Thursday, January 31, 2013

Business Thursday: station trading metas

"Metas" are named variations of T1 modules. For example the Light Ion Blaster I has the following metas: They are all better than T1 and worse than T2. They are dropped by NPC pirates killed in complexes, mission sites and belts and acquired by those who looted them. They are used by people who can't fit T2 yet and people doing T2 production.

There are awful lot of metas in the game. Practically every T1 have some. This market is extremely abandoned, practically no one tends it. The Jita sell orders are often 10x higher than buy orders. You can make nice profit by setting buy and sell orders for them in Jita, where the volume is the highest. Most metas are cheap, in the region of 10K-2M, so the profit on one isn't great. But you can sell dozens to hundreds every day which isn't bad money. Also, meta-trading is very good start for a new trader due to the low investment cost. You can start trading with a few million ISK capital and bad skills, since the margin is 20-30% instead of 2-3.

How to start? Pick one item class, like small lasers and check their price history. If the volume is relevant and the maximum and minimum are far from each other, you can set up your shop. Don't try to 0.01, decrease the margin aggressively to 10-30%. Keep even low margin for a week or two, the 0.01 punks usually have little tolerance for that.

After you stabilized the price of your selection of metas in Jita, you can extend to other hubs, moving your wares with courier contracts. At the end you can try regional buy orders and get items collected for you by couriers.

9 comments:

dobablo said...

Metas can also be traded at zero risk. Most buy orders can be set where you can make a profit from scrapping and selling the ore. Unfortunately, like most zero risk investments the returns are poor. I tried buying for scrap it in Hek for a month and averaged around 20m isk each day for 30 minutes of active buying and selling. It was horribly tedious for poor returns so I wouldn't recommend it. About the only good thing about it is that you need almost zero starter capital.

Anonymous said...

A few minor corrections:

Every module in eve has a 'meta' value - technically speaking officer/faction stuff is meta, as is T2.. Often people refer to or go after the "meta4" stuff and this is generally what is in good demand.

They are used by people who can't fit T2 yet

Close, but not quite. There are many cases where Meta4 items are preferable to T2. Common things you will see on PvP fits (for a number of reasons - fitting requirements as an example):

meta4 ECCM, meta4 heavy energy neutralizers, regolith shield extenders, various AB's and MWD's...

its a little disingenuous to suggest it is only for people who cannot fit T2...

Thoris said...

The margins look big because everything that's worth reprocessing has been bought up usualy. The actual profit margin is way thinner on most these items. Reselling only works on a few items that are actualy used for other purposes then reprocessing so it's easy to be fooled as a newb trader. When hundreds or thousands get sold it's usualy when the undercutting makes the prices drop below reprocessing threshold.

Another thing: deep undercutting doesn't work on these items in Jita. I tried it. Maybe makes your life easier for a few hours or one day but then the iskers are back. There was just two days ago someone who set the price to about 2-3% profit deep undercutting on a lot of items and there are already 5-6 people back continuing to battle it out with him. I had the same experience when i tried this strategy a few weeks ago. The only way i can see it works is to undercut to a point where you make a loss on reprocessing. And that only makes sense on the few items that are actualy used by people to fit their ships. So you need to know exactly what you're doing on an item by item basis.

I would also say these items are not good for newbie traders because the skill and standing requirements are high if you want to be able to compete in the reprocessing market for 1-2% points. At least when you're in Jita.

Gevlon said...

@Thoris: the low buy orders are reprocessers. But the sell orders also fill because people use these items. So if you buy high enough to get rid of the reprocessers, you can make profit.

I'm doing it myself with meta small blasters used by the new order and I'm making profit in Jita station trading them. Of course it's not the profit range I'm used to, but still way above lvl4/mining.

Thoris said...

As i said thers a few items that get used for fittings but most are used for reprocessing. For instance Arbalest Cruise Launchers are popular for fits but all the Malkuth, Limos, Prototype, Limit named versions of the cruise launchers are used mostly for reprocessing. Something that should be kept in mind when going in this market. When you try to sell the later for sell order prices you're stuck until the price reaches below reprocessing threshold again. Unless you find an inexperienced buyer who thinks he can speculate on them.

Of course a trader who doesn't have the skills and standings to reprocess himself at a good margin can use this knowledge to his advantage and still turn a profit on these items. These are very good for buying up in mission hubs for example. Keep an eye on mineral prices and reprocessing values and you can cash in without any undercutting battles. They will be bought no matter you're first or tenth position in the orders the next time a reprocessor scans the market.

The reason why people still isk on reprocessing items even when the margins are undercut aggressively is because 1% profit is still 1% below buying the minerals on the market. Particularely for manufacturers who dont mine themself this is a decent enough deal still. Also the volumes are high so when you have a lot of order slots und buy like 200 of these items you can make a 400, 500 or even a billion profit daily even on tight margins (own experience). Tho i would assume this market is ruined for a while after this article and sharing my own 2 cents ;)

Johnicholas Hines said...

As a speculator, I think you want to pick buy and sell prices such that either you make market-maker profits (getting paid for providing liquidity to the market), or you're happy with a head start in a new field.

For example, if you were selling contracts to provide metas that you don't actually have, and also posting buy orders, then they either match up or don't match up. If they don't match up, then you fall out of the speculating business into either the providing-metas business (and you have a head start in the form of a bundle of contracts), or the reprocessing-metas busness (and you have a head start in the form of a bunch of inputs).

You can use your personal skills and preferences regarding those two businesses to choose prices so that you're pretty happy whatever the outcome is. That's being a price-setter (from fundamentals), as opposed to being a price-taker. If you use price history to set your prices, you're still (indirectly) a price-taker.

MoxNix said...

There's good money in best named modules (meta 4 mostly). Here's my take on best named mods.

http://merchantmonarchy.blogspot.ca/2012/12/trading-t1-best-named-modules.html

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I better prepare for competition in my market. Thanks a load man.

Well...I guess I could always move to some deserted L4 mission hub (if one exists) and restart my business if things get bad.

Anonymous said...

"Close, but not quite. There are many cases where Meta4 items are preferable to T2. Common things you will see on PvP fits (for a number of reasons - fitting requirements as an example):"

most important reason why meta4 items are used a lot in pvp is that t1 modules have better overheating behavior than t2 and are as such preferable if performance is equal otherwise (e.g. neuts, webs, scrams, ...).

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