My current project is out in null space. Yes, on some of my pilots, I have joined a null renter corp.
I still don't 'rat' much. I thing I have spent 10 hours ratting in the last month. I have taken part in a structure grind where the local renters (and not the so called landlords) were wanting to reclaim a station to provide an easier trade route back from Razor. (Long story for another day maybe).
I had great plans of being a null manufacturer, with the bounties of excessive moon goo and ore. These were the dreams of the uninformed idealist.
One of the things I have noticed out in my area of Cobalt Edge, is that we do not have a functional market. Sure there are the occasional jump freighter runs for the organised, but these are done far too much on a trust everyone basis. http://serpentinelogic.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/note-to-self/ is from the same alliance.
You can trust some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but I don't trust all of the people all of the time.
I know wormholes. I have some logistics ability. I have some coding ability. Time to make a trade hub.
My plan is to stock my null station with stuff so that pilots can equip a ship with something. Tech 2, best named Meta, occasionally faction stuff. At the moment largely ammunition and modules but the occasional ship.
So for me, most of my logistics has been via wormholes and DST's. The furthest that I have travelled to find a usable null based wormhole is 7 jumps, and usually it is only 2-3. At the moment, usable means no more than 2 intermediate wormholes, no more than 2 lowsec systems. This limitation is based on the number of 'eyes' I am willing to commit to wormholes and gates.
I am still skittish with my DST, and wait probably too long after seeing someone on a gate. The DST is probably strong enough to shake off most pursuit. Maybe. Either that or I will just keep being skittish. Jump drive calibration 5 is currently being trained on a couple of pilots, with the eventual plan to make 2 jumps, swap ship between pilots, jump 2 more and swap back again. The non-jumping pilot would use a mix of jump clones, interceptors and T3 cloaky interdiction nullified ships.
I have my list of what I would like to sell; just over 1800 item types. I currently have 400 slots in null and sigh a little. I also want to have room for buy orders too. So I am also training more pilots for more trading, planning to get around 1000 slots. This still wont be enough for my 'want to trade list'.
The things I know :
- Hauling is possible but it takes time, ammunition is pretty easy.
- T1 hulls can be made in null, T2 hulls are a lot harder as there is very little local moon goo for sale, and even then it is only select moons.
- Most trading and hauling currently happens via a social networks.
- I am going to have to trim hard on what I am selling at least in the short term
- Our renters are cashed up but have poor access to markets.
Based on this, I have been hauling stuff that is not currently being traded and I think will sell, and then listing it at a significant margin.
My pricing model is based on a convenience store out the middle of nowhere rather than next door to a major city supermarket. I am trying to provide stuff to the buyers that want it now, rather than buyers that want to be organised. Later when I get more trade orders and better logistics,
My market solution is still way too manual. I looked at Eve Mentat and can't drive it they way I want.
At the moment my market selection method consist of 3 windows: One eve window in my null system with the trade filter set to 'show only available' for 'station'; one eve window in a trade hub, and one browser window on either eve central or this spreadsheet .The spreadsheet is meant to show my 1800 items list, and the prices in Jita, Amarr and my region of space. It is slow and often refuses to load all data (hence the eve central fallback).
I don't mind being undercut. At the moment that means most likely ignoring the item, but 'soon' it will mean pulling the item and listing another one instead. I have no idea on when 'soon' will be.