Lord Pumachow's Guide to being a merchant v.2.0
Copyright Pumachow & Jynxed as well as the player behind both 1997~
Let it be said that these views are mine alone and in no way should you hold me responsible if the things said herein, do not work for you. All the ideas have been tested by myself and I have found a great deal of success from sticking with my plan. All of it works to the best of my knowledge. If you can't seem to make any money then you must not be doing it right ;). Please also note that this document is in no way a representation of the beliefs of the Simutronics Corporation.
With that said here goes..
Well a lot of you know who I am or have heard of me either through my evil little workings or on the amunet.
I am Lord Pumachow OathKeeper. I am a merchant. I know what you are thinking and no not a GM made merchant.
I deal in the buying and selling of all sorts of merchandise, and have decided to offer a little of my own input. I hope you are able to find it helpful and all comments, flames, general "warm fuzzys", and "dog kicking" welcome };^)>.
You can e~scroll me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or the like.
Chapter 1 the beginning....
Most people believe ¥(yen) making comes from hunting. While this may be true for some I myself have made my ¥(yen) from selling wares. I started off very small. No I didn't have rich relatives to buy what I needed for me either.
I started off with making a few silvers running messages and making iron. This yielded enough income to purchase a few items at the first merchant I went to. Those items were very inexpensive but I knew the demand would be high in the future. As soon as the merchant left I'd sell for a bit of profit.
I never did bother with the items I found on monsters because there really wasn't any profit in them for the time spent selling. The wands and such went to the pawn.
Chapter 2 what is needed to know, to be a successful merchant....
Ok now to be successful, you have to remember couple of things. You have to have what the people want, buy low, and sell high.
For example, let's say you find a merchant and he's selling a lot of everything. To start with if your ¥(yen) is low, look for the items that are always popular.
First we'll discuss the pocketed items. Most items like pocketed boots and gloves are in high demand. From what I've seen the more "sinister" looking the item the higher it's popularity =) Gloves and boots if they are pocketed are a great start. Also if you can chance upon satchels and other bags which are related to "magic" i.e. scroll satchels, potion bags, and wand pouches etc. You will be in good shape. I saw a nice little potion bag that cost 5k maximum from a merchant sell for 40k the very next day. See the profit margin? You can't really go wrong with containers and pocketed things.
Next there are the imbeddables. We most all know what these are, but for those that don't...
An imbeddable is an item that is tuned to magic, which can hold small amounts of mana in the form of spell charges. Ask a wizard or bard or sorcerer that imbeds for the details. Easy explanation is this; you get an imbeddable, ask a mage to imbed something like spirit defense in it.
Assuming the mage said yes and cast the spell, you now have a trinket that will cast spirit defense on yourself if it is a worn item, or cast at something if it is waved at something like a wand. This is a great benefit because you can get the extra defense without having to be able to cast, or wasting mana casting it. Although it is a MUST that you attempt to tip your imbedder, or at least send mana for the imbed.
Now there is the miscellaneous fluff. This ranges from fake beards, to eye patches, to jewelry. When buying fluff it is a good idea to stay away from the jewelry unless you are buying for yourself or a friend. Many people have specific tastes which are hard to know beforehand. If the jewelry is imbeddable see the above paragraph. Fluff is a great way to make quick cash but the market swings a lot. What is popular one week may not be so the next. Normally the profit on fluff is median compared to the pocketed containers.
Chapter 3 Once you have established yourself as a merchant....
Now it gets a bit tougher to decide what to sell. Once you have the ¥(yen) you can move on to bigger and better wares.
Now to begin with weapons it is imperative that you know what your are selling. Too often I have heard people selling things like shields where they give false information. For example if you hear someone say a tower shield protects you better and keeps the crits down, they are lying out their hole.
The gods themselves have stated that the shields are not even put into the equation to determine protection or crit ranks. The only part they play is to determine your(ugg) DS against attacks. But some shields do add to your DS based on the style of said shield. The reason these certain shields add to your DS is because of your training in shield use.
I figure it is because when you know how to use your shield you will know, that it is best to hide your whole body behind a tower shield than having your head and legs stick out to be cut out from under you or taken off your shoulders. ;) but that's the role-playing view I have surmised from he added DS you get from the special shields.
