Noob question - Why do players bid in ways that lose them so much profit?

I’ve been playing Eve for about 10 days, have made about 100 million ISK or so, almost all through station trading or buying stuff low in Jita, and hauling it to a station where I sell it at a premium. Maybe $20 million from trying out missions and mining too.

But now that I’ve been trading for a few days, I’ve noticed some players have like super bad trading skills. They seem to pay absolutely no attention to quantities and price movement when bidding, they just .01 every bid to be on top, no matter what.

Here’s what I mean… I enter trading on an item. I’m new with not much ISK, so I’m naturally making bids on higher margin items for very small quantities relative to what others are trying to move. I make sure that what I’m trying to buy is also a tiny fraction of the item’s daily volume, so that my buy/sell cycle should complete fairly quickly… So the trades will be lined up, a whole bunch in a tight range, all of them a few cents apart. I’ll come in wanting to buy like 1-2 of something, and I want it quickly, so I’ll bid several percent above the trading range. I know from experience in the real world that sellers looking for a price bump before they sell will pounce on the free margin I’m surrendering. I get a quick trade, but it costs me.

But many times, people trying to move far higher volumes worth many, many times what my trade is worth will reflexively chase me, tacking .01 onto whatever huge price bump I offered. Unless they’re savvy enough to change their price back after mine inevitably clears, then they just lost a shitload of ISK because they were too impatient or too stupid to let my irrelevant trade go through.

The other day I was station trading a certain microwarpdrive successfully, because the big players were correctly letting my insignificant trades go through, while they kept meeting the bulk of the demand at their price. Then a couple of people with big trades leapfrogged me, surrendering millions of ISK in doing so. So I started rope a doping them cuz it was funny to me, bumping the buy and sell up and down every five minutes. I sold all of my drives for a handsome profit, and then kept trading just TWO more to purposefully troll these morons. By the time I was done, the big margin that had been holding all night had been squeezed down to where trading was all but choked off, cuz the margin was dog sh*t. lmao, it was so hilarious. (the margin has since stayed like that for about a day now. I figure at least $100 million was needlessly surrendered by ego/ignorant trading while I was active, and who knows how much since)

Then today it happened again even more hilariously. I’m trying to buy a quantity of ONE on an item that’s about $6 million on the buy orders. I bid several percent above the buy line, which appeared stable with lots of QTY clustered together. Figure I can come back in an hour or two and have that no problem… lmao nope. Instead, morons representing several hundred million worth of product chased me, outbidding me by pennies. So far, they’ve cost themselves about $50 million… Best part is, it’s an item I’m keeping for a while, I don’t care about the profit. So I’m gonna keep bumping up the trade 2-5% every 5 minutes, see how much I can make them lose. lololol

Take it from a noob. Pay attention to the quantities when bidding and have trading discipline. Stick to your price target, and don’t chase aggressive traders willing to surrender margin for a quick trade. You will cost yourself margin you had no reason to surrender.


They are most likely market bots programmed to adjust their trades to buy 0.01 ISK higher than the higher buyer (or 0.01 ISK lower than the lowest seller) every so often.

Then once in a while their owner will come check on them, notice that there is no margin to profit on anymore and change the item or correct things manually.

So the good news is, you are wasting some market botter millions of isks. The bad news is: they are making billions and you are likely just a small annoyance, especially if you do it only a few hours of their 23.5hr/day of trading.


Bots to bid with? Well that’s some ■■■■■■■■. haha


From your point of view, letting you through because you have a small/quick order makes sense.

But from their point of view, they’ve been putting effort into that market order for DAYS, because it’s a big one, and if it’s not at the top it doesn’t move. But every 10 minutes here comes another schmuck with his 2-item order trying to cut in front of the line, because it’s “quick.” Basically, if they don’t put effort into keeping that order at the top, it will never move, it’ll just keep getting outbid by little fish. Time is money; sometimes people want to get rid of their big supply of crap, because, for example, who knows what CCP nerfs this coming Tuesday with their patch?

Look at how many orders are “active” (expiration 89 days 23 hrs 59 min x seconds). People put orders for 90 days, and every time they 0.01 isk it goes back to 90 days, so you can easily see that you have 3-15 others actively 0.01 ISK’ing for the top spot at any given time. There are lots of little fish.

