Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Digging through the piles of STUFF

As I've mentioned before, I'm a vet of a few years (off and on). I first joined because a good friend told me how wonderful the game was. I joined him and his friend in their corp, and we did a little bit of everything (literally, everything). I did a lot of mining, one of them was into PVP (sort of), the other loved exploration, and we all dabbled in building things (without having any idea really how to turn a serious profit on any of those things).

When I came back to the game back in December, one of the friends came back too. He's in the corp, and the other was inactive but had subscribed for a year so he had access to the game. We convinced him to jump in and let us have all the old BPs from the old corp. So, he did (they belonged to all three of us, afterall).

So, I was looking through all the BPs, most of which were BPCs, some were T2 (which I can't make), some were things I already had researched BPOs for, and then, in the midst of all this, I found an old BPO I didn't know we had. I did a little calculating to see the profitability.

It's worth making!

So, I currently have 1,000 in production right now.

The point is, don't forget to check what you already have in stock, it may be worth it to produce something you initially thought wasn't worth it, or even something you didn't realize you had!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Flooding the Market - Too many items.

When learning about investments, there's almost always a singular piece of advice that gets promoted and doled out to every potential investor:


So, why do I feel the need to diversify right now? Two words, market saturation. The items I've been making for the regional market are now reaching their saturation point, it would seem. Here is some in game data to help make my point.

Item A has been one of my favorite sellers. I picked up the BPO and started making these, they were wildly profitable for the first few batches. They would completely sell within 3-4 days (especially over the weekend) and I'd get to take a Scrooge McDuck-style bath in the ISK. Things were great. My batch size for those has been between 10-25.

How did I arrive at my batch size? Simple.

Check out the graph and the table:

The graph represents the 3-month history of the item. There was a very solid price range over the three month span, and it has gone up drastically over the past month. I got in on this item while it was high. I got in at the top end of the red line, which means I hit the bubble perfectly. The 5-day average has gone back down a bit and has crossed with the 20-day average representing a more stable average. This is great news to me, it means the price is pretty stable and I should earn what I expect to earn when I manufacture these.

I determine batch size by thinking about how many have been selling. For the most part, the region sees roughly 20 of these move each day. That means my batch size of 10-25 should be fine to sell-out fairly rapidly, hopefully in about 3-4 days if I stay on top of my market orders.

Competition, at this point, wasn't incredibly stiff. Things were moving at a nice pace without a lot of market maintenance.

However, in the past few days, something weird has happened. Check out today's market details for the region on this item:

The red boxes are circling out the market hub's orders. Three people have made what seems like an attempt to corner the market by selling a ton of them. At the usual rate of sale/day, it'll take 15-17 days to sell all these off the market. And these people are willing to keep dropping their price in a market war, therefore meaning those of us who make smaller amounts (looks like there are 6 people with smaller amounts of these) are going to have to play market pvp with these larger suppliers for the next half month, and the price will continue to drop as we play the pennies game 3-4 times a day.

With that said, let me give a brief manufacturing update:

I'm continuing to make rigs. I like the price of them, and they have the highest return of all the items I've been making so far.

I've got a few blueprints for ships, so I've expanded my operations into smaller ships. They aren't flying off the shelves, but they are selling, and they are drawing some profits, which is nice. I'm looking to make more ships and get them moving.

I still make drones and ammunition as well, they're moving fairly steadily. 

However, I'm going to attempt something new here in the future. I'm going to utilize a couple of my manufacturing slots to make much larger batches of items and sell them in Bulk. I'll be tracking this trend closely to see if the profits are worth it to move items this way or if it's better to move them through the regional market.

I'll be sending up a few "test balloons" in this regard.

I sent up another test balloon last week. I made five frigates and some small rigs and I moved them to a faction warfare system. I was the low price in the system, and there was no competition in the only station.

None of the items sold.

So, I packed them back up and moved them to the trade hub, which is working better for them. I'm not sure I'll ever try to sell there in that system again.

Thanks everyone for reading!

Fly safe.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mid-January Update

I'm attempting to figure out the future of this blog. I don't want to continue posting play-by-play of what I'm doing, because I'm thinking people might be using my information to swoop in and either flood the market or attempt to compete with me. I'm not overly fond of either of these things.

So, I'm going to update on how the month has been so far, but I'm going to be purposely vague. With that in mind, I'm always willing to help out new Industrial players, if you want to chat about the profession, feel free to contact me.

