No Coincidence

I’m rather casual with my trade and manufacturing. Every so often I will eyeball history in some subsection of the market, and use a spread sheet and price check alts in the trade hubs to identify possibly profitable areas.

One of the more recent areas I identified was that there were no Survey Probes on the market in my region – and hadn’t been for some time. I put up some test batches with high profit margins, and was surprised that these turned over reasonably well. I had the market all to myself for a couple of weeks, but then was hit by 3 or 4 people joining in competition.

This has happened to me so many times over the years that I don’t believe it is always a coincidence. Now that I am dabbling in some of the EVE related 3rd party industry tools, I am finding some provide reports on the most profitable items to manufacture based on all sorts of definable restrictions, such as by region. It wouldn’t surprise me if people just hit a refresh button once a week on a report, and survey probes popped up in my region as returning margins of 100%+.

Is this kind of cheating – or just being smarter than I have been?

My foray into T1 Logistic Frigates was not really worth the effort. So many people did this that the market is still priced well below the new build costs, and the competition rather high on very low volumes.  I am being more aggresive on my pricing to try and clear some of the stock.  The T2 Logistic Cruisers have fared a little better – aside the never loved Augoror, which mostly languish unsold.  I also updated my pricing on these.  I won’t make a loss, but it could hardly be considered worth the effort.

I have been reasonably happy with how the stock of containers is running down. Interestingly given the relatively high margins on most of them, people have not moved in with lower priced stock. If anything they are pricing them even higher.

Overall January was a good month in my little backwater. I made 1B ISK in profit – which is the equivalent of 1/3 of my 2012 profits, and all of my 2011 profits. On top of that I picked up two months of POS fuel at 1/2 price, and a year of heavily discounted Star Base Charters.  All while Real Life was being painful.

6 thoughts on “No Coincidence

  1. I use the “ISK per Hour”, so if that’s cheating then I’m a stinky stinky cheater. 🙂 Now I am such a pitifully small player that even if we are the same region then I doubt I’d impact you, but I’m sure people bigger than me use it too to identify exactly the same trends you’re describing.

    For me it is hard to jump into a new item because the cost of a new BPO is a higher percentage of my capital – but I’ve noticed things like probes and cynos appear and disappear on the profitable list. The SVR provided by ISK per Hour is what I try to use to decide if it’s worth me adding another BPO. It does seem like at any given time half of my BPOs are not sufficiently profitable to build, so perhaps I do need to diversify more.

    • I’ve been dabbling in ISK per Hour recently – funny enough, it was your blog which pointed me in its direction. I don’t view it as cheating – just disappointing that finding your own niche market is next to impossible because of it!

  2. Just getting time to catch up a bit on reading. It is my great belief that the competition you are seeing is not always a coincidence by and large except in a few situations that may cause it to be so. It is not in your mind that it is just random coincidence.

    I dont use ISK per Hr… yet though I very well know it exist. I already have my hands full just trying to reduce my Trade Orders overall down to a more smaller and manageable size so i’m not exactly trying to really ramp up with more Sell Orders to keep up with the New Eden Jones.

    However if you have spent any great majority of time on the MD Forums which I frequent sporadically and not all that often you would be more than aware that there are some very smart players that are optimizing the profit out of the EVE Markets. As well its obvious if you monitor discussion activity in the Market Trade Lounge from time to time it will be more than obvious at times players have bot programs that crawl the regional market data to find things that are trading above the average for profits as compared to other areas and the higher the profits the more it’t likely to hit someone else profit radar using a 3rd party app.

    Where else do one has to think all these profit programs come from. Something has to create something that can calculate what out there is making a profit from data, mining available data. A small percentage of EVE is using that tool. But over time more will happen to use it. You can see where that is eventually going there. Reminds me of like back in WoW when some people couldn’t figure out what was profitable so they started using addons to scan the entire market to find whats profitable and then just grind and sell those things. It eventually killed profitability in some areas and shift back and forth from one thing to the next.

    But EVE is a much larger and complex market with many regions that are their own markets. Its hard to keep an eye on the entire market and every single item which is impossible in EVE so see where every item is profitable or not as a check and by how much %. Enter the bot or the app that can do that without one having to so some them self or figure out why exactly does item Y sells here and item P does not. Why exactly does item Y sells? Who cares item Y sells and at 500% go sell item Y at Q station.

    But back to the core issue of the Coincidence Factor. That has happened to me so many times I clearly know its not random. I’ve just never written about it. As a Regional Trader I spend more time doing more work than most Station Traders do. As I have to find what’s needed in a System or Region, see if its Profitable, Test the System and Region see if its sells and if it does I also have to move it or get it moved. Sometime it takes months to get good results. But I usually move item myself in the select niche I Trade in.

    In the Regions I Trade I clearly know the Region better than many in the stuff I may Trade. I also can figure out why something has never sold there before most likely because I use the region and I travel it allot. So when I look at the market sometime looking for something or just checking it can lead from one thing to the next sometime by random and just kinda researching whats on my mind.