Good for you; that’s the way the game is played.

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There are a ton of different trading strategies, Personally on most items I try to set a position and just leave it and let the natural ups/downs go on and wait for my order to fill and will change the bid after a month or so if it doesn’t move. A few I micro manage and update often. I’ll typically ignore those low volume orders, but a few items I’ll out bid them.

as for why people outbid those small orders:

because your a small fish and I’m trying to disincentivize your participation in the market. if you just want one unit you can easily buy it from me. I’ll out bid you and then wait a week and go back to the normal bid prices.

maybe I’m intentionally raising the price on an item and your small bid gives me an opportunity to make another move.

some markets jump a few percent each day, and you just have to go with it. Maybe I’m already down 10% from last week, your 2% bump up is a normal move.

If I’m buying for a group and just need a stack of a few items I’ll just keep bidding up, I’m just trying to save a few percent off of whatever sell orders are at. In this case it doesn’t really matter too much what the trade spread is.

market bots could also be a possibility, people blame bots for a lot and I’m not so sure about it. I’ve seen pictures where people drive the price way up and dump, then drive the price down buy, then drive it up again and dump all to a bot. Typically low volume goods, and the orders get cancelled when the bot owner realizes what’s up.


“Bots are possible” is a fact.
Whether they’re used in the market, that’s another matter, and I don’t think we can discuss that on these forums. And ultimately it doesn’t matter…

… Because the “0.01 ISK outbid every second” can happen completely without any sort of automation, simply because, well, let’s take PLEX as an example: the average is 2 million traded per day, divided by 86,400 seconds in a day = 23 trades per second (people aren’t really buying one at a time, but let’s call it “statistics”). If 5% of those trades are via new orders or order modifications, that equals one per second.


Tax isn’t paid until the actual sell transaction happens, and there is no “loss” if you keep re-listing your 2 items and they keep re-listing their 100 items, with nobody selling or buying (at the lower prices). The only loss is the broker fees required to re-list. Reducing the price has a broker fee of only 100 ISK, and increasing the price has a broker fee of 3% of the difference. On top of it, if the orders are in a player citadel, the broker fees are set by the owner (and paid to the owner), so they could be 0 for them.

So, the guy who “lost 50 million” probably didn’t lose more than 20k in fees and was just trying to dissuade you.

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If I have a 500mil order and raise it 10% to outbid a small order I’m paying an extra 50m I didn’t need to pay if I just left my order and ignore the small order or two that gets placed above it.

I assume that’s what they mean by wasting isk.

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There’s a few reason for this, all of them relating to different niches that traders fill.

So lets say you’re flipping an item in Jita end the sell value is crashing hard, it seems like somone is intentionally bringing it down either by controlling a majority of the orders or a majority of the stock. You’ve got to concider what they stand to gain from that action. This is something you’ll see alot of in smaller trade hubs, say Amarr and below, as one person is able to throw their weight around and no one is really interested in stopping them.

Another reason is bots, however i’ve only seen a handful of bots in the 3 years i’ve been trading so i don’t actually concider that a major issue, CCP watch for them and track patterns and then stomp them out; it takes time to prove a toon is a bot though, so it’s an never ending war.

Lastly and most likely is the form of trading someone is doing. If someone is region trading, then they really won’t care what they buy the goods for, as they will still make their margins on the sell as they will likely be in a low competition market, say a SOV NULL fort. They may buy the item at a price that is harmful for the local market however they will still make their 25-50% markup and profit all said and done.

Ever got questions feel free to hit me up, i’m no expert however i’ve got 3 years experience tinkering with trade. Just join the discord below and PM me.

It’s actually a great feeling when you buy out those 3-6 little fish orders ahead of you and then manage to successfully resell, and keep the price inflated, making millions more than if you had just leapfrogged the queue. Of course the risk is always there that someone will lowball you again, wasting your efforts.

Free trading tip.

When I first started playing, and doing small trade runs

Some faction agents offer special ‘get me these ores’ missions
They are standard minable ores
Many mission runners are lazy and they will buy those ores at the agents station for 4x, 10x or even 50x the ‘standard’ market value

it wasn’t fast income
but it was steady & fairly reliable

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