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Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Triglavians at the Perimeter Gate

A short post but something for Business players to be aware of.

Delone Wolf, the creator of the excellent weekly Eve Talk youtube show has just posted a 15 minute clip of the Triglavians at the Perimeter-Jita warp gate.

Aggressively attacking and destroying players, Delone Wolf only just managed to get away the first time.

Finds the wormhole which is due to last only a few days.



Sunday, 3 January 2021

Month end update - December 2020

At the end of my fourth full month, my wealth is 27.9bn ISK after paying 1.4bn to upgrade Omega for another 30 days.  My wealth increased by 11.3bn in November.

A good month, i thought.  Helped by the Christmas holidays - i did good trading around that time.

Will be interesting to see if January can keep up with what has been a strong November and December which were boosted by holiday periods.


Review of the December aims

1) Plex the account - done, this is the number one aim

2) Increase sales in Dodixie - done

3) Increase sales in Amarr - done

4) Start a new venture - done, see below, will be Invention


Onwards to the next aim

This time in Eve, i don't want to purely focus on trading by having characters in each trading hub.  I want to experience as many of the isk making ventures in Eve that i reasonably can.

So, the aim with trading is to get to 10bn monthly income after buying the Plex to extend the Omega account.

That was achieved in December.  Not sure if it is sustainable but i will take it as a sign to advance onto another ventue.


Invention

More posts to come but i have decided to try my hand at invention.

It has a low click rate so, if i can make it work, it should be a low effort way to make isk.

Lets see how it goes.


Reminder of my Current Business.

I operate with one account with three alts.

The main alt is a seller in Dodixie and the other alt is a seller in Amarr, two of the main trade hubs in Eve Online.

The third alt sits in Jita and buys from Sell Orders, has these items couriered to the alts in Dodixie and Amarr who then put them onto these markets for sale.

I focus on slow moving but high margin items.

For this side of my business, lets call it Merchanting, i want to generate income of 10bn isk per month after paying to Plex my account.


Analysis of Trading Profits

Explaining the journey of sales of 78.3bn to the increase in wealth of 11.3bn . . . . . 

In all, i made sales of 78.3bn isk (vs 54.6bn in November) which created income of 13.4bn (1.4bn was used to buy Plex, 10.2bn invested back into the market and 0.7bn isk was spent on a cloaky ship) vs 10.8bn in October.

So, over 40% sales growth in both Dodixie and Amarr.  I suspect Dodixie will always be my best seller, Amarr is much more competitive.

Dodixie sales were 53.7bn (vs 38.0bn in November) whilst Amarr sales were 24.6bn (vs 16.6bn in November).

But good to see Dodixie back to growth after a flat November - that was one of the December aims.

Purchases of items from Jita cost 55.8bn isk (vs 37.0bn in November), so my item margin was 28.8% (78.3-55.8)/78.3 vs 32.2% in November.  Respectably above the 25% item margin target but down on the elevated 32.2% in November.

The reduction in item margin is due to two things.

Firstly, November was elevated by strong sales in Disintegrator Skill books which came at margins often over 100%.

Secondly, at the end of December i cleared down my book of business to reduce prices to lowest on the market, which meant reducing prices by 1.5bn isk in total which in effect meant reducing the value of my total orders by 5%.  I should always aim to keep my Sell Orders the most competitive, i had just let things drift over November and December.

In all, it still feels though that item margin is a little high and likely benefitting from the Christmas holidays where players just want to play rather than fly to Jita to buy an item cheaper.

Of course, i need to take a whole series of costs off before i get to my Business profits:

Courier Fees: i aim to pay 2% of sales value to the Courier = 2% x 78.3 = 1.6bn

Sales tax cost me 2.2bn ISk (=2.8% of sales), as expected given i am Level 4 Accounting Skill on both characters.

Broker Fees costs me 5.4bn (=6.9% of sales).  Now, i can break this down into the initial listing fee of 3.78% (because i am Level 4 Broker Relations on both characters) and therefore the rest is the cost of changing the price which is 1.14% a shot.

