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Saturday 28 December 2013

Training a new alt for Rens

I have started a new alt (the third alt for my second account) which will be my trading alt in Rens to sell the items i manufacture.

Once that is complete i will have alts in each of the main trading hubs (Jita, Dodixie, Amarr, Hek and Rens).

I suspect i will only train this alt as far as it needs to in order to sell items and then revert back to training my Inventor alt - which is currently sitting in Amarr.

Once that is all done i will then be considering whether i should start a third account.

My first account is training a Manufacturer to produce T2 items (and has an alt in Dodixie and Hek).  My second account is training an Inventor (and has an alt in Jita).  Hence, if i want to enjoy other aspects of the Eve economy (such as Planetary Interaction) then i will likely need a third account.

Alternatively, if my manufacturing and/or inventing businesses go well then i may need another account to deploy further alts to these tasks.

Friday 20 December 2013

Status update on my Eve business

At present i have 2 traders: 1 in Dodixie and 1 in Hek.

I have 1 manufacturer in Lonetrek which, helpfully enough, is one jump out of Jita.

and i have 1 inventor in Amarr.

I log on twice a day and spend about 30 to 45 minutes a day logged in.  I focus on slow moving but high profit margin items.

In the first instance i go through my Dodixie, Hek, Jita and Amarr locations to determine what has been sold and therefore what i need to manufacture and buy from Jita to haul to those locations.  I then buy the items from Jita or pick up the prior nights manufactured items and put them in a contract to haul to Dodixie / Hek / Amarr.

A few hours later i log on to update my sell orders and put the hauled items on to sell (i do "rush jobs" which generally are delivered within 3 hours).

The Inventor: has yet to really do anything and i am hoping when i get back from xmas i can start to get this one going.  I have not yet decided whether it is going to invent blueprint copies to allow my manufacturer to capture more of the upside in T2 manufacturing or whether it will invent blueprint copies to sell itself.

The Manufacturer: is making me about 3-6bn ISK profits per month on T1 manufacturing.  In total, spread over sell orders in Jita (posted by my manufacturer itself), in Amarr (sell orders posted by the inventor), in Dodixie and Hek (sell orders posted by the traders there) i have c20bn ISK of sell orders of T1 items manufactured to sell.  Whilst they are low volume sales they are very high margin.

I only manufacture items as they are needed - i.e. if the Trader in Hek runs out of an item to sell then only then will the manufacturer produce the items overnight and have them hauled to the Hek trader the next day as part of the daily haul from Jita to Hek.

Each day i see what needs to be manufactured, buy the raw materials from Jita and make the one jump trip to my manufacturing base and start the manufacturing process.  The next day i haul the finished items 1 jump back to Jita and contract them to my corporation.  My Buyer alt in Jita then picks them up and adds them to the hauling contract to send to the traders in Dodixie or Hek, or my Inventor in Amarr to put on to sell.

The Traders: located in Dodixie and Hek are making about 5bn ISK profit per month between them.  This is what i have been doing from the beginning.  I look to buy items in Jita (from sell orders) and then post them to sell in Dodixie and Hek, trying to make at least 20% profits.  I contract out the hauling to Push Industries and i do "Rush Jobs" every time.  Spending 23 to 30m ISK to haul items in typically 3 hours allows me to post the items to sell that night as opposed to only spending 800k ISK but taking 3 days.

The buyer: is always the current alt with no skills and next to be trained up.  Right now it is waiting its turn from when the Inventor finishes its training.  Not yet decided what it will do.

I have an empty character slot which i suspect will either become a Trader at Rens or takeover the Amarr trading slot once my Inventor leaves to find a permenant home.  I need 2 spare evenings to get it through the starting tutorials etc.

All my alts are in the same corporation - it makes it easier to haul items around (deliveries are made into the corporation delivery and so any of my alts in the delivery base can pick up the items.

And i have rented my first corporation office in Lonetrek as an experiment.  Was meant to store my blueprints to allow my Inventor easy access to them before it went off to Amarr.

So far this month, as of 20 December i have made 11.2bn ISK which suggests that i could make 17.4bn ISK in December - which is unlikely given i will be away for several of the remaining days.  But i can dream.

My total wealth, including my standard 20% provision (reducing the value of my sell orders by 20%) is now over the key 50bn ISK mark.  Not bad, if i may say so.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Plodding on

I am back from a week away from Eve again.

Not much to report.

During my week away, my wealth rose by 2bn ISK - somewhat less than i hoped but still not bad for a full 6 days without updating any orders.

I have done some tidying up.  All items i am selling that make a profit of less than 5m ISK are now put in a folder called "small deals".  I will monitor those items but i am unlikely to sell them going forwards - i want to focus on the greater ISK profit items.

Now in Amarr: Amarr looks like a good place to sell my manufactured items as well as in Jita, Dodixie and Hek.  Hence my manufacturer is now producing the items at full speed and i expect to be having them all hauled to Amarr in the next day.

My next plan is to start the final alt on my second account and place it in Rens to sell my manufactured items as well.  Perhaps this will be in place before the end of the year.

