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Wednesday 25 September 2013

Someone’s mistake

A while ago I was going through and updating my sell orders and one of the items i have been selling almost from the beginning, Small Hull Repairer II, had been undercut.

Typically i bought at Jita at 995k ISK and sold in Dodixie at 1.7m ISK.

But i noticed that the seller had posted 16 for sale at 38.8k ISK each.  Looking at the buy orders which are at 38.8k it is clear that the seller meant to post the items as a buy order (the image below is after I bought the cheap items).

Names spared to save blushes – but i bought them all up, and started to sell them out at 1.7m ISK each.

Alternatively i could have hauled them to Jita and sold them to buyers for 600k ISK each.
. . . . . . . i am sure i will be making plenty of mistakes along the way!

Sunday 22 September 2013

Automatic Jita prices in my spreadsheets

In the comments to my last post "Started in Manufacturing" Steve Anderson, author of the site opened my eyes to taking data off the internet into excel.

Currently, i have one spreadsheet for my trader in Dodixie which has the price of an item to sell in Dodoxie and the price of that item selling in Jita, and compares the two to see the profit, as shown below:

In the above table i am able to sell the Amarr Fuel Block Blueprint for 12.5m ISK in Dodixie and it sells for 12.0m ISK in Jita, allowing me to make a profit before fees / taxes / hauling costs of 500k ISK, or a margin of 4% - not very good.  The Arbitrator Blueprint though is much better . . . . . but sells very slowly!  And the spreadsheet goes on for many rows and there is another one for Hek.

As an aside, i also have a column indicating how many items trade each day.

The spreadsheet allows me to input the number to buy in Jita and so calculates the cost of my purchases and the expected profits to be made after all costs.  Another part of the spreadsheet then calculates the hauling cost and so showing me my total expected profits - most recent summary is below:

In the above example i was hauling 2.6bn ISK of items to make sales of 3.1bn leaving me with profits of 381m ISK after all costs - not a big haul for me and indeed no skill books were being hauled to Dodixie that day either.

The items on each spreadsheet are also on my quickbars.

Up until now i would manually type in all the Dodixie/Hek and Jita prices for items that i had completely sold out of in Dodixie/Hek - which was somewhat boring.

I was aware that Eve-Central could display the data but i was not sure how to access this on my spreadsheets (Excel 2007).

The data on Eve-central is only as good as the players contributing - so i suspect very timely and accurate for Jita but perhaps not as good elsewhere.  I don't know if the data will be timely enough to get accurate prices for Dodixie and Hek.

But now my eyes have been opened to getting the Jita prices at least onto my spreadsheet.

One of Steve's posts goes through importing XML data to allow Jita prices from Eve-Central to appear on my spreadsheet (at least that is what i think i happening).  Steve provides an example spreadsheet which i used and added to.

Hence, i now only have to update my prices for Dodixie and Hek - a big time saving on my daily routine!  The Jita prices now come automatically from Eve-Central to my spreadsheets.

And the Jita data has also been added to my manufacturing spreadsheets.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Started in Manufacturing

I have started into manufacturing.

The third alt on the main account which used to be my buyer at Jita is now my manufacturing alt.  I started a new account to place that character in Jita for now.

I am a complete novice at manufacturing - so the pros out there, look away now!  For World of Warcraft readers - it is worth noting that manufacturing in Eve is done mostly offline.

My alt has trained the following relevant skills:
  • Industry 5 - reduces manufacturing time by 4% per level
  • Production Efficiency 5 - reduces the materials required by 5% per skill level
  • Mass Production 5 - allows 1 extra manufacturing slot per level
  • Advanced Mass Production 4 - allows 1 extra manufacturing slot per level
  • Supply Chain Management 4 - allows me to start manufacturing jobs remotely
  • Capital Ship Construction 3 - allows me to manufacture capital ships
  • Industrial Construction 2 - allows me to manufacture advanced industrials
  • Science 5 - needed to learn other skills
  • Mechanics 5 - needed to learn other skills

so, in all, I can now run 10 manufacturing slots at once

I am experimenting at the moment to get the hang of this business.

In the first 2-3 weeks I have made c250m ISK profits . . . . . it's a start.

I am finding it good fun - if I am honest, perhaps more fun that Regional Trading.

