|I now own account-wide unlocks for basically all of the unlockable restrictions, other than the guild bank (which I don't need because I don't tend to take my guild's stuff even when it's offered)|
A lopsided "exchange rate"
I have been very surprised that the going rate for Cartel market items has gotten so low - many unlocks that run for around $5 in real money are available on the Global Trade Network for prices that non-subscribers can pay (i.e. no more than 350K credits due to the cap). I would not have figured that people would open up their wallets for so few credits. More surprising, this trend is not limited to the more expensive unlocks. Some of the rarest items in the random gambling packs - items that people have not been able to get after spending $200 - are available for maybe 1-2 million credits.
A few possibilities jump out to explain what we're seeing here. It's certainly possible that some of the inventory was purchased before people realized how little demand there would be, and that folks have been stuck with stuff they can't sell for months since. It's also possible that some subscribers do not place any value on the stipend of Cartel Coins that is included in their monthly fees. Meanwhile, my perception of what credits are worth is defined by what I can get on my max level main, but many newer players are limited to low level income. Finally, the random packs do mean that some players are going to end up with rare items they don't want, which will go on the market.
Overall, it begs some interesting questions about who is paying for the Cartel Coins. I get that there is a demographic that is categorically opposed to daily quests for any reason - I might even count myself in that number if not for the fact that they provide something to do while waiting for the random daily dungeon queue (which I actually enjoy running). That aside, there's a real possibility that some players who do not own a max level character are dropping substantial amounts for real world money to get their characters set up with relatively modest amounts of in-game money for their leveling experience. If so, it's a fascinating experiment in dev-sanctioned real money transactions.