I’m in full-time summer mode right now, so my EVE time has been a little limited as of late. I find I’ve been gravitating more toward trading, as it is something I can pick at absent mindedly. If I get distracted and forget I’m logged in for an hour or two it doesn’t really matter in the way it would if you’re roaming hostile space with some alliance mates.
I decided it was time to start keeping track of the trade stuff I’m doing. Up until now, I haven’t even been using spreadsheets—it’s all been in my head, and I haven’t really had a full grasp on how much ISK I’m actually making on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. So, I tried out some application called EVE Mentat, which has been way better than keeping track manually.
I have two main projects. One is just a matter of trading in Faction War goods, and tends to be more of a long-term investment.
My second project started out as me dabbling in a low-sec market, and has turned into something a little more than dabbling. In fact, I’m planning to possibly divert some cash out of the ‘long-term’ fund in order to expand. I’ve found that low-sec trading is not only very profitable, but there’s rather fast turn-around most of the time. And this turn-around gets faster as you expand the market. People love being able to sit in one station and buy everything they need, rather than running around everywhere getting bits and pieces.
The hardest part has been figuring out how much of an item I should invest in. On the one hand, I don’t want to have to babysit my orders –restocking items every other day. But on the other hand, I don’t want to get in the situation where I have a huge mountain of something that isn’t moving very fast. Now that I’m actually keeping track of what I’m selling, it’s been much easier to get a better understanding of how fast or slow I might go through things –and how big of an order I should put up.
In fact, some things have surprised me. Items I thought would be a staple sometimes don’t sell as fast as I think they will. Possibly, because they ARE a staple and many people have stacks of them in their hanger from looting wrecks after fights, and etc. You’d think Damage Control IIs would be one of the most popular items! But…apparently it is not.
While I won’t give away all my secrets, I will tell you a few things I’ve found out:
First, tech 1 and meta items sell really well in the warzone. There’s a lot of newer players around who don’t necessarily have the skills to fit completely tech II. And there’s a lot of people who want to fit up cheap, throwaway ships. So, meta 3 items and even straight up tech 1 items actually sell very quickly.
Second, I’ve always had good luck on items that don’t drop if you die, are used up, or are consumed in some way. Cap Boosters, ammunition, drones, and rigs are some of the big ones. You have to be careful to keep the ‘right’ amount of these around, though, as people usually buy them by the stackful, if your price it right.
Oddly enough, I’ve found that being a pvper makes me a better trader. Often, I will figure out what items to trade simply because I needed something myself to fit a ship and was annoyed that it wasn’t on the market.
Most of the time, if I need something, others will too.
My biggest problem I need to solve right now is logistics. I sold my jump freighter, as at the time I wasn’t using it much at all and couldn’t justify the 6.3 billion ISK investment that could be poured into a project somewhere.
Logistics in low-sec can be painful. There are essentially three choices:
A. Nearly risk-free transport ships that hold relatively little cargo. This is mostly impractical, if you want to stock ship hulls, but okay if you’re just bringing in a few items.
B. A freighter, which is too much risk to be throwing around much in low-sec. If you bring in a freighter, then you have to have an escort and help from other people, which makes it highly inconvenient and ends up limiting how much you can even do it.
C. A jump freighter, which is low-risk and moderately good cargo, but involves an exorbitant ISK investment.
I need something kind of in-between all of those things. I don’t mind a little risk, having to scout, or etc. But having to have an escort and have the amount of risk a freighter in low-sec brings is way too much. And, I don’t mind shelling out some ISK, but 6.3 billion ISK is more then I’m willing to spend! And I don’t mind having semi-limited cargo, but the little size of the transport ship makes trading ships nearly impossible!
So what should I do? I’m all ears if anyone has any ideas.
A lot of people are talking about how they want logistics to be hard so people are encouraged to build things in places like low-sec and null-sec. And while that whole thing sounds really good on paper, I think it’s a little more complicated than that.
Firstly, what about tech 2 ships? Setting up to invent and build tech 2 ships is quite an undertaking. Imagine if you had to supply ALL tech 2 ships that way? Just the setup to invent and produce a few can be quite a huge project! And how do you get the materials you need to build the?
And while building tech 1 ships is relatively easy –and I actually do it quite a bit for my low-sec market, you then need to ship in all the minerals. Unless, in addition to manufacturing things natively, they also expect us to go out and mine all the raw materials in-system. Which I can tell you right now—I’d probably start considering playing other games if it came to that.
I don’t see, with the current state of how things work, how they can really make places be all that self-sufficient. I think if they were to make things too hard, logistics-wise, it wouldn't encourage more on-site industry. Rather, it would simply nerf pvp and other activities, as people would have to deal with going without what they really need --or deal with massive price increases due to the added risk and pain to traders.
I have been toying with some ideas of some simple things they could do for trading and logistics, but that will probably be a post for another day.