To misquote Jack Sparrow, these aren't really rules, they're more like guidelines!
This fantastic email really got my mind churning:
"I've gone back and read most of your
previous articles and I see you make reference to different tips over
the months that have essentially become a "rule". I still couldn't find
specifically what you said about weekends though. I know there's a top 10 tips section that has been helpful but could you narrow down 10 or
maybe only 5, hard, fast rules that should govern our TP behavior.
Rule #1: Know Thy Markets
If you don't have some kind of list of prices (see Guide to Flipping), then you're up the creek without a paddle before you even hit the first rapid. Don't try selling and flipping on the weekends until you've made at least one full week of notes on prices for the markets you are interested in. If you go into the weekend attempting to buy, you're already in danger of losing massive amounts of gold because odds are prices will not get as low as they did over the course of the previous week.
Rule #2: Limit Your Buy Orders During the Week
Preparing for the weekend is often more important than actually selling on the weekend! You should aim for applying the following limits to the amount you specify for each buy order based on the type of item involved.
Armor: 50 Buy Orders
Weapons: 50 Buy Orders
Non-Stacking: 3 Buy Orders
Crafting Materials: 50-1000's of Buy Orders Depending on Market Volume
Rule #3: Selling
Avoid listing all of your stock on one night. Instead, try listing 1/3 friday night, 1/3 saturday night, and 1/3 sunday night. List around noon your local time and you should be good to go. When posting your auctions, pick a price that is one copper below the nearest big wall of items. Also keep in mind whatever prices you have stored in your notes for how high you believe that the market is going to actually get. If you post everything, you could create your own wall which other people will undercut. Instead, post far fewer than the nearest wall, and others will ignore your auction. Previously, I would post thousands of an item underneath the nearest wall, but then I'd notice dozens of auctions appearing below mine, creating a little waterfall of undercuts. My items would usually sell, but no where near as much as if I had cut back on the number of items listed. This is an art form! It takes practice and experience!
Rule #4 Look for Dips
When markets dip, particularly Saturday and Sunday mornings, take the opportunity to buy additional amounts of your favorite market. This is where your research can really prove beneficial. If you have noticed upswings on Sunday evenings in the past, then you can wisely buy up more stockpiles during these temporary, downward trends.
Rule #5 Make That Omelet
You know the phrase, "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs?" Instead of putting 120 gold into one market,put 12 gold into 10 markets. Just in case my analogies aren't getting through to you; I want you to diversify. Do NOT get fixating on any one market or even type of market. All armor is a bad thing. Armor, weapons, cooking materials, crafting materials, dyes, and a few bags mixed in for good measure are a real recipe for success. Just don't forget Rule #1!