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Playing The Market

Types Of Marketing

Margin Trading

Eve has buy orders and sell orders. In any large hub, there will be a spread between the two. Exploiting this spread to make money is the essence of margin trading. The key to successful margin trading is to turn isk over as quickly as possible. A 10% return may seems small, but if you're generating that 10% return on a given amount of money over and over, several times a month, it adds up fast.

What you need to do it

All you really absolutely need to margin trade are order slots. Trade, Retail, Wholesale, Tycoon. The larger you go, the more orders you need.

What you probably should get to do it

The rest of these skills are optional. Their benefits are explained.

  • Margin Trading - I consider this THE single most valuable skill for a trader. Normally when you place a buy order, you put all the money into escrow up front. This skill reduces that amount by 25% per level (75%/56.25%/~42.2% etc). In other words, if you place a 100m isk buy order with Margin Trading II, you put in 56.25 million, and pay the rest out as the order fills. Should you be unable to pay to cover an order, however, your wallet does not go negative. Instead, the order is cancelled and the escrow returned to you. In short, it is a virtually penalty-free way to “double” the amount of isk you can spend.
  • Accounting & Broker Relations - these two skills reduce tax and Broker's fees, respectively. This is valuable because fees and taxes cut into your margin. At level V, they reduce your Tax to 0.5% and your Broker's fee to 0.75%. Broker Fees can be further reduced by standings with the faction and corporation that owns the station you trade in, down to a minimum of 0.25%. You get taxed when placing a Sell order, but have to pay a fee on both buy and sell orders.
  • Daytrading, Marketing, Procurement, and Visibility - these skills relate to remote trading. Procurement lets you create buy orders in other stations, while Marketing allows the creation of sell orders remotely. Daytrading allows the modification of both, and Visibility lets you choose to increase their range (for a practical example, such that someone might wind up selling an item to you in NOL-, even though you set your order in J-L).

Getting Started

First, you need to establish your list of tradable items. A tradable item has two qualities.

  • Good margin. Note that what defines a good margin is flexible; more on that later.
  • Good volume. A 100% profit margin item is pretty damn bad if you sell one a month; you're much better off making 10% per item on something you can sell 20 of in a month.

How do you find these items? Go to the market and start looking! When you find your likely item, this is what you see.

This lets you rapidly confirm if the margin is worth trading for. Remember your taxes and fees! With default skills and standings, this is a 4.4% profit. Not exactly an ideal item for the budding trader.

Lets move on to the Price History tab.
price history

More useful information here! The valuable columns here are Orders, Quantity, and Average. Orders tells you how many orders were involved in transactions. Quantity tells you how many items were involved in transactions. These stats give you a rough idea of how well an item sells.

Incidentally, this example item is the 30d PLEX; in other words, a timecard.

Once you find an item, add it to your quickbar. To do this, you right click on it in the market browser or search window and select “Add to Market Quickbar”. And with that…

The Quickbar and You

This is a tool valuable for preserving your fucking sanity. Margin trading can be a soul-rending activity. The quickbar is a valuable tool to speed things along. Add all of your items to it, then bring up your wallet and go to your orders tab. Viola; you have your wallet with all your orders as well as a list of only the trade items, side by side. With this setup, you can rapidly move through your list of goods and adjust orders. Format your hanger as a list and alphabetize it. This makes finding and selling your finished orders easier. layout for trader

A word on competing

There is far more to margin trading than is written here. However, what seems to turn people off the most is contending with constantly being “.01'ed”, particularly when trading in Jita. “I don't have a bot and I don't care to sit here 23/7 changing my orders!” So don't. Tailor your trading style to how much effort you can put into it. Margin Trading lets you spend more money than you have; take advantage of it, spread out, keep placing orders until the amount required to cover escrow is two, three, even four times more than in your wallet. You won't bounce because most of your orders are rapidly .01ed down, but you're hitting enough items that some are bound to fill.

Alternatively, take the long road. Find items that have predictable cycles, such as more or less every T2 mod (why they cycle is beyond the scope of this article). Identify the cycle, place orders at the bottom. When they fill, list them near the top. It's a much slower, much lazier means of trading, but properly executed, it will make money.

There. Two examples of viable, relatively low-effort trading techniques. The whole point, however, is that “You have to babysit your orders constantly to make money!” is a myth, even in Jita.

A word on Growth

A canny trader ought to find that he has no trouble doubling his initial investment very, very rapidly. Don't expect it to continue. The more money you have in the market, the lower your average percent return, because not everything has a 10%+ margin, and so you must accept lower and lower margins. However, having it making money - even if its only at a 7% margin - is better than having it sit idle. In short, money breeds money.


