With the introduction of Citadels came the introduction of Private Markets: markets in which you can restrict the buyers to members of your corporation or alliance. Normally selling to a restricted market unnecessarily diminishes your revenue, but it does have one unintended use: asset security.
Asset security is rather non-existent in EVE: anyone with access to your corporation hangars has the potential to take everything in one second, with no means of getting the items back. While there are ways to mitigate the impacts of grand theft (trust, distributing assets over hangar divisions, distributing assets over stations, uses password protected containers, etc), they are all cumbersome to employ and do not actually prevent grand theft, only softens the blow.
One approach to asset security is to keep the vast majority of assets on the market, with all proceeds going into a Market Reimbursement wallet. Members buy items they need on the market, with proceeds circulating back into the Market Reimbursement wallet, from which members may be compensated should they request it. As long as items are appropriately priced, it is not possible to anyone to ‘take’ all of the items without providing the corp with a generous monetary compensation.
There are a few downsides to this approach if using public markets, but these can be addressed with private markets (to be discussed shortly):
- Given multiple sellers, there’s no guarantee members are buying from the corporation
- Constant need to compete on price with 3rd parties, severely diminishing potential revenue from non-members
- 3rd parties might buy all of a corp’s inventory, thereby depriving members of needed goods
Private markets address these downfalls as follows:
- Guaranteed to be sold by corporation, its members, or its allies to keep money internal
- No need to compete on price with 3rd parties (more on this later!)
- 3rd parties cannot buy items labelled for corp or alliance use
The second point is worth elaborating on. A certain quantity, a “stockpile” of sorts, can be sold privately at a higher than normal rate to ensure that corpmates and allies specifically DO NOT buy it unless it is the last resort with no one else selling it, or selling it at a reasonable rate. The stockpile should always be private to ensure its availability to the corporation/alliance, and its price should be high enough to discourage depleting the stockpile unnecessarily, and to make it financially easier for the corporation to restock the stockpile as necessary. You might even having a corporation stockpile at a higher rate than an alliance stockpile to ensure that your corporation has access even if the other member corps of the alliance buys out the rest.
The same item can be sold at multiple price points to ensure that profits are made while reserves are maintained, with a higher premium paid for consuming supplies available at lower quantities. Having multiple price points also forces others to compete on price, thereby giving the corporation/alliance access to cheaper materials. This is of benefit to both private and public Citadels, to both buyers and sellers within and without the corp/alliance.