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Vendor House Tips?

Discussion in 'UO Players Corner' started by sayler04, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. sayler04

    sayler04 Guest

    For as long as i've been playing, I've wanted to start a vendor house and make it profitable./ A couple of weeks ago I started one on atlantic, and its been maintaining a positive, if scant, profit margin. I was wondering, though, if anyone has any tips on how to operate and maintain a successful vendor house, such as, staple items vendors should always carry, pricing, advertising, etc? Currently I have ten vendors selling consumables, furny, containers, power scrolls, plants, scribed goods, and miscellaneous. I'll not put the name or location of the place here, as i'm not certain that advertising for such on the boards is allowed, but i'd appreciate any advice those fine player merchants may give.


    Rage
     
  2. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    Advertise advertise advertise, unless you're blessed with a house in a busy area, but even then a little advertising never hurts.

    As for what to stock, well that depends on location and clientele. Try to cater to your specific area. I am located right outside destard, so I stock things people might need in a hurry should they run out while hunting. Bandages, Recalls, Archery Ammo. I also have other vendors (rented to others) that stock a variety of items from regs, crafted goods, repair deeds, potions, some rares, and items I've forgotten because, honestly, I don't check them often. I recently placed a dungeon rares vendor at my house, but he's not doing so well at this point. I think I just have the wrong location for that type of vendor.

    The way I learned to run a vendor house was trial and error. Once you find what works for you and your location, stick with it. Also, remember to stock frequently. There's nothing that turns off a customer more than an empty vendor.

    My final piece of advice... Don't try to do too much yourself. That's a good way to get burnt out really quick. Find a few people who would like to place a vendor, let them take some of the load off your shoulders.
     
  3. sayler04

    sayler04 Guest

    Thanks! today i advertised more than ever, and hjad a really lucrative day!I also made sure to stick around the house during peak hours, and it was really useful both for constant restocking and also for talking with people and finding or making them what they need. in rl, customer service helps, so why not in UO?

    Tomorrow i'll start looking to rent vendor spots, as you said. thanks again for the info, it helped alot!

    Anyone else ahve suggestions? or even, what do you look for at a vendor house when you're shopping?


    rage
     
  4. For me it changes trip to trip, but I think I can say these are the usual things:
    Decently modded/priced Swords - slayers, esp. Katanas
    Ingots - any color; my smith burns them faster than mining can replace them
    Some peerless ingredients, but that list changes all the time
    ALWAYS looking for decent armor!
     
  5. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    I look for vendors selling arrows & bolts cheaper than I do at my house ;)
     
  6. Calla Lily

    Calla Lily Guest

    Here's a few tips I had posted on my old shop website:

    Dress your vendors. Naked vendors are tacky.

    Stay stocked. If you have temporarily empty bags inside your vendor that won't be stocked within a week, remove them until you can fill them again. If I see nothing but empty bags on a vendor, I won't come back again.

    Keep your vendors organized and the bags inside clearly labelled. Don't be afraid to dye your inner bags or to use sample items showing what is in an inner bag.

    Stock shop runes on your vendors so your customers can find you again.

    Keep things interesting and EASY for your customers to find what they're looking for. Customers (me included!) are lazy. We want to open a vendor and see right away what's for sale. If I'm faced with a dozen plain brown unlabelled and unorganized bags, I usually won't waste time opening them all. Labels are a good thing!

    Vendor labels (the names that show up above your vendors' heads) are a great way to show what that vendor carries. If his inventory changes, don't forget to change his label (I see this around Luna a LOT!)

    Keep your shop interesting but organized. Make it a pleasant environment for your customer. Think about what YOU like to see in a vendor shop, and use that as a guide.

    Advertise, advertise, advertise!

    Have fun with it :)
     
  7. TullyMars

    TullyMars Sage
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    Welcome to the wonderful life of vendoring. Along with the great advice from above I'd like to add keep it cheap. People will find you if you are low priced. Granted you might end up being their wholesaler but hey as long as you are not selling at a loss.
    Also try not to put things in layers. The main pack should display a lot of what you are selling and maybe one bag lower but try to avoid it where you can. (Most shoppers are lazy!). This also helps you in finding out what you need to restock. Sometimes this means you don't put 125 items on the vendor and this is OK.
    Remember certain items require a lot of time.
    A bulk recall/scribe vendor takes a bit of time to create that pile of 100 recalls from scratch and then sell them for 40 gold each (4000 for the pile).
    Potions vendors take time to get kegs and fill them for what turns out to be a smaller profit than you think.
    Mining/Ore vendors are almost always empty if the ingots are correctly priced so it takes a lot of effort to keep them stocked. (Especially if like myself you are playing UO and not letting some automatron play your game for you)
    Jewelry rarely sells unless you are in great area and really have some uber pieces. Most shoppers just don't take the time to go through all the jewels.
    Weapons and armor are hit and miss and with armor if you take the time to create full suits (all 70 suits or 100% LRC suits or better yet both) you will sell them faster than selling all the pieces seperately.

    Hmm...why did I get into vendoring again? Good luck
     
  8. sayler04

    sayler04 Guest

    Thanks for all the great advice everyone! Thus far I have vendors for general scribed goods, marked runebooks, 3 for various furniture types, deco, add-ons, kegs, ps, plants, boards & bones, reagents (a great profit if youy buy low in felucca), cheap weps that people seem to like, and a couple of random oddities. Here's what i've found so far...

    My two most popular are easily kegs and plants, likely due to the new plants that came out a while back. I price the plants very low, only 2000 for most and 3500 for cypress trees, and then advertise that price on the runes i drop. They literally fly out, and i find myself restocking several times a day. The kegs seem to do well for plant growing, and I also sell alot of greater conflagration.

    Everything else seems to sell mostly as an afterthought to those two. People seem, to go for thoise and then browse other stuff. Especially with the oddities vendor, which brings in a couple hundred k a day.

    I've been doing some reselling, basically with marties that i dont know how to find myself, and i've been training up a miner for ingots. boards dont seem to go at all, sadly, because i must have a couple hundred k of those floating around.

    When i advertise i try to stick around the house after passing out runes. I try to talk to people who come by to get feedback, and alot of times they'll be looking for something i have stashed away somewhere that i never thought anyone would want. On occasion i've also gone out and purchased something specific for someone, then sold it for a small finders fee.

    So far, it seems to be working pretty well, mostly due to the great advice i've been given. so thanks everyone!


    rage
     
  9. NewThunder

    NewThunder Guest

    Went reting vendor spots, only go from week to week. It only takes one vendor selling questionable items at your shop to bring the whole place down; by going week to week you can minimize the damage.
     
  10. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    That's a good rule of thumb, unless you know the person well, and know they can be trusted.
     
  11. uoBuoY

    uoBuoY Guest

    I didn't read through all the posts and I apologize if this was already mentioned.

    Don't use KR to set up your vendors. All your stuff will settle to the bottom of vendor's backpack when viewed in 2D. It's a mess and most people run 2D.
     
  12. sayler04

    sayler04 Guest

    I've been wondering about the kr/2d crossover actually. I've been using kr so far because 2d is hard on the eyes, lol, and I realize the issues when converting to 2d. How does it look in kr, though, when they're arranged in 2d? Ideally, i'd like both to come out presentably.


    rage