Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Selling a Player Owned Customs Office

Before my corporation moved into its current C4 wspace system, we were in a C1 with highsec static.  Our goal there was making money via PI, which we certainly did.  (One of these days maybe I will write up what we were doing.)  Over the roughly four months that we were there, 4 characters were making about 3 billion ISK per month.  However, it was a lot of work.  That was one of the reasons we moved up to a C4 system: killing sleepers is easier and more fun than moving around PI goods.

When we left our old system, we left behind two POCOs that we had put up after shooting down Interbus ones.  (The other three planets had POCOs owned by another corp; I asked nicely when we moved in, and they let us use them for free.)  My policy was to let anyone who want to use them to do so free; this is better than having them shot down.  Anyway, only one guy had asked me since we left, and I set him blue and forgot about it.

Yesterday I got eve-mail from him, asking about selling the POCOs.  He wanted to know how much I'd sell my POCOs for.  I told him "at cost", which I had to figure out.  Here's what I wrote him (prices as of July 2, 2013).

To build a POCO, you need to start with a Customs Office Gantry, which currently costs 53.5 million at Jita (buy price). (Sell price is 56.9m.) Then you have to bring some PI goods, as follows: Broadcast Node 8, Recursive Computing Module 8, Self-Harmonizing Power Core 8, Wetware Mainframe 8. You put those in the gantry, then do an "Upgrade" on it, and it turns into a POCO.

The costs of the PI goods (in millions) are as follows:
Broadcast Node: 1.27 - 1.34
Recursive Computing Module: .88 - .93
Self-Harmonizing Power Core: 1.28 - 1.44
Wetware Mainframe: 1.32 - 1.39
So, the total cost of a POCO (minus labor costs) is 91.5m at the minimum, up to 97.7m. I offered them to him for 91m.  He convoed me and accepted the deal.

The issue of trust came up.  We discussed using a trusted third party but he was OK with just doing one at a time.  Boom, he gave me 91m.  So I starting trying to figure out how to effect the transfer.  There is a tab on the Corporation window that shows all corp assets, and there are a few right-click menu options for them, but you cannot transfer them there.  I found no way to do it.  After failing to discover a means in-game, I googled for information on it.  I could not find a clear answer, but my conclusion is that one cannot transfer a customs office except by being in the system with it.  In system, there is a menu option on the right menu to transfer ownership.  (I already knew about this, because it is option that I wish was not present where it is.  It is bad UI design to have a almost never-used menu item on a frequently used menu.)

So I told my buyer that I'd have to fly down to do it.  I gave back his 91m.  He told me the system that the static was currently in, which was 25 jumps from Jita.  I flew out my market alt in a frigate.  Eventually, got there, fleeted up, warped to him, and entered the system to effect the sale.  (He joked about killing me as soon as I got in.)  We did the transfers one by one to minimize his risk.  He accidently paid me for a non-existing third POCO.  (I was tempted to joke about stealing his money, but didn't.)  Gave his money back again.  The whole thing was about 1 minute.  Then I autopiloted back.

I generally dislike the idea of requiring physical attendance in-system to sell a corporate asset.  On the one hand, requiring presence does have an interesting effect on wspace, where you cannot get to an asset simply by knowing which system it is in.  On the other hand, it's painful to have to drive 50 jumps to sell something, and for what?  How does this add to game play?

Certainly in terms of "realism", it's absurd that I cannot sell something remotely.  Indeed, you can sell all normal assets remotely, via contract at any station.  The same should be true of extra-station assets.


  1. Necro threading, but thank you for posting about this - this makes my potential offer to purchase POCOs in a W-Space system where the owning corporation still has a mothballed tower ... less palatable. Guess we'll have to simply remove them the old fashioned way.

  2. I'm also going to necro thread this... :) Thanks for writing this up, it helped me to confirm what I thought I already knew. We got an offer on some old assets in null sec. They only offered 25mil per though. :( Hopefully negotiations work out.