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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Jobbing your way back to profit

This is an old expression from back in the day when stock exchange market makers were actually on the floor of the stock exchange shouting their buy and sell orders though is still relevant today.  It relates to when a market maker is sitting on a loss making position and how they recover their losses.

I was asked a question on the blog about what i do when i am have a sell order up which has been so undercut by competitors that it is never likely to make a profit in the near term.

I will normally take the view that it is better to sell the item at a loss and so redeploy the capital into other selling other items at a profit and so in time i will recover my losses.

The alternative is to leave the item up at a sell price that is still profitable in the hope that the price rises again but that firstly runs the risk that it may take a long time for the price to rise and secondly by selling at a loss i can normally quite quickly recover my losses.

For example, lets say i bought an item from Jita for 10m ISK and hope to sell it in Dodixie for 13m ISK.  I post it in Dodixie for 13m but competition comes in and drops the price to 9m ISK.  And lets assume there are plenty of items for sale at 9m such that it is not likely that demand will work its way back up to my item at 13m.

In this case i would drop my price to the cheapest, make the sale and then deploy my capital of 9m (so a loss of 1m is made) into buying an item in Jita for 9m in an attempt to sell it in Dodixie for 11m.  If i succeed i will have immediately recovered my loss in one sale cycle.

And that is what the market makers of old and today do - better to realise the loss and get the capital back into play.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Make Your First (Or Next!) Billion Isk Using One Of These ‘6’ Methods [Guest Post]

Guest post written by Eve Mogul :

For the past year almost all of the time I’ve devoted to Eve has revolved around not only trading, but  more predominantly, teaching many other pilots to successfully trade themselves.  And having had quite close contact with so many budding Eve traders I’ve noted that one of the biggest hurdles I see is simply understanding  the concepts of a good trading strategy, and this was in fact my own challenge for at least a few years after I started playing Eve in 2008.

One thing I learnt quickly back then was that buying low and selling high is pointless advice – I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before and I’m also sure you looked blankly at the screen after reading it, had another sip of Redbull, scratched at your probably awesome neck beard, and then clicked away.  The real trick to identifying, replicating and profiting from a good Eve trading system is to know what to buy, where to buy it, and at what price, and of course where to sell it and at what mark-up.

And that, my friends, is exactly what I’m going to briefly outline right now in the form of six defined methods of trading all around the Eve universe.  We’ll take a brief tour of all the trading methods I’ve learnt, tested and experimented with during my many blissfully lost nights and weekends playing Eve.  Not only that, we’ll graph them against the amount of time you have to devote to each strategy once it’s all up and running, against another interesting statistic of how inter-regional they are (or aren’t).  If you’re new to Eve trading then by the end of this post you’ll have a clearer understanding of various different trading methods and be able to choose a method that resonates with you best both in terms of trading style and any time restrictions you might have.  And if you’re a seasoned veteran you might just learn something new, or better yet be able to add you own related experiences in the comments section below for the new guys to learn from.

Caveat: everyone approaches trading differently and the following methods are simply my particular way of doing things based on my own personal experience.  
Secondly,  you can realistically spend 100% of your Eve time on trading using any method.  But my reference to how much time is taken on each strategy is based on my experience of how much in-game order management is required for a given and constant assumed profit level, and as a knock-on effect from this, for how long you can realistically leave the game and still come back days or weeks later and have continued good profits.

Let’s take a look…!

First let’s review the graph as it’s the juiciest piece of information and eye-candy in this post – run your eyes over it and then we’ll have a concise discussion about each method in turn.

First we have station trading, and if I’m honest the mechanics of just how this worked eluded me for a long time.  For those unfamiliar with it, you sit in a major trade hub station and set up buy orders for items in that same station.  You baby sit those orders to make sure they stay at the top of the buyers list, and once those orders fill you relist them for sale.  In order to make good profits what you’re looking for is a suitable margin between the buy and sell price, and a corresponding suitable volume of items being traded each day, week or month.

There’s absolutely no reason to leave station, and obviously this trading method is the least “inter-regional” of them all.  It’s main drawback is the amount of focus you need to keep on the market to make sure your orders remain at the top at all times.  There’s just so much competition in the big hubs that often your orders simply get quickly lost in the crowd.  This is perhaps less of a problem once you get very well established, but I’ve never taken it that far and have personally concentrated almost entirely on more inter-regional methods.

