Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Best Way of Getting Space Rich (So Far) in Eve: Trading in Apparel

Me, in space, doing the deals.

I've read a few other Eve blogs that offer advice about station trading, and they mostly avoid telling you specific products to trade in. This is understandable, but I'll like to give you a start and point you to the "Apparel" section at Jita.

Let's start with a quick definition of station trading. You place a buy order on a product and wait for someone to sell you that item at the price you're offering. When you have acquired it, you sell it using a sell order and, when it sells, hopefully you've made a profit! You don't have to buy from other stations or ship the product around. You have to regularly check your orders and, using the right-click "Modify" command, change your prices to make sure you are offering the highest buy price and the lowest sell price.

What I'm NOT covering here is the idea of transporting goods between stations; I don't have much experience with that, and don't have any alts or jump clones that would facilitate that. I am, however, beginning to set up a mutually beneficial trade network within Aideron, where our pilots can sell stuff for each other at various markets.

Apparel

These items are the clothing and accessories that you can dress your character in. There are only a few dozen Apparel products to choose from and the gap between many of the buy and sell orders is at least fifty percent, sometimes far, far more. I started my Jita trader with 100M ISK and sent her a few hundred million worth of datacores from my main, and she now has 2B ISK in cash and escrow and a further 2B in sell orders. I worked my way up from trading pants/shirts/shoes to those groovy cybernetic arms and tattoos, making 100-200M profit per item. Her skills are Margin Trading III, Broker Relations IV and Accounting IV and she can place 45 orders.

That trading was all done at Jita in about a month, and most of the time I was updating orders 2 or 3 times a day, with more intense updating on the weekends. I find it helpful to leave the Eve client running on a laptop and whenever it is convenient, checking and updating my orders. The more often you do this, especially on high priced items, the more you will make.

The criteria I use are simple: is the buy/sell trade profitable, does this product trade AT the buy/sell prices and does it trade often enough? I look at the Price History tab and look for at least 1 in the Quantity column for most of the days shown. Secondly, I check the current high buy and low sell orders, then compare those numbers to the Price History tab. If the current buy price is 1M, but the item has NEVER been bought for less than 10M, don't bother with it.

One area that looks good is Deadspace items - search on A-Type, B-Type, C-Type and you can find plenty of items that meet my criteria BUT there's a problem: the trade in these is SO fast that its very difficult to keep your order at the top of the heap for more than a minute. I've done a little trading in these items but have concluded that Apparel is a better bet. This isn't something you can identify in advance, but if you place a buy order and notice that you're consistently WAY off the top of the list of buy orders, and can seemingly never acquire one, just cancel the sell order and put the money into something else.

One last thing: don't order a large quantity of any one item. Spread your money around and generally buy 1 or 2 of each item. If you get a huge pile of something that sells slowly, that's money tied up which could have been doing something else. Buy small at first until you get a feel for how quickly things move.

Examples

A good starter: Women's Avenue shirt (black). Buy for 10M, sell for 20M. It's sells a few a day and reaches both buy and sell orders.

A really cheap starter: 75mm 'Scout' guns. I have traded these in the Essence region and at Jita. You can buy them for 5-10K ISK and sell them for 40-80K, though you might have to transport them to get the highest prices.

A miss: Men's Command Pants (gold/black). Current Buy Price 5M, Current Sell Price 12.4M. The profit margin is good, the daily quantity of sales is good (only a few zeros) BUT look at the history of the Low price. 5M is a new low - it has not been sold consistently at less than 5M since last October. If you offer 5M you're unlikely to acquire this item and your money will be tied up for nothing.

A high-end hit: 'Phanca' Cybernetic Arms.  There are four of these, ranging from 500-800M on buy orders, and selling for 100-200M above that. That's only a 20% profit, but 100M ISK is a serious chunk of change. If you can afford it, it is worth trading in these simply because one trade can make as much profit as a whole pile of the cheaper stuff. This also applies to the Men's/Women's 'Luxury' t-shirts, plus they are offering 100% profit right now!

A hit: 'Thurifer' Large Capacity Battery.Buy for 85M, sell for 128M. Daily quantity is good and the item sells steadily to both buy and sell orders. I've done four of these myself. (Update four days later...no good any more. The sell price has dropped to 95M.)


Movement

The key to this is to keep stuff MOVING. Don't get emotionally attached to items, nor to the price you WANTED to get. If you bought at 10M and were hoping to sell at 20M, but the market got flooded and prices are dropping fast, do NOT hold on to the item and hope for the price to come back later. It may take days, weeks or months to do so, and in that time you could have take your 17...15...12 million and ploughed it into something else.

Prices do shift, but remember your job as a trader is, once you have acquired an item, to sell it as quickly as possible for as much as you can get. Then you take that money and set up another buy order. Money sitting in your wallet is DEAD MONEY. Piles of unsold goods in your hanger are DEAD MONEY.

Quickbar

I have a folder called "Jita Station Trading", and under that I have a "Cheap" folder and an "Expensive" folder. Into the cheap folder I put the orders for products under about 50M, and in the expensive folder goes the big stuff. If I don't have much time to do an order update, I start with the expensive folder and make sure my buy/sell orders are at the top of the heap. You may also want to have a folder called "Check" into which you put products that are worth watching.

Look Beyond Apparel

There are thousands of items for sale in the market. Set aside some time to look through it all: concentrate on the Faction areas. If you see a gargantuan profit margin you will see that the item almost never trades AT ALL. If the item trades a lot, you'll see the profit margin has been whittled down to almost nothing: this applies to most ships, guns and modules that you see every day. The "sweet spot" lies in between: items that trade just a few a day, for a good chunk of profit.

Things Change

The gap between buy/sell orders will change over time, so you should be prepared to cancel orders and get out of a product. If you set up buy orders, but while you're waiting the sell order price has dropped to an unattractive level, don't be afraid to cancel the buy orders and get out.

That's it for now, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments.