Trading 204: Cross-Selling

Modular Possibilities

A Tech 3 ship is a great example of an item that has high cross-selling opportunities. A Tech 3 hull by itself it useless; a person must assemble it by combining it with five Subsystem components –defensive, electronic, engineering, offensive, and propulsion. This requirement for flying the ship gives a trader the ability to also stock the necessary Subsystems and increase potential profits.

Tengu Hull Performance

I have found the Tengu hull to have the most volume out of the four racial Tech 3 hulls due to it’s PVP and PVE applications. The Loki hull is a close second, but it out-shined by the demand of the Tengu.

Over 473 days of trading I’ve sold 56 Tengu hulls. Moving 14.7 B ISK, I was able to achieve a 2.29 B total profit with the average profit per hull coming in at 41.65 M.

2013-08-19_tengu

Tengu Subsystem Performance

The real trading power comes from using some intelligence and trending to find the most popular Subsystems. My analysis shows that the Amplification Node was the most profitable and also had the highest average profit. The Fuel Catalyst is also a strong performer as it had the second highest average profit. At the bottom of the list was the Covert Reconfiguration as I accredit the cloakey role to be a very niche role.

2013-08-30_tengu_subsystems

Cross-selling Performance

25 of the Tengu hull sales included the same client buying one or more Subsystems at or around the same time. On average a person bought 2.6 Subsystems with an average total of 52.4 M profit.

Further analysis shows that the best performance comes from also selling a person 3-4 Subsystems when they are also buying the Tengu hull as the average profit per Subsystem for these transactions types comes in at 21.7-22 M.

2013-08-19_subsystem_profit

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Item Price Stability

I leave for two weeks and you all accidentally the market. I was not able the participate in the Odyssey speculation, but I am enjoying catching up on it.

2013.05.16.19.26.13-12013.05.16.19.25.40-1

The wild swings that we are seeing in the Moon and Ice markets due to Odyssey adjustments made me reflect on the stability of the items that I trade.

I used my historical database to come up with a report to provide quantitative insight to help give values to the items that I instinctively know are high risk. Here is a snapshot of the lower and upper items listed in my Stability Report that covers three years of trading sorted by standard deviation (σ).

2013-05-15_price_detail

Here are some general observations about the items listed:

  • Basic minerals, ammo, and modules are the most stable.
  • Capital modules weigh in somewhere in the middle.
  • Tech2 ships fill the upper band of the report.
  • Tech3 hulls and associated Subsystems are randomly spread over the middle band.
  • Certain battleships are high on the report because their popularity has changed over time due to shifting fleet doctrines.
  • The Procurer BPO was an item that I speculated on heavily during the last patch, which netted very positive results.
  • Capital ships are subject to large swings due to mineral price changes.

A tenant of becoming a good trader is minimizing your risk while trying to maximize your rewards. My advice for new traders is to work with more stable items as shown in the shaded green area of my report; they are subject to less swing and therefore will help minimize risk. As your ISK resources grow, you can move into riskier items that will [hopefully] yield larger returns.

Update

Thanks for all the feedback in the comments. I actually spent some time recently to figure out how to calculate item volatility here http://k162space.com/2013/08/20/hac-price-volatility/. I’m working out how to pull numbers for all my data for a new post soon.


Wormhole Space in 2009 and 2010

Here are a few pictures that highlight my corporation’s venture into Wormhole space to strike it rich.

2009

2009.09.14.19.18.15

The daily routine was scanning for sites, mining ABCs with Orca boosts, and compressing Ore down for transport to Jita.

2009.10.16.04.13.53

Our capacity to haul large amounts of Ore out of Wormhole to Jita increased significantly when we got a Rorqual into our C6.

2009.12.25.20.37.12

Boosted Hulks mining Arkonor was king at the time. Each full jetcan was worth around 13-16M.

Orca boosted mining operation.

Orca boosted mining operation.

2009.11.01.18.47.07

We once caught a Tengu with a tank that we could not break. After toying around with it for a while, we eventually let the pilot got and gave her the location of a return Wormhole as we destroyed her scanning alt.

