Thursday 21 August 2014

Bulk Trade Mailing Lists

I keep hearing about various different "bulk trade" channels and mailing lists. I never really bothered checking into them before because I'm not interested in buying huge piles of materials or really big stacks of cheap stuff. I deal almost exclusively in expensive items like faction mods and implants.

Recently however I ran across some comments about a rich player X ATM#### who's supposedly the biggest buyer and seller of bulk faction mods (or claims to be anyhow). That definitely got my attention since I'm pretty big in faction mods myself. It's always nice to know who the competition is and what they're up to.

So I did some quick Google research and discovered he does most of his purchasing by soliciting private contracts through an in-game mailing list.

I was a little surprised to find they consider a stack of 5 to be a "bulk" sale, especially for the cheaper items. I was expecting bigger numbers than that. I don't consider myself a really big player in the faction mods market but I can (and do) easily handle much larger purchases than that.

And the best bulk prices? I dunno about that. While their prices are similar to mine on 2 of the above items I pay significantly better for the other 4 items. I buy a lot more than just 6 items and I buy just about everywhere in 21 different regions, not just on Jita.

I also found some talk from X about routinely doing 10 billion a day in business. I can easily handle that kind of volume too. In fact I do that kind of business already, only with a lot of shipping required to get things from where they were purchased to where I want to sell it.

I also found a few other bulk trade lists that allow anyone to post WTB / WTS requests. The biggest was named "Bulk Trade" but for some reason it tells me "You're not allowed to join this list". I'm not sure why, maybe it's full (I hear in-game mailing lists are limited to 3000 members) or maybe the list owner has banned starter corps (all my alts are in starter corps). The other bulk lists I found all seemed dead or nearly so.

If people actually sell significant numbers of faction mods to X ATM and his partner(s) at those prices maybe I should start a bulk trade mailing list too. Only I'd accept contracts on 22 different hubs throughout contiguous hi sec (one hub in each region) and allow other traders as well as industrialists, FW LP farmers or whatever to participate with WTB / WTS offers too.


  1. Yeah the bulk trade mailing lists can have orders for pretty small numbers. Their main benefit is being able to quickly shift a bunch of items at a good prices while saving on taxes, especially if you have enough of the item to kill a market pretty quickly. Some people look out for bargains for resale too, where they might be willing to do the 0.01 isk wars that the bulk seller isn't.

    As for the bulk trade list, you probably can't join it because it's closed. It was always run as a bit of a scam, with the owner routinely banning people for breaking the rules, when seemingly no rule or a very minor rule had been broken. He then charged the player to unban themselves.

    When the mailing list then approached the 3000 player cap, he decided to monetise the system. He decided to close up the in game mailing list, then charge people for access to a google group instead. As you can imagine, this wasn't a very good idea, and it died pretty quick. This is when all of the new ones started up.

    At this point, I also stepped in (with an alt to begin with as CFC rings alarm bells for some people) and created one too, with the principle of being as close to the old one as possible (for a smooth transition) while stripping out the rules around charged unbanning, so there was no risk of it being exploited in that way. It's pretty popular with many posts going through it every day. It's called Wholesale Trading and that's the thread (shameless plug).

    1. I never found that one. Anyhow I joined "Wholesale Trading" and I'll monitor it for a while to see what I think of it.

    2. Sent a WTB offer for some implants to your Wholesale Trading list. If I get much business out of it I might start buying more stuff that way.

  2. That's Kwark, also the West and Grey thing became unviable once CCP fixed the contract page layout. There's a more in depth explanation of what happened. Now he's basically just doing character bazaar and industry stuff.

    1. Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read.

      So in a nutshell, X ATM, West and Grey weren't marketing wizards, they were just contract scammers abusing an exploit.

    2. Nothing new, but a nice writeup / read. Thx

    3. No one was banned for it, thus it wasn't an exploit. "Clever use of a poorly designed user interface", however, yes.

      I used to engage in this kind of faction arbitage, though with a twist - I'd buy from our ratters and explorers in goonspace, and ship it back to Jita for sale. However, this was back before none of those items were on the market - it was all done by contract. And that's what made it work. Contracts were a pain in the ass to deal with regardless of who you were, and few traders bothered, meaning "dump to buys for fast cash" wasn't an option. Goons were happy to sell to me to not have to deal with it as a result, and the lack of traders meant I had margin to work in - I could offer 20% under market without an issue, because the competing buys would be 50% under.

      I got out of it when it was all put on the market, however. The presence of traders meant the buy/sell spread compressed and eliminated the margin that made it worthwhile. Plus, it's a volatile market since you're looking at LP store items. Those are supplied en masse and as any given faction has a relatively small number of items that are both unique and worth selling, they tend to be swingy.

      Of course you can use that to your own advantage. Just something to keep in mind.

  3. I asked x_atm about this and he hasn't traded in faction mods in years. You can ask him yourself if you ever stop by the "scc-lounge" EVE channel. (All sort of traders and indy folk hang out there).
    ps. Love your blog.

    1. Ah ok, the welcome message in X ATM's mailing list said his list was merging with the West and Grey list. I took that to mean they would both be doing business there.

      I guess what he actually meant was he was getting out of the faction mod business altogether and referring his customer's to West and Grey.

    2. Yeah, from what he told me these days he mostly plays around with character bazaar and building caps. Also there are all sort of similar services. For example Destitute Tehol Beddict (another trader on scc-lounge) runs a mission loot buying service. (Check out his bio).

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