TRADE: Basics - An Introduction to trading in Elite Dangerous - #00027
Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.
Ferengi Rules of Acquisition #9
Elite Dangerous does not have an endgame nor does it provide a strict storyline for your character.
You can choose your career path freely and some of us decide to trade for their money instead of going the fast and easy way of blowing up some rocks in dual hotspots.
Even if you don't choose to be a trader on the long term, trading can be a viable option for income and some fun in space.
Basically, there is no difference to trading in ancient SOL times. Buy something with lots of supply and sell it somewhere with lots of demand. Easy as that.
Your approach for this can be manifold:
You can choose to just fly from system to system, from station to station, always looking for stuff that is offered below galactic average, then fly to one of the suggested destinations (commodity market suggestions, that is) for a good sale.
This will create income in the range of 1000 credits per ton and jump. Estimating you need 10 minutes travel time on average, you do about 6 trades an hour, so it's about 6.000 credits per ton of cargo.
A 100 ton ship like a T6 or an Asp Explorer creates about 600.000 credits income per hour.
You will have occasional rewards and you can slowly rank up through ships this way, but it will take quite some time (about 2000 hours) for an elite trade rank and enough money for a decent range of ships in game.
A more efficient method is pairing high demand places by creating a loop trade route.
Maximize efficiency by choosing two neighboring systems inside a single-jump range of your ship with stations that are as close to the main star as possible for short supercruise times.
(Be advised that stations 100-300 ls from main star are easier and more efficient in terms of travel times than stations which are very close to a main star, especially with larger ships)
Last but not least check if one of your stations is near a large planetary object or - even worse - near a ring of one. These factors slow you down on approach and prolong travel times.
Elite Dangerous' trade model might not be the most complex capitalism-style model in the world, but at least there are numerous commodities available.
Apart from the beginner's phase in which you might need to look for low value commodities in order not to run dry on liquid funds when buying and selling, you should opt for commodities with a huge spread. Best site? Once more eddb.io with its "commodities" function. Enjoy.
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