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TCS: Consumption Levels

Khori spoke of me about a topic on Fail Heap Challange about selling items outside of trade hubs. For a manufacturer who makes their money out of producing and selling they work off of volume. Large amounts of volume are needed to make production profitable. It is a multiple step cycle and a multiple step process to bring that item to the market.

Eve has trade hubs because trade hubs create convenience. Because the players have to stock their own items and function with some basic level of foresight for the regular stuff famine that happens away from highly populated areas, trade hubs are important to the day to day life of the game.

Producers in eve create more than players can consume. The trade hub creates its own environment where people buy, sell, and ship items as their game play. Without them producers would drown in their own items, items with costs that would still have a fixed point.

Currently I have two markets. Bosena, my main market hovers around 600 items listed. My mobile market has about 220.  The number of items is why the market works. Even now, after a year, I may buy a stack of 50 items for Bosena instead of 20. With ammo I still buy stacks of 50k and with drones I buy stacks of 100 instead of 50. I refresh the average stack once every two weeks. Because of the number of orders my restocking days average twenty to fifty items depending on the point of the week. Hulls still move slowly with T1 industrials and CovOps warring with the top spot and vastly outselling every other hull. Over in my mobile market I'm restocking rigs faster than anything else because the rig prices are all inflated while mine still follow the Cult of Reasonable prices. Yet, I do not reach the numbers pumped out each week by the producers. They create by the hundreds and by the thousands. I'd love to smile a coy little secretive smile and say that Bosena can absorb that type of production power but it'd be a complete and absolute lie.

I do not believe that the average area of the market that is not a null sec hub - where the nature of the space limits the options of a player - is capable of consuming enough to feed a busy industrialist. Razor once offered to make items for me and I turned him down. I turned him down because I cannot give him the level that he needs to maintain his income making objects. Conversely, I've discussed with people who were looking to cash out and support the Cougar Store and often told them that the market Bosena can offer is not the market they are looking for. I try to buy from people starting up but even then it is sketchy about what I will need. The ebb and flow of fits and the fitting meta changes. Six months ago I barely moved sentry drones and now they fly off the shelves faster than lights.

Out here in low sec, my market perusing has taught me a lot about the individual buying things. People buy for that ship and that fit. Even my boys will import their larger orders from hubs (most of the time).  The reason I buy ammo in stacks of 50k is because one needs to only fit around 1-2k ammo and 500-1k missiles.

Low sec is a consumptive, destructive environment but it does it in smaller, steady chunks vs large bulk. While we carebear, or (werebear in reality) we still function on the same basic task of low sec. Each ship is disposable and treated as such. A belly full of ammunition is a waste of ISK. In high sec, you will see someone load up to the gills with ammunition so that they do not run out while they do their missions.

Eve leads to specialization. It is good most of the time but, like anything else, has interesting results as it trickles down. Such as Razor, who does T2 manufacturing in low sec trucking it all to Jita to sell instead of dumping it locally. The very nature of the economics in Eve creates some aspects of the game play. The producer needs to sell to live. The buyer needs only what they can use. The corporation has a larger, but more focused need. It creates the hubs and the random sprawling markets. It creates the fire sales and the hangar clearings.

When we have a corporate roam and someone has created beauty in EFT/Pfya, we go to a trade hub and buy something, anything, all the things. Whatever is needed for that fleet is gathered and jumped in. We need that trade hub as much as that trade hub needs us. While a local market may or may not have everything needed and if it does it may not have it in quantity. After all, I'm still one individual and there are a lot of items out there that one finds one suddenly needs right now.

And hubs are also a stabilizer. TCS runs under the concept of reasonable prices based on Jita. Every time I stock an item that sells for X price in Jita and Y+MOARISK in Molden Heath or out in our deployment system I reaffirm the concept that even with traders and manipulators, the trade hubs create a stabilizing force across the entire game. While it might be more, technically interesting or from a distance interesting to have everything scattered and price hunt constantly, I think that it'd have a marked lack of fun interesting attached to it. 

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  1. "While we carebear, or (werebear in reality)..." Love the phrase!

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