The manipulation of markets is an old strategy that has seen success at the hands of many entrepreneurial capsuleers willing to gamble their fortunes. In the frontier economies of his enemies, market veteran Dark Shikari has created sizeable profits buying and reselling.
Whilst Shikari may not have effectively hindered the economic or logistic foundations of his foes in the Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate, he has nonetheless found himself much richer thanks to their patronage. He is known to many as a market manipulator, causing economic inconvenience to his enemies wherever he sees an opportunity for profit. However much resentment one might have towards his methods of business however, the billions he has made from them serve as testament to how lucrative his practices can be. In an interview with the Interstellar Correspondents, Shikari shared his market strategies as he used them in the FAT-6P system of the Catch region.
“What I did in FAT was extremely difficult, something I would only recommend a veteran of the market with money to blow, try. The reason for this is that it was done in a 'factory station' with 50 factories, where IAC could easily resupply their market in mere hours. One might think that profiting here would be impossible, but I will give two examples explaining why it's not. The concepts are real, but the exact examples are made up.
Example One: I buy 100 Stasis Webifiers for 10,000 each. I resell for 500,000 each. Seven sell. Then I'm undercut. My enemies cry: “See? You're stuck with 93 you can't sell!” I say “But I still made 2.5 million, even if I trashed those 93 right now.” Because selling just two made up for all my initial costs.
Example Two: I buy 100 125mm Railguns for 10,000 each. I resell for 250,000 each. Nobody notices my reselling, and I manage to sell them all for huge profits.
I made roughly 2 billion ISK in FAT buying and reselling, using roughly 1.5 billion in capital. It took a good deal of active undercutting and managing orders, along with intelligent buying, but it ended up better than I expected."
In the region of Catch, Tyrrax Thorrk, President of IAC had a brief comment on the matter: “Recently the market's been in turmoil due to the war being brought to our doorstep and before that Dark Shikari had a campaign to buy and resell everything he could afford on our market, in an effort to damage the market. But in general the market here is very nice, and his efforts don't seem to have had much effect, we just jump in and build more stuff to sell here.”
Dark Shikari himself admitted that the negative impact on IAC was low, but maintained that despite this, he had made a healthy profit. “Did I have a serious impact on the market? Of course not. I ****ed off a few IAC members who sent me hate mails, but anything that was seriously needed on the market was 'usually' relatively quickly resupplied, or supplied through corp hangars. However, I did pad my wallet with a couple of billion, which was of course my primary goal.
Now, this trick is far, far easier at a non-factory station. The main disadvantage of a non-factory station is that there's less on the market, and so there's less to buy and resell. Of course, the advantage of having vastly less competition usually offsets this.
Another important thing to remember: One should never try to resell items that commonly drop as 'valuable loot' in an area. For example, reselling Heavy Nosferatu in FIX, BoB or IAC space is futile, because they are supplied in such vast quantities from the pirates in those regions, that the market is easily restocked just from peoples' hangars. Other dangers include buying from people who are experienced enough to notice you're buying-out their products and have the [ability] to instantly restock. This is impossible to avoid. The best way to avoid getting screwed is to buy and sell as many items as possible, without becoming too dependent on any of them. Another great tool is the buy order: Caracals selling at 6 million but cost 3.5 million to build? Set up a 4 million buy order, get a bunch, and sell for 6 million.”
Shikari offered one last piece of advice: Overall though, it is still very risky. Even if you stick to items that are mildly popular (the most popular items are often restocked quickly, and the least popular are never bought anyways), you can still get screwed. Never risk what you're not willing to lose. Know that against an experienced foe, while you might do more damage than you could flying one battleship in a fleet of 200, you won't single-handedly deal any killing blow to an alliance just by screwing with their market. But you can make a heck of a killing in profits.”