TRADE102 - Station Trading

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The following article is a syllabus for a class, intended primarily for teaching staff.

It is not our intention that teachers just recite this document. Make sure to read it thoroughly, use its structure as a guide for the structure of your class, but also make sure there is an added value for students to attend the class, instead of just reading this document.

Presenting the required components can be done in any order - the important part is to ensure the the syllabus is adhered to. Note that the teaching guide may not be up to date and it is the teacher's responsibility to ensure everything in the syllabus is covered.


Station Trading
TRADE102
School of Economics
Course TRADE
Complexity 1
Practical Optional
Overview
Techniques to optimize the station trading experience.

Contents

Class Information

This is a syllabus for a class provided by EVE University. This section contains information about this class and its contents. General Information includes materials to create a proper class listing on the EVE University forum. Additional resources and teaching tips are listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

Sample text to use in the class advertisement:

[center][size=200][color=#FFFF00]TRADE102: Station Trading[/color][/size]
[img]http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/w/images/2/22/Trade102.jpg[/img][/center]
This class will teach how to start off with station trading. It covers techniques to optimize the station trading experience. It is expected you have attended TRADE101 or have equivalent experience with the EVE interface.
[color=#FFFF00]When[/color]: DATE
[color=#FFFF00]Where[/color]: Docked up in a station. Market examples will come from the Metropolis region. For the optional practical, be docked up in [url=http://evemaps.dotlan.net/station/Aldrat_IX_-_Pator_Tech_School]Aldrat IX - Pator Tech School[/url].
[color=#FFFF00]Duration[/color]: 60 minutes, plus 30 minutes for optional practical 
[color=#FFFF00]Class contents[/color]:
[list]

[*] Station trading defined
[*] Station trading theory
[*] Location, location, location: the big trade hubs
[*] Remote trading
[*] Liquid and illiquid assets, and margin trading
[*] Basic concepts in station trading: summarizing the Uni's excellent "[url=http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/How_to_identify_items_to_trade]How to identify items to trade[/url]" wiki entry, thinking about competition, turnover, and short- vs long-term thinking[/list]
[color=#FFFF00]Student requirements[/color]:
[list][*]Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: [url]http://eveuni.org/publicmumble[/url]
[*]Access to the Classroom1.E-UNI in-game chat channel[/list]
[color=#FFFF00]Additional information[/color]: Be docked up in [url=http://evemaps.dotlan.net/station/Aldrat_IX_-_Pator_Tech_School]Aldrat IX - Pator Tech School[/url] if you would like to participate in the practical. Very little ISK (maybe 10,000 ISK) is needed to participate in the practical.
:?: Feel free to ask any questions about the class--or if you have particular questions about station trading that you would like to see covered.

Illustration link for class description on the Eve University forum: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/File:Trade102.jpg

Class contents:

  • Station trading defined
  • Station trading theory
  • Location, location, location: the big trade hubs
  • Remote trading
  • Liquid and illiquid assets, and margin trading
  • Basic concepts in station trading: summarizing the Uni's excellent "How_to_identify_items_to_trade" wiki entry, thinking about competition, turnover, and short- vs long-term thinking
  • Optional practical

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
  • Be docked up in PTS for the practical. Ideally have items you want to put on the market for the practical, e.g. a couple of Erebuses
  • Ideally go through the guide and have links ready to drag into chat
  • Make it clear that this is a starting guide, and that trading is very much defined by personal preference. Nothing here is set in stone.
  • Useful links * are at the end of this document.
  • Strongly consider combining this class with TRADE101. TRADE101 is necessary to understand TRADE102, and TRADE102 is more compelling than TRADE101.

Class Contents

Introduction

Welcome to TRADE102--Station Trading!

This course assumes an understanding of the EVE user interface for trading: the market window, the wallet, how to place buy and sell orders, how to cancel orders, and how to find items in the market by browsing or searching.

Throughout this class we will use examples from the Metropolis region's market window.

