domingo, 27 de setembro de 2015

Trading – PLEX trading

I could not truly do a market blog without talking about trading PLEX. Long story short, I don’t do it. From what I read, in order to be successful at trading PLEX you’d need, in addition to maxed out tax reducing skills (something that any trader can easily get with some passive training) you also beed standings with NPC trade station. In this particular cenario NPC standings are quite important, because your profit margin is around 2% instead of the 20% I aim in regional trade.

Some factors I dislike about PLEX trade:
- Low margins;
- High investment (single PLEX goes for 1 bil)
- Lot’s and lot’s of competition
- Permanently subjected to high speculation (or at least subjected to high expectations from the whole player base)

Pretty much everything I hate about market… Nevertheless an experiment was in order so I made a tiny (even ridiculous) test. I bought 1 PLEX in buy orders, and then proceeded to put it in Sell Orders with a 20 mil profit or so (already accounting for taxes and stuff) and forgot about it. It basically took 1 month to sell… So yeah, not my thing. If you’re a PLEX trader you’re pretty much laughing at my “test”, but I was never really serious about it.

On the other hand I do keep a stash of around 30 PLEX, and I try to increase it at around 1 PLEX per month. Reason is simple and not entirely “financially” related. I stockpile PLEX in order to have a good stash of subscriptions in my pocket! I stated before I did not knew how I’d conciliate EVE with my baby, so by having a good stash of both PLEX and ships, I could play EVE for something like 1 year (2 accounts), without even worrying about making ISK. In fact, I can retire my whole market Isk making endeavor today and still be able to play for 1 more year.

Is this “playing for 1 year without making Isk” a realistic vision? Maybe, maybe not, but the thing I’m pretty much sure is that I won’t be selling my PLEX anytime soon, but consuming it if it comes to that.

domingo, 20 de setembro de 2015

Trading – Knowing the Buy Price

When I started to trade, I was really paranoid about the Buy Price of my items. This is because I had relatively low isk, and did not wanted to have losses. Also when I started I did not had any 3rd party tool to help me keep track of those prices. EveMon helped, but it’s record was kinda limited.
I was so paranoid about not having a loss in my profits that I remember It took me 6 month to sell a Munnin. I’d bought it in Jita somewhat overpriced, but there was a shortage of those in Dodixie and therefore it had even higher prices than Jita, so I was expecting to sell it before the price came down to “normal” levels. Unfortunately it did not happen, so I hang on to the Munnin for 6 month, until I finally lowered my order and sold it at a loss. Small loss, but enough to piss me.

This was indeed a very bad move and I see it now. Generally it’s better to sell some items at a minor loss to get the isk back and invest it in something else that might indeed give ya, hopefully, some profit.

Nowadays I don’t really care much with the Buy Price. My main factors to decide if I’m gonna drop the price if my order are:
 - How much I’ve been undercut (0.1isk or 20 mil?)
- If I’ve been undercut by a lot, how many items are for sale bellow my order and how fast they gonna be bought off the market. If I think the items below my order sell in the next couple days, I might stay put. If the items bellow me are probably not gonna sell during a week, I’ll just undercut to get my isk back and invest it in something else.

Still if you’re starting to trade, avoiding selling bellow your Buy Price, is always a good thing. NPC items such as skillbooks or blueprints allow you to know exactly what is your buy price (unless you actually get them cheaper than NPC sell orders by setting up your own buy orders), but try to not fall into the “WILL NOT SELL AT A LOSS” paranoia. It’ll be more harmful to your business on the long run.

 I mostly trust the market to function properly, that is, prices in Regional Hubs will be higher than Jita. Of course many times this general guideline goes down the drain, but will be accurate 90% of times, so not knowing your “buy price” is usually not the drama I initially believed.

quinta-feira, 17 de setembro de 2015

Trading – Coincidence, Bots or something fishy?

While updating market orders in Hek, I noticed that the Federation Navy 200mm Steel Plates had been undercut by 10 mil. This was indeed annoying meaning, that I had basically 2 options:
- Wait until they go up the price I have, achieved once all my competition gets bought by consumers;
- Undercut my competition, saying goodbye to my large profit margin. This way I might still make a smaller profit or sell at a small loss, getting the bulk of my isk back to invest in something else that might be more profitable. I never really go check the “buy price” of my items… It takes too long, so I just risk it.

In order to make a decision I do check for 2 factors. How many items are really undercutting me by a large value and how many are sold per week. I clicked the market order and here is what I found out.

I just had a WTF moment… now take notice that this is happening in Hek and not in Jita. No less than 12 orders were put up (they did not existed before as far as I remember), with similar prices, and extremely similar creation times, because they have pretty much all the same age, with few seconds apart.

