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Station Trading: Complete Guide

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What is Station Trading?

Station Trading is the process of buying low and selling high, within one specific station. Generally this station will be a Trade Hub1). Station trading is not quite a form of passive income, however the amount of time spent on station trading is entirely up to you. The core mechanic of this profession is to set up a buy order for an item, wait for someone to sell the item to your buy order, and then put up a sell order for the item at a higher price. The margin between the price at which you buy the item and the price at which you sell the item (minus taxes and fees) is your profit. Most time is spent updating your orders. In order to maximize your profit, you have to make sure your buy orders have the highest price and your sell orders have the lowest price, both usually by a tiny margin relative to your competitors.

Starting Requirements

In order to start station trading, there are a few things you will require in order to start off.

  • A dedicated character
  • Skill training
  • A location
  • Starting capital

Compared to other professions, especially those that earn you a profit, station trading is relatively easy to get into. However, as with just about all the activities, your time spent will become more profitable the longer you train and the more experience you have.

Character

If you are a very new player, creating a dedicated character for station trading might be the first alt character you will own. Having an extra character in a trading hub has a few advantages. First of all, it will generate ISK for you with relatively low time investment, allowing you to fund your other EVE activities such as PvP, or even allowing you to pay for your account. Furthermore, having a character in a trade hub allows you to sell off expensive loot at a good price, and buying expensive ships and modules at a relatively low price, using sell orders and buy orders respectively.

An additional character for station trading does require training though. You will either have to put the training of your main character on hold for a few days, or you can activate a second skill queue for a month, using either money or ISK. A decent station trading character does not need more than one month of training. At Christmas 2014, every account was awarded a 21 day period of free training, which many people used to train up a station trading alt.

The race of your character doesn't really matter, though if you ever intend for your character to serve as a cyno alt as well, avoid going Amarr.

Skill training

Example of decent station trading skills

There are several skills which allow you to become better at station trading, in turn making your time spent more profitable. However, you can begin station trading from the very start already. Any new character with the Trade skill can start, but training more advanced skills allow you to set up more orders, reduces your broker fees and transaction taxes and invest your ISK more efficiently. All of these are directly or indirectly aimed at increasing your profit.

Increasing the limit of active orders

Initially, you will want to increase the amount of active orders you have available to you. The following skills allow you to set up more active market orders. By training all these skills to level V, you will eventually be able to set up 305 market orders simultaneously.

Skill Additional orders/level Requirements Training multiplier Skillbook cost Supplied by Dojo
Trade 4 None 1x 20.000 ISK
Retail 8 Trade II 2x 100.000 ISK
Wholesale 16 Retail V, Marketing II 4x 35.000.000 ISK
Tycoon 32 Wholesale V, Marketing IV 6x 100.000.000 ISK

Reducing fees and transaction taxes

When you start investing more ISK into your trading venture and getting more serious about the profit margins in general, broker fees and transaction taxes will start to play a larger role. The more you are able to reduce your fees and taxes, the higher your profit margin will be. When you set up a buy order for an item, you will have to pay the broker's fee. This can be reduced by training the Broker Relations skill, as well as increasing your standings with the corporation that owns the station you're trading at. When you set up a sell order, you will have to pay a flat transaction tax, which can be reduced by training the Accounting skill.

Skill Effect Requirements Training multiplier Skillbook cost Supplied by Dojo
Accounting Reduces transaction tax by 10% per level Trade IV 3x 5.000.000 ISK
Broker Relations Reduces broker's fees by flat 0.1% per level Trade II 2x 100.000 ISK

Margin trading

Every time you set up a buy order, you have to pledge money to your escrow account. When your order is fulfilled (a pilot sells an item to your buy order), the money from the escrow account will be used to pay for that item. When you have 10 million ISK to invest, and you set up one buy order for exactly 10 million ISK (including fees), this means you are now out of ISK and can't set up more buy orders. In order to use your available ISK more effectively, you can train the Margin Trading skill.

