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How to be a Successful Merchant

This is a discussion on How to be a Successful Merchant within the Game Questions & Tips forums, part of the Knight Online (ko4life.com) category; Seems so easy? Type /Merchant set your prices and let the coins roll in. Wonder why we donít have more ...
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  1. #1
    CuriositY
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    Seems so easy? Type /Merchant set your prices and let the coins roll in. Wonder why we donít have more millionaires? There are many guides that tell you how to acquire inventory this one tells you how to get the best price. It easy to be a Merchant but to be a successful merchant is priceless..

    Let state the obvious! To be a successful player you need to kill the real bad monster to gain experience points to level. This requires better weapons and armor. The quandary is these monsters give few coins but great items. To get better equipment you need is to sell the items that you have for the best price. Too high and we keep it until we give it away. Letís all avoid too low. So what do we need?
    Product Knowledge (What Should I know), Market value (what does my competition know) and Customer knowledge (Why the heck would anyone want it?).

    Product Knowledge

    Pop quiz!
    These are real merchant offering pick the one that give the fairest deal to the buyer?

    1. Kite Shield (+1) 500,000
    2. Arrows 2 coin each
    3. Resurrection stone 500,000 each
    4. Transformation stone 30,000 each

    Sorry times up.! This was trick question; each of these merchants was charging more than the NPC vendorís charges. The Kite shield (+1) will cost 37,500; NPC only charge 1 coin for arrows and resurrection stones cost 20,000 each. Have I made this mistake? YUP! Bought a transformation stone for $30,000. But you canít count on ignorance to make a profit. Remember Ignorance can be cured (Stupidity is forever!)

    Some may believe the above is scamming noobies. I believe this is a lack of product knowledge on both sides. Anyone who believes they can make coin by reselling vendor equipment is going to have to find a lot of a very rare bird: a rich noobie.

    The first step in Product Knowledge is to learn what the NPC vendors are charging for their items. This will give you a base line for all the items you get. Remember the NPC vendor will always give you a free quote for any item. This will be wholesale (or even below wholesale) but you will know the lowest price you can get for that item. I remember once I had an Alchemy staff (+3). I didnít need it and was going to sell it for 99,000 coins. I checked with the NPC and he offered me 89,000 coins. If I needed the space it would have been worth it to get rid of it immediately but instead I offered it for a few hundred thousand coins more and made a better profit.

    Market Knowledge

    So now we know what to charge for +1 items. What about the upgraded items? While it is possible to calculate what the cost should be, but all prices are market driven. Why do some people buy a +8 wood item when there are better high-class +3 items for fewer coins? Because the glow looks cool. Remember, not all-buying decisions are logical but emotional.

    First hint for knowledge pick a niche that interests you and learn the heck out of it. If youíre a warrior you may want to specialize in sword knowledge, mages maybe learn about staffs, priest could study clubs and rogues bend the elbow with a bow instead of a brew. It not possible to know every thing about the marketing of every item in the game; develop a core knowledge of items which interest you then expand from there.

    Market values do change sometimes on a daily basis. I had a +8 item that I could not sell for 7 million a month ago; I recently sold two for 10 million each. Remember that the quantity of any particular item is controlled by the game. What may be rare today may be common tomorrow. This effects the price. So by walking around you will not only to keep an eye on your competition but what is the going price.

    So what is the going price? This doesnít mean they are correct but you can gauge what they the median cost range should be. Remember these are prices for items that have not sold yet. Therefore we can assume the fair market price of the item is near the lower end of the range we see.


    Why range? You may need several days to determine the standard range of an item. Donít be mislead by ridiculous high or low prices. Because there are players who have no idea what to charge and ask ridiculous prices. Like 500K for a Kite Shield (+1). Other players are also clueless and may charge 10K for the same shield. Both of these examples are not in the median range for this shield. In this case the vendor has determine the range. No one in his right mind should sell for less than the vendors will buy. And no one should pay more than what the vendor will sell. By reviewing prices for your specialty items on a daily basis you will learn what the correct range will be

    But shouldnít I charge the lowest price? You could but I would charge the fairest price. If there is normal demand for youíre item then when the low price item sells (assuming that people actually shop for the lowest price) then your item will sell next and you will get the better price. If you always sell at the lowest price, you have to work harder to get a decent profit. Let say silk bundles from worms average 50 coin but you sell them for a low price of 10 coin. You have to kill five times more worms to get the same profit. (Your competition got their price while you were out killing all those extra worms!)

    What if every body is selling my +6 item for 500k to 600k but I see a player selling it for 50K? Personally I would buy the 50K item and re-sell it at the market price of 500K. You have determined the market price and this player has not. He only wants 50K so give it to him. Since you have done your homework you deserve the 450K+ profit.

    If you want to make coins in this game you need to turn over your inventory as quickly as possible. What you need is the right price to make the best profit. Anything in your inventory that can not enhance your character (or characters) abilities is a liability. You only have a limited amount of inventory. At the inn you have 24 slot on each of the 8 pages. Your character can carry only 28 items plus he can equip 13 item. Add two more characters and you have a maximum total of (224 for inn and 123 for all characters) 367.
    Believe me these slots will fill up fast if you donít sell off items that are useless to you and that includes your old character items. Remember that it is usually better to sell one +6 item than five to ten +3 items. Assuming fair prices, I will have 4 slots to sell other item plus IĎll make just as much profit and gets the profit a bit quicker.

    You can sell anything quickly if you make it cheap enough, but may never get rid of an item if you overcharge. Check what the vendor charges. What is your competition charging. You item should be some multiple of what the vendor charges modified by what the market is charging but the market always rules.


    Customer knowledge

    What do I know about my customers? They run up grab the item and run off. Iím not even sure of their class!. We cant ask our customers what they want but from the items we have we can determine to whom they would most appeal. Customer knowledge helps the most when we canít determine market price by other means

    For example I have a Hand axe +5 with Glacier damage of 50. So who would be my customer? Strength requirement is 94. This should appeal to a warrior. Priest could also use it but they get a penalty for using non-blunt objects until level 60. Attack is 27, which is not going to appeal to higher class warriors. So most likely this axe would appeal only to lower class warriors. Lower class characters usually do not have a lot of coins to spend even for a +5 item. So I suspect that I will not get a high price for it. Iíll try a fire sale to get rid of it but if it doesnít move in a couple of days Iíll sell it to the vendor.

    Use this technique for unique or very rare items. It also apples to items that the vendors never sell as goblin armor, Silan bones, Iron bars as well as other quest items.

    Selling tips

    Best location?

    My first choice would be Moradon, on the upper level. Moradon? This prevents me from waking up dead because of an invasion. I find that there is a distinct prejudice from buying from a dead player. Why the second level? Occasionally monsters attack Moradon and do kill merchants near the front gate they donít seem to climb the stairs. Note after the expansion, I was on Ares 1 server and they had a Boss event right on the stairs, killed all merchants in the area. dont know if this will be common place or just a new GM

    I would also recommend that you try to return to the same location when selling. As players see you on a daily basis you build a reputation and trust factor. You will get a slight edge because you are known then someone they see for the first time. (Better the devil you know then the devil you donít!). This may give you a little extra business when the prices are the same or nearly the same.

    Iím confused as to why some players place them selves in the same spot as NPC characters or the landing zone for towns. This works against the merchant more often than it helps. Most players get annoyed if they get the merchant instead of the NPC character. Why would you buy from someone who is frustrating you? Those merchants in the landing zone! Do you know how difficult it is to pick you out of a crowd of incoming players? Most players donít even bother checking out you inventory

    Best time?
    What you need is foot traffic. Most players start the game in town and exit from town. This is the time they will shop after that they are playing the game. Based on your time zone determine when that is. In my time zone, eastern, It seems to be 9:00 am and 4:00 to 6:00 P.M., which may not matter if you can put your character in merchant mode and leave him on all the time.

    One player writes that he checks his merchant every two hours and his competition then. Most of us donít have crying babies to get us up every couple of hours. Assuming you set your merchant up the night before then the morning is a good time to survey the competition and replenish your goods. Home for lunch? Another good time. Back home from a hard day. Another good time. You should always check out the competition before or after you go out to kill monsters or humans.

    Anytime you take a long break, you can set up in merchant mode. However, donít expect good results for short breaks unless there is a lot of foot traffic in the area

    Currently it is legal to have more than one account. If you can have one account selling all the time and your current account selling when you are not playing you have that much more storage room and selling room.


    Display Window?

    In merchant mode you have 12 slots from which to sell only the upper left 4 display your goods to the world at large. (Note with the new PUS Merchant's Concentration you have 8 windows). Use these windows wisely, Try to display a representation of your inventory goods and these should be your best examples. I find most players do not read the messages but run from merchant to merchant looking at the 4-window display. Most players assume that you are showing your best. If you have a +4 sword on display and a +6 in the backroom, they will not check your backroom. If what they see in the display window doesnít interest them, they move on. Most players are not going to click on you if they think they will waste their time. If you have items for all characters make sure at least one of each is in the windows. Few mages are going to see if you have a fire blast spell if all you display are swords.

    You will save time and effort if you arrange your inventory before gong into Merchant mode. Merchant mode does not allow you to re arrange your inventory and you will be frustrated if you keep going through all the motions of setting up an item and find out its not there in the selling area because you already set it up. I use the bottom 2 rows of my Inventory window to do the set up and then just move them to the selling zone when I enter merchant mode. This works for me but any variation will work.

    Should you worry about empty display windows. If you are selling similar items you can price the items in the backroom 5 coins less. Most players will take the cheaper one and leave you the display. But there is a certain attraction to an empty display window. The player gets the impression that this merchant is selling something valuable and most canít resist at least a quick peek.

    If you have a unique desirable item use the message to advertise it. But space is limited you cant list all sixteen (16) items in the space provided. Nor does it update automatically when the item is sold. You can list categories as Weapons, Staffs, scrolls etc. You may also try humor as ďTrading stamps given!Ē, ďMoney back if weíre not satisfied with your coinsĒ. Didnít like them? Make up you own then (some people you try to help them and they, opps sorry didnít mean to type that out loud.).

    Once you set up in Merchant mode you can not change the prices of items but you can change your advertising message while tying /merchant in merchant mode.

    Transportation costs

    Round trip flights cost 6,000 coins between Moradon and Castle Luferson. Why spend it? You can create 3 characters on your server group. This selling character can access your storage at the Inn and sell your items for you in Moradon. (Of course you will have to wait till this is implemented again)

    One final hint, donít sell more than 3 item that are exactly the same. You know you pried them from the cold dead hands of monster but the buying players donít know that. If they suspect dupes they will not buy anything from you. Donít give the impression that they may be getting a dupe. You may have 12 +4 Twei swords, display only 2 at a time till you sell them all.

    Sell what you know. If you donít know, learn! Remember the most important bit of knowledge is what will the average player pay for my items?

  2. #2
    Popcorn maker :D Senior Member camisita's Avatar
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    wow u actually wrote an essay lol

  3. #3
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    :lol: i didnt real all but what i read was so helpfull :P

  4. #4
    sil4s
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    respect
    nice tips and well written (Y)

  5. #5
    MSZ - 006 Senior Member akutee's Avatar
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    no offence.....

    but that is the most stupid kind of merchanting ive ever seen... the profit you gain is not enough to even cover pots for 30 mins........


    the BEST way of merchanting is buy low, sell high... learn the market, grab every oppertunity, and you'll be gainign so much money.

    I have an irl friend, that started with under 10m coins on pathos, and buy low, check merchants for abotu 10-25 mins a day, bargain with turks.. and after 3 months, he has over 60 GBs (worth about 500-600$ on pathos market)

    and i DOUBT in 3 months u can even earn anything close to 21 gb's



    however.. the stuff about where to setup merchant, the time to setup merchant are alright.....




    from experience, the KEY to being good at merchanting, is being able to merchant at a good spot 24/7...... sometimes ppl pay 2x the price of somethings like trinas, and tears, cuz nobody else selling.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Many's Avatar
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    Didnt read it all... way to long for me and some things were too obvious..
    p.s people buy wood staff +8 because it's a descent staff for paper mage, mostly not because it glows

  7. #7
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    I read most of it, i think its a great guide for newer players to learn the way of moradon. It is not easy when you first start.
    Good job


  8. #8
    Senior Member bosston's Avatar
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    skimmed it but skimmed all of it.. very helpful guide i must say
    and very informative for the newer players.

    if i could +1 your rep i would.
    very nice.

  9. #9
    Question everything. Senior Member josri's Avatar
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    No way im gonna read all that

  10. #10
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    Cool but i think most of that is common sense.

  11. #11
    BoShkE
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    If you dont have it in yourself to be good merchanter, then a guide would never help you. You cannot learn that by an guide. I've tried to explain some friends, and give them tips. But still it comes down to yourself, most ppl dont pick it up well and dont have the patience to do it. Thats why there are just a few who know to play the market the best way...

  12. #12
    Speed_King
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    If you dont have it in yourself to be good merchanter, then a guide would never help you. You cannot learn that by a guide. I've tried to explain some friends, and give them tips. But still it comes down to yourself, most ppl dont pick it up well and dont have the patience to do it. Thats why there are just a few who know to play the market the best way...[/b]
    I'm sorry my friend, but what the hell do you mean? Care to explain what a 'guide' is?

    +1 to the original poster. Valuable tips and tricks to newbies.

  13. #13
    I_JuST_OwNed_U
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    :lol: is someone trying to get stickied i couldnt read all that but im sure it has some good info, but have to agree with akutee best thing to do is learn the market and buy everything u see underpriced and resell.

  14. #14
    nathan16
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    didnt read it all. nice essay u wrote.. but best way to make cash is by buying low then selling high seems to be the only way to do it these days

  15. #15
    BoShkE
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    I'm sorry my friend, but what the hell do you mean? Care to explain what a 'guide' is?

    +1 to the original poster. Valuable tips and tricks to newbies.[/b]
    Damn if there was an idiot of the day contest on this forum, you would be in top 5 for sure...
    Try your dictonary at home perhaps???

    or here i can help you: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/guide

    retard

    This guide can help some noobs, nothing else. All I meant to say is that you need lot more then this guide to play the market the proper way...

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