In EVE Online, trading has a simple concept: Buy low and sell high. If you're lucky, you can find an excellent trade route to make your fortune. However, many traders do not seem to understand another simple concept: You make your own luck.
Instead of trying to look for places with low and high prices, why not place orders far and wide, and then sell the purchased goods in a high-trade location?
I have found that if you purchase goods at 40-60% of their default prices, and then sell them at 60-80% of their default prices, you can actually make a profit from every single sale. In order for this to work, you need to span the purchase orders as far as you can safely travel, then travel out to pick up the goods, and bring them back up to a high-population area to sell, such as Jita. Remember to use the star charts to avoid potential ambush points; always avoid locations with recent podkilling.
Essentially, when trading, you can either wait for the market to give you a profit, or mold the market to give you your profit.
Another page does a much better job of explaining methods to avoid becoming subatomic particles during your collection runs: http://alexiamorgan.blogspot.com/2009/06/24-tips-to-surviving-lowsec.html