Over the next 60 minutes or so, we'll define station trading, talk a little about how to think about station trading, and then we'll talk about how to go about station trading: trade hubs, remote trading, your ISK on hand and escrow, how to evaluate whether an item is good for trading, and tips and tricks for station trading.

Then there will be another 30 minutes for an optional practical exercise for anyone interested who is docked up in Aldrat PTS.

(Instructor should then introduce himself or herself - covering relevant experience level and background.)

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • Please put your Mumble settings on "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
  • Feel free to type any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class.
  • You should be docked up safely in a station--in Aldrat PTS if you intend to participate in the practical exercise.

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

Station trading defined

  • Buy low, sell high at the same station
  • Risk?
    • You never have to get in a ship
    • Typos can result in millions of ISK lost (e.g. from broker fees, bad purchases)

Pros and cons

Station trading is both loved and hated in Eve, which makes it all the more interesting. Some people will make buy and sell orders for every personal purchase, while others will happily receive less ISK for their items to avoid setting orders.

Pros
  • Station trading can be done during wartime, as you stay in station
  • It is possible to make ISK while being inactive, most station traders check their items once or twice a day
  • The risk/reward ratio is determined by you
  • It is a nice secondary money-maker
  • It is nicely combined with hauling to make a trader/hauler alt
  • With skills, it can be done remotely (up to from anywhere within your current region)
  • It is widely viewed as the greatest potential income source in the game
Cons
  • Station trading can be highly frustrating
  • It takes time and patience
  • It requires initial research
  • It requires math(ewww) and may require spreadsheets
  • The market can lead you to get losses
  • Items can move tediously slow sometimes, and might yield a profit after weeks
  • It is limited by volume and competition


Station trading theory

  • In addition to buy low/sell high, also think about
    • velocity/volume: how often items are bought & sold
    • competition: the more competing orders, the more often you have to update orders
    • inter-region price variations: one region's market can look really good but be out of line with others
  • Short-term vs. long-term investments: ISK/day vs. ISK/month
  • You are trading wallclock time for ISK: buying low (so someone else gets their ISK now) and selling high later.

Location, location, location

Remote trading

Remote-trading-skills.jpg

  • Station trade... from somewhere else!
  • Place orders for BCF (Hek's trade hub, the Boundless Creation Factory) from Aldrat!
  • Skills: Procurement, Day Trading, Marketing, Visibility

The level of the skill determines the maximum distance:

  • Level 1: system
  • Level 2: 5 jumps from current location
  • Level 3: 10 jumps from current location
  • Level 4: 20 jumps from current location
  • Level 5: whole region
  • Using the assets window
  • How to place buy orders for other stations

Liquid and illiquid assets

  • General advice is you need ~10 million ISK seed money to start with station trading
  • Station trading requires capital i.e. ISK
  • How much stuff, and how much ISK, do you have: i.e. ISK and things that can be converted into ISK?
    • Assets window: stuff you have sitting around somewhere
    • ISK that shows up when you open your wallet
    • *ALSO* items being sold
    • *ALSO* ISK in your escrow account to cover your buy orders
  • Programs such as jEVEAssets let you see all your assets, in your hangar, in manufacturing jobs, in sell orders, etc.

Margin trading reduces required escrow

Escrow-and-margin-trading.jpg

  • Margin Trading reduces ISK in your escrow account
  • Margin trade scams
    • If you see an order with a high price and minimum amount, this IS a scam!

The amount of escrow needed goes like this: (numbers rounded)

  • Level 1: 75%
  • Level 2: 56.25%
  • Level 3: 42.19%
  • Level 4: 31.64%
  • Level 5: 23.73%

At level 5 this means that a 10.000.000 buy order only needs 2.373.046 ISK to put up the order.

Basic concepts in station trading

  • It's smart to start off with explaining the window setup * for station trading - this way everyone sees what you see
  • Using the quick bar
    • Save good items
    • Delete bad items

The Graph

Station trading graph.png

Let's first talk about the graph itself, all of which is based on the prices on the left side of the graphic, it contains:

  • The green line is the 20 day average - meaning the average price over 20 days
  • The red line is the 5 day average, basically the same but with 5 days so as to see the market fluctuating more
  • The yellow dots are the daily median
  • The yellowish bars are the min/max price
  • The filled in red-ish area is the donchian channel

The bottom is actually not part of the lines, and should be interpreted differently. This is the daily volume, and the amounts are stated at the right side of the graph.

