Monday, 12 August 2013

Low Volume Buying vs Bulk Buying

I usually advocate buying in bulk and making big total profits over big profits per item. That's what usually works best for me. Consistent, steady, reliable profits over big, flashy numbers that don't usually add up to as much in total.

But sometimes you have to consider the low volume, high margin side of the equation too.

Take for example a mod or implant that's currently selling for 150 million.

Which is better?

1. Buying 10 at 140 million each and making roughly 8 million on each for 80 milliion total profit.
2. Buying just 1 for 75 million and making roughly 73 million on it.

If you still aren't sure consider this. While you do make 7 million more in total buying 10 you need 1.4 billion to buy them in the first place. All that ISK is tied up unavailable to use to purchase anything else until you both sell the items and post a new purchase order.

On the other hand buying just one cheaply only ties up 75 million, makes nearly as much in total AND leaves the other 1325 million available to purchase other things with.

The morale of the story is while buying and selling in bulk is what I normally advocate, there certainly are situations where you're better off working with low volume instead. Work with rules of thumb, not hard, inflexible rules and know when to change things up to take advantage of current conditions.

Of course the trick is managing to buy 1 for 75 million when everyone else is paying 140 million. That's mostly about location and transport and a little bit about product selection.


  1. Don't forget the speed at which the sales are made is also important. I would rather make 2m ISK per day for 5 days from selling 1item per day than 12m ISK after 1 week from selling 1 item per week.

    In regional trading I tend to find that the high margin items are slow moving but have less competition which is good with me.

    Means I turn my capital over once per week though, no quicker.

    1. Agreed with croda. I find that bulk items attract bots and the 0.01 crowd. A few times I experimented buying items with high margins in bulk, and within days competition for these items sky-rocketed.

      That said, I also deal with bulk items directly out of the FW LP store to keep myself in Executioners. Have to take care of the bottom line too.

    2. Yes definately! To compete in any high volume market you simply must keep jita margins slim and often the same on the other 4 main hubs too... You have to keep margins slim or the bots go into a frenzy.

      Then buy in bulk, ship off jita and sell elsewhere for nice profits. :)

      I find every time I leave a market like that for even just a day or two buy prices plummet and sell prices skyrocket.

      Check skill book prices on all the major hubs now. I just pulled out of the 10 million and under skill book market on all but one of main hubs and Lonetrek region too. Margins are already huge again on many of those books.

  2. Bulk item prices also have the big advantage to be less volatile than low volume items.
    In some smaller hubs the implant prices can change big time in just a week, so your regional trading margins melt into nothing and you sit on a bunch of low volume items that might only sell in a couple of weeks, if at all. As a result this might slow down the high turnover that croda mentioned.