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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Eve Prosper Interview with Caleb Ayrania

The Eve Prosper Market Reviews are great to listen to.  I highly recommend these as standard weekly events for all market players in Eve.

The producer, Lockefox, has also started a series interviewing the players who operate businesses within Eve.

His third interview was with Caleb Ayrania who is a long time player in Eve so the talk takes a look back at the Eve market places.

49 minutes long.

I liked the parts on prior attempts at Banks and Insurance Companies (i would really like to start one).

Well worth a listen.


As a reminder, Lockefox has done some great interviews on his blog with other Eve business players:

His first interview was with Delonewolf who produces Eve Talk - another Market Review youtube cast to watch.


The second was with Charlinda:


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Null / Low Sec ventures to date

I am still pondering where to set up my low/null sec trading location.  My current location in H-PA29 V in the Venal Region is not working as hoped.  Probably not yet made a billion of sales since i set up back Null Sec trading in August 2015 and hence it is not yet covering the set up costs.

That said, i have better news on my ability to travel in low/null sec.  Since i set up with the current ship below i have not been destroyed (famous last words, i am sure i will be nailed at some point).

Plenty of attempts made on me, all the damage has come from smart bombs as i warp to a gate.

I still get a small sense of victory as i warp through bubbles that spring up in front of me or gate jump having received damage from smart bomb attacks.

So far, so good - i have been able to go where i want.

[Taranis, Melchett UK's Taranis]
Damage Control II
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II

Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Pithum C-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field

Prototype Cloaking Device I

Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
Small Core Defense Field Extender II




Sunday, 24 January 2016

Financial Review of 2015

Now that 2015 has come to an end, time to take stock of where my business stands financially and how it did in 2015.



My Strategy

As a reminder, i have 2 accounts and so 6 alts in total.  One alt in each trading hub (Jita / Amarr / Dodixie / Hek / Rens) and a second on Jita trying to make my null sec trading work.  Each of the alts (except the null sec trader) also sells into a second region, the Jita alt sells into two regions.  In all, therefore, i am selling into 10 markets (i don't sell into Jita).

My strategy remains unchanged.  I am looking for slow moving products to sell at high profit margins (minimum 20%).  This is in contrast to other (much richer) traders out there who look for fast moving but low margin items to sell.  My style suits my play time.  I am trying to avoid the competition whereas the other traders take them on (and win).

An item that I can buy for 100m ISK from a Jita sell order and sell in Dodixie for 130m in 5 days time with no maintenance to the sell order is fine with me.  In fact, that would be just ideal.  If i had 5 products that did that then i would earn 150m ISK over 5 days for 500m ISK invested.  That is close to getting me a Plex a month.  (before taxes etc etc but you see my point)

My overriding aim is that each business venture must be able to Plex an account per month and my total time spent on my businesses each day must not exceed 45 minutes.

As a general rule, if I am able to log on for at least 45 minutes each day then I make 7bn ISK per month.  When real life is busy I make less (sometimes close to nil) and other times I make more.


Current Wealth

My current wealth stands at 266bn ISK.

My wealth is calculated by adding all Sell Orders less 20% value of Sell Orders as a provision against cutting prices over time + Buy Orders + Items in Production + Items for sale in hangers  +Items for sale in transit + ISK balance + Plex.

I don't value BPOs or BPCs or Ships or Towers etc.


If i did not have that 20% provision (=34bn ISK) against my Sell Orders (=171bn ISK) then my Wealth would be 300bn.  But i like the concept of this provision - it reminds me that i will doubtless need to reduce the prices to shift the items to sell as competition comes in.

When i look at how the sell orders are split over my alts, it is noteworthy that my Amarr business is smaller than Dodixie.  This is a reflection that Amarr, whilst being a large market, is quite competitive.  In fact, i suspect i am slowly starting to leave Amarr.  I have always found Dodixie works best for my strategy.

