TL;DR: This is a guide on market seeding in null sec. We will use Evernus to make selecting items more efficient and ensure we don’t miss out on any potential profits. We will also use an alliance hauling service to reduce effort and collateral, as well as to minimize risk, by eliminating the need to own a Jump Freighter and cyno alts.
What is market seeding?
Living in null sec space has advantages and disadvantages. It opens you up to a new world of profitable activities, such as carrier ratting. However, one of its biggest disadvantages is that it is far from high sec trade hubs. There’s no such thing as a “quick trip to Jita” when the journey is 30+ jumps through hostile space. Each pocket of null sec has its own trade hubs. These are less active than their high sec equivalents, but provide centralized markets.
Plenty of pilots manufacture goods in null sec. However, there is usually more demand for modules, ammo, drones, etc. than there is supply. By using these basic economic principles to your advantage, you can make a great deal of profit. Although station trading will get you started on your road to riches, it has its limits. Market seeding involves buying these items in high sec, shipping them down to null sec, and reselling them. Due to low supply in null sec, prices tend to be much higher, leaving room for a great profit margin.
In addition, market seeding can be a slower stream of income, but offers a high ROI. It is perfect for someone that doesn’t have the time to monitor hundreds of orders in high sec. You can usually update orders once every day or two and still sell.
Note: When living in null sec, your alliance and coalition mates are your friends. Nobody has your back but them. There is room to make a profit, but you shouldn’t attempt to price gouge. Someone will likely figure out what you’re doing, and alliance leadership will not take kindly to it.
What do I need for market seeding?
Market seeding requires a good deal of starting capital (for best results, at least 1 billion ISK). In addition, membership in a large null sec alliance will make it possible for you to ship and list your goods. Many alliances have shipping services between their market hubs and hubs such as Jita, which can simplify the process. Otherwise, you can invest in a Jump Freighter and take control of your own logistics.
Having a Jita alt to purchase items will simplify the process a great deal. Also ensure you have an alt near your null sec hub, to keep your orders up to date. In addition, I use Evernus to decide which items I want to restock. It will lead you to items you may not have considered, and maximize your profits.
How do I seed a market?
First, open Evernus. Click on the Market Analysis tab in the top menu. Then, click the Importing button.
There are a few options to configure here. At the top, you will see Source Price and Destination Price selectors. These determine whether to use Buy or Sell orders in price calculations. For maximum profit, select Buy for the Source Price and Sell for the Destination Price. This means you’ll use buy orders to acquire your wares in high sec, and sell orders to move them in null sec. I prefer using Sell for both selectors, so I can buy items through sell orders in high sec. This eliminates the involved market PVP that comes with maintaining orders in a high sec hub.
In the “Importing” window, choose your source and destination stations. Your source should be a high sec hub, like Jita IV – Moon 4 – Caldari Navy Assembly Plant. Your destination should be your target alliance market hub. Leave your analysis period at 180 days in order to estimate order volume from a 6 month time frame. Set Aggregate Over to your restocking interval. For example, if you plan to restock once a week, set it to 7 days. Next, set Price Per M3 to your shipping cost. If you are using an alliance hauling service, use their list price. If using your own jump freighter, set it to the ship’s capacity divided by the cost of the trip.
Finally, you need to import items. Choose the Import data option in the top left corner. Hold down Ctrl and select both the source and destination regions. Then, select your item groups. Groups like drones, ship equipment, ship modifications, and skill books tend to work best. They have relatively low volumes and thus low import costs. This import may take a while as the program grabs market data for all the categories you’ve selected. Once the import is complete, click the Apply button to view the results.
First, rearrange the columns in the results view. The most important columns are Avg. dst. volume, Price Difference, Margin, and Projected Profit. Then, click the Projected Profit column to sort items by descending profit. Let’s go down the list item by item.
In the above example, the highest profit item is Gel-Matrix Biopaste. However, we can see that the item has a 99.9% margin. With an average volume of about 30, we can extrapolate that this is likely a junk item, sold only to buy orders. The price is probably inflated by expensive sell orders that never move. Investing in this item could actually lose you ISK! The second item, Logic Circuit, seems to follow a similar trend.
However, then we see ‘Excavator’ Mining Drone. Our evolved brains know that these drones are used by Rorquals to mine huge amounts of ore, and are in high demand. Although the weekly volume of just 6 drones may be off-putting, we see there is a 280 million ISK profit margin on each drone. At a 17% margin, these drones don’t have a huge ROI. But since they are in high demand, they are likely guaranteed profit.
Further on down the list, we see Wasp II and Dragonfly II, two types of drones. Again, both have lower ROIs, but T2 drones are likely in high demand. We can see that the projected profit over 1 week from fully seeding these drones is 1.1 billion ISK. Not bad at all for a few clicks!
Seeding the Market
Now that you’ve selected the items you’d like to import, have your Jita alt buy them up. If you don’t plan on hauling them yourself, contract the items from your Jita alt to your alliance alt, and then create a contract with your alliance hauling service. Once the items arrive, list them on the market. You can use Evernus’s Margin Tool to automatically set your prices.
Open the margin tool from the Tools menu, and make sure Autocopy is set to Sell price. Right click on an item in your inventory and choose View Market Details, then click the Export to File button at the bottom of the window. This will automatically copy the sell price for the item to your clipboard. Now, just right click on the item, choose Sell This Item, and paste the price. If you’re using an alt, remember to ensure that your order duration is set to 3 months.
Now, all that’s left is to check your orders every once in a while. Many items will sell if updated only once every day or two, while others may require 2-4 updates a day. As long as you stay on top of your orders, you’ll see a river of ISK flowing directly into your wallet.