Laying down the plans

Alright! My new trading toon that will bring me untold riches has had multiple character training activated, and is now working her way towards Cybernetics IV. I’ve modified the training plan slightly to acquire some Navigation and Engineering skills, as well as deciding to go for Amarr Industrial as opposed to Caldari for the sheer volume a Bestower can haul.

Initially, I wanted to simply maximise the amount of market orders I could have, and work across a few hubs, doing mostly station trading, doing minimal hauling.

However, I’ve changed my plans slightly. I have mentioned previously that I wanted to start up a hub somewhere in Derelik low-sec to supply my alliance more effectively. This requires large amounts of goods moving from point A to point B, and even though I thought about getting my alliance to do some hauling for me, I think I will reserve their efforts for phase 2.

A particularly useful graphic I found from TTH detailing trade skills.

Yes, EVE has taught me the importance of yet another thing I have never bothered to grasp in real life: setting goals.

You see, we may have an alliance vision. We may have eager members, well-stocked inventories, and dreams of glory and destruction. But all of this is nothing; it’s like looking across an abyss to paradise on the other side. First, the gritty, dirty work, which leads me to phase 1.

Phase 1: Building the Bridge

The foundations of any good alliance lies in its playerbase, of course, and recruitment is already underway. We’re trying not to mass advertise, and rather go for a more personal approach. Get to know people during the course of our interactions with people in EVE, and if they’re interested in what we do, get them on a few of our roams, and perhaps eventually join a corporation or bring their corporation into our alliance.

In addition to people, we need the logistics to support people. Derelik, whilst it DID yield a hell of a lot of kills on our very first roam, is admittedly quiet. I like it, not having to worry about a big threat next door, but this means for keeping others entertained we need to go searching for content. At the very least this means roaming far from home, and having long return trips (or turning to the good ol’ pod express). At its most gnarly though, sometimes I worry that it may be unwise to set up a logistical backbone if we’re going to break it by moving somewhere else eventually. But I have a good feeling about the region, so I will continue with my plans.

Logistics. Something about a well-oiled distribution mechanism just makes me tingle.

Essentially, a low-sec hub is the end-game goal. I definitely know now that I want one. The strife of getting equipment and things to people with bad sec status is a pain in the butt without resorting to using alts. To be honest, I aim to minimise using alts/toons as an ‘easy way out’. Detracts from the experience, I reckon. But hey, all this talk is doesn’t mean much when I’ve got a trader alt training right now, so no one has to listen to me.

So: striving for this low-sec marketplace straight off the bat without jump freighters or covert ops haulers will mean a serious struggle to keep it well stocked, and I’ve seen too many haulers mistakenly take that fatal jump into low-sec; hell, we’ve caught one ourselves. For now, I aim to place this hub somewhere in high-sec, with some extra criteria:

  • optimally an 0.5 system
  • southern Derelik
  • not a high-sec pocket

Going by these, the obvious choices would be Gamis or Berta. And indeed, the other region’s inhabitants feel the same way. Probably not for the ‘close to low-sec’ reason, but the other reasons essentially mean these systems are centrally located, not isolated, and can expect reasonable traffic.

Map courtesy of dotlan.

Initially, I was worried about how high traffic may impact my market. People locally sourcing their materials and manufacturing them could be able to sell at prices that make it challenging for a trader to buy low from a hub and throw a margin on top after I haul it down. I reassured myself, however, because no one in Derelik could compete with every item I bring down. Especially not when they have their own customers to serve.

The cool thing about having friends with specific needs is that you can cater to them and easily create a profitable niche. Reading Sugar Kyle’s blog posts on her Cougar Store (the only person I know who’s apparently single-handedly running a low-sec hub, so if you guys out there know someone else I’d love to chat to them about how they do their work :D), she seems to take requests as to what to stock. I like that idea. Will try set something up for the alliance to tell me what they’re going to hubs for so I can make it a little more convenient for them. This is probably the perfect time to start something like this; if we grow any bigger the demand might be too great for me alone to cope with.

Am I enjoying this more than PvP? Hmm. I’d say the PvP for me was always about in the moment, the heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping moment. This market/trading stuff, this is more of a step back from the bloodlust and into a realm of decisions made with less destructive purposes in mind, but perhaps no less ruthless.

Stay tuned for how phase 1 unfolds, and feel free to try predict what obstacles I could run into! 😀

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