Saturday, 20 December 2014

Don't be afraid of Long Term when Trading

Most (~95%) of the trading that I do in High Sec is based on short time scales. I buy low, sell at a higher price to make a reasonable profit and I list items either for a week or fortnight but never longer than a month. Prices are checked anything up to a dozen times a day depending on the item for sale. Null sec is slightly different in that I list items for 3 months and check the prices once or twice a week.

My aim is to make at least 20% profit on anything I sell and for 95% it happens within a day or two of listing.

There are some (~5%) items that I sell that I know will take a longer term to sell either because they are a rarity or have a high price with a low volume. I avoid Deadspace/Officer items as well as Storyline modules, outside of a couple of them they do not have a sale volume to justify the expense of buying them and then sitting on them.

A while back I noticed that Mobile Tractor Units were good sellers and the named ones, whilst not selling in hundreds or thousands a day, were selling in good quantities and for good a good profit.

Why Mobile Tractor Unit's

Mobile Tractor Units are common and come in three variants (base and two named) with the differences coming down to tractor beam speed and maximum range. The base unit ("Mobile Tractor Unit") is cheap (~5m ISK) and available in large quantities, the next model up ("Packrat") is about ~22m ISK for a small increase in tractor beam speed. Finally we have the top model ("Magpie") which comes in at a whopping 300/350m ISK for a 40% increase in range and a much faster tractor beam.

I've rarely seen Magpie's in use but they are sold fairly regularly.


The blueprints are available in certain Data/Relic sites and a couple of months ago I saw five BPC's for sale in Jita for between 250m and 280m ISK. The material requirements were the same for all of them (from memory) and it appeared that the price of the BPC was what was controlling the final price, which at the time was 400m ISK.

I worked out that, at 400m, I could easily produce these for less than 300m ISK with BPC prices as they were. I was helped by several friends producing the PI materials used so I was able to obtain what i needed at a significant discount on market price.

So I bought the five BPC's for just over 1 billion ISK, bought all the materials needed and shipped them to my manufacturing system for production.

Long Term Sale

I've built 5 Magpie MTU's and as of two days ago the final one sold after just over two months on the market (in total). I listed all at 1m ISK under the lowest Sell Order price with a lowest limit of 325m ISK. 

If the price dipped under this I remained at 325m and it did several times but within a few days recovered to head back up to 325m ISK at which point my unit sold and the price continued to climb to just over 340m ISK.

All the Magpies sold within two months of listing:

Magpie #1 - 331m
Magpie #2 - 325m
Magpie #3 - 325m
Magpie #4 - 334m
Magpie #5 - 325m

I received 1.64b ISK in total and my production costs were 1.31b ISK leaving me with a nice profit of 330m ISK or a nice even 25% profit.

Two months isn't very long in trading (CCP said that there was one sell order for an item in-game that had such a low database id it showed it was set up in 2006 and had been modified ever since) but remember that sometimes things won't sell immediately so you need to hold on to them until they do.

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