Part of a series on
Investments and Marketing
Importation from empire is the lifeline of goonfleet. It sets the maximum and minimum prices for any goods for sale. It can be done on a small scale with frigates or blockade runners, or on a large scale with Rorquals and Jump Freighters. Below are some sample business plans to get your little jewish hearts beating with inspiration.
In addition to the ideas outlined below, be sure to check S-Mart for any threads outlining shortages. Usually, there will be a thread titled "I Need This In Delve" or wherever it is we are at a given moment.
Getting Ready To Import From Empire
Pick your route, and use a neutral empire alt to move shit from Jita or Amarr to your fringe empire system of choice (usually Agil or Badivefi if you are moving things to Delve. Be sure not to have more than about 100m in an industrial, especially an untanked industrial. I recommend the AFK Empire Hauling Mammoth as a decent way to get shit around empire while being somewhat gank-resistant. If you are moving low-value items (on a neutral alt, of course), then you can dispense with the tank and use cargo expanders in the low slots.
Although ideally one will use a Covert Ops for frigate-scale importation, importing at a frigate level can be very lucrative for a newbie who knows how to Travel safely even without the ability to warp cloaked. It can just as easily be a little extra money on the side for a more experienced goon who needs to get something in empire and is making the trip anyway. At this scale, you are mostly limited to very small items, such as implants, implant sets (very lucrative), skillbooks, synth boosters, and blueprints. You can transport modules as well, but not very many, so it's recommended to import named versions which take up less space and aren't common in Delve (don't bother importing anything in the Blood Raiders loot table, which is mostly laser/armor modules).
Another possibility is Amarr faction ammunition, as the crystals are very expensive but do not take up much room. Faction Multifrequency L/M and faction Microwave L/M sell especially well, though there may be a decent market for Standard L as well.
Implant sets always sell, and at a decent price, but require moderate amounts of start-up capital. There is always a need for on-demand skillbooks, especially when you have the immediacy of being able to say "I am in empire on my alt right now, and will bring any skillbooks you want to Goonspace within the next hour." Ask on IRC/Jabber if people need anything. A markup of 10-15% on any skills or implants is typical, since you are assuming the risk and people often want so many skills that it is annoying to keep track of them all.
With regards to implant sets, I usually charge about a 10m markup over Jita sell price for the entire set, and if possible I get the implants with buy orders via my Jita Market Alt for even more profit.
Synth Boosters are hit or miss, but are relatively cheap in any case. It is suggested that you not charge a very big markup on these, and instead rely on volume to make your profit. The most popular will likely by Mindflood, though Blue Pill and Exile definitely have a market as well. The others are kind of a crap-shoot, though many elite pilots would probably want X-Instinct and either Sooth Sayer or Frentix. Note that synth boosters are legal in empire, unlike their stronger counterparts. Note also that synth boosters do not carry a risk of a drawback, and so are ideal for pilots that already have implants and faction gear, and are looking for a little something extra.
Other odds and ends that may be lucrative include some T2 Amarr Ammo (especially Scorch L), Sisters Core Scanner Probes, and small or medium rigs. The last of these, especially, has a lot of room for a newbie to break into the market without too much startup capital. I have listed some rig possibilities below. Do not take any of these suggestions as gospel, but rather compare the empire price with the Goonspace price and move on things that you think will be profitable.
- Frigate/Covert Ops Import Items:
- Implants (especially learning implant sets and Combat Implants)
- Faction Ammo (Amarr)
- Small Rigs (Auxiliary Thrusters, Low Friction Nozzle Joints, Salvage Tackles, and various Collision Accelerators and Burst Aerators for all races)
- Medium Rigs (Cargohold Optimizations, Projectile Ambit Extensions, Ancillary Routers, Energy Locus Coordinators, Anti-Thermal and Anti-EM Screen Reinforcers)
- Synth Boosters
Blockade Runner Importing
Importing to our space via Blockade Runner is easy enough via the jump bridge networks. Use a neutral alt to get your goods to Agil or Badivefi, and contract them to your main. Unlike when using a Cov-Ops, there is a non-negligible risk if you go into high-sec when there are war targets around --if we are at war with AAA in particular, I would urge caution. Thus, you may want to use an empire alt to drop off goods at a hand-off safespot, then pick them up with your main.