Starting Invention: I also need to look more into Invention.  My invention alt is perhaps as good as trained enough to get me started - but my knowledge is very thin on the ground.

But to start, i will copy one of the blueprints i have just to see how it all works.  I will try to invent a Viator by using a Nereus blueprint copy.  In all, this will likely take me 3 days to get all done.

Renting a Corporation Office: And, to allow me to easily swap blueprints between my manufacturer and my inventor i have decided to rent a Corporation office in Lonetrek for 6m ISK per month (though i suspect this will start to rise given there are very few offices left in this station to rent).

The first thing i noticed is that whilst Invention Slots are not hard to find, Copying slots are very thin on the ground!

Thursday 12 December 2013

Looking into Amarr

At present i have traders in Dodixie and Hek which sell items bought from Jita and sell items which my manufacturer alt is producing out of Lonetrek.

The items my manufacturer producers are slow moving but very high profitability and at present i suspect i am earning 4 to 5bn ISK profits per month just by selling 20 to 30 items in each of Jita, Dodixie and Hek.

Hence, i have decided to send my Invention alt to Amarr to check the place out.  If it proves to be successful i will use the spare alt slot on my second account to put a new alt there to sell manufactured items.

If Amarr is not good then i will check out Rens.

Either way, i expect when i come back from business this week my manufacturer will be in full swing churning out new items to sell into a new trade hub.

Also, when i come back from business i plan to clean out the list of items i am selling to focus on the higher ISK items.

Selling items for 8m ISK that cost 5m ISK to buy was good towards the beginning but now is too low an ISK profit given the time it takes to update these orders.  My limit of 30 to 45 minutes per day is a key constraint at present.

I will most likely keep them in another list titled "small deals".  I dont want to forget where i came from, i just want to make my businesses more efficient.


Saturday 7 December 2013

Making an undock bookmark

This is all about making me less vulnerable when undocking with a cargo of >100m ISK.


A bit of background first:

My manufacturer operates on a produce to sell basis.  I.e. when one of my manufactured items sells out in Jita or Dodixie or Hek my manufacturer at that point will buy the raw materials and manufacture more of the item which is then hauled to the point of sale.

That means that manufacturing time is important and so the time to haul the raw materials from Jita to my place of manufacture (in Lonetrek, one stop out of Jita) is important.

Now, i can contract out to Pushx Industries on a basic hauling fee and they will get almost any amount of volume there for under 1m ISK but it may take up to 3 days.  I could pay c25m ISK for a rush job which will normally take 5 hours - but for one jump (2 minutes of my time) that feels like alot.

So for one jump i often risk it myself - but that means minimising the hauling risks is a priority.

My greatest vulnerability is when i undock and jump to the gate.  That time to re-align and then enter warp gives gankers plenty of time to scan my cargo, make a decision and destroy me.


Part of the solution:

A way of minimising this risk is to cancel alignment which will then allow me to get to warp very fast.

Therefore, the consensus solution is to have a so called saved "insta undock point" several hundred kilometers outside of Jita which is on a straight line from the undocking location.

The idea here is that when i undock (and i am invulnerable for 30 seconds) i can warp to that point which is some 800 kilometers directly ahead of me so that i do not need to spend time aligning.  Therefore, any gankers have next to no time to target, scan and destroy me.

Once at at this "safe" undock point i can align to the gate to jump almost at my leisure.  OK, not "at my leisure" but for sure under less stress.


The method i use:

And so this is how i do it . . . . . . 

The key thing is to fly straight out of Jita - which is easier said than done.  With so much traffic undocking it is easy to be bumped off course.  I dont want that - i want an exactly straight line because i dont want any alignment time.

So, i undock in the largest ship i have (for me, an iteron) and let it fly out about 200 kilometers.  It wont get bumped by smaller ships so has a good chance of flying in a straight line.

If i have been bumped out of the straight line then i re-dock and try again.

At about 200 kilometers i select People & Places [Alt-E], press Add Location (that in itself does not save any bookmark), change the label to my description (i.e. Jita - Undock 200km), change the folder if i need to and then i press Submit.  The pressing Submit saves the location.

I then dock and get into a fast frigate with an afterburner.

Undock that, immediately warp to the saved bookmark - so no time to be bumped and i am on a straightline.

I then just put on the afterburner and fly as far as i want, certainly over 1000 kilometers before i save a new undock bookmark.

From now on, when i undock in my industrial ship with a high value of raw materials i can immediately warp to this saved bookmark without having to align to the warp gate.  At the bookmark i can then align and warp to the gate.

I save this bookmark to my corporation folder so that all of my alts can use it (note, only my alts are in my corporation so i know a spy wont steal it and set up an ambush!).

i do read in places that some people do just let their ship fly all night as they sleep to fly several hundred thousand kilometers out of Jita to save an undock point.


Additional sources:

There are some good youtube videos on this:

A good 10 minute easy watch from Cubehamster on undocking and docking

As an alternative, here is a video that looks at how gankers can counter instant undocking from Ureldor

. . . . . the lesson on that last youtube is to save more than one undock bookmark and make them many hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

November Update

My best month ever.

