We all like ISK because well it empowers us to expand our EVE worlds. While ISK is not the only thing standing between us and that titan (thankfully). It's a pretty darn important item for most of what we do in EVE. There are many ways to make ISK but today we will talk about one method to make ISK with little to no time invested. Making Free ISK is a new series of articles focusing on passive incomes. None of it is new information. I am just filtering out the smack talk and trolling for all to read.
Trading in very simple forms.
Let’s just start this one with saying I am NOT a seasoned trader! I do have an account with some basic training skills but I am not in the league of the trillionair of EVE. I do however typically find a 30% return on the few things I trade in. I typically have to truck it about any where up to 20 jumps to sell it. Sometimes I even need to stick my nose into LowSec as well.
With this in mind and following the Making Free ISK motto of less work for our ISK here is how I make an average ~30% return on investment with trade in EVE. The “buy low sell high” concept is a good “NO SH!T Sherlock” rule. However buying the right stuff low knowing you need to truck it about is the true value of small time low work trading for the beginner. By this I mean pick things that folks can make that have a pretty small cargo foot print. Like EMP S for example.
OK so you have a list of items that are player made and have a small cargo foot print per unit. Next go to a major trade hub and look up the market details of those items. What you are looking for is a small margin between the buy orders and the sell orders. To me this tells me the supply and demand of that item right now is pretty good and the items being actively traded. I might be wrong but it works for me. Identify all the items on your list that have this trait and then go 5 hops out and look at the local buy orders. Chances are they will be between 30-50% lower than those in the trade hub for at least one of those items. If not go a few more hops out or even better hit the nearest LowSec jump in system with a station and see what the buy orders are there. OK so you have your items and you have found a local market where the buyers are right jerks and have buy orders 50% or more below the trade hub value of the item. Ring the bell; you have a chance to make free ISK.
OK now we get to the downer of trading in EVE. You need ISK to make ISK and there is no way around it. Fortunately this is VOL 3 in the series so you should have made some ISK off R&D agents and P.I. by now. So what you are going to do is set an amount of ISK you can live without for up to 3 months. Take that ISK and create a buy order for your items that is 30% less than the difference between the trade hub buy and sell orders. Hopefully it will also be 20% higher than the local buy orders as well. This makes it tasty to local sellers and a PITA to match for local buyer. Extend the range of the buy order as far as you can with on your skills. Now go wait for people to sell you items.
This tactic is really good if you don’t create really large buy orders. The idea is you create an order that a local seller can make some quick cash off or a local buyer might just cash out to get rid of the competition. The best is LowSec folks who might not have an awesome security rating to move stuff to the trade hubs, or have not clued in on a highsec mule alt to move it for them. They build stuff on the side down in LowSec then after a bad day at the office need liquid cash. To them being able to sell something in there backyard for 30% below that long PITA trade hub price is a win. Instant cash and easy access is the mother of all discount.
OK so your buy orders get taken up, you get a nice red negative transaction in your wallet, and now you have all these little pockets of small items about the place. Time to cash in the piggy bank and make that 30% profit. Now you might be jumping into a trusty hauler about now thinking you have all this stuff to haul and hence you need a hauler. WRONG! See I suggested small cargo items for a reason. See haulers move slowly, they align slowly, and they warp SLOW. Sure they carry a crap ton of stuff, but we chose items with small cargo foot print. I personally go as far as selecting a few items with a 0.0x or 0.00x M3 per unit foot print. Hence I can cram a lot of them in a frigate or in my case a covert ops frigate. What this allows me to do is rip through the warps faster, align and warp faster (hence less chance of getting ganked – except smart bomb camps suck), and slip into those lowsec systems to get the goods without a huge amount of risk. See lumbering around in a hauler in certain trade hubs and especially a LowSec gate system is like painting “I HAZ STUFF FOR YOUZ!” on the side of a big fat gift bag of a ship. Slippery frigate is in and out before most know it. Also you stand the chance of losing less should you get ganked as well.
OK the last part is trucking all the stuff to a trade hub to sell it. If fast cash is your need and the profits are worth wile sell the items at the best buy order. Wallet flash 30% cash increase thank you very much Mr. 0.01 ISK trader. If you want to make a little more put up a sell order that is respectable and tasty for a big fish trader. Not so instant but slightly bigger wallet flash thank you very much again Mr. EVE billionaire trader. If you really really have spare ISK stockpile a certain item and watch the market. Wait for the big boys to start a bidding war and drive up the price of an item. At this point timing comes in and you throw in a quick and dirty sell order for the “HOT” item and make a small killing off the wars between the big fish. In all cases the little guy with a frigate and some extra ISK to invest wins. Sure you might have to truck some stuff about, but hey when don’t you have to truck some stuff about in EVE. Might as well make some ISK at it.
Now if this little bit gets you going there are plenty of resources out there on trading. Like all Free ISK bits, this one is intended for the little guy. I started out making small gains of small projectile ammo investing just 2M ISK at a time. Now it’s not uncommon for me to have 100-200M ISK about the place in select buy orders. Making ~30% back on those small chunks adds up over time thus allowing for a bigger chunk to invest. Happy trading.