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Archive for the 'Tips for traders' Category

Secret to Success

July 10th, 2008 by Bahama

Many years ago, when I was first starting |Bahama-Wear|, I dreamt of a successful tailoring business.  Back then I thought if I could just sell enough clothing to support myself, I’d be successful. 

Recently I’ve been thinking about what success means now.  Admiral Fenris shared his thoughts on achieving the rank of Admiral and obtaining his pride and joy, the Agamemnon.  I completely understand how he might be a bit sad to have reached the top. 

My business now is successful beyond anything I’d imagined.  Just the other day, a customer I’d never met called me a celebrity.  I still find that rather funny and I know he was probably just being a little dramatic…. but it made me think.

I have achieved creating a successful tailoring business.  So what’s next?

I like having goals.  I like working toward something.  So is there still something for me to work toward? 

Though sometimes it’s like keeping up with the laundry, I try to keep my vendors well stocked.  I work toward serving the customers I have and winning over new ones.  I work to supply uniforms to the fleet and find ways to get all our members everything they need to succeed in their choosen professions.

But in all the work and goals and meanings of success, a key thing is lost.  See, I didn’t become a tailor because I wanted a successful business.  I became a tailor because I have a passion for clothes.  Because I love the thrill of putting together a terrific outfit or discovering a color I’ve never tried before or making someone look really good. 

Success isn’t defined by how many customers, ships or credits.  It doesn’t depend on level or rank.

Success is knowing what you love to do and being able to do it. 

Master Trader – Part III

June 2nd, 2008 by Bahama

You can have multiple factories, vendors, crafting tools, tons of high quality resources, adequate storage, a great brand name, a well researched price list and a fancy droid with a crafting station installed…but without customers, you’re not a trader. 

So how do you go about getting customers?  There’s many different strategies and which will work for you depends on what line of business you’re in, what kind of business you run and even your personality.  But here’s a few good places to start:

  • Put your tag up.  Choose a tag that clearly describes the trade you’re in.  Make it easy for folks to see what you do and they’ll be more likely to approach you about your products.
  • Walk.  Now that you’ve got your tag up give them time to read it.  When you’re in a public place walk, don’t run.
  • Go out and meet people.  People like to buy from someone who’s familiar.  Get out of the shop and do some crafting in the cantina.  Chat with folks at the bank. Talking with folks about general things can open the door to discuss what your business can do for them.
  • Be polite.  Always. Even the Dark Lord himself doesn’t want to do business with someone who’s lacking in social graces.  Any time you’re out in public your potential customers are watching you.  Act like you care.
  • Follow up.  If you have a positive conversation with someone about your business don’t forget to follow up!  Send them an email telling them you enjoyed meeting or talking with them… and don’t forget to include the waypoint to your vendor.  If someone asks for a product you can’t yet make, take down the name and item.  Email them when you learn to make it.  Even if they’ve already bought the item elsewhere chances are good that they, or someone they know, will want it in the future.
  • Give it away.  Freebies are a great way to get your brand name out there while also improving your reputation with potential customers.  It doesn’t have to be big and fancy.  Choose something you can afford to give away.

If you put your focus on your customers (not your level) you’re sure to become a successful trader :)

Master Trader – Part II

May 31st, 2008 by Bahama

So you’ve decided to be a trader rather than a collector of schematics.  You’ve started stocking your vendor with all the items you can make, done your research, experimented on the bazaar with various items and prices and you’ve got a price list started.  Perhaps you’ve even made a few credits selling already! You’re off to a great start.  Now’s the time to aquire the other things you need to run your business.

  • Factories.  Sooner or later you’ll want to own your own factory.  Many items require crated components and these can be costly to purchase from others.  All things considered, factories are a good investment.  In addition to being able to make the components you need, factories are a great place to store extra materials. 
  • Crafting tools.  Be sure you make or buy at least 3 quality crafting tools for your area of expertise.  It’s also good to have a generic on hand as well.  Having 3 will allow you craft continuously with little or no wait time between items.  This is also the time to experiment with where you keep your tools and materials.  Be sure you’ve got things set up for maximum speed and efficiency.
  • Personal crafting station or droid.  You’ll need one or both of these to craft higher level and higher quality goods.  I highly recommend droids with crafting stations installed but they may not be the best choice for you.  Do your research before you buy.
  • Brand name.  Depending on which trade you’re in and what type of business you plan to run, you may want to put some effort into developing a brand name to set your products apart from your competition. 
  • Suppliers.  If you’ll be harvesting all your own materials, you’ll need to obtain harvesters and survey tools.  If you’ll be purchasing materials or components it’s a good idea to see if there’s someone in your neighborhood you can get a deal from.
  • Storage.  Trading for a living requires that you have a lot of materials and components available.  Which means that you’ll need to find storage solutions.  I already mentioned that factories can be a great place to store excess materials but then you have to go to the factory to retrieve them.  Another possibility is to create a personal storage vendor.  These days vendors can be packed up into your datapad and carried around for convenience.  This is a good solution if you’re careful to attend to the stockroom, maintenance fees and always double check to make sure you’re packing, not removing, the vendor and everything in it.

Even with all this taken care of there’s still one more thing you need to be a master trader.  Can you guess what it is?  :)

Master Trader – Part I

May 30th, 2008 by Bahama

I’ve seen a lot more traders around lately.  You see them surveying for materials outside Mos Eisley or at the bazaar, presumably selling their wares.  Many I’ve met are concerned about one thing – becoming a master of their trade. They set their crafting tools to practice mode put it on auto and expect to come back a few hours later a master trader.

But from where I’m sitting, I think they’re missing the point.  You’re not a master trader until you’ve mastered trading, or the buying and selling of commodities.  Otherwise you’re just a collector of schematics.

So, what’s my advice to new traders seeking fame and fortune?  For starters, take your tool off practice mode.  Actually make, by hand, several units of every item you have a schematic for. 

  • Record what materials are needed for each. You’ll need this information later to know which materials and how much of each you’ll need to harvest or purchase. 
  • Take the time to figure out how much each item costs you to produce.  Now’s the time to start developing your price list and step one in doing that is figuring out how much you need to pay just to make it.
  • Do some market research.  Head to the bazaar and see what comparable items are going for across the galaxy.  How many are up for sale already?  Who’s your competetion? Is there a niche that’s been overlooked that perhaps you can fill?
  • Get a vendor.  Place a shop, set up a vendor and begin to sell the items you can make.  You’re going to have to experiment a bit to see which items will sell best and at which price.   Don’t assume that because an item is lower level there isn’t a demand for it.  It’s also ok to sell things for less than they cost you to make.  You’re paying for your education here!
  • List on the bazaar.  It’s a whole different game.  Items tend to sell for much more on the bazaar in Mos Eisley than on vendors.  Folks will pay more for the convenience.  You’ll also find that demand is different.  Those who are new to the galaxy have different needs and wants than those that have been around a while.  So experiment and find out what you can make that they want.

That should keep all you traders busy for a bit 😉  Next up: What you need to run your business.