I would like to make a brief post about arbitrage trading on the EVE Online regional markets. It differs from traditional station trading in that your goal is to sell at another trade hub than the one you buy your items at. I have been following croda at his blog, marketsforISK and I ran across the following post.
It describes his initial arbitrage setup between Jita and Dodixie. It sounds like he is already refining his methods but I just wanted to put my method out there because it will save a ton of time and effort for anyone wanting to try something similar.
Here is what I do.
Your Very Own Corporation
Step one is to form your own corporation. There are guides out there, read them. Train the skill and start your own corp. I think it costs 1.5M isk. Then decide how much money you want to invest in this project and transfer it to the corp's Master Wallet, set that wallet as primary and forget it (for now, you might want to refine your wallet division strategy later).
Me, Myself, and I
Create some alts and invite them. Make them all Directors or at least give them access to the corp wallet. Get some basic trade skills. For the love of God, whatever you do, make sure you eventually train Margin Trading on every character you want to trade with. Do not invite anyone else to your corp. If you want to play with others (and you should this is a muli-player game), do it on a non-trade character.
Depending on how many hubs you want to cover you may need more than one account. If you want to do this right, you need to have a character that sits in the trade hub and doesn't need to go anywhere else. If you get into covering multiple hubs with jump-clones you will rapidly grow frustrated.
Ok so park your minions in the trade hubs you have decided on (I would start with some combination of Jita (for sure), Dodixie (solid hub), Amarr (should still be the #2 trade hub), and Hek (fast growing hub with good sell prices). Rens is the other major hub, but it is not one of my favorites.
Decide what you will trade. Go read Gevlon Goblin's newbie guide.
That should get you started. Now, here comes the important part. Use courier contracts. Make them corporate contracts (not personal ones from your character). This means you need to buy your stuff and leave it in the Delivery Hangar until you ship it. If you take it out of the delivery hangar you will not be able to use corporate funds to create the contract and won't be able to make it a corporate contract period unless you have an corporate office in that station. if you can get and pay for an office in one of the major hubs then you probably don't need my advice. PushX and Red Frog both have highly regarded courier services. Personally I'm a cheapskate and I use public contracts. I put the collateral at my desired sell price or a bit above, set the reward at 1% of the collateral, the contract expiration for 3 days, and length at 1 day. Make sure you keep your contracts' value below 1B ISK and less space than a freighter (approx 900k m3). If you don't, your contracts will probably not be accepted. In fact, you should try to keep most contracts below 38k m3, because this is what can be hauled on a fully skilled, fully cargo expanded Iteron Mk V. In fact if you keep to 30k m3, pretty much anyone can make the delivery. When the contract is complete the items will magically appear in your corporate delivery hangar in the destination station. Doing all of your hauling by contract moves all of the risk to the courier. If he gets popped with your cargo you should make out like a bandit if you followed my contract guidelines (you basically just sold your item for your desired sell price and didn't have to pay any market fees and all contract fees, including the collateral will be refunded).
Here is very bare bones look at the daily routine. I am totally glossing over how I decide what to trade, where it goes, and how much to sell it for. Open up your trade character and check your delivery hangar. You are looking for stuff that was delivered or bought (you should be using buy orders to maximize profits) since you last logged on. Ship out the stuff you are sending to another hub. Sell everything that is left on a corporate Sell Order (another reason to leave everything in the delivery hangar). Then check your buy and sell orders and update as necessary (or cancel if your margins get to small or go negative). You can do this once per day per character and make a lot of ISK. In my opinion, if you undock your trade character, you are doing it wrong.
Creating your own corporation with dedicated trading character and using corporate contracts and market order should greatly streamline arbitrage. You should never have to transfer items or ISK between characters. I might go into more detail on certain aspects of this operation in the future, but this is it for now.