I now have two additional trading alts with sufficient skills ready, so I have deployed one to Dodixie and one to Amarr. Sorry you Minmatar fans, Rens and Hek would require further trading alts, needing either another account or the dispensing or repurposing of an existing alt, neither of which I’m particularly inclined to do at the moment. I will probably send one of the trader alts across that way in a little while to scope out the markets, however for the moment I’m spending time looking at trading patterns in Dodixie and Amarr.
Given that I “grew up” around the Dodixie area, what surprised me the most was the massive decline in the marketplace there. Previously, although there was obviously a big difference between Dodixie and Jita, you could still procure all you needed for manufacturing at a reasonable price, certainly one that usually made the return trip to Jita, with its associated suicide ganking risks, not worth the effort in all but a few cases.
I tend to live off buy orders. For virtually everything I use, buy orders are able to meet my needs. Although the prices for buy orders vary wildly between Jita, Dodixie and Amarr, when you dig just a sliver deeper and look at volumes traded, in most cases the supply to my buy orders would simply not meet even my meagre demands anywhere except in Jita. This, to me, is a real shame. Sure, I can get the basic minerals in all hubs, sometimes cheaper in the smaller ones than in Jita, but for the high end minerals, the null sec residents and wormhole dwellers all seem to be selling to Jita on a virtually exclusive basis.
The problem has most likely been caused by the huge range of ships and modules that are available in Jita - dwarfing the range of availability of the other markets. If you are going to have a trader alt to sell your wares and then to stock up on things you need to survive, why would you sell to one market and buy from another, when you can do both, virtually instantly with some sales products, all in one place. The result is that the sellers go to where the buyers are, and as more sellers leave, the buyers move also, and so the cycle repeats.
This is a real shame, and if hi-sec, with its wars and suicide ganking on the crunch points between regions, is relying far too heavily on Jita, then how can CCP expect null sec in its continuous state of flux to consider self-producing when Jita is just a few well planned cynos away?
I am very seriously considering starting to sell some of our Corp’s products away from Jita, but the question is will people even bother to look at their local marketplace for things or have the neural pathways now been laid so that Jita is the only way? I will compare this to the times we’ve tried to have a marketplace in null sec. In all cases, even when well publicised across the alliance, individuals had their own supply routes, and many still preferred to get their things themselves from Jita, sometimes losing expensive ratting ships while trying to sneak them into null sec through lo-sec near to downtime. Seriously – carrier ship bay anybody?
Granted null sec conglomerates such as Goons might not have to worry as their needs might be supplied by ship replacement programmes or by a specialist marketplace, but the reality (from my experiences so far) seems to be that the majority of people visit Jita to buy and sell.
There could be one final reason of course. It could be that everybody visits Jita for the many “one and only real” ISK doubling services found there, or perhaps they too have heard of the 1 million ISK Republic Fleet Firetails and want one for themselves.