I’ve been ‘testing’ the Eve markets for a lot of years now. It started off as endless trial and error over months and years simply to figure out how to eek out a profit, and with perseverance it slowly but surely evolved into refined trading systems which were then pushed to their limits. However as time went on and the liquid isk balance increased I didn’t limit myself to testing just the game mechanics, I intentionally extended my ‘research’ into pushing the limits of what other players would accept.

It’s a market economy after all, and the market is always right. Right?

So in 2010 or thereabouts I found myself as a null-sec noob learning the ropes in what was the Northern Coalition, based in and around Tribute… the heyday of Morsus Mihi and friends.  While I did develop a healthy addiction to the thrill of small-gang and blob PvP, and spent more hours than I care to admit sitting my Command Ship on a Titan. Not what I went to null-sec for.

I went to null-sec to make isk, bulk isk, plain and simple.  My liquid isk from trading in highsec had recently made it into eight figures, tens of billions, and I was eager to see what I could accomplish in zero security space so far away from the safety of the main market hubs.

 

Enter Jita+200

In my experience, where there’s been some attempt at regulating market prices in null-sec it’s usually been anywhere from Jita+10 to Jita+50.  Meaning that whatever a trader bought an item for in Jita (or the going price in the closest main hub) the ‘powers that be’ expected market players in the alliance to limit their sell price to ten percent, fifty percent, or whichever percentage was dictated, above what they bought the item for.

Well… my average range for highsec was already between fifty and one hundred percent markup, values readily accepted by the market.  Due to lack of game experience at the time I wasn’t aware of any limits on prices in null-sec (null-sec market regulation is actually quite rare) or any general market expectations, so items up to approximately five million isk Jita price I listed at a minimum of between one hundred and two hundred percent markup in populated 0.0 systems.  These items sold, and they sold well. Items above five million isk were generally marked up by between fifty and one hundred percent.  These also sold well.

I catered to all the things I saw people doing in null-sec and it wasn’t long before my income in zero security space was significantly surpassing my income from high security space. Jita+200 was working well for me and I started to ponder to myself just how far could I push it…

Eve Mogul Pic 3

 

Enter Jita+5000

Jita+10 market regulation had always pissed me off.  Whether it was decreed by the alliance directors or an individual decided to list items super cheap for his own reasons, it always irked me.  To a trader it’s like throwing away isk, and a similar analogy is that of a ratter who has his corp put taxes up to 90% – it’s a huge amount of effort for little payoff.  I personally don’t mind paying inflated prices in null-sec and I always expect to, and for the most part I believe that most pilots are the same.  I see it as simply one of the prices for getting good pew. So when I saw a bunch of relatively cheap, low-end items up for sale at what was essentially Jita+10, all the way up in Branch, it spurred me into action to see what I could achieve.

The items I’d found in Branch were selling for a little over 100,000 isk and I bought them all, immediately relisting them for 5,000,000 isk. Again, they sold well at a handful a week for each particular item. For those of you who’re familiar with my teachings on trading in Eve you’ll know that my number ‘3’ rule or guideline of Inter-Regional Trading is that ‘distance equals premium’. The further away a system is from a main hub the higher prices and margins you can command. It’s expected, and it was being proven out extremely well as I was learning.

However there was one thing I wasn’t expecting, and in fact my null-sec noob status really shone through – and I suggest that every new 0.0 trader take heed. A few days after relisting these items I received mail from my own corp director and from the director of another corp who was blue to us… his mail essentially asking “why?”, and querying “you are blue to us right?”. I simply hadn’t realised the sensitivities of flipping market items to null-sec bros who were blue, I’d pissed a corp director off and rightfully so. It was ethically wrong, lesson learned.

Eve Mogul Pic 2

It’s obvious now, but at the time I just had no clue and I was still coming to terms with the depth of the game as it related to inter-personal relations between allies. It wasn’t requested of me but I refunded the purchases that had been made and threw in an extra few million on top for each buyer as a goodwill gesture, and then relisted the items at a more respectable price to keep everyone happy. Including me… and it wasn’t Jita+10 I can tell you that much.

