Thursday, 26 April 2012

Using the Market Without Losing Money

The Eve market is a huge complex and slightly scary thing.  The market system is very different from other MMOs and this gets people into trouble sometimes.  I'm going to try show you the basics so you can use the market without losing money and ships.  Yes that's right, you could lose your ship if you make a mistake. I'll explain that later.

The most important difference between the Eve Market and other games is that in Eve, goods are not magically transported around the galaxy.  When you buy something it appears in the items hangar of the station it was on when listed on the market.  That means that it might be many jumps from where you are.  You should always know where the item you are buying is.  The station the item is on is listed in the Details screen of the market.  I'll walk you through this screen later.

Here is the basic market screen;
The Eve universe is divided into regions.  Each region has its own market which is separate and invisible to other markets. The region of the market is listed in the top left of the screen.

Under the Browse tab there is a list of folders with categories of goods.  These expand when you click on them showing individual products. When you click on a sub-folder you will probably get the Groups screen shown on the right side.  Note the tab at the top says Groups.  This should be used as an info screen only. The price shown on this screen is conjured up by some arcane magic that CCP developed and is not right. You should never buy anything from this screen. That is because you have no idea where the item is when you buy it and you aren't being shown the lowest price anyway. Click the View Details button or a specific item to get the Details screen.

Below is the screen you get when you select a specific item.
This screen shows the sales info for a specific item. The item name is listed at the top.  Above it is the item group.  you can click on the item group to get the Group screen again.The Details screen is divided into to areas.  At the top is the Sellers which list all the people selling items. On the bottom is the Buyers section.  People who wish to buy this item have orders on this screen.  Both screens can be sorted by their columns.  The best way is to sort the Sellers so the cheapest price is at the top and sort the Buyers so the highest price is at the top.  Do this by clicking on the Price heading until the entries sort properly.

There is a search tab that will allow you to search for a word or phrase. This is a great way to find stuff you are looking for. At any time you can right click on an item, or its link in chat/email/post and select "View Market Info".  This will show you the details page for that item.

Buying Things
Lets say you want to buy something right now.  Look at the Sellers screen.  The image has the cheapest item at the top but that shows as being in a station 7 jumps away (see column called Jumps).  The exact location is listed in the Locations column.  I don't want to travel 7 jumps so I look down the Jumps column for a entry that says either System (meaning in the same system as you) or Station which means the item is on the station you are on.  To buy the item I right click on it in the grid and select Buy this.  You should now get a little window which will let you set the number of items you wish to buy.  If you have a button in the bottom right that is marked "Simple" then press it because you are currently in the wrong screen.  When you have set the quantity then select buy and the goods will appear in your items hangar.

There is no reason you can't buy items many jumps away if you are willing to go get them.  Many traders do this. However you should always check the security rating of the system before buying.  The easiest way to do this is to right click on the order > Location > Set Destination. Now look at your auto path and see if any systems are low sec.  This is where new pilots often lose their ships.  They buy something cheap in a low sec system and get blown up trying to retrieve it.

You cannot buy more items than are listed at that location.  So on the example above, I cannot buy more than 4 Large Armor Repairer is at Grinacanne.  There just isn't any more. If you try to buy a object from a station with multiple orders (eg Dodixie above) and you right click on an order that is not the lowest at that station, you will in fact buy the lowest item at the price of the higher item.  That is, the owner of the cheapest order with sell his item to you at the price of the higher order.

Selling Things
There are two ways to sell things on the market; Quick Sell and Sell Order.  Quick Selling is selling to the highest Buyer price in range. This is not always a good idea as many places have really low buyer orders and you will not get the full value of the item. On rare occasions there are no buy orders for that item and you cannot sell it that way.  The orders marked in green on the Buyers screen are the orders in range of your location.  Quick selling will sell to the highest of those orders.  To Quick Sell an item right click on it and select "Sell this item". If the new screen has a button called Simple at the bottom right then click it as you are in the wrong window. The new window will list the offered price, how many will be bought, the sales tax and finally the total you will get.  Pushing Sell now will sell the items. There is a Magnifier glass button on the bottom right.  This will show you the market information for that item.  Its worth checking this first to see if the buy order you are selling to is reasonable or not.

If you want to put something on the market and try get a better price for it then you will need to use a Sell Order.  Order slots are something you get from skills like Trade and Retail.  Its worth everyone getting a few levels of these so you can sell your stuff.   Right click  on the item you want to sell and select "Sell this Item".  Now check that the button in the bottom left says "Simple". If it says "Advanced" then click it to get to the right screen.  Use the magnifier glass to get the price info on the item.  Now set the price you want for the item in the top box next to Ask Price.  The quantity will be set to how many you have but you may reduce it if you want. Now set how long you want the order to run in the Duration box.  When you are ready click Sell and the order will go on the market.  It will then wait for someone to come along and buy it.  Your orders will show as Blue on the market screen making it easy to see them when updating prices.  you will have to come back periodically to adjust your price so you are the lowest on the market at that location.

Creating Buy Orders
Buy orders allow you to buy goods cheaper if you are willing to wait for it.  Some people don't want to wait for a sell order to sell so they sell the the highest buy order in range.  This is a common way to obtain minerals and other manufacturing components. You essentially list an order with how much you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.  Then wait for someone willing to sell at that price.

To create a buy order, first get the market information on the item you buy either using the Browse or search or by right-click > "View market details" on the item. At the bottom of the Buyers window is a button called Place Market Order.  Click it and the advanced buy window will open. You can set what station the order will be on by clicking on the Location > Select Station. Note you will need the Procurement skill to place buy orders at range from a station. Next step is to fill in a price you wish to pay for the goods.  At the Quantity section set how many items you want.  Also set the minimum amount you will buy at one time.  This is helpful to avoid having a single unit of tritanium on a dozen stations. Next set the duration of the order.  There is not much reason not to set it to max.  Lastly set the range of the order.  You will need the Visibility skill to use this.  This allows you to buy items in an area with the station as its centre.  Be careful using this as you can't stop it buying stuff in low sec systems. Also you will find that you will have items spread over a wide area and it will take time and/or money to retrieve them. This is why you set a minimum buy quantity so you don't make trips for worthless quantities of goods.

Pro Tips
  • In the Settings tab turn on Mark my Orders.  This will show your orders in the details screen with a blue background.
  • Buy orders affecting your current location will be shown in green.
  • Items on the market in stations on your autopilot path will show with yellow text.
  • Orders with with an "Expires in" value of 364 days are NPC orders seeded on the market.  All others are player orders.
  • You can reduce your taxes and broker fees using the Accounting and Broker Relations skills.
  • Items must be repackaged to sell on the market which means they must be repaired too.
  • The Price history tab will give you historical data about prices in graph or table form.
  • When buying for the corporation, the items will appear in the Deliveries Hangar. See the Deliveries button at the bottom of the station services panel.
  • You can add items to your Quickbar for fast reference in future.  You may also make folders to keep these links in order.

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