As a reminder, i spend 30 to 45 minutes during the weekdays on Eve.

Despite being away from Eve for over half the month my wealth increased by 12.1bn ISK to 42.7bn ISK, which is an average of 404m ISK per day

I was lucky in that another player's blunder earned me 1.5bn ISK - so reversing out this luck i saw an increase in wealth of 10.6bn ISK which is an average of 353m ISK per day.  Still, not bad and still would be my best month ever.

The time constraint of spending 30 to 45 minutes only per day that i am around forces my businesses to focus on high value but low volume strategies.

For those able to devote much more time to Eve, one way of reading this blog is to see how little time is required to generate sufficient ISK to plex your own account.

I have 2 accounts with 5 alts in total.
  • One one account: I have a trader at Dodixie and a trader at Hek which sell items that have been hauled there from Jita; and I have a manufacturer in the Lonetrek region that sells items in Jita and sends items to the traders in Dodixie and Hek to sell.
  • On the other account: I have a buyer in Jita that is is only there to buy items in Jita to send to the traders in Dodixie and Hek; and I also have an alt that is skilling up in Invention.
All my hauling is done by third parties, namely PushX Industries - the time required to haul items from Jita to my traders in Dodixie and Hek would take up too much time.  Better to let these third parties do the hauling (for a fee, of course) whilst i am offline.

I am now buying a Plex a month to finance my second account and from January i will be buying two Plex per month as my Main account will need financing.  I have been fortunate enough that some people have been using the Buddy Programme link to the right >>>> which has financed my Main account to the end of the year.

As ever, i sit with too much surplus ISK which needs to be invested.  Current surplus is 14.2bn ISK – it is dead money.

The main drivers to my improvement in November i suspect were:
  • Firstly, finding more expensive items to sell which, whilst lower margin, make me very high ISK levels of profits.  I.E. if i sell an item for 800m ISK that i bought for 700m ISK it is only 12.5% margin ((800-700)/800) vs my target 20% but is still a good 100m ISK profit before taxes,
  • Secondly, my manufacturer is now selling its items in Dodixie and Hek, as well as Jita - i.e. is now selling in 3 trade hubs instead of 1.


Dodixie trader: Life remains good for this trader.

Items for sale have risen to 16.4bn ISK from the prior months of 11.3bn ISK.  
The addition of items manufactured by my manufacturing alt and the inclusion of more expensive items to sell has boosted the value of the sell orders.

I neglected the station trading side of this alt during November given lack of time, hence buy orders have fallen to 1.3bn ISK from 1.6bn ISK.  At present, updating the station trading orders tends not to happen given my daily time constraints.


The alt is currently using 130 of the 141 trading slots.

This alt pays 0.80% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.90% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.

There are no medium term goals for this alt – i suspect i may move out of station trading and continue to seek higher priced items to move form Jita to Dodixie to sell as selling any additional items my manufacturing alt decides to produce.


Hek trader: Life is speeding up now.  My pre-xmas plan to find new income sources for this trader is coming through.

The manufacturing alt keeps this trader supplied with the high margin items i am manufacturing to sell in Dodixie, Hek and Jita.


Just after the period end i am now expanding into new items to sell which are more expensive and, at Hek at least, could carry very high margins given there is very little competition - we will see.

Following this move i now use 123 of the 129 available sell slots.  
At this rate i will be dropping some of the low margin skillbooks that i am selling.

Pays 0.80% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.90% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.



Manufacturing alt: This alt is gathering momentum.  During the month it made sales of 7bn ISK and profits of 3bn ISK, which compares to the 2.1bn ISK profits last month.  And that does not include items sold in Dodixie and Hek that it manufacturers.  In all, i suspect this alt makes profits of over 4 to 5bn ISK per month once i include the items sold in Dodixie and Hek.

I now have a list of 52 items i focus on to sell, currently selling 27 of them in Jita and 33 in Dodixie and Hek.  The other items that i watch too low a profitability.

It currently has 2.6bn ISK of sell orders and another 1.4bn ISK of items in manufacture compared to 3.4bn at the end of last month.

I now own 44 blueprints worth over 1bn ISK, most of which have already comfortably paid for themselves.

I have moved my manufacturing alt into Lonetrek.  Close to Jita but there are plenty of manufacturing slots available.  The downside is that i can’t update or see my sell orders in Jita from the Lonetrek region given Jita is in a different region.

At the moment, i believe my manufacturing alt makes 100m ISK profits per day = 3.0bn ISK per month - and that is before i include any profits i make selling the items through my traders in Dodixie and Hek.  I very much consider my expansion into Manufacturing as a success so far.  And all this takes is 15 minutes update time a day.

The current near term goals is to look for more highly profitably items to manufacture.


The new account:  I started a new account in September which will cost me a plex a month to maintain, i.e. 600m ISK per month at todays prices.

