Many Hats in New Eden
I’ve played EVE Online off and on over the past four years and in all that time I’ve never needed to dig out the ole spreadsheet until now. The first time I played the game I attempted mining as a career and wanted to gouge my eyes out after just a couple of weeks. It was a long time before I tried the game after that experience.
The next time I poked my head back in I decided to stick with running missions and salvaging. That was probably my longest stint in the game. It’s casual, quiet and back then, prices were such that I earned a very decent living between the two. Still corp-less however, the game gets a bit too quiet after a while and I returned to whatever fantasy MMO I was playing at the time.
My next trip into EVE was by leaps and bounds the most exciting. I was invited into a newbie corporation where the conversation and cooperative industry activities were fun. I did my own thing most days – missions and salvage. When I was on during mining operation events, I flew among the escort squad guarding the miners. There was lots of entertaining banter, killing rats and more salvaging opportunities. The excitement came a few weeks in when we were wardec’d. And if the rapid unraveling of the corporation hadn’t been happened so quickly, it might have been funny in retrospect. Unfortunately, the way things played out it just made me decide to remain solo and that’s the way I’ve played ever since.
I’m back in EVE again but with a new plan for adventure. I need something ultra casual, career that will be there without any effort, whenever I’m able to play. As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve decided to do freelance courier jobs for real players and not NPCs. I put in an order for a Viator that has already been fulfilled and is sitting in my ship hanger waiting for me to complete my skill training.
One of the first courier runs I want to do is for my own overwhelming supply of items. During the time that I’ve played, I’ve held on to all of the circuit boards and other rare salvaged items. I’ve held on to all of the processed minerals and ores I’ve amassed over the years. I had thought to do manufacturing which is why I was hording components but I gave up on that idea a long time ago. Now I just want to make my own drones and ammo, while selling the rest of my inventory.
So while I’m waiting for the 35 days, 12 hours to pass – Viator + completing outstanding skills to finish up Armor Tanking and Core Competency certifications, I decided to look into the most profitable routes for selling my own merchandise. This is where the spreadsheet comes into play.
I decided to open myself up to the possibility of doing courier missions in low sec and possibly even null sec areas. After all, this is EVE Online and if I’m not willing to take some risks in order to spice things up, I personally don’t see the point of playing. *Smile*
Have Spreadsheet Will Travel - Or Not
I didn’t want to install any add-ons or tools. I had enough of that in World of Warcraft and I’d also read that people could actually populate false data into the data streams the contributed to the available tools to misrepresent the market. To get my data, I decided to do it the old fashion way, which meant the hard and tedious way.
I listed all the items that I wanted to sell and I used the Market place detailed data and available charts to pull average, mean, low and max values across 60 day periods. For each item and those attributes, I used the filters to segment data into high, low and null sec pricing. I only had 25 unique items to search but doing it manually, it took a few sessions to complete the data gathering.
Out of the information I gathered, I extrapolated what I considered to be “fair market”, goal and stretch goal pricing, for each item within each of the 3 security zones. Lastly, I added in the quantity of each that I currently had on hand to get a general understanding of my net wealth. I was happily surprised, which is what motivated me to go ahead and buy the Viator now even though I can’t fly it. *Smile*
More surprising, was the negligent monetary incentive for shuttling merchandise into low sec and even less, for transporting into null sec. Prior to this research, my only market experience is as a consumer. As such, I admit that my knowledge is limited but I found that a huge shocker. I recognize that results are also impacted by the type of merchandise I have readily available – which is common salvage, minerals and refineables.
Too Little Reward for the Risk
There is less than a percentage gain by selling my inventory in low or null sec versus in the relative safety of high sec. There were four items that showed a potential of 15% greater sale price and one with 288%. However, those were my rarest items. I possess less than a 1/2 dozen of any one of them. In which case, I could put them in a cargo extended Vexor and courier them to market.
The net-net of the exercise showed me that at least for selling my own goods, there is no advantage to risking a Viator. And given that the prices aren't guaranteed, it might not be worth the distance, even in a Vexor.
Time Well Spent
I’m glad I took the time to bust out the ole spreadsheet to work up the numbers before taking the plunge. Doing player contract courier work is a whole other story. Those contracts are definitely more profitable in low and null sec. However, as things stand now, that isn't the case for my own merchandise.
What I enjoy most about EVE are the quiet spaces among the stars, flying to and from whatever it is you do in New Eden. I was willing to sacrifice some amount of that serenity for increased profitability but it appears I won’t have to except if I choose to do more profitable courier runs in service of others.