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.
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.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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")