Trading is the act of buying and selling items within Eve.
Evelopedia has an introduction to basic trading, and there are many recordings of Uni trading classes available on the forums. A few examples are listed below:
- Trading 101 - Lompster (Basics of trading, some emphasis on station and wartime trading)
- Eldiora (The basics of trading. Emphasis on interregional trade and getting started.)
- Dr Deus (Introduction to trading. Emphasis on station trading, trading in Jita, Maximizing profit.)
- Sun Win (Buy and Sell orders. Creating a Trade Alt. Buying Low, selling high. Trade via hauling. Details of the Market system, Market analysis. Recommended Skills.)
Advantages of trading
- Easy to get started: You can start trading right away on a character with no skills, and the amount of skill training needed compared to other professions is fairly low. The only skill you really need to start with is Trade, without which you'll probably feel a little limited in the number of orders you can have open.
- Easy to do during war: With a small investment in skills (Marketing, Procurement and Daytrading to level 2) you can easily station trade in Hek while docked up in Aldrat during a lockdown, or use an alt to trade in other ways. This makes moneymaking during wartime much easier, especially since most other forms of moneymaking will be prohibited.
- Time-flexible: A lot of trading happens while docked up, and it's easy to go AFK with no real danger most of the time. While this isn't true during hauling, good hauls tend to be fairly short and you can always dock up halfway through.
The Trade Window
Possibly the simplest and least-used form of trading, the trade window requires you to be docked up with someone in the same station. It's mostly used to deliver items personally to a friend. The trade window is less useful in general since mass trading is not possible and scamming is common.
A contract is a public, formal agreement for work or goods, available through the contracts button on the Neocom. Like the trade window, mass trading is hard and scamming is common. However, contracts have a couple of advantages. They can contain goods not normally available on the market, and finding an audience for your trading is much easier than through the trade window.
Alternatively, courier contracts can also add extra profit to hauling routes.
This is where most trading in Eve takes place. The market is basically an automated list of item exchange contracts: buy orders and sell orders. Since orders can be partially filled and searched easily, it tends to be a lot more convinient than trading through contracts, although the basic principle is the same. Another advantage of the market is that it's easy to see the price and quantity that items are actually selling for, using the market details tab. Markets are limited to the specific region they are in.
Trading using the Market
The main method of trading is doing what other players can't be bothered to do: either they're too lazy or the opportunity cost is too big. Most market activity occurs in and around Trade Hubs.
Hauling is the act of transporting goods between stations for profit. Basically, you buy some goods at one station, load them up into your hauling ship, carry them off to another station and sell them for profit. This works because most players don't have the ships or the time to move everything themselves. Interestingly, there are a lot of trade goods that exist only to be hauled between NPC stations. Finding good trade routes is hard (and changes on a daily basis), so most players use an external tool such as Eve-Central or Navbot. However, there are usually certain routes that are profitable in general, such as hauling stuff from mission hubs, where mission runners dump their loots, to trading hubs where there is less supply.
- Creating an Alt Hauler
- Using Eve Central To Haul Profitably
- Hauling 101, Advanced Hauling
- Making Money with Hauling - Level 4 Cargo Missions
- The Dark Side of Eve - A discussion on suicide ganking and pirate tactics. Firmly recommended listening.
- Known pirate systems - Avoid these.
Station trading is like hauling, but without the hauling ship! Basically you want to find items with a reasonable volume traded and a significant difference in buy and sell order prices within the same station. A large source of these types of items comes from NPC loot: Players run missions, collect loot and just want to sell it for a quick buck, since they don't have the time or the Trade skills to set up sell orders for everything. Another example is trade books that are given during the tutorials - if players have one and don't need it, they just want to dump it for ISK. On the other hand, players searching for one will pay quite a bit more since they can't get it anywhere else.
The simple rule of thumb is buy low and sell high! To ensure station trading is performed effectively ensure that the difference your sell order pricing minus the buy order pricing minus taxation still leaves a profit! Setting up buy and sell orders on multiple items minimises risk of market price crashes on anyone particular item. If you can make 20,000isk on an item and manage to trade 100 of these per day this will give you 2,000,000 isk. Do this with 50 different products and this equates to 100,000,000 isk per day!
Start small and reinvest and you will soon see your total isk grow very quickly. When you start to work in billions you can trade higher priced items which can increase your margins and also prices out some of the competition!
- Trade, Retail, Wholesale and Tycoon: These skills increase the number of market open orders you may have.
- Procurement, Marketing, Daytrading and Visibility : These skills allow you to buy, sell and modify orders in stations other than your current one. Note: With these skills each trained to level 2, you can station trade in Hek while docked in Aldrat.
- Margin Trading: This skill allows you to reduce the amount of escrow required when putting in a buy order, effectively letting you place buy orders for more money then you actually have.
- Broker Relations and Accounting : These skills reduce the cost associated with placing and executing orders.
- Social, Connections - Increases your standing so you pay less taxation.
- Guide to Making ISK Part 4: Titan Production Notes: Excellent station trading guides by Eve trillionaire Sinqlaison
- How to Identify Items to Trade: Bullworth Burger method of identifying items to station trade.