Part of starting up is to prepare those spreadsheets.  Below shows part of my summary sheet which shows the ships I am looking at, the net margin (i.e. profits after all costs divided by sales), the number I intend to produce and the current Jita sales price (I am selling in Jita at the moment).

There is of course more to this spreadsheet - but that is as much as I can sensibly fit on this blog page at the moment.  I just have to update the mineral costs, the sales prices and how much I wish to produce and the spreadsheet does the rest including telling me what I need to buy and what the volume will be to haul.  It is a pity Excel 2010 can't take pricing data direct from Eve-Central else I would really be in business!

As can be seen from the above, the industrial ships I have been looking at are not very profitable at all, indeed several are outright loss making.  The most profitable at the moment is the new Gallente Industrial Miasmos.
At present, I am manufacturing the Capital ship modification items to make my money - there is good profits here though only on a few items.
I am manufacturing the items one jump out of Jita.  If I haul over 100m ISK of minerals / materials or finished items then I contract it out to Pushx Industries.
I also trained some Trade skills.  My plan had been to get my traders in Dodixie and Hek to sell the manufactured items - but whilst I stayed at Jita I just trained up some Trade skills to smooth the selling operations.
I started by costing items to sell on my spreadsheet before I found this very useful site Eve-Cost which can calculate the profits before broker fees and sales taxes using Jita sales and materials costs (pricing data taken from Eve-Central).
My next steps will be to:
  • Look into other items to manufacture
  • Move to nearer Hek or Dodixie - - - -  Jita is frightening competitive.
  • Move into T2 items to manufacture

Saturday 14 September 2013

Looking at the trading done by each alt

I have had a number of ingame emails asking if additional trading alts are worth it and how much of my ISK is made by each alt.

At present I have 4 alts spread over 2 accounts.

I have a trading alt in Dodixie that sells items which have been bought in Jita and skills books that have been bought elsewhere, and is also experimenting with "station trading" (for the non Eve players, "station trading" is where items are bought through market buy orders and then placed up to sell via market sell orders in the same station - much like a market maker on a stock exchange - i.e. the station trader never undocks).

I have a trading alt in Hek that sells items which have been bought in Jita and skills books that have been bought elsewhere.

I now also have an alt that is training up to be a manufacturer.  So far is manufacturing near Jita to build up my expertise but will eventually move.

And finally, on my new account, I have the buyer in Jita that buys items to be sold in Dodixie and Hek.  These items about hauled to Dodixie and Hek by a third party organisation called Pushx Industries.

I do not have an accurate way of measuring the profits made by each alt but a look at how much each alt has in the way of sell orders + buy orders + items in the hanger to sell + items being manufactured should give an idea of how much work they do.

For this purpose, I am excuding the Jita buying alt - its sole purpose is to buy items for resale and nothing more.  Eventually it will move into Invention once its skills are trained up and a new Jita buyer alt will be created.

the table below shows the summary by each alt:


Of my total current wealth of 18.2bn ISK the Dodixie seller accounts for over half at 9.6bn ISK.  It has about 57% of the sell orders and does all the station trading.  Whilst real life prevents me from logging on every day, when I do I always have items hauled from Jita to Dodixie to replace items sold.  It was my starting alt and  its level of activity is still growing as I enter the station trading market.

The Hek seller has 32% of the total wealth and that feels about right.  Since I pulled out of selling subsystems this alt's trading activities have fallen away and I am looking for alternative items to sell.  Whilst my Dodixie seller can have items hauled from Jita every day I suspect my Hek seller only needs 3 or 4 hauls per week (assuming I was on every day).  Right now this alt is not pulling its weight.

The manufacturing alt is growing its business and I suspect has already generated profits of about 160m in its first 2 weeks of manufacturing.  It is very early days and this alt only represents about 7% of my total wealth but I am expecting to see this grow.  I started selling industrial ships and have recently moved onto capital ship modifications.  There are good profits to be made there for now.

The corporation holds all the spare ISK and I use the corporation wallets to make all the purchases.  Now that my Dodixie alt is entering the station trading market the amount of spare ISK is lower.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Shorter expiry times get priority (?)

Below is a series of images from an item I was selling in Hek.  I am the seller in blue.

The first image shows that i am second in the queue selling 5 of the item at 12,499,991 whereas there is someone else ahead of me selling 7 of the item at the same price.