Now, onto the update. A lot of things are happening at WBI, a few other RL friends joined the corporation, which doesn't mean much, because I have no idea what I'm doing with the corp, it was really just a means to keep money allocated properly for manufacturing as opposed to spending money on all the ships I lose because I don't know how to warp out of missions properly. Not that this is something that happens all that often... whatever. Don't ask any questions about this part!

I've contacted the people who purchase large quantities of what I build. I'd like to set up something direct with them and remove the middlemen called brokers from the manufacturing equation. I have a page on this blog call orders. On there, I have listed everything I'll take orders for. If you're interested in purchasing any volume of those things, let me know and I'll take care of it.

I'm finally able, I think, to set up more static buy orders for materials of all shapes/sizes. This should, I hope get me a discount on materials. However, my current method is to make a direct order with the miners in my home system and get them directly filled for ore. This allows me to refine it myself, which gives me some excess that I then go sell. By doing it this way, I generally save some ISK on the material cost.

One of the roadblocks I feel like I've run into is that I need to move larger and larger amounts of ISK (not billions of ISK), but more than I was initially running. I have five manufacturing slots, and I'm doing my best to keep them running at all times, but I'm trying to be very conscious of flooding the market with goods. I've subscribed to the Bulk Trade list, has anyone found this to be a solid way to move products they manufacture? I assume the profit margin is a bit tighter, but the benefit is a direct sale of a large amount of goods.

I'll keep thinking about this.

In the mean time, thanks to everyone who reads and comments. I read them all, I appreciate every view I get on this blog.

As always,

Fly Safe.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Market Research

Paranoia - baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.

In New Eden, I'm not sure that being suspicious of motives is ever baseless. The track history of "trustable" people in New Eden is quite tarred, I think. So, when I see that someone has come into my market with goods that were way under the price I had seen, I imagine that it was a form of pvp directed at me.

But, I did a little bit of research to see the price of the item in question. As it turns out, I may have overreacted. Originally, I was pricing it around 1,100,000, which was a tremendous amount of profit. This was where I saw the market at the time; I assumed it was the consistent market value. New Eden, however, has a means of checking these things out. So, I looked:

So, it looks like I may have jumped into the market on this item during a little bump (which I rode pretty hard!) and now the price is leveling back out. I imagine they call this a bubble in the market world. I listed my products today for a price more in tune with the actual market value.

I'll post a more comprehensive manufacturing update tomorrow.

Fly safe, my friends!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Manufacturing Update

I've learned that there is one thing that seems to grind my productivity to a halt. An incursion in my constellation. We've had two of them over the past few weeks. All the miners that usually dote around the system all go into hiding because incursion rats are trolling the belts.

So, manufacturing slowed down a little bit this week, but the incursion is over. The manufacturing arrays have restarted.

I also ran into some computer problems yesterday, had to do a full reinstall of Windows, which is never fun.

Everything is working as intended right now, though.

I sold nearly all of my inventory. So, had to get new product in.

I had a person contact me the other night, wanted to offer some encouragement and actually gave me three researched BPOs for my budding business. I'm currently making 10 Rifters, 10 Thrashers, and 10 Cynosural Field Generators. I'll do a full profit analysis once they're all made and sold.

I'm also making 1000 Hobgoblins (which I can't make fast enough) and 50,000 EMP L.

The Rifters finished up and the Thrashers will as well, so I'm also making more Rigs.

I'm not sure if someone has been reading my blog and decided to undercut the market value of something I'm selling or not, but one of my products was severely undercut (to the tune of 35%) this week. I'm not sure if someone is playing a little PVP on the market with me or not, but I'm trying to decide if continuing to post everything I'm doing here in this blog is still the best idea.

So, please bear with the somewhat cryptic update as I continue to think about my operations.

Thanks for reading!

Fly safe!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Manufacturing AND Marketing!?

Industrial life is getting more interesting as my skills get higher. I'm really starting to grasp the concept a little more and having some fun while doing so.

So, what have I been working on?

New Blueprints

I bought a few BPOs since my last major update.

I picked up the EMP L print (as mentioned in the last post) from contracts with ME/PE already done. I also grabbed a Small Ancillary Current Router I and Medium Ancillary Current Router I BPO, both from the NPC Seed in the market. There's no research on them, but they're still profitable.


In the meantime, I've been skilling (of course). I got Interplanetary Consolidation and Command Center Upgrades both up to 4, which is increasing my PI Income quite nicely. I'm still planning on a major tweak for that, but, the research and work involved to completely revamp my setup is daunting. 