The first alt I am training up in Research skills so that it can go down the Invention path.  I thought i had trained it up sufficiently to start Invention but reading around the subject has forced me to train up the skills further.  I am hoping to at least make a start in Invention this month.

The second alt is my buyer in Jita – so he buys the items for the traders to sell in Dodixie and Hek.  As ever, the items are hauled there by Pushx Industries.  Once my Invention alt is trained up then i can train this alt up to go down another career path.

To date, neither of the alts in the new account are making, or attempting, to make any ISK.


During December i will be away for a week on business and then no holiday over xmas - hence, i suspect December will not be as good a month as November or indeed October.



Current Wealth:




Expected business purchases in the next 30 days
  • Plex 600,000,000 ISK







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.

* 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 until i finally hold it as ISK.  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 cost is or at least the maximum reduction I would need to make to my sell orders as a whole before they are sold.

Sunday 1 December 2013

(Another) big blunder in my favour

again, i have been on the lucky end of a blunder!

When i log on i always take a quick look at he sales i have made.  Today i noted that i had sold the Black Ops skillbook for 595m ISK, which did seem a rather a high amount.



Upon checking the market, my suspicions were confirmed:


I was selling the Black Ops skillbook for 69.9m ISK.

Hence, looking at the above, it would appear that the buyer had meant to put in a buy order for 59,500,001 ISK but instead did not in one too many zeros and hit my sell order (which must have been the lowest at the time) for 595,000,001 ISK.

I suspect it was this way round rather than missing the decimal place given that would have bought my item for 5.95bn ISK!

And just to prove that this happens to us all, this player had been playing since 2007.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

A big blunder in my favour

Seems blunders cut both ways . . . . . doubtless i will be “repaying” this blunder back at some point in the future!
 
I logged on and noticed that my Dodixie trader had made sales of 2.4bn since i last checked and the biggest single sale was a Pith A-Type Explosive Deflection Field which sold for 1.55bn ISK.

 
Upon investigation, i discovered that the sales price for this item was actually only 34m ISK where as the best buy order was sitting at 15.5m ISK.

 
 
Hence, what happened here i suspect is that the Buyer meant  to put on a buy order for 15.5m ISK but added an extra “0” into the order and so created a buy order for 1.55bn ISK - and therefore bought one of my sell orders where was up for a mere 34m ISK.  Painful.
 
And just to add to the matter – the character that bought the item had been playing since September 2008!
 

Sunday 24 November 2013

Excel reading prices from Eve-Central - step by step guide

I have had lots of questions referring to my post on automatically updating Jita prices in my excel spreadsheets where I pointed readers in the direction of the Fuzzwork blog written by Fuzzysteve where he talks about this exact same subject and gives examples.

So, for completeness of my blog below is my step-by-step guide on how to import prices from Eve-Central onto your spreadsheet - and hopefully this will work for those who don't like to use Excel beyond its basic functions!


The Aim:

To build a spreadsheet on Excel 2007 to download the prices of 1 item in Jita from the Eve-Central website.


The Set-up:

The Workbook (in the lingo - a workbook contains a number of worksheets, we would call "tabs") will have 3 worksheets

a worksheet with all the item IDs (known as typeid) - call it "Type Ids"

a worksheet that downloads the prices from Jita - call it "downloaded data"

a worksheet that selects the pricing from the data that is downloaded - call it "workings"


Step 1: create the worksheet with all the typeid's

this step need only ever be done once - or when new items are added to the game.

the Eve-Central database, and indeed every Eve Online data base works off typeid's, not their name.

Therefore, we need first to download the Items Names and IDs so that we can determine the typeid if we are given the Item Name.

You could just look the item number up everytime online - but that is very time consuming given this step is quick to do and needs only be done once.

Fuzzysteve has provided an excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded - right click the link and "save as" to your desktop, and open it.

The downloaded spreadsheet will look in part like this:


copy and paste the entire spreadsheet onto your worksheet called "Type Ids".

as you can see on the spreadsheet - the typeid is in column A and the item name is in column C.


Step 2: create the worksheet that downloads the prices from Jita

This is the where the action happens - and call this worksheet "downloaded data"

For this example we will download the price of Tritanium.

there are 2 parts to this step - the first part is deriving the URL to download the data, the second part is downloading the data.


Deriving the URL:

What we are aiming for is the URL http://api.eve-central.com/api/marketstat?typeid=34&regionlimit=10000002

where "typeid=34" is the typeid for Tritanium
and "regionlimit=1000002" is The Forge Region

. . . . . in other words, we will be downloading the price of Tritanium from The Forge region.

Given we will always be looking at prices in The Forge (which contains Jita) then the only piece of the URL that will change is the typeid.

How you insert the correct typeid is up to you but I use the excel MATCH and INDEX functions.

on my worksheet "downloaded data", in cell F137 is the name of the item I am looking for, in this case Tritanium.

and then in cell E137 is this formula:

=INDEX('Type Ids'!A:A,MATCH(F137,'Type Ids'!C:C,0))

. . . . .what this does is look down column C in the worksheet "Type Ids" for the name in cell F137 (in this case Tritanium) and then returns the value that is in the same row that is in column A on that worksheet.  I.e. MATCH looks up the row number and INDEX then reads the value in the other column which is on that row.