So, i know the listing fee = 3.78% x 78.3 = 3.0bn and therefore the price change fee is 3.0bn (5.4 - 2.2). This 3.0bn is 3.1% of sales.

This takes my 'Business Profits' to 13.4bn isk for December vs 10.8bn in November.  This is what 45 minutes a day in December gave me.

So, the post-tax margin is 28.8% - 2.0% - 2.8% - 3.8% - 3.1% = 17.1% (=13.4/78.3).

Fees and Taxes take 11.7% off my margins (2.0+2.8+3.8+3.1).  That is a big hit.  I can take action to reduce this which i may investigate in the medium term.

17.2% is respectable, i would normally aim to get a respectable 13 to 15%.  i can improve on it if i train Accounting and Broker Relations  / Advanced Broker Relations to level 5 . . . . . which is on the "to do" list . . . . .

And then from those 'Business Profits' i buy Plex for 1.4bn isk and this month i bought a cloaky ship for 700m isk which allows me to travel around low sec and null sec to buy those lowly priced Blueprints and other items.


Dodixie Seller character

This remains my main character and is the biggest seller.

The skills relevant to Trading that i have are (unchanged on last month):

Accounting: Level 4; means i am charged 2.80% of the sales price on completed sale vs the normal 5%

Broker Relations: Level 4; means i am charged 3.78% to list an item for sale

Advanced Broker Relations: Level 5; means i can reduce the cost of changing the price of items i already have for sale. I decided by train this rather than go all for Plex.  With no skill i would be charged 1.89% to change every price.  Level 5 has brought this down to 0.94%.

Trade: Level 5; increases the number of items i can list for sale by 4 per level.

Retail: Level 5; increases the number of items i can list for sale by 8 per level

Wholesale: Level 3; increases the number of items i can list by 16 per level

Marketing: Level 2; this allows me to set up Sell Orders in stations other than the one i am in; i don't use this really

Given the level 5 Trade, level 5 Retail and level 3 wholesale, i am able to post 113 items for sale (5 + (5x4) + (5x8) + (3x16)).  With no Trading skills you can post up to 5 sell orders

It would take me 18 days to train Accounting and Broker Relations to Level 5.  And i still have to train Wholesale and Tycoon to increase the number of Sales Orders i can have up

As i write this i am using 99 sales slots up - a large increase on the last month of 55 orders at the time of writing my review.  


Items i am selling in Dodixie (and Amarr)

I sell blueprints, skill books and ship equipment.  There is still no change here.

For blueprints and skill books i focus on items that are not seeded in Dodixie (or Amarr for the Amarr seller).  If i can get a sales value of 100m or over then i am interested.  It is a nice source of sales, varying from 100m to a few billion on a really good day - players will pay up to avoid travelling to Jita to save isk to buy that blueprint or skillbook.

Ship equipment makes up the rest, typically it is the same items each time though i find i make a few sales then need to let that item rest and the price reset upwards before i revisit.

Rigidly sticking to the 25% margin target.  I have to given courier fees and taxes take a whopping 12% of that to leave me with 13%.

Similar story in Amarr, some items are the same but the main groups are all the same: blueprints, skill books and ship equipment


Amarr Seller character

Started in November and has grown very quickly.  I gave my initial views in a prior post.

The skills relevant to Trading that i have are:

Accounting: Level 4; means i am charged 2.80% of the sales price on completed sale vs the normal 5%

Broker Relations: Level 4; means i am charged 3.78% to list an item for sale

Advanced Broker Relations: Level 4; means i can reduce the cost of changing the price of items i already have for sale.th no skill i would be charged 1.89% to change every price.  Level 4 has brought this down to 1.1%.

Trade: Level 4; increases the number of items i can list for sale by 4 per level.

Retail: Level 5; increases the number of items i can list for sale by 8 per level

Wholesale: Level 2; increases the number of items i can list by 16 per level

Marketing: Level 2; this allows me to set up Sell Orders in stations other than the one i am in; i don't use this really

Given the level 4 Trade, level 5 Retail and Wholesale Level 2, i am able to post 93 items for sale (5 + (4x4) + (5x8) + (2x16).

