I started a corp buyback program. It is magnificent. And, fittingly, it is called ‘Zappity's Magnificent Buyback Program’. Now that I write it out, I must admit that the title isn't quite as imaginative as I imagined when I thought it up. Still, it gets the point across.
Why am I telling you about this? Well, I have been travelling a LOT lately for work. I can sadly report that the Pacific Ocean is of precisely the same immensity as it has previously been and I wish they would introduce a new and even faster Concorde with an Australia-US leg and also teleportation. Actually, just teleportation would be adequate.
Before I was distracted I was about to say that I have not been much in the mood for PvP. This isn't all bad because I do not like to pretend that PvP is the only thing that I find interesting in EVE. So here is an adventure about breaking into a new market activity.
It was not at all planned. I was messing about in Jita when a ping went out about a change to corporation policy. Apparently, the powers that be had decided to change the corp buyback rate from 90% of Jita buy via evepraisal.com to 70%. This was purportedly to make room for independent marketeers to move into the space and take over but I think it is just because Gobbins is tight.
I looked at my trading corp wallet and saw lots of ISK and thought, “Hey, I could do that”. So I posted in the thread, “Gobbins is tight and is only paying out 70%. I'll do 90%.” And the contracts started rolling in. I didn't want anything too bulky so I initially excluded ore and minerals and PI (which scares me because I don't understand it) but after about a week I had paid out 10B.
Which was far too long in my opinion.
I took a careful look at the forums. There were buyback programs everywhere! This was just unacceptable. If I was going to bother with this thing then I was obviously going to have to crush them all.
I pondered my options. I pondered that I had a reasonably-sized 12-digit war chest, having liquidated a fair chunk of my trading items prior to the release of citadels and the price crash as a consequence of the inevitable liquidity squeeze. I pondered that I could probably manage for a while paying even 100% of the Jita buy price, admittedly with a sadly diminished profit margin. And I pondered that it was easier to retain customers than it was to get new ones.
So I posted that I was now accepting 100% of Jita buyback in Fade. Even more contracts started rolling in! Ha! After a week or so, I dropped the price back to 92%, confident that the general magnificence of the program, the higher payout, and the relatively rapid turnaround that I was managing would encourage people to hang around. I decided to ignore the Querious stations because they were just too far away. And because I was lazy.
Next, however, news went out that Pandemic Horde was moving into Fade properly and, subsequently, abandoning Querious. The corp program was paying 80% on everything. Hmm.
I added Querious to my program at 92% and bought another jump freighter in Amarr. I was still excluding really bulky cheap stuff (PI, ice etc) and was soon unfortunately forced to add non-faction T1 ships to the list. I thought a lot about ‘ISK density’, the curse of jump freighter pilots everywhere. But even excluding these items, I had soon paid out over 150B in Querious and needed to move some of it to Amarr.
I don't like jump fatigue for jump freighters. CCP supposedly likes to support ‘gameplay enablers’. I don't feel particularly supported to be honest. Jump fatigue is awful and frustrating. I understand the point of it - I even understand the need for it - but I don't like the way it feels, especially for a non-combat ship.
Things eventually calmed down in Querious and I was able to turn my attention back to Fade. My main competitor was now offering 93%! Disgraceful! Just the sort of shabby trick you'd expect them to play while I was busy. You just can't trust some people.
In addition to having a troublesome competitor, I had decided expand into ore and minerals. (I have a lot of blueprints, some admittedly more nefariously acquired that others, so I might as well do something useful with them.)
I faced a decision. Should I accept the presence of my feeble, so called competitors? Or should I CRUSH THEM!