Then in cell D133 I have the formula
 
"http://api.eve-central.com/api/marketstat?typeid="&E137&"&regionlimit=10000002"

. . . . in other words, it returns the URL
http://api.eve-central.com/api/marketstat?typeid=34&regionlimit=10000002

the final step in this part is to then copy that URL and paste it in the line below as a "value" - in other words, copy the value it gives to another cell, not the formula.


downloading the data:

now copy the URL that was derived, i.e:

http://api.eve-central.com/api/marketstat?typeid=34&regionlimit=10000002


on the same excel worksheet called "downloaded data":

1. select the work tab "Data" from the top row of menu items
2. make sure the cell selected is where you want to download the data to (so for the first one in cell A1)
3. press "From Web" which should be the second item along below the menu items at the top
4. This will open up your home webpage on the spreadsheet (for me google)
5. replace the URL with the URL you have saved - as shown in the above picture
6. Press "Go" or Enter / Return

This will then change the webpage to:


Now press "Import" to download the data for the first time, and you will be presented with this box:


the cell $A$1 is the position of the current selected cell, so change that if you want to, then press "OK"

that will then download the data which will fill the row from column A to column X.

what each column represents, assuming you started in column A is:


Aversion
Bmethod
Cid
Dvolume
Eavg
Fmax
Gmin
Hstddev
Imedian
Jpercentile
Kvolume2
Lavg3
Mmax4
Nmin5
Ostddev6
Pmedian7
Qpercentile8
Rvolume9
Savg10
Tmax11
Umin12
Vstddev13
Wmedian14
Xpercentile15

The sales price I look for is in column Q "percentile8".


Step 3: create the worksheet that selects the pricing from the downloaded data

and this is the final part


on the third worksheet in your workbook called "workings" you make a formula to select the cell in column Q,

again, I use the INDEX and MATCH excel functions to find what I am looking for.

=INDEX('Downloaded Data!Q:Q,MATCH(B153,'Downloaded Data!C:C,0))

where the cell B153 on my "Workings" worksheet has the typeid for Tritanium (which is 34) and the MATCH function would then find it in column C of the "Downloaded Data" worksheet in row 1 and the INDEX function would then read the value in row 1 in column Q of the "Downloaded Data" worksheet.

. . . . .and there we are.


From here on in, to update this data press the Refresh button at the top - that will then update all your downloaded data points:




To add more items to download merely go through Steps 2 and 3 again!

Wednesday 20 November 2013

A collection of useful youtube videos for making ISK

The links below are to youtube videos that I have found helpful in my quest to make ISK.


Trading

Draze Swift Products has a good long 1hr 20mins video on station trading in his Eve online Videos in this play list.

A good Station Trading video from TubravTV

Three trading videos from Caleb Ayrania in this play list.




Manufacturing

Pretty much all Eve online videos by andrewthered1 in this play list.

A manufacturing video from delonewolf

A Tech 2 manufacturing guide from speedytuning1 and some further manufacturing videos in his playlist



General business / industrial activities

A 20 minutes video by delonewolf talking about how he made his ISK

A general ISK making video by KensCrazyGaming on how he makes his ISK

In amongst all these videos, there are some good ISK making
videos from SeamusDonohueEVE

Saturday 16 November 2013

Manufacturing - 2 months in

Its been a while since I have written exclusively on my manufacturing alt.

I have been very pleasantly surprised at how profitable manufacturing is compared to my initial expectations.  October was my first full month running at speed and I made profits of 2bn ISK whilst spending only 10 minutes per day at the most on it.

I am halfway through the current month and I have made 1.7bn ISK profits.

Of all my activities I believe manufacturing is the leasst time consuming time of financing the purchase of Plex.

My strategy is similar to that I adopt in trading: I focus on the low volume, high margin items.  The 0.01 players leave these alone given the low volume of sales per day.  I don't focus at all on the high volume items such as ammunition.

I have a spreadsheet set up on Excel 2007 which downloads the Jita prices (from Eve Central) of the items I am selling and all the raw materials to compare the profit margins and so indicate to me which I should be producing.  In all, this spreadsheet monitors 49 items so far, and the list is growing.

At present I regularly sell 26 items which at the present time is making me profits of 2bn ISK per month - hopefully 3bn this month but we will see, I am away for over half the month on business.  If I sell 3 items a day giving me 35m ISK profit each then I am a happy pilot.

I own over 1bn ISK of Blueprints (which I class as expenses and hence the 2bn Profits in October covered the costs of these Blueprints).

I sell in Jita and I manufacture in the Lonetrek region.  The Lonetrek region is right next door to Jita and there are always plenty of spare manufacturing slots.

I am expanding my operations into other regions to see if I can enhance my sales - so far it has started slowly but it is early days.

When I started manufacturing it was industrial ships - as of today, they would all be loss making.  Has been over a month since I sold my last manufactured ship.

