Want to play the market?
The market can be pretty daunting, as it throws at you a huge amount of information, some of which is easier to grasp than others. You don't get it yet, but you want to understand it, so you can exploit and abuse the market to make lots of space gold. That's what this article is for, so strap in and start reading.
The groups view only shows you the lowest sell order in the station, how many units that order has left, and what the price per unit is. If you press the “Buy” button, you get the “simple-buy” window where you can choose how many units you want. Very basic, very straightforward, and completely useless to a trader. Far more useful is the Quickbar, which is covered below.
On top you have all Sell Orders, on the bottom you've got Buy Orders.
The two categories have something in common. They show you every order within your region, and share several columns - Jumps, Quantity, Price, Location, and Expires In. You can sort by any of these columns, but you always want to sort by Price. Sort low to high for sell orders, and high to low for buy orders - this reflects the order in which they are completed.
In the Buyers section, you'll see orders that are highlighted in green. This highlight indicates that the station you are in is within the order's radius of effect, and so are eligible to be sold to within that station.
Sell Orders let you sell items. Duh. If you hadn't figured that out already, you should leave.
Creating a sell order is easy. You find the item in your hanger and right-click to bring up the context menu. If it is an item that can be sold through the market (more on that later), there will be a “Sell this item” option. Select it and you get the following window.
This window does not let you setup a Sell order - it only lets you sell the item in question to an existing Buy order. You don't want to use it. However, if you click the “Advanced” button in the bottom right corner, we get somewhere useful.
This view is far more valuable. You have several options that give you near-complete control over your order.
alsoget charged a broker's fee if you modify an order to increase its value, equal to the percentage of the change in the order's value, so no, you can't just make a really cheap sell order and then change the price after the fact.
getstandings with the Space IRS, so standings don't affect it.
One last important tidbit about sell orders. The items you buy always come from the lowest sell order, regardless of how you buy them.When you're buying through the groups tab, that's a given. But you appear to be able to choose any order you want to buy from in the detail view, right? Wrong! In the detail view of isogen above, if you decide to buy one million units from the order at 61.97 isk, it would take those one million units from the order at 61.95 isk…but actually pay him 61.97 isk per unit, as that's what you had been offering. Of course, a savvy trader will never make that mistake, but you will see it happen to your benefit from time to time.
Okay, so scroll back up for a bit and look at that first picture of the Detail View window. See the “Place Buy Order” button? Well, that…duh. That's how you create a buy order for an item. Accessing the buy order interface this way automatically takes us to the advanced view. It's mostly similar to the Sell order window.
See? All the same. Well, mostly. Here's the big differences.
One final difference: You don't pay taxes when you setup a Buy order. Why would you? You're not selling anything!
The detail view gives you access to another extremely valuable resource - the Price History tab. This window lets you track historical trends and maybe spot trends in the making. Anyone familiar with a stock market graph should recognize this, since that's basically what it is.
This is the graph view. There's also a table view (which you can see by clicking the “Show Table”, duh) but since the graph view is built from the table view info, we'll just stick with it. The graph shows several things. By right-clicking on the graph, you can choose which of these you want to show and hide. The left hand side provides a scale for price, right hand side is the scale for volume, and the top provides the timeline. You can change the timeline through the “Time” dropdown, with options ranging from 5 days to a full year back. 5 and 10 day views will attempt to extrapolate the 5 and 20 day moving averages - for obvious reasons, these should not be taken seriously!
As a general note, CCP removes statistical outliers in all trading transactions so that people can't easily fuck with the data at will. It's theorized that their algorithm cuts off the top and bottom 10% from the data, but its some black magic voodoo bullshit and despite many efforts, no one has quite figured out exactly how it works. Suffice it to say, however, if you sell a few units of zydrine at a million isk per unit, they will get ignored.
Finally, all of these figures (aside from Daily Volume) look at sell order values only. Who knows why.
The quickbar is a list of your “items of interest” that you can see while also viewing the Detailed view window, thus eliminating the need to ever look at the Groups category for any reason* again! Amazing!
To add an item to your quickbar, you right click the item in any of a handful of places (in your hanger, from your Orders window, or from the Group view list, pictured below) and select the “Add to market quickbar” option. The quickbar has no limit to the number of items that can be added, although for obvious reasons, you want to limit it yourself to items you actually want to trade. Also, keep in mind that you can add items to the quickbar twice, and there's no warning.
The market window includes a “My Orders” tab, which is a perfectly serviceable way to track, change, and view your orders. Unfortunately, it would have you flipping back and forth between the Detail View tab and the Orders tab. Fortunately, your wallet also has the same information.
This is the Orders tab, which is what we're primarily concerned with. The other tabs are Journal (which shows you all cash flow in and out and lets you sort by type…neat but mostly useless), Shares (pretty much useless but it shows any shares you have in corporations), and Transactions (which is similar to the Journal tab but provides who and what information for things you've bought and sold).
The orders tab is laid out pretty similarly to the Detail View on the market. Sell orders on top show what you're selling, Buy orders on the bottom show what you're buying. All the basic info is there. At the bottom, you get more info.