    Its obvious on many items, no one has sold that item much in that entire region for well over a year or almost never. Ok i can see why knowing the specific item maybe. But I see an opportunity to sell the item in X system for whatever my reason is. I obtain item X and place it in Y station. Item X may not even sell for weeks and then slowly someone buys 1 or two. Someone may come and buy 5 and thats abnormal in itself. But it slowly sells as a service to the residents of the region. Soon I sell a dozen of the item but it may have sold slowly.

    Before I started selling item X in the region the price average may have been say umm 400K as a flat baseline for a year or 2 years. By me selling the item X there the price regional average went to say 1600000.00 – 2000000 ISK or even higher. The average item sold per day in the region could be say 5 or less in barren region for the item demand. But the movement in price has also shown up in the regional price average graph chart as the now new regional price average. That item as well around EVE has also slowly risen in the average as well. I personally know I’ve sold stuff in remote places that in the grand scheme have helped the price of the item move up all over New Eden as i know what the average used to be and seen it go up slowly. I also travel through various regions and know what the same item price is in other areas. So i know i had some part in it happening in price increase.

    For people using bot programs and price crawling programs that scan the regions they see that hey in Genesis Region item X went from 400K to 2 M ISK. Someone must be buying that item there and look at the profit margin. At some point out of the blue J Capsuleer shows up and looking to make some profit in your Genesis Region on the same item and he dumps 50 of the item on the market when the average sold is like 5 or below in one week.

    When you had the market well supplied on an item that sold not in high volume this new person dumps a ton of it on the market. But the funny part is in a vast region of systems they don’t decide to sell in a system 14 jumps from you or 10 jumps from you or 6 jumps from you. The come setup shop right in your station in the only station in the region that was selling item X. Please tell me that is random! It’s not always the case. There is a very small chance it happened by someone else watching the market and saying hmm, you know that item X looks profitable at that price i think i’ll go get some and sell it too. I think i’ll go compete with that person in that specific station. Yeah i’ll sell in that that same station as the other guy, never mind I have the entire region and could sell it in any the other i don’t know 100+ other systems in the region. When i go compete with someone else, I don’t want to be in their station or anywhere close if i can help it. If we are in the same station it’s a Trade War.

    I’ve had that happen some many times it aren’t funny. On my most profitable item its even happened as well in a region clearly where the price was stable for a very long time on a very nice item where me and another Trader lived in harmony trading the same item. All of a sudden several people showed up and wanted in on the profits. So what did I do eventually? I decided to kill the profit margin and break it right down to where the Taxes and Broker fee on the item just barely equaled the new price up on the market. I had the patience to keep supplying it while making almost no profit at all and sticking it to the other people that showed up. Talk about Market PVP lots of profit potential was destroyed and there was no Wallet Mail except very low profits. For me it wasn’t about profit making. It was a Trade War!

    On another item I already had too much on the market to be that ruthless. So I’m waiting till i’m down to less market inventory to stick it to the other players that muscled into out area and tank the item price.

    But It didn’t take long all the low balling in prices daily around the clock till it all ended. And before long that person almost abandoned the item. And his item was now so low in price it sold more. They barely made any real profit and i let them sell off before it was back to normal again. But now I had to slowly repair the damage of item profit margin that was stable for a long time.

    There are allot of people in EVE who don’t want to do the work to find something needed in a region or stumble upon it by accident when it hasn’t sold there before, or the market has ran out sometimes. They may not want to test market the item to see if it’s selling. But they wait until someone else has done it and it now sells, to want to move in and take some the profits.

    It’s a Doggy Dog World in EVE Market Trading and its now always by Coincidence your competition shows up on your doorstep wanting some your profits who had their work done by some other 3rd party.

    Kinda like the 4 other capsuleers that showed up in Caldari Space on a particular item I sell in a system there and of all places they decided to setup shop in my station of all places. Its odd 5 people in one station selling the same item when one was selling there before. Why not go next system over or 2 jumps away.

    • I generally don’t read the EO forums. I’ll try to watch the MD sub forum again – even though I tend to find it annoying. I’ll do my best to persevere this time!

      I’ve basically only installed and spent 30 minutes playing with EVE ISK Per Hr and EveHQ. My initial wish is to quickly work out manufacturing costs and ingredient lists, but I’ve noticed the other reports available. Do you feel like these tools are in effect cheating?

      I imagine if the use of these tools became very common, then the regional markets would have more stock in them, and generally prices will come down. You might also be forced to join in the use of them to compete – although I fully agree with you about the benefit of local knowledge.

      I haven’t had an issue with people moving into my station – but that is because it isn’t one of the hub’s. Actually – the 3 or maybe 4 regular competitors tend to base out of different systems. Some are like you have suggested, balanced and try to work with a little harmony. Others try to push you out of markets aggressively. That later just make me dig in my heels and play the same game.

      Thanks for your thoughts again – always interesting.

  3. Pingback: Busy but Noting Interesting | Ardent Defender

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