The great part about manufacturing is that so far it is very low maintenance.  Even assuming I need to buy materials to manufacture 11 items + ship them to my manufacturing station + set up the manufacturing operations + get them to Jita to sell + update all sell orders then at the most it is 10 minutes.

I greatly suspect I could have financed the ongoing purchase of Plex if I had started in manufacturing - but that is not as certain as trading.  The time taken to learn the required skills is perhaps more of a hurdle earlier in the process.

Going forwards I am merely plan to expand the number items I manufacture for now.  I also am learning Spaceship Command skills given I suspect this alt will be the alt that hauls items around once my manufacturing operations expand into other regions.



My current relevant skills are:

  • Mass Production 5 and Advanced Mass Production 5 allows me to manufacture 11 product items at once.  Many blogs I read don't learn Advanced Mass Production 5 given the time it takes - but the one downside on being away on business a lot is that time is available to set an alt up to lean a skill that takes 30 days!

  • Production Efficiency 5 allows me to use less materials to manufacture items

  • Industry 5 allows me to manufacture items quicker and is required to progress in other skills

  • Supply Chain Management 5 allows me to start a manufacturing job from anywhere in the same region - I am not really using this at present but I expect to use to more when I move my manufacturing operations away from Jita.

  • I then have various skills that allow me to manufacture certain items such as Mechanics 5, Hull Upgrades 2, CPU Management 5, various Rigging skills, Science 5,

  • Contracting 2 - allows me to set up 11 contracts to haul my items around


and because this alt places its sell orders to sell its items I have also trained in:

  • Daytrading 3 - allows me to modify my sell orders up to 11 jumps away in the same Region

  • Marketing 3 - allows me to place sell orders up to 10 jumps away and is required to learn other skills

  • Retail 4 and Trade 4 - allows me to place a total of 53 Buy and Sell orders


  • Cybernetics 4 - allows me to get the Standard implants for faster learning

Thursday 14 November 2013

Someone's blunder is my gain

I see these types of blunders a lot.

. . . . . as a primer, I am not posting these to mock the people making the mistakes, I make enough myself to last a lifetime . . . . .

as shown in the market window for this Eifyr implant the sell orders are mostly around the 1,288,997 mark and there is a buy order at 260,000.03 ISK.

However, there is a sell order at 260,000.04 ISK.  Clearly, this "seller" meant to post the order as a buy order, and the best buy order at that.  However, they blundered and posted as a sell instead - which is not hard to do if you are in a hurry.

Alternatively, they meant to sell a sell order that was posted at 260,000.04 which maybe had 3 item at that price and the seller put on a sell order for 8 items at 260,000.04 but of course only 3 were filled leaving 5 to go.

 
of course, I took advantage of this blunder and bought these 5 items for 260,000.04 to resell at the current selling price.  a nice and easy 5m ISK profit for no work at all.
 


Sunday 10 November 2013

A week away - not too much of a dent

I came back from a trip that kept me away from Eve for 5 nights and my wealth had increased by 1.6bn ISK (=183m ISK per day) to 32.3bn ISK.  I considered that a good result.

Good sales came from across my alts in Dodixie and Hek (my Regional traders) and my manufacturing alt sitting in Jita.

My Manufacturing Alt is expanding its operation.  It can now have 11 items in production at any one time and it is selling 26 items for good profit margins.  As an experiment I am looking into selling into new Regions to see how that goes.  I am now training this alt up on Space Ship command.  I suspect in time this will be the alt I use to transport items around where I am unable to use third parties.

My Research Alt in Jita, which currently acts as my buyer for my traders in Dodixie and Hek, is moving towards the end game in getting up to speed to start Invention.  To be honest, I could have gone down this route 3 weeks ago but RL is taking up too much time.  This alt is now learning Mechanics 5 and will then learn CPU Management to level 5 (the old Electronics skill) before seeking a place to call home to do Invention.  I expect to do that towards the end of November or early December.  And of course I have purchased another Plex to finance this account for a further 30 days.

In readiness for that day I am starting a new alt - given I will be away for several periods during November it could take a while for me event to complete the starter missions!

Whilst I have found some more expensive items to sell via by traders in Dodixie and Hek my biggest issue remains that I have almost 9bn uninvested ISK in my wallet which is acting as a drag to my growth in wealth.

I only spend 30 to 45 minutes per weekday on Eve - hence I am looking for new items to sell or projects that can use up this ISK for a good return with minimal effort on my behalf.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

CCP Financials - Eve Online (ex China) Revenues

This post continues my series looking at the CCP financial position.  The published CCP Accounts are on this page, and my forecasts are on this page.

In this post, I am looking at the revenues of Eve Online (ex China).

. . . . . my game related conclusion would be that would lead me to conclude that we should expect a lot more effort by CCP to keep new players, including enhanced "carebear" protection.

Any analysis of CCP today will always start with the revenues of Eve Online (ex China).  In 2012 Eve Online (ex China) accounted for 98% of the total revenues of CCP.  For now, Eve Online is the business of CCP.