Skill Effect Requirements Training multiplier Skillbook cost Supplied by Dojo
Margin Trading Reduces the amount paid to escrow by 25% (cumulatively) per level Accounting IV, Trade IV 3x 20.000.000 ISK

Training this skill allows you to set up more buy orders with the same amount of ISK available to you. At level V, the buy order that originally caused you to put 10 million ISK into your escrow account, now only puts 2.4 million ISK into your escrow account. Do consider, this does not make purchasing an item using a buy order any cheaper. Once someone sells an item to your buy order, it will use the 2.4 million ISK in escrow to pay for the item, and then subtract the remaining 7.6 million ISK from your wallet. If an item is sold to your buy order, but you do not have enough ISK in your wallet to complete purchase, the buy order will cancel and the ISK from your escrow account will be returned to you. The fees for setting up the order are lost.

Margin trading is also used for scamming, by luring people into buying an overpriced item by having an even higher buy order set up, that will fail upon being fulfilled.

Increasing standings

Skill Effect Requirements Training multiplier Skillbook cost Supplied by Dojo
Social None x 0 ISK
Connections x 0 ISK

Optional skills

There are a variety of skills that can improve your ability to place and update orders remotely as well as sell and buy items further away from your trading station. These skills are less commonly used by station traders, as most of the trade happens in the station itself. However, being able to remotely modify your orders allows you to fly around the region and engage in other activities whilst keep an eye on your orders in the background.

Skill Effect Requirements Training multiplier Skillbook cost Supplied by Dojo
Procurement Allows to place remote buy orders, at a regional level when trained to V Marketing II 3x 1.500.000 ISK
Marketing Allows sales to be completed remote, at a regional level when trained to V Trade II 3x 3.5000.000 ISK
Daytrading Allows to modify remote orders, at a regional level when trained to V Trade IV 1x 12.500.000 ISK
Visibility Increases the range of remote buy orders, at a regional level when trained to V Procurement IV 3x 7.500.000 ISK

Trade hubs

Station trading is done almost exclusively in trading hubs, as these are busy stations where pilots visit to sell off their items, as well as shop for new purchases. This environment allows station traders to earn profits, spending their time on getting a better price for sale, as opposed to a pilot who is passing through to sell off his loot. There are several trade hubs in New Eden, the most active one by far being Jita. There are several other stations where trading is viable. The main trade hubs in Empire Space are;

  1. Jita (The Forge)
  2. Amarr (Domain)
  3. Dodixie (Sinq Laison)
  4. Rens (Heimatar)
  5. Hek (Metropolis)

Depending on the activities on larger alliances and coalitions, stations in Low Sec or Null Sec can also be used to station trade in. In order to get an an idea of which stations see the most trade, you can have a look at the station rank list.

Starting capital

You can start station trading with any amount of ISK, as long as the item you can afford to invest in is good to trade in. Compared to other sources of income, station trading becomes worth spending time in if you can invest at least 50-150 million ISK. Sometimes people do activities like ratting and exploration to further fund and jump start their station trading business.

Market Window

The market window
The price history table
The price history graph

In order to start station trading, you have to become very familiar with the market window. This is where most of your time will be spent. Here, you browse for items to invest in, check on price developments and update your orders. The market window consists of various frames, each with separate tabs that show a lot of information.

When using the Browse tab in the upper left corner of market window, you can search through a large tree of the different items available on the market. These can be filtered by availability on the market, expanding in range and/or filtered by usability with regards to your skills or the fitting capabilities of your currently active ship. When searching for items to trade in, you'll likely use this to look for profitable trades, unless you already know what you're looking for.

Next to the 'Browse' tab is the Quickbar tab. You can use this tab to save items that you're interested in. This is done by dragging the icon of the item to the quickbar tab. You can organize the quickbar tab into different folders when you have a large number of items in your quickbar. When setting up buy orders, adding all the items in which you chose to invest in to a separate folder in your quickbar will allow for quick checking and updating of your orders. The quickbar contents are saved per account, and shared among all characters on that account.

