Thursday, September 26, 2013

TCS: The Bumps in the Road

"I am logging in market alts in anger." They had just informed me that the Drone Damage Amps on the Bosena market were on sale for 10 million ISK.

Rage logins and using ships in anger are common terms tossed around. Allo went triage the other day for our battleship fleet and after he was done he said, "This is the first time I have triaged in anger." It is a very fun term. No one is truly angry. I toss that fact in because some people will miss it if not clearly said. It is more about a call to battle and at that moment as I started logging in market alts I was very mad.

I then found out that it was my own fault. One to many 0's when listing. Whoops. I fixed it. That is not the first time I have done that nor the most damaging. I still laughed at myself and adjusted the price. It is ISK lost. It is part of the game. It is no different than burning out your guns. Sometimes you make mistakes. Often they are stupid and completely preventable.

That at least is what I tell myself every time I am missing something on the market. I can't do everything. I can't be everything. Maybe with more tools or coding know how I could create vast, intricate, and amazing things. As it is I am one person with a general goal. To stop both insanity and burn out I have to admit I will make mistakes. Such as dumping my stack of T2 800mm Arties to someones cheap buy order because I pressed the button before I had not actually entered the price in the price window. Whoops. I never over price something that has a stack of 5. It is always things that have a stack of 50 thousand.

Running a market like Bosena is a different story to station trading. When margins become tight or stock stops moving I can't just dump it and move to something more profitable. The profit of the market depends on the completeness of the market. Slow moving but useful stock isn't dead weight. A low sec market is a market supported by PvP focused people. They need their ships to be fit. I have a stack of Heavy Missile Launchers that I have been sitting on for about five months now. When I commented someone goes, "Well they are not in favor right now but its nice to have them if someone wants them."

I do however put my foot down at flavor of the month fits. I give new items a few days to hit the trade stations and come down in price. I also buy very small stacks of these items. People will want them now but their price will plunge, dramatically during the first week or two of their release as more and more people acquire them and place them on the market. It is easy to wind up with overpriced stock. It will happen. It is not that I can completely avoid it. I will not be able to if I wish to provide my consumers what they want when they want it. It is that TCS will mitigate potential loss by buying 3 or 5 of a module instead of 20 or fifty.

How I wish to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth in frustration. Yes, they do want them and it is nice to have them hanging around. The management of them hanging around falls onto me. I have to give up the market order and sit upon the sunk ISK gaining no profit. Is this item worth it? I do not know. Should I shed or keep this item? Some items are not worth the market order that they consume. What do I do with it? Am I losing ISK? Do I care? What is the best? When have I cared about that?!

Most of the time I just I keep it. When I get caught up in one item I look at the cost of that item and calculate it against the weight of the store. I do not buy in huge bulk because of the above listed problems. It allows me room for errors. A 10 million ISK error in excessive, stagnant product is better then a 100 million ISK error. I can sit on 10 million ISK. I would have tears over 100 million and whine. It is frustrating but it is a part of the game. The boys will notice stuff delisted and ask me if I have any. I'll list it and they'll scoop the market clear because it was needed for a particular fit. The example is personal but it also reflects the inconsistency of need. If one is running the market for non-social connections the same situation will apply it will just not have direct communication. There are hundreds and hundreds of items for a full reaching range of PvP and PvE needs. Some are not going to be called on every moment of the day.

The last bit is expired orders. I am terrible about this. I am so busy relisting items and keeping things stocked that I miss the stuff expiring. This is just something I need to stop being bad about. The market order window can be adjusted by time. Adjust it and update the order costs by whatever amount you want to update them. It costs 100 ISK to change the order price. This is how you don't lose your listing fees like I keep doing.

I'm not perfect! The main thing I've walked away with is just slowing down. When I rush I make mistakes such as over pricing things. When I rush I make mistakes such as buying over priced items before I realize that they are over priced due to pricing familiarity. When I rush I make mistakes like not fueling the jump freighter. The world isn't going to shatter if I stop and take a breath. Breathing every day is good.

Although many will not admit to their mistakes no one on the market is perfect. The market bloggers that I have read will all admit that they screw up. In game, the people one meets on the market may not have such a neat attitude towards things. Take it with a block of salt when people speak of their own perfection or ridicule a mistake.

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