Wednesday, March 4, 2009

6 Months later, highsec trader to lowsec regular

So what has been going on in Escoce’s life? I have been thru and done a lot in the last 6-ish months. I gave up on securing my old mining constellation operation. In this now defunct operation, I was developing the market of a small constellation in Gallente Federation space. By providing consistent and fair pricing to miners for their minerals, and also by ensuring there was a ready and cheap supply of mining ships, equipment and consumables ready and for sale, I was able to develop a high volume/high profit market. I communicated with miners about the presence of the mining constellation and the market and slowly built a multi-billion ISK per month operation that included my picking up low end minerals from four contiguous systems and carrying those minerals to trade hubs first in my Iterons and then finally my freighter when I could afford one. Of course I also borrowed some money to make the final purchase, but let us just say, I was able to pay off that loan ( 1 billion ISK principle + 50 million ISK interest paid weekly) in 1 month. Before I got my freighter, I was making too many several trips between my mining hub and the market hubs and never quite catching up with the volume ever. When I finally got my freighter, I was moving 300-600 or so million units of minerals EVERY DAY, except maybe on Sundays and Thursdays when many miners take some time off for other activities. So it was a good operation. Now due to circumstance entirely out of my control (OOC – I moved and my internet connection was down for three weeks), it flew the coop. Other traders caught on, and moved in and the lack of consistent service and pricing to the miners caused them to move on to greener pastures.

I didn’t feel like starting over, so I moved on to something new. I do that occasionally, such as when I got bored with mining, I moved on to trade, when trade couldn’t keep me occupied, I added combat and missions. I still keep tabs on that constellation from time to time, and it has never come close to even a fraction of the productivity I helped develop.

Moving on I started placing buy orders for minerals across the region, doing pretty well and eventually building my capital enough to spread out to cover 4 regions of select systems and constellations, never quite having the ease of point to point trade I enjoyed before, but still producing honorable profits. I shrank out of one region simply due to the logistics of managing 4 regions of market space, and now focus on 3 regions and doing quite well.

After having honed my trade skills to what I call near perfect, they aren’t perfect. I have level 4 or 5 competency in all the trade skills, but it is enough for me to be a very effective trader, and I began to focus on combat skills. I had already trained most of what I call the core skills to level 5 already (skills such as navigation, electronics, engineering, etc. etc.). All the skills the unlock the various modules needed and learning how to use them so effectively that the equipment becomes more efficient. I started running missions, and practiced enough at that so that I was comfortable running all level 3 and most but not all level 4 missions in a T1 or T2 frigate of whatever sort suited me and the mission at the time. Many of the best agents are in low sec, and I was becoming comfortable with flying out in low sec, confident in knowing how to fit a ship to get through the fray when the fray comes to me.

I should say here that I don’t think of myself as a PvPer, I just feel comfortable operating in low sec normally, not that I am looking for a fight by doing so. I still avoid the fights if I can. But becoming comfortable with Low Sec, and having had to retrieve errant goods from misplaced buy orders on several occasions I decided to try low sec trading on purpose. I recently decided to carry my operations out to low security space in a test region, and I placed some region wide test buy orders to see how well I might be able to do this. The test was quite successful, and it became worth it to fly out into areas where others weren’t willing to go to pick up my wares. I have estimated that if I get killed once a day, I will still be turning a profit (albeit a small one) from low sec. I haven’t been killed yet, but just for mathematic’s sake and for safe financial planning I use 1 death per day in cost analysis for operating in low sec.

This isn’t to say that Low Sec is safe, it isn’t. It is dangerous, in low sec, people want to kill you. Many Pirates will be cordial and kind after the fact, and honor their word when they give it, but have no doubt. Their goal is to take your money, get you out of your ship and sometimes even get you out of your clone. On the first day out collecting my goods, I was attacked I am guessing 6 times in the period of 45 minutes. I was even attacked by a pilot flying an Archon, which I didn’t expect, but there you have it. I didn’t die, in fact my ship was barely scratched. I however, didn’t stick around to get killed either. I simply have learned how to properly fit a ship to escape and learned how to fly those ships properly. This doesn’t mean I can’t fight either, in a ship fitted properly to fight I do very very well, it simply isn’t my goal right now. My goal is trade, and some lowsec public relations and hoping to develop genuine realistic and fair market places in low sec for low sec residents, and thus in turn hopefully pulling more people from highsec into lowsec.

And with this, I move on to my next post which will hopefully tie the loose ends …

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