* Originally by Joel Downer
The basic steal-sell cycle works as follows: find a port
that's selling equipment, and steal or buy 150 holds. (When
you're using ports identified with EVILPAIR.COM, it's actually
smarter to buy than steal your first load. Don't risk making a
port angry with you when you may need to buy fuel ore there the
Move to a port buying equipment -- preferably a port at 100%.
Sell the equipment for the best price you can negotiate (see the
section on the five-experience point trick, below. Now, port and
*STEAL BACK THE EQUIPMENT YOU JUST SOLD*. Sell the equipment
again, steal it, and repeat the process until you're caught or
out of turns. When you get caught, you'll lose 13 holds (out of
150) and 10% of your experience. Sometimes you'll be caught more
often than you like, but if you steal a sensible amount (no more
than one hold per 15 experience points), you'll typically make
more than enough to compensate for the trouble.
Important: When you get caught, write down the location and the
date. You won't be able to port there for at least 14 days
without getting busted again (even if you just port to *trade*,
you may get nailed). After a couple of weeks, you can go back
and work the ports again.
The five experience-point cycle works as follows. The first
time you dock at a port, accept the port's first offer for your
equipment. Write down the offer, and using a calculator and the
results from your psychic probe to calculate and round off the
best price. (E.g.: first offer was 19,200; psychic probe
reports 96.69% of best. Best price = 19,200 / .9669 =
(int)19857.2 = 19857.
Steal back the equipment and dock again. If the first offer if
within half your number of holds (75 in a StarShip) of the first
offer from last time (19125 - 19275) bid the number that you
calculated last time (19857). If the offer is substantially
higher or lower, adjust the best price by a multiple of your
number of holds. If the offer is 19,325 (125 higher), bid 150
higher; if the offer is 265 higher, bid 300 higher; if it's 700
higher, bid 750 higher.
When in doubt, overbid. If the port refuses your initial offer,
you can still often get the five experience points; just
understand that the best price will *change*, by 30% of the
difference between your offer and the original best price.
Example: The port offers 19,278, and you bid 20,007. Oops! The
port tries to barter, telling you that you guessed wrong --
evidently, the best price was still 19,857. Your error has
changed the best price by 150 * .30, or 45 credits, so the *new*
best price should be 19,902.
This approach will not work at every port. Some ports don't seem
to have a best price; at others, the initial estimate with the
psychic probe will actually be a few credits low or high. If you
master this technique, though, you'll be able to get five
experience points on *every sale* at many ports, and on *most
sales* at many others.
Price guidelines: *very good* equipment-buying ports will pay
22,000 - 23,500 credits for 150 holds of equipment. Spending
tons of turns looking for the perfect port can end up *wasting*
money, though, because every turn in a StarShip is worth at least
9,000 credits. (What's more, tooling around in a StarShip when
evil is *dangerous*!) I'm usually content to work a port that
offers 20,000 for 150 holds, and I'll sometimes put up with ports
paying as little as 19,000. Ports that only offer 16,000 -
17,000, however, are taking things a little far...