This is an update on how The PLEX Experiment - Buying and Selling PLEX for Profit is coming along.
I've been slowly increasing my presence in the PLEX market, testing theories and trying different things to see how the market and the competition reacts.
This weekend I got extremely aggressive in the PLEX market, increasing both the prices I was paying and how many I was buying in each of 22 different regions. I wanted to buy and sell a lot more PLEX than I usually do and see what kind of effect greatly increasing my sales volume would have on profits.
It worked very well on the buying side. On Friday I bought 63 PLEX, on Saturday I bought another 108 for a total of 171 in 48 hours. It looks like I probably can buy 100 a day, at least on the weekends.
Unfortunately sales weren't nearly as good, I only sold 17 on Friday and 18 on Saturday for 35 in total. Once I started selling more than 1 or 2 PLEX at a time anywhere the no-lifers and bots quickly came out of the woodwork and began undercutting me constantly.
It didn't take long before sell prices were down into the low 800 millions in most places and even under 800 million in some places (Jita for one).
Of course if I can't resell PLEX at a profit quickly enough, I won't be able to buy 100 a day for very long before I'm out of cash and sitting on stacks of PLEX. Many competitors will happily sell PLEX for 12 million markup and some even less. It looks like the key to doing any real volume (selling more than a few PLEX a day in any one region) is going to be grinding faction and corporation standing even more to lower broker fees even further.
Unless of course those competitors are bluffing and can't keep up the undercutting game for much longer. In that case I should be able to sell all or most of my PLEX during the next week and buy more the following weekend.
Strangely enough, one place were my PLEX sales did do very well this weekend (much better than usual) was Genesis. For some reason the Malma bot backed off on PLEX this weekend, but not on other things.
I've noticed several patterns in PLEX sales, some seem to be natural and others manipulative. The main thing is there's a weekly cycle (often hidden by manipulation) where prices go down on the weekend and back up during the week.
Though I can't prove it, I'm quite sure this is due to more PLEX being purchased for real money on the weekends and sold quickly for ISK which tends to bring prices down. Then during the week, fewer new PLEX enter the market, prices tend to go back up and many of the PLEX purchased on the weekend are resold for profit.
It's also interesting how shortly after I ramped up my business and grabbed more market share prices dropped significantly. That's not the first time that's happened either. It happens every time I try to sell more than 1 or 2 PLEX in the same region, prices go down and undercuts become far more frequent. To me that's a strong indication bots are very active in the PLEX market.
Then again, considering how much prices have dropped over the last 2 days and how the blocking orders have disappeared again, it's possible the market might be starting to crash. In that case I picked a very bad time to increase my volume and could wind up losing some billions or even 10s of billions.