Greetings all! So far im focusing on mining and industry which i enjoy however it still is the case, that directly selling the ore gives me more ISK at the moment. Wondering what is the break even point here and if it’s a matter of choosing the right product to manufacture and in the right ammounts/numbers. I know you have to aim for the lowest manufacturing cost index. Maybe i’m missing something but i thought if i mine the ore myself, i save money when it comes to minerals for the production phase. Even though i have my mining skills 5 and reprocessing at 5, i still have to make several hauls in my mining barge for making 5 pieces of venture for example.
I am not an expert on the subject. Most mining and manufacturing seems to be done in nullsec, where the fees are lower.
You’re competing with people who believe the ore they mine themselves doesn’t have a value and so they’re happy to sell their products for less than the material cost.
For people who get boners for capitalism, Eve sure has a lot of players who don’t understand the concept of value.
Also the resale market in Jita is based upon undercutting manufacturers. So you’re better off selling at one of the other trading hubs where prices are better.
Edit: also don’t refine your ore if you’re selling it. Compress it at a player structure, it’ll be more valuable than the reprocessed minerals and a hundred times easier to haul.
People who want to get serious into industry do so in nullsec, where they flex their interpersonal connections with other players to buy bulk ore at a discount (for example, 98% jita buy values), then use a max refine character with implants in a max refine structures to extra the most amount of minerals from the ore. Then they use that minerals in a production facility with bonuses to Material efficiency using maxed (near) blueprints to save even more.
Profits from industry are made in small margins through the entire production chain. You’re not going to get anywhere near that mining on your own.
If you take a look at the monthly economic reports, you’ll see that most production and most trade takes place in empire space - that’s where the markets are.
As a new player, you’ll want to look for products where there are no meta variants, reasonable demand and easy to make. I recommend looking at scripts, containers and possibly shuttles. T1 rigs are another possibility - that’s how I got my start and some are very profitable. For example https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/blueprint/?typeid=31716
T1 ships are challenging at the best of times - particularly something like the Venture where CCP gives away 2 of them to every player who runs the career missions! A few like the Epithal are consistently profitable - it has no competition.
Background: I’m a high-sec based industrialist making a steady profit making and selling things at one of the trade hubs. I started off mining (I like mining in a quiet hypnotic way) and some T1 manufacturing before mainlining in making T2 modules and ammunition.
Steady means enough for me to enjoy doing anything else I want in game without worrying - I’ve modest needs! - and a nasty HAC habit.
Possibly a bit rambling: You Have Been Warned.
Tl:dr - yes, you can make a living from Industry in high sec, but think through what works and what doesn’t.
First lesson: You will be in competition with people like me: High Skilled with lots of experience(there’s a lot of things learnt in RL that apply in Eve). We understand our supply chains and how to optimise them, we understand Risk and how to account for it and so forth. However, you can make a steady income from the start and as you skill up and learn your income will increase. Mainly because we can’t do/own everything and will buy from others for our purposes (which means accepting giving you a profit to make it viable).
It is unlikely that Mine->Refine->Sell will make you more income than Mine->Sell. You are in competition with players with much better skills than you have and more efficient operating arrangements (using corporate refineries and hauling services). The whole refining business is a thin margins on high turnover game and in the middle of it you’ve players that don’t understand the value of time to mine.
I did have a look at the “set up cheap ore buy orders in beginners systems to exploit new players”. The maths really didn’t work out for me - yes, I could make a profit, but it was peanuts and going to involve haulage hassles. And felt a bit exploitative of naive new players (I’ve a conscience to live with).
T1 manufacturing. The simple “buy a Blueprint Original from an NPC, research it to improve it’s ME and make stuff with it using bought materials then sell the products” is a good place to start. Do your research: https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/blueprint/ is very useful. You should be thinking “what do people use a lot of?” because your profit only occurs when someone buys something: you can’t eat dreams of big wins on items that don’t sell. So, Drones, ammunition, the very common ship modules that sort of bread and butter stuff. That “other tab in the market window” shows volumes traded. That’s really useful information. A good hint is "are the prices for buy and sell orders close together (good) or a long way apart (bad)?
Look at buying using “buy orders” for minerals and other materials rather than just buying immediately what you need.
The problem in the T1 space is modules: the basic T1 modules you manufacture are not as good as the Meta items dropped by mission rats, so they won’t sell as well. But they do sell because they are needed in T2 production, and are generally cheap so people (the poor new players) do buy them.
Remember: if the profit is too great on a T1 then a T2 manufacturer like me will think “I can make a significant increase in profit by making the T1 myself rather than giving that value add to someone else”.
Understand the value add at each step in the supply chain, both below you and above you - you are the cog in a chain to a finished product (someone assembling a fitted ship or structure) - pick where you can do the value add and take the profit.
T2 production (the whole invent, manufacture thing) can be nicely profitable (again if you make things that sell) Fuzzworks gives the profits for that. The headache is that it is skill demanding (time: about a month for Omega clones to get there) and it can demand a modest amount of capital and tie it up for extended periods. The recent market changes have been good to me for T2 profitability.
Given I don’t really sweat the last ISK out of my supply chains, I’m making typically something like 150k ISK per module end to end for the basic high volume cheap stuff (Damage Control IIs, Inertial Stabilisers, Cargo Hold Expanders - you know things everyone fits!)
Bit of theory: https://www.adamsmith.org/the-wealth-of-nations
Also why do corporations prosper? because they can have all the specialists under one organisation reducing the cost of contract (there is a Nobel prize in that statement).
Some materials are sourced from limited areas of space - for example “only in null” - that limits some of the steps in the supply chain I can influence, but for T2 that’s not usually been an issue for me (for example I have to buy Morphite - and that’s a cost I can’t control, same with some of the reaction stuff).
Happy if you want to reach out in-game for a chat through industry (or even some help).
Thank you all for great tips! I have to go deeper and deeper to the game as i still am a newbie despite some advanced ingame skills. So far i realize some deeper things but on the other hand i miss a lot of info. Im trying hard to solo-ing. I know you will tell me to join some corp the sooner the better but i find that the exploration of the mechanisms is lot more challenging and rewarding than when you enter a group of people and everyone throws all the secrets of the game at once on you. At some point i will surely join a corp but i guess i want to do some solo stuff for now.
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