The volume you will be able to import is sufficient to run one large POS, a few medium or small POS, to corner a chunk of the t2 module market, or to supply a moderately-sized t2 invention business. At this scale you can charge people per run based on how many m3 you can fit, and the only cost is the liquid ozone for the bridges and your time. You can also fit packaged t2 frigates in your hull --invented t2 frigates cannot compete with the price determined by the T2 BPO holders, so importing them makes more sense than inventing them, and can charge a significant markup in goonspace. Other things that you might consider importing include Nanite Repair Paste, which can always sell at a markup. Another decent item to import is faction ammunition --the non-Amarr ammo takes up a good deal of space yet fetches a high price in Goonspace, and likely has a decent turnaround.
It takes me about twenty minutes to make a round trip to Agil in my Prorator, and I can charge well enough with that to make importing more profitable than ratting.
If you get a few good clients, they could probably keep you doing this full-time. The fewer the clients, the less hectic things end up being --and it is likely that even one dedicated industrialist could keep you working full time if you were prompt and reliable.
- Blockade Runner Import Items:
- POS Fuel (small-scale)
- Faction Ammo
- Nanite Repair Paste
- Invention Ingredients
- T2 Frigate Hulls
- T2 Modules (bulk)
- Faction Modules (if priced better than Jita)
On your way to empire to pick stuff up, you can increase your profit per-trip by exporting various goods. The materials in Delve that can often fetch better prices (especially if procured with buy orders) in empire include:
- Blood Raider Salvage, especially Melted Capacitor Consoles
- Any best-named modules the Blood Raiders drop, such as 1600mm Tungsten plates or 'Solace' remote reps. Be sure to check Contracts for cheap faction loot as well.
- Moon Minerals, most moon minerals producers always have product that needs to be moved to empire. If you hook up with a producer, you can improve their bottom line by moving shit at a discount since you are making the trip anyway.
- High End Minerals, depending on their price in relation to empire at a given moment. Profitable minerals at various times may include Morphite, Megacyte, and Zydrine.
- Decryptor Parts (Analog Panels, Auxiliary Parts, Elemental Cruxes, Force Cables, and Positron Cords)
Large-scale importing usually involves the use of freighters, jump freighters, Rorquals or carriers, but other ships with humongous cargo holds such as the Orca also suffice. It is usually used for supplying tritanium for the production of battleships or capitals, but there are several possibilities.
Cook up a Freighter Alt or Jump Freighter Alt and move your shit to a low-sec jump-out system of your choice. Carrying more than 1bil worth of goods in a freighter may attract gankers, so I recommend keeping things below that threshold.
Freighting through hisec is boring and slow, but pubbies will do it for next to nothing. Ask the usual jews for advice on finding a pubbie freighter service. You may care to save your freighter alt for the interesting part of the logistics chain, which is getting from hisec to lowsec. A neutral freighter alt with that doesn't carry too much loot is relatively safe in hisec, but in lowsec it's fair game.
Empire gankers are most likely to do their dirty work in .5 systems (or below). The Concord response time is slightly slower in these systems, allowing for an easier gank. If you are doing a big haul, be sure to check the Jihadswarm forum for scheduled freighter take-downs and don't make runs at these times.
Jumping Shit To And Fro
Capswarm is less than helpful with regard to non-PVP applications of capitals. Alas, if we spell them out here then we are serving you up to stupid enemies on a platter. Thus, you must figure out your own routes and jump-off systems. Luckily, they are easy to figure out.
You want a station system in high-sec that is directly bordering a station system in low-sec. The system must be within range of our cyno beacon networks, or with your alt. If the highsec system can jump to a decent 0.0 system, even better. There are a couple exceptional cases where you can jump from highsec to 0.0 station systems --they are about as good of an exit point as you can get.
Check offices in the lowsec system in question for goon corps, as that's a good indication that there is a tower in a given lowsec system, which is useful for moving a capital. Once you suspect there is a tower, use a pod to scout the moons for towers, then a shuttle to see if it has standings set toward you or your alt. Note that there are relatively few good lowsec jump points, and that you will quickly see which ones are occupied by dangerous groups such as Pandemic Legion.
The main things that large-scale importers deal with are minerals that have been compressed in empire (Mineral Packaging), POS fuel, and T2 hulls (especially cruisers and frigates).
