A couple months ago I mentioned how my station trader alt (I only pay for one account with three characters – Jack “Arrr” Dancer, a station trader, and an explorer/missioner) was having success station trading in Jita. Well, this week he passed the 1 billion isk mark (cash on hand + active buy orders + active sell orders). The station trader actually passed the billion mark a while ago since he’s bought a raft of rifters, a plethora of pirating paraphernalia, and other sparkly shiny toys for my characters over the past couple months.
As I said in my previous post, this requires about 20 minutes in the morning before work and another 20 minutes at night. All that’s involved is updating my 25 (or so) buy orders to be .01 isk more than any other buy order and updating my 15 (or so) sell orders to be .01 isk less than any other sell order. Over the past 20 days (since I started keeping a rudimentary wealth spreadsheet) I’ve averaged about 14 million isk profit per day.
A few things that I’ve discovered along the way to becoming a billionaire:
- The first few hundred thousand are easy – then competition gets tougher. I hit a profit plateau.
- It seems like buying something for 100 million so that I can fill a buy order for 115 million and make a cool 15 million would be a good idea. Not necessarily. Even though 20 or 30 of the items might be bought and sold during a day, it’s no guarantee of success. Sometimes it takes several days to get lucky and have my buy order at the top of the list when someone comes along and sells one (too often a buy order is almost immediately topped by someone else’s). In the meantime I probably could have invested that 100 million more profitably on smaller items with larger profit margins and less competition.
- It’s nice to have something to do on Eve when I only have a few minutes between RL responsibilities. I can sit down for 10 minutes and update my biggest orders – sending Jack Dancer roaming around in a fruitless search for victims takes much much longer.
- Some traders just don't have a clue. They'll change the price by 100,000 isk on an item that buys/sells for 13 million. Do they think that a 100,000 isk jump (on a 13 million isk item) will run everyone else out of the market? They are just throwing profit away. A Ferengi's nightmare! If you trade, stick to raising/lowering the price by .01 isk (or some other very small amount) - it's more profitable for you and everyone else.
- There are several items that can be bought and sold every day that yield 100%-200% profit and 200k isk in profit per unit. And often I can buy and sell 8 or 10 of these in a day. No, I’m not going to list them…
- Sometimes an order will surprisingly sit at the top of the list for several hours and I'll be actively buying or selling the item. Other times the same buy or sell bid gets bettered in just a few seconds.
- And equally surprisingly, sometimes someone will come through and dump 100 of an item on the market that had only been trading 15 a day on average for weeks. If you have a big buy order for these items it can mean a profit windfall when you turn around and sell them for triple the purchase price.
Of course, station trading isn’t for everyone. The fiddly nature of .01 isking your competition might be too tedious for many people. But if you can handle the tedium for 20 minutes and if you need isk and if you have an extra alt not doing much, I would highly recommend station trading to bankroll your less profitable *cough* piracy *cough* endeavors.