It is pretty straight forward when it comes to selling shields, and unless they are altered, you won't make much profit on them.
Now when it comes to the actual swords, maces, pole arms, and such it gets tricky. If you don't know everything about an item ask. But don't be a pest when asking. It should be pretty easy to find out what something does by testing it at the Hanging Inn Blue Crystal. the crystal will give a little information but to really see what a weapon can do try it out ;)
If you are told you are selling something with soiled information, just ask around a bit to see if people agree. If they all think it's wrong, many times it is. If you do have bad information on a weapon just change it and all will be well. But make sure the info you get is also accurate.
And for general reference. Any item with elemental flares, critical weighting, or damage weighting will not be able to be blessed. Same goes for items enchanted by a wizard. Some merchants can enchant a weapon and leave it blessable. If it can be blessed then your weapon isn't weighted in any way ;)
Next we have armor. Armor is always in high demand. At least any armor that offers a boost to your DS or is padded against attacks in some way. Again the key is to buy low and sell high. Patience will often be tried as you are waiting for the right set of inexpensive armor to come along.
If you know a wizard that is willing to enchant then a good profit can be made there usually. Many 4x enchanted sets of armor run from 350k ¥(yen) on up to 550k ¥(yen). Now to have a set enchanted 4x will usually run about 350k if you know the wizard. Good mark up on armors.
To get armor that is padded you have to buy direct from a merchant, or have it padded by a merchant that does padding.
Again know what you are selling, and don't go spouting off that a set of armor is "x" padded. There is no way to know. If you had it padded tell em how many layers it was padded and by whom so the people can judge for themselves. Or take your best guess and state whether it is light medium or heavily padded.
Knowing if the armor is damage or critical padded is a must!
Ok scripted items are easy. Everyone seems to want one, but only a limited number are out there. One of the most popular in it's time were the scripted skulls from a halloween merchant. A lot of neat tricks but basically fluff.
Now with the recent auctions script items are becoming very sought after. Many are weapons or containers. Others just do other neat tricks.
I myself have only sold scripted balls from the juggler, and the skulls. I made a fair profit on them. The rest is a bit too expensive to bother with for a while.
Chapter 4 the rules of the trade....
Now you have to set some ground rules or you won't make it very far as a merchant.
Always keep to your deals.
If you have a minimum bid stick to it.
If you say sold it's sold, no taking any last bids unless they came in before you said sold.
If you did sell something and it turns out to be something different offer to take the item back.
If you sold something as is stick to your "guns".
If you wish to ignore bids from people it is within your right to do so.
Always keep to your deals. Just that! You make a deal you stick to it. Nothing irks me more than someone saying they are selling something, and then turn around and change their mind. It's a waste of my time and other's time. And in the merchant business time is ¥(yen).
Minimum bids. Don't be a sap and take any offers that are lower than your minimum bids. Unless you are friends with the person and don't mind losing ¥(yen) to them. Patience is the key. If you wait long enough you WILL get what you are asking for and maybe even more. You are in the business to make ¥(yen) not cut deals and lose money.
If you say it's sold...
Folks sold is sold. No taking bids after you sell an item just to make more ¥(yen). And yes you are in the business to make the ¥(yen). Although there is a small form of etiquette involved. Taking a bid after you sell is just plain rude. If you wish to keep business up it is best to be known as fair then a greedy turnip herder.
If you sold an item that is in fact something different from what you said it was, it will be in your best interest to buy it back. It will keep you looking fair, and respectable. No one wants to buy from a cheat.
Now if you sold something as is with no added "fluff" then don't take the item back. They may say well it isn't what I thought it was. You can just say well I wasn't the one to lead you to believe it was other then what I said it was. End of story you made your silver and if they don't want the item they can always turn around and sell it.
Ignoring bids. "We have the right to refuse service to anyone."
Chapter 5 the conclusion....
Now you are ready to take your first baby steps to being a merchant. I hope this little guide helps, and if you ever need a question answered and I am around I'll be more then happy to help. Although I am busy quite a bit due to selling and negotiating prices, but be patient and i'll get to you.
Good sales and have fun, that's the key......
I wish you well in your ¥(yen) making schemes......
Lord Pumachow OathKeeper Sole owner of the Teras Mercantile Company