As of right now, i have 58 items up for sale.


Courier Contracts

Each night, i get home from work and determine what i need to sell in Dodixie and Amarr.  I tend to focus on one location per night unless i need to courier over 1bn isk of items to both locations.  So Dodixie one night, Amarr the next.  Keeps my time on Eve to a manageable 45 minutes once i have added in a bit of looking into Invention.

To look up prices in Eve I am using Eve Tycoon which seems to have more of the latest items in its market browser.  I used to use evemarketer but i just got used to Eve Tycoon.

Each night i courier about 2 to 5bn isk of items from Jita.  The total cargo volume is 100-250m3 per shipment.  So small but valuable items.  But this allows the couriers to use small, fast ships with much less chance of being ganked.  So there is always someone willing to pick up the contract quickly.

I pay a generous 1.5 to 2.0% of collateral as fees.  I am more interested in getting my items onto the market quickly than penny pinching on distribution costs.



Nothing, yet, todo with my Eve Business ventures but just noting that in December i set up a website site eveeconomy.com which takes the monthly economic data provided by CCP and visualises it in chart form.

Loads of charts and more i can add.

I need to work out how to render the charts faster - right now they are accessed from a google drive given that is the way i have worked out how to update multiple charts at once quickly.

Let me know what you think and what else i should add.

Looking forwards to the December data given the recent battle.


Outlook

January will have five aims to it.

1) Plex the account - aim number one all the time

2) Increase sales in Dodixie - this may be tough

3) Increase sales in Amarr

4) Expand further into Invention

5) Investigate reducing 'costs of sale'.


The daily sales in December averaged 2.61bn.

If i assume i need to make 10bn + 1.4bn income per month (=11.4bn) and i assume i can achieve 15.0% margin then i need to make monthly sales of 76bn and so daily sales of 2.5bn.

December was my first month of achieving this.


Current wealth is 27.9bn ISK made up from:
  • items in hanger for sale 1.1bn ISK
  • items for sale 31.3bn ISK
  • less a 20% provision 6.3bn ISK*
  • ISK in wallet 1.8bn ISK

When i add up my wealth, I don't count assets I use in the course of my business such as ships, fittings etc nor do I add back any expenses such as skills purchased etc.  The wealth I disclose is made up of items that are ISK or are in the process of being converted to ISK or are used to generate isk that can be readily resold back onto the market.  Any ships or skills or fittings etc i buy are counted as expenses in that month.

* I take a 20% provision against the items I am selling.  Eve calculates wealth by adding up the value of the sell orders hence it is possible to increase your wealth by buying an item for 100m ISK and putting a sell order for 120m ISK (in this case your wealth would increase by 20m ISK).  For me, I want my wealth to be calculated at cost.  I know that the value of my sell orders will likely fall over time as I update my orders downwards as competition reduces their prices before my items are sold.  Hence the 20% provision is my best guess as to what the maximum reduction I would need to make to my sell orders as a whole before they are sold.  In an ideal world I would value my sell orders at the value which I bought the items for.

Friday, 25 December 2020

Trading ideas for those at the absolute start of the journey - theory and practice, part 2

Continuing the theme of looking at ideas to start a new trader off with - such an idea for those selling in Dodixie would be the Heron Blueprint.


Going through the usual checklist:

1) State of the Dodixie competition:


Well, there is absolutely no competition in Dodixie for the Heron Blueprint.

The question is would there be any buyers anyway?


2) Market volume check:



It would seem that when there was something to sell, the Buyers bought one a day or so.

So, i suspect we have an item here that could sell for 6m isk.


3) The Seller's prices in Jita:



The good news is that the Jita seller is a NPC (days to expire is >300 where as a plyer can post for a max of 90 days).

And the sell price is 2.75m isk.


4) After all costs, is this profitable:

Buy for 2.75m isk, sell for 6m isk.  profits 3.25m isk before Accounting, Broking and Courier costs.  Still, will be a very profitable item.


