#5 - Chasing profit:
To keep your profit margins high in any business, you'll need to adjust your choice of products frequently to keep up with what's recently profitable. The most important tool you'll ever have in any industry is a spreadsheet or application to calculate build costs for you. By updating the prices on your spreadsheet regularly, you can quickly spot which items are profitable to build and stay ahead of the curve. This is important because in some areas, like the market for Tech 2 modules, it can take as little as a week for an item to go from high profit to making a loss. In EVE's highly competitive markets, it's the most agile players able to stay on top of market trends who make the most ISK. There are several freely available applications and websites that can help with practically every industry but I've always found it useful to make my own spreadsheets.
Skip past the cut for four other invaluable tips on reverse engineering chances, invention profit margins, predicting trends and more.
#4 - Reverse engineering costs:
In addition to jobs having a certain chance of failure, reverse engineering has the added complication that a successful job will produce one of four possible subsystems from the chosen group completely at random. In last week's article on reverse engineering, I suggested that to obtain a specific blueprint that you know is currently high in profit, you should continually engineer the same relic type until you get the one you want. Any blueprints you get which aren't the one you're looking for get thrown on a pile and looked at later.
The time to look at these blueprints will be during your profit calculations. When you get the blueprint you want, work out the combined cost of all the jobs you had to install to get it, including failures and any successes yielding alternative blueprints. Take this away from the total profit from all the blueprints in your current batch, excepting those that would actually cause a loss to build. This will give the final profit for your whole latest batch of reverse engineering attempts.
#3 - Invention success chances:
Like reverse engineering, the success of an invention job isn't guaranteed and this can complicate profit projections. The easiest way to deal with this issue is to work out the average cost of successfully creating a blueprint copy, taking into account the chance of failure. Use an invention calculator to work out the percentage chance of success, then divide the cost of a single attempt by that percentage as a decimal fraction. For example, if a Shield Power Relay II blueprint costs 850,000 ISK per invention attempt and has a success rate of 62%, the average cost of a successful job is 850,000 divided by 0.62 (62% as a decimal fraction).
This means the average cost of obtaining these blueprints, accounting for the predicted rate of failures, would even out in the long term to around 1.37 million ISK per blueprint. Since the blueprint will have ten runs, the average cost per run of the blueprint would be 137,000 ISK. Adding the average cost per run to the cost of the item's build materials will produce the final average cost of making one, allowing you to easily project how much profit there is to be had by inventing and building that item.
Read on to page 2 for my absolute top two tips for research and production in EVE.