This sort of activity in Hek, with so many new created/updated orders so closely is very odd to me. I don’t see it that often, specially after a big undercut. I’m wondering… Is it all the same guy, that for some reason is putting the same item in several orders, with a few minutes apart? I could really buy the 1st order and one item from the 2nd order to find out, but it’s not like gonna do much use. Was it a bot going haywire? Is it just a big coincidence and I’m just crazy to think there’s something fishy? Might never find out.
Nevertheless the decision here was simple. Considering the item sells little, and having 40+ new items undercutting me, I’m gonna kiss my margin goodbye and try to ditch them for now...

quinta-feira, 10 de setembro de 2015

Trading - Safety in more than 1 item for sale

EVE has a ton of weird mechanics. Any player knows that… Market is no exception.
Recently, while reading the official EVE forums I stumbled upon an explanation of a market mechanic I had no idea of, even though I trade for more than 4 years. I still need to test it but here goes. Try to see for yourself to in order to make sure I ain't saying something incorrect.

Whenever you try to buy an item overpriced relatively the regional average price, you get a warning something like: “Do you want to buy this crap way way over the regional price?” It’s kinda of a safety net EVE gives you. Unfortunatly we get so many of those annoying warnings, even with irrelevant items that cost as low as 100k isk (yes I don’t mind to buy that overpriced 100k item at 250k isk). Due to that “warning spam” specially in hubs outside Jita, we end up automatically pressing the “go ahead” button and not even noticing the proper price. Sometimes it goes terribly wrong and you buy an 100k item for 100mil. In this cenario there is nothing you can really do, other than paying attention.

When it comes to selling stuff and updating your market orders, there is a small tiny variation in this mechanic. If you update your market order, and try to sell an item a lot bellow the regional average you get the “Are you sure about selling this low?!” warning, but ONLY if your sell order was set up initially with MORE than 1 item!

Let’s go for some examples in order to explain better.
- I put up a Sell Order of 2 High-Grade Slave Deltas at 350mil.
- Next day I update market order, and put only 34,99mil by mistake.
- Because my Sell Order was set up with 2 implants, EVE shows me the “Are you sure about selling this low?!” warning
- Hopefully I pay attention and I choose “OOPS, no, don’t sell that” option.
- I proceed at changing the market order at it’s right price, 349mil, undercutting my competition.

Now, If I only had my market order set up initially with only 1 High-Grade Slave Delta, Eve would not have showed me the “Are you sure about selling this low?!” warning when I put it’s price at 35,99mil. EVE would simply have accepted my command and sold the implant way under it’s price. You’d see the wallet flash, the item disapear from your market orders and then be invaded by that “Oh crap!” feeling most traders know for sure.

This is why I pretty much buy, at least, 2 of each! It’s usually preferable, at least to me, to have a market order with some sort of safety warning, than nothing at all, even if I’m tying up more capital than I’d prefer in an extra item that could take long to sell, or have it’s profit margin reduced. This is because I’m usually really distracted and I mess up a lot.
Of course, all these “meta game market options” could be avoided if CCP just implemented a few certain rules:
 - Items automatically sell at the biggest “Buy Order” (you’d still have a loss, but tipically a minor one)
- Items are automatically bought at the value of the lowest “Sell Order”, so you would not pay 25 billion for a 2.5 bil implant. (Yes it seems something similar happened to a guy, acording to a redit post)

Maybe one day.

quinta-feira, 3 de setembro de 2015

Trading – Blueprints - Where to research BPOs in Empire.

One factor I must insure is that my market toons don’t leave their Hub. Fortunatly I can research BPOs several jumps out if I train the Scientific Networking skill. So initially I decided that I’d research the BPOs in the closest possible system to each hub. This way my Jita toon would research in System A, my Dodixie toon in System B and so on.

I’ve already started to buy some BPOs and ship them to their respective research systems, even though my toons training is not over, but I ended up messing up everything. Stuff that was suposed to go to Jita Toon went to Hek toon, stuff to Rens Toon went to Dodixie Toon etc etc. Freaking mess…
Still, in the middle of all this confusion, I managed to have a flash of inteligent thinking. I realised I could indeed research stuff very far away, just by training Scientific Networking a bit more. So instead of having 4 different reseach systems and paying to haul back and forth from 4 diferent systems, I can just put everything in same system!!!! How come I had not thought of this before!? Yeah… Slow learner here.

Anyway, I found a system in reach for all 4 toons, and hopefully I can save huge ammounts of isk this way. I’m pretty sure hauling gonna be a major cost, so I’ll need to be careful to manage it properly. Concentrating all my operations in 1 system seems to be the right choice for now.

Also… Industry Window has the option to research BPOs that “belong to corp”. How do I make a BPO belong to corp? Need I an office and deploy them to corp hangar or something? Can I manage BPOs in a corp hangar via the contract system?
I’ll have to figure that one out…