In this second part of my concise guide on trading, I look at margin trading on the market, playing the contract pages, market speculation around patches and the dirty art of market manipulation.
Margin trading on the market:
The buy and sell price of items on the market fluctuates over time but the sell price must always be higher than the buy price. There's money to be made here if you're willing to take a little risk and spend time carefully adjusting market orders. If you set up the highest buy order in one of EVE's trade hub stations, anyone selling that item will sell to you. Then you can re-list the items on the sell orders for a small profit. Remember that to make sales you'll have to be the cheapest sell order in the station.
To make a lot of ISK, you'll need to trade on a significant number of products and watch your market orders like a hawk. The risk is that prices may change and leave you with stock bought above the current sell price, causing you to take a loss. It's essential to watch the market and keep track of price trends in this business. If an item is dropping in price, you'll want to stop trading it and get rid of your stock as quickly as possible. There are a few tricks to margin trading that a lot of pilots don't know and I'll go over them in next week's column.
In addition to the market, there's a good deal of ISK to be made on contracts and even the official sell order forums. Players often don't know the full value of their items or are just looking for a quick sale. This is particularly true of pilots with a bulk of items to sell, who are likely to give a discount for a quick sale which you can capitalise on. By knowing what price items will sell for, you can buy any significantly below that point and re-list them for a profit. Putting extra effort into finding buyers and suppliers is key in this business. Buyers can be found in the trade chat channels in-game, the EVE sell order forum or just on contracts. Suppliers tend to be anyone looking for a quick sale such as pirates making a loot drop-off in Jita or 0.0 players that got the items at their source.
Perhaps more important is finding the right products to buy and sell. Typically you'll want to go after the highest price gear such as faction items and deadspace modules. A lot of EVE's top traders made a name for themselves as faction item resellers by buying faction items from 0.0 pilots in bulk and then reselling them individually. People came to them to offload their officer, deadspace and faction items quickly and buyers would routinely check their stock.
Read on to page 2, where I look at how to make ISK from market speculation and price manipulations.