Monday, September 16, 2013

TCS: Weekend Shoping

Questions are fun. I try to share what I do with people when they ask.This particular one came in at the the same time I was working through the store for the deployment. 
Weekend Price Hikes
From: Jyakai
Sent: 2013.09.07 14:50
To: Sugar Kyle,  
Miss Kyle, a quick question.
In regards to major trade hubs, do you see a price hike in modules and items due to the weekend rush, or is it just the recent patch that made some of the modules jump so erratically?
Regards
Jyakai
Weekends are interesting in Eve. They follow what I guess is the majority of the worlds habits of being off work on Saturday/Sunday. People flood to Jita to sell what they have been gathering during the week. The prices start to drop as people compete to get things sold quickly so that they can restock and start their cycles over again. The crash happens and everyone bails back to where they came from.

The market is a living thing. It is easy to look at it and consider it static such as the local market you shop at. On the level of the average player buying items that they need fluctuations of ISK here and there isn't noticeable. If my Experimental 1MN microwarpdrive cost 20k instead of 18k I don't notice. But, for someone buying huge volume that is a piece of their overhead and for someone trading that is a chunk of margin.

Market manipulation is a very real thing. One reason I do not enjoy shopping in Rens for common items is that the market is much more prone to manipulation by a few individuals due to its size. The manipulations are small enough not to hurt the regular consumer trying to refit a ship and head back to Derelik. For me, when my Experimental 1MN microwarpdrive are suddenly listed at 120k instead of 20k, I have a problem because that greatly affects my stores prices.

But, it is only 100k! Sure it is. That is why it is such an insidious thing. Those that manipulate the market are scoring 100k per item for a commonly used module. Those who buy it go, "it is only 100k". Those of us who are buying to resell will pass that increase in price. it is a cascade effect and it may not be a big deal but it is a very real situation and one that I might not have noticed if I had never started managing a low sec Market. On the flip side prices tend to go down nicely and it is a good time to stock up on items. Everyone is trading things in for ISK or for other things.

Items in Eve have a value (in game) to the players that are not based off of the items technical (as in defined by the games pricing mechanics) price. That value is player created for the most part. It comes from quantity and need. People do things like buy stacks of Meta guns and reprocess them for minerals because the size of the gun is smaller than the size of the minerals the gun turns into. This is called compressing and allows more to be moved at a time. Meta guns come from mission runners. Many mission runners do not salvage. Others reprocess lots of what they do. The meta market instead of being flooded by the most common activity in the game (killing NPCs) isn't because selling those items for a profit is not profitable enough for most players who create or acquire those items.

Because people have time the space lanes are even more dangerous. However because people have time the space lanes are even more populated. The loot pinatas undock in all of their oblivious majesty and their bloated, rich hulls make hauls like mine appear to be gaunt, starving skeletons. I scan the killboard to see what is being lost. Also, those pinata's affect the market. It is not just the case of the person moving to much stuff. What else is there are full T2 production lines. Months of moon goo and moon goo reactions. Time and the accumulation of items gained by time vanish and that means less sells at the market when the loot fairy is unkind.

My store will easily move a billion a day in product on the weekends compared to the 500-800 million it averages on the weekdays. I try to preload items and my hangars to help compensate for some of that. It does not always work. Quite often they outpace me or I just do a poor job of guessing what might be used.

Then Sunday everything slams to a halt. The market is loaded with items. Everyone is getting things moved and ready for the week. People have to go back to work on Monday. The games population starts to drop. And the market starts to rebound as its items are drained off for use or reuse and prices creep back up over the course of the week. Remember that people manipulating items on the market as their job are skilled. They may have dozens of orders for the same items creating price arcs and gaps and creating a more valid look to the value of what is selling. In this way they draw the other sellers in who are also attempting to get the most for their ISK.

It isn't a perfect equation. It is what I see as a buyer and a reseller. For those that play their wiles in the subtle forces of manipulation the world is going to have a different look and feel to it. The buyer must beware of these manipulations. Have a good idea of the price of stock. Don't buy blindly and if a price seems off stop and check it. It might be worth skipping and buying it a few days later or elsewhere. A lot of what we pay for at the hubs is convenience. There is as much a convenience fee in Jita as there is in null sec. It is different and may not be as costly but it is there and we pay for it.

This was also the response I sent to the above question.
Re: Weekend Price Hikes
From: Sugar Kyle
Sent: 2013.09.07 18:16
To: Jyakai,  
Hey there. This is a lovely question and I'll probably devote a post to it. Thank you.
The answer is that the weekends are often the best time to buy. Everyone is dumping their stuff. Over the week the prices creep back up and then drop again on the weekend.
Each patch brings in changes. A lot of the volatility comes from the market settling back down as people now use different products.
However, when you are working across a large patch of items such as a market is going to need you will come across more market manipulation. Keeping a general idea of what stuff is worth stops you from accidently buying over valued items (happens to me now and then) while people manipulate particular markets.
Station traders are a pain in your ass.
And they are!

No comments:

Post a Comment