming with the dolphins or taking in a helicopter tour, you just aren't gonna believe your luck!

Every time you complete a sale you can win one of our 420 second prizes, and for every btc you spend during the sale, we'll put in one entry for you for our Take a Trip to Paradise Grand Prize. Seriously, why would you be anywhere else but on your computer from 4:20 PM (UTC) on Friday, April 20, until 5:20 PM (UTC) on Sunday, April 22, 2012. One great prize every 420 seconds, and the mother of all Grand Prizes could be yours with a single purchase.

But wait, you also get these six Ginsu knives -- wait, wrong script. Wait, there's more -- Every item on the site will be discounted up to 10%! IN ADDITION to this, our vendors have put together some deep discounts on your favorite 420 goodies.  More info and links here:  silkroadvb5piz3r.onion/silkroad/four_twenty

PS - if you are a vendor who isn't on the sale list and would like to be, just send a description of your sale over to Vendor Support and we'll add you asap.

Technical support / Re: UTC Time
« on: March 29, 2012, 10:31 pm »

This topic has been moved to Product offers (https://dkn255hz262ypmii.onion.to/index.php?board=5.0).


Silk Road discussion / Re: Economic Study of this Experiment
« on: March 22, 2012, 12:12 am »
Great primer Anarcho.

You said:
The fundamental principles that drive Rothbardian society are that you are allowed to act within your own self interest, so long as you are not violating the inalienable rights of another person (negative rights).

We've used this guiding principle to craft the "rules of the game" here as well.  If you read the seller's guide, you'll see a restricted items section:
Do not list anything who's purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen items or info, stolen credit cards, counterfeit currency, personal info, assassinations, and weapons of any kind.
Do not list anything related to pedophilia.

Now, while trading in any of these items does not harm either party in the transaction, and is therefore acceptable as an isolated event, we recognize that the transaction would not likely exist without the existence of a victim as well, and so we don't allow them.

This morality is simple, powerful and profound.  In any given situation, you can use it to judge what is right and wrong.  If someone is being forced to act against their will without provocation, then it is immoral.  The criminal in any immoral event can be discovered by finding who is initiating the use of force or fraud.  It then follows that the only acceptable use of force is in self defense against the criminals initiating it.

Silk Road discussion / chat
« on: March 20, 2012, 11:39 am »
Hey gang,

I read more than I post in the forum, and my posts are rarely of a personal nature.  For some reason the mood struck me just now to put the revolution down for a minute and just express a few things.  There is a curtain of anonymity and secrecy that covers everything that goes on behind the scenes here.  It is often fast paced and stressful behind this curtain and I rarely lift my head long enough to take in just how amazing all of this is.  But when I do I am filled with inspiration and hope for the future.  Here's a little story about what inspires me:

For years I was frustrated and defeated by what seemed to be insurmountable barriers between the world today and the world I wanted.  I searched long and hard for the truth about what is right and wrong and good for humanity.  I argued with, learned from, and read the works of brilliant people in search of the truth.  It's a damn hard thing to do too with all of the misinformation and distractions in the sea of opinion we live in.  But eventually I found something I could agree with whole heartedly.  Something that made sense, was simple, elegant and consistent in all cases.  I'm talking about the Austrian Economic theory, voluntaryism, anarcho-capitalism, agorism etc. espoused by the likes of Mises and Rothbard before their deaths, and Salerno and Rockwell today.

From their works, I understood the mechanics of liberty, and the effects of tyranny.  But such vision was a curse.  Everywhere I looked I saw the State, and the horrible withering effects it had on the human spirit.  It was horribly depressing.  Like waking from a restless dream to find yourself in a cage with no way out.  But I also saw free spirits trying to break free of their chains, doing everything they could to serve their fellow man and provide for themselves and their loved ones.  I saw the magical and powerful wealth creating effect of the market, the way it fostered cooperation, civility and tolerance.  How it made trading partners out of strangers or even enemies.  How it coordinates the actions of every person on the planet in ways too complex for any one mind to fathom to produce an overflowing abundance of wealth, where nothing is wasted and where power and responsibility are directed to those most deserving and able.  I saw a better way, but knew of no way to get there.

I read everything I could to deepen my understanding of economics and liberty, but it was all intellectual, there was no call to action except to tell the people around me what I had learned and hopefully get them to see the light.  That was until I read “Alongside night” and the works of Samuel Edward Konkin III.  At last the missing puzzle piece!  All of the sudden it was so clear:  every action you take outside the scope of government control strengthens the market and weakens the state.  I saw how the state lives parasitically off the productive people of the world, and how quickly it would crumble if it didn't have it's tax revenues.  No soldiers if you can't pay them.  No drug war without billions of dollars being siphoned off the very people you are oppressing.

