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Few things frustrates me more in EVE than the fact that 0.01-ing is still done by humans. Considering that trading is a competitive environment and updating orders by 0.01 ISK isn’t inherently fun, it should have died out already.

I probably wrote more posts about this topic than anything else. I earned and keep earning more ISK than probably all the 0.01-ers combined, but this idiotic practice still exists. Now I try to explain its stupidity in the most basic terms as possible.

The main problem with 0.01-ing is that it’s not even trading at all, since the practice does not allow the player to set prices. He automatically updates prices, without caring much about their value. He simply wants to be the lowest seller by 0.01 and updates again and again: this is farming, turning time into money, requiring no knowledge or skills, therefore its income is bound to converge to the other “money for time” activities like mining and missioning.

Let’s disprove this dumb practice once and for all. You have an item for sale. You don’t want to use it, its only utility is selling it for ISK. It doesn’t matter how you got it, the item is equal to another, regardless you looted it, crafted it or bought it. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it in ISK or time, that’s all sunk cost. All that matters is that you have it and now want to sell it. You can sell it instantly to a buy order or you can set up a sell order. Sell orders give you more ISK, but they decrease the chance of selling in a given time frame. The larger the difference is, the more time you have to wait before you sell. This time can be infinite if you set the price high enough. The exact time is defined by competition, the more fierce it is, the more people compete for the same sells.

It’s obvious that decreasing your sell price gives you a faster sale, since you can sell infinitely fast if you decrease the price to the buy order price. Waiting has costs: your capital is locked down and updating orders take time that have opportunity cost. You don’t want to wait too long.

The catch with the 0.01-ing is that it doesn’t decrease the price at all. So if you updated your order, unless you are lucky and a buyer arrives before someone else does, you did nothing. It’s like buying a lottery ticket: if you lost, you lost, game over. You are just like you were before, but you wasted time on updating. What guarantees that if you update with a significant amount, you get a sale, instead of just being 0.01-ed again? Absolutely nothing. The difference is that if you update with a significant amount, then in N updates you will decrease the price to the buy order, guaranteeing a sale. So you are guaranteed a sale in N steps, while the 0.01-er has no guarantee that he will ever sell anything. This is the catch with 0.01-ing: you can do it all year without selling anything at all, if you are unlucky enough.

Of course they claim with their infamous “you ruin the price for everyone” line that cutting prices is not profitable. Maybe it’s not, but you have no choice if you want to sell. Remember, you want to sell the item as you don’t need it and the cost you paid to get it is sunk! Selling at loss is better than not selling and sitting on a useless item.

“But if I sell at loss, how do I make profit?” – you might ask. The answer is accounting: after a while, check the income and cost of an item. If the profit is negative or too low, stop trading it. If it’s high enough, keep trading. I do regularly lose on items and kick them out of my collection, replacing them with another. Therefore I always make profit. The only way I could stop making profit, if every item would become unprofitable, but such market equilibrium is impossible in EVE where only a few people trade right.

So the short version of good trading is: “sell it no matter what, if you sold it for profit, come back again”, while the 0.01-ing can be summarized as “update and hope”.


– Gevlon Goblin

If you would like to read more Gevlon Goblin articles, we invite you to visits his Greedy Goblin blog.

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