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diplo:marketguide

Importing Guide & Market Guidelines

Intention

The guidelines related to the market in TEST systems are set forth by your friendly neighborhood diplomats in order to keep the alliance’s economy strong and healthy, and at the same time keeping us well-supplied for the inevitable military conflicts that arise. In specific, the aims are:

  1. Keep the markets stocked.
  2. Encourage importation of goods for all manner of needs.
  3. Foster the growth of localized industry.
  4. Protect our supply chains from hostile interdiction.
  5. Provide clarity to people using the market about what’s appropriate behavior, and what isn’t.
  6. Give some insight as to the difference between “bluefucking” (which can result in punishment), “less than bro-ish actions” (which are not punishable per se, but more of the “not cool” side of things), “well-intentioned-but-actually-very-unhelpful” things, and the “while-seemingly-bad-actually-healthy-for-the-market” actions.
  7. Prevent the diplomats in TEST from pulling their hair out, or spending time acting as forensic accountants.

As always, there are grey areas and edge cases to everything; we are attempting here to provide a set of guidelines that communicate the spirit of what we’re trying to achieve.

Game Mechanics of the Market

Understanding how the market works in Eve is necessary to frame any discussion. A few points follow here, which are listed specifically as various diplomats have had to repeat themselves many times.

First and foremost, markets are public. Anyone, with or without docking rights, can access and trade on the market in any region. In many cases, if they know enough about TEST they’re even able to get their stuff out of a station without having even a character in alliance.

Secondly, it’s impossible to buy, or sell, from specific orders. Eve will default to the most advantageously priced order, but will pay that person based on your less advantageous order.

A perfect example is a market with several sell orders listed, say, one at 5,000 ISK and the other at 50,000 ISK. Say you’re feeling particularly self-righteous about marketeering (maybe you just finished reading some Marx or burning copies of Atlas Shrugged) and you decide “Hey, I’m going to buy off this bluefucking 50,000 order and make a madpost on the forums about how much of a dick this person is.” You click on the high-priced order and purchase one unit. 50,000 ISK is deducted from your wallet, and a TEST member’s name pops up in your transaction history. You then madpost about it.

The problem is, you’re actually the chucklefuck in this story. What Eve did was take your 50,000 ISK and give it to the reasonably priced importer who listed at 5,000. You just made his day, and you are not any closer to finding out who’s being decidedly un-bro-ish with their sell orders.

Please bear these facts in mind when considering your market actions.

Principles

Pricing

  • In general, prices in nullsec are going to be higher than in empire space. You should be prepared to pay anywhere from 10-30% more for your items.
  • Pricing of sell orders is at the discretion of the importer/builder. If you dislike the prices, import/build your own stuff and undercut them. If they buy you out, keep doing it for the free money, if continuing to do so is not worth the money, then he is relisting at the price the market will bear.
  • Conversely, pricing of standing buy orders is at the discretion of the buyer. Opportunistic purchase orders are a fine way to make ISK off folks who need cash quickly, and perhaps even AFK neutrals seeking to firesale stuck assets. It’s also a great way for an importer to protect their markets.
  • There is no “true price.” While moving the market in Jita for say, tritanium would be extremely difficult, there are members of TEST, and friends of TEST members, who have the capital to dislocate markets in Jita at will. This means that whatever something is going for in Jita might have little to do with the pricing situation a few days ago. That said, for many things it’s a very decent representation of an equilibrium price, so absent obvious distortion it’ll be used to frame discussions.

