I haven’t seen any thoughts / analysis on here how traders expect the market to adapt to the broker relations update. Thought I’d share my speculation and learn from others’ insights.
There are a few changes coming on the 10th March. A minor change, the minimum broker fee will increase from 0% to 1% in Upwell structures. This appears unlikely to affect most traders significantly. However, the advantage of the stations offering 0.0, 0.2 and 0.5 will be eroded by a small degree, making it slightly more difficult for these stations to attract business away from established hub stations. It will slightly reduce the profit margin and increase the cost to the player of big-ticket items often bought at these low tax stations such as Skill Injectors.
The changes to Margin Trading and tick size are much more interesting, and I’m interested to hear various takes on how it will affect things.
Margin Trading will cease to give a margin, i.e you will need to have all the money you are trading and this will be taken into escrow. This will reduce the buying power of traders, and reduce the speed at which individual traders can make money - this mostly applies to new / small net worth traders. The reduction in buying power is likely to reduce trading activity. Traders may have less competition in certain markets, allowing greater profits to be obtained through a reduced number of modifying price wars (e.g instead of modifying prices 10 times before a sale / all items sole, it’s 5 times).
The update will introduce a Relist Charge. From the Dev post, it appears this change is part of reducing the advantage to automated trading methods. If successful, high volume and / or high-profit margin markets in which bots likely operate may see medium to significant changes (depending on how many bots there are). A reduction in trading volume is likely where bots are present. This would be good for human traders due to the reduction in competition.
This sounds good so far, however, the Relist Charge essentially punishes traders updating orders. This could affect low profit and low profit-high volume items more than others. During the short period after the update, localized market corrections may occur for such items, however, long-term effects may be felt for items which are inherently low profit and don’t cycle through periods of greater profitability. The degree to which items are affected will likely also be based on the skill of the average trader in that market. At level 5 the Relist Discount will penalise traders only 25% of the total Relist Charge. General mindfulness of the new mechanic is advisable, price wars to get a sale will now carry a penalty.
Devs specifically point out “94% of orders never get modified at all”, as a justification for the Relist Charge. The reality of this statement is complex and without a further in-depth explanation of this data, it is difficult to analyse. 94% of orders are never modified? Have you ever sold anything on the market? It’s not possible to make ISK and not modify orders, unless you have the unparalleled power of finding monopoly positions over and over again. Without further insight, I suspect this number likely includes traders looking for bargains - setting buy and sell orders at minuscule prices or obscenely high which never get filled - or simply traders / players who don’t play often. These should be removed from the data for it to be meaningful in this use-case.
Finally, the change to the tick size (technical term for the smallest price increment) to four significant figures, i.e. “1,000”. No longer will traders battle by 0.1 increments. This has the potential to inflate / deflate prices (buy / sell) and affect profit margins.
With all these changes in one go, and the uncertainty they create, will traders rush to stable / inherantly valuable items? Certain blueprints? PLEX? Do eve players act like human traders rushing to gold in uncertain times?
I didn’t intend for this to be so long. Hopefully, it spurs you folk into thinking about the various changes and the future. Do share your insights below.