At the top of the market window, there are four tabs, called 'Details', 'Groups', 'My Orders' and 'Corporation Orders'.

When selecting a group of items, the Groups tab will show a list of the different items in that group. Along with a description of the item, this tab will show the best price for which the item is available in this region, the quantity of that item available in this region, if you have the prerequisite skills trained, what the fitting requirements are if it concerns modules, what the bonuses are if it concerns ships, as well as other details depending on the type of item.

The Orders tab is an overview of the different buy orders and sell orders you have currently outstanding. It will also show you the amount of orders you have up, next to the total amount of active orders you can have available. This window, which is a identical copy of the 'My Orders' window in your wallet, is mainly used to keep track of orders that you might have forgotten you had outstanding, to check how many orders you can still set up, to quickly view the value of your orders, the amount of ISK in escrow and to roughly calculate your net worth.

Orders that have been made using the funds from a corporate wallet can be found in the Corporation Orders tab. You will only see orders here if you have the correct roles in a corporation that allow you to set up orders using the corporate wallets. With the right permission settings, you can also see corporate orders belonging to other members of your corporation.

The Details tab shows the different orders that other pilots and traders have set up. When station trading, this will be your most used tab. In this window, there are two separate tabs, called 'Market Data' and 'Price History'.

Market data

In the Market Data tab, you can see the orders that have been set up by other pilots, traders and corporations, as well as your own. For each sell order and buy order, you can view the price, the quantity, its exact location, the range of the market order as well as the expiration time. In order to easily distinguish between orders belonging to you and orders belonging to someone else, it is recommended that you enable highlighting of your orders right away, by clicking 'Mark my orders' in the option menu that can be opened by clicking on the little cog in the upper right corner of the details tab.

You will always want to have the Sellers and Buyers windows sorted by price. This way, the Sellers window shows the lowest sell order the top, whilst the Buyers window shows the highest buy order on top. This way, you have the most relevant data sorted properly for when it comes to station trading, as you will be competing with the highest buy order and the lowest sell order in these lists.

The expiration time is quite important as well. This indicates when the order was last updated. All sell orders and buy orders have a set expiration. Modifying and updating an order will reset it's expiration time, which gives you a good indication of the competition you're facing when it comes to this item. Orders are set up with expiration times of 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month or (usually) 3 months. This means that when an item was updated an hour ago, it will have an expiration time of of one the of set times, minus one hour. In practice, this means that any order with an expiration time of more than 89 days was last updated today. These can be considered actively competing orders.

Price history

When searching for items that you would want to trade in, the Price History tab is a very important source of information. This tab consists of historical information either in the format of a table, or visualized in a graph. Both the graph and the table have information that can help you in deciding if the item you're looking at is worth investing in.

Show Table gives you an historical overview of the item's highest, lowest and average price on every single day. It also gives you the amount of trades that have been made that day, in the 'Orders' column, as well as the amount of items that have been traded, in the 'Quantity' column.

The quantity is an interesting statistic as it translates into trade volume. For station trading, it is important to know what the trade volume of your item is, as it gives you a hint of how quickly you may expect to have your buy order filled, or your sell order completed. It gives no information on how many items are being bought from sell orders or sold to buy orders, it is simply a sum of both.

The 'Low', 'High' and 'Avg.' price columns can shine a light on this though. For most items that are suitable for trading in, the low price column will indicate the highest price at which someone has sold the item to a buy order, giving a good indication of the buy order value for that particular day. The high price column gives the value of the highest price that has been paid for the item on that day, which is usually a sell order. When these two values are exactly the same, it usually means that items were only sold. Assuming this information, the median average column can give us an insight into the balance of items being sold to buy orders and bought from sell orders. If the average price is very close to the high price, likely more items are being bought off sell orders. When the average price is very close to the low price, more items are being sold to buy orders. For station trading, an average price that is balanced between these two values is an indication of an item that's being sold to buy orders after often as being bought from sell orders.