For interest sake, the max I’ve been able to semi-regularly squeeze out of items is approximately Jita+600,000.  Yep, six hundred thousand percent markup on an item that cost me roughly fifteen to twenty thousand isk to obtain in highsec… and you’ll be happy to know, at least on a moral level, that the customers weren’t blue.

 

The TL;DR points:

1)  If you’re going to trade in zero security space (and I suggest all of you do) don’t flip market items in allied null-sec stations – there’s often enough market opportunity to go around without needing to do it;

2)  Generally don’t screw your allies too hard on market items (try to ignore the fact that they’re not forced to buy your stuff and can undercut you if they wish); but having said that

3)  The majority of pilots will accept higher prices, so when trading in null-sec don’t short-change yourself either.

 

Eve Mogul

Eve Mogul is a hopelessly addicted Eve trader, general misfit, and the creator of Eve’s best structured video trading guides. Get more information here, and for trader tips; twitter.com/evemogul 

 

  • anon

    can’t believe i read this, much less am commenting on it, but just wanted to say this entire piece is pretty much bullshit. there’s no way – none – that you can convince me you were smart enough to engage in manipulating market prices yet not realize that you were a) buying from blues, and b) reselling to blues. if you’re living in nullsec, selling in your own neighborhood, who the f**k else is buying your marked-up stuff??? your CEO and other alliance dudes are idiots if they believe you made an “oopsie.”

    • Alzuule

      He didnt say that he didnt know it was blues that were buying and selling, he said he didnt realise it was such a bad mannered thing to do being new to eve. Maybe you should put one your reading glasses before calling an entire article bullshit, which it isnt.

      • anon

        ok you’re right – i stand corrected he apparently did know they were blue but the point is still that he “didn’t realize” it wasn’t cool to screw over your space buddies. bullshit article is still bullshit, which it certainly is.

  • Never not blue fuck.

  • Hamlyn Medley

    I really enjoyed the article! It’s nice to learn from someone mistakes (sorry but that’s true!)
    One question tho:
    Is really right to assume that selling high to enemies is kind of a war tatic? I mean… ok, they will buy your stuff really high but… they will use it against you! xD
    Maybe one upside is that he will buy a stick to kill you for 1000 dollars and you will buy a gun with that money to fight back?
    But still think about in a fight where a fast reship is needed… giving your enemies way to fight back is not really nice… What do you guys think?

  • WhiteHalo117

    Holy shit these comments truely indicate the level of reading comprehension some of you have, it’s seriously astounding. He was in the old NC not NC. (He was in Morsus Mihi or one of their blues). Also he literally stated in the article the lessons learned where don’t fuck blues, and market in enemy systems. He paid people back in kind with extra Idk, which he didn’t have to do. Read the whole article first before you sperg out.

  • Mr. Generic

    Artificially low prices dictated by local authorities actually harms the market. If prices were allowed to rise to a price that the market could bear, a healthy supply of goods on the market would appear as suppliers capture a profit above the purchasing/manufacturing costs and risk premiums of supplying goods in Null Security space.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the Entosis module and the first stage of station capture being Freeporting. Those traders who put items on the market below market value will likely see their entire stock purchased and relisted at a realistic price.

    • Kmdewey

      Null markets are limited by lack of logistics/industry not lack of profits…

      • wut

        Not to mention the “dictated” price is literally based off the largest market out there.

    • ClausRasmussen

      >> Artificially low prices dictated by local authorities actually harms the market

      Amen, brother

  • Shieldfire

    I usually build and sell stuff in 0.0 as income. Several hundred percent markup is honestly pretty common, if you look at the Jita prices. That said, I try to keep the lowest prices in the area I’m in – but I still will be at least Jita+2-300%. Going Jita+10 will only result in all my stock being bought and relisted at 2-300% markup unless there is an active and aggresive market for the item.

  • Alison King

    yes i tend to buy at 2% jita value and relist at minus -5% jita value passing on the discounts to all of new eden, i trade in all 42 regions of null sec and 5 empire regions , total orders checked per day 7200 , sometimes twice a day but it pays the bills

  • Metal

    NPC 0.0 is a great place to sell! Although you got to pick your location carefully. Population is never stable and usually flows with wars going on in the surrounding regions. And markup? you get to use a neutral alt for that! So no love lost for ripping off blues!