I also raised Mass Production up to 4 (from 2), meaning I now have 5 slots open for manufacturing. I'm working hard on keeping slots full and moving.

I'm currently working on Broker Relations, because I want to stop giving ISK away to the sky. I am going to be training Daytrading at some point, just because I need to stop moving to my sell hubs everytime someone undercuts my price. It's getting OLD!

Market Research/PVP

I'm starting to understand the way the market works a little better. Whenever I have the time, I pop over to my market hubs and drop my price to be the lowest price in the station. I can tell when someone has undercut me, even though I'm not in the same region as Amarr, because things stop selling. So, I hop over to Amarr and fix my prices, then get back to whatever else I was doing.

On that note, my new favorite people in EVE are the ones who don't understand how the market works. Here's a market rule for anyone who doesn't know it, The lowest price always wins. Always. This is like Wal*Mart, I know. However, if I'm selling the item for the lowest in the station, and you decide I'm a jerk for undercutting that other price by a penny, so you decide to buy it from them at their price, I win in two ways. First, you buy it from me because I was the lowest price. Second, I get what you wanted to pay them. 

Do you see? I get more ISK, and get the sale. It's a win-win for me. So, if you're buying something and you want to spend more to honor a trader who doesn't seem to be undercutting prices, go for it, but you're rewarding the people who are undercutting the price. 

Yesterday, 2 different people bought drones from me for nearly 40k each. I sold 5 drones and made more on those 5 than I would have made on 20+ at my regular price! Win for me!

Building Stuff!

Yes, the whole point of all this is to build things. So, I did what every smart EVE player does and I build a spreadsheet. It automatically tracks Broker Fee, Sales Tax, Profit, Cost, etc based on a small amount of input. Honestly, I think I'm in love with my new spreadsheet. My corp mate told me that we have very different ideas about what's sexy when I called my new spreadsheet sexy.

What's really funny is that if I showed you all my spreadsheet, you'd laugh at the obscene simplicity of it and you'd all show me 10 ways to "do it better." So, I won't show it because I don't want to get into another MIMAF-type debate. It's working for me, and I'll continue adding to it as I go.

Now, what have I built?

Medium Cap Control Circuit - 25 (19 left)
Small Cap Control Circuit - 25 (17 left)
Acolyte I - 500 (455 left)
EMP L - 10,000 (Sold out!)
Hobgoblin I - 3000 (I started these over a week ago and they finally finished up) (1955 left)
Hobgoblin I - 1000 (In Production)
EMP L- 50,000 (In Production)
Small Ancillary Current Router - 20 (In Production)
Medium Cap Control Circuit - 20 (In Production) (This was a screwup on my part. I bought the mats for this and not for the Medium Ancaillary Current Router like I intended)

Profits are moving in. This budding Industry Mogul is quite happy.

Buy Orders

I mentioned in one of my last updates that I wanted to start running some Buy Orders. I don't have large, static orders up yet. But, I've begun work on buying ore directly and refining it myself. There's one MAJOR bonus to this way of working, I DON'T HAVE TO HAUL IT!

I've done this two different ways, the first time, I set up public buy orders in my refining base for Ore. The orders were filled by local miners (including my corp mate) at their own pace. I saved 623,713.41 on the Material Cost of my 1000 batch of Hobgoblins by doing it this way.

This morning, I used my relationship with a small mining corp in my home system to fill a contract. They were able to fill the ore contract on the spot. That made my day. Again, no hauling, and two minutes worth of work instead of an hour's worth of work. I think I'm going to keep working with that local corp, they're EXCELLENT to work for. By buying directly (I even gave him a tip for being so fast), I saved myself 594,205.16 on the total material cost.

In Progress Update

I was writing this while gathering the materials for the Ancillary Current Routers. The plan was to make 20 Medium and 20 Small. I messed up though and set my shopping list for 20 Medium Cap Control Circuits instead. I'm frustrated about this, but, it is what it is. I'll make 20 more, and attempt to move them quickly.

The more frustrating part, though, is that I bit off more than I could chew. I didn't have the ISK in the corp account in order to fulfill the shopping list, so I had to loan another 50M to the corp. Fortunately, someone donated 50M to the manufacturing endeavor this week, and I had forgotten to put it into the corp account. On that note:

Thank you!