In addition to the price history table, there is also the price history graph, which can be opened by clicking the Show Graph button on the lower part of the market window. It contains much of the same information as is displayed in the table, but visualized in a way that makes it easier to judge the price developments over time.

On the left vertical axis, you can see the price range of the item, in ISK. This is what the line graphs are based on. The right vertical bar display the trade volume in units of items, used to draw the light green bar graph below. The horizontal axis displays time, which you can change to values ranging between 5 days and 1 year.

The line graph itself consists of two lines, one dark red bar, a set of yellow dots and thin dark yellow vertical bars. Each of these different indicators can be enabled and disabled by right clicking the graph window.

The red line is called the 5 day moving average. This line displays the average trading price of the item, calculated over a period of 5 days.

The green line is called the 20 day moving average. This line displays the average trading price of the item, calculated over a period of 20 days.

The dark red bar is called the Donchian channel. This indicator is formed by taking the highest price of the daily maximums and the lowest price of the daily minimums of the last n days, then marking the area between those values on the graph. It is a useful indication of the volatility of a market price. If a price is stable the Donchian channel will be relatively narrow. If the price fluctuates a lot the Donchian channel will be wider.2).

The yellow dots in the graph represent the median price of an item, for that day. This means that it takes all the prices at which the item has been traded at, and takes the middle one. This is not the average mean price.

The dark yellow bars indicate the daily minimum and maximum prices. Short bars indicate a small difference in price, whereas long bars indicate a large margin between the highest and the lowest price at which the item was traded on that day.

Picking Items

After having studied and becoming familiar with the the market window, and queuing up skills, even whilst you're still training, you can start investing your ISK into items. Browsing for items and picking the right ones is where an experienced station trader differentiates themselves from newcomers. Experience in trading and knowledge about different mechanics in EVE Online means profit, when it comes to this stage. If you understand the market and how activities of other players influence the market, you will have an easier time to browse and pick out the items you want to invest in. Alternatively, you can use the browse menu in the market window to check every single item available, though this will take a considerable amount of time. There are thousands to tens of thousands of items available on the market, and going through all of them is a lot of work.

Either way, when you look at an item, there are certain criteria you have to keep in mind when judging whether or not the item is profitable enough for you trade in.

Profit margin

Likely the most important criteria for choosing an item is the profit margin. Your profit margin can be estimated by checking the difference between the lowest sell order and the highest buy order that are currently already up. The true profit margin is dependent on the price you end up paying for the item when it is sold to your buy order, and the actual amount of ISK you get when your sell order is completed. Since you are are likely going to be updating your orders because of competition, your buy order's value will be higher than the current highest buy order. The same goes for your future sell order. The true profit margin also takes taes and fees into account. For a quick indication though, traders often use the rule of thumb that the margin between the existing buy order and sell order should be more than 10%. Once you get at the point where your taxes and fees are lowered by skills and standings, you have more ISK to invest, and you have more experience in trading, you can rely on your own estimations about initial margins.

Trade volume

Whilst an item's initial profit margin might seem very attractive, you should not invest in the item until you have taken a look at the trade volume. The trade volume is the amount of items that have been traded, meaning bought as well as sold, for a particular time frame. The easiest way of getting an indication of an item's trade volume is having a look at the price history table. The exact number of units that has been traded during a single day is listed in that column. In the graph view, the quantity is displayed as a bar graph, giving you an easier insight in the historical development of the trade volume.

For a lucrative item the trade volume is high, but always relative to the price of the item and in balance with your capital and number of market orders available to you. All else equal, an item with a decent profit margin but with a rather good trade volume is better to invest in than an item with double the profit margin, but only a quarter of its trade volume.

Trade balance

When looking deeper into the market behavior of a particular item, the trade balance is another indicator that can help you make your investments more profitable. A well balanced item is one that is being sold to buy orders in the same quantity as its being bought from sell orders. As the quantity column gives us the trade volume, it does not distinguish between buy orders and sell orders being fulfilled. You can get a good indication of this when looking at the average price, in the price history table. This median value is the middle price of all trades from that day, separating the higher half of the values from the lower half of the values.

