I have a business trip this week, so I’ll be doing little playing of Eve. And this past weekend, I’ve been spending a lot of time with the family before I have to go. Fortunately, I’ll have plenty of time to write.
One thing I did have time to fit in, other than some time in an Oneiros on a fleet this weekend, was my initial station trading. I started with 20 bil, and set up about 40 buy orders to stock myself with some some fodder with a good buy/sell split.
I started buying a wide range of faction modules, ships, and subsystems I’ve used in the past and whose value I have a good handle on. My buy orders started filling pretty well, and I learned one cardinal rule of station trading: be careful picking items that have a very low number of sales per day. I got myself into a few items that had only a couple dozen resolved trades per day, and while the buy/sell split was very good, I had to babysit them to constantly refresh the sell price. With one trade an hour, I didn’t have the luxury of being the third – or even second – best option on the table. High-grade implants fit into that category as well, and I was stuck with four High-Grade Snake Deltas for nearly the whole week.
Lesson learned: I’m going to stick to items that sell at least a hundred units a day.
I was actually doing pretty well, all things considered. My initial worry was that I’d not have the patience to stick with my buy and sell orders, instead chasing the .01 isk game or dropping and switching orders, which I knew to be a costly second-guessing. I was able to convert Curses and Svipuls very quickly for nice profits, but I suspect those were more due to temporary conditions than anything that would allow for long-term profits.
I also purchases 10 Tengus and 10 Gilas at good buy orders… just as the prices dropped. But, instead of unloading them in a panic, I set my sell orders to a price that would earn me a sufficient profit and waited. And waited. All ten Gila orders resolved today, and I have only four Tengus left. But the strategy of patiently waiting out the price deviations is working well.
But, as of right now, those Tengus are my only sell orders. Why? Because of the price of PLEX, of course.
I remember enough from my Economics minor to recognize a supply-side disruption, so I knew the PLEX sale combined with record-high PLEX prices would see the supply increase dramatically. I also realized that as soon as that drop started, players eager to cash out would start selling too.
But, on the other hand, PLEX isn’t going anywhere long-term. More ship SKINs were announced, and CCP Seagull’s announcements served to generate a lot of interest among players, who had been asking for an update from her for a long, long while. What she said came across as frank, yet positive and exciting. In short, it was exactly what players needed to hear to have their interest piqued for the next six months. Players are going to return to the game, and stick it out until spring. So, you have a boost to interest and an ever-increasing number of vanity items players will spend PLEX on, and you have a long-term positive outlook to offset the sell panic that ensued.
The result was a Jita price drop from a high of 1.35 bil all the way down to 1.075 bil as a direct result of these forces. So, I sold everything I could had a neutral or slight profit, added some additional reserve funds, and pumped it into buy orders at 1.1 billion. The first 11 activated on Friday as I came home from work, and I broke my rule about mixing Eve and family time to purchase as many as I could. My lowest buy was at the 1.075 low, and my highest was a single unit at 1.14.
I wasn’t the only one. Jita sells are currently sitting at 1.165 and buys at 1.131, which is already a nice profit. I suspect it’ll level out around 1.25 once the PLEX sale is over. Markets tend to sling-shot like that.
Part of market trading – whether in Eve or real life – is in knowing enough about specific opportunities to “feel” the trends. I remember day-trading Oracle and Cisco to double my principal in a month. Watch for cyclical patterns and exploit accordingly!
So, the first week didn’t go quite as planned, but I did get to jump into the roller coaster at the trough. And that’s always a nice touch, even if I’ll be leveraged for an indefinite amount of time.