So heres my story and guide.
My second week in EVE, I was ratting in an Omist station system in a newly bought Raven when a roaming BoB gang jumped into the system, warped to my belt, warp scrambled me and owned the !@#$%^&* out of me, all in under 20 seconds. Nearly broke and pissed off, I decided that ratting was for wage slave suckers and that there has to be an easier, better way of making money that doesn’t involve the risk of being blown apart in 0.0 space. I recruitment scammed my way up to 500 million ISK, but then the fat overlord banned recruitment scamming.
Then I discovered trading. Now don’t get me wrong. Trading does NOT mean space trucking NPC-bought goods across lowsec space for a couple million ISK profit only to be blown up by some pirates who just got home from school. The trading I’m referring to deals in player-built ships and modules, moon minerals, etc etc. It also does not require you to leave the station you are trading out of, assuming you are in a trade hub. Perhaps the best thing about it is that you MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU SLEEP. There’s nothing better than waking up and seeing your wallet 200 million ISK fatter than it was than when you laid down to take a nap a few hours ago.
I operated primarily out of Jita with an alt in Rens. If I put in the work, I can make over a billion ISK in a single day. If I weren’t quitting EVE and decided to get really hardcore about trading and buy 4-5 accounts (one for each hub), I could easily see myself pulling in 2 billion ISK a day. Here’s how:
For EVERY item in EVE that is actively traded on the market, there is a spread between the buy orders and the sell orders. You can calculate the percentage size of this spread by dividing the price of the lowest realistic sell order by the price of the highest realistic buy order. For example:
In this case, I would calculate the spread of the covert ops cloaking device IIs as follows:
10998/10000 = 1.0998 or 9.98%. If I put up a buy order at 10 million, have that buy order filled and put up a sell order at 10.998 million, I would make about a 10% return on the ISK invested. HOWEVER, you have to take broker fees and the sales tax into account. With no skill in broker relations or accounting, this shaves 3% off your profit. With broker relations 5 and accounting 5, you shave 2% off the profit. With great standings, broker relations 5, accounting 5, take 1% off the profit. The difference between 3% and 1% is HUGE when you’re dealing with high-volume goods over a long period of time. Thus, on my accounting 5 broker relations 5 character with 0 standings, our 10% profit becomes an 8% profit. With a billion ISK invested in the trade, that’s an 80 million ISK profit. Not too shabby.
“But Humjob, how can I find good stuff to trade?”
Quite easy. Go into the price history screen and look at the table. Make sure it is sorted by date with the latest date is at the top. Multiply the AVERAGE PRICE PER DAY by the AVERAGE VOLUME PER DAY. A good rule of thumb is that if there isn’t at least 1 billion ISK going through the item every day, it’s not worth seriously trading. Also, make sure there is a sufficient amount of order volume. If there aren’t at least 20 orders per day of the item, it might still be worth trading, but it won’t be your bread and butter. The funny thing is, you don’t even have to know what the item does. I don’t know what half the !@#$%^&* I trade does. All you have to know is the spread and the volume.
Or if you’re lazy, trade the stuff on the quickbar. Most of it fits my criteria for trading. A key thing to remember is that the markets are ALWAYS CHANGING, so you always have to watch them. An item with !@#$%^&* volume and a 4% spread today might have great volume and a 20% spread tomorrow.
It is CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL that you use your wallet for order management and the quickbar of the market screen to move between items. This will save you ridiculous amounts of time moving between items and modifying orders. To add an item to the quickbar, right click it on the market screen and click ‘add item to quickbar’. Now you can browse to it quickly without having to scroll through numerous laggy windows.
My most profitable items are POS fuels (hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, helium isotopes and liquid ozone), covert ops cloaking device IIs, +5 implants, and advanced materials.
And my last, most important piece of advice to any trader… STAY ON TOP OF YOUR ORDERS. If you ‘go away’ for a few weeks, you may come back to a nasty surprise as the item you bought at 200 is now trading at 73 and you’ve lost billions of ISK. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit.
There is a lot more to trading than what I’ve written here, I could probably write 30 pages about it. But these are the basics.