Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TCS: Sell Scanning

For those looking to enter into the market they are often looking for something that can be managed profitably from a single account, be it their own or their market alt. But TCS is a project run by one person and it scales up and down depending on interest.

But, how interesting is the market? Like many things, one will not know until they try. I have discovered that many people are interested in trying it out. And, as I've been chatted to I've seen one thing pop up over and over again. People want a pocket market. Something that they can start and make money off of but without the investment that comes with trying to push a regional market like I do in Molden Heath.

Okay. That is a good plan. The market is an interesting skill set for the player and the hands on time with the items and ebb and flow of sales is invaluable.

One question, beyond management of items, is what sells. For all of the thoughts and beautiful dreams that motivate me, at the end of the day most people want hard facts and ISK. I'm terrible at providing both but my recent stocking efforts have made me think a bit. I would look at non PvP essentials. At this moment, if some asked what core thing could they focus on stocking I'd tell them, "exploration ships and related gear".

Other people would have tools, point to websites, and tell people to research things off of that. In my state of blissful, tool free ignorance, I can only pay attention to what is actually passing through my hands each day. Right now that is exploration ships in greater quantities then they were in Odyssey in my hands. I don't speak for whatever the global creature body of the market is. Just for my dark corner of space.

Consumables (ammo, charges, fuel, drones, cynos) that are always needed in low sec. Those who do not fly capital ships or do black operations may not realize the shattering importance of fuel. However, ammo is tricky. There is much, much more of it then ever seen and it does not move in huge volumes. Most PvP fits carry a few hundred (missiles) or a thousand or so (other types) and crystals at need. It is easy to tie up a large number of orders in ammo with very little return. Ammo is odd that way.

People want to see their orders rolling over and their wallet ticking up. Later, when addicted and comfortable expansion will happen. But early on the encouragement of the market moving helps to keep focus for what is a long term project. Exploration ships are a small investment when it comes to the number of items the market will need to contain for people to fully fit and head out.

Odyssey lowered the bar of entry into exploration to such an extent that exploration ships and gear sell at a startling rate. Both T1 and T2 frigates vanish from my market. I went from selling an exploration frigate a week (with some races barely moving) to selling them at a steady pace of one or several a day. The T1 versions move slower but they have the added advantage of being highly popular cyno ships due to their large cargo holds.

It is very easy to buy lots of stuff for the market and wind up with stock that is not moving because the meta of flying changes. The people who fly in an area changes. The environment controls your market. Watching the fitting habits within my own corporation shows me how fluid fits are. There will always be the core modules but even then, you need all the meta damage control units, for instance.

Exploration ships are multi-folded items. There is exploration, meaning data and relic modules are needed. Scanner enhancements sell okay as well (I often forget to stock them). However, they are not essential to selling covert ops ships. People need to move from one place to another undetected and they need eyes. These ships and their cloaks are essential tools in the toolbox. Like or hate alts they are here.

Probes, probe launchers, cloaks, they are so, very important. The probe market is now directly related to the exploration ship market. Before, it was motivated by the fact that people tended to lose them. Since CCP decided that no one should ever lose probes again they now only tend to sell when someone buys and fits a new ship. Don't invest heavily in probes but have enough to supply what you have on hand.

This is why I never suggest buying big stacks of things. The volatility, the sudden changes, the movements of corporations and alliances, none of them are predictable. With each stack of items I ask myself, "can I recover if this never sells?" Always eager but forever cautious.

None of this is speculation or get rich or market tracking or any of the things that the real market people do. It is more my tracking what is selling and often often I am stocking it while compared to what people do with these things. That's why I consider myself the corner store in the ghetto of low sec. Familiar. Comfortable. Convenient. 

1 comment:

  1. It is also worth looking at what is not selling (I.e. no sell orders up and no history of any sales). It can be surprising what will sell when the alternative is to travel to a trading hub instead. First try onetime, if it sells try 2 and if they sell then you have your own little market.