Monday, December 15, 2014

Trading update

So I have logged in my trading alts. I stopped active trading since more than a year ago. I used to check orders daily, spending average 2 hours in updating orders once per day which netted a stable 1-2bil a day. I think 1bil an hour was a standard income. I had driven a lot of competition away with aggressive pricing and had my foot set in strongly in 3 major hubs. Times were good. However I couldn't keep this up for long. Having full time job, other hobbies and being more pvp oriented I really found it difficult to keep dedicating even few hours a day. In the end, trading became 2nd job and I've quit it.

Passive trading

I own 7 accounts, of which 4 are pvp and 3 are for trading. I pay year subs for my pvp characters so I don't have to stress and earn isk to keep them going. 3 trading accounts are, however, supported by themselves. In the end, if I can't keep my trading chars sub themselves, what is the point of keeping them? So occasionally I check in, mostly once a month and spend few hours updating orders. I became of what is called a passive trader. I setup 300 billion worth of orders and left it be. While it did generate some income, unfortunately I did encounter quite big losses in some areas.

Here are main downsides of passive trading:
  • You unavoidably give up your market share and competition takes over which reacts very aggressively to your "comeback" orders;
  • You lose awareness of the market and can't react quickly to changes which results in massive losses;
  • Some markets crash and/or go down and don't recover or takes very long time to recover which causes your capital tied up in items or selling them at a big loss.
These are only few major downsides off the top of my head. I especially got big losses in faction and deadspace mod markets where I used to buy in bulks and price kept steady. Of course I was not tracking game changes in details and it caused me dearly. A lot of item prices went steadily down and every time I logged in I found bunch of overpriced stock while my sell orders were at the bottom. Take example of picture below.

A popular shield booster, which back in the day had steady price 150mil+ and in just a half of a year it dropped 30% to 100mil. I believe 2014 was one of worst years for deadspace and faction mods as I could see similar trend for most items. Not to mention decryptor market crashing 2 times. First with exploration expansion which made market crash in just 2 days that caused me lose 20bil of stock  due to some items losing 90% of their value. Second crash happened recently and is still going down when decryptors were "generalized". I used to earn good isk by transporting them from different regions to Jita and selling at a handsome profit.

So passive trading does not excuse for not following up events in EvE and taking a moment to think about certain changes and how they will impact you and your business. That is bad trading 101, so do not take example from me. On the bright side, some items went up and evened out the losses, so in the end I could support my 3 accounts with just 2 hours of trading per month. I say it's not too bad.

Living with no income

What was my income during 2014 in EvE not counting trading? A big flat 0. Even though I live in c5 wormhole, with plenty ISK making opportunities I never join farming activities because I am not fond of any kind of PVE. I understood missions were not for me when I got to lvl2. For 2 years I couldn't use locator, because I couldn't make myself to get standing to lvl4 agent. Ha. I had my corpmates share standing with me out of pity.

So besides some random pvp gank loot and running few sites I got no income, but it turns out life is not all that hard. You just have not to lose any ships. It fits my play style perfectly. Ganking helpless victims, gathering intel before pvp fight and welping some random t1 battlecruiser time to time makes my balance look healthy. Nevertheless, I like to have isk at my disposal and I like playing the market, just not the tedious order updating activity. So blew the dust off my trading alts and did market updating few days ago. I will try to attend my trading activities more frequently, but not so much that it would feel as a second job again. Was a bit rocky start, but quite happy where this is going. Just 2 hours spent and I already paid for my plex. Trading is amazing.