Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trade Talk

Following up on last weeks post, I figured I ended up with about $80m isk in extra profit from Hulkageddon II. The strip miners made up the bulk of it, but I got very lucky with mining drones (both I and II) as well.

I was only trading in three regions. I think that if I had expanded a little more I would have been able to get at least a PLEX out of it. To that end, I have Wholesale V training finishing up in a few hours and then I have to shell out $90m isk to buy the Tycoon skill. The extra trade orders will certainly end up being worth it, but I haven't had to spend anywhere near that much on anything before.

This week I read a brilliant post over at Stabbed Up about a disposable pvp frigate. I learned a lot from it and he covered using trading to help in the process. This is primarily about having a PvP toon but recognizes how you can use the default trade skills (or some very cheap and easily trained skills) to maximize your isk. The buy order strategy he proposes is what everyone should do. If you have any open orders, you are cheating yourself.

For example, whenever I am on my combat toon, I put up a buy order for rifters at a little bit below market. Yes, it takes some of my money out of circulation, but when the orders eventually fill, I can end up saving 10-20k per ship. I do the same for fittings. After a while, this does add up to real money. I also have this toon put up sell orders for certain loot. They payout might end up being delayed, but it is so much better getting 200k for something than the 50k from a low buy order.


This is serious internet spaceship business.

And business is good!

Buy Low, Sell High and Fly Safe!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Found Money

If you look at the Eve forums and twitter (especially #tweetfleet and #hulkageddon) you will see a lot of talk about Hulkageddon 2. This weeklong event targets Hulk mining ships in high-sec space. There are debates about all sorts of ways this is wrong and detrimental to the game, etc. My view is that this is a PvP game and it's all within the bounds of the sandbox in which we play.

Do you want to take away my Carebear™ membership card now?

Even if you don't participate in direct PvP actions, your life (and profit) as a trader is impacted.

As of this morning, over 800 ships have been popped. Each of those ships had strip mining lasers and other goodies on them. Some of those will survive the explosion and be grabbed by the killer (or their accomplices.) They can choose to keep them and take them back home or sell them.

Normally, the market for these items is stable. This predictable range of availability and pricing has been upset this week by this event. This is an opportunity for a trader.

Hulkageddon has made me somewhere in the 75-100 million isk range in the past three days. I know this is chump change to the big traders, but as a small time player, it will help pay for the Tycoon skill I need to buy in 11 days!

It took me about an hour to shuttle around and get all my buy orders set up. And, once this is over, I will need to take some time to research the new prices for each item and decide whether to hold or sell.

Why am I telling you all of this?

1) By looking at the market, the full time traders already have their orders up. This won't be new info to them.
2) There are still many places where a good buy order will work really well. You can easily buy T2 mining lasers for under 30% of retail.
3) I made my money and figure this could help one or more of you out.


Look at the Hulkageddon killboard. This will show you systems where hunting is happening. Look for location trends. I am guessing that more of the action will move closer to .5 space due to security hits taken earlier in the event. Look for item drop trends. See if fits appear to be changing.

Good luck and please comment if you are also having trading success this week.


This is serious internet spaceship business.

And business is good!

Buy Low, Sell High and Fly Safe!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Why Me?

1) You do your market research, plug the numbers into a spreadsheet and find an item that you can make some money on.

Your perfect buy order was .01'd 10 minutes after you logged out, netting you exactly 1 of the item you needed.

Why Me?

2) Forget buy orders. You buy NPC items from cheap sell orders and haul them yourself. After doing the math, you made only 50,000 isk for an hours work hauling construction blocks halfway across the region.

Why Me?

3) Maybe working for someone else is better.

You just realized that the hauling contract you paid a huge deposit on IS GOING TO LOW-SEC!!!!

Why Me?

4) After buying another iteron to replace the one you just lost, you do more market research. You can buy low in another region and move the items to a hub. All in high-sec.

Your perfect sell order was .01'd 10 minutes after you logged out, netting you exactly 1 of the item sold. 99 more to go.

Why Me?

5) One more try.

Find an item you get a lot of in mission loot drops. See it sells for 8,000. Put up a station buy order for 10 at 4,000. See the order get filled quickly!

This is awesome! It's finally working!

Notice in your wallet transaction list that you mistyped and put the order up for 40,000 each.

Why Me?

6) Serious. This last one had better work or you are going to Star Trek Online.

Put up a station order on that same item for 3,000. You aren't going to be taken this time! There is only one other order up and it is a region-wide one for 4,000.

Why Me?

Wait! Before you "Quit Game" for the last time, each of these things is easily remedied.

