Sometimes, the hardest part about trading…is starting. (I’m pretty sure that would be some sort of Old Chinese proverb if they had heard about Eve back then. ) But, it’s true. Just like with college term papers, chores, projects at work, and exercising, starting takes about 75% of the effort.
So, what types of things should you be looking at straight from the get go?
The ‘What.’ What are you going to trade? This could be a single item, or an entire group of items. For example, you could become a Raven dealer…or a battleship dealer. Then, once you have an item, research it to death. Find out how it’s made and how much it costs to make it. Find out who uses it and how they use it. Find out what the prices were the past month, and the past year. Does the prices stay relatively the same or swoop all over the place? (Use your in-game market tab to look at all these things.) If you ‘know’ what you’re trading, it will be a lot easier to make the most ISK on it.
The ‘Where.’ Where are you going to trade? Will you purchase your item in the same station you bought it? Is there another region where the average price is much higher? Is there a region where your item is much cheaper? And most importantly…why? Is this a fluke…will the market dry up in that location? Is this a long term situation? What is the competition like in that region/system/station?
The ‘How.’ There are many ways to trade. The key is choosing the best way that complements how you play Eve. Below are some common trading ‘hows.’
-Unmoveable Trading Alt – A player will sit his/her trading alt in a station, and will trade just in that region relying on skills, courier contracts, etc. to buy and sell things where they want to.
-Regional Trader – A trader will trade within a region, moving around as necessary, but relying on regional orders.
-Cross-Regional Trader – A trader will rely on prices being different region to region to find the best margins.
-Hauling Trader – A trader will trade wherever they can get the prices they want, and haul it around themselves. (It is common for some trade alts to obtain Freighter skills as well, etc.)
-Null Sec Trader – A trader who sells items primarily in null-sec , relying on the fact that items are more scarce and there is less competition, but dealing with having to transport over greater distances.
-Builder Trader – A trader who primarily sells what he builds himself.
-1-ISK Trader – A trader who sits in stations and outbids all competition by 1 ISK every 5 minutes.
The ‘When.’ When you put up your orders and for how long can directly impact your margins and your profits. There are many items that sell better during certain times of the week. In other cases, you may want to base your trading schedule on patches, features, or events that could significantly impact an items price. For example, if you know that a huge faction warfare fight is going to happen in a certain system, stocking it with shuttles, ammo, or something else might be your plan. Another example would be knowing that a certain patch will increase the stats of a particular pvp module…you might plan for increased demand which could drive up the prices.