The second image shows that i have undercut by 1 ISK to sell the 5 items at 12,499,990 with the order open for 3 months.

And then the third image, which took me by surprise, shows the other seller has priced at the same price as me but is now first in the queue.

That took me by surprise because i thought someone who posts to sell at the same price comes behind the existing same priced sales.

The fourth image shows be undercutting by 1 ISK again only to see the other seller come in at the same price later on but come in front of me!

Hence, the only reason i can think of why this seller is first is because the expiry time of their order is shorter (14 days vs my 90 days)


Saturday 7 September 2013

August Update

A slower than expected month.  Wealth increased by 4.4bn ISK to 15.9bn ISK.  Which is an average of 143m ISK per day.  So below July where wealth rose by 6.0bn ISK.

Three main reasons for the slowdown.

·         Firstly i was on less than expected – work is taking over at times.  I can often go 2 or 3 nights without updating orders.  Missing a Thursday night can be a killer I find - seems that people are out buying in force on a Friday ahead of a weekend,
·         Secondly, i moved out of the sub-system market which i found mind numbingly competitive and time consuming.  I only have one or two items left to sell.  Whilst it was a bore it did generate a decent return though i often felt that i was selling some items for a zero profit and others for a great profit – depending on how quick the competition was.  I suspect there is a market in there somewhere that meets my criteria, i will just have to be more selective.  This move materially slowed the trading of my Hek trader.
·         Thirdly, I started a new account which will cost me 550m ISK per month and i spent a further c400m on implants and skill books for my two chars that are training.  However i look at it though, this third item is an ongoing expense that i need to take into account - hence not really an excuse for a slower month!

One key constraint i have in growing my wealth is too much ISK sitting in my wallet.  it is often over 3bn ISK and it is earning a nil return.  Therefore, I have entered the skillbook market in Hek and Dodixie.  It is a low margin market (c8 to 10% after all costs including hauling costs) but it is a steady income with less competition.  I am building up the ISK investment but so far i have a few billion ISK invested in this market.  so far it looks ok – the low margins and slow sales are offset by the low competition and hence it does not take up much time to maintain.

Dodixie Trader: business as normal really, using about 100 of its 141 active order slots, has about 7.4bn ISK of sell orders active which is up on the 5.5bn in the prior month and mainly driven by the entry into the skillbook market.  The core trading (i.e. non-skillbooks) is holding the 20% operating margin after all costs.  Will need to find new items to sell to replace the sub-system market it has largely exited from.  Pays 0.80% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.90% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.

Hek Trader: now that it has almost completely exited the sub-system market its regional trading has slowed considerably and a key focus is to find new items to sell – infact, without a new market the hope of selling items at a margin over 20% in a meaningful way is low.  Has about 6.8bn ISK invested in sell orders though much of that is in the lower margin skillbook business.  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:

Just learning the ropes on manufacturing.

Moved out of Jita one jump away to Ikuchi.  I don’t plan on staying at this location but for now it serves its purpose well.

At the moment i am manufacturing  and selling standard industrial transport ships.  Making good margins (over 20%) but low income.  Not really got a feel for how much given it is early days.  Still in the process of designing the spreadsheets.

I often have to make the trip to Jita and back hauling raw materials to undertake the manufacturing – but that is a 5 minute job at most, and low risk given i don’t haul much, certainly under 100m ISK at a time.

Relevant Skills trained:

·         Advanced Mass Production level 4 – allows one extra manufacturing slot per level

·         Industry level 5 – reduces manufacturing time by 4% per level though as importantly is a pre-requisite for learning further skills

·         Mass Production level 5 – allows one extra manufacturing slot per level

·         Production Efficiency level 5 – reduces the manufacturing materials required by 5% per level

·         Supply Chain Management level 4 – remote manufacturing control within 20 jumps in a region.  I will aim to get this to level 5 for full region control

·         Industrial Construction level 2 – allows the construction of advanced industrials

·         Capital Ship Construction Level 1 – allows the construction of capital ships

·         Science Level 5 – needed for many other skills

·         Mechanics Level 5 – needed for many other skills

·         Cybernetics level 4 – allows me to plug in implants that speed up the time it takes to learn skills (given this alt will be learning for several months i should have done this right from the start)

