If you price it, they will come

20th July 2009 – 5.51 pm

I knew I should have kept more, but I panicked! Buying over five times as much mexallon as I need for a manufacturing run, hoping to sell the mineral back to the market to offset its rising price, gets me quite worried that I have been hasty in my spending, causing me to try to sell as much back as possible. I need not have worried, as all the excess minerals sell out quickly and I effectively get some cheap minerals from the deal, and I could have kept more aside for myself. But good hindsight still leaves me needing more mexallon for later manufacturing runs, and the price of the mineral is still rising.

When trying to buy some more mexallon I see some for sale that is obviously cheaper than elsewhere in the region and with my initial experience of buying low and selling high being successful I buy the whole stock, hoping again to sell the excess on. However, I may have overcompensated from my previous panic, as I hardly blink when I end up spending fifty million ISK on this one purchase, a quarter of my current wallet balance. Realisation sets in and I soon find myself under my desk breathing in to a paper bag.

The multi-million ISK mexallon purchase isn't quite as impulsive as it seems, though. I am flying around my small corner of the region as I browse the market and find myself close to a regional border, so I take the opportunity to cross the boundary and check the prices in a different regional market. It turns out that mexallon is even more expensive in the bordering region, making my purchase a little more prudent, if the scale is ignored. Making the purchase so close to the border of more expensive stock also presents me with an opportunity.

I travel to pick up my new, very expensive rocks and this time keep a good portion for myself, still leaving a massive stockpile to try to sell on. I place a quarter of the mexallon for sale in the original station, adding a small profit margin. So that I am not placing all my eggs in one basket I take the rest one jump across regional border, where I dock in the closest station and add a larger profit margin, which seems to be suitable for the regional market.

Neither station is a particular regional sales hub, which may seem like an error in judgement, particularly as the major trade route is one more system across in the second region. However, I believe capsuleers can essentially be broken down in to two groups for the purposes of market activity. There are industrialists and combat pilots, the former looking to maximise profits and the latter minimising down-time. An industrialist will make a trip of several jumps to pick up cheaper materials without thinking about it, as it directly affects their ability to undercut competition in the future.

Combat pilots, on the other hand, will sacrifice ISK for convenience, happy to spend even a significant amount of ISK over the market price for the ability to fit the module immediately. A single jump to another system can often be considered too much hassle when compared to spending a measly hundred thousand extra ISK to have everything dropped directly in to their current hangar. It seems to me that location is most important when listing modules, placing them for sale in stations with mission agents, whereas price is more important for manufacturing components, which can be listed whereever is most convenient for the seller.

With a useful amount of mexallon remaining in my hold I return to my manufacturing base and start several new production runs. If my experience and intuition hasn't let me down I should see most of the fifty million ISK return to my wallet, as the large orders of minerals begin to sell, with the balance and more made when my manufacturing plant turns the mexallon in to something more useful for combat capsuleers.

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