Price development

Example of cyclical price development

When choosing items that have a lower trade volume, historical price development starts becoming something that you need to take into account. You have to verify that the current price is not too inflated. This can be done most easily by checking the price history graph, and having a look at the price developments over the last 7 days to a month, depending on trade volume. What you want to avoid is setting up a buy order for an item when the price is at its peak. This could result in you being stuck with an item that might have had a good margin at the time, but you can't sell if the price drops dramatically.

Predicting future prices in the market is tough, but in general, highly valued items with low trade volumes have a cyclical price development. When the profit margin is high, a lot of new traders enter the market. All those traders updating their orders often results in a lower profit margin and falling prices. Once the margin is so low that new competitors are no longer interested in entering the market, the prices will slowly rise again.

Competition

A key criteria for picking items is to see how many other traders are already competing in a particular market. Whilst an item with a great profit margin might seem appealing, having to deal with dozens of other traders who are after the same profit margin could make it not viable for you to enter this market. The easiest way to determine how many competitors there are is to have a look at the market data window. If you are trying to enter a market, have a look at the currently active buy orders for the item. At the basic level, you can simply have a look at how many buy orders are already there, which gives a rough estimate of how many other traders are in the market.

More specifically, you can have a look at how many buy orders have had their prices updated in a specific time frame. This can be done by having a look at the expiration time. This indicates when the order was last updated. All sell orders and buy orders have a set expiration. Modifying and updating an order will reset it's expiration time. Orders are set up with expiration times of 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month or (usually) 3 months. This means that when an item was updated an hour ago, it will have an expiration time of of one the of set times, minus one hour. In practice, this means that any order with an expiration time of more than 89 days was last updated today. If the trade volume of an item is low, but there are many different buy orders that have been updated in the last 4 hours, there chances are very low that your buy order will be fulfilled, unless you update it very regularly throughout the day.

Competitor's behavior

Looking at how other traders operate may give you information about the state of a market. Whilst the average trader would keep their secrets to themselves, some information is available for all to see, as long as you know what to look for. One way of trying to gauge if a market is safe to enter, or very risky to enter, is to see the balance between buy orders and sell orders. In a volatile or cyclical market, the balance between competitors putting up sell orders and competitors putting up buy orders can give you a clue as to how the price may develop in the future.

If an item has a significantly higher number of buy orders than sell orders, this indicates that many other traders consider the market conditions to be favorable enough for them to enter this market. If you can handle the amount of competition, you could consider entering the market as well.

On the other hand, if there are significantly more sell orders than buy orders, this indicates that there are already a good number of traders in this market, and fewer new ones are entering this market. As traders would like to get their profit as soon as possible in order to invest it again, they are likely eager to get rid of their sell order. This puts pressure on the sell prices, often causing them to fall over time. This is an indication of an unhealthy market and investing in the item would be considered risky.

Customer's behavior

Whilst competition may influence the price in the shorter term, non-trading pilots can have an influence on the price of an item in the longer term. If an item gains popularity, it is likely set to increase in price until the supply of this item catches up. If the supply is static, the price may steadily increase over time. Having a look at the price history graph, set to medium to longer term, can give you an idea how the price may develop over longer periods of time. If you plan on investing in a particular item, you can choose to sell it off for more, simply by waiting for the price to increase over time.

If an item falls out of favor, for whatever reason, it's likely a good idea to get out of that market as quickly as possible.

Examples

Whilst the theory might be more clear to you now, it is important to put these into practice. Here are some examples that outline the process of going judging an item based on the information are now able to extract from the market window.

—–

Corelum B-Type Medium Armor Repairer

The competitiveness for buy orders is high, the result of a good profit margin. There are very few sell orders though, which could drive the price up further.
The trade volume is decent, relative to the item's value. The current buy order value is quite low for about a week now.
The item's price seems rather stable.