For the first time I saw the drug cartels and the dealers, and every person in the whole damn supply chain in a different light.  Some, especially the cartels, are basically a defacto violent power hungry state, and surely would love nothing more than to take control of a national government, but you average joe pot dealer, who wouldn't hurt a fly, that guy became my hero.  By making his living outside the purview of the state, he was depriving it of his precious life force, the product of his efforts. He was free.  People like him, little by little, weakened the state and strengthened the market.

It wasn't long, maybe a year or two after this realization that the pieces started coming together for the Silk Road, and what a ride it has been.  No longer do I feel ANY frustration.  In fact I am at peace in the knowledge that every day I have more I can do to breath life into a truly revolutionary and free market than I have hours in the day.  I walk tall, proud and free, knowing that the actions I take eat away at the infrastructure that keeps oppression alive.

We are like a little seed in a big jungle that has just broken the surface of the forest floor.  It's a big scary jungle with lots of dangerous creatures, each honed by evolution to survive in the hostile environment known as human society.  All manner of corporation, government agency, small family businesses, anything that can gain a foothold and survive.  But the environment is rapidly changing and the jungle has never seen a species quite like the Silk Road.  You can see it, but you can't touch it.  It is elusive, yet powerful, and we are evolving at a rapid clip, experimenting, trying to find sturdy ground we can put roots down in.

Will we and others like us someday grow to be tall hardwoods?  Will we reshape the landscape of society as we know it?  What if one day we had enough power to maintain a physical presence on the globe, where we shunned the parasites and upheld the rule of law, where the right to privacy and property was unquestioned and enshrined in the very structure of society.  Where police are our servants and protectors beholden to their customers, the people.  Where our leaders earn their power and responsibility in the harsh and unforgiving furnace of the free market and not from behind a gun, where the opportunities to create and enjoy wealth are as boundless as one's imagination.

Some day, we could be a shining beacon of hope for the oppressed people of the world just as so many oppressed and violated souls have found refuge here already.  Will it happen overnight?  No.  Will it happen in a lifetime?  I don't know.  Is it worth fighting for until my last breath.  Of course.  Once you've seen what's possible, how can you do otherwise?  How can you plug yourself into the tax eating, life sucking, violent, sadistic, war mongering, oppressive machine ever again?  How can you kneel when you've felt the power of your own legs?  Felt them stretch and flex as you learn to walk and think as a free person?  I would rather live my life in rags now than in golden chains.  And now we can have both!  Now it is profitable to throw off one's chains, with amazing crypto technology reducing the risk of doing so dramatically.  How many niches have yet to be filled in the world of anonymous online markets?  The opportunity to prosper and take part in a revolution of epic proportions is at our fingertips!

I have no one to share my thoughts with in physical space.  Security does not permit it, so thanks for listening.  I hope my words can be an inspiration just as I am given so much by everyone here.

Dread Pirate Roberts

Silk Road discussion / Re: Pricing Etiquette...
« on: March 15, 2012, 04:51 am »
Doesn't matter man, it's a free market. Don't feel bad about undercutting people, in fact you'll probably need to do it to get your business off the ground.

I agree with all of the input so far, great advice gang.  Philter, I would recommend a dynamic approach to your pricing scheme.  Enter the market at around -25% as suggested to gain some initial customers, feedback, and reputation.  If you aren't getting any bites, lower prices.  Once you are getting a regular flow of orders, simply adjust your prices to keep up with supply and demand.  If your stock is getting bought out as soon as it is harvested, raise your prices.  If your harvest is sitting on the shelf for weeks on end before being sold, or you are accumulating supply, lower your prices.  There are alot of factors at play including customer service, reputation, packaging/shipping, etc.  Focus on serving your customers and adjust your prices to keep a minimum inventory of product and don't take any chances with your security.  If you find success and want to expand, do so slowly and carefully.  Also, if you can supply large quantities at low prices, you could get into big $$$ where your main customers are folks buying for local redistribution.  Good luck!

You should maybe look into having a program that rewards vendors for volume. Say a tiered monthly volume discount. That would in turn benefit everyone. It gives vendors an incentive to sell more and buyer a reason to buy more.

I've thought about this, but this also gives an advantage to high-volume sellers over newer ones and they already have alot of advantage.  Assuming costs are equal, charging smaller vendors more will make them uncompetitive.