Currently training CPU Management level 4 to allow me to start to manufacture some capital ship items
New account started:  I started a new account which will cost me a plex a month to maintain, i.e. 550m ISK per month at todays prices.  I also used the “buddy invite” system and upgraded the account when i bought the plex.  That gives me 51 days of play time and rewards me with a plex – more details in the linked post.
i plan to train this character up in Research skills.  Whilst it is doing this it will be my new 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.  Therefore, i copied over all the market quickbar information from the main account to this new account – the details of how i did this can be seen in the linked post.
Relevant Skills trained:

·         Science level 5 – needed for many further skills and gives a 5% speed to blueprint copying per skill level

·         Research level 4 - needed for further skills and gives a 5% speed to blueprint manufacturing time research per skill level

·         Scientific Networking level 3 – allows me to run research operations remotely (i.e. not be in the same station)

·         Laboratory Operation level 4 – allows me to run one additional research job per skill level

·         Metallurgy level 3 - needed for further skills and gives a 5% speed to blueprint material efficiency research per skill level

Currently training Scientific Networking level 4
Current wealth is 15,932,443,181 ISK made up from:
Items for sale 14,306,733,258 ISK
less a 20% provision (2,861,346,652) ISK*
Buy orders 117,000,000 ISK
Items in production 29,517,128 ISK
Items in storage for sale 196,500,000 ISK
Items in transit 0 ISK
ISK in wallets 4,144,039,447 ISK

Expected business purchases in the next 30 days
Plex 530,000,000 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.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

I blunder, again

I note that at Dodixie there are no Sell orders for Mjolnir Heavy Missile Blueprints.  A low but stable level of income for me.  We are not talking big money here, profits of 1m ISK per sale – but every penny counts and it is low maintenance.

So, 10 of these blueprints are part of a 2bn ISK haul that comes from Jita courtesy of Pushx Industries.  When i come to posting the blueprints i put in 3 too many 9’s.  My selling price is 1,780,999,999 instead of 1,780,999.  I am selling 10 and of course i pay a 0.72% broker fee.

That blunder cost be 129m ISK straight off.  Painful stuff.  In a sense, the next c600m ISK of sales i make will be covering for this mistake.  Or put it another way, it is the best part of a day's profits gone!

One way i could have protected myself is to empty my wallet into the Corp and hence a large broker fee like that would fail and prevent me from posting . . . . . . . . which is what i will be doing going forwards.  I should have been holding no more than 20m ISK in my wallet, if my maths serves me well here

Sunday 1 September 2013

Mindlink Prices – should they be in freefall?

I am away for a few days on business so it will be interesting to see how this has progressed once i come back given the new Odyssey patch comes in during when i am away.

Merchant Monarchy, which is a great ISK making blog, made a good spot at the beginning of August concerning the potential for Mindlink prices to crash and a reminder that the new expansion starts next week.

In the last game i played, World of Warcraft, patch notes were keenly read and in most cases market prices started to move very quickly.  Not so in Eve Online it appears.

As MoxNix over at Merchant Monarchy points out the MiningForeman link should be hardest hit.  It current sells for 1.0 – 1.4bn in the main trading hubs.  Infact, it was a great little earner buying in Jita to sell in Hek.

The image below shows the key paragraph and the this links through to the patch notes:

In summary, the Mindlinks will be available at the Concord LP stores for 20,000 Concord LP + 20m ISK which MoxNix equates to about 60-80m ISK.  Compare that to the current price of Mining Foreman Mindlinks which sell for over 1bn ISK and we can see where the prices could head in a hurry.
The players that download the patch the quickest can buy the links to satisfy the buy orders which themselves are sitting at over 1bn ISK and these lucky few will make a killing.  Yesterday a quick look at Eve-Central at the Mining Foreman Mindlink shows 24 Mining Foreman Mindlink Buy orders posted at over 900m ISK in the main trading hubs.  That was almost 20bn ISK before broker fees and taxes up for grabs.  Now there are only 6 Buy orders in the main trading hubs over 900m ISK though plenty more over 500m ISK – so still more to go for but feels like the price crash is starting?
However, assuming this analysis is correct then the prices should be already falling faster?
In Jita there is a clear but steady downward price decline that is now gathering pace:
In Dodixie prices are falling but quite slowly, gathered steam recently:
In Hek prices are showing a slow downward trend, signs of gathering speed: