- your bank account is getting full, you
don't have enough secure storage in your
house and you're already using all 5
character slots. What can you do?
Are you trying to find a way to make some extra cash? Not sure how to go about it?
Thought of running your own vendor, have no clue how to do it? Well - operating a vendor can be a fun and profitable way of disposing of those extra magical items that you have. With our home study course you too can have a vendor and operate her successfully. A warning!!! Operating your vendor is time consuming and can become very addictive - a week might go by, you won't make it to a dungeon and you won't even miss it.
Step 1 - Choosing a Location
The first thing you need to do is scout out a good location. You'll be looking for a high traffic area or an area where you can fulfill a specific need (for example, the "extortion" vendors on the Isle of Fire do a brisk trade in recall runes, recall scrolls and recall reagents for the recently deceased and resurrected). Once you have established yourself in the community, location becomes less important. One of the most important items to sell is a recall rune to your vendor. I've sold over 1500 to mine, and more sell every day. I now have customers that recall in just to do a little shopping, and then they're on their way again. Your location has to be capable of supporting a structure of some kind. Vendors can only be placed inside or on the steps of public player owned buildings.
Step 2 - Buying a Contract of Employment
You can purchase a contract of employment for approximately 1500 gp. These contracts can be purchased from most innkeepers around the land.
Step 3 - Placing the Vendor
Rules of Vendors
Your vendor is limited by several program rules. Firstly, he/she cannot hold more than 400 stones of weight, just like other non-secure containers. Secondly, the combined count of individual items and stacks on your vendor cannot exceed 125. A stack of anything counts as one item for this rule. EVERYTHING on your vendor will be for sale. Vendors on Obsidian work differently than on an Origin shard. They work just like a normal vendor when a player is buying from them. This means no sorting of items. Putting things in containers like bags and backpacks will become purchased items themselves and therefore you can setup a "50 of every reagent" bag of magic for a certain price or "Full Shadow Platemail" at a given price. By default everything is worth 100,000 gold pieces so if you forget to price it, no one will by it (which is better than selling Shadow plate for 10 gold). Unfortunately there still is no current way to rename an item, but may be implemented in the future.
Vendor Strategy and The Way of the Merchant
There are a number of different options for merchandise. Your choice will be dependent on your personal preferences and the skills at your disposal. A well-balanced shop offers its customers a wide variety of goods. Here are most of your options:
Arms Merchant: the arms merchant carries GM smithed weapons and armour. Some of the shadier arms merchants have been known to traffic in poisoned weapons (the abundance of both professional and amateur assassins in our fair land ensures a steady market for these dishonorable weapons). The arms merchant doesn't run up against the item limit will almost certainly run into trouble with the weight limit. A good arms merchant is restocked daily.
Magical Artifacts Merchant: the magical artifacts merchant carries magical items of various quality and has a wide assortment of armour and weapons from which her customers may choose. The artifact merchant doesn't run up against the weight limit but will likely run into trouble with the item limit. A good artifact merchant is restocked daily.
Reagent Merchant: the reagent vendor sells reagents in bundles of 10, 20 and 100 at a slight mark-up over store prices. The reagent shop rarely has a problem with the weight limit, but will often hit the item limit wall. A purveyor of reagents knows where to shop and spends a lot of time restocking her vendor - up to 3 times a day, with heavy traffic. A true reagent shop carries nothing but reagents and a few runes to the shop.
Ars Magica: the peddler of items arcane carries runes, scrolls, spell books, filled potion kegs and individual potions. As with the reagent shop, the item limit is the killer here. If you're selling both potions and scrolls, you should consider two separate vendors. The best selling items are greater heal, deadly poison and explosion potions, almost all recall runes (especially to dungeons), and recall, mark, gate and resurrection scrolls. Most high-level scrolls will sell as will full spell books.
Craft Master: The craft master sells the various craftable goods available in the game. These goods include house add-ons, furniture, clothing, certain weapons and warrior supplies (staves, bows, xbows, arrows and bolts), music supplies (most notably the standing harp and music stand), potion kegs and trapped containers. The craft master could run up against both the item limit (125 items) and the weight limit (400 stone), depending on her particular inventory. A good craft master is restocked every couple of days. The most popular items are house add-ons, lockable chests and armoires, and exceptional staves.