A useful spreadsheet for market trading can be found here. It was written by me (mynnna) and I continue to use it (albeit a beefed up version).

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. This section is going to cover being a tremendous moron vis a vis money, not just marketing.

  • Steal Ideas: When you hear a really good idea for making money being discussed on teamspeak or in the gs_isk jabber channel, ask politely appreciative questions about the details of their operation. Tease out the details. Most EVE players love bragging about how much money they make, and how they make it. As soon as you have a good idea of how their operation works, either put it into action yourself and undercut them, or file it away in your brain for later. Even if the idea itself is impractical for your purposes, it may inspire you later on.
  • Shamelessly Self-Promote: Don't post in WTB/WTS threads that you're selling such and such obscure product. Rather, post a thread about said product asking about and extolling its virtues. Get people interested in what you're selling and they'll buy it off the market and in WTB/WTS. Had I been doing so as a guerrilla marketing technique, I would have stocked the market on the front lines with a couple dozen Tacklemallers ahead of time, and perhaps started an WTB/WTS thread about selling the complete packages.
  • Provoke Market Stampedes: This has been used to great effect with timecards and moon minerals before, but can apply to other things equally well. In effect, instead of waiting for a profitable market trend to occur, you invest in a product and then spread rumor amongst your social network, the forums, and eve-o that it will rapidly increase in price. Assuming your “hot tips” seem credible and your network is expansive enough, people investing in what you are will provoke the price change that you predicted would occur. Congrats, you're psychic.
  • Scare People Away: Scare away the competition by implying that what you're doing is unprofitable, difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating. This has been done by greedy players in Goonfleet since Syndicate about moon mining, exploring, invention, rig manufacturing, implant importation, and even ratting. Pretty much anything that makes money will have people trying to dissuade others from trying it out. New game mechanics are especially vulnerable to this tactic, because good information may not be readily available about said new feature. For example, when rigs were first introduced they seemed over-expensive and nearly impossible to acquire sufficient quantities of, and people like Deadtear would talk about how impossible it was to break into the market and compete with his 300% markup rigs, even though it was the easiest thing in the world to break his monopoly once people actually got over the bullshit and tried it. For some reason this strikes me as exceptionally stupid, probably because you are not only lying to other blues, but also scaring them away from profitable opportunities that could support multiple people.
  • Wreck Markets: Done with a particular market? Fuck over the competition that you've been bitterly competing with by writing a [TELL] thread in PVP about how absurdly profitable whatever you were doing was, with how-to guides and profit formulas. Laugh as you move onto the next thing and your competition is stuck aboard a sinking ship swarming with stupid, greedy TESTies looking to make a quick buck. This happens with scamming every few months, and sort of happened with t2 module production. I'm not sure how it's profitable, but it feels patriotic to the swarm to do this whenever I get bored with a project.
  • Relisting and False Competition: When you notice that there are very few sell orders that have all too reasonable prices, check if those orders' expiration date is coming up. This will indicate whether the sell order is older or newer. If it's older, you're golden, because you can buy that shit out and relist it. When you do this, divide your product between several over-priced sell orders with .01 price differences to make it seem like there are already several people competing over that product. This will scare off market opportunists that might compete by manufacturing or importing that product.

Constant Opportunism

  • Broker Relations III+
  • Retail III+
  • Marketing III
  • Procurement II
  • *Trade II+
  • Contracting II+
  • Social I

Cultivate a habit of looking for market weaknesses to exploit. When you see them, capitalize on them. People often deride pilots that train non-PVP skills because when it comes time to sell the character, they will not be factored into its total skill-points for the purpose of determining value. This is stupid because you can make far more money in EVE by constantly prowling the market with your skills, and taking advantage of it. On an op in an enemy system? Browse the market for items that are likely increasing value –if we are going to take the system soon, Expanded Cargoholds and Warp Core Stabilizers are a good bet, for example, and if they aren't overpriced already, buy them and relist them for more absurd prices. Do this while shooting POS or camping gates. Depending on what's going on in the region, you can do any of the following:

  • Unless you are in a difficult fight, you may as well be browsing the markets, whether you are ratting or hiding in a POS.
  • check contracts for fire sales.
  • buy out critical things like ammo or warp disruptors and don't relist it if you think the enemy is having shortages that he won't be able to replace in the first place.
  • relisting is often better than stripping the market, because as long as there are modules on the market the enemy is less likely to make a decisive effort to seed the market.
  • set up buy orders for things
  • babysit an S-Mart thread by using contracts to sell or buy whatever it is your S-Mart thread is about.

