Tuesday 15 January 2013

Trade Secrets

There's an entertaining discussion about Market Blogs (or the lack of them) in the Eve Blogosphere that's been going on across several blogs lately.

It all started over at Jester's Trek with Jester's comment

"To my knowledge, there isn't a blog out there written by a market guy".

Ardent Defender followed up with a long rambling response on his blog. He brings up some good points and includes a large number of interesting quotes.

Then Stabs came up with his own humorous take on the subject. Well worth reading for a good laugh.

Well, I'm a market guy and this is my blog.

I'm paraphrasing here but one thing in particular Ardent Defender pointed out was how traders don't like to talk about the details of what they do and especially not about specifics of what they're doing right now.

There's a lot of truth to that, most of us traders tend to be rather close mouthed when it comes to specific details of what we do. There are a number of reasons for that but the primary one is competition. If you tell people exactly what you're doing, you create your own competition and your profits go down. Hence we tend to talk in general and tend to avoid mentioning specifics like what items we trade in or what stations we buy and sell on.

I make it a point in my own posts to give out some specifics because specific examples are good for helping others learn how to trade. I can say do this and that will happen all I want and you might be skeptical but saying I did this and this is what happened lends more credibility to my words. They also help prove my methods aren't just crazy theories but actually work in practice.

But I don't give everything away either. Trading is very competitive, especially when profit margins are high. From my experience (not just in Eve, but also as a very rich and fairly well known market blogger in WoW), I know that as soon as any reasonably well read blog posts specifics about working a particular market segment for big profits, competition increases substantially and profits plummet.

Another good reason for not going too much into the specifics is just copying exactly what I do may not work for someone else. There are many reasons it might not work, location, local competition, post timing, post frequency, pricing, availability, volume, how much capital you have to play with, etc. What works for me on Hek doesn't work quite the same on Jita. What works for me on Jita probably won't work for someone else working a mission hub deep in null. What works for me selling high value items probably won't work for someone trying to corner the local ore and minerals market.

New traders need to find their own markets and discover what methods work best for them. There is no surefire guaranteed secret that will make you rich. All we bloggers can do is give you ideas and examples. We can help you get started but in the end it all comes down to you taking our methods and ideas, then using your own experience and knowledge to make adjustments so they work for you. Read  blogs and guides for new ideas, learn from what experienced traders have to say. Get methods, ideas and strategies from others but make them your own by changing the details to suit you better.


  1. Actually the more you know the markets the more you can deduce how someone is trading from very little actual information. Gevlon for example, by my educated guess, made his billions by buying faction warfare LP items at the stations where FW plex runners were cashing in their LPs and paying Red Frog to haul them to Jita for him to resell. He'll have used his aggressive undercutting and overcutting tactics, say if he found a system where someone was offering 3m for +4 implants he'll immediately offer 10m and get deluged with implants he can sell at Jita for 15m (no doubt getting an angry evemail from the guy who'd been buying them for 3m about what a newb he is).

    So that's an additional element - even if you don't say much about how you trade and try not to give specifics people can get enough of a picture to guess what you're doing and copy it. And it only needs one person to accurately guess what you're trading to tank your profits if they're an active and well-capitalised trader.

  2. Agreed...

    Gevlon's basic market strategy is sound (quite similar to my own in fact) but beyond that most of what he says seems to be more about misdirection, manipulation and provoking controversy than anything else.

  3. Agree with Stabs above.

    I don't or have never traded LP items for profit… just never got around to that. Plenty of stuff in EVE to make profit on and more. Everyone eventually find their own niche somewhat. Most of my business is a bit diverse with most of it being paper. I often say i'm mostly in the paper business. At least i've done it long enough to understand all of the stuff i trade to some degree at where its sold.

  4. A good chunk of my inventory is in LP items, faction mods and implants. As a buyer you can get great deals on them with Regional orders but the Station trade on the major hubs is hyper competitive and profits are usually slim there.

    When they aren't slim, the no-lifers and bots are all over it, nobody else is selling much unless they camp too. Try selling Caldari Navy Ballistic Control Systems or Federation Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes for example. Constantly camped, if you post one and it doesn't sell in the first 5 minutes it probably won't until you modify the price.