Posted Fri, Feb 26, 2010 by Space Junkie
Finding Your Market
You need to find a market that isn't completely stocked, and set up camp in it. Usually, this means not basing near any of the major market hubs, or even in the same region as them. You're looking for marginal systems that see a lot of traffic going to and from null-sec. Some of the major jump-off systems are Torinnos, Agil, Teonisude, and Orvolle. There are plenty of others, too.
These systems and others like them are the last stops in high-security space, en route to a major area of null-sec, making them idea spots to sell goods that war-embroiled null-sec dwellers don't want to fly to a hub for. Low-sec pirates with low security status will often have trouble getting into higher security status systems, because their low sec status will cause NPCs to spawn and attack them, depending on where they are in high-sec and how low their security status is. Because of this, many pirates will not want to go more than a system deep into high-sec space, again making border systems their shopping spot of choice.
The traffic through an individual high-sec "last stop" system is going to vary depending on where it is, what is going on in the nearby null-sec areas, and what the inhabitants there are doing. For this reason, an entrepreneur looking for new markets should be reading EVE politics reports (like the regional reports found on Scrapheap Challenge) and familiarizing himself with the general nature of the conflicts going on there. Not only is it generally interesting to see what's going on, but it will give some insight into financial opportunities. Conflicts and migrations create a need for goods, and you can fill those needs.
The Very Best Market
The very best kind of market is when a null-sec corporation has just taken an area of space from an enemy, and the market is no longer being plied by the usual local merchants. The new inhabitants need ships, modules, and other goods, and the old inhabitants will be dumping minerals and other goods at very low prices, so a producer or reseller can often get really good deals on goods. Needless to say, none of those savings need to be passed on to the purchaser, making any bargains you scrounge up pure profit.
Even if you aren't in the position to dock in a null-sec station, the nearby empire jump-off systems to territory changes will see an increase in trade, or at least a potential increase, as lazy null-sec dwellers (by this I mean most of them) grab what is available nearby, instead of heading deep into high-sec to make their purchasers.
Use buy orders in Jita instead of purchasing off the market, whenever possible. If you are selling faction ammo, get it from your loyalty store rather than using the market for it, at all. If you are selling rigs, buy and research the blueprints, and then set up buy orders for the salvage used to make it.
When moving expensive goods in a small ship like a covops, be especially careful not to idle around in high-sec. Suicide ganking a frigate-sized ship is incredibly easy, so it would probably be best if you treated high-sec as being just as dangerous as low-sec while you are carrying expensive goods. If nothing else, don't autopilot.
Though these are what I feel to be the most affordable for a marketing project with limited startup capital, there are a ton of other items that fetch a pretty penny without taking up more than a few m3. Nanite Repair Paste sells very well in null-sec, for example. Keep your eyes open for items that you think will fetch a higher price amongst PvPers, and be sure to test the waters on any given product, by importing and selling a few of said item, before investing your life savings into it.
That's all for now, good luck with your wallets!