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Tuesday 25 February 2014

To not destroy a market

A key component in the art of selling slow moving, high profit items is knowing how far to push a market before over supply leads to rapidly falling prices.

The point about these slow moving but high profit markets is players that buy the items off the market are not buying because of price - they are buying because they need the item now and will take the price that is listed at the time.  In other words, the demand does not change in response to price.  These are very price in-elastic items.

This is not fast moving but low profit markets where the aim is to make 2% profits many times over (perfectly good strategy - just not for this blog) and lower prices encourage more buyers.

In this slow moving market, what drives price is supply.  If too much supply comes on the market then other sellers will seek to bailout by aggressively making sure they are the lowest price - which has the effect of driving the price lower and faster.  However, volumes of sales will remain unchanged.

Take the example below of Nova Heavy Assault Missile Blueprints.  This was a good favorite of mine to sell when i started out.  They can be bought of NPCs at Jita for 600k ISK and normally sold for 1.3m ISK in Dodixie.

However, at the moment there are 19 for sale at 997.9k ISK.

Unfortunately, volumes of sale per day are between 0 and 2, as shown below.

Hence, one sell order has c19 days of sales up which will only force a price war but, and here is the catch, without enticing more buyers into the market.

All the other sellers know that they can either wait 20 days (likely longer because further other sellers will be trying to get the lowest price) or they can discount in an attempt to be the cheapest when a buyer pops in.

People do not buy this Blueprint because it is cheap, they buy it because they want it now and are willing to pay 1.3m ISK if they have to.

They effect on the price is clear to see from the chart below:

We have a classic price war where the price has been reset for now but note how the volume has not changed since the prices fell from 1.5m to 1.0m ISK.

The seller of the 19 items just got too greedy . . . . . or this seller may force the other competitors out of the market and so take the market for themselves.  But they are likely to drive the profits down to 300k ISK per day - and if they allow prices to rise the old sellers will come back in.  Taking the entire market in what is quite a small market is perhaps not the best use of time here.

. . . . . .  and of course, volumes will remain at 0 to 2 per day, no matter how low the price goes!

Saturday 22 February 2014

A scam with some work behind it -

This one was an interesting scam when i looked into it.

The interest was in the amount of work that went into setting it up - and it seems to have been around since May 2013.

Eve Bazaar is a (scam) website that manufactures and sells ships to those people that place orders on its website (in-game).  A nice website, i must say.  Well designed.  Has remarkable similarities to the Eve Online homepage.

To quote the competitive prices that it does Eve-Bazaar claims to be a series of industrial corps that mine the ore themselves and manufacture ships in Null Sec and then deliver them to Jita.

The first clue is that you can buy ships from Eve Bazaar and then sell them to buy orders in Jita for a 20m ISK profit.  Not bad if you are spending 155m ISK.

Jita Buy Prices for the Apocalypse are 175m ISK.

The second clue is that if you refer someone to the site you get 10% of all the ISK that person deposits - which presumably would make the Eve-Bazaar business model even more stretched!

When scams go outside the game (in this case setting up a website) i enjoy getting to see who is behind it (inside Eve it can be quite anonymous, outside Eve there are traces, like home addresses linked to websites, prior websites set up linked to the current website but with the same home address! and the same email address! etc).  The current Eve-Bazaar website is in the Cloudflare network which is reasonably anonymous but prior websites set up by the owners were not.  Though, to be fair, i obviously don't know if these owners sold what is now Eve-Bazaar on to the current owners.

Update 23 February 2014: How this scam works

A number of emails and comments have quite rightly stated that I have not detailed how the scam works, so here goes.

Firstly the victim deposits ISK with a player involved with the scam and this deposit is reflected on the website In the victims "account" - the ISK deposit is to cover the price of the ship the victim plans to buy.  So far, so good.

Secondly the victim then orders the ship they want to buy and the victim sees the ISK in thir account reduce and the order is reflected on the website.  So far, so good.

Thirdly then one of two things happens.  If it is a low priced ship then the ship will be delivered and so the victim will confident to place a bigger order.  However, if the ship price is high enough then after a few hours the victim is told the ISK has disappeared and is then invited to try and recover the ISK by persuading other players to deposit ISK at the site (they will get 30% of all ISK deposited).

that is the scam, and a further move is for the scammer to invite the victim to try Nd advance the scam onto other players in an attempt to recover their ISK.

Saturday 15 February 2014

Business Blogs

I have set up a new page on this Blog dedicated to listing those blogs that focus on making ISK in Eve Online.

These blogs are also included on my blog roll and are the ones i have found so far that have a large element devoted to making ISK through various business routes in Eve.

Worth also checking out my page that keeps a list of youtube videos on making ISK in Eve Online that i have found useful.

Please feel free to post any additions to me.

