If you’re a dedicated industrialist, you end up being a Market Maven as well since raw material must be obtained (often via market purchase) and finished product sold (often via market sale).  With the bulk of the industrial work conducted in-house, much of your interaction with other players occurs via Eve’s glorious shared market meaning that’s where you get to dance with odd partners.

A few months back an interloper with an ‘XY0,XZ0’ fetish and propensity to drop sell orders in precipitous 10,000 ISK chunks set up business in my local hub.  So, say I have a sell order up for 850,000, my interloper will drop on market grid with a notably lower sell like 690,650 (see the fetish?).  Since 690,650 remains above my acceptable profit sell price floor, I’ll penny to 690,649.99.  Seeing that, my interloper will drop 10,000 to 680,650.  Again I’ll penny and again she’ll 10,000.  The dance continues until one of us sells all our available product or my interloper reaches a sell price below my floor.

I could understand my interloper’s headlong race to the bottom if, once winning the race, she’d keep to her winning position but she doesn’t.  You see, when I surrender, I don’t surrender the war, I surrender today’s battle only.  Accordingly, I don’t pack up my unsold product and trudge home never to return.  No, I repost that product enough above my floor for future tussle and wait out the bottom racers.  At this point my interloper, seeing she’s now selling well below her resolute competition (me), sharply raises her sell price.  With the market now reset and good money again to be made, I penny her.  She 10,000s me.  I penny again, she 10,000s again and we dance another jig to the carpet.  Sooner or later my interloper is going to discern she won’t badger me out of my hub via this peculiar tango.  When there’s decent money to be made, I’ll compete.  When there isn’t, I won’t.  Accordingly, when my interloper drives prices too low, she’ll have won today’s battle, but she won’t be making good ISK.

Occasionally things get bat shit crazy when I’m not the only one tussling with the interloper.  With surprising regularity she and the other Mavens will continue to contest the sell price long after I’ve surrendered the field.   I suppose it would make sense if they stopped racing before reaching sell prices well below the cost of the product’s constituent parts but they don’t.  No they keep tussling.  Eventually, once they’ve driven the sell price low enough I’ll swoop in and buy the whole lot out.  No sense manufacturing items when I can just purchase them for vastly less then I – or anybody else – can build them for.  Usually this resets the hub to sanity and I pocket a little profit on the silliness but not always.  Occasionally my interloper and her foolish competition will reintroduce product at that same, below cost of manufacture price so I’ll swoop in again.  And again.  So far three swoops is the record and at that point I sat on so much product I ended up hauling most of it off to another hub for sale.  Made a tidy sum too.

So keep it up kids.  In the end you’ll be dirt poor but full of win while I’ll be an obscenely wealthy penny ante looser.