That dog just ain't gonna hunt because there are after all, alternatives to the Silk Road. The Silk Road provides theoretical anonymity, convenience and often times quality. But if vendors keep raising prices, the street becomes more and more attractive. Buyers are paying a premium in the form of fees for Bitcoins, Bitcoin fluctuations, and SR overhead that vendors pass on to buyers. The street is starting to look better every day. Only thing standing in the gap is having a good relationship with a vendor and their quality of service and product. Price that too high and many will be willing to forego that luxury.
I think we are saying the same thing here.  By adjusting your prices to the rate supported by supply and demand (maintaining a minimum inventory), not all potential buyers will make a purchase, some will seek cheaper alternatives such as local face to face vendors.  That's a good thing.  As you mentioned below, expanding one's operation is not easy.  That's what Pharmville is struggling with as we speak.  So, until supply can catch up with demand, prices need to rise.  Again, that's a good thing.  It encourages new vendors to set up shop and current ones to expand their operations.

Or they can simply warn customers that inventory is running low. Lots of vendors do that already. And when they are out, they often provide an ETA on their seller page and/or in the forum. Pricing things high will hurt sales because, as stated, there are alternatives to SR.
You are absolutely right.  There is only so much total inventory on Silk Road at any given moment and it has to be rationed in some way.  That can either come through shortages and intermittent supply as you suggest, or through price rationing (there are other top-down rationing schemes governments use).  The advantage of price rationing, besides there always being adequate inventory, is that it leads to a more mature and developed market with new sellers entering in to provide their wares.  Over time, this leads to the low prices we were after in the first place due to competition, but has the benefit of more variety and quality, and the market is more robust.  If one vendor leaves, there are others already in business that can pick up the slack (and raise their prices until new supply comes online).

You make it sound easy. Hiring help increases the risk of your business. After all, this isn't Amazon. This is drug dealing. You can't just bring any ol' player off the street as a helper. Trust is a must and any new "helper" has to be vetted. Fuck that decision up and you could end up doing time. A lot of it.
If I did, I did not mean to.  See my acknowledging heroes thread.  What these guys go through is epic!

Suppliers know there is money to be made here. The question is just how much and what's the catch. The catch is how much is getting kicked up to boss(DPR). What's his cut? Everything else they can factor. From postage, to envelops, to couriers, to look outs, to computers and printers. They can figure out their net. But some can't justify the commission being kicked up. A better tier needs to be in place that rewards heavy hitters and big movers. (Think volume discounts in the form of monthly rebates.)
There's no catch.  Vendors can see everything they need to make a decision about getting into the game.  The only variable is the price customers are willing to pay for the items they are considering offering.  In fact it is much harder to make a decision if you see low prices followed by no inventory rather than consistent higher prices.  Is there a complete gap in the market and huge profit opportunity, or am I going to be undercut as soon as the other guy re-ups?

I disagree with the notion that maximizing profits is best for everyone. That's current American business culture thinking. And it fails on many levels. Remember, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. What's better is maximizing one's value. That is good for everyone. That's the old school thinking that has stood the test of time. And it is why those of us who love Pharmville are so vocal about our love for them. They maximized their value.
We might need to do some term-definitions here.  What do you mean by value?  Value to the customer?  I agree they excelled in this regard.  I don't want to pick on Pharmville because it may not even be applicable to them, but what is the value to the customer of a vendor who goes out of business because they charged too little?  Does a customer value a vendor they can count on to always have product, even if it is a little more expensive, over a vendor they might have to wait a week on, and then hope to get in the queue before they run out?  And don't forget my all too important caveat: Maximizing profits is best for everyone "if fraud is not present".  Much of the American business culture you mention is: Maximize profits "by any means necessary".  Two very different guidelines.

You're 100% correct here. But it will fall on deaf ears I'm afraid. Many a noob thinks finalizing early is the "cool" thing to do. And that's whether they have to or not. And addicts are going to take a chance because that's the nature of addiction.

Not for nothing, you've got a great thing here and I praise you for it, DPR. You're a legend. Seriously. But you have show vendors some more love. And you have been doing it. Credit where credit is do. So it's not like I'm saying you haven't. Lots of excellent implementations have gone into effect on their behalf. Vendors are taking a big risk but moreover, they make this place what it is. They made your concept, manifest. There will always be buyers of drugs. But without supply at reasonable prices, not simply prices you can get away with(AKA maximizing gains), ain't nothing going to happen here except perhaps it being given footnote credit for having started a revolution.

I hope you are wrong, both about the noobs and the long-term prospects of the site.  So far, my convictions have been proven right.  Thankfully, the profit / loss mechanism applies to Silk Road too, so as long as we continue to grow and are able to expand our infrastructure to keep pace, I'll assume the market is correct and we are on the right track.  Thanks for the debate!

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