Supply

When the rubber meets the road and hostile forces descend upon us, supply is the most important part of the market. Having things available when it’s time for a fleet allows those of us perhaps less abundant in the gift of foresight, to participate in ops. Protecting supply can be accomplished to a certain degree, by the following:

  • Preventing trade hub arbitrage. This is the prime argument against “white knighting” markets. If you list items such that purchasing them and moving them to Jita will result in a profit, someone will scoop them and ship them out. It might be a person in TEST, or it might be a neutral party. This sort of thing is often undetectable (or at least, not easily detectable), and the person doing the purchasing frankly doesn’t know if it’s a neutral party fireselling stuck assets (in which scooping and turning a profit is great), or a would-be do-gooder that hasn’t really thought things out or bothered to read a certain incredibly helpful wiki article.
  • Bringing things to market. Either through importing or building locally, tossing stuff up on the market is the Lord’s work. It’s also a fair amount of work, and as such should be appropriately compensated. People may love to pitchfork “market jews” and complain about pricing, but the face remains that without them, you'd have to import, for yourself, everything you use. This would lead to asset bloat, and make (may it never happen) an emergency evacuation particularly painful and expensive. Yes, marketeers make money doing what they do. They also have a phenomenal amount of wealth tied up in a risky nullsec outpost. When you get to relatively moonwalk out to another home, they are left to fret about the stuff they listed for your convenience. So, let's try to walk a mile in different pairs of spaceshoes now and then, k?
  • Keeping a Small local cache of important items. There are some things that never really go out of style. (Damage controls, Ammo, etc…) It never hurts to have a few items or ships in the staging system in case of hostile market PVP or a sudden demand that cannot keep up with suppliers.
  • Bringing things away from the market. Few things land you an entry-level position in the NPC corp faster than getting caught depopulating the market of other people's assets. Removing assets from our space and hoarding them maliciously, will not be tolerated. This obviously excludes buyback services, which provide important sources of liquid ISK and encourage people to use our space.

Relisting

This one has been a hotly and oft-debated topic in TEST. Is it ok to relist? If so, when is it ok to relist? Relisting before a stratop to milk extra profits from your blues is obviously wrong (or should be obvious :staredog:), but there are some instances where relisting is ok. The meme often goes “the price is what the market will bear”, and this is the core guiding principle we use in judging relisting disputes. Lets walk through an example.

Lets say you're an aspiring industrialist that just bought his very own Vexor BPO. You have it researched, and you're ready to start building. nobody is selling them on the staging market, and you can build them for 10m/ea. You're also a pretty cool dude and you think that they should cost about 12m/ea. A little bit of money for you, but everyone else gets cheap vexors. You're doing this more because you want to be a bro and fill a market hole than make any real money, so you build and put up 10 at 12m/ea. cool right? A week later someone buys all your 12m vexors, and relists them for 25m, he also lists an additional 10 that he imported from highsec at 14m/ea + 1m/ea shipping. His cost for a vexor is about 15m/ea, and he wants to make a hefty profit on them so he buys yours too to add to his stock. You have 10 more that just came out of build, and you put them up at the same 12m/ea you put the last one, to undercut him. Within a day, he buys them again and now there are 30 on market for 25m/ea. Now, let me ask you a question. Do you keep building them and selling them for 12m/ea? Things to consider in an objective analysis:

  1. Your vexors are getting bought out immediately, and they are getting bought at the price you are putting them in at.
  2. The vexors are still on the market
  3. Your capital investment in those vexors is now freed up for more vexors, or other investments.

There are now a few reactions you can have,

  1. “I was just trying to fill a hole, I don't actually care anymore lets go do something else”
  2. “Fuck this shit, vexors aren't worth building for this guy at 2m/each profit and I was trying to be a bro and now I'm mad”

If you're reading this article I'm assuming you're mad and got linked it by a diplo, so lets assume you went “fuck this shit, vexors aren't worth building for this guy at 2m/each profit”. Lets go through your options, and see what plays out logically in each of the scenarios.

  1. “Fuck this shit, vexors aren't worth building for this guy at 2m/each profit”, so I'm going to stop building them.
  2. “Fuck this shit, vexors aren't worth building for this guy at 2m/each profit”, so I'm going to keep building them and slowly raise the price until he stops buying them and relisting

In option 1, the market is left with 20 vexors at 25m/ea. Certainly not ideal, but they are available if someone wants to buy them. More importantly, the margin is hefty enough that in a best case scenario someone might notice the high margin and start importing more for say, 20m/ea, and then an undercutting war ensues. Even if nobody notices, there is still a market of 20 vexors available if someone wants them.