First, thanks to Phandora Maren for reading and noticing that I was, in fact, flying a Bestower. Great set of eyes to notice that shadow and be able to tell what ship it was! It was in the last picture, on the bottom right. I've sent you the 10,000,000 prize!

Also big thanks to an anonymous donor (He isn't anonymous to me, but I won't publicly reveal who it was since I wasn't "authorized" to do so) for the 50,000,000 gift. As noted above, I used it to buy materials for the next round of manufacturing!

And finally, to those of you who read, I appreciate all the comments and the support on the forums. I'm having a great time learning the tricks of the trade! 

As always, fly safe!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The first time, a tutorial

I've gotten a little bit of feedback based on this blog. Nearly all of it has been positive. I've also had some people come to me who are also trying to start out their careers as Industrial Players. The common thread is, "I don't know what to do first." So, I'm writing this post as an answer to that question.

What are the first steps in manufacturing an item? Here is a step-by-step tutorial.

The very first thing you need is a Blueprint. I choose to use Blueprint Originals (BPO) as opposed to Blueprint Copies (BPC). I do this because the BPC has a limited number of runs on it, meaning if you buy a copy, you can only make a finite number of that product before the copy runs out. A BPO, on the other hand, has an infinite number of runs. You can make that product until the end of eternity if you want.

You can find BPOs on the market. However, these are generally from an NPC corp and are unresearched. Research is how you make a blueprint better. Material Efficiency (ME) and Production Efficiency (PE) both impact the profitability of a manufacturing project. ME reduces the number of materials you need to build. PE reduces the amount of time it takes to make the project. Ideally, you want a BPO with some level of ME research. This link allows you to see what a "perfect" BPO looks like. A perfect BPO can't be made any better, it represents the least amount of materials a person can use to make that product.

So, I head to Jita and look through Contracts instead of buying one on the market. Open up the contracts interface, and do some searching. In this picture, I limited the search to the current station (Jita 4-4), contract type "Want to Sell," Category "Blueprint Original," Item Group "All," (You can select specific groups, drones, for example) and I also set my upper price range at 15,000,000. I didn't want to spend any more than that on a BPO.

The first, Multiple Items contract was for a few different charge BPOs, which would have some value for me in Amarr space, because more people fly Amarr ships there (at least theoretically). But there was a major problem for me. Can you spot it?

The price was brilliant, but the ME and PE were all 0. Therefore, it wasn't what I was looking for. I continued looking until I found one that I thought would work.

According to my handy-dandy link above, this BPO isn't quite perfect, but would take some more serious time investment to perfect, and would only save me 7 Tritanium per 100 ammo. It's not worth the significant time investment in order to perfect the BPO. So, this was good enough. Next step is actually building the product. So, I brought it back to my homebase. Once you get to your manufacturing spot, open up the Science and Industry menu, and go to the Installations tab, select Manufacturing and choose an open slot. They are noted by the green "Now" You can see that here, there are a lot of open manufacturing slots.

Select a slot, select your blueprint, select where the materials will come from and where you want the product delivered and you'll see this screen:

I didn't have any of the materials I needed, so there is a bunch of red on the screen. Red is always an indicator that everything isn't alright and you need to go back. However, the "Total cost" is displayed here, and that figures into manufacturing. I always call that my "Manufacturing cost" in my posts. It's usually pretty small, but it definitely is a cost associated with manufacturing. Once you get everything going, by clicking the Accept Quote button, you have to wait for the manufacturing to finish. This happens in real time, even if you're not online at the time.

Once it's done, open the Science and Industry tab, click on jobs, and search the correct criteria. Here's what I had:

The Hobgoblins are still in progress, but the EMP ammo is done! So, it's green, and I select it then click on "Deliver." The EMP ammo was in my inventory and I was able to move it over to my trading location and sell them.

I hope this helps you if you're trying to get started. A step I forgot to mention is that I was checking the prices in my region while I was in Jita, using an alt. I wanted to make sure that whatever I bought was actually going to sell, not like I did when I bought that Veldspar Mining Crystal BPO (Yeah, I'm still mad about that, and still have 50 of those blasted crystals to sell. Anyone want them?)

I also was using Isk Per Hour which is a fantastic tool for checking the profitability of items.

If you still have questions, feel free to ask away here in the comments.

Also, as an added bonus. One of the images above shows the ship I was flying, first one to leave their character name (or even an NPC/Forum alt, I don't discriminate!), and the ship I was flying in the comments wins 10,000,000 ISK.

Until next time, Fly Safe!