For those of you who want a more detailed review of station trading I’ve stepped in front of the camera to give a short class of sorts on this very topic, and you can check it out on YouTube by following this link: Station Trading By Eve Mogul  (you’ll see some bloopers as well, so stay tuned to the end!)

Inter-Hub Trading
Next up is Inter-Hub trading.  Just like it says, this is trading between any two or more of the four main trading hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie and Rens).  This is almost like station trading on steroids, and while it does perhaps take a little more time and effort than station trading what with all the hauling and price comparisons, the profit margins can be so much better.

This is definitely an inter-regional trading method, although of all the inter-regional methods is the least expansive of them all.  If you put the effort in you can make billions using this strategy however much like station trading, in my experience, if I go away from the game for a period of days or weeks my market income drops dramatically using this method.

Hotspot Trading (hisec)
Hotspot trading is my bread and butter, this is what sent me to 12 figures in liquid isk (that's hundreds of billions!), and this, for me, is by far the best and most effective set and forget method for making huge isk.  If for no other reason, this strategy worked exceptionally well for me as the time I could realistically devote to Eve was minimal, and once you’re setup a little neglect really doesn't change what this method of trading will do for your account balance.  For me, this is the holy grail of Eve trading.

Hotspot trading is my own terminology so this may be new to you; it involves creating your own market for various items in a non-market-hub system with a suitable average population, and acceptable criteria as measured by universe map statistics and a little system recon.  I usually seed between 80 and 200 specially selected items per Hotspot system for best results.

You can conduct this type of trading all over Eve making it a truly inter-regional trading method, and you have the benefit of much lower competition than the hubs, and the use of a 90 day time limit on market orders.  This means you can go away from Eve for days or weeks and come back to a sometimes significantly higher account balance.

When I finally figured out the intricacies of this particular trading method, make no mistake, my account exploded relative to the time I was putting into the game, and allowed me to run pimped out ships on many a PvP fleet while my market empire just did its thing in the background.

Want to learn the basics to this type of trading… check out the free video and info here : Inter-regional Trading Basics (

Hotspot Trading (nullsec)
This is a natural progression from hisec Hotspot trading, and is the path I took to shoot myself into hundreds of billions in liquid isk, quickly.  You simply take the concepts of 'hisec' Hotspot trading and apply it to nullsec.

This will work well in player owned/sov systems and NPC space, and the key, as I often say, is to go where the people are.  Follow the high population systems in nullsec (make sure you have access to them first though) to make this work.  Admittedly it's a little more challenging than hisec due to the concentrated competition in certain areas, but if you get a low competition system with a high average population you will most definitely make a killing!

Buyer-Side Trading
What I mean by Buyer-Side trading is putting in lowball buy orders in many different regions all over Eve for items that pilots wish to readily sell.  It’s then a matter of collecting all of your bought ‘stuff’ and hauling it back to a market hub to sell.  The reasons behind why pilots sell what they do and where they do it is beyond the scope of this post, but rest assured that if you truly dedicate yourself to this method you will make tens, if not hundreds, of billions of isk.

It does take up a lot of time hauling so be prepared for that, but if really immersing yourself in the market is your thing then this method of trading is easily the equal of Hotspot trading, and is most definitely an inter-regional trading method which can be spread to any region in Eve.

Manufacturing -> Trading
There was a time where I spent over a year in partnership with an Eve friend putting up our own POS, manufacturing our own hulls, and selling them predominantly in market hubs (although they can potentially be sold all over Eve).

While I only played a small part in the overall operation I was staggered by what was possible once the manufacturing chain was properly established.  I did make a LOT of isk this way, although to be fair my friend, who had other manufacturing operations on the side, was making reasonably more than me.  The only drawback was the time that it took me to keep on top of everything and ultimately it was too time intensive for me in conjunction with everything else I was doing - it may not be the case for everyone, but industry wasn’t completely my cup of tea so it was a bit more of a chore to keep it all up than it was to keep my extensive market operations going.

So there you have it, six tried, tested and proven methods for making good isk in Eve by utilising the market in one form or another.  As mentioned earlier it's beyond the scope of this post to explain the finer points of each method, but hopefully this has helped to crystalize exactly how you can make isk in Eve by trading using various methods.

