How to Business 101

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Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:30 pm


You want to earn lots of money without getting yourself in danger every time? You've come to the right place.

  • Some stations pay more for stuff than others. Fortunately there is a very helpful indicator that shows just that: unit discount and unit markup.
    This should be a pretty obvious point, after all, that's how you are going to earn money in the first place.
    There's a catch however: nearly all stations lower their price for the item if they were sold this item in the past. What does this mean?
    Sell as much stuff in bulk as possible, avoid small shipments at all costs. You want to minimize cost drop.
  • Once you earn enough money, you have to start paying attention to cargo space. After all, there is only so much you can handle at once and you need to maximize shipments. This is a problem for all vanilla ships including EI500, so unless you can buy a freighter with Playership Drones, buy only stuff that you are sure worth wasting your time and space for.
    This implies that you want to resell expensive bulky stuff first, then expensive small stuff, then cheap small stuff and only then cheap bulky stuff.
  • Don't waste your time reselling low-level stuff if you won't profit significantly from it.
    This is rather subtle, but in vanilla game fuel is a major concern and past a certain stage you are going to waste more money for refueling than you will get from reselling something. Of course, you could downgrade to a low-level ship and operate in high-level systems, but this is an incredibly risky thing to do.
    And besides, you are just going to waste your time.
    Trying to resell as much stuff as possible is stupid, so don't do it
  • Most stations only buy something once per game.
    You can't keep reusing the same station to sell the same thing every time, not only because of ever-decreasing price, but simply because they won't let you. Once you exhaust a station, you can't use it to sell the same kind of goods, except for factories.
    You need to visit as many stations as possible.
  • Weapon/armor reselling does not exist.
    Simple as that. There are simply no ways to profit from reselling weapons. Don't do it.
  1. Source: a station that sells goods for lower price than usual. This is where you buy things.
  2. Sink: a station that buys goods for higher price than usual. This is where you sell things.
  3. Delta-P: difference in discount/markup coefficients. Unit markup of 20% and unit discount of 10% yield 30% of delta-P, meaning you get 30% of base price
  4. Replenish rate: a unique feature of all stations is that they replenish some credits every 60 second. This number shows how many credits they restore each minute.
Short description of all trading subjects:
  • Mines are an atomic source.
    They sell ores and they can't be sinks.
  • Fuel depots are an atomic source.
    They only sell fuel and don't buy anything.
    It should be noted however, that they are unique because it's the only source with 0% markup/discount.
  • Tempus Labs are an atomic source
    They only sell drugs and don't buy anything.
  • Corporate Ice Farms are a conditional source and poor (pun intended) sinks.
    You should only sell stuff to ice farms to get credits to buy from them or if you don't plan on touching this farm ever again.
    Their replenish rate is horrible and they don't have a lot of money (10K maybe at most, but really less than that)
    They've got the best Delta-P in the game but this 10K credits limitation means that they are only good early on.
  • Corporate Argicultural Stations are a conditional source and poor sinks.
    Same as previous, but they only access very specific things
  • Factories are a convertor of resources. They might be the best or the worst facility to work with.
    You sell ores and they generate goods, which could then be sold somewhere else.
    They are unique because their delta-P is randomized.
    They also only buy/sell specific goods, which makes them pretty useful actually.
  • Startons are neither a sink nor source
    Never sell anything to a starton and never buy something from a starton with an intention of reselling it.
    Delta-P is negative for all.
  • Black Markets are a really bad source
    But there's little choice.
  • Commonwealth Medical Colonies are both sinks and sources
    In a pinch it could work the same as Corporate Enclave (same Delta-P),
  • Thor's Wondrous Devices are neither a sink nor source
    They are the best sink for loot, but loot is out of scope of this guide.
  • Adventure Outfitters are neither a sink nor source
    Same story as Startons.
  • Corporate Enclave's maintenance shops are a bad sink
    It's possible to get profit from that, but...
  • Corporate Enclaves are an atomic sink
    If you got something to sell, this is the first place to look up to.
    For the most part it's the easiest place to use, it accepts all kinds of commodities.
    However, more specialized stations buy resources for higher price.
  • Hotels are an atomic sink
    Be aware however, that it's a sink for luxuries. For food, Delta-P is the same as Corporate Enclave.
  • CSC Medical is an atomic sink
    They buy meds and unlike any other station their funds are unlimited which makes them ridiculously good for business.
  • Victorian Nightclubs are an atomic sink.
    They are AWESOME. This is the place you should always be heading to when selling illegals.
    Same as CSC Medical they have unlimited funds.
Types of goods
  • Luxury
  • Medical
  • Food
  • Illegal
  • Resource
Chain of production:
The following list has following format:
Source -> Sink 1 | Sink 2, Sink 3... `Sink 1 | Sink 2` are equivalent and `Sink 1, Sink 2` means Sink 2 is worse
  • Mine -> Factory, Corporate Enclave
  • Fuel Depot -> Corporate Ice Farm, Agricultural station [only helium 3 fuel rods], Factory, Hotel [only water ice]
  • Tempus Lab -> Nightclub, CSC Medical [cancer dust only], Corporate Enclave, Black Market
  • Ice Farms -> Hotel | Agricultural Station [Ice moss only], Corporate Enclave, Medical Colony
  • Black Market -> Nightclub, CSC Medical [meds only]
  • Medical Factory -> Corporate Ice Farm, Agricultural station, CSC Medical, Corporate Enclave, Hotel [specific goods]
  • Industrial Factory -> Corporate Ice Farm [specific goods], Corporate Enclave
  • Food Factory -> Corporate Ice Farm, Hotel [lux only], Agriculutral station, Hotel [everything else], Medical Colony, Enclave
  • Medical Colony -> Corporate Ice Farm, Agricultural station, CSC Medical, Corporate Enclave, Hotel [specific goods]
Download spreadsheet:
I warn you: this is a giant spoiler and it WILL ruin all fun in raising money
If you are sure about that, download this spreadsheet, it has everything you will ever need to know.
The Spreadsheet
This is ODS, open with Excel or LibreOffice.

Be aware: I might not have handled all cases, but I'm pretty sure that should be enough. I spent a few days on it by the way.
Last edited by EditorRUS on Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:47 am, edited 5 times in total.
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1496
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Alaska

LOL , this is what I love about the community, Pilots and Players that demonstrate their amazing minds and talents never cease to make it an exciting adventure to visit the forums.
Flying Irresponsibly In Eridani......

I don't like to kill pirates in cold blood ..I do it.. but I don't like it..
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:30 pm

I updated the spreadsheet.

Duplicate entries were removed and I also added credits/replenish tab.
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:35 pm
Location: Dancing in the universe

When trying to download the spreadsheet I get this:
The file you are trying to download is no longer available.
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Oops, forgot it creates a new link each time.

Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Updated again.

Forgot to add special case for CSC Medical, Victorian Nightclub and Corporate Enclave Maintenance Shop. Those actually have infinite credits.
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:30 pm

I updated the spreadsheet again.

Now it only has 5 tables. Negative Delta-P and Positive Delta-P were separated, Factory data was merged into global data and the cherry is the new interactive table that lets you enter how much cargo space you have and how many credits and get the best trading route. And also, COLORS!

Previous version only gave static access to the table.

Last bumped by EditorRUS on Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:08 am.
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