Monday, November 24, 2014

A really good month of station trading

Piling up the ISKies

Before reading my post, if you haven't seen the new "This Is Eve" trailer, watch it now! I'll wait.

My fortunes shifted in a pleasant direction over the last month or so. I had been saving up my datacores and Planetary Interaction (PI) output, waiting for price spikes....and they all came at once. And other stuff spiked too. In a few short weeks my cash balance went to 12B ISK.

Looking for something to do with it, I trained up another level of Retail, allowing me 53 simultaneous orders. I looked through all the apparel items, including a lot of new stuff recently added to the game, with good profit margin and put up my offers. I also tried my hand at Jump Freighter trading! I'm currently training Retail V, so I can unlock the Wholesale skill and get another 64 order slots in a pretty short amount of time.

Here are some of the trades I did.

It's worth keeping in mind that I did most of the following without undocking -- this is all at Jita, on a character with about 500K skill points in trading.

My best trade was a tattoo that I bought for 800M and sold three days later for 1.9B! It took about 2-3 weeks to actually acquire it, though. Next up, a Rhea and Ark jump freighter, netting 780M and 490M profit each (not including taxes/fees around 150M each). It takes 6-7B to acquire these, so it's definitely not a starter item. During a price spike on Gallentean Starship Engineering datacores I sold 5000 of them for 200K each; a nice 1B ISK sale for around 440M ISK profit.

I pulled in 1.4B profit on my level 4 PI products, all of which were going through price spikes. I'd bought the P3 inputs for them a long time ago, when the prices were lower, so it was pretty easy to sell them in a strong market. The P3 and P4 prices have stayed high, so I'm not sure where this will go next. Remember, the PI stuff I do only works because my main's corp, Aideron Robotics, has 0% tax on its POCOs.

There were a couple of really satisfying sales too. I have a pile of 60 cheap tshirts that I bought for about 500K each, several months ago. I've been waiting for something interesting to happen and it finally did. The sellers all dried up! There was only one guy offering a single shirt, asking 2B for it. I joined the party at 1.5 billion with all sixty shirts...hey, you never know when Chribba might go drunk shopping! We drifted lower on price and I was able to sell one for 340M.

Small Remote Armor Repair IIs made a surprising price swing. They cost about 800K to make and usually sell around 1M each. But they soared to 4M and I had a good amount to sell, making about 500M profit. I'm acquiring more, waiting for the next swing.

There was also 425M profit in trading faction navy ammo, which has surprisingly frequent price swings. I highly recommend this for new traders.

In summary, Eve Mentat says I've made 6.5B profit on my station trader this month (10.5B profit in two months), and I have around 7B JUST in apparel sitting in the hanger. There's another 4B of assorted stuff, waiting for price spikes, to be sold too.

My PI efforts have ground to almost a halt over the past couple of weeks; we have unfriendly guests making life interesting in Fliet :).  I need to have corpmates escort me to/from the POCOs to deliver/pickup from the factories, but I don't have much chance to play Eve at home at the moment, and co-ordinate that activity, there's lots of RL stuff going on.

How Much Should Things Cost?

My homework involves finding out what the base price is for more items. Manufactured items are easy: you ask a blueprint calculator how much it costs to build. Items sold in the game's store are easy too: you check the price of Aurum and convert; i.e many Cybernetic Arms cost 1500 AUR, which is 250-300M ISK.

But there are many items which are not manufactured or bought in the store, including some apparel. I need to find out where they come from and what the "natural cost" would be.

Why? Because one of my rules of thumb is to look for stuff selling below its manufacturing/acquisition cost. That number usually acts as a price floor, especially on manufactured goods. It's not always true, though, especially in apparel. Most of the items available in the game store sell for less than the "real" cost.