Monday, February 3, 2014

Trading into the riches, Part 2

In my one of my previous posts I talked how I started with my trading career. The hell road of standing grinding I had to pass as also reaching my first milestone of earning 100bil in profit, after which my perception about trading changed

Love and hate relationship

I hate trading. It's boring as hell. But I also love it, as it's that good isk/hour activity. To be more precise, I hate the part where you update your orders. Unfortunately, not like in real life, you can only market yourself by price. You don't have a brand, a quality or anything else that could distinguish your merchandise from the competition. Lowest price is the only way to be "noticed". There are many strategies how one can market pvp. Most common ones are so called 0.01 isking or camping, meaning you attend your orders and update frequently to ensure you are always on top. Others update orders more rarely and compete by undercutting heavy and selling at low margins. Besides these two common ways of trading, there are a lot of extra things you can do for advantage, such as select location/items to have less competition, speculation and market manipulation, supply specific needs of alliances/corps and etc.

You probably won't hear anything new, but that's how market is. Everyone has to find their style. While on my way to reach 100bil goal, I did update market constantly. That was 1-2 hours a day. I was still rather small, but I found that it was necessary for me to spend 1.5h average a day to keep daily profits within 600-1000mil range. If I missed a day, it suddenly dropped to 200mil and decreased afterwards.  Now. for an average eve player. spending 1-2 hours a day is nothing. For me it seemed like eternity. I suddenly realized I was not enjoying the activity and it became a part time job after my real job. 100bil goal was keeping me on and focused, but after I reached it, I did not see the point.

There's one thing when you earn real life money and another when it's pixel money.  I do enjoying competitive games. I rarely can play "for fun". Every time I play I will try to beat the shit out of my opponents. It started with the old days when starcraft and counter-strike were the games most played. Now, EvE being my latest fix, I was using same approach, which burned me out as in mmo it is everyone vs everyone and it's very hard to measure your success. You can, of course, compare your isk/hour, k/d ratio and other things to general public to get an idea where you are at, but in the end, you are competing against yourself and reaching your made up goals.

From active to passive trading

I decided I was doing it wrong and semi-quit trading. From daily updates I went to weekly updates at best. Sometimes doing a few weeks break between logging my trade alts. I could have sold all my stuff and trading alts, probably netting me a hefty sum of isk so I could lol in subcaps until the end of times, but I did not want to. Even though I did not earn as much isk, I could still keep an average 2-300mil a day with updating just once a week. I felt like owning my own pixel business. Worthless for some, but not for me. So I took an eve-retirement, with petty earnings when talking about trading, but which let me focus on my hobby - shooting spaceships in eve online. Suddenly recreational activity became pleasant again. When I did not have any goals made up by myself or schedule to keep (1bil/day).

Living within your means

Golden rule of eve - don't fly what you can afford to lose. It's quoted in every opportunity it's possible, but that is so because it's true. I would like to extend a little bit on that. Living within your means in EvE is like in RL. While it's pixels, it is still your time that you put when acquiring an asset. Affording to lose, does not mean buying a shiny ship even though you can replace it more than few times. It is that you can lose a shiny ship without a twitch and keep doing so. Think how long does it take you to "earn" for this ship. You run missions or do whatever PVE and earn 200mil hour? Well, that 1.5bil proteus is a full day of work Add a slave set and it's suddenly as 3 times as much. Is it worth it? You decide. Would you rather risk one ship and half a week of isk grinding or buy 10 ships and have as 10 times fun before you need to grind up again? I don't say don't fly shinnies. By all means, do, but always weight the risk of losing it and impact. You can treat yourself to your shiny flagship once in awhile as you treat yourself to a restaurant. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are grinding isk in activity you do not like, so much to the point you don't like to play this game anymore, then you are doing it wrong and should scale down on your ships. I find 80-20 rule applying to many situations. In my personal opinion, if you manage to grind 20% for your 80% fun, then you are good. On the other hand, if you do enjoy your ISK earning activities and don't find them as a necessity, then please do carry on and enjoy this beautiful game.

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