Stock Tracking – Steps to getting it right

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 | 2 comments

Stock Tracking – Steps to getting it right

It seems like every week there’s a new thread popping up in the Eve-O or various related forums with questions on how to track orders, profits, best-sellers, which software to use, etc.  And fair enough, I mean we all want to get as rich as we can as quickly as we can and the more thoroughly we can track and benchmark our progress the better.

So I figured I’d run through the basic steps I use to keep my orders and stock levels in check and ensure that I’m always bringing in the most profit in I can. Although my methodology may surprise you…

First of all, here’s my personal take:

  • To date I’ve made so much more isk than I know what to do with, without using third party tracking software, that I my care factor for such software is essentially nil;
  • As you’ll see below, my benchmark for tracking profit is waaay more simple than what a lot of people might expect;
  • I’m no spreadsheet hero and don’t have that particular super-ultra-fine detail OCD itch to scratch like some people do;
  • All I’ve ever used, and all I’m about to teach you, relates only to in-game tools.

It’s not that I wouldn’t use such software to track my trading, but in my experience:

…trading software = bugs/lack-of-development = tedium = ragequiteve

Now don’t think that I’m just generally crapping all over the software that’s out there, I’m sure there’s one or two programs that might work well for you and there’s been the odd one that’s caught my eye for all the right reasons.  But if you’ve read my other articles you’ll know my time available for Eve isn’t huge and so making trading software work for me over the long term, given the isk I already make without such software, doesn’t rank highly on my list of things to do.

These are the only windows/tools I use

  • Market Window
  • Orders/Transactions Window
  • Web browser window so I can read evenews24, themittani, or one of the few market related blogs out there (not really mandatory, but keeps me entertained…)

Learn To Love The Quickbar

Once you hit your trading sweet spot you’ll find that you tend to sell the same items over and over in generally the same places, and the quickbar makes it a no brainer to keep these things organised.  The quickbar allows you to create folders, and you simply list all of the items you sell in that location in a folder named after that location.  If you have fifty or so excellent selling items in the Ordion system then just make a folder named Ordion, bring up the item in the market window, and drag the icon for that item down to the Ordion folder in the quickbar.  Alternatively just right click the item in the Browse list and “Add To Quickbar”, then manually move it to the correct folder.  Repeat this with any and all other items you sell in their respective locations.

Periodically Check Stock Levels

To check what items need to be restocked you simply enter the region your trade system is in (your Daytrading skill level will determine if you need to be in that system/station or not), make sure you’ve set your orders to be highlighted, and to keep with the current example click through each successive item in the Ordion folder you’ve made.  If you find an item that’s sold out (i.e. none are highlighted) then simply make a new folder named “Ordion To Buy” in the quickbar and drag the icon for that item into the folder.  And there’s the start of your shopping list.

Eve Mogul Trading Quickbardrag

Check Your Order List

Next up you bring up your Orders/Transactions window and have a look at all the remaining orders in Ordion.  You’re basically perusing the list to see what’s low, and if it’s close to selling out you simply add that item to your “Ordion To Buy” quickbar folder.  It’s quick and it’s easy.

Purchase and Relist

All that’s left to do now is head back to the closest hub and purchase the items on your shopping list, or head back to wherever you have your stockpile of items, fill up your cargo bay, and head back out to Ordion to relist them.

Why You MUST Do This

Quite simply, this method forces you to observe what the competition is doing which you may not always get if you rely heavily on third party software.  You’ll see when you’ve got the monopoly, you’ll get a feel for how often your orders need updating, and you’ll see when you’re getting heavily undercut.  You’ll get this information while you’re setting up your shopping list so you won’t rock up to the system and find that you’ve now got immense competition on a number of items right after you’ve sunk billions into stock.  You’ll be able to determine if it’s better to pack up shop in a particular item due to competition, or bunker down with some of your own targeted market PvP and fight back.


In closing…

Is it the most comprehensive method out there?  Probably not.

Does it cover every possible trading method perfectly?  Unlikely.

Do I care?  Not even remotely.  

As I said at the start it’s good enough for my relatively passive trading method to make me more isk than I can spend and keep my accounts indefinitely PLEX’d.  If you have no method of keeping track of your inventory then this will be a great start.  If you already have things fairly well figured out then either take a few pointers from this post to improve what you’re doing, or even suggest alternative methods that have worked well for you.

Have you found a better way to keep track of inventory and market orders?  Let me know in the comments section below!