The Jita sell orders are actually sell orders in two regions near Jita.  I don't sell more than a few items in jita - way too competitive.


My Corporation holds the ISK balance and Plex.

The 8.7bn of items sitting in Jita are items stored there to replace items sold in the trading locations.  I would have had them couriered to those locations in early January.



Profits made in 2015

In 2015 i made 109bn ISK vs 96bn in 2014.  That equates to about 300m per night.

Perhaps not an inspiring increase on 2014 but i will plead Real Life getting busier.

Within that 109bn, my Plex investment made me 31bn ISK (vs 6bn in 2014).  I started the year with 72 Plex and ended the year with 94 Plex.  I bought 22 Plex in March for 798m each.  My average cost per Plex is 711m ISK vs todays price of 1.1bn ISK.  This has been a superb investment.

The rest of the 109bn was made through trading and manufacturing, as detailed in my blog post My Current Business Operations.

Given how busy Real Life has been i have not really changed what i sell much.  If anything, i have started selling the T2 variants and some Blueprints that typically sell for over 1bn ISK.

Therefore, when i put that altogether in the mix, and my Trading / Manufacturing made me 78bn ISK in 2015 vs 90bn ISK in 2014 which is a fairer reflection of real life being busier.


Monthly Profits

My monthly profits have varied from a small loss(!) in December to 20bn in November.


I am increasingly finding that my Plex investment is making me 3-4bn per month, sometimes more.  In December the price of Plex fell which, despite positive trading profits, pushed me into a loss.  I honestly have no idea what i will ever do with my Plex holdings.  I have plenty of ideas how CCP could allow those of us who hold Plex to use it as collateral to make an EVE banking system but this is for another day.

Another way of looking at my monthly profits is to ask what is the monthly profit as a % of my wealth (i.e. Return on Capital Employed per month).  I tend to make between 0 and 7% ROCE each month.  In other words, my wealth tends to rise by 0 - 7% per month.




Make up of Wealth

My aim is to ensure all my wealth is trying to make a profit.

Hence ISK in my wallet is not very helpful, it is not making me any profit at all, and never will - though i tend to operate with 10bn ISK in my wallet at any time to cover daily business costs.  That is how i roll.

Also, items for sale in my hangers is of no use - right now that is running at 10bn ISK also which i need to reduce.  These tend to be items that i once wanted to sell but for whatever reason are no longer in demand or items waiting to be shipped out to the selling locations.


As at the end of 2016 i had sell orders of 171bn ISK and 104bn of Plex all trying to make a profit for me.



Plex Account

I started investing in Plex back in February 2014 (at a starting cost of 636m per Plex!).

My reasons for investing in Plex i detailed in an early post but in summary i find this is the best way of investing surplus ISK to hold its value in the game (i.e. an inflation hedge).

Since then i have entered the Plex market a further 5 times and now own 94 Plex, valued at 104bn ISK.  I last entered the Plex market in March 2015.  My total cost has been 67bn ISK - so a nice tidy profit.



One side effect of this 104bn ISK of Plex is that a 5% fall in the price of Plex will reduce my wealth by 5bn ISK.

Hence, in the December Plex price fall, my total wealth actually went backwards despite positive trading profits due to the fall in the value of my Plex holdings.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

i was ganked - back a while ago

I found this lurking in my drafts from quite a while ago (ok, a few months at best).

A fine example of me not practicing what i preach and thinking i could quickly move some raw materials to my production facilities in Sobesaki.

Bottom line is that my T1 Indi was trying to carry 400m ISK of raw materials and got ganked warping off the gate after the jump.

What i like about Eve is the willingness of the players to talk about it and provide advice . . . . . . see below:

Some good advice on why 100m is the limit.


