42 days of documented station trading in Jita 4-4

Although I am a bit late with it as I originally had planned to write this post after the first four weeks of my rebooted station trading side career, I supposed that doing it on day 42 has its own merits.

So here you go. As promised, I wanted to use this post to give a comprehensive insight into my trading schemes.

  • What items do I trade?
  • How often do I update my market orders?
  • How much ISK does this generate, both in terms of ISK/hour and ROI?

These (and others) are the questions that I would like to get into. 

So let's start with the results so far before we get into the gritty details.

8.5 billion ISK in 42 days, with approx. 40 minutes per day needed to update market orders. 200 million ISK per day and almost 300 million ISK per hour invested.

So what do I trade with? Exclusively with items belonging to the following three groups.

  • Implants
  • Faction modules
  • Deadspace modules

The reason for this is simple: those items - with a few unique exceptions - cannot be manufactured by players. That means that their price is not influenced by the value of materials needed to manufacture them, nor by industry skill levels or blueprint efficiency grades. People cannot simply decide that they want to manufacture and sell specific items from within those groups; they have to be found or - in some cases - bought with loyalty points. Accordingly, the competition in that subset of the market is not as fierce as it is in some most other areas.

All this leads to higher profit margins. Typically and with a few notable exceptions, I get between 5% and 20% on all my trades. Based on the information available to me, the average is slightly below 10% ... something I would not have expected for the central market hub in Eve.

So how often do I update my market orders? I usually - that is, on a working day - update both my buy and my sell orders during or after breakfast, and I repeat that activity after dinner or before I go to bed. Depending on the exact number of open orders that takes between 10 to 15 minutes, and it includes setting up new orders for items bought or sold since I last logged in. At some days I drive home for lunch and manage to update some or all of my sell orders, another 10 minutes maximum. On the weekend, it is basically the same, although I sometimes check in multiple times per day to relist bought items.

I don't do 0.01 ISK games. That is, most often I don't. There are a few items that operate below 5% but that always sell rather quickly, and for those I am comfortable competing with all the other 0.01 ISK monkeys.

For all other trades, I aggressively go below any existing sell orders and above any existing buy orders. Aggressively mostly means that if the lowest current sell order would result in a 8% profit, I list my item for 7%. It somebody goes below that - usually by the oh so clever 0.01 ISK step - I relist for 6%. Then for 5%. Easy as that. It will sell with a profit, and it will sell within the day. It is all about turnover because it is much more profitable to buy/sell a specific module three times for 5% than to buy/sell it once for 8% within a given period of time.

I started this particular experiment where I actually document what is happening with exactly 20 billion ISK on my trading alt. All relevant trading skills (Accounting, Broker Relations) trained to level V, no increased standing in Jita.

I began with only setting up buy orders with a quantity of one. Buy one, sell one, repeat. At the same time, I diversify as much as possible to reduce the risk of loosing money due to market fluctuations for individual items. Consequently this lead to my trading activities being limited by the number of market orders available to me and not by the ISK in my trading alt's wallet. I did not need 20 billion in the beginning, although anything less than 10 billion would result in significant lower returns.

Doing that, I was steadily able to make around 150-180 million ISK per day and around 240-260 million ISK per hour, maybe a bit more. Around day 36 I started to increase the quantity for items with a higher-than-average turnaround, thereby putting more ISK into the market and increasing the profits. Winnings per day increased to 200 million ISK per day and 300 million ISK per hour. Once I have finished training Wholesale to V - which will happen in three days and allow me to start training Tycoon for A LOT more available market orders - I expect those numbers to grow even more. My goal is to get to 400 million ISK per hour before the end of the year.

Comparing these numbers - both the current results and the expected development - with other available methods of making ISK, it is hard to imagine ever going back to mission running, ratting, combat sites or whatever else there is.

Well, that should over the basics. Let me know if you any questions.


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