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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.

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.


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


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.


. . . . . . 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.


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.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Month end update - November 2020

At the end of my third full month, my wealth is 16.6bn ISK after paying 1.4bn to upgrade Omega for another 30 days.  My wealth increased by 9.4bn in November.

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

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.

To that end, the increase this month of 9.4bn (10.8bn pre Plex) was encouraging on one level.  Though i will have to admit i took advantage of some items in high demand and short supply to boost my income in November.  I wont be able to repeat this in December.

But, i am in a hurry so i will finish off getting my trading characters up to the desired skill level and then hit manufacturing, or something other than pure trading.

In other words, i will now start doing something other than buying from Jita to sell in Dodixie or Amarr.

Analysis of Trading Profits

In all, i made sales of 54.6bn isk (vs 37.0bn in October) which created income of 10.8bn (1.4bn was used to buy Plex, 7.8bn invested back into the market and 1.1 of items i bought but not yet for sale) vs 5.6bn in October.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.  I am now selling from Dodixie and Amarr.

In Dodixie, sales were 38.0bn isk vs October sales of 37.0bn isk . . . . . so, Dodixie did not grow at all.

In Amarr, sales were 16.8bn isk in its first month and therefore, arguably, the entire growth in revenues came from the new market in Amarr.

Purchases of items from Jita cost 37.0bn isk (vs 27.1bn in October), so my pre-tax margin was 32.2% (54.6-37.0)/54.6 vs 26.6% in October..

That sharp increase was due to the items i referred to above which were in high demand but short supply - and so allowed me to charge very high prices.  More below.

But then i need to take a whole series of costs off:

Courier Fees: i aim to pay 2% of sales value to the Courier = 2% x 54.6 = 1.1bn

Sales tax cost me 1.4bn ISk (=2.6% of sales), as expected given i am Level 4 Accounting Skill on both characters.

Broker Fees costs me 4.3bn (=7.9% 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 (actually, my Amarr character has not trained Advanced Broker Relations so the rate will be a bit higher).

So, i know the listing fee = 3.78% x 54.6 = 2.1bn and therefore the price change fee is 2.2bn (4.3 - 2.1). This 2.2bn is 4.1% of sales.

So, the post-tax margin is 32.2% - 2.0% - 2.6% - 3.8% - 4.1% = 19.8%.

Fees and Taxes take 12.4% off my margins (2.0+2.6+3.8+4.1).

19.8% is very good, i would normally aim to get a respectable 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 . . . . . but, as i detail below, i have benefitted from some great sales of items where demand was very high vs supply very low.

Dodixie Seller character

This remains my main character and is the biggest seller.

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 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 38 days to train Accounting, Broker Relations and Advanced 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 55 sales slots up - less than normal but i am choosing to sell higher value items now.

Items i am selling in Dodixie (and Amarr)

I sell blueprints, skill books and ship equipment.

With the strategy is to focus on blueprints that are not seeded in Dodixie.  Likewise for skillbooks.  In both cases, i am selling items worth from 100m to 1.5bn.  These are nice steady earners.  One or two will sell each night.  Sometimes i get home from work and see 2bn isk in the wallet and i know a couple of the big ones have sold.

Rigidly sticking to the 25% margin target as the lower time.

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

In November i did really well with the Disintegrator Specialisation skillbooks.  Over the US holiday i could not get them onto the market quick enough.  Their supply was dried up - i posted on this - but coming back as demand remained very high.  It will be a tall order to replace this high revenue stream in December.

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: not trained yet, so i am charged 1.9% to change the price of an item.  And that is 1.9% of the new sales price!

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

Retail: Level 4; increases the number of items i can list for sale by 8 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 and level 4 Retail, i am able to post 53 items for sale (5 + (4x4) + (4x8)).

This is not enough therefore i am training Retail to level 5 which will then allow me to trade Wholesale which will give me an additional 16 slots per level.

And then of course i still need to train Advanced Broker Relations - but as i said before, i want to start trying out other things in Eve.  So, i may go down the route of buying skill injectors to do this, we will see.

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.  So Dodixie one night, Amarr the next.

i find evemarketer very useful to find new ideas.  But, i am now using Eve Tycoon which seems to have more of the latest items in its market browser.

Each night i courier about 2 to 4bn isk of items from Jita.  The total cargo volume is 50-160m3.  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.


December will have four aims to it.

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

2) Increase sales in Dodixie - being flat in November was a poor show

3) Increase sales in Amarr

4) Start a new venture in Eve.  Could be manufacturing, could be getting cheap blueprints from null sec to post for sale in highsec.

The daily sales in November averaged 1.82bn.  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.

I am, getting there

Current wealth is 16.6bn ISK made up from:
  • items in hanger for sale 1.1bn ISK
  • items for sale 18.6bn ISK
  • less a 20% provision 3.7bn ISK*
  • ISK in wallet 0.7bn 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.  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.