Not much to report in terms of the EVE market experiment, other than that slow traffic might have been an understatement. The new buy/sell orders had a grand total of zero activity for the entire 24 hour period, which is a bit disappointing to say the least. In what will be perhaps a final test, I placed a bunch of new sell orders, mostly salvaged stuff and some tags on the market, with somewhat aggressive prices. If those fail to move, I think it will be time to rethink location.
Part of the possible problem is that my location is two jumps away from a major trading hub. My initial thought was I would provide a place to buy/sell for those too lazy to make the two jumps. People would run missions at the station, want to dump their stuff, and run another mission. At the same time, people in the trade hub would see my sell orders with slightly lower prices, and make the two jumps over to buy. It would seem neither is happening…
So, assuming the current location does not pick up, I think I basically have two choices. One is to move to the trade hub and try to compete there. At best, it would mean lower profits and more micromanagement, at worst I could end up losing both ISK and time. Option two would be to set up shop in a more remote location, to perhaps draw from a larger number of systems without having to compete with a trade hub just a few jumps away. The obvious concern here is traffic, as it might be even worse than my current location.
As someone who has very limited 0.0 and low-sec experience, would setting up shop one jump away from low-sec make sense? I mean would people who deal in low-sec and 0.0 use that location to resupply and sell? Would setting up shop in low-sec itself work, or would the risk of a gate camp nullify anything gained? What about the first system of 0.0?
Mmmm. Maybe try to set up shop farther away from the hub and closer to an active sytem that sees a lot of FW combat? I know we’ve seen an increase in trade since the beginning of Empyrean Age.
For what it’s worth, I have a friend who does indeed set up in the first system out of a low-sec entrance, and he does pretty well pricing his stuff higher than you’d see in a trade hub, further into Empire space.
Think I’ll take a stab at some of your questions. Now I do run production and sales for my corp so I do have some observations:
1) know your target market. If you are aiming at a frigate/small module market outside of a hub, you need to setup shop in some place near a lot of newbie starter systems. If you’re aiming for the mission specialist – lots of BS sized ammo and named/tech 2 modules. If you’re aiming for the low sec market – lots of T2 frigate and cruiser sized sprinkled with some BS sized stuff. etc….
2) If you’re going to establish an out of hub sales operation, diversify, you will have some stuff that doesn’t move very fast but who’s presence there reinforces your main sales items. Ex: if you sell Rifters make sure to sell autocannons, webbers, distruptors, MWDs, nano fibers, overdrives and small projectile ammo at the same spot. You’d be surprised the number of times you get cross-sales (same guy buys a whole raft of things from your “store”). Start your diversifictation based on your target audience. Sell long ranged weapons and ammo in mission hubs, more short ranged stuff but higher tech if aimed at PvP’ers
3) You won’t get velocity in out of hub operations, dont’ expect high volume out of hubs. In hubs you can get velocity (large quantities turning over quickly), out of hubs you can increase your margin. Don’t base your price points on hub activity, base your price points on neighboring price.
Some numbers: For a while, I wanted a break from having to buy 60-ish mil isk batches of minerals twice a week, so I cut back my product line to dessies, frigates and frigate sized modules only. My 80mil isk mineral bank seemed to consitenly last 3 weeks and I’d make about 8-12mil isk in profit before I had to fill it up. I usually had to manufacture about 2-3 things every day on a product line of about 43 items. You’re thinking – that’s not a lot. And you’re right, but it paid for the offices and the operating budget kept climbing while I was concentrating on other things. Then I was ready to get back in the volume game and all I did was add 4 cruiser hulls to the product line. Back to 2 refills a week and a profit of about 10-20mil on each refill. I still don’t have the sales slots to handle the addition of cruiser modules and ammo (although I’d like to) nor do I have a newbie I can shuffle the frigate stuff onto (research corps are notoriously lacking in newbies – that whole standing thing). I may at some point have the corp buy the necessary cruiser sized bpo’s (medium autocannons etc) out of the profits and expand that way as I get out of the frigate sized market but for now it’s good. Now these aren’t earth shattering number I know, but the point is that I can increase and decrease my income at will – it’s a question of how much time I want to sink into it. But I can only do this because I know my local market.
That’s a lot of good advice, thanks Letrange. I’ll have to do some more research, and see if I can find a good spot. Assuming a station with a level 4 agent would do was a mistake.
I’m tempted to do the low-sec or 0.0 thing, just to spice things up.
Not all Level 4 agents are created equal – it also depends on the type of agents (mission runners prefer those that are at or close to 100% combat missions) what quality they are (+20 plz) and which NPC corp they work for (The faction fleet corps – not millitia – are popular)
One of my reasons for setting up a low skill trading alt is to have presence in two regions at once in order to spot arbitrage opportunities. For example if I have one alt in Rens and one in Jita I can quickly respond to any price discrepancies to hopefully make a profit. One advantage of using a low skill alt for this is that you can suicide clone jump them back home once they have delivered a load of goods to their destination.
By the way don’t bother trying to use the Rens / Jita trade route. It is perma camped in Rancer.
Buying and selling on the market is extremely complicated ( as noted by Lestrage’s comments above. I wsh you nothing but the best of luck!
Good comments here. I’ll echo Rick’s statement about unloading ammo in a station one system prior to a lowsec system. Also don’t judge your success by the week-days, wait for the weekend. Just like RL, that’s when the real consumers are flooding the stores.
I have good experience selling stuff at somewhat higher prices at a mission hub, or selling them one jump into low sec for the local pirates with low sec status ;).