A copy of the page as at the time of writing is below:

1 General Business Blog
Industrial Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
Trading Blog
General Business Blog
Trading & Industry Blog
Trading Blog
Trading Blog
General Business Blog
Industrial Blog
General Business Blog
Industrial Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
Industrial Blog
18Markets for ISKGeneral Business Blog
Trading Blog
Industrial Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
Industrial Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
General Business Blog
Industrial Blog
General Business Blog

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Someone likes something about the Brutix Blueprint!

I noticed this in Dodixie whilst checking orders recently.

Someone had bought 100 Brutix Blueprints for 570m ISK each = 57bn ISK.

Assuming i am understanding the mechanics here - given in 1 order you can only buy 16 blueprints in one station at a time it looks like the buyer would have bought 16 blueprints in several stations and so had some hauling around to do to pick them all up!

Eitherway, that is some serious ISK to spend on Blueprints.  I don't yet know what the thinking behind this was!

Saturday 8 February 2014

Using the Quickbar

Following on from a question i had from a reader i suspect it is worth pointing this out to everyone:

There are two ways to keep a track of your sell orders (and buy orders).

The first way, which is the official game mechanic, is via the Wallet Window (alt +w), My Wallet >>> Orders.

That will show you all your sell orders in the current region sorted by item or time etc.

I find this method tedious to update my orders - you have to select the sell order, double click on it to bring it up in the Market Window and then right click it to modify the order.

The second way is to use the Quickbar.

In the Market Window (alt +r) there are two tabs: Browse and Quickbar.

In the Quickbar window you can add items by dragging from the Browse tab and dropping onto the Quickbar tab.

You can set up folders in the Quickbar tab to hold various items - such a folder for each set of items you are selling in different trade hubs.

The advantage of using the Quickbar is that you only need to click on the item once to bring it up in the market window and, indeed, you can use the down arrow key to scroll through each item in the Quickbar.  That makes it much quicker to check and update your orders.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Scams in local chat

If you ever want to see what some of the scams look like - watch local chat at a trade hub and take a look at some of the "offers" being made by clicking on the link in the local chat window.

Whilst i am at it, as a rule, never accept a deal on offer in local chat - 99% of the time it is a scam.

It took me a while to see the scam in the example below.

The seller was offering to sell a Plex for 585m ISK when the market price was 625m ISK.  At first glance, that is what appeared to be on offer . . . . . . until i read it through several times: I would pay 585m, i would get 1 Plex, and then i would pay a Plex . . . . . in other words i would pay 585m ISK for nothing.  A very simple scam but deceptive in its simpleness!  It took me a while to see the "You Will Pay" part at the bottom.

The next one is a much more common scam i see.

The seller is offering to sell three several items for a price of 549m ISK.

A market check of the Imperial Nay Energized Kinetic Membrane looks interesting, these items may sell for 655m ISK each:

But the history check of the price reveals the scam:

The items actually sell for 40m ISK each!

It is likely that the person who posted these two items for sale at 655m ISK and the person offering the contract in local chat are one and the same.

Sunday 2 February 2014

January Update

Second best month, profits of 12.4bn ISK.  I had expected nearer 7bn but my manufacturing business is really going well.

As a reminder, i spend 30 to 45 minutes during the weekdays on Eve.  My strategy is to focus on low volume but high margin items that i either manufacture or buy (off sell orders) in Jita to sell in Dodixie / Hek / Rens / Amarr.

I don't have standings of note.

Despite being away from Eve for 2 weeks in January or so my wealth increased by 12.4bn ISK to 73.9bn ISK, which is an average of 399m ISK per day.

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 6 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, Hek, Amarr and Rens 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, Hek, Amarr and Rens; I have an alt that is skilling up in Invention which currently sits in Amarr to sell the items manufactured by my Lonetrek manufacturer; and i now also have an alt that sits in Rens to also sell the items manufactured by my Lonetrek manufacturer.
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.  All my hauling is "Rush Jobs" and generally takes no less than 5 hours (often in under an hour) to haul from Jita to my four locations in Dodixie / Hek / Amarr / Rens (which are also the other trade hubs).  On average i pay 20m ISK per haul but it is well worth it given i can get those items bought in Jita onto the market in the other trade hubs very quickly and the hauling costs make up 1 to 3% of my sales price.  Not much given i aim to make 20% margins before all costs (hauling, broker fees, sales taxes).  I wrote a post on Rush Jobs which details why it is more profitable paying up.

I am now buying 2 Plex a month to finance my two accounts.  Up until December 2013 i had only needed to buy 1 Plex per month.  So, 1.2bn ISK per month costs going forwards.

As ever, i sit with too much surplus ISK which needs to be invested.  Current surplus is 34.5bn ISK – it is dead money though inflated by me being away from Eve.  I know two things about that ISK.  Firstly, it will be there tomorrow with no chance of making a profit (or a loss).  Secondly, there is inflation in Eve so in effect it is not keeping up with the cost of living in Eve - in other words, its value to me in the future is lower than its value to me today.  I must invest it . . . . . 

