Not a good weekend for my trading activities.
After finding out that the skillbooks which I had been attempting to stockpile to control the market were from Loyalty Point stores, I had resolved not to try this trick again since it was evident that a few characters like to dump their LP on hundreds of these books and dump them in Jita. These characters are doubly annoying in that not only do they totally saturate the supply side, they do so in a way that completely kills the margin between the buy and sell orders.
What they do is instead of posting their 100+ skillbooks all at one price, they painstakingly split them up into batches of 3,6 or 9, and then post all these batches up with descending prices with intervals of about 30,000 ISK.
Yes, those are all by the same guy. I’m guessing that he does this because he thinks it averages out his revenue; posting them all at a low price would mean leaving a lot of money on the table, but posting them with a 0.01 ISK undercut would also likely mean that he gets undercut very quickly. I have to say that this strategy does sort of work, because one look at these prices would discourage any margin trader from coming in. Of course, what can also happen (and does happen) is that more clear-headed traders with existing stock simply put up a sell order in the middle of all these orders at a price they are comfortable with, blocking out all of the higher-priced, more valuable sell orders anyway.
Unfortunately, last week I made the decision to buy out all of this guy’s orders and reset the price point to original levels. That meant buying 300+ of these books. While I wouldn’t make much profit for those books that I bought at the upper end, this would be much more than offset by the margin between my price and his lower orders. Part of me hated basically rewarding this guy for his dumb market destroying activity, but the more rational part said “you’re going to make money from him anyway, who cares”.
Overall my scheme worked, helped by another shuttle run to Amarr to pass a big portion of the 300 books to my Amarr trader, and I did make some money (I think, it’s hard to keep track with such varying purchase prices). But before I could sell all of them, this guy has come back again. Only this time it seems he brought his alt as well, because there are EVEN MORE books up for sale using this annoying pricing method. You have to admire his tenacity in painstakingly splitting everything up into batches and posting them up one by one, not to mention the time he must have put in to train such a staggering amount of orders just to sell a few types of items. However, I should have listended to myself and not encouraged him by buying out his stuff, which is basically the best case scenario for him. Now the market is destroyed once more and I’ll have to wait a long while before it’s worth trading in it again. On the bright side, I’m also seeing other traders dump big batches of books to block this guy’s orders. Hopefully, his current orders will take so long to sell that it ties him up for a long time and teaches him a lesson.
I also should have listened to myself about not stockpiling too much. I was burned slightly in the past when I collected too much inventory and was caught when station module prices collapsed in the wake of Tyrannis NPC sell orders being removed. Over time, however, the lessons learnt by that episode seem to have faded and I found myself buying out 96 starbase modules again in an attempt to control the market, thinking that I could make about a 400,000 ISK profit on each one.
However, I severely underestimated the ease by which people can make these modules. Not being active in PI, I don’t have a good idea about what goes into the making of each of these modules, but it seems that certain traders are dumping huge numbers of these onto Jita every weekend. Maybe they crawled out of some wormhole somewhere where they have been busy manufacturing 24 hours a day. Not only do they dump massive numbers, they also undercut quite deeply and check their orders very often. So now I’m holding on to 70+ modules with the sell price now stuck beneath my buy price due to massive orders (which are still being undercut left, right and center despite their deep undercut… as expected).
I think it also doesn’t help that being made out of PI materials, which essentially are “free” in the minds of most people, these modules have basically no floor price as manufacturers are willing to sell them at any cost since they don’t actually lose any money. Sigh. Hopefully the market recovers during the week when these baboons go back to whichever wormhole they crawled out of.