Monday 23 September 2013

Mailbag - Q&A Part 1

Mail Received

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, 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 Response

The 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.


  1. Another thing is to learn when the market volumes are likely to be higher than the activity of the 0.01iskers can handle. I'm still working on this, but a surprising amount of stuff gets bought from sell orders near the beginning of the weekend, to the point that sell orders will get vacuumed up, and similarly a surprising amount of loot gets sold toward the end of the weekend as the weekend's loot haul is sold off.

    I'm mostly just playing around with small-time manufacturing as a value-add in my trading, though, so volumes are pretty small. I'm not sure how it changes with larger volumes, but it's probably similar with bigger kit cost manufactured items.

    1. Agreed. Just about everything moves better on the weekends. Things usually start picking up late Friday afternoon (CST) and don't slow down much until Monday morning.

      There are always cycles to play, daily cycles, weekly cycles, patch cycles, etc. In WoW the daily cycle was good with things tending to be cheaper in the mornings and expensive in the evenings. In Eve there isn't much of a daily cycle with 3 month orders (vs WoWs 3 day auctions) and buy orders (which WoW doesn't have). But Eve's weekly cycle is good due to greater demand on weekends.