2009.12.27.23.11.56

As we build up our PVE arsenal, we needed Carrier support to run the C5/C6 sites. I paid 715M for a Thanatos during this time and I still am in possession of this specific Carrier.

2009.12.24.04.10.05-1

Purchasing skills for the Carrier. Notice that we used the MOTD to communicate on the current Wormhole status.

2009.12.27.22.16.53

1600 plated Typhoon mass collapsing a connecting Wormhole.

2010

2010.01.02.21.55.19

As we became more proficient in Unknown space, we started to train up skills for Tengu, Drake, and other PVE specific ships.

2010.01.30.00.30.05

Our weekly hauls started to get large and larger as our mining capacity increased.

2010.02.13.05.25.52

Thanatos beauty shot after emerging from a connecting Wormhole.

Another Thanatos shot.

Another Thanatos shot.

Carrier assisted site running.

Carrier assisted site running.

2010.03.03.13.08.53

This is a shot of Megacyte, which was king at the time. Due to the large availability of ABC ore in Wormhole space, mining groups like us were driving the price down.

2010.03.13.23.21.17

When you inhabit the highest class of Wormhole space, you are bound to run into some major players. Here is a shot of an Aperture Harmonics’ Dreadnought bring used to mass collapse a connecting Wormhole that was connecting our two systems.

Aperture Harmonics fleet coming into our system to scout for prey.

Aperture Harmonics fleet coming into our system to scout for prey.

You spend a lot of time looking at these in Unknown space.

You spend a lot of time looking at these in Unknown space.

One of the most powerful things in Unknown space is Intel. If you have the knowledge, you can dictate everything. The little Helios was one of the most useful ships for me during my time in Wormhole space.

One of the most powerful things in Unknown space is Intel. If you have the knowledge, you can dictate everything. The little Helios was one of the most useful ships for me during my time in Wormhole space.

Defending Tengu shot.

Defending Tengu shot.

Space potato beauty shot. We had a Remote Repping Dominix doctrine that served us well.

Space potato beauty shot. We had a Remote Repping Dominix doctrine that served us well.

Protecting our home.

Protecting our home.

Every few weeks the rate of respawn for all the sites would dwindle down to almost nothing. Like nomads we would find a new home and setup shop to strip the system.

Every few weeks the rate of respawn for all the sites would dwindle down to almost nothing. Like nomads we would find a new home and setup shop to strip the system.

Industrial might.

Industrial might.

2010.01.19.22.52.25

Extreme hatred for the POS/Reaction UI.

Capital ship shot.

Capital ship shot.


Racial Starship Engineering V

After 133 days of training, I have completed a training plan on one of my production characters that now allows me to construct every Tech 3 Hull and Subsystem.

Amarrian Starship Engineering V (25 D)
Caldari Starship Engineering V (25 D)
Gallentean Starship Engineering V (25 D)
Minmatar Starship Engineering V (25 D)
Cruiser Construction V (25 D)
Jury Rigging V (8 D)

2012.12.10.04.12.13-1

2012.12.10.15.17.50-1

Up next is Advanced Laboratory Operation V and Advanced Mass Production V to polish off the industry skills.

I’ve run the profit potential numbers on both the Hulls and Subsystems and they are both a good time investment. I just need to either wait for a POS rework or grind standings for a highsec POS.

I have little to no interest in setting up a production POS in lowsec due to the ability of any entity coming along and reinforcing the POS. I would rather operate under the umbrella of a 24 hour wardec timer that would allow me to bring up defenses and recover industry items before the war goes live.

2012.12.10.15.28.25-1

2012.12.10.15.28.39-1


July Financial Report

Overview

June and July were periods of rapid growth, both in terms of buying power and activity spread. I’m now able to have my fingers in more markets and more item types, helping to spread the risk.

Graphs!

Out performing the liner projection the past three months.

My purchase sprees have grown in volume over the past few months. They keep topping out at larger amounts.  18.5, 21.1, 25.2, and now 25.5 B purchased in a single day. I love seeing the holding account balance go up, but liquid ISK is idle ISK. Throw is back into the market unless you are accruing a balance for a project.

Major Points

1. New milestone reached as I moved 103.7 B ISK this month.

Subscribing to the Bulk Trade mailing list has fueled buying in large quantities. Why buy two Scimitars off the market when you can buy 20 and get a discount?

