Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TCS: Split Houses

Our Syndicate deployment is winding down.  I'll have some thoughts over some things but today, it is about the market.

Our base of operations is in Solitude, one jump outside of Syndicate. When we arrived, I unloaded a jump freighter and began to stock the market. This was an adventure into creating a secondary hub that was similar to Bosena but not the same. I was not going to create the complete, full service hub that has been my Bosena goal. Instead, I was going to create a corporate resupply point and help support the corporation through what I had learned.

Or so I hope.

Each venture into the market is a new experience for me. For instance, I am not a trader. I run a market. The transactions that happen in the trade hubs are mysterious, demon magic to me. Because of that, I will never write posts where I demand that people stop tanking margins for the better of all trader wallets, RAWR! I also have no experience running my market outside of what I have learned by getting up and trying to create one.

What the deployment meant is that I separated out and created a secondary market that would not overlap with my first one. Similar to the reason I refuse to move my market to Istodard or provide basic commodities there when they are two jumps away in Bosena. It is unreasonable and not sustainable. Activities in Eve need sustainability. Be it through ISK or fun or whatever measure the doer takes, it has to be worth its time with its results.

In Solitude I encountered what I expected to encounter. A relatively unstocked low sec market. The high sec market was better stocked than I thought. However, the prices, in my opinion, were often horrific. Expanded Cargohold II and Cynosural Field I's were often marked up at 1.5m to 2m over their Jita average. An Expanded Cargohold II that would cost you 500k ISK in Jita would cost you 1.9 million in Solitude.

I entered the market both cautiously and strong. I listed everything I had, went to Jita, got more, and listed it again. I did that for the first few days of the deployment. Most of it was the boys needing things they had forgotten to bring. Some of it was just building a base stock. The last bit was I learned what my resellers where listing and what I had to create a counter for.

In Bosena, sometimes, people buy me out. It happens less often these days and it is not something I worry about. Due to the various logistic technicalities of getting stuff into Solitude, I had to create a buffer zone. This buffer was items that sat in my hangar for restocking. Instead of listing 100k of Isotopes I'd list 50k. When that 50k was purchased and relisted, I would list the next 50k. In between I would be buying and moving in fresh stock for the next movement.

This went on and on with cynos, cargo expanders, more uncommon faction ammo, and various modules like damage controls. I made sure to keep back stacks of ammunition, fuel, drones, and basic necessity modules like damage controls. Eventually, I came to sit on about 1 billion in buffer stock and two billion in listed stock with a lot of fluid movement that had me making runes 2-3 times a week to refill various things. My goal is different in the deployment market. My boys are there to Pew and without their normal home base it is easy for them to not have the fits they want to fly. We supply doctrine fits via corporation contracts. In Bosena, I avoid having stock sitting if I can help it. I try to keep everything listed and keep my ISK ready to turn into more ISK. However, spending the last few weeks juggling a buffer amount of modules has helped remind me and relax me about the fact that modules will sell.

I am now very comfortable in my belief that if you stock it, they will come. I started this deployment with 95% of my orders purchased by the boys and 5% by relisters. In the month we have been here that ratio has dropped to about 50/50 for my boys and other people. This is very similar to Bosean which bounces from 40-60% of the orders, purchased by people I know. The fluctuation appears to come from what we are doing as a corporation.

I think I need another market alt. Currently my Jump Freighter pilot is also my mobile, deployment market alt. This has caused me to use Sugar and Chella as last moment handlers for various immediate stock needs. I can ether train a dedicated alt or I can spend some time on Chella improving her market skills. A market alt takes about three months to train. Chella is in the middle of her carrier training. I will probably use the PLEX for training and train up a dedicated alt that can do cynos and market stuff to travel with my corporation.

When we leave this area I will pull all of my orders. I've been thinking about hoarding vs selling. I feel that the right thing to do will be to liquidate into Bosean and just rebuy fresh when we deploy again. My thoughts are that with the volatility of the market it is best to sell and rebuy. My inner stuff hoarder wants me to hold onto it as if I won't be able to get it back. My experience speaks of the exact opposite.

At the end of the day, if this type of thing becomes something that is enjoyed, spending the time to train the skills is beyond valuable. I'm now 15 days outside of Caldari Freighter V. This will give my Rhea an additional 5% cargo capacity. That is huge in a world where we're cramming every last drop into these ships. Next, I'll bite the bullet and train Jump Freighter V. That will drop my fuel consumption by another 10% which saves more ISK in costs and allows me to debate using contracts to move my items around a bit more.

In the background, Bosena is churning along. Its a bit slower but still rolling over nicely. I admit that I am not tending it as closely as I would if we lived there. I have to divide my loyalties and at the end of the day they go with my corporation. They are my priority.


  1. That forum link made my day:
    "I'm a successful station trader making about 2 bil a month."

    The relisters don't even realize that their profit over their overpriced nonsense is lower than the income they'd have mining veldspar in the time they spend camping the market.

  2. Question, With Teon being right next door does your Bosena stuff sell mainly to pirates that can't go into hi sec or do people actually risk going into low for stuff? Just wondering. My corp lives around there so its interesting to me where MH is concerned.

    1. Yes, as long as my prices are lower it sells to people who run back to high sec. In general, over the months, I have forced Teon's prices on a steady, downward spiral. This has decreased my sales to high sec players significantly. For several mil they will do it but for a few hundred K they will not.

      That is why I also discuss the 'improving the space you live in' effect of the market. By Teon's prices lowering to something a bit more reasonable, everyone wins. Traders are still making ISK and people stay in the region instead of jumping over.