I consider trading routes as places players go to buy and sell items routinely. They can be from one trading hub to another or from one mission hub to a trading hub. This requires several things in order to be successful. First off they player needs to do extensive research on the buying and selling locations to see what kind of inventory can be moved at both and which can be more profitable. This is not a blanket approach like the region wide trading, but it can actually be more profitable with less time spent gathering goods to sell on the market. It is important to find items you can buy in one location and sell in another with as little stops as possible. I will discuss the best ways to find these routes and how you can make a good profit doing so.
In order to find a mission hub you need to identify corporations that have combat agents (security agents). Then you will need to go into eve-online and do a search under “people and places” for a corporation by that name. Once you see the NPC corporation information click the “agents” tab and scroll down to the level 4 (IV) agents. These will give you the locations of all potential mission hubs but if you want to make good money look for stations that have more than one level 4 agents. The more agents in general, especially level 4’s, the more players will be in the area and the more money you can make per day. Most of these players are willing to sell their goods in station because their main incomes are from the missions themselves and they care little about the modules they loot or salvage. Once you located a potential mission hub, visit the place and make sure there are plenty of players around as this is key to making a good profit.
The next part is the hardest; you will have to find items that are sold to buyers in that mission hub. Generally they will be items with a Meta value (not vanilla items or manufactured items) because that is what drops in missions. There are really only two ways to identify potential trade items.
- Run some level 4 missions and collect all the loot for 20+ missions and see what you have lots of. Then place buy orders for those items. Generally I recommend this option because it gives you the most realistic information, and remember there are hundreds of players so if you get 10 afterburners you should expect to see at least a hundred a month. Alternatively if you cannot run missions then get a buddy to run some for you and have him tell you what items are dropping.
- Place buy orders for items that you think drop from missions. This is a trial by fire basis where items either get purchased or you close the order down and make a new one for another item. After a few weeks you should have at least 25+ items that you are buying hundreds of a month.
Once you make your first trip to the trade hub with all your loot to sell know that there is more profit if you place it on the market, however if you are dealing with a small wallet it is best to sell to the “buy orders” so that you can make a quick buck and turn around. Remember that missioners need items too; generally ammo is always a good bet, as are drones, so when you return to the mission hub bring some of these items and place them for sale on the market for an extra bit of profit. You can sell ships and some T2 Modules but be aware these items will take longer to sell than at a standard trade hub, because not everyone is flying the same ship. T2 damage modules like Heat-sinks, Gyrostabilizers, and Ballistic Control Units are needed on occasion by missioners and cover the vast majority of ships. That makes them a better choice than a T2 Remote Repair Device that will almost never be used by a missioner. Whatever you do I do not recommend selling any T1 or low level Meta items in mission hubs because most missioners are not interested in these items. That is why I recommend you buy those items and sell them at a trade hub.
When it comes to buying from a trade hub instead of a mission hub once again it is trial by fire but often it is possible to buy low and move it to another trade hub, or even relist it at the same one for profit. However, I think it is best to move from mission hubs to trade hubs because the missioners don’t mind selling low, where traders often do and the competition at trade hubs is much stronger.
Once items are identified a player can move those items from the mission hub to a trade hub repeatedly and make a huge profit while taking little of the player’s time. However this method does require substantially more money to start than Region-wide trading and it requires much more research into the market to be successful. I only did trade routes for only a short time as I found the competition to be stiff but it is possible to make an easy 30-50million a trip for 10-15 jumps. Trading involves a lot of trial and that can be the most daunting part. Do not get discouraged when you are unable to find items to buy or are unable to sell certain items that you have, just make a note of those items and look for something else that will make a better profit.
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