The revenues of Eve Online is somewhat more complicated that subscribers multiplied by price paid.  Indeed, the main drivers of revenues that I have identified are:

1. the number of subscribers per year: it is not clear what CCP discloses but I suspect in their presentations they disclose the number of subscribers during the year (or the number of subscribers present at the year-end).  And for good measure I had to try and read these of a graph.

2. the average number of months each subscriber stays for: whilst many players have been subscribing for many years I suspect there are many many more who subscribe for 1 or 3 months and then give up.  Therefore, the average number of months each subscriber stays for during a year is important.  Its all very well having 355,000 subscribers but if 100,000 of them are only around for 1 month then that is 100,000 new subscribers that have to be found the following month to keep numbers up.  I have not found any indication from CCP how this looks - so I had to analyse it myself.

3. the price for a 1, 3, 6, 12 month subscription: there are different price points depending on the length of the subscription.  These price points are known.

4. the proportion of 1, 3, 6, 12 month subscriptions purchased by the subscribers: follows on from the above point, we need to determine what proportion of the subscribers take each length of subscription.  I have not found any indication from CCP how this looks - so I had to analyse it myself.

5. the mix of revenues that are Plex sales: Plex sales are in part additional revenues to CCP but they also perhaps replace subscriptions.  The ultimate end buyer of a Plex may start a new account that would not otherwise have been started (so no loss to CCP) or may replace their subscription by buying Plex (like I do) in which case CCP is only slightly better off (by Plex price less Subscription pri
ce).  CCP has disclosed that 20 - 25% of revenues are from Plex in recent times.  Plex sales started in November 2008.

So, starting with the Plex - it does seem the easiest: given the sales started in 2008 I assumed that 10% of revenues in 2008 came from Plex sales (bumper sales in November and December 2008), in 2009 I assumed that Plex sales accounted for 15% of revenues, in 2010 22% of revenues, in 2011 23% of revenues and then in 2012 24% of revenues - as shown in the table below.  I don't have anyway of knowing this for sure.  CCP tells us that Plex accounts for 20 to 25% of revenues.

Eve Online - ex China
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Sales mix
Subscriptions 90% 85% 78% 77% 76%
Plex sales 10% 15% 22% 23% 24%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Plex sales 4,166,889 7,767,364 12,470,378 14,293,372 15,062,430
change 86.4% 60.5% 14.6% 5.4%
Price per Plex 19.95 19.95 19.95 19.95 19.95
Number of Plex sold 208,867 389,342 625,082 716,460 755,009
Number per month 17,406 32,445 52,090 59,705 62,917
Additional "accounts" 11% 16% 17% 18%
However, I can do some sense checks.  If I assume the price for a Plex is $19.95 (I know, they can be discounted) then using my assumptions of sales from Plex I can determine the number of Plex sold in 2008 to 2012 and so get a feel for the number per month which would give an indication of the additional accounts that Plex finances (assumes all Plex goes to new accounts in that year - in reality there will be buffer stock and other uses).  In 2010 it looks like 52,090 additional accounts per month = 16% additional accounts, in 2011 59,705 additional accounts = 17% additional accounts and in 2012 62,917 additional accounts = 18% additional accounts.  That seems to look sensible.


and now lets look at the subscription revenues: the table below shows my thinking with my full discussion below it.  The chart below also adds in the Plex sales from above.  Worth remembering, we know the Eve Online revenues for 2008 to 2012, all we are trying to do is break down how the above drivers fit in so we can then extrapolate forwards to 2013 and 2014.


Eve Online - ex China
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number of subscribers 225,000 300,000 320,000 355,000 355,000
change 28.6% 33.3% 6.7% 10.9% 0.0%
average length per subscriber (mths) 12.0 11.0 10.4 10.1 10.1
         
Proportion of payment plans taken
Price per subscription for 1 mth 70% 60% 60% 60% 60%
Price per subscription for 3 mths 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
Price per subscription for 6 mths 0% 10% 10% 10% 10%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Price per month per plan $
Price per subscription for 1 mth 14.95 14.95 14.95 14.95 14.95
Price per subscription for 3 mths 11.36 11.36 11.36 11.36 11.36
Price per subscription for 6 mths 9.55 9.55 9.55 9.55 9.55
Average subscription 13.87 13.33 13.33 13.33 13.33
Subscription revenues 37,502,004 44,015,060 44,213,158 47,851,724 47,697,693
change 17.4% 0.5% 8.2% -0.3%
Sales mix
Subscriptions 90% 85% 78% 77% 76%
Plex sales 10% 15% 22% 23% 24%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Plex sales 4,166,889 7,767,364 12,470,378 14,293,372 15,062,430
change 86.4% 60.5% 14.6% 5.4%
Price per Plex 19.95 19.95 19.95 19.95 19.95
Number of Plex sold 208,867 389,342 625,082 716,460 755,009
Number per month 17,406 32,445 52,090 59,705 62,917
Additional "accounts" 11% 16% 17% 18%
Total Revenues 41,668,893 51,782,424 56,683,536 62,145,096 62,760,123
change 24.3% 9.5% 9.6% 1.0%
Number of subscribers - we know from the chart issued by CCP, assuming I am reading it correctly!