Now load up  Eve, and get out there and start making some crazy isk!

All the best and fly safe,
Eve Mogul

Eve Mogul (RL name, Mark) is the person behind the Eve Mogul premium set of video guides available here where you will learn the exact steps to mastering trading mechanics, Inter-hub trading, Hotspot trading, and get bonus information on Buyer-Side trading.  
If you're after the basics of Hotspot and inter-regional trading then get all the details here (

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Checking the Price History

Below we have a classic example of two items where the sell orders are not representative of the fair price in the region and therefore these sell orders are unlikely to be filled.

At first glance, the Sell orders look good.  The below items do not sell in much volume, 2 sell orders each are up.  Potentially these look like good items to trade.

Even better, the Jita Sell order prices are 2.8m and 110m respectively - so a potential healthy margin.  I could buy one of each item from Jita and sell it here hoping to make a profit before taxes of 12m and 70m, respectively.

The problem comes when the recent history is inspected for each item:

The most recent sell orders have been done at 5m and 119m respectively - and even those prices have been elevated vs prior days.

Therefore, there is not a hope that the 14.9m ISK sell orders will be fulfilled, and likewise there is not a hope that the 180m ISK sell orders will be fulfilled.

It always pays to quickly check the price history as well as reference the Sell order prices to those at Jita.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Guest Posts Welcome

This is aimed at the non-bloggers out there though also of course includes the blogging community.

If anyone would like to submit a Guest Blog Post on any business related topic they want then feel free to contact me.

The idea is that you would submit a Blog Post which i would post on this blog and then you can handle the incoming comments.

So, for those of you who don't have a blog but a burning desire to express your views - this is for you.

Even if those views are to rubbish my strategy, all fair game.

You have a trading view? Or want to share your successes? Or want to talk about how you go about making ISK?  All are welcome.

Contact me by email (see my About the Blog Page) or ingame (Ingame chat channel: Ironforge Commerce Guild)

Monday, 16 June 2014

An odd trade

I can't say i am too sure what i am seeing below.

There are two items, each with a very low sell order in at 1m ISK, which is not only way below the Region fair price but also below the Jita Buy and Sell order prices.

At first glance, it may be someone meaning to put up a Buy order or just blundered on putting up their sell order.

In any event, i purchased both items - a sure winner on my part and perhaps a blunder on the sellers part.

But then i inspected the recent Sells i had made and discovered i had sold these items to the same player (name withheld to protect a dignity!) who had then re-listed them to sell at these low prices:

So, not really sure what is happening here . . . . . . . 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Buy fair, sell fair

I hear this a lot "Buy Low, Sell High"

Nothing wrong with that as a strategy except that it does not often happen.

Perhaps a better method is to "Buy Low, Sell Fair".  Or better still, "Buy Fair, Sell Fair" as long as it makes a profit.

Clearly, the definition of Fair is up for discussion - but for our purposes lets assume it is the normal price of an item in a region.

The advantage of "Buy Fair, Sell Fair" is that there are ready sellers of items at a fair price in one region, and then there are ready buyers of an items fairly priced in another region.

My entire business strategy is based on this.  I buy items in Jita from sell orders others have posted and then i post these items for sale in the other trade hubs at fair sale prices for those regions.

For sure "Buy Low, Sell Fair" will make a greater profit per sale but it does require you to put Buy Orders up which will not be filled immediately.

An added benefit of the "Buy Low/Fair, Sell Fair" is that it steers you away from scams.  Most scams are based on "Selling High".

Sunday, 8 June 2014

May 2014 Update

I was away from Eve for over half the month again.  However, my wealth increased by 8.9bn ISK to 112.6bn ISK, which is an average of 288m ISK per day.  I had expected nearer 7bn - so not a bad result.

This month my holding in Plex generated 1.4bn of the 8.9bn growth in my wealth.  My Plex holding is now 72 Plex worth 52.5bn.

Real life commitments at work has kept February through to May slow - i now expect June to be only one week in Eve!  I may be losing the potential to making ISK but i do have air miles coming out of my ears now . . . 