2. Speculation on Cobalt

I logged into Jita about 35 minutes after the Devblog was posted citing changes to Alchemy. At this time the majority of Cobalt was off the market, so I was only able to get 26k units @ 1,580 (41.7 M) and then I foolishly bought 15k units @ 7,000 (110.7 M).

As of this writing, Cobalt is sitting at 2,800 in Jita so I highly doubt that I was turn a profit on these speculative trades. I didn’t run the numbers after the announcement so I’ll accept the loss on this.

Despite the loss, it was fun to refresh the markets and watch the speculation drive prices. I hope for more changes to the moon market this fall.

3. Mobile Application

This has proven to be a powerful way to remain connected to the market. I’m currently able to monitor sales and purchases. This lets me keep mental notes of what needs to be restocked or adjusted. In the future we hope to expand it with more Android style touch options.

Some ideas that we have been throwing around is that of a cart. If you are about to sell out of an item, it will shade the row and holding down on the row will bring up an action menu. You can look up history, item trading performance, or add the item to a restock cart.

4. Industrial Partner

Raath, the author of Staticmapper and DRK Industry Tracker, and I are forming an industry and trading partnership. I’m taking my idle stack of blueprints and putting them to use.

We’re polishing off our invention and Tech3 production skills so we can start to mass produce ships and modules. *sigh* do you know that it is going to take 50+ days to be able to produce a Tengu hull and Subsystems?

Idle blueprints

Invention skills

5. Implants

The adjustments to Faction Warfare rewards killed profits on implants for me for over a month. I waited for the price to adjust and am back to trading these in high volumes again. In the past month implants are back in my highest performing group and I’ve moved 2,880 implants in the past 30 days.

6. Wallet Manager

For those of you that have been asking about my Wallet Manager program I have good news. A group of developers is using inspiration from our team and is coding up a public version for everyone. I chat with them daily on irc.coldfront.net and will have a post about this once we have some public-facing content.

The Future

I’m going to get my new partner, Raath, up to speed on the trade operation. He is bringing a large number of production alts so I’m looking forward to putting all our idle blueprints to use.


Mass Tech 3 Hull Production

In addition to the massive stock of Subsystem BPCs that I recently acquired on a bulk deal, I have also picked up a large amount of Tech 3 hull BPCs.

I thought that a large batch of hulls would go along nicely with the production run of the Subsystems so I bought them after running the numbers.

The bulk deal was for enough BPCs to make 443 Hulls. The average BPC price per run on the deal came out to 18.35 M. On public contract right now, a Tengu BPC is trading at about 20-25 M/run.

Construction Skill Prerequisites That I Need

Frigate Construction IV
Cruiser Construction 5
Amarrian Starship Engineering 5
Caldari Starship Engineering 5
Gallentean Starship Engineering 5
Minmatar Starship Engineering 5

I will need to train up Cruiser Construction to V and each racial Starship Engineering to V. Each one will take around ~22 days to get to V.

I currently have 6.7 M skills in Science on my industry, invention, and research alt so this will help round him out by giving him the ability to produce a large variety of Tech 2/3 ships.

The Stock

I now have enough BPCs to make 119 Legion, 61 Loki, 51 Proteus, and 212 Tengu Hulls.

Production Run Considerations

Tech 3 Hulls and Subsystems can only be made in an Subsystem Assembly Array anchored at a POS.

A mobile assembly facility where advanced subsystems and hulls of strategic cruisers can be manufactured

3 manufacturing slots:
Base time multiplier: 1.0
Base material multiplier: 1.0

(Note: Tech III hulls cannot be assembled at starbase structures. The hulls and subsystems can only be assembled whilst docked in a station.)

Just the 212 Tengu Hulls will take 7 months to produce on 1 production line. I’m not sure how many Subsystem Assembly Array modules will go live for the run or how many characters will be trained up to produce yet.

Profit Estimations

Making 443 Hulls will produce a profit of 12.9 B minus the investment for the BPCs at 8.1 B.  The profit estimation is around 4.7 B.

Note that the previous profit number does not account for the cost of running POS.


