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Playing Market Games In EVE Online (EVE Online Guide)

Posted Fri, Sep 30, 2011 by Space Junkie

Participating in economic activity in EVE Online is more than a suggestion, it is a necessity. This game is a capitalist's dream. More than most other MMO games, it is critical to understand how the market functions and how to manipulate it.

Though it may seem simple enough at first, there are enough twists and turns that players regularly make accidental purchases or misunderstand how it works. This is a guide to some of the more common market tricks, plus some tips about investing to help get your wheels turning for CCP's big winter patch.

.01 ISK Games

Keeping your sell and buy orders updated is important. You need to have the lowest sell order or highest buy order to ensure that your orders get filled in a timely fashion. Unfortunately for casual players, the competition in places like Jita can be intimidating. There are people that literally spend hours at a time updating their prices. Not to mention that there are more than a few market bots out there.

EVE Online

Market bots are an interesting phenomenon in that one can never be certain that they are being used, or whether it is just some weird person in a basement, somewhere, constantly updating his orders. I have had days where I update my market price on an item literally every five minutes, for an hour. And if I can do it, so can you. Just something to keep in mind when complaining about bots.

One trick that might work with some simpler bots is that it is possible to set up a small sell order for a commodity that is only .01 ISK above the buy order price. A bot might hypothetically try to correct the item price to be lower than that, thus filling your buy order. It seems unlikely to me that this would really work, but some people swear by it. Your mileage may vary.

The Lowest Order, Only

The most important thing that people tend to miss about the EVE Online market is that an immediate buy order will always buy from the lowest priced item, even if you right-click on a higher-priced item in an attempt to bypass people playing .01 ISK games. Should you attempt this, you will pay the person with the lowest-priced item the higher price, which I am sure they will appreciate. In short, there is no way to bypass the jerks that constantly are reducing their price by mere cents at a time.


Relisting is the practice of buying some or all of an essential item on the market and then immediately selling them for a much higher price. It does not work very well in Jita, where supply is not generally a problem. Out in null-sec it is often so effective that most alliances consider it High Treason. Fortunately for us, with the right skills (Procurement and Marketing) one need not be docked to buy and sell goods. That means you can breeze into some backwater solar system in a region like Querious or Detorid, buy all of the Warp Core Stabilizers, and then immediately put them up for sale at twice the price.

Relisting is an art more than a science, and always works better when the target audience is under duress from an invasion or severed jump bridge network. Be wary of buying things for a big markup over their high-sec price, as you may find yourself undercut before anything sells.

Some suggested items to relist:

  • Damage Control II
  • Drake
  • Heavy Missile Launcher II
  • Large Shield Extender II
  • Power Diagnostic Systems II
  • PvP ammunition (EMP M and EMP L are both good bets)

Scam Watch

Scams are nothing new in Jita, and there are two in particular that rely on market tricks.

The first relies on putting an exorbitantly high buy order for an offbeat item up on the market, then getting players to buy that item from an overpriced contract. The catch? The market order has a high "minimum quantity" amount. This underused market feature is probably intended to let EVE players set up region-wide buy orders without ending up with tiny amounts everywhere. In practice, this means that if a player is so unfortunate as to attempt to fill the order, he will find that he instead defaults to the next highest buy order, usually at a painful loss.

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