Thursday, February 13, 2014

CIMM: A Month Long Project

The Calamitous-Intent Mobile Market (from here on referred to as the CIMM) was a month long project focused around taking a market with us on deployment.

The reasons to have a corporate market:

  • Accessibility of needs
  • Refitting
  • Decrease time needed to get in space
  • Adapting to the organic nature of fleet engaged
  • It makes the boys happy
  • Immediate activity options
  • It is healthy and makes people feel cared for
I've been selling things to the people I play with for a year and a half. I started with boosters (at almost cost) and moved on to the Cougar Store (reasonable prices). The CIMM is simply an extension of these activities. I also bring my booster supply along and stock it. For whatever reason, I enjoy breaking the things that I do into their own area. TCS is owned by that corporation (which is just my alts). CIMM is owned by a market alt. My boosters are listed by Sugar or Chella. I tend not to merge the ISK each activity provides.

 What I have learned is that if you provide the items for people they will buy them. This may be ship contracts or it may be a market. And they will consume more than if they did not have the market. I originally tried to sell my boosters person to person as people requested them. It was not until I started listing them that they started to sell well and regularly enough to pay for the time I was taking to create them.

I learned not to expect people to have everything that they need. It would be nice but they do not. Helping them access it is a better solution than bitching at them. Some of the boys sell their assets before deployment and use their ISK to buy what they need. The market becomes their flexability. Unlike me, who moves a jump freighter and carrier load after carrier load of things they just settle in and buy what they need. By providing it and following my mantra of reasonable cost they do not mind that they are paying me for the convinence.

Sometimes, people take affront to someone (especially a corp mate) making ISK off of them. There is a certain amount that I am willing to give to my corporation. Time, energy, planning, donations to projects, corporation tax, those are all part of running an orginization. The corporation is all of its parts and sometimes we have to look outside of the me bubble when we're living with so many other people. To some, that means that everything done for the corporation should be done at a zero profit. This may be one of the few times that I embrace Opportunity Cost.

Can one make enough ISK for it to be worth running a mobile market while worshiping at the Cult of Reasonable prices?

I had to see.

When I started the project I liquidated PLEX that I won from the Pod and Planet Fiction Contest. I started with 3.6 billion ISK and sat down and purchused everything I could think that I needed. I then stocked it and went back for all of the things that I forgot. To my pleasure, I was up and running over the first weekend and peaked at around 220 items offered.

Part of the CIMM plan was to use one alt to manage it. TCS is a project balanced between three trade alts. The mobile market needed to be, well, mobile. Two or three jump freighter loads. Enough items to satisfy everyone but not so many that one account could not buy. It also needed to be financially viable. Obscure, rare, special snowflake items could be shipped in at need. Hulls and guns would not be listed. This decreased both the m3 volume of the market and the number of market orders needed to manage it.

I had one major question when the deployment system was selected. I was only six jumps away from Jita. Would anyone use my market? Bosena is about 6 jumps from Rens but Rens is not Jita.

The answer was yes. Items started selling before I finished listing.  When I went back and started to look at who was buying what, I discovered that my corporation accounted for 1/5 of my sales. I still managed to top the market for things like rigs and PvP focused modules. By top I mean have the lowest prices.

Between January 25th and now the CIMM has made a raw profit of 1.2 billion ISK.

I'm pleased with that. Back when I was actively making ISK with PvE my personal goal was a billion ISK a month. I've always looked wistfully at market traders who make tens of billions a month. That doesn't seem to be my talent. Instead, I steadily make enough ISK to afford what I want to do, comfortably.

I learned some things along the way.
  • 2 billion ISK will stock my mobile market at the levels to be fully up and running from day one
  • My corporation is not my biggest buyer with an open stocked low sec market
  • People need stuff. Combined with the Solitude location we kept and this project I can boldly say the obvious: A market brings the buyers.
  • The corporation is happier when they can have what they need at their market tips
  • I really enjoy this stuff
  • Jump freighters are slow (maybe I already knew this)
  • Just because Jita is there does not devalue having my market
We're ending our deployment in a few days. I am debating leaving most of the stuff up. Maybe in a few weeks I will slip back and remove whatever is not selling. This will increase the ISK that I gain from this project. I did not have the market PvP battles that I did in Solitude. I somewhat miss them, irritating as they were. I also stocked about other day which was in line with Solitude. The difference is that in Nalvula I did not need to keep a complete duplicate of what was on the market due to the constant buy outs.

There are many different ways to make 1.2 billion ISK. There are many faster ways. Getting a good drop in a DED site for instance. I've made more than that in a day before. The market, however, is a type of gameplay. The mobile market is a refinement of that. It isn't just about the cash in my pocket. The cash in my pocket is an incentive and a balm for the work involved. I'd do this anyway. Whenever the boys say thank you or express to me that I made their moments easier by having the things that they need I cannot help but smile. Those smiles tend to last longer than most.

My experience so far says that tossing up a market in low sec works and I call my mobile market a success. I balanced it and Bosena much better than I did back in October when we were based in solitude. Bosena still gets a bit less attention than when we are not deployed. I am okay with that. Roams and corporation activities have a higher priority than the market activities. I'm not interested in burning out on this. It is much too interesting.

4 comments:

  1. I think your big trading advantage is you don't care about being undercut = better for the boys. Also, interested how the local market continues after your injection.

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    Replies
    1. Correct. Being able to smile at being undercut is nice.

      I suspect it will do well and then fall off as the items thin out.

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  2. I'm trying to remember (from older posts I can't find) what your basic plan is when setting up the market. Buy at Jita, ship out, and relist at +10%?

    I always enjoy reading about the niche you've made for yourself in the game. Nice work.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. This is the non-technical guide that I wrote when I started. If one is at my actual blog there is a list of non technical guides on the right hand side.

      Sugar's Non-Technical Guide to Her Market

      It is basically that but how much I relist for varies. Some things I relist for just enough to cover my broker fees due to how large an increase a 10% or 15% markup would be. It is why I look at my store as a complete image and do not calculate my goals by individual items.

      I simply try not to lose ISK on items listed.

      Because I have other ways to make ISK I've never felt stressed to maximize profit from my stores. This allows them to make money (they do) and list items at such a rate that my corpmates prefer to buy from me with a markup.

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