Therefore, during these months i am only selling the T1 items i manufacture and only trading other items where i make at least 15m ISK profits and 20% margins - though in the week here and there that i am around i am willing to drop my profit target to 10m ISK.

My strategy is to focus on low volume but high margin items that i either manufacture or buy (off sell orders) in Jita to sell in Dodixie / Hek / Rens / Amarr.

I don't have any standings of note - for this trading strategy saving a percent here or there is not key.  To reduce my costs of trading i have trained all my alts that post sell orders to Broker 4 and Accounting 4.

For those able to devote much more time to Eve, one way of reading this blog is to see how little time is required to generate sufficient ISK to plex your own account.

I have 2 accounts with 6 alts in total.
  • One one account: I have a trader at Dodixie and a trader at Hek which sell items that have been hauled there from Jita; and I have a manufacturer in the Lonetrek region that sells items in Jita and sends items to the traders in Dodixie, Hek, Amarr and Rens to sell.
  • On the other account: I have a buyer in Jita that is is only there to buy items in Jita (this is changing) to send to the traders in Dodixie, Hek, Amarr and Rens; I have an alt that is skilling up in Invention which currently sits in Amarr to sell the items manufactured by my Lonetrek manufacturer; and i now also have an alt that sits in Rens to also sell the items manufactured by my Lonetrek manufacturer.
All my hauling is done by third parties, namely PushX Industries - the time required to haul items from Jita to my traders in Dodixie and Hek would take up too much time.  Better to let these third parties do the hauling (for a fee, of course) whilst i am offline.  All my hauling is "Rush Jobs" and generally takes no more than 5 hours (often in under an hour) to haul from Jita to my four locations in Dodixie / Hek / Amarr / Rens (which are also the other trade hubs).  On average i pay 25m ISK per haul (so 100m ISK if i want to haul to all 4 trade hubs in one time) but it is well worth it given i can get those items bought in Jita onto the market in the other trade hubs very quickly and the hauling costs make up 1 to 3% of my sales price.  Not much given i aim to make 20% margins before all costs (hauling, broker fees, sales taxes).  I wrote a post on Rush Jobs which details why it is more profitable paying up.

I am now buying 1 Plex a month to finance my two accounts.  So, 700m ISK per month costs going forwards.  I do occasionally benefit from some kind soul upgrading their account having used the link to the right >>>>>>>>>

Plex: As of the end of May i held 72 Plex at a cost of 49.2bn ISK which at 729m per Plex was then worth 52.5bn ISK.  In other words, my holding in Plex has made me 3.3bn since i started investing in Plex at the end of February.

My biggest headache was that i was sitting on too much ISK which was not invested in the market.  I had up to 35bn ISK in my wallet which was dead money.  At most i need to hold 10bn ISK to finance my business, the other 25bn or so is surplus to requirements.

I know two things about that ISK.  Firstly, it will be there tomorrow with no chance of making a profit (or a loss).  Secondly, there is inflation in Eve so in effect it is not keeping up with the cost of living in Eve - in other words, its value to me in the future is lower than its value to me today.

So far, Plex is the best item i can find that (in the medium to long term) is the best asset to keep up with inflation in Eve - as i hope to detail in my next post.  I expect to continue to invest all profits made each month into Plex from here.

Dodixie trader: Life remains good and consistent

Items for sale was flat at 18bn ISK.  Whilst i was away for the last few days of May and so the 18bn for sale is on the low side, i was also away in the last few days of April - so, in all, no movement in the value of items for sale.

I sell T1 manufactured items that my manufacturer makes in Lonetrek, and any item i can find that makes profits of over 15m ISK + has a profit margin of over 20% + is a slow seller.  I.e. ship equipment, implants, ship modifications, a few skillbooks and a few blueprints.

The alt is currently using 77 of the 141 trading slots.

This alt pays 0.80% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.90% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.

There are no medium term goals for this alt – for now i will focus on the manufactured items from my alt in Lonetrek and selling expensive items hauled from Jita.

Training - this alt is training for missions.  Currently doing Level 3 missions, training for Level 4.

Hek trader: Life remains good and consistent

Items for sale were flat at 15bn ISK.  Whilst i was away for the last few days of May and so the 15bn for sale is on the low side, i was also away in the last few days of April - so, in all, no movement in the value of items for sale.

