Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Treading Water

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.


  1. I do stacks of 30-50 for modules and 50-100k for ammo and on fast selling things get a weekish out of that if everyone wants it. Faster at first and then it slows down and becomes more scattered. Drones probably stacks of 200.

    With war zone stuff I'd probably start with stacks of 50-75 and increase/decrease off of movement. I'd look at volume "it seems that I sell 5 frigate fits a day" and use that to work backwards for things like guns. I tend to stock about 3 battleships worth of guns/large rigs for the various sizes/fits due to low turn over in my area but still regular sales.

    Once of the nicest parts of Bosena being a border system is the logistics even without a JF.

    1. I've been doing stacks of 50-100, and many items only last a few days! lol

  2. You could consider an Orca, cheaper than a freighter, decent cargo/corp hold. Can be set up to tank or get into warp faster. Might still need an escort but at least the risk is a little less.

  3. I probably should have added the Orca as #4 in my list. The reason I shy away from the Orca is because it requires a lot of skill training that seems stupid to me, for the ability to move cruisers a few jumps into low-sec. But it might be worth looking into if it's the only other option there is.

    1. Orcas are 18 day trains from scratch. They really chopped it down. So, two and a half weeks just for the hull isn't bad.

    2. Most of my wh connections end up low sec the orca is great if u got something to web it with

  4. What about DST? 62500 of fleet hanger space? Can't move fitted ships but if this is for a store should fit some packaged hulls.

    1. Yeah, DSTs are the new baby tanky orcas :) Cargo starts at 5k and fleet hangar starts at 50k :)

  5. Have you considered using black frog freight?

    1. I used to use Red Frog. But, they are way too expensive now. I can get public contracts done in the same amount of time at half the price. Black frog is even more expensive.

  6. Will mail you specific names of reasonably priced hauling services when in-game.
    1. There is an in-game channel - Haulers Channel - where you can contract shipments to independent contractors.
    2. Galactic Hauling Solutions (something like that) - 50 mil, anytime, anywhere. Much less expensive than Black Frog to get stuff to low sec. They also insure up to 6 billion isk, so they are great for moving high value loot to Jita.

  7. The Orca idea seems pretty good unless you are considering bringing in battleships too. The other option is to build the items locally. Since industry is undergoing a change shortly, this may just become easier if you can encourage people to sell you the minerals.