From: Tubrav Sadarts
Sent: 2013.09.21 00:45
To: Moxnix Induli,
I realise this is a completely random mail, but I found your blog discussing your trading and was wondering if you could offer some advice. I'm a Jita station trader and I'm getting absolutely sick of checking 150+ market orders twice a day to see them all needing modification. I also have about 8bill in market orders in Jita at any one time but my hangar rarely has more than 2/300mill of stuff when I come to check it half a day after updating my orders.
Then I read your blog and see something like http://merchantmonarchy.blogspot.ca/2013/05/one-day.html, where you get probably more skillbooks in value than I do over my whole order list in one day... in Jita, no less, so I wonder how.
Also, I tried my hand at some regional buy orders (in Lonetrek and Domain), but at least for Lonetrek most of them keep getting over-bid within a short time, which isn't helpful...and they hardly get filled either; is this what you find, or do you get many more orders filled somehow? I was also wondering if it's possible to do what you do but without an army of alts, since I don't have the RL or in-game cash to maintain 5/6 other accounts...
Sorry for the rambling-ness, I just have a lot of questions...
My ResponseThe real trick is to not get greedy. Pay better than the no-lifers and bots like paying and sell for less than they like selling for. Don't try to make a killing on every sale (you'll just get undercut in seconds), instead go for reasonable profits at fair prices.
Cut just once or twice a day using large cuts around 10% of the difference between buy and sell orders and do that for BOTH buy and sell orders. The idea being to reduce margins until your items start selling in a reasonable amount of time. It's important to raise the buy price too so the bots can't just keep buying more below your sell price and continue undercutting your sell orders by 0.01 ISK forever.
When the margin on something gets around 2% then just let your orders sit there without updating. Let the bots and no-lifers continue cutting at those low margins and tying up all their ISK on low profit transactions. They can't keep buying it all forever at those kind of margins. Sooner or later they will run out of ISK and then you're in again.
If you have plenty of ISK identifiying a few high volume items that you can buy and resell daily at 2-5% profit without too much trouble can help a lot too.
Regional buy orders are a different kettle of fish, often you're better off just going with lower range orders, I use 1, 2, 5 and 10 jump buy orders a lot. The higher the value and/or profit of an item the longer range I'm liable to use. Again pay a little more than the other guys, that way you get all the close ones and they have to travel 10+ jumps for the cheaper ones they get... Or you can work it the opposite if you're just getting started and don't mind some long trips.
Notes and additional clarifications- I did some minor editing to my response before posting on the blog. In particular I changed a couple words and added three sentences to make things more clear.
- Tubrav sent me another mail since then asking for further clarification on several points. I'll cover that another day in Part II.
- I should also mention while my "one day" post was about a single day's worth of business on a single character, it was one of the better days. Not every day is that good (some days are terrible in fact) but it doesn't take many days like that to make for a good month.
- Raising buy prices by large amounts works particularly well when you're buying in lower volume than the competition. You can buy 1 or 2 at a slightly too high price and resell them at a profit a lot more easily than that douchebag trying to dominate the market by updating his buy order for 200 every 5 minutes can. If he keeps on cutting anyhow, chances are good he's going to get flooded with overpriced stock he can't move quickly without taking a loss.