If you spot a market manipulation in progress and have some of the item yourself, take advantage of it by repeatedly listing the items on the market in small amounts. Price them at a huge drop in market sell order price compared to the new manipulated price. Seeing that you only have a few of the items, the manipulator is likely to continue their plans by buying you out. You can then continue by listing more of the item for sale to see how much ISK you can glean from the manipulator before he gives up. If you see a manipulation and don't have any of the item in question, try checking the market in different regions. Lazy market manipulators will often stick to Jita and won't bother hiking up prices in other regions. I've been on both sides of this and it works a treat. It's all part of market PvP.
Get in early:
With each expansion, new mechanics and changes come in that will offer up some great opportunities. Jumping into any market turmoil post-patch can make a lot of ISK if you know what you're doing. My advice is to always get in on the new thing as quickly as possible and figure out the new mechanics before everyone else. When faction warfare was released with the Empyrean Age expansion, there was a rush to set up market hubs next to the main PvP areas to supply the militias. With the Apocrypha expansion, there was a huge gold rush into the new wormhole systems and those of us that got in at the start made countless billions in those first few weeks and months. Similarly, people made billions by playing the market after the expansion hit. Market manipulation and speculation on supply and demand trends for Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers were rife in the weeks after the patch. When small and medium rigs came out, the first producers made an absolute killing on them too. I think the majority of players wait for the dust to settle before entering the new markets an expansion creates but if you want to take some risk and make a lot of ISK, you should be in there kicking up more dust.
Trading isn't just about buying and selling. Over the years, players have come up with a ton of unique and creative ways to make ISK from just about anything. They sell web-hosting for ISK, manage kill-boards and host teamspeak servers for a fee. Others run lotteries, do graphic design for a fee, run investment schemes, host PvP tournaments with entry fees and even manage high-roller poker championships. The list is endless, and it's all down to the fact that EVE is a social MMO where everyone is in the same universe together. If there's a need for something, you can be sure there are enough people with that need that you can make some ISK by supplying it. In these types of creative business, reputation is everything and the best tip I can give is to always stick to your word. Gaining a solid reputation on the forums opened up a lot of doors for me over the years, allowing me to run massive investment schemes and lotteries. Other players have successfully used their reputations to run virtual banks and even act as a third-party broker in big deals.
In a marketplace as huge and diverse as EVE's, everyone has their own tips on how to succeed. These tips have all served me well over the years and I hope a few of them help you forge a successful business empire of your own in EVE. What's your best trading tip?
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com.