Note to self: Never forget that you are not, and never have been, much of an entrepreneur. So the record of another misguided get-rich-quick scheme starts. What can I say? Even in EVE Online, there are certain things I’m just not capable of becoming.
When I took the trip into NullSec a couple weeks back, one thing that caught my eye was the high prices on some items there. After getting back to HighSec and checking the local market, I found that some items carried a markup of almost 900 percent.
Now that looked like a gravy train I could get on.
It turns out that the system I had chosen for my base of operations was, coincidentally, right next door to one of the trade hub systems, so the prices at which I can get things is often quite good for the region. I chose an item that I thought had a chance at making some good money and picked up 10 of them. After checking the setup on my fastest frigate — meaning the best one for running the gates in case they were being camped — I loaded the stuff up and headed back out into the wilds of NullSec.
It took a little while to jump 23 gates, but a certain rhythm emerged, and the job was easily done while ticking them off and watching planets, gates and the occasional ship fly by. I really got a sense of going somewhere, even though the farthest I actually traveled was to the cupboard for another bag of chips — “crisps,” in the UK. Before the wrappers got too deep, I arrived at my destination.
I clicked to OK the silly little docking fee on the base, got safely inside and posted the items on the market, with a price slightly under — maybe by half a percent — the other sellers in the area. After a final look around the market again, I undocked and started the trip back, all 23 jumps (munchies included).
There was no real excitement on the trip back, just the pleasant jump through each gate that allows a small amount of time to look at things — for example, the appearance of the gate changed at a certain point. Routine flying notwithstanding, I breathed easier when I get back into HighSec. Once home, I called it a day.
Back into the home routine, I salvaged wrecks around my home system, killing the rats myself when they were there. Money kept rolling in. Every time I sold bits of the loot, I noticed that the items I had left in NullSec were still out there for sale. All 10 were still there, in fact. I had posted the sale for a month. In just two weeks, I got the picture. They hadn’t sold, and I had the distinct feeling they weren’t going to, either.
Another week went by, and my patience was done. I wanted the money or I wanted my stuff so I could at least recoup the investment. I flew all the way out, got them and brought them back.
So, what to make of it all?
First, I had done little to no market research. I had no way of knowing whether there was any demand in the area in which I placed them, so what I did was a complete and unguided gamble, a blind roll of the dice. It should have been no surprise that the items didn’t sell.
Second, EVE Online has a way of making you feel that blind rolls of dice will not be rewarded. Pay attention to that. I obviously didn’t. As people in the forums will say, EVE Online is a dark, cold and lonely place. The atmosphere reeks of the need to be careful. I had ignored that subliminal message and found yet again that its seemingly unrelated meaning was indeed relevant.
Third, playing solo and part-time make it that much harder. I had no one to explain how to research the market — I read about a likely way in the forums well after the fact — nor to help in any other way. The necessary research is a time-consuming activity that eats into what I consider playing time, while the real traders in the game think of the research as actually part of playing.
And so, my education in EVE Online continues. Some time was lost, some knowledge gained. Hopefully I can put it to use.
— Will Collum
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