Fishwife: That's not your father's fishwife! Today's fisher folk don't eke out a living by spending 10 hours at sea, another 8 hours trying to sell their wares by the docks and then returning to their lean-tos to catch a few hours' sleep before starting all over again. On the contrary, today's fisher folk get out of their 4 poster beds at around noon, board their yachts for a few hours of light fishing, come back to the marina for cocktails and a 6 course meal and then retire to their country estates for the evening. The fisher folk are among our richest citizens and have only one goal in mind when they comb the seas - the Message in a Bottle ("MIB"). Once fished up, these MIBs provide a plethora of magic items, gold, gems, scrolls and, if that weren't enough, fine works of art, pillows, sea shells and some more grisly souvenirs of the ships from which they came. Fishing vendors stock the finest in magical weapons and armour, sunken treasure and scrolls. Believe it or not, some fishing vendors (although only a small minority) also sell... fish! The fishing vendor doesn't usually run up against the item limit (125 items) but may run into trouble with the weight limit (400 stone). A good fishing vendor is restocked every few days. The most popular items are high quality magic items.
The Fence: Sometimes a merchant is offered rare goods that aren't usually available to the public. When such items are offered, the wise shopkeeper knows better than to question their origins and just quietly pays off her supplier and puts the items out for sale. Many of these items have become known to Britannian as semi-rares and include coils of wire, whips, horseshoes and other items normally reserved for the shops of NPCs. Trade in this fare can be brisk, as the items make excellent house and shop decorations. Given the relative scarcity of these items and the limited number of different semi-rares available, the Fence doesn't usually run into either the weight limit or the item limit (even if a Fence were to have access to a large supply of "borrowed" goods, she would be too smart to put out large quantities of the goods, for fear of driving down prices and attracting the attention of the law).
Tips for Successful Vendship
Item ID and Arms Lore are vital skills for the successful merchant. If you properly identify any item it will rename the item to it's full name Example: Instead of Shadow Plate it will say "Magical Shadow Plate +5". Except for bows, clothes, and other unrepairable items, you should never stock items that are not in full repair. You will get a lot less repeat business if that war axe breaks over the head of the first orc your customer tests it on.
You have to do two things to keep your vendor on the job: firstly, you have to make sure that her shop doesn't deteriorate - if her building goes *poof*, so does the vendor; secondly, you have to keep paying her. If the vendor runs out of cash, they will run off with your wares, sell them for profit, and put themselves up for hire either through contract or if they are a town based vendor will open their shop for new hire. The vendors have a base cost of about 50 gp per UO day. By checking the "status" of a vendor you will check how much money has been made, how long they will work with the money on hand, and how many items are for sale. When you get your "cash" from your vendor, they will give you all the gold minus one days wages. You vendor can hold unlimited amounts of gold for you. To pay your vendor, simply drrag gold onto him/her, and the vendor will let you know that the funds are being applying to further employment. Then do another status check to see for how long that will maintain the contract of employment. Well, it seems like the hard work is done, but it's really just begun. The most challenging, and most fun, part of being a successful merchant is pleasing your customers while maintaining a healthy bottom line.
The most obvious way to please customers is to keep a good stock of items and to keep your prices competitive. Watch for trends in the sale of your merchandise and don't be afraid to adjust prices and the make-up of your inventory to suit the buying patterns of your customers. Hang out at your shop for an hour every day and chat with the customers they are your best source for information on the marketplace. Remember - a happy customer will keep coming back and will bring friends. If your vendor is in the wilderness, offer free heals and other helpful spells to passers-by - this will get their attention. I probably resurrected 150 ghosts who wandered by my house, many of whom immediately refitted themselves from my wares. If someone is down on her luck, I'll give them a free weapon or some gold to get her started - I'm confident that, ultimately, the gold will end up back in my coffers, with interest. If one of your customers is locked in battle, ask her if she require assistance and let her have the lion's share of the loot from any kill. Just like real life, small kindnesses can be repaid many times over. A player who feels gratitude toward you will go out of her way to shop at your vendor, as long as the prices are reasonable. If you see someone making repeated purchases, ask her if she has a rune to your vendor. If not, give her a free one. If she already has one, give her one to give to a friend. I'm always amazed at how few people haggle in UO. When I see a customer taking a long look at my items, I always say, "if you see something you like, make me an offer". Remember that no matter how much you sell an item for, you're probably still making a profit. Generosity in the short run is always rewarded in the long run.Occasionally, the sad day comes when it's necessary to pack up your vendor, either temporarily or for good. After performing the appropriate penitence and repeatedly apologizing to your vendor, here's how to do the evil deed: Only the owner of the vendor can release them of their duties. That person has to empty the vendor's pack. Vendors can be relieved of duty with the command "vendor release". Before destroying your hard-working friend, make sure that you retrieve all of her earnings and remove anything that remains in her pack. Gold that you've used to pay her is gone forever.