Again, assuming my Plex sales mixes are correct then there are three key steps to get from Subscriber numbers to revenues: average length of a subscriber x proportion of subscribers going for 1 / 3 / 6 month payment plans x the price of the 1 / 3 / 6 month payment plans.  I have assumed that too small a proportion to matter goes for 12 month plans.

Of course, I don't know the answer to this and I cant find anywhere that CCP has disclosed this so I had to make assumptions.  Furthermore, I assumed the introduction of Plex has altered the proportion of payment plans taken up.  I have assumed that players that were long standing but paid monthly were more likely to buy Plex (they probably gather more ISK in game and so have the most to benefit from using Plex to extend their game time) and so the proportion of payment plans for 1 month fell after 2008.

In all, in 2008 I assumed 70% of subscribers paid monthly and 30% 3 monthly - and the average length of a subscriber was 12 months.  And then in 2009 onwards I assumed this moved to 60% monthly plans, 30% 3 monthly and 10% 6 monthly but that the average length of stay fell to 11 months in 2009, trending down to 10 months by 2012 reflecting the very steep learning curve as players give up.

Worth noting that given the subscriber numbers in 2008 and the price points I really struggled to make the revenues numbers add up - either prices were higher, or Plex was higher priced, or more Plex sold in 2008 than I thought.  I was surprised at how high I had to make the proportion of 1 month payment plans.

I have also not taken into account in price discounts given in pre-expansion periods etc.

Hence, by the end of 2012 I am assuming:

- that the average number of months a subscriber stays for is 10
- that 60% pay monthly / 30% 3 monthly / 10% 6 monthly
- that the monthly price for 1 month is $14.95, 3 months  $11.36 and 6 months $9.55
- that the proportion of revenues that are Plex sales costing $19.95 each is 76%

Therefore, to determine 2013 and 2014 I need to assess the likely subscriber growth and how the above changes.

We already know the 6 month numbers for 2013 and using these I therefore assume subscribers grow by 22% to 433,100 in 2013 followed by 10% growth in 2014 to 476,000.  I assume the average length of stay of a subscriber stays at 10 months as CCP makes efforts to lessen the steep learning curve and more attempts to protect new players.  I assume the pricing points and proportion of 1 / 3 / 6 monthly sales does not change.  And I assume Plex sales are 25% in both 2013 and 2014.  That, therefore, leads to the Eve Online revenues below which then feed into my forecasts on this page.

Eve Online - ex China
2011 2012 2013F 2014F
Number of subscribers 355,000 355,000 433,100 476,410
change 10.9% 0.0% 22.0% 10.0%
average length per subscriber (mths) 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.1
       
mix
Price per subscription for 1 mth 60% 60% 60% 60%
Price per subscription for 3 mths 30% 30% 30% 30%
Price per subscription for 6 mths 10% 10% 10% 10%
100% 100% 100% 100%
Price per month
Price per subscription for 1 mth 14.95 14.95 14.95 14.95
Price per subscription for 3 mths 11.36 11.36 11.36 11.36
Price per subscription for 6 mths 9.55 9.55 9.55 9.55
Average subscription 13.33 13.33 13.33 13.33
Subscription revenues 47,851,724 47,697,693 58,322,675 64,154,943
change 8.2% -0.3% 22.3% 10.0%
Sales mix
Subscriptions 77% 76% 75% 75%
Plex sales 23% 24% 25% 25%
100% 100% 100% 100%
Plex sales 14,293,372 15,062,430 19,440,892 21,384,981
change 14.6% 5.4% 29.1% 10.0%
Price per Plex 19.95 19.95 19.95 19.95
Number of Plex sold 716,460 755,009 974,481 1,071,929
Number per month 59,705 62,917 81,207 89,327
Additional "accounts" 17% 18% 19% 19%
Total Revenues 62,145,096 62,760,123 77,763,567 85,539,924
change 9.6% 1.0% 23.9% 10.0%

 


In all, I expect revenues for Eve Online to grow by 23.9% in 2014 to $77.8m and then by 10.0% in 2014 to $85.5m.

The main driver may look like subscriber growth.  For every additional 1% of subscribers the revenues rise by 0.8% (=$637k).

However, if CCP managed to increase the average subscription length by half a month to 10.6 months then revenues would rise by 5.0% (=$3.8m).

Indeed, if CCP managed to increase the proportion of Plex sales from 25% to 26% of revenues then total revenues would rise by 1.4% (=$1.1m).

Hence, subscriber growth is not the only focus - the more CCP can do to keep new players and convert players to starting new accounts with Plex then the better it is for CCP.

Keeping everyone for half a month longer is better than adding an additional 4,000 new subscribers.

. . . . . . that would lead me to conclude that we should expect a lot more effort by CCP to keep new players, including enhanced "carebear" protection.