The volume of POS fuel imported may be sufficient to fuel huge chains of reactions, and on the return trip you can bring your POS product, assuming you are not using it locally.
T2 Hulls are always in demand. Of particular note are the interceptor and covert ops hulls, which cannot be produced competitively via invention, and many of the T2 HAC and Recon hulls, which are often in such demand that their price is inflated. HACs that may be worth importing include the Vagabond, Zealot, and the Cerberus. Recons that may be worth importing include the Rapier, Curse, Arazu, and the Falcon.
- Large-Scale Import Items:
- POS Fuel (large-scale)
- Packaged Minerals
- T2 Hulls (Frigate and Cruiser)
- Missing Reaction Ingredients (see Alchemy in particular)
Basic Mineral Packaging
Mineral packaging is a large field that can involve complex math or even specially coded applications. The short of it is that you build modules in empire with the right mineral ratio for your needs, move the modules (which are smaller than the raw minerals), and refine them in Goonspace.
Here is a walkthrough of a fairly simple 20:1 mineral compression method, such as one might use for importing low-end minerals to meet supply for battleship or capital production in Goonspace. The 20:1 ratio means that the compressed minerals occupy only 1/20th of the space that the raw minerals would, effectively saving you nineteen trips.
Many modules have better compression than others, but each has a different ratio of minerals. Some modules might have too much of one mineral and not enough of another. A simple and reasonably effective module ratio for manufacturing battleships is x4 Tachyon Beam Laser I : x1 Warp Disruptor : x1100 Doom Torpedo I. Each "basket" of these modules/ammo will occupy 580m3, and refines to the figures listed below. The ingredients for making an Apocalypse (battleship) and Revelation (dreadnought) are provided for contrast.
|Mineral Type||"Basket" Minerals||Apocalypse Ingredients||Revelation Ingredients|
You will need to manufacture these modules with minerals purchased in empire, possibly supplementing them with modules purchased via buy orders. The Tachyons can be any large sniper turret, with alternatives including the 425mm Railgun I or 1400mm Howitzer Artillery I. Note that the build costs in empire are negligible.
Dump the modules in a system with a high refine, use your perfect refining skills, and voila!
This given ratio will get you a good amount of Tritanium, which is usually overpriced and in short supply in Goonspace, and supplement your Pyerite, which is helpful. Depending on what you are making, you may run into several problems:
- If you have too little Tritanium, increase the amount of Doom Torpedoes in your ratio.
- If you have too much Pyerite, build Shield Boost Amplifier Is and melt/resell them in empire. Note that you need 5.0 or better standings with an empire corp to not have them take a cut of your refine.
- If you have too much Mexallon, sell it in Goonspace. If you have too little, import it raw (it does not compress well).
- If you have too much Isogen or anything smaller (including Megacyte) just jump it back out to empire without compressing it.
Automatic Compression Calculator
You can use Stretchmeat's compression calculatorto get a list of items you can use to compress minerals as close as possible to a given composition at a ratio of your choosing.
Note that many items, primarily turrets and ammunition, have other items from other races with the same material requirements so check your existing blueprints against the items listed. i.e. 425mm Railgun I's are identical to Tachyon Beam Laser I's and 1400mm Howitzer Artillery I's for compression purposes. Some items, i.e. 800mm Repeating Artillery I, have the same material requirements but the modules differ in volume.
Small/Medium Scale Importation
If you are constructing anything less than capital ships or a full fleet of battleships, you don't have to perfect the amount of minerals you import. 425mm Railgun's offer a very wide range of mineral types and have one of the highest compression ratios in existence. Additionally, you should be able to find highly researched BPC's for sickingly cheap in public contracts at or around Jita. Look for BPC's with an ME of 200 or more. Just buy one of these along with a ton of minerals, set up a courier contract to a nearby production facility, and then jump your Production Efficiency V character there and produce away. By importing them, or other BPC modules with high ME, you can fulfill the bulk of your mineral hunger, and simply buy the rest in Delve or sell off the excess at a profit.
Case Study: The Moros
By customizing the compression modules and ammo used, one can get more finely tuned minerals. For example, with perfect efficiency blueprints and skills, creating a Moros requires:
- x1,062 800mm Repeating Artillery
- x288 350mm Railgun
- x44,800 Thor Torpedo
- x624,800 Mexallon
- x8,000 Doom Torpedo
- Remaining parts are <1% of composition by volume.