In option 2, the market stabilizes wherever he stops buying them out at. Lets say you list 10 more for 12, 10 more for 15, and 10 more for 20 before he stops relisting. There are now 50 vexors on market for 20m isk, and plenty available for people to buy and use.

Replace vexor and it's jita price with a damage control, sensor script, or doctrine ship, and the story is exactly the same. In almost every scenario there are more items on market available for purchase, and in every scenario the original builder/importer got all of their capital back to re-invest in whatever they want to. If you want to go be a bro on another market hole, go for it! Use the isk to buy into something bigger and more profitable? you've just become a for-profit market importer! TEST is better off for your contribution whether or not a relister is involved, and even though his actions initially made you mad, the market as a whole is stronger for him.

TL/DR:

General Guidelines

When you're about to perform a market action that you think might be questionable, please ask yourself the following questions if none of the above has been of help to you:

  • Is this going to remove something useful from the market in our staging system?
  • Is this going to distort our market or leave us open to interdiction by neutrals and outright hostile forces?
  • If I'm selling at a low price, am I willing to continue to do this indefinitely? If not, please consider setting your price high enough that you would!
  • If what I was about to do became completely public, would a well-informed reader of this article think I'm an asshole?
  • As a marketeer, am I watching someone undercutting me and confusing stiff competition with someone doing something stupid and white knight-ey? Before bemoaning someone's overly low pricing, watch them for a bit. If they refresh their orders all the time, you've been out-competed and should probably move on.
  • I'm super mad about something. Have I consulted more sources to justify my anger than a quick glance at Eve-Central?
  • Could my problem be solved with simple actions on my part?

Rules

After feedback and more debate, we have decided to remove the original “rules” section of this article and instead replace it with a few examples of behavior we would like to not see. The only “Rule” as such for TEST markets is “Don’t Be a Dick” and individual incidents will be judged by diplomats on a case-by-case basis as they always have been. These cases are not rules, but they should give you a good idea of the things this article aims to deter under the “Don’t Be a Dick” rule.

  1. Person A buys out all of the contracts for a skirmish doctrine, and relists them 50% higher. Any time more are imported he buys them and relists them again.
    • You are not providing a service nor a convenience, you are literally just taking money from consumers and putting it in your pocket and you're gonna have a bad time.
  2. Person B buys out all of the Faction Ammo before a scheduled stratop and re-lists it at 1000% markup.
    • You fucked with a military operation for personal gain, you're gonna have a bad time.
  3. Person C is upset that a particular t1 hull is priced 20% over jita. Instead of importing or manufacturing some and selling them at 10%-15%, he imports some and sells them at or near wholesale. He believes he is doing a service to the alliance by providing cheap goods for purchase.
    • In reality he is not going to keep up this volume at no gain, and the importers that are making a small profit stop importing. The end result is that you now have an empty market and you're gonna have a bad time. In this instance, buying out the items at jita cost and re-listing them at a reasonable margin is an acceptable practice and is healthy for the market.
  4. Person D buys out all the hulls and components for a skirmish doctrine from the U-H market, assembles them and puts them on contract for a 40% markup (80% over jita) There are no longer hulls or some modules necessary for people to fit their own instead of buying the contract ones. He also buys the few reasonably priced (20% over jita) contracts and re-lists them.
    • Although providing fitted ships on contract is a respectable service that deserves a markup, it doesn't when it's at the cost of choice. If he had imported ships to put up on contract, that would have been fine. If he had bought out half of the ships and put them up for a reasonable margin, that would have been fine too. But when you intentionally remove the choice from TEST members to build it themselves, you have forced them to pay you more or not have a ship in the short term, especially when you also buy out the existing contracts and relist them. If you do this you're kind of a dick, although the market will recover in time.
diplo/marketguide.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/06 02:31 by NTchrist