Mass Tech 3 Subsystem Production

tl;dr

I spent 4 B on a bulk deal and aquired 305 T3 Subsystem BPCs. It will cost 38 B to buy the components to build 46 B worth of Subsystems. After the blueprint investment cost, the production run will result in a 4.1 B profit (9.13%)

Note: this profit estimation does not take in account for POS fuel or taxes. Additionally, there is the hauling, build, and trading time factor that I have not calculated. Time is money and the minerals you mine are not free.

Before Inferno Unified Inventory

Tech 3 in General

Another complicated production chain greeted my eyes as I started to learn the depth of the production process. Sleeper drops/salvage, gas reactions, and POS limited production oh my.

I found that the general price of Tech 3 hulls and Subsystems have been declining in line with the build Materials over the past year. Melted Nanoribbons, which account for a large percentage of Tech 3 items, are on the decline.

This price decline can be attributed to the general movement into Wormhole space over the past two years and that people have learned how to efficiently farm Sleeper sites.

Build Requirements

SQL all the things!

I’ve got a bunch of Subsystem BPCs which need Hybrid Components. These Hybrid Components are made from Materials (Salvage and Polymers). My level in the production chain will be to buy the Salvage and Polymers, make Hybrid Components and put these together to make Subsystems.

I needed to work with a custom table to get a master list of Materials that will go into the production run from my list of BPCs.

Using my custom typeBuildReqs table (creation details here in section 301), the following query will take the typeID of the Subsystem blueprint and give you a quantity and price of Materials needed. I have a price table called assetValues, so take that section or modify as needed.

SELECT typeBuildReqs.requiredTypeID, SUM(typeBuildReqs.quantity) AS totalQuantity, invTypes.typeName, (SUM(typeBuildReqs.quantity) * assetValues.value) AS totalValue FROM typeBuildReqs
JOIN (
 SELECT invBlueprintTypes.blueprintTypeID as componentBlueprintID
 FROM typeBuildReqs
 JOIN invBlueprintTypes ON (invBlueprintTypes.productTypeID = typeBuildReqs.requiredTypeID)
 WHERE typeBuildReqs.blueprintTypeID = 30227 AND activityID = 1
) AS comp ON (comp.componentBlueprintID = typeBuildReqs.blueprintTypeID)
JOIN invTypes ON (invTypes.typeID = typeBuildReqs.requiredTypeID)
JOIN assetValues ON (assetValues.typeID = typeBuildReqs.requiredTypeID)
GROUP BY typeBuildReqs.requiredTypeID

The Spreadsheet Magic

Breakdown of BPCs by race and what Hybrid Components are needed.

Breakdown of Materials needed to build Hybrid Components and total build cost.

Melted Nanoribbons account for 71.5% of the material cost.

Bottom Line

Production Strategy

For me 38 B is a lot of liquid ISK to be tied up while these Subsystems are constructed. Since Melted Nanoribbons account for such a large portion of the cost, I plan on purchasing all of the materials in totality but initially only 25% or 33% of the total number of Nanoribbons needed.

Everything minus Nanoribbons – 10.8 B
25% Nanoribbons –  6.7 B or 33% Nanoribbons – 8.9 B

My Kingdom for a POS

Subsystems cannot be made at a NPC station and must be installed in a Subsystem Assembly Array anchored at a POS. Since I do not currently have a POS up and running, I have a few options for producing these items:

  1. Grind standing with the appropriate Faction. I do not like mission grinding. I might revisit this option once we have the (rumored) ability to change standings by trading in tags.
  2. Pay a highsec POS anchoring service to drop a tower for me after joining my corporation. Probably the easiest option and I would get a anchored tower out of the deal.
  3. Setup a POS in lowsec and hope not to be discovered. Risky as some bored gang could reinforce the tower, locking your assets until the timer is up.
  4. Contract out the Subsystem production to a corporation that can build them. Higher risk for scams, less profit due to them taking a portion of the profit, but I wouldn’t have to deal with he production line.

Conclusion

I am going to put a hold on this project as I am going to put my liquid reserve into other ventures. The return is not high enough for the time invested. I’ll keep the BPCs in my hangar and revisit in a few months.


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