  • wormhole dweller

    1) make an alt.
    2) get alt into alliance, get into the null station, quit corp.
    3) contract items to alt, sell via alt at astronomical mark-up.
    4) …
    5) Profit!

    PS: fuck random alliance blues. that shit is fleeting, blue today, red tomorrow. if they are not in corp, blue or not, fair game.

  • Truth

    months and years just to “eek out a profit”?

    What an idiot. Anyone with half a clue about economics following 3-4 very simple rules can triple their ISK literally over night. If that’s “eeking” then I’d luv to know what he considers a good ROI.

    You can make 500m from investing 100m in a few hours… obviously the more you invest the hight the returns… “eek out a profit” lol.

    • kmdewey

      What are they? The three or four simple rules…

  • Bawk Bawkbagawk

    8 figures is tens of billions? must be a common core student.

  • oink

    I always mine the ore myself and make the items, and with selling them at 10% beneath whatever the cheapest item is in jita, i profit 100% because the ore is free !

    • Seraph IX Basarab

      Time isn’t.

    • Parrforthecourse

      Short sighted much? Gee Mr. Obvious, never made the connection that time is a cost!!

  • Michele Manfredi

    Jita+600,000 , i call this scam.. you like fuck your blu friends in 00 …long live freighter service.

  • Candyman

    “You’re blue to us?” is just the peasantry whining, hoping to guilt you into giving them a deal. A “deal” which involves giving away your time, your effort and absolutely no compensation for the risk involved. Nullsec retards have beens screaming for years “RISK must equal reward”. Herein lies the hypocrisy. Y’all want to take the risk hauling your stuff around, be my guest, and let me know how that works out for you as the spare time you have for “things I’d rather be doing” drops off significantly. More than anything else, you are paying a trader for the CONVENIENCE factor. The convenience of not having to spend days hauling stuff in from hubs so that it’s locally available. It is for this reason, despite all the changes to make Null more self-sufficient, that Null will never, EVER be self-sufficient because people are just fucking lazy and then bitch that “it’s not fair”. Who the fuck said anything about “fair”?. This is EVE. Welcome to capitalism, so off you go and be a good little consumer. Go grind some rats or something.

    • Thecandyeater

      Welcome to null where politics rule. We understand the traders take risk and happily risk our own hides to save theirs if the need arises. But outright screwing over your alliance/ corps/coalition mates in the market just isn’t polite. You can charge a premium for shipping the stuff sure but there are fuckin limits. You piss enough people off they tend to not want to save your skin, and it doesn’t stop there OH NO. You do that enough you make your whole Corp look bad to your alliance and your alliance look bad to your coalition. People bitch and bitching spreads upwards through the ranks all the way to the top. This is Eve. Welcome to politics, so go be good little trader and fill your wallet just remember who comes when you are caught by strangers.

  • meh

    As the op mentions “To a trader it’s like throwing away isk, and a similar analogy is that of a ratter who has his corp put taxes up to 90% – it’s a huge amount of effort for little payoff”

    To
    a trader it’s like throwing away isk, and a similar analogy is that of a
    ratter who has his corp put taxes up to 90% – it’s a huge amount of
    effort for little payoff – See more at:
    http://evenews24.com/2015/05/19/confessions-of-a-trader-you-are-blue-to-us-right/#sthash.XqqBK5Og.dpuf
    o
    a trader it’s like throwing away isk, and a similar analogy is that of a
    ratter who has his corp put taxes up to 90% – it’s a huge amount of
    effort for little payoff. – See more at:
    http://evenews24.com/2015/05/19/confessions-of-a-trader-you-are-blue-to-us-right/#sthash.XqqBK5Og.dpuf
    o
    a trader it’s like throwing away isk, and a similar analogy is that of a
    ratter who has his corp put taxes up to 90% – it’s a huge amount of
    effort for little payoff. – See more at:
    http://evenews24.com/2015/05/19/confessions-of-a-trader-you-are-blue-to-us-right/#sthash.XqqBK5Og.dpufusually corps with 90% – 100% tax are one man corps… just a player with lots of alts… so it stands to reason that its easier funnel your isk into one corp wallet

    • meh

      whoops not sure what happened there with the copying n pasting quote but oh well 😛