A Note About Trade Skills

Note that the Accounting and Broker Relations save you money when setting up market orders, while Marketing and Procurement allow you to set up sell and buy orders in stations that you aren't docked in –even if they are several jumps away, even if they are in an enemy station, though they must be in the same region is you. Contracting is useful when making deals from far-away regions, since you can always set up contracts in a station that you have shit in, no matter how far away it is.

Arbitrage Relisting

Do NOT Arbitrage Relist in TEST/Allied Sov, this is bluefucking and has diplomatic repercussions

For non-arbitrage relisting rules see:


Arbitrage Relisting is a form of economic disturbance that involves buying up all of item X on the market in a local area and relisting it again for a much higher price. This kind of economic warfare can be extremely effective if the local market in your target area is not well seeded or if it is confined to just one station.

Necessary Skills

The trade skills are useful in this, in particular:

  • Trade - Increases the number of sell orders
  • Marketing - Affects the range that you may place sell orders
  • Procurement - Affects the range that you place buy orders
  • Daytrading - Allows for remote modification of buy and sell orders
  • Visibility - Increases the range your remote buy orders are effective to from their origin station

What To Relist

Items that are critical, frequently sold, and cheap; any equipment that players cannot avoid buying but that you can monopolize are the best candidates. Buying out only a few low-end orders is a waste of time and resources, as are modules that players can live without. Good candidates are modules common to their fleet composition, drones, or anything that can be used to rat with.

Avoid re-listing T1 ship hulls unless the station they're in doesn't offer ship production slots. Even then, watch the market carefully. These guys are expensive and insurable which minimize their losses while tying up large amounts of your money.

  • Check their killboard to get a feel for their standard ships and fittings. Solo gankers can be harder to predict, so if their killboard offers listings by battle, check those out.

Where Should I Relist?

Basically, any place that lots of players congregate.

  • Station systems that act as trade hubs.
  • Fleet meetup systems or war-fronts
  • High traffic systems.
  • Ratting systems
  • Goonspace

How do I relist?

Find a item suitable for relisting. Look at the market information to figure out if you can buy all the items in the station. If you're looking at a million bane torps its probably not worth it. You want to clear the market so they have to travel 15-20 jumps to get the best prices. Make absolutely sure you can buy all the items in the area. Once all the items are bought, just open your assets window and sell them for a higher price. Set something a little higher at first.

Relisting warp core stabs

In hostile markets, Warp Core Stabilizers present particularly handy re-listing opportunity. Anyone who needs them probably intend to load them onto a ship stocked with other items or have some interest in not getting ganked. By re-listing these modules, you make targets pay more to get away from us. By checking the Transactions tab in your wallet, you also learn about when they purchased the stabilizers and how many. Stabilizers tend to get purchased only on an as-needed basis. The information you gather therefore allows you to relay to black ops who is likely planning to evacuate assets and how many stabilizers they're likely to be fitting, in turn enabling Black-ops to have an appropriate number of warp scramblers available.

Tips and Tricks

Split Buy/Sell Orders

If you need 100 Datacores of a specific type and are buying them in Jita, it's likely the competition will be updating their orders more than once every five minutes. Since you may only modify an order every five minutes, this means you are stuck waiting with that obsolete price for minutes at a time. To counter this, instead of putting a single buy order up for 100 datacores, put up two orders of 50 each. This way you can update more or less twice as quickly.

Many Sell Orders

Let's say you've been happily selling widgets for months. Everybody buys widgets, but nobody ever remembers to make and sell them. Suddenly, somebody else notices widgets are a neglected market and begins competing with you. He may confidently drive down the price as he competes with you, reducing your market share and liquidity, until eventually people are actually paying a fair price for their widgets. And nobody wants that. So create several stacks of widgets with plausible numbers, 15-30 for modules, stacks in the eight thousands for ammo, et ceteras. And sell them all for .01 isk less than the others. Put each stack up somewhat later in time, or perhaps with different durations (don't just default to 30 days). It is unlikely that anybody perusing the market will notice that you own them all, and so they will believe that any entry into the market will face stiff competition, possibly dissuading them from entering it at all.

Use The Scroll Wheel

If you use your mouse scroll wheel after selecting 'Modify Order' you can adjust the price upwards or downwards by .01 isk per tick of the scroll wheel. I played EVE for three years before noticing that, so fuck you if this seems obvious.

training/guides/playing_the_market.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/14 07:32 by Fof