Suppose I have something you want: an Etana, say.(1) I wish to sell it to you, but there's a catch: I will only accept $1000 U.S. for it. Let's say you're even willing to pay $1000 for it. But we both know that to do so directly is RMT. If CCP finds out about our transaction, they might very well take away your new Etana. Neither of us wants that. Is there a way that I can get my $1000 and you can get your Etana and it be legal within EVE Online's TOS? You'd think the answer would be "no".
A new group of angry players disagrees, and they're following SOMER Blink's lead for the path forward: you have a raffle.
- Buy two GTCs. For maximum irony points, buy them from SOMER Blink.(2)(3)
- Announce somewhere semi-public that you are having an Etana giveaway. All people who want an Etana have to do is buy a GTC from you.
- Price one of the GTCs for one cent over your cost, and sell it to a friend who wants a GTC. Tell your friend he is getting one Etana raffle ticket.
- Price the second GTC for $1000. Sell it to the person you wish to win your Etana. Tell this person he is receiving one thousand Etana raffle tickets.
- Have a raffle drawing among the 1001 raffle tickets.
- Announce somewhere semi-public that the second GTC buyer has won an Etana in your raffle.
- Conduct a trade of the Etana in Jita.
Think it can't happen? It's already happened, and is happening.
DNSBLACK is still very angry about the SOMER Blink situation and claims to have sold-- *cough*, excuse me, raffled off his main for the price of $2475 U.S. Given the character is seven years old, he might even have made a tidy profit on the deal since 7 times 12 times $20 U.S. is $1680. If this is a troll, it's a mighty convincing one. As of six hours ago, DNSBLACK is no longer in Dirt Nap Squad, a corp he formed more than six years ago not long after starting his character.
CCP Falcon notes:
Our customer support team is also in the process of reviewing this particular style of raffle to ensure it conforms with our rules and policies.They'd better hurry. DNSBLACK states he pocketed the money and started the character transfer... which means after downtime tonight, this is a done deal. Very unfortunately for him, though, he included a specific reference to items of value changing hands in exchange for the character, which is verboten by the rules of the Character Bazaar. That might give CCP an out... this time. Rule 4 explicitly states:
The character being sold must receive the ISK for the purchase and only ISK. Characters may not be sold in exchange for items.DNSBLACK sold for 1 ISK? Legal. DNSBLACK sold for 2470 "DNSBLACK credits"? Not legal. But this is an easy mistake to fix.
Anyway, he's not the only one to kick off a rather unusual raffle. Here's a thread announcing a raffle by Shai 'Hulud where you are guaranteed a tournament ship for $1000, or five of them for $5000. One of them is a Vangel, unfortunately. ;-) And other players are also getting into the act, and by the time you read this might have seriously started shitting up the In-Game Events and Gatherings section of the forums.
Everyone has a price, apparently...
EDIT 18/Oct/2013: Second follow-up post from CCP Dolan. This one says CCP is also looking into the issues surrounding reselling GTCs.
EDIT 18/Oct/2013, later: CCP Falcon has nuked both threads from orbit and invoked the GTC Bazaar rules for GTC transfers/sales outside the GTC Bazaar.
(1) I do not have an Etana. But if someone wants to contract me one, I wouldn't reject it.
(2) I can't take credit for this joke, but I'll let the person who can announce himself if he cares to.
(3) EDIT: 18 Oct 2013: Turns out to stay legal under the EULA, you have to buy your GTCs from CCP, not from SOMER Blink. No irony points for you.