Baldrick UK > ouch
Koselig > Never move more than 100m in a t1 indy
Raidjinn > no never move more than 20mil
Baldrick UK > good points
Baldrick UK > how much was i moving?  400m?
Koselig > Abit over 400m
Baldrick UK > ah, hope you got enough of it :)
Koselig > Vexors usually kill stuff 120++ and nadoes from 250 and up, depending on how bored they are
Baldrick UK > ok, thanks for all that
Koselig > Nice doing business with you and good luck in the future. Im off to bed. I hope you will prosper in the future
Baldrick UK > thanks @)
Baldrick UK > )
Koselig > Check out freight services btw, lots cheaper than getting ganked :P
Koselig > o/


Way back in May 2013 i was advising using Courier Contracts for cargo over 100m ISK.  I should take my own advice!

Friday, 1 January 2016

My Current Business Operations

As we enter 2016 it is worth me taking stock of my business on Eve.


My golden rules

I have two golden rules:



  • Every venture must have the ability to earn a Plex a month per account.
  • I must not take up more than 45 minutes per day doing this and be able to achieve the Plex per month by just operating at weekends if need be.


What i can do

My alts have the skills to trade, manufacture, mine, interplanetary interaction and invent to a reasonable degree.

Of these, i don't mine (i enjoy the relaxation of it all, the the comradery but it is a low ISK making venture and i certainly can't get it anywhere close to a Plex a month), i don't invent (never really got my head around it) and i put Interplanetary interaction on the back burner given it was a bit of a pain to keep going and an uncertain income (and the clicking to set up a new planet is somewhat mind numbing).

I also have a small POS tower in the Sobaseki system - which is doing nothing as i consider what, if anything, i plan on doing with it.  Gives me a sense of owning something in space though.  Sometimes i sit in its shield pondering what could be.

I used to trade Plexes but i found that also a pain to keep on top of.  Made some ok ISK but nothing spectacular.

Furthermore, real life is busy which leaves me with the weekend and perhaps a week night or two to operate with.


What i actually do

That leaves me doing Trading and Manufacturing.

I have narrowed down what i manufacture to some T1 and T2 items.  My aim is to find items where there is low competition (and so low demand and in low volume).  I find that items that meet the criteria of low demand / low volume tend to have high profit margins (i.e. not much price sensitivity).  I can't charge any price but i can charge a high price.

Very broadly, i make about 6bn ISK per month from trading and manufacturing.

Add in the rise in the 94 Plex whch gives me an additional 5bn per month.

In all, my wealth from Trading + Manufacturing + Plex wealth appreciation gives me 11bn per month.


The Center of my Operations - Jita

I don't sell anything in Jita - as always, i buy items from Jita Sell orders to ship to my trading hubs around Eve.  I don't place Buy orders in Jita (in fact, i dont place Buy orders anywhere, i always buy from Sell orders).

All items that i buy from all stations and all items i manufacture get shipped to Jita first.  They are then shipped to their end destinations.  It makes life easier to control that way.


Manufacturing

I manufacture out of Sobaseki.

I have blueprint originals for all my T1 items.  None of them are researched - i don't compete on cost.  For the T2 items, i have BPCs where relevant.

I manufacture if it is cheaper than buying from Sell orders at Jita.
I use my Obelisk to transport the raw materials from Jita to Sobaeski and then to transport the finished items back to Jita.  One jump, so quite easy to do.



Core Trading Hubs

I operate in the four key trading hubs: Amarr; Dodixie; Hek; and Rens.

I find Amarr quite competitive and so i don't tend to stock my full range of products (gets too painful updating the price every time i log in).

Dodixie is my favorite given the competition is low but the demand good.

Hek and Rens are steady income makers - nothing dramatic but the two alts that look after Hek and Rens make at least a Plex worth if ISK each a month.


Peripheral Trading Hubs

I also sell almost my complete range of products in five other regions.

Very little updating to do - i am often the only person selling these products in those regions.


About once a week i need to replenish some items that have been sold.  Slow business but a nice steady stream of income.  For not a lot of work i suspect they all add up to making a Plex worth of ISK a month.


Null Sec Trading

I set up a trading post in H-PA29-1 in the Venal region.  Put about 8 billion ISK into the venture several months ago.