5) Ability to transfer the item from Jita:

its a blueprint and so is 0m3 - any ship could carry this.


so, all boxes are ticked: no competition; volume is there when there is something to sell; Jita price is nailed to the wall by an npc seller; item is good profits; the item is small enough to be couriered by any ship.

Seems a good idea for a beginner play to buy 1 and stick it up for sale in Dodixie.

 

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Trading ideas for those at the absolute start of the journey - theory and practice

If you have just started Eve and come out of the training with a cool 10m ISK then it can be somewhat daunting to know where to start if becoming a trader is your desire.


My Strategy - the theory

My strategy in trading has always been to focus on slow moving (i.e 1 or 2 items are sold per day in the market) but high margin (at least 25%, i.e. buy for 75, sell for 100 is a 25% margin).  That way, i avoid much of the competition, i don't have to update my prices too often and i get a nice steady income with minimal work.  I buy from Sellers rather than place a Buy order.


My Strategy - in practice

So, lets assume you have your 10m, are sitting in Dodixie - where to start?

The Scourge Heavy Missile Blueprint hits the mark:

In dodixie it is selling for 2.988m isk each.  There is one item up there that was updated 37 minutes ago and someone has put a block of 3 up though not updated them for 3 days.  So, it looks like we have one competitor.


and it is selling about 1 or 2 a day with some days on 0.  So more than enough for both me and this competitor to make nice sales.

The big traders, or even someone worth over 200m would not bother with this.  But for a 10m player, it is good isk.



In Jita, using EveTycoon, it is selling from NPCs (i.e. infinite amounts at a set price) for 750k isk.  https://evetycoon.com/market/810



You can always tell if it is an NPC seller because the Expiry Time is over 300 days vs a player than can only have 90 days maximum.

Now, with my 10m i would buy one of them and put it up for sale for 2.9m isk.  That is a great profit for 2.15m isk that in an instant would increase my wealth by 20%!

It wont take long to realise that all the Heavy Missile blueprints meet these criteria (low competition, great margins, stable low price in Jita).  As do some of the Cruise Missile Blueprints.


Conclusion

Keep this up and that 10m becomes 100m very quickly, and it wont be long before you move off from these Missile Blueprints.  That is the point here - this is not a market to stay in but rather one to seed your initial wealth with - another reason by you don't see the large traders, they have all moved on


Thursday, 17 December 2020

Eve Economy Website - added Ships Destroyed charts

On my Eve Economy Website which charts the data CCP provide us monthly on the Eve economy, i have added charts for Ships destroyed.


Two reasons:

Firstly, i am hoping if the sheer volumes of ships destroyed monthly will tell us anything if we can start to see any trends


Secondly, i have grouped the ships into various groups to see if this gives us anymore insight:

Mining ships - to get an idea of these ship losses and by type of mining ship; at the end of the day this is the raw material for much of the industrial production

Transporters - to get an idea of trends in transporter loses and when looking at the various types of transporters; these are the arteries of the economy, so perhaps useful to know when they are finding life more or less dangerous

Capital Ships - seeing if this shows when the really big wars happen and what the underlying losses normally are anyway

Stations - same as for Capital Ships

Capsules - Just to get an idea of how aggressive the PVP is

All other ships - to capture the rest of PVP

NPC CapitalsStructure partsMobile unitsLarge DronesShuttles - to complete the picture.


The instant observations i have is that:

it is getting more dangerous to be mining and transporting stuff around.

Though the rise in Transporter destruction is lead by the Industrials and not the Freighters or other transporter types.

Capital Ship destruction has been in decline for 18 months.

I was surprised to see that were were a few hundred Stations destroyed every month.







Wednesday, 16 December 2020

The Eve Economy - starting a website to follow the data

I have started a new website that focuses on the Eve Economy using the data CCP releases, called eveeconomy.com


Why?

I play Eve for the economy.  It is the deepest economy i have seen in a game where the economy is not the prime aim - in this case, blowing up space ships is.

