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The Contract System

Authors Date Added
Legionn 27th Oct 07

 The contract system replaces the now obsolete escrow system that Eve used to have so for any of you returning veterans out there, escrow is no more.

Along with the contracts feature comes two new skills "Contracting" and "Corporation Contracting". Contracting allows you to put up 3 more contracts per level of the skill to a maximum of 21 contracts at level 5; without the Contracting skill you can only place one contract up at a time.

Corporation Contracting is as the title says, it allows you to put up contracts on behalf of your corporation up to a maximum of 60 at level 5. A corporation may only have 500 contracts up at a single time.

The contract system is fairly straight-forward to use but to get the most out of this feature, read on.

Creating A Contract

To create a contract click the "Contracts" icon on the left menu of your screen or you can right click on an item and select create contract.  If you right click on an item in the corporate hangar it will be set up as a corporation contract.  If you right click on an item from your own hangar it will be your contract, but their is a checkbox you can tick to turn it into a corporation contract.

A window will pop up with three tabs at the top, "Start Page," "My Contracts," and "Available Contracts" and will default you to the Start Page. From the Start Page you can see how many contracts you have left/how many you have used and how many have been assigned to you. A contract assigned to you can be either a contract another player has specifically set out for you or a contract you have won by purchasing.

From the Start page, click the yellow highlighted text, "You can create XX more contract(s)" to start the process of creating a contract. A new window will pop up will many different options asking you which contract type you want to create and who you want to assign it to.

Contract types:

Auction:

Ever use Ebay? Same principle, you set a starting bid and/or a buyout, set it for however long you want it to run (up to 2 weeks, select the item(s) you wish to sell, and enter a brief description about it/them.

Item Exchange

The item exchange feature is the same as trading except that you do not have to be there to complete the trade. Set it up the same way as an auction, the length of time, the item(s), as so on. The main difference is that you have to have a set price for your item(s) or ask for another item or set of items to trade yours for with or without extra ISK. With item exchanges you can also set up buy orders, start setting one up as usual but do not select any of your items to enter into the contract. Enter how much you are willing to pay for it and then type in and select the item you want to receive.

Courier:

Have some item or lots of items you need to move from one station to another one but maybe you don't have the cargo bay and don't want to run 20 trips back and forth? Here's the feature for you, pay someone else to do it. First select where you want your goods to be dropped off at; if you don't know how to spell the full name of the system you can enter a few letters and then select it from a pop-up list. Enter how much you're willing to pay the person for hauling your junk around in the "Reward" field. Collateral, well why the heck do I need to enter collateral? You don't but it is a very, very good idea because it's all that's keeping the other player from taking your stuff and running off with it. Granted the other player cannot see what it is he is hauling and if he did run off with it he cannot unpackage it and use it, to him it will forever be a useless brown box. As a general idea don't enter some extravagant amount hoping he will try to steal your stuff, that just never happens. Remember that the higher your collateral the fewer players will be able to afford paying it in order to haul your stuff. Just take an educated guess at what your stuff would be worth on the market if you had to buy it all again and enter that amount (rounding up never hurts just in case).

Loan

Not much to describe about this one, loan says it all. How to use one? Quite a bit more interesting than a loan in real life. You can lend money, modules, Blueprints, ships, and just about anything tangible. Select the item(s) which you want to loan and select a player, corp or alliance to which you want to loan it to. From the next menu you can set how much to charge them for using your stuff, the collateral if they lose it, how much money you want to loan (if any), for how long the contract stays up, how long they have to return your stuff and what items to loan.

Freeform

The contract to avoid if possible; if you don't have the utmost trust in the person accepting your freeform contract you may never see your stuff again, luckily this can only be created for a specific person, corp or alliance and not for the public. This is the "if-none-of-the-others-doesn't-work" contract, basically a contract you create do fulfil some purpose that one of the other ones doesn't do. For example you remember that little pest of a player who keeps stealing stuff from your cans? You can create a contract saying you'll pay whomever brings you the corpse of your nemesis XX amount of ISK. It's not guaranteed that someone will accept the contract and kill that player nor does it allow the person accepting the contract the rights to kill someone else either but it is something that none of the other contracts allow you to do.

Availability

The availability section allows you to set to whom you want to set a contract to. Whether the be the general public, a private individual, your corporation or your alliance. Some contracts cannot be set to the public like Loans and Freeforms.

Remember to always use the final page before you finish your contract to review what you have entered. You don't want to miss a zero, or enter too many items.

IMPORTANT!

Contracts are some of the most useful trading techniques in the game but they also have the most scams. Some of the most common scams:

Entering 1 unit of a mineral, say Megacyte, and in the description saying there is 1000 units of it. From here the buyer would only receive the one unit while the seller would potentially receive full payout for 1000 units therefore ripping off the buyer.

In contracts you do not have to repackage you items in order to sell them like the market forces players to do. In this way players can buy T1 ships that look similar to their T2 counterparts and make a very hefty profit. For example, the Minmatar T1 cruiser the Rupture's picture looks awfully the same as it's T2 version the Muninn. By naming the T1 variant "Muninn" a seller can scam a potential buyer into thinking he/she is buying a Muninn but really gets a Rupture.

Watch your zeroes very, very carefully. Whole number prices are often confusing, for example 10,000 is written 10,000.00 which at first glance looks like 10 million instead of ten-thousand. Players put up many buy orders asking for very expensive items like ships for far less than they are worth and they appear to be legitimate. The most common is the navy Issue Raven, a ship worth around 600 million ISK, has many buy orders for 1,200,000.00. If not read correctly that amount appears to be 1.2 billion but in reality is only 1.2 million.

Buying Contracts

So now you know how to make contracts but how do you accept them.

Remember those first three tabs you first see when you open the contracts screen? Well click on the last one, "Available Contracts" to go to the screen where you can browse and buy other players contracts (you can buy your own too but that's pointless). See that little sentence off to the top right of the menu, "Show more options?"

Select that to give yourself more options from which to better find the item(s) you're looking for.



From left to right, top to bottom;
select where you want to look,
what type of contract you're looking for,
What type of item you're looking for,
(Item Group is currently unchangeable)
how you want to sort the results,
who it was issued by,
min price, max price,
the description of the item (which is entered by the issuer)
and most importantly the item(s) which you are looking for. Then hit the "Get Contracts" button to get your results.

Sometimes the item(s) you have won will not show up in your hangar where you completed the contract, simply go back to the Start Page of the contracts menu and a new set of yellow highlighted text will have appeared near the bottom telling you that you have one contract that requires your attention. Follow the steps to getting your item(s) and then they will appear for you.