Having sold a princely sum of 600m ISK of goods i can safely say this Null Sec venture idea is not yet working.

Hence, i am now looking for a new place to set up shop.  I want to make a null sec or low sec trading operation work - so i will stick at it.


Hauling

I, of course, don't haul my items from Jita to the end destination.  I contract all my hauling to New Evolution Express.  I use their "Priority" service every time.  Never failed me yet.  Cheaper than the other Hauling businesses on offer (though, i am purely hauling in High Sec).

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A good collection of youtube casts for beginners

I came across this collection of youtube casts from Pandemic Horde recently.

It is split into two parts:

Firstly, a series of 10 videos going through the basics of Eve.  Starts as if a new player had just logged on and goes through it all.  Also includes some quick guides for flying in null sec and Asteroid Belt Ratting in null sec.

Secondly, there is a series of Pandemic Horde Lectures which includes a talk on Industry by Steve Ronuken as well as a lecture on surviving in Low Sec.

All good stuff and ideal for those just starting or those thinking about heading into Low / Null Sec.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Eve Talk host on Eve Prosper

The Eve Prosper Market Reviews are great to listen to.

The producer, Lockefox, has also started a series interviewing the players who operate businesses within Eve.

His first interview was with Delonewolf who produces Eve Talk - another Market Review youtube cast to watch.

52 minutes long.

Starts with Delonewolf's history and who he got into the market side of Eve Online.

Delonewolf talks about why he does the market side, what motivates him, how he goes about making his ISK.  He also talks about his hopes going forward for Citadels.

And, of course, the price of Plex is discussed.

Well worth a listen.



Sunday, 29 November 2015

A Close Call - attacked when about to jump through a gate

As ever, i was being careless.  I wanted to get to Altrinur from Jita and decided to go the route that took me through Low Sec.

I assumed that an empty Interceptor would not be bothered.  So i was warping from gate to gate.

I of course assumed wrong . . . . . . . . 

I warped off a gate, landed on the next gate ready to jump through . . . and wham, i am seeing my shields, armour and hull going red in a hurry.



The good news was that i got away with it (just).

Looks like my attackers got nailed by the gate guns as i made my escape.

In the next system i warped off to a safe spot and cloaked up as my shields repaired.

Not sure why i survived - may have something to do with my recent skill training:


Or my attackers may just have not been too accurate.

It is these little events that give me some confidence that i can operate in Low and Null Sec.


Current fit is:

[Taranis]
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
EM Ward Amplifier II
Medium Shield Extender II

Prototype Cloaking Device I

Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I




Monday, 23 November 2015

Eve Economic Update September 2015

At Eve Vegas 2015 CCP Quant made a presentation on the Eve Economy, which is below.



CCP Quant also wrote a blog post on the Eve Economy Update in Eve Vegas 2015 with all the relevant charts in it.

Much of the data was relevant to September 2015 unless otherwise stated.

My main takeaway from all this was that the economy is alive and well, players are more active than before and there were some charts that i will use to enhance my business.

The real great news was that going forwards we can expect monthly Economic Reports.


Eve Players

CCP Quant stared with the Peak Concurrent Users (PCU) numbers which are showing a declining trend, as shown below.


Not much was said on this, other than to just put it up there!


Eve Player Activity

Further analysis of what players do when they log in was presented.  The good news is that 83% of players make at least one warp.

Of more relevance to this blog the next chart showed that 73% of players use the market, 22% do some mining (higher than i thought), 15% do some industry (also higher than i thought) and 1% do a courier contract (also higher than i thought).


In contrast to the declining PCU numbers, activity in terms of destruction and production is stable which means that destruction and production per PCU is therefore rising.  Which means we are all more active than we were before.

That is good news for us Business folk in Eve who hopefully are as busy as ever producing and trading with those players.


Region Focus

CCP Quant then produced some charts that looked at how active each region was within the Eve economy.

