When I first subscribed to EVE Online, I signed up for a 3 month deal since it was a bit cheaper than the single month affair. I was also pretty sure that I would be playing for a while since I had a blast in the trial. I had no idea how long it would take me to be able to reliably earn enough ISK to pay for my account, so I felt that 3 months was a good estimate for me to get on my feet.
Boy was I wrong >.< I managed to earn slightly more than 1 billion ISK in the first month, meaning I could have paid for 3 accounts and had some left over. This is largely thanks to the relentless efforts of my wife, who helps me checks my orders periodically during the day and has a pretty good market sense of what sells and what doesn't. Personally I tend to be a sucker for deals with larger margins but they inevitably have much lower volumes, whereas she goes for deals that have mediocre margins but the volume traded more than makes up for it. Plus it seems to be more reliable, with fewer rabid competitors since the margins already look thin.
Some of the answers to a question on how long it takes to be able to pay for an account in ISK are pretty interesting since it gives an idea about how most people make their ISK. Some people suggested trading, but the way they describe it sounds like they’re hauling goods all over the place. Which is fine, if that’s what they enjoy… Other suggestions are in the vein of using 3-4 accounts to run level 5 missions… in about 150 days. Wow. No wonder so many people have the misconception that you have to train for 6 months first in EVE before actually playing the game.
Anyway, since I’m roughly through half of my 3 month subscription, I’m now starting to look for a good deal on some PLEXs. Except that it seems that recently PLEX prices have spiked, for no discernible reason. Tobold recently sold a PLEX for 286 million, but it seems that the minimum buy order in Jita at the moment is on the order of 310 million. The average price is around 300 million, but hey I’m a ginormous skinflint. There has to be a better deal somewhere else, especially given the fact that PLEXs can’t be moved in ships. I can imagine that some people would raise a huge fuss if they bought like 150 USD worth of PLEXs only to be suicide ganked while shipping them to Jita for sale. This means that the PLEX market should be relatively illiquid with no arbitrage among markets… perhaps other, less populated hubs would have it cheaper?
I originally thought of creating and deleting various alts with my final character slot to check out prices in the various other market hubs in the universe, rather than flying a bazillion jumps with my trading alt. My wife even came up with the better idea of using another trial account to do that. In the end though, I remembered that EVE-central has market reports from all over, updated by inputs from the playerbase. It isn’t realtime and is not 100% reliable, but it can at least give some quick indication of prices. Sure enough, other markets seemed to have lower prices for PLEXs, and the Amarr system seemed to be a good bet.
So another trading alt was born on my account. He started out a handy 2 jumps from Amarr, and immediately joined my little corp to have access to the corp wallet and the 400 million ISK deposited inside for his purposes. After a bit of skill training to expand his market orders, he’s now set up a few trades in Amarr as a secondary passive income source. The volume isn’t as high as in Jita, so I hope to be able to just leave the orders running without much need for updates. In any case his main purpose is to keep watch on PLEX prices and place a buy order if it looks like it dips. I’m not in urgent need for it now, so I can afford to wait a bit for prices to come down, which I believe that they will.