In prior years i used to look at the monthly Economy Reports released by CCP and comment on them in a limited way.

However, now that my coding skills have improved (notably python using pandas and matplotlib) i can better upload the data, manipulate it and visualize with much more depth and ease than i could on a spreadsheet.


What is the aim of the website?

Initially it will be to get all the economic data released by CCP into chart form.  I still have the indices to do but the Regional, Sinks & Faucets and longer term ISK / Production / Mining / Production data is all there.

Once that is done, i can start to cut and slice the data to see what it is telling us.

And then i can start to request more data from CCP.

Where i find it, i am adding links to third party content that also looks at the Eve economy.

And all the charts i produce are included on a chart book on the home page that can be downloaded

I have already tried to estimate the wealth in the economy = total isk + total assets - assets destroyed.  i will put a separate post on this another time, i can see the flaws in my methodology and missing data.  One interesting observation is that isk in the game as a percentage of assets has been running at 20% for over a year - and intuitively that makes sense, we all want to carry spare isks to cover some of our assets in case they are destroyed.


What data do i want now from CCP?

Actually, in the first place i am going to start asking for the methodology on how some of the data is calculated.  For example, if i add the daily Production value in October and compare to the sum of the Regional Production values then they are not the same and i want to find out why.  i call these the discrepancy charts.


The website

My ability to create a website is somewhat lacking, to be kind, so it will improve over time.  In the first instance, i need to work out how to update the charts as new data arrives rather than linking the website to my google drive.

Please leave comments here or on the Eve Economy page on this blog



Sunday, 13 December 2020

The Worst Insurance Business ever?

I have been looking at the economic data provided each month in the economic reports.

i will start posting my charts and thoughts in the near future.

But one thing i came across which made my laugh is the Insurance isk flows.

Basically, whatever company pays the insurance for destroyed ships is losing about 3 trillion isk each month!


As we know, all ships are covered by insurance.  If a player takes out no additional insurance then the player will get 40% of a predetermined price for each hull (roughly based on the cost of production).

A player can then buy additional insurance which covers an additional 10% to an additional 60% (i.e. 100%).  This additional insurance is valid for 12 weeks.

Only the hull is covered, not any modules, rigs or assets in the various holds.

And no insurance is paid if the ship is destroyed by CONCORD.

So far, so good.


The monthly data shows us the Insurance payments made to players and the insurance premiums paid by players.  And so, from that, we can get an idea if this insurance company behind it all is making or losing isk.

The chart below shows exactly this for the available data: the top left chart shows the monthly payments made to players from February 2016 to October 2020; the bottom left chart shows the insurance premiums paid by players (i.e. insurance bought); and the top right chart therefore shows the net effect (negative = losses to the insurance company).




Needless to say, this insurance company is always paying out more to players each month than it receives in insurance premiums.

The monthly loss (i.e. ISK flowing into Eve Online and out of this Insurance Business) is about 3 trillion!

Each month the insurance business pays players about 4 to 6 trillion isk whilst it receives 2 to 3 trillion isk from players buying insurance.

I don't know how the numbers would change if the 40% payout was no longer made (players don't need to make any payment for that).

and, of course, this insurance business could collect the premiums, invest them in the market to make 6 trillion isk a month and then pay out the 4-6 trillion and so be profitable (thats how many insurance companies operate today - they don't make money on the insurance, they make money by investing the insurance premiums they get at the start of the year which more than covers the insurance payments they need to make).

There we go, madness for a business to write insurance in a war zone!

Friday, 11 December 2020

Accounting for my business

OK, this is an accounting post where i show how my Eve business would be accounted for in real life - move on if this is not your thing!


My business model is very simple at present:

 - I buy from sell orders in Jita
 - I pay to have the items couriered
 - I put the items up for sale in Dodixie and Amarr at a 25% profit margin
 - I change the selling price as appropriate to stay competitive
 - I collect the sales proceeds


So, the Profit and Loss Account below captures all the above and is the simple part of it all:

(items in yellow is where i have had to input to the spreadsheet, the rest are deduced)


Revenues are the total sales i have made from Dodixie and Amarr.  Combined that comes to 54.6bn in November.