In terms of Production, no surprise that The Forge (home of Jita) as the leader followed by the two regions next to The Forge (Lonetrek and The Citadel) - i assume players transporting with produced items into Jita.

No Surprises that The Forge towards the top of the list for Destruction - all those ganks i suppose.

Also, The Forge was leader in Mining.

In all, the major trade hub regions were all up there towards the top of the lists.  Domain (home of Amarr) firmly the second behind The Forge (Jita).

No real surprises in any of that though personally i will be looking through them carefully to see where best to relocate my nullsec trading to.  My current location of Venal is slow.

On chart i found really interesting was what i will call the Regional Volume Flow Chart, shown below, which shows the volume (in m3) of items leaving a region less the volume entering that region:



The Forge (home of Jita) is neither the biggest volume exporter or importer (i suppose to be expected given players import items to Jita to sell and export items to take elsewhere.

What was interesting to me were the biggest exporting regions and importing regions - nothing comes to mind yet to the reasons but i suspect there are plenty.


ISK Float, Sinks & Faucets

This was interesting.

First interesting point was that there was 870 trillion ISK sitting on active accounts at the start of September 2015.  By the end of September 2015 this was 876 trillion.  That is plenty of spare ISK lying around.

63 trillion came in mostly via bounties / NPC Commodities (wormhole loot), incursion payments and insurance.

30 trillion left due to spend in the LP store, skillbooks / blueprints to NPCs and then the fees / taxes.

And then 27 trillion left with active accounts closing down.

The net interesting point here was that total ISK sitting in player and corporate wallets is a massive 883 trillion - perhaps, then, no surprise that the price of plex is rising!




Plex Prices

CCP Quant moved quickly over this - but main point of interest was the price of Plex on the Chinese server is 6.8bn ISK vs 1.2bn on our server.


Economic Indices


Not that helpful, to be honest.

As CCP Quant commented, there has been so much change in composition of minerals etc per item that they start to lose their meaning over time.

Much more useful for someone who wanted to look through the history of Eve and see its evolution over time - the effect of the introduction of Invention, 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Ganked at the warpgate in my Interceptor

Well, i have been working on travelling safe and fast in Low and Null Sec as i explore the place trying to work out how to make good ISK in there.

First off, i tried a Helios.  Worked ok but broadly i was getting taken out once every 4 round trips i made.  Main issue was not being able to warp off fast enough after a gate jump.  I can deal with the bubbles - being cloaked whilst warping is a big plus.  Never warping gate to gate gives me plenty of time to sort myself out if i hit a bubble in warp.  But, like i said, still vulnerable when warping away from a gate jump, even with almost insta-cloak.  Also, warping from gate to planet / customs office and then to gate can be slow when trying to go 26 jumps!

My Hellios fit was:

[Helios]
Inertial Stabilizers II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Microwarpdrive II
Scan Acquisition Array I
Scan Pinpointing Array I
Scan Rangefinding Array I
Scan Rangefinding Array I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Expanded Probe Launcher I

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I



In a prior post i made about trading in Null Sec i had several bits of advice on what to do.

So, next step was to train up my Interceptor Skills and so i now run around in a Taranis.  In all, pretty good.  Bubbles no problem.  Pretty much inta-warp off gates.  If i have undock points then undocking is seemingly invulnerable.  Very fast travel.  Main risk though is landing on a gate with someone fast off the mark with a smart bomb - which is what happened to me the other day.


My Taranis fit is:

[Taranis]
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
EM Ward Amplifier II
Medium Shield Extender II

Prototype Cloaking Device I

Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I



My kill reports (of my alt) nicely list where i have gone down in a one-sided blaze of glory.

In the latest one, the killer picked up a nice 75m ISK for their efforts.

So, my next step is to train enough skills to be able to put two shield extenders on the Interceptor - i suspect that should do the trick.

If that fails, i suspect i will try the Victorious Luxury Yacht.