Let's look at the Corelum B-Type Medium Armor Repairer as an example and go by the previously listed criteria. At the writing of this guide, this was the market information as available in game. It will have been outdated by the time you read this.

  • Profit margin

The lowest sell order is about 109 million ISK, whereas the highest buy order is 80 million ISK. Thus, the margin is 26% or about 29 million ISK. This is a very appealing margin and would give a great return on your investment, assuming you are able to buy the item at the current buy order price, and sell it at the current sell order price.

  • Trade volume

This item is not traded that often. On a bad day, this item may change hands 3 to 4 times. On a good day, it is traded 12 times. For an item of this value, that's not a whole lot.

  • Trade balance

Going by the values in the table and the median day price in the graph, there is a fair balance between the amount of items sold to buy orders and the amount of items being bought from sell orders. As this is a looted module that can't be produced this is usually, but not always, the case.

  • Price development

The item's price seems to have stabilized in the last month. While its current appearing to be rising and the profit margin having increased recently, the item seems safe to invest into. With the buy order price so low, the item's sell price would have to drop to a low that hasn't been reached in the last three months. At present, this seems unlikely to happen.

  • Competition

Going by just the last four hours, 89 days and 20 hours or more, we see that 9 different buy orders have been updated. For an item that doesn't even sell trade 9 a day on average, this is a lot of competition. Whole days might go by, even when you update regularly, where you will not be successful in getting your buy order fulfilled.

  • Competition's behavior

Compared to the amount of buy orders, there are very few sell orders. This means that the price is likely to continue rising in the future. If you do you manage to fill a buy order, you will not have too much competition selling the item off again. One could even invest in buying up existing sell orders and relisting them for more.

  • Costumer's behavior

The item's steady price as well as the steady quantity traded indicate that this item's popularity is neither rising or falling. There is no real risk from this indicator.

—–

'Augmented' Warrior

A great margin attracts competition for buy orders.
The trade balance is favorable, if you're a seller.
The item's price has increased dramatically.

Let's look at the 'Augmented' Warrior as an example and go by the previously listed criteria. At the writing of this guide, this was the market information as available in game. It will have been outdated by the time you read this.

  • Profit margin

The margin of this item looks phenomenal, as you would double your investment if you are able to buy the item at the current highest buy order price, and sell it at the current lowest sell order price.

  • Trade volume

The trade volume is a bit on the low side, for an item of this value. It's suffered a lot in the last few weeks.

  • Trade balance

The balance is solidly in favor of pilots purchasing this item, rather than selling it to buy orders. With a margin this high, more people would try to get it sold through a sell orders, rather than selling to the existing buy orders. Once you have one of these, getting rid of it won't be much of an issue. However, getting one in the first place will be tougher.

  • Price development

The price as been significantly inflated in recent days, going from an average of about 12 - 13 million ISK to well over 20 million since about a week. This means that investing in a lot of these items will be a risk, as prices may fall again.

  • Competition

Considering the trade balance and the trade volume, the competition for this item is quite harsh.

  • Competition's behavior

There's only a few traders with sell orders up, meaning that the price will probably not crash very soon. There is a lot of competition for buy orders though, this will push the buy order price well above the historical sell order price. It is recommended to just buy one and sell it off again, before putting up a new buy order.

  • Costumer's behavior

The inflated prices are driving customers away from the item, having them seek out alternatives. With the margin being so high, the item is less likely to sell to a buy order.

—–

Missile Guidance Enhancer II

This item has a decent margin, but competition is stiff.
The trade balance is very unfavorable.
The item is new, and prices as well as trade volume are dropping.

Let's look at the Missile Guidance Enhancer II as an example and go by the previously listed criteria. At the writing of this guide, this was the market information as available in game. It will have been outdated by the time you read this.

  • Profit margin

For a beginning trader, this item has a good margin.

  • Trade volume

A lot of these items are being sold, but the item's popularity dwindling. For single trades though, that's not an issue.

