Sunday, 15 June 2014

Regional Transport Example

Double post today, here's a link to the first post How Rich is Rich

This is just a quick post to give an example of the cargo I typically carry around on runs between regions.

Basically I fly regional milk runs picking up everything worth picking up (generally any station with over 40 million worth of stock is worth it) and gather everything up on the station that serves as my base of operations in the region. Then I post anything worth posting locally and let the rest pile up until it either is worth posting or there's enough to make it worth sending off to another region.

Whenever I have a couple billion or more worth of overstock in one region I contract it to a character in a neighboring region. I log the neighbor in, fly out, pick it up and bring it back to his region. Then I do the milk run in that region, post whatever's worth posting there and contract whatever's left over to the next neighbor.

Rinse and repeat until I either don't have time to do anymore or there's not enough stuff left to bother moving on to the next region.

I don't do this on all characters every day, it usually takes a week or more to go through most of my characters, getting stuff moved around and posted. The bigger I get the more time it takes to get everything done so I'm constantly changing things to make the entire process more efficient and get more effective use of my time.

Oh... And of course I changed the name of the ship before taking the screenshot then changed it back again after.


  1. How do you know how much isk you have in a particular station? I try to sort it by looking at number of items... but that usually isn't a good indicator of the actual value of the items at the station.

    1. For the most part I know roughly what things are worth, when I'm not sure the tooltip value is good enough. Most of the items I buy aren't cheap either so it doesn't take very many items to add up to 40 million.

  2. In order to conduct an operation on the scale you describe, one needs to have a very good grasp on intra and inter-region price deltas and availability.

    1. True to some extent but not as bad as you might think. It doesn't really matter until you're getting pretty big and making most of your income off sales volume and low margins rather than high profit margins and low volume.

      By the time you get to that point you should have enough experience to have a very good idea about price ranges, price shifts and how the competition is likely to react to whatever you do.

    2. I can confirm the statement by MoxNix, price-ranges on below 20% profits, give a pretty good idea of the inter-regional spread. That way you know the worth of things easily.

  3. I have a question: I dont see any posts that talk about item value vs how much total isk you have to invest. I have about 5 billion isk and i'm wondering in what range of buy orders should I generally be at? Are we looking at 5-10 mil items or more or less? I'm just not quite sure how I should spread the isk to be most efficient.

    1. There really isn't a pat answer to that. It depends on a lot of things, how many trader characters you have, how many orders you have, how much time you have, your preferences, how many different items you're willing and able to deal with and so on.

      What really matters is you have as much of that 5 billion working for you as possible. If you have Margin Trading (and if you're serious about trading you should have it at V) you need to hold enough back to fill the additional escrow when orders get filled.

      What it boils down to is if you have more ISK to invest there's 2 ways to get it working for you..

      1. Buy more of the things you've already been trading successfully. Drawbacks to that are the more you buy the more time it takes to manage everything and buying more might cause the competition to get fiercer.

      2. Start trading new more valuable items. The main drawback to that is prices might be highly inflated (manipulated by no-lifers and bots) when you enter the market. In that case you may have to take a loss on a few until prices normalize before you get a handle on the real prices they move well at and start making money on them.

    2. Another way of looking at it (generally speaking) is

      lower priced items tend to move quicker in higher volume and profit percentages are often quite high too.

      higher priced items tend to move more slowly in less volume and while profit percentages are often lower, in terms of absolute profit per item profit usually much higher.

      Sure 100% profit sounds great, but when that's only 10,000 ISK per item it's not very much. On the other hand 10% profit doesn't sound great but when that 10% is 100 million or more per item, it's not so bad after all.

      Or if it's a 20 million ISK item with 1 million profit each (5%) and you sell 100 a day that isn't bad either.

  4. is there a general rule of thumb with margin trading on how much cash you should keep on hand?

    1. The general rule of thumb I used to use was with Margin Trading V to keep in reserve an amount around the value in escrow (25% more or less is fine as long as it's close). With lower levels of Margin Trading you don't need as much.

      The more aggressive your buy prices are, the more you need to hold back and the less aggressive your buy prices are, the less you need. My prices are fairly aggressive.

      Mind you a few of my traders have over 10 billion in escrow and I don't usually need that much in reserve even on them. 5 billion per trader works well for me right now. It's plenty for most of my traders all the time though there are a few that can sometimes burn though 5 bil in just a day or two.

      For totals across all traders, right now I have about 639 bil net worth, 675 bil worth of buy orders with roughly 127 bil in escrow, 549 bil additional escrow, and 202 bil in cash reserves.

      You're probably best to guesstimate it. Start out with an amount you think is enough to cover a few days worth of buying. If you find you keep running low on cash on a particular character before you log in on him again, increase his cash reserve until that stops happening.