The economy in EVE Online being largely player driven means there there is often a good opportunity to make money by simply being present on the market with goods that the market is in demand of. In fact, one can easily have a trader set up to earn what equals to his own playtime every single month.
Unfortunately, as a new player you will only have 5 order slots available to you. This tends to limit things for the player to the point of there not being much more opportunity than to trade high volume goods (for example minerals), where you can make money just by having two orders up, and switching things up a bit once in a while. This requires goods with a fairly high markup (+10%) due to lower skills.
Due to orders being given in the station youre docked in though, if often requires you to either fly to a trade hub everytime you need to adjust prices on your orders, or have an alt sitting in a tradehub for the purpose of trading your goods. Either way can be profitable, although you can benefit from training up skills that increase the range at which you can place orders in case you want to use your main as a trader too.
So from the get-go, you have the following limiting factors that determine the profitability of your orders:
- Number of possible sell- or buy-orders is limited to 5.
- Buy-orders is restricted to same station as you’re docked in.
- Sell-orders are restricted to same station.
- Range of order-readjustment is limited to the same station youre docked in.
- Cost of placing orders (Broker’s fee) is a minimum of 100 ISK, and are maxed at 1% of the order value.
- Sales tax is a minimum of 1.5% of the ISK of the order value.
Be sure you understand those limitations because as you invest in new skillbooks, you will want to get those which affect you the most.
The market consists of buy– and sell-orders, but also contracts.
This creates a transparent market where you can see how many you are competing with inside each region. Knowing how many buy- and sell-orders there are can be tremendously helpful because it shows you the activity and diversity of the market.
Furthermore there are private orders and corporation orders. While both types are entirely visible on the market, the destinction is merely there for the setup process; Some corporations are relying on profit on the market as part of their overhead so they will often have a fully decked out trader character to set up orders that benefit the entire corporation. The overhead profit is then split out to the participating players that helped generate the profit. On a corporate scale it is even more important to have a low tax, because its at corporate volumes can often be a lot higher and infer an even greater loss via tax. For example, a wormhole corporation may earn several billion ISK per week and this number can be reduced greatly by having a 2.5% tax (1.5% + 1.0%). At 5 billion per day, the reduction in tax amounts to a little under 100 million per week, or almost what amounts to one PLEX per month. Provided that time is also spent increasing standings with the station.
Contracts are often used to trade rigged ships; that is ships that either have been used before and are in good condition but have been fitted with expensive rigs (ship modifications). Because rigged ships cannot be placed as market orders, contracts is the only viable method of trading them.
The cost of setting up a contract is fixed at 10,000 ISK and only the number of orders can be trained up to be more.
There are 3 different kinds of contracts:
- Item Exchange (either buy or sell contracts).
- Auction (with an asked minimum price and possible buy-out)
- Courier (transporting goods from A to B), with a collateral that is payed to the contractee on signing.
While contracts is the main conduit for scams, scamming orders tend to focus on buy- or sell-contracts (where the ‘buyer’ doesn’t fully read the contract details) and potentially courier contracts (having players haul out goods from a low-security system to a high-security system) where the departure system is then camped to catch the haulers going out, securing the collateral and goods only to set them up again.
It is adviceable to inspect the prior contracts of the person setting up the contracts to see how many fullfilled contracts they have in their past.
Due to the limitations as a new or untrained player, lets take a look at what you can train. These skills are all located in the “trade” section of the skillbook market.
|Skill Name||Cost||Gain||Accrued Bonus||Prerequisites|
|Accounting||4,500,000 ISK||10% reduction in trade tax per level||0.75% Trade Tax||Trade IV|
|Broker Relations||90,000 ISK||5% reduction in Broker Fee per level||0.75% Broker Fee||Trade II|
|Contracting||135,000 ISK||+4 contracts per level||21 contracts||Social I|
|Corporation Contracting||135,000 ISK||+10 corp/alliance contracts per level||60 contracts||Contracting IV|
|Daytrading||11,250,000 ISK||Range modification of buy/sell orders||Regional modification||Trade IV|
|Margin Trading||18,000,000 ISK||25% reduction in Buy order Escrow per level||~24% Escrow||Accounting IV|
|Marketing||3,150,000 ISK||Range of sell orders||Regional sales||Trade II|
|Procurement||1,350,000 ISK||Range of buy orders||Regional purchases||Marketing II|
|Retail||90,000 ISK||+8 buy/sell orders per level||65 orders||Trade II|
|Trade||18,000 ISK||+4 market orders per level||25 orders|
|Tycoon||90,000,000 ISK||+32 orders per level||305 orders||Marketing IV, Wholesale V|
|Visibility||6,750,000 ISK||Regional buy orders||Regional||Procurement IV|
|Wholesale||31,500,000 ISK||+16 orders per level||145 orders||Marketing II, Retail V|
Decreasing Fees relating to market orders.
You can train skills for this and you can improve standings with the station you are trading from. Broker Relations targets specifically the cost of each market order while Accounting targets the trade tax.
Broker fees can be reduced from 1% to 0.75% by skills alone. For a 1,000,000 ISK market order, that means a reduction from 10,000 ISK to 7,500 ISK, for each unit – or 25%.
Broker fees can be reduced further by increasing standings with the station you are placing the order in. While a personal faction standing & corp standing of 10 is close to impossible (due the mechanics involved in calculating standings), the total absolute effect of perfect standings and a perfect level 5 skill is that Broker fees are reduced from 1% to ~0.185%. 0.2% is more likely though. The same order would then cost ~2,000 ISK to set up. In a one-man corp, this takes a lot of time doing missions to achieve and would be the only viable solution.
Transaction tax can be reduced from 1.5% to 0.75% by skills alone and is only relevant in case of transactions (people buying the goods).
Escrow amount can be reduced and is paid up front. It is the total cost of the order, including taxes.
You can decrease your markup by chosing Margin Trading and Accounting. This in turn means that you will be able to participate in trading more goods at a profit thus increasing your goods portfolio. If you want to trade goods that has a low markup, you will need to get those skills maxed out – goods with a low markup is often high volume goods such as minerals.
Daytrading is only used if you are finding yourself doing trades in systems you don’t want to or can enter. You can comfortably be sitting in Perimiter and conduct trades in Jita and its a short train for being just 1 system out.
For null or low-sec trading, you will need a few more levels of training, but with a level V it will be region restricted.