Basically, refining for profit means training up some refining skills, getting good standing with your current station's corp and then refining ore bought on the market. Most ore on the market is sold by miners without refining skills or who don't know better, so the margins are usually pretty good.
- Refining, Refinery Efficiency - Increases your base refine amount.
- Social, Connections - Increases your standing so the station takes less ore.
Speculation is the act of buying goods in the hope that their price will rise in the future. For example, PLEX prices can rise to roughly 400million ISK during the summer holidays, so buying them earlier in the year and selling them in the summer can create a large profit. Speculation can also occur on patch changes or market stampedes.
Tips and Tricks
As with other aspects of Eve, the first rule of trading is to never invest what you can't afford to lose.
Finding items that are good to trade
There is an incredibly simple 3-step plan for finding good trading items:
- Click on a market category, and start looking at the orders and market details for each item
- Switch to another category, and keep looking at each item.
- Look at items some more.
With that said, it's important to know what you're looking for, and hopefully the burger method and the tips on this page should be enough. Generally, for station trading, you want to find items that:
- have a high and fairly constant demand. You can check item demand by looking at the volume sold chart in the market details. While some items might have huge margins, if the volume sold is small or infrequent then there is much more risk associated with that item.
- actually sell for the buy and sell orders listed. You can check this by looking at the market details and seeing whether the range of prices includes the current best buy and sell orders. Hopefully the median price should be somewhere between the two.
Good items to trade are (depending on region and current market) meta-4 items (e.g. arbalest launchers): they can't be produced and some of them have better or the same attributes as their T2 counterparts.
Remember to diversify between different items so that if you market breaks down you don't lose all your money.
Like almost all of Eve there is math. Fortunately most of the math in trading is basic math and/or the game does the math for you. Encase if you want to find out how much you will be paying or selling an item please use the following equation.
X=The amount of units you want to buy or sell
U=The price of one unit of what your trying to buy or sell
P1=The overall cost of all the units you want to sell
P2=The overall cost of the units you want to buy
B=The broker percentage in decimal form
E=The amount that you will get after a sell
A=The amount you will have to pay to buy something
X * U = P1
P1 - (P1 * B) = E
X * U = P2
P2 + (P2 * B) = A
So saying if you were buying PLEX for 100 isk each and you want 100 PLEX the amount you would have to pay after a 10% broker fee is 11,000 in isk. The equation for this is below
100 * 100 = 10000
10000 + (10000 * .1) = 11000
And if you want to sell the same PLEX for the same price and amount and same brokers fee you will get 9000 isk and the equation will look like this
100 * 100 = 10000
10000 - (10000 * .1) = 9000
Trend lines are used in the real world to help self brokers and stock brokers find out future events in the stock market, or more commonly known as a technical analysis. To use as trend line all you need to do is find a way to draw a line to peak to peak and trough to trough in the line graph on price history on an item. You will want to draw a line that hits at less 2 to 3 peaks and another that hits 2 to 3 trough. This will tell you the price should fall between the 2 lines and if the prices hits one of the lines or go a little past it then its time to buy or sell the item in Eve. The trick to this in both Eve and the real world is to do this and know what your doing as fast and right as possible.
You should be able to look at a graph in 5 min and say if the its a good buy or sell for you if your buying and selling short term. You can use anything and personally I used a gum wrapper in the past to make $25k in the real world. The only trick to using something is it must be straight. If worst comes to worst you can press print screen, paste the image into paint and make the trend line there but if you do this you will lose some time doing this.
Because there is so much information already out there here is a link that gets in detail on what you should do to make and read a trend line.
Lastly heres is another video that shows you how the trend line works on line graphs.
Scams to avoid
- Trade routes or courier contracts might be set up by pirates - a camp could be waiting on one of the jumps on the route to collect your ship, their goods and the collateral.
- Courier contracts might be set up to deliver to a player-owned station with a large docking fee - you are forced to not dock and lose the collateral, or dock and pay the fee.
A good way to avoid courier contract scams is to only accept contracts for routes you were planning on hauling anyway.
Trading Cost Modifiers
- Broker Relations (Rank 2) [Req: Trade 2] reduce base broker fee by 5% per level
- Accounting (Rank 3) [Req: Trade 4]: reduces sales tax by 10% per level
- Margin Trading (Rank 3) [Req: Accounting 4]: reduces escrow requirement for buy orders by an additional 25% per level
Whenever you set up a buy or sell order, you will have to pay the broker fee: 1% of the total order (0.75% at max skills), modified by standings. Whenever each unit gets sold, the seller will pay 1.5% of the sell price as a transaction tax (0.75% at max skills). The fees show up in the wallet journal as "Brokers Fee" and "Transaction Tax".
So the typical station trader with zero standings will pay 3% of the order price as taxes, 2% at max skills. This is important to take into account when calculating your profit.
Faction and corporation standings relevant to the station the orders are placed in will have an effect on the broker fee. Faction standings contribute significantly more than corp standings. The exact formula is:
- BrokerFee % = (1% – 0.05% × BrokerRelationsSkillLevel) / e ^ (0.1 × FactionStanding + 0.04 × CorporationStanding)
With 10 faction and corp standing, the broker fee is reduced to 0.185%, saving you more than 1% through the buy and sell process.