Given i will be travelling a lot on business in February and March i have decided to materially alter my trading for the next 2 months.  I will only sell the items i manufacture and only sell other items that make me a profit of at least 15m ISK a time.

Dodixie trader: Life remains good for this trader.

Items for sale fell to 17.7bn ISK from the prior month's 21.7bn ISK mainly due to me being away in the last week and so not hauling new items to replace those sold.  I would hope i would be back up to 22bn ISK of items on sale in February.

I sell manufactured items that my manufacturer makes in Lonetrek, and any item i can find that makes profits of over 15m ISK, has a profit margin of over 20% and is a slow seller.  I.e. ship equipment, implants, ship modifications, a few skillbooks and a few blueprints.

As i did in November, again I neglected the station trading side of this alt given lack of time, hence buy orders have fallen to to 194m from 1.2bn ISK.  I have decided to pull out of station trading for now.

The alt is currently using 82 of the 141 trading slots - that may go down in February.

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 – for now i will focus on the manufactured items from my alt in Lonetrek and selling expensive items hauled from Jita.

Hek trader: Life remains good.

Items for sale fell to 12.7bn from the prior month's 14.2bn ISK mainly due to me being away in the last week and so not hauling new items to replace those sold.  I would hope i would be back up to 14bn ISK of items on sale in February.

Much like the Dodixie trader I sell manufactured items that my manufacturer makes in Lonetrek, and any item i can find that makes profits of over 15m ISK, has a profit margin of over 20% and is a slow seller.  I.e. ship equipment, implants, ship modifications, a few skillbooks and a few blueprints.  Other than the manufacturer items, there are very few common items i sell in Dodixie and Hek.

Following this move i now use 64 of the 129 available sell slots - this may fall as i focus on the more expensive items to sell.

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

Amarr Trader: Going very well.

Only really fully started up in mid December and focuses solely on items manufactured by my alt in the Lonetrek region.  During January this alt's sales were 7.3bn ISK and i suspect the profits were 3.6bn ISK.  Items for sale at the month end were 8.1bn ISK.

At present, i have no plans to expand into selling other items - i will stick to selling the items my manufacturer produces.  Amarr, being the second largest trade hub, can be very competitive.

Following this move i now use 28 of the 37 available sell slots - i am increasing the number of available slots and looking for a few expensive items to sell.

Pays 1.0% broker fees to post an order and a further 1.5% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.

The main aim of this alt is to train up for Invention, and here the training goes on.  Needless to say, with being busy in rl this whole invention thing has been on the back burner!

Rens Trader: first full month

Started just before xmas and also focuses solely on items manufactured by my alt in the Lonetrek region.  During January this alt made sales of 3.7bn ISK and i suspect profits of 1.8bn ISK.  Items for sale at the month end were 6.7bn ISK.

Rens is a slower trade up so i did not expect to see great things - but this is much better than i thought.  I was hoping for this alt to earn the Plex per month for this account but is infact earning 3 Plex per month.

I have no plans to expand into selling other items - i will stick to selling the items my manufacturer produces.

Following this move i now use 33 of the 37 available sell slots.

Pays 1.0% broker fees to post an order and a further 1.5% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.

Manufacturing alt: This alt does all my manufacturing from the Lonetrek region which is within easy access to Jita.  Not much has changed since November.

This alt sells its items in Jita and contracts to Push Industries to haul items to the traders in Dodixie / Hek / Amarr / Rens to sell.

I have a list of 59 items i focus on to sell, currently selling 27 of them in Jita and 33 in Dodixie, Hek, Amarr and Rens.  The other items that i watch have too low a profitability.

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

This alt may have plateaued at 6 to 8bn ISK sales per month for now.  During the month it made sales of 7.9bn (vs 6.2bn ISK in December) and estimated profits of 4bn ISK (same as November).  It currently has 2.4bn ISK of sell orders though this is lower than normal because i was away at the end of January.

My expansion into manufacturing has been a great success so far.  I am now training this alt up to manufacture T2 items and i am in the process of manufacturing my first T2 items at present - though this has not made me much so far.

And all this takes is 15 minutes update time a day.

The current near term goals is to find other T1 items to sell as well as expanding into T2 items.

The new account:  I started a new account in September which will cost me a plex a month to maintain, i.e. 625m ISK per month at todays prices.

During December i believe it made me profits of 2.2bn and during January i believe it made me profits of 5.4bn ISK and therefore fully able to justify its place.

In all, this second account is a big success for my business.

Outlook: February to March are going to be busy times for me in RL, hence i suspect i will be back to making 7bn ISK per month.

Current Wealth:

Expected business purchases in the next 30 days
  • Plex x2 = 1.2bn 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.