1 and 4) This happens all the time. Your choice here is to become one of the .01 people or one of those who raises more. The key to dealing with this is some mild swearing and having a lot of items on the market. Yes, you will have periods when you get trumped on some things, but you will still have some activity. Checking your orders on login is always a good idea.

2 and 3) My first trade was hauling water. I was so excited. I even kept a note of it:

1052 units water from dunraelere at 30 per (31,560)

4:28 from INGH - jumps 1

1052 water is 263m3 (running empty basically)

25289 water from metserel (5 jumps)
will require 6322m3 - will be picking up 21900 leaving 3367 for later.

total 22974

7 jumps

109605.26 profit at 42.69 (Goinard IV) 0.3 space!!!!

Yep, it only took me an hour to make 100k!!!! All I had to do was go to lowsec to get it. I am pretty sure everyone's first haul was equally boneheaded!

When you first start hauling, NPC items are actually a good idea. The pricing is guaranteed. Find someone selling them for less, figure out how much space it will take up in your ship, buy them and move them. Until you are ready for low-sec, try keeping to safe space. Set your autopilot to avoid low-sec.

5) I am sure I have done this before. I took advantage of it just yesterday. Made over 300k for moving items one jump. Not a lot when you consider all the zillions you will make in the future, but I was going that way anyway. This happens all the time. When you are doing your market research, keep an eye out for crazy orders like this and fill them!

6) Also see this one all the time. If you want to place a buy order for something in a station and there is a region wide order in effect, you have to top that order. Eve will let you put in your order, but it won't get any play until the region-wide order is done. Pay attention to that Green bar. If you want to place a buy order, you have to beat that green bar price or else you are just wasting your money.

So, what does this boil down to? You need to pay attention to your surroundings. This isn't limited to trading in Eve. Miners and PvPers need to do this to succeed. Miners get popped, PvPers get popped. While you may not see an eve-mail from Pend Insurance giving you a shiny new Velator, losing 300k on a bad trade is our equivalent of getting popped.

The next time you have a trade go bad, don't say "Why Me?"

Deal with it, learn from your mistake and move on.

This is serious internet spaceship business.

And business is good!

Buy Low, Sell High and Fly Safe!!!

(Video from Planet P Project - "Why Me?" -- I also recommend Tony Carey's "A Fine, Fine Day")

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just going to pretend I didn't post for 7 weeks...

Alright, traders, Dominion has come and made some of us rich by selling Hulks at 150m each and some of us a little poorer with buy orders for megacyte at 3300 that filled up awful quick.

First step after any big patch in any MMO is to revisit whatever spreadsheet, cheat sheet and formulas you use to be successful. EVE being a more spreadsheet intensive game than most is even more susceptible to this. To that end, I have adjusted the values in the "Starter" Reprocessing spreadsheet that I shared back in September. These values are based on what is happening in Essence tonight. Your mileage may vary, and you can change them on your copy. It only has a few items on it, but as you start adding mission loot to the list, you will start to find amazing opportunities.

I still spend a lot of time missioning and took the new NPC corp tax as an opportunity to start my own vanity corp, Small Time Trading (STTCO). This allows me to take advantage of the one thing I always liked about EVE corporations, the hangers. I know that with the ability to see into containers that was added recently, I could work without hangers, but I like them. The corp wallet also allows to me experiment and keep the results separate. With some help from @stmistaken of the #tweetfleet, I was able to use the cluster map to find some cheap ($10k per month) office space in Essence that suits me just fine. I would be totally thrilled, except I have to pay rent to a Caldari corp (boo!). But then I look at my fleet of tricked out Badger II's and the Caldari shuttle I am sitting in and pipe down.

I have been enjoying a lot of the fan fiction, especially well written accounts of wormhole activity. The lack of "local chat" and the suddenness of the action is very gripping. Keep up the good work, folks.

Final trading tip -- I mentioned using your mission loot as a starting point for things to buy to reprocess. I have recently been placing buy orders for rigs with some success. It requires a bit more up front money, but most don't have any buy orders up at all. I am getting these for 1/3 (or less) of what they cost to make. Now the manufacturers aren't going to be selling these so cheap, but filthy dirty pirates will. And, lately, I am loving those PvPing scalliwags. When they pop a ship and scoop up the remains, rigs are often found. Like any other loot, if they have no direct need for it, it just gets sold. Take a look at your local market and see if putting a few million out there can net you big returns. (Thanks to @casiella of the #tweetfleet for reminding me that T2 gear can also be acquired in this way!)

Buy low, sell high and fly safe!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Never Been Podded

I just finished Eve: The Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales and was shocked at how awesome it was. And not just because the Amarr look mostly like pigs. It was good space opera, which is really hard to pull off. Before this, I had not quite gotten the hang of the whole fanboy, read the fiction thing.

Now, I grew up in a household where my Dad read Star Trek novels, had the Enterprise Blueprints, etc. I had the Star Wars (original series, please) toys and trading cards/stickers and the first set of comics, but didn't read the books that built on the story. I loved reading Alan Dean Foster, but wouldn't read Splinter of the Mind's Eye. The whole Expanded Universe thing just didn't do anything for me.

The closest I came to extending my fandom beyond the original source material was for The Matrix. I got the extended box set DVD, watched all the documentary material, Animatrix, and have all the games on several platforms. Even beta-tested MXO. I started to draw the line at the graphic novels and wouldn't touch the fan fiction.

Upon finishing the Eve book, though, I felt differently about what I was willing to read. What really got to me was not just at the views and motivations of the different factions, but the reminders of the behind the scenes stuff that takes place. The fact that there are non-immortal people crewing our ships and living in the stations is something that I have been glossing over while playing Eve. Hell, the description of the reborn capsuleers fresh from the vat with smooth skin and regrowing hair made me wonder if people RP that experience. Do they take a day off and play on an alt when they get podded? I have actually never been podded, so I wonder what I will do. Ok, I will cry a lot and probably lose a ship or two trying to get revenge. But I will also think about the mechanics of the process. After reading the book, it just seems another level deeper than other MMO's where I get to do a corpse run and everything is just as it was.

What I think makes the Eve fiction community different from some of the other fanfic is that if the story is based on something that happened in game, then it is essentially canon. I have been reading some of your stories and retelling of battles since I started playing again, but now I am seeing this "unofficial" material from a different view.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Another Mining Monday

Now that I have been back in EVE for nearly three months, I have started to see the need to establish schedules or something similar for doing certain ingame tasks. There are so many things to do that the opportunities to get distracted by shiny things (new alt! Scanning! Missions!) is always there. Likewise, there are things that I need to do often as a Trader (check bids! obsess over wallet! is that on the spreadsheet?) that are done haphazardly, if at all. And there are other things that I just like to do every now and then. I have a Retriever, but rarely mine. I have ok production skills, but leave BPO's languishing, unresearched.

To top it all off, I am seeing that I have been only logging in to either change skills, check some orders or do a quick mission or six. I am seeing a risk of getting bored just doing those things and start drifting away.

I am thinking that something too rigid like MINING MONDAY!!!!! is a little much, but maybe I should give it a shot before I dismiss the idea.

Mining on Monday
Play the Alt on Tuesday and Wednesday
Pick up that weeks' buy orders Thursday
Work the Spreadsheets and place orders Friday
Do fun stuff on the weekends - Play with some BP's, Find Wormholes, Mission/Salvage

Anyone else following some sort of schedule in order to enjoy all the parts of EVE that you want?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More about reprocessing

I just was the beneficiary of a reprocessor doing a massive buyout of one of my sell orders. I always love this.

Since my combat guy in Rens is not a full-on, full-time trader, I don't care about .01 isk wars or keeping the market stable. I want my money and I want it now. I don't want to spend an hour one upping your price. For the item today, the market looked like this:

Sell: 7,000-8,000
Buy: 1,000-1,300
My Reprocess value: 2,400-3,000
"Good" Reprocessing value: 4300-4800

I put up a buy order at 1,500 and am buying hundreds per day. I put up a sell order at for a few hundred at 4,500. This caused others to put up sell orders undercutting mine by .01 isk at a time.

There is no real downside here for me. As long as I buy for under the reprocess value (less fees) I am good. And if someone buys from the sell order, I make even more. The best part about seriously undercutting the market is that someone with good reprocessing skills can come and buy you out and still make money on the spread. I certainly don't mind being a middleman.

It brings in some income and takes almost no time. I get loot, I have to do something with it. I sell most of it, except I take the time to learn whether I can make more by taking care of the item myself. This "reprocess buy" didn't make me a ton of money, but free money is free money. And it freed up another order. I just put up another stack. Let's see if he buys it again.

And he probably will.

This reprocessor found an opportunity to make some easy money buying things at below mineral value, but they didn't take the next step and put up a corresponding buy order. If he/she is willing to accept a small margin buying from a sell order, why not trump my buy order at 2,000 or even more?

If this works, it shows that you don't have to spend a lot of time training skills to reprocess things - just put up sell orders at a little less than perfect reprocessing and wait for the experts to buy your stuff.

(Originally written on 9/27/09)

Update: The same person bought three more stacks on separate days before figuring out that maybe their own buy order would be a better idea. And then they .01'ed me. Silly reprocessor. I upped the price by a hundred. They did it again and I increased by 200. I still own the best buy order and, being Saturday night, business is good.