By working backwards i know that my profits from selling these items was 17.6bn isk in November.

And then i have all the costs associated with making the sale: Sales Tax; Broker Listing Fees; Broker Price change fees; and courier fees.  They came to 6.8bn isk.

Take off the 1.4bn isk to buy the Plex and so my profit for November was 9.4bn isk which is the increase in my wealth.

The main thing to notice here is that revenues increased by 48% to 54.6bn but my profit increased by 124% to 9.4bn.  Partly due to the price of Plex being the same but mainly due to me selling items at a higher margin than the targeted 25%.


The Balance sheet just adds up my assets which should be the same as the sum of all my profits:


Pretty simple balance sheet.

In November i had 1.1bn of stock in my hanger waiting to be put on the market to sell, i have 18.6bn of items for sale in Dodixie and Amarr and that has a 20% provision against it of 3.7bn as a very cautious estimate of what i may have to reduce prices by to sell it all.  And then there is the 0.7bn isk in my wallets.

So, total wealth was 16.6bn which is also the sum of all the profits i have made since i started in August 2020.


The Cashflow statement then answers the question of how can i make 9.4bn isk of profit but only generate cash of 0.6bn isk.


So, we start in November with 10.8bn of profits and then we need to make a series of adjustments to recognise the investment i have made in 'working capital'.

firstly, stock in hangers increased from 0.0 to 1.1bn isk - that has therefore absorbed 1.1bn isk of cash.

secondly, the value of items i have for sale at the end of the month increased from 8.9bn to 18.6bn isk - so that absorbed 9.7bn isk of cash.

thirdly, the provision rose from 1.8bn to 3.7bn.  This is a non-cash loss so we reverse that rise of 1.9bn out.

what that means is that a November trading profit of 10.8bn actually created 2.0bn isk of cash.  the rest was invested back into the market.

that 2.0bn isk covered the 1.4bn isk Plex payment to leave 0.6bn isk to add to the 0.1bn that was in my wallet at the end of October.

Simples.



. . . . . . as an aside, this is why in the real world many companies that are growing very fast seem to have very little cash to spare, it is all going back into the business to drive the growth.  In my case, it is all being used to buy more items in Jita to sell in Dodixie and Amarr.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

youtube videos - Eve Online: Building my industrial empire

Eve Online: Building my industrial empire 

I came across this youtube channel "Gaming since the '70s" that has a weekly 10 to 30 minute video by a player who is following his progression from the start titled "Eve Online: Building my industrial empire - EP XX"

Really enjoying it.  Finding it inspiring.  i am listening to each episode from the start in the background and loads of time i find myself stopping what i am doing to listen more carefully.

Easy listening voice he has also.


The background

He is playing Eve for the economy side of it - or at least that is his prime desire.


As i write, he is on episode 51 - so not yet a year in the game but you would not know it.

The player, Thanak, starts with no experience in Eve and decides that Manufacturing is the way forwards.

The weekly video takes us through his mining, processing and missioning at the start to seed his business, and then incursions.  His entanglements with competitors, how he deals with it all and progressing onwards.

. . . . . . and discovers Planetary Interaction, low sec mining along the way.  And a lot more.  Loses ships, gets ganked, fights off pirates, the works.

He discusses what is working and what is not.  and his desire to the the industrial mogul in his part of space.


I am on episode 20

I don't want to spoil it but by episode 20 (week 20) he has set up an industrial corporation, structures and all, in low sec with 35 members and discusses all the politics of operating in low sec and their encounters with pirates who shoot first and ask later.

And is setting up a system to get large scale ship production underway.  Ore buyback programmes are up and running.

It is an all round Eve industry narrative.

And this is all through the eyes of someone who is new to Eve which brings its own excitement that we all had when we started the game and reminded me of the third party tools to use.


Inspiring

Actually, it just reminds me that i am a high sec merchant at best and i really need to branch out to enjoy more of the game.