Furthermore, there are a few features belonging to the graph:

  • You can switch certain things on or off, by right-clicking the graph
  • You can set the time-span of the graph, from 1 year to 5 days with different intervals. 3 months is recommended.

Obviously, this is detailed and complicated information. To effectively use this knowledge learn the Bullworth Burger Method

The table

Station trading table.png

The table is a less powerful means of identifying items then the graph, but it can be useful in case the graph is hard to read or if specific number are needed. (I myself use it to identify daily amounts more precisely for my spreadsheet)

It shows:

  • Total daily orders
  • Quantity of items traded
  • Highest daily sale
  • Lowest daily buy
  • Average daily sale/buy

It can be sorted by any column.

Example items

  • Review several example items that are good sales or less good sales, and talk about how you determine they are good or not.

Many people use spreadsheets

Station trading always requires math in order to know what you're doing. Google documents is a HUGE help with this.

File:Station trading spreadsheet.pdf

Since I couldn't put it on the wiki in excel or open office file, I put it up as a pdf.

The formulae show how to use a spreadsheet to know your actual profit margin, daily earning potential and your overall wealth change.

A few notes:

  • The brokers fee and tax will have to be modified when you have the proper skill
  • You can copy the whole row, and then you only have to modify: name - buy - sell - daily quantity
  • Actual wealth is hard to keep track of, but the most common formula is: buy orders outstanding + sell orders outstanding + cash
  • Always go for a low quantity sold per day, it's better to not overestimate your market share
  • The truncate function is very handy to keep oversight, it is: =TRUNC(formula, digits after the dot)

External services

Out-of-game web sites such as eve-central and eve-marketdata exist. Some external services pull data from the EVE API, which has many restrictions on how often data can be pulled. Others pull data from people's game client caches, limiting the type of data available. Also, these external services can be "poisoned" or sent bad data.

Tips and tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks which apply to everyone who takes up station trading:

  • Never reveal your trade secrets - people will steal them from you
  • If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Analyze why this is, perhaps ask others, but in the beginning stay away from it. It can be a scam or a bait-order to get you into lowsec.
  • Underneath the browse window in market is a button 'show only available' - turn this off
  • Put EVERY item in the quick bar and then delete items you don't like, this makes it easy to keep track
  • Integrate items in the station services window: ESC -> general settings -> station -> check 'merge items and ships into station panel '
  • Diversify - don't put all your ISK in one item, also don't put all your money in high-risk trades
  • Be careful while putting out orders - when you start you will have a low limit. For every item try to keep only 1 buy order open, and 1-2 sell orders, this way you won't go over your limit and keep oversight. Yes, this means you might need to wait until an order is filled.

Wrap-up

Practical

Remric had a practical which might be nice to do. At the beginning of class he would give someone sensor boosting scripts to distribute among everyone in the class channel who x-ed up. Every student would receive one script.

This script also served to show people how to set up buy and sell orders.

After class he told everyone to put up sell orders for the scripts, telling them that he would buy one script between 1 and 2 hours after class. The student who sold the script to him would win, and receive 10 million ISK.

This lead to very interesting behavior, as people would get scripts from Hek and put them up, making profit from other people trying to buy out the whole market while others were waging hardcore 0.01 ISK warfare. It was very illustrative, as one person won, other people made profits, prices shifted heavily, and I lost 11 million ISK due to surplus stock which I'm still selling off.

He used sensor booster scripts because they're cheap and can be traded in bulk, other items can of course be used.

Links and Resources

The Bullworth Burger method

Audio lecture by Turhan Bey

This picture shows a comfortable setup for station trading - note you can still change it to accomodate for chat

Demonstration of the potential of station trading

EVE-Central

EVE Marketdata

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