Op Success(ish)?

As I mentioned previously I had the idea to seed a Low-Sec market. The goal was not to make lots of Isk, that would have been very unrealistic. I rather wanted a small, consistent customer base and competition trying to take over these customers. I had told myself that I would consider my op a success as soon as other people would start selling in “my” system and undercutting my prices.

Since then some kind of routine had settled in. Twice per week I would check the orders and restock if necessary. Most of the time it was just the usual combination of consumables such as drones and ammo. Other items sold in waves: For instance, for weeks nobody would touch T2 blasters. And then, within a day, somebody bought 20 pieces at once. Same with rigs.

By the end of October I noticed that I started to sell less and less. A closer look at the local market showed me why: Competition! From what I can see, two new traders have started selling their products. One sits in another NPC station, the other one operates from a citadel. They are both undercutting me rather aggressively, selling their items below production cost (at least I suspect that). So, op success, I guess. I might not have gotten the consistency regarding sales but at least my activity had encouraged other players to give it a try. Time to move on.

I took down most of the items which never (or extremely rarely) sold: T2 shields (PvP tends to be armor heavy), T2 damage rigs, meta items, certain types of ammo. Funny enough, when I relisted them in Dodixie I actually made a bit of profit because the price of many T2 items had spiked thanks to the latest moon goo changes. Left behind are things I am either too lazy to transport or I believe will sell over time.

In summary:

  • I invested roughly 2.7 bil Isk. I did not track every Isk I made since I did not care about profits. From what I can see I made about 300mil Isk profit since my start in June. Basically nothing for 5 months but Isk was never the issue.
  • Other players noticed and started selling as well. They did not compete in all areas I had covered but I suppose they are still experimenting.
  • My best sellers in terms of volume were: cynosural field generator, liquid ozone, Warrior II drones, Hobgoblin II drones, Calday Navy Cap Boosters of every flavor, Cargohold expanders (?), warp core stabiliziers (I and II), Sisters probes and Sisters combat probes. Most of them had been listed at Jita sell +10%.
  • Big profit items were: Faction drones and soldier tags.

Some of these items are not being sold yet by the others but that’s just a matter of time. If I feel like it I might continue selling cynos and tags in Low-Sec. I am kind of proud of what has happened. It would have been nice had my profits come from selling many different items instead of just a few. But I guess I should have done more research for that to happen. Anyway, it was a fun experience. Time to try something else.

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Update: Seeding a Low-Sec market

A few weeks ago I started my project of seeding a Low-Sec market. The main goal is not Isk (as I said, there won’t be a lot of profit, if at all), I just want to see if I could do it. Right now I plan to stop when I see that 2 or more competitors are starting to participate, forcing me to adjust prices. Having actual local competition would tell me that others consider this place a good place to sell, basically a market place.

I started with mainly selling the fits for a kiting and a brawling Tristan. In addition I brought is basic consumables people might need: ammo, repair paste, cap boosters. My small ancillary armor reppers usually sold within minutes, I assume that somebody wanted to flip them since I sold them below the regional average. I feel bad for the last person since on the next day CCP finally raised the probability of SAAR BPC drops. Since then the price has dropped by roughly 60%. Because CCP said that the change in drop rate would only be temporary I assume that many traders will hoard them right now betting that the prices might rise again.

Capture

It took a while but eventually people started buying; on average I make 30 sales per day. I know that this is peanuts but since I am starting at 0 this is still quite nice. Interestingly there are things which don’t seem to sell at all or only slowly: Mainly equipment such as scram, webs, drones. I assume that the notorious pilots in that area already have a stockpile in their hangars and that it will take a while for these piles to deplete. Also many might not have realized yet that these things are now on the local market. Another possibility: People don’t bother with frigs and go for bigger stuff and/or T2 ships. When I go through my sales list there are some regular customers now. They mainly stock up on consumables such as ammo and stuff. On their killboard I see that these players rarely loose ships so I am not too surprised.

Capture2

Bottom line: There does seem to be a group of players willing to buy more local. So a market could be possible. Now I have to figure out, what exactly these players want. I might have to dive more into the data and filter out the most common players to see what they are losing. I am just too lazy to write something for that.

A long time ago I had an alt who did nothing but look for offline High-Sec POS and wardec the owners. If they didn’t respond I would then go and shoot the modules hoping for gigantic loot pinatas. Unfortunately that never happened but a few of them actually dropped a significant amount of minerals which had been collecting dust until now. Since I won’t use them for anything I decided to build Thrashers and Vexors. While the minerals are still not completely free (the cost of wardecs + time to get that stuff to a central place) building these ships is still cheap for me. They are now on the market, together with mods to try out different fits. And after reading Sugar Kyles post again I stocked up on Liquid Ozone, Cynos and Expanded Cargoholds. I don’t really get why but for some reason Cargoholds sell very well. I

Right now I spend 2 days a week hauling things to the station and setting up sell orders. I don’t want to spend more time on this. My next goal: Increasing daily sales by 50% (so 45/day). Kyle wrote that it took several month for things to take off so I am fine with baby steps. My current investments are roughly 2.7 bil.