Much like the Dodixie trader I sell manufactured items that my manufacturer makes in Lonetrek, and any item i can find that makes profits of over 15m ISK, has a profit margin of over 20% and is a slow seller.  I.e. ship equipment, implants, ship modifications, a few skillbooks and a few blueprints.  Other than the manufactured items, there are very few common items i sell in Dodixie and Hek.

I use 74 of the 129 available sell slots.

Pays 0.80% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.90% sales tax on a successful sale.  No longer training.

Amarr Trader: Back down to normal

Only really fully started up in mid December and focuses solely on items manufactured by my alt in the Lonetrek region.  During May this alt's sales were 7.1bn ISK vs prior months 11.0bn ISK and i suspect the profits were 3.0bn ISK vs prior months 4.0bn ISK.

The decline was due to some sales in April of one or two highly priced items that are hauled from Jita.

Items for sale at the month end fell back from 10.9bn to 7.5bn which more reflected that i was away for the last couple of days of the month and so did not replace the sales i made.

I now use 23 of the 45 available sell slots - when i have time i am looking for a few other items to sell in Amarr.

Pays 0.75% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.90% sales tax on a successful sale.  During the month i increased Accounting to Level 4 and Broker Relations to Level 5 to reduce those fees / taxes.

The main aim of this alt is to train up for Invention, and here the training goes on.  Needless to say, with being busy in rl this whole invention thing has been on the back burner!

Rens Trader: a better month

Started just before xmas and also focuses solely on items manufactured by my alt in the Lonetrek region.  During May this alt made sales of 5.2bn vs prior month of 2.7bn ISK and i suspect profits of 2.0bn ISK vs prior month of 1.4bn.  Items for sale at the month end were 7.2bn ISK, up from prior month of 9.1bn.

Rens is a slower trade up so i did not expect to see great things - but being able to earn enough to buy two Plex per month is no bad thing.

I have no plans to expand into selling other items - i will stick to selling the items my manufacturer produces.

I trained this alt to give me 53 open sell slots and currently i use 39 of them.

Pays 0.8% broker fees to post an order and a further 0.9% sales tax on a successful sale.

No longer in training.

Manufacturing alt: This alt does all my manufacturing from the Lonetrek region which is within easy access to Jita.  Not much has changed since November.

This alt sells its items in Jita and contracts to Push Industries to haul items to the traders in Dodixie / Hek / Amarr / Rens to sell.

I have a list of 59 items i focus on to sell, currently selling 27 of them in Jita and 40 in Dodixie, Hek, Amarr and Rens - though perhaps less now in Amarr given competition has increased.  The other items that i watch have too low a profitability.

I own 44 blueprints worth over 1bn ISK, most of which have already comfortably paid for themselves.

This alt may have plateaued at 6 to 8bn ISK sales per month for now.  During the month it made sales of 7.3bn (vs 7.8bn ISK in the prior month) and estimated profits of 3.0bn vs prior month of about 3.9bn ISK.  It currently has 9bn of sell orders, up from the prior month of 8bn ISK.

My expansion into manufacturing has been a great success so far.  I am now training this alt up to manufacture T2 items and i am in the process of manufacturing my third T2 item - lets see how it goes but so far T2 items are not as profitable for me as the T1 items.

And all this takes is 15 minutes update time a day.

The current near term goals is to find other T1 items to sell as well as expanding into T2 items.

I have seeded a new market in Lonetrek - lets see how that goes.  It is volatile at present - May sales were 1.5bn with profits of about 0.7bn compared to April of 600m and profits of about 400m ISK.

Jita Buyer Alt: started training for Planetary Interaction.

I have decided that my manufacturer in Jita can also double up as the buyer of Jita items to be hauled to the other trading hubs.  Hence i have started training up alt in Jita to do Planetary Interaction.  i suspect will take a couple more weeks or so.

One problem that is developing: is that my total sell orders at the end of each month have been flat now for since February.  That is a reasonable representation that the average value of all items up for sale since February has not really changed each month and so i am unlikely to see my monthly profits grow until i can get the total value of sell orders up.  For that, i need less time away on business in real life.

Outlook: June is going to be real busy for me in RL (again!), hence i suspect i will be lucky to make over 5bn.  I have a holiday in the last week of June so it will be interesting to see how much i can make with some more time online.

