At the start of the month I swapped training from my Primary to Secondary Industry Alt. That Alt has historically been used for PI and minor hauling, but is now getting the full assortment of trading skills. The thought was to send her out to another backwater region and set up a second trading area.
Over time I’ve built up a list of goods that turn over in my little backwater in enough volume, with adequate margins, and sufficient frequency to make the effort worthwhile. I’m not talking about making me lots of ISK – it is only small change, but it is worthwhile because it keeps me amused and I find it fun.
A couple weeks into the process I was hit with a dose of reality – what the hell was I thinking?
Setting up a second trading area, to do in effect what I was already doing, wouldn’t make the game any more enjoyable. So that left doing it for the ISK – and I already know it would not be worthwhile in that regard. So I dismantled the fledging trading hub and moved the Alt back home.
At the moment about 30% of my trading income comes from flipping T2 modules, small ship hulls, and a spattering of T1 items like probe launchers. The margins are good – around 50%, and the turn over consistent. 70% of my trading incomes from flipping expensive hulls or stuff like faction gear. The margins can be as low as 10%, but the profits can be as much as 100M on each sale. This is much less reliable, and there can be months on some goods between sales to buy orders.
Competition from other traders varies. Most of my buy orders for the smaller stuff last only a few hours at the top, so I tend to update them 2 or 3 times a day. Competition on the more expensive stuff varies wildly, from none for weeks, to updates just as often as the small stuff. I check those maybe once a day.
Knowing I am doing this more for fun, I decided to make some changes to cut back on the amount of work the trading is taking me. It will certainly cost me ISK, but hopefully I’ll be less inclined to burn out on it.
First of all I have dropped a lot of the T1 stuff. The T1 probe launchers would turn over quite well at very high margins (buy for 6K, sell for 50K) – but a month of sales would only be worth a Mil or so in ISK. Not worth it.
One of my longest and most reliable sources of income has been flipping destroyer hulls. I tend to make 500K ISK on each flip, and might do 40 to 50 a month. However they can be a bit annoying to shuffle about and centralise, and competition can be very active for them, so I dropped those and some other small hulls too.
I also made a bit of ISK on flipping T1 Industrials – but again, they were a big pain to consolidate purchases for minor (~500K ISK each) profits – so they were dropped.
There are other items that I buy on occasion with very good profit margins that won’t sell locally, and turn over only slowly at major trade hubs. While I could make 50+M on each flip, I might be stuck at a trade hub for days constantly undercutting prices until they go. Some of the faction gear and even certain Transport Ships fall into that category of annoying to re-sell – so I dropped those too.
It has been an odd turn of events. At the start of the month I was branching out into a second region, by the end of the month I’ve halved the number of orders I was managing and scaling back my efforts. The training of the second Alt in trading won’t be a waste however, they will be used for some of those more annoying efforts to sell stuff at trade hubs, and also pick up more goods for resale.
As an aside –the trade volumes have been odd this month. Even before I started dropping lines there would be a couple of days where the turnover is exceptional – and then it could go days where literally nothing happens.