  • Trade balance

The trade balance is very unfavorable with this item. Hardly are sold to buy orders.

  • Price development

The prices are steadily going down as more producers enter the market. They will settle eventually and the price fluctuations are likely not going to cost you ISK if you decide to set up a buy order now.

  • Competition

Competition is very stiff for this item. If anyone is going to sell to a buy order at all, its unlikely that it's going to be your order that gets fulfilled, unless you put a lot of effort and time into keeping your buy order the highest one.

  • Competition's behavior

There are large quantities of items in supply, and more producers are likely going to enter this very new market. A lot of traders placing buy orders are going to drive the price of the buy orders up, whilst the increasing number of suppliers are going to drive that price down.

  • Costumer's behavior

This new item has yet to find its market equilibrium, but it is very tough to predict where exactly it will settle. At this stage though, there are enough potential pilots willing to buy this item off the market, so if you are able to get one, the margin is still good.

—–

Managing Orders

Once you've found an item that you feel meets the criteria you deem important, you can put up a buy order that's just above the highest buy order available. Make sure to mark your orders to easily recognize your own. This can be done by clicking the cog in the upper right corner of the market window. For most items, set the amount of items you want to buy to 1. Exceptions to this may be consumable items like ammunition, charges, resources or any item that's traded in large quantities. You will want to have as much of your ISK invested in buy orders, and as little ISK tied up in sell orders as you can manage. This way, once a buy order is fulfilled, you can immediately put it up for sale again, using that same market order slot.

Start searching for more items in order to fill the available orders you have, according to the skills you have trained. Try to invest 75-80% of initial investment, spreading it over your different orders. For example, if you start with 100 million ISK and you have 20 orders available, spend about 80 million of that on setting up 20 different orders worth 1-8mil each (buy only 1 item at the time).

In order to easily check and update your orders, drag all the items you've invested in to the quickbar. If you have a lot of active orders, or items you wish to keep an eye on, you can create folders to organize your quickbar. The quickbar contents are saved per account, and shared among all characters on that account.

Now you're set and you can start updating your orders. Using the quickbar, combined with having your orders marked in blue, you can rapidly check all your orders. This is done by clicking the first item in the list, checking if your order is still the best one, and then using the down arrow key to go to the next item. When modifying an order, you can use the up arrow and the down arrow keys to adjust the price by 0.01 ISK.

In order not burn out, don't update your orders 15 times a day, but schedule moments where you can spend 5-20 minutes (depending on the amount of orders you have out) to make sure your buy orders are the highest available. However, the more time you spend, the more profit you'll make.

Once a buy order is filled, you'll see the item in your inventory, put it up for sale right away and set the price just below the current lowest sell order. Once this sells, you are making a profit.

Specialized Station Trading

Each trader has a unique approach to their operations. The approach is often influenced by the amount of capital they have at their disposal, the amount of time they are willing to invest in market trading and their experiences in EVE Online. One trader might only update their orders to earn profits directly, by trading in very high volume items that can be bought and sold again within minutes. The other might invest in items with very high profit margins, which may only be sold once a day, or once a week. Aside from this strategy, there are alternative ways of earning a profit instead of just buying an item and then selling it as soon as possible.

Speculative trading

An example of an item that could have been speculated on.

Knowledge is power, definitely in the marketplace. If you know in advance that a particular type of item is going to become a lot more popular among the pilots of EVE Online than it current is, you can choose to invest in this market, knowing that the price will rise in the near future. Speculative trading can be an immensely profitable enterprise, but it requires knowledge that the average station trader might not have.

This information may come from EVE Online's testing environment, where future changes to the game are tested before they are released on the live server. Patch notes can give an insight into more imminent changes to ship equipment and items that can be traded on the market. Alternatively, a particular ship doctrine may become more popular among the larger alliances of New Eden. Being closer to these processes may give you information about future market demands. Additionally, a mechanic may change in the game that makes a specific activity in the game more popular. Knowing these sorts of changing before the market may adjust to the new situation offers opportunities for market traders to invest and earn profits.