Current Wealth:

Expected business purchases in the next 30 days
  • Plex x1 = 0.7bn ISK

I don't count assets I use in the course of my business such as ships, fittings etc nor do I add back any expenses such as skills purchased etc.  The wealth I disclose is made up of items that are ISK or are in the process of being converted to ISK.

* I take a 20% provision against the items I am selling.  Eve calculates wealth by adding up the value of the sell orders hence it is possible to increase your wealth by buying an item for 100m ISK and putting a sell order for 120m ISK (in this case your wealth would increase by 20m ISK).  For me, I want my wealth to be calculated at cost until i finally hold it as ISK.  I know that the value of my sell orders will likely fall over time as I update my orders downwards as competition reduces their prices before my items are sold.  Hence the 20% provision is my best guess as to what cost is or at least the maximum reduction I would need to make to my sell orders as a whole before they are sold.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

What is the purpose of Plex?

That is not as daft a question as it may seem.

Clearly, the purpose is to allow some players to exchange real money for ingame ISK whilst allowing other players to play the game for free or receive other benefits such as Dual Training.

However, Plex are used for two other purposes that i know of:

1) Market trading - quite simply plenty of traders buy plex with no intention of using it but merely taking a view they can sell it for a higher price in that station or in another region.

2) Investment - and this is the point of this post.  There are players like me who invest their surplus ISK in Plex because it rises in value over time and so allows my wealth to keep up with inflation (that is a topic for another time, some in CCP maintain there is no inflation in Eve Online).

The point of (2) is that the Plex which is bought as an investment is unlikely to be sold back onto the market and therefore this Plex is in effect denied to other players.

The darker side of (2) is that those players that invest in Plex tend to have large sums of ISK to invest and therefore can amass some very large holdings over time.

This can cause an interesting cycle: A player with $45 would have bought 3 x 500m ISK = 1.5bn ISK a few months ago.

Firstly, today, that same player need only spend $30 for 1.4bn ISK or for $45 gets 2.1bn ISK.  I suspect the player targets the ISK, not what $ they have to spend and so today they are buying less plex for US$ than they were a few months ago.  In other words, i suspect the monthly supply of Plex is falling as the price of Plex rises - there may be a direct correlation  here.

Secondly, the demand for Plex to fund free game time is broadly the same but is now focusing on a smaller supply and so can only force the price of Plex up.

Thirdly, those that invest in Plex see a rising price and so feel confident to keep on investing.

And so we have a self fulfilling price rise.

The summary of all that is demand remains unchanged but supply falls - and so the price of Plex rises.  Not all the fault of those that invest in Plex - but they are not helping and i am quite sure they do not play a part that was foreseen by CCP when Plex was launched.

And this is where it gets controversial - the use of Plex to fund accounts adds liquidity to the game (additional accounts = additional ships = more activity = more explosions) and so enhances the game for the player base.  Therefore, it is perhaps undesired that Plex should be used as an investment vehicle . . . . . except of course to those spending $15 to buy an ever increasing amount if ISK.  And, as CCP point out, the price of Plex on the Chinese server is 3bn ISK!

I don't really know if CCP want a high or a low price for Plex.  A low price forces those spending US$ for Plex to spend more to get the ISK they require where as a high price of Plex tempts more players to spend US$ to get Plex though presumably they don't need to buy as much as before.

Having said that - what can CCP do about this, assuming they wanted to do anything about it?

Firstly, worth stating the CCP intervention in the Plex market is a finite source - limited by the Plex they have from banned accounts.  Sooner or later the Plex held by CCP will fall to zero.

Personally, if i wanted to provide a headwind to a rising Plex price i would not make Plex the soul way to undertake certain actions such as Dual Training or moving characters between accounts.  Sure, keep Plex as one method but also allow an alt to spend an outright amount of ISK also.  Infact, if the choice was spend 1 Plex or 700k ISK to Dual Train for 30 days then immediately CCP could start to influence the price of Plex by moving the ISK cost of Dual Training.

I could also put a rental cost on holding Plex.  So, if someone holds Plex for longer than 3 months then they are charged a rental fee based on the value of their plex (say 5% of the Plex cost per quarter).