I obviously used the exchange as a way of offloading drops for a while, but, for most of my time in the game, I'd been plodding along with very little EC. A few thousand here, maybe another 10k there... occasionally, a very lucky drop, but it was only a few weeks ago I hit a million EC (already having been lvl 60). In the past week and a half, I shot up from 2m to nearly 30m (which is still kind of lower-middle-class as I understand it) just playing around on the Exchange.
I was familiar with the basics (like this great 101: http://www.reddit.com/r/sto/comments/2jt...to_market/), but I'm interested in other fleet members' thoughts on how to play the Exchange, given how it's just one really weird market. For the sake of not spilling all the beans, I put this in the Fleet forums, but I'd get it if people don't feel like sharing.
That said, I think the fleet should get rich. I've heard chatter of our Fearless Leader at Omega, Mal, being on TANF (Tithe to Admirals Needing Funds), or STO Welfare... and we just can't stand by and let things like this happen.
A few things we've noticed are:
- I would start with what you know. If you're regularly using certain items (say, for R&D projects), and you notice the price varies a lot, start tracking it... you'll get to know where to buy and sell it at and can start making a profit without even really stepping outside of your usual routine.
- That there are really severe and regular daily fluctuations on some items. For example, in a day, Trellium-K R&D packs can cost between 100 and 150k (the highest low I've seen in a day is 120k and I've never had a 149k priced pack returned to me so far). They're really cheap, but the margin is fairly significant. I'm interested in taking some notes to see if there are patterns, but it looks really erratic and tied to events and such. One idea I have here is to have a Google spreadsheet shared among the fleet in which folks could input data and we could chart out prices. Maybe that's a little involved, though.
- Also, it seems that, at times, ship reward packs flood into the market pretty cheap. I keep thinking to pick up a Kazon Heavy Raider, but I every time I nab one (or five) for 150-200k, the price jumps back up to 350 or 400 or so and I can't resist the profit and let go of all of them. Does this happen more when keys go on sale and folks start popping boxes open and trashing what they don't want?
- The Exchange is terminally buggy. One example is that the "All" search doesn't properly sort (maybe it hits a limit of items before sorting) and you can make a little margin comparing the specific search of a category to the "All" search. Also, always sort by "Descending by Price per Unit"... it's the wrong language, but it's the right way if you're looking for value and there are plenty of folks on the Exchange who miss it, because the language is wrong.
- Omega Upgrade crafting has been extended beyond the Anniversary, but the capacity to farm Omega traces isn't going to continue. This means that, maybe, if you hold onto your fragments and shards, they should drop in value as soon as the events over and then shoot up to really high values within a month (as people realize there's a scarce resource that can be used to make these fantastic upgrades).
- DOffing! Buy fleet duty officers from fleet credits, that you obtained from getting more EC, and contribute to fleet holdings a second time.
- Get your R&D up enough to craft Superior Upgrades, then sell them on the Exchange, because that never gets old, apparently. This was just linked elsewhere on the forums: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...Mdl1I/edit and is a great resource for figuring out where profits lie in R&D.
- Speaking of crafting, some consoles can go for a bit more than the materials it takes to craft them (a recent example being 75k Plasma tac consoles)... that said, they can take up a lot of inventory space and aren't a tremendous margin, so you may want to take consoles you craft to Epic in order to pull those double-digit millions numbers
- If you have the money to invest... and the market isn't getting flooded with whatever item... you can make a pretty penny buying up low-priced outliers and relisting them at a profit.
- Two items that never sit idle long are Contraband and Masterkeys... while the prices are fairly stable, they get bought up super-fast, so when you do notice a dip, take advantage of it! For Masterkeys, particularly, their price can drop really fast when Lockbox ships come out and at other times... it takes a while for the price to go back up, but they stack (only one inventory space taken up) and, if you're patient, you can get as much as a 15 or 20% return on a 2m EC investment in a week or two.
- The Exchange returns searches by latest posted, so, unless you're in a real hurry to sell some stuff, there's not that big an incentive to undercut the going price for an item
- Jack, I believe, posted this video of how to make tons of ECs in a very streamlined manner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwFNqAoM9-w I can't find the original post, so correct me if my attribution is off.
I'm aware that the specific examples above kind of "blow up the spot" and may make them less variable; however, they're both rather small-ticket items, so I'm not sweating it. Maybe examples could be more hypothetical - what do folks think?
I'm also more full of questions than answers, here... Like, there was just a Masterkey sale, but I didn't see the keys drop below 1.9... with a reliable sale price of 2.1, that's just not that big a cut. Is the Masterkey market done? Or is this just the new low and it's going to go up significantly higher with the next lockbox release?
Anyways, I'm fairly new to this, having just broken 20m a couple of days ago and I'm curious if:
a) Other folks are interested in this kind of discussion (I could curate tips in this first post above)
b) Anyone thinks this is a particularly bad idea (given that the ROI on published tips could drop)
c) A portion of profits earned by tips learned herein should go into TANF (I guess that would be the Fleet Bank)
d) Folks think could be a place to pool ideas, too... based on what's going on on Tribble, trying to figure out what will happen to prices when x-thing goes live.
I'm sure there's a ton of ways to come up in STO, but I could've used some advice along the way and still can, so... whaddaya think?