Speculative trading usually more profitable in the context of importing items, rather than station trading.

Long term trading

An example of an item that can serve as a long term investment.

Certain items in the game are no longer able to be obtained, yet can still be used and available in significant quantities. Examples of these are special edition assets, holiday gifts or other limited edition items. Assuming these items remain useful, prices of these items steadily increase over time as their available quantity slowly goes down. Entering these markets is usually a long term investment.

The process is very simple. Set up a buy order for the item, with a large quantity, and keep updating it for as long as you can afford to do so. Once all the ISK you wanted to invest is items that you own, you can simply wait for the price to rise and set up a sell order later on.

It's not just items that are no longer obtainable that could provide an opportunity for a solid investment. PLEX (Pilot's License Extension) generally becomes more expensive over longer periods of time. However, with every long term investment you make, keep in mind that all the ISK you are turning into items, can no longer be used to invest in other opportunities until you sell these items off. Investment returns are likely going to be bigger with short term trades, though for those not willing to engage in this or those who can't play for a significant amount of time, long term trading is viable alternative.

Market manipulation

What is market manipulation

An example of an item that has been manipulated.

The market for certain items can be manipulated by a single trader, though these types of investments should be done with careful planning and calculations beforehand. Typically, the strategy is to buy up the supply of a particular items and relist them at a higher price. Since you are buying items at the sell price rather than the buy price though, you're betting on your sales of all the items you bought up to be completed before the market bounces back to the price equilibrium.

Considerations

There are various considerations that you have to take into account before making an attempt at manipulating;

  • The natural influx of items into the market by producers
  • The supply by pilots selling their looted items
  • Your capital must be large enough to buy out the competition
  • Your ability to corner the market for as long as it takes you to make a profit
  • Availability of substitute goods
  • Inter regional supply

Overall, it is a risky strategy, and you should start off with a market that you can easily afford to buy out, in order not to turn a huge loss.

Taking advantage

Finding a manipulated item can be very profitable market to invest in. By design of the manipulator, the margin between buy orders and sell orders is now artificially inflated. If you are able to acquire the item, either through a buy order, through inter regional trading or otherwise, you can undercut the original manipulator slightly, and benefit from his higher sell price, without the cost of buying out the market. Be careful though, manipulated markets attract other traders, which in turn can drive the buy order price up. Buying into this market is only profitable if you can sell the item before the market readjusts. Always check the price history to see if the current buy orders haven't been inflated to such an extent that they're far above the regular sell order price. You could be stuck with an overpriced purchase if you can't sell it in time.

Profit Trackings

There are two ways to track profits

1. Spreadsheet Programs (Excel, Google Sheets, etc.)

  • For Google Sheets, a third party CREST script has been released and is very easy to use

2. Third Party Programs

Free

  • Eve Trade Master - EASY - Tracks profit, automates some analysis, and works for importing
    • Pros - Super easy to learn and use, tracks importing with First in First out method, and has powerful analytics. Also allows you to consolidate multiple character reports into one.
    • Cons - Sometimes will not update due to API pull requests. Website code sometimes takes time to load.
  • Evernus - Intermediate - A customization, powerful market tool with options for market trading, industry, and other isk-making activities
    • Pros - VERY powerful, can do almost anything you could want besides full automation. Allows simulated analysis of profit, as well as multiple secondary features. Open Source (so you avid programmers can canabalize the code)
    • Cons - Just like eve, has a large learning curve. Doesn't track importing by default.
  • N.E.A.T. - CORNAK LEVEL EASY Very basic profit and income tracking tool - Free version with available paid membership
    • Very basic, very plain.

Paid

  • Evemogul - EASY - Tracks profit, automates some analysis, does not work for importing
    • Pros - Very easy to use and learn, automates analysis, and looks pretty.
    • Cons - Kinda shite, only useful for station trading and very under-powered. Subscription levels are pointless.

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