There is little point in talking about the more complex subjects such as buying from and stocking a shop, if you are unable to recognize one in the first place. Here is a location with a shop:
Any room which has a fat merchant within is a shop.
Listing & Examining The Goods in a Shop
Gaining a Brief Overview
If you are in the location with a merchant, you are able to see the wares he is selling by typing 'goods'.
Looking at a Particular Set of Objects
If you wish to look at a particular set of objects being sold, type 'goods <item>'. For example, here is the result of typing 'goods lanterns':
Each of the above lines describes one lantern being sold in the shop. Each item within Elysium has an inventory number, which you can use to pick out a specific item from a group. For example, the first lantern on the list has inventory number 101231. Next to that is the price of the item. You may notice that lantern 101236 has a price of 120, whereas the other two lanterns are at a price of 80. Why is this lantern differently priced? One way to find out is by examining that lantern...
Examining an Item on Sale
Let's say that we want to examine the lantern 101236 above. We would type 'goods <inventory number>', so in this case we would type 'goods 101236'.
Lantern 101236 contains 6 jars worth of oil within, which is probably why it's more expensive than the other lanterns - the others are most likely empty. You could always examine the other lanterns to find out.
Buying From A Shop
To buy an item from a shop, type 'buy <item name>'. So to purchase a lantern from the above shop, you would type 'buy lantern'. However, this would take a lantern from the shop at random, so you can't specify which specific lantern you want. To do this, you would type 'buy <inventory number of item being sold>'.
So, for example, to buy the lantern with the oil in which we spoke about in the previous example, we would type 'buy 101236'. This lantern costs 120 gold coins, so you'd need to make sure you have enough money! Type 'inventory' to see how many gold coins you are carrying.
All shops are associated with a city, so if you're disliked by the city the shop you're buying from is associated with, you are likely to be charged extra. Logically, if you're liked by the merchant's city, you are likely to be charged less. To read more on that subject, read the page on relations.
Setting Up a Shop
To set up a shop, you will need to choose which city you wish your shop to be located within. The following factors must be considered:
The Tax Rate of the City
Each city within Elysium has a tax rate which can be set by its government. You will want to ask the government of each city you are interested in what their tax rate is, and whether they are likely to change it soon. The higher the tax rate, the less money you will make when you sell an item.
For example, if you have a sword on sale for 100 gold coins, and the city's tax rate is 10%, you will only make 90 gold coins if the sword is sold. The other 10 gold coins goto the city's treasury.
The Discount Rate of the City
Like the tax rate, each city has a discount rate which is set by the government. If the city's discount rate is 10%, then if one who has good relations with the city purchases an item from your shop, they will be charged 10% less than the price you set. If the person is loved by the city, then they get double the discount! See the section on relations for more details.
The Security of the City
Another point you may wish to consider is the crime rate within the cities you're interested in. Also, whether the city has a large number of city guardians or not. The more city guardians present in the city, the harder it will be for thieves to break into your shop. Shop security is an important matter, since if a thief can get into the stock room, he can take as many items as he can carry!
The Diplomatic Status of the City
If you have a shop in Thul'mar, and Thul'mar is at war with every other city within Elysium, only the citizens of Thul'mar will be able to buy from your shop. The diplomatic status of the city can also have an effect on the security of the city, since Thul'mar is likely to suffer quite a few thieves from the other cities.
Once you have chosen a city for your shop, you will need to ask the government of that city, in particular the Minister of Trade who is responsible for setting up shops, to make one for you. Shops cost the government ten thousand gold coins to set up, so he may well ask you for this capital or more first.
A shop consists of two rooms: the room in which the goods being sold are stored, and the room in which the merchant sits, allowing customers to view the goods being sold. The rooms are always adjacent to one another. If a customer type 'goods' in the location of a merchant, the items in the stock room which have a price of one gold coin or more, are listed.
If a customer buys an item, that item is removed from the stock room, and the gold coins he paid are placed on the floor of the stock room.
Obviously, you will want to make sure that the customer can get into the room with the merchant, but not the stock room!
Stocking a Shop
To sell an item in your shop, go into the stock room and drop it upon the floor.
Viewing the Price of Items in your Stockroom
Type 'value here' to see the prices of all items in your location, along with their inventory numbers.
To view the prices of a particular set of items on the floor, type 'value here <object type>'. An example might be 'value here apple'. This would list all apples in the location, and their prices.
To view the price of one item, simply type 'value <inventory number of item>' e.g. 'value 13145'.
Finally, you can view the prices set on all the items in your inventory by typing 'value inv'.
Setting the Price of an Item
There are two ways of setting prices on items. You can either set the price of all types of a certain item on the floor in your location, by typing 'value set <item type> <price>', or you can set the value of a specific item by typing 'value set <inventory number> <price>'.
Any item sold through your shop is recorded on the shop's sales log. You may view this log by typing 'view shop ledger' when in the same location as the merchant of your shop. Here is an example of a transaction which may have been recorded...
This shows that on the 5th of December at 12:30 and 14 seconds, Tyrion purchased a roast chicken with iventory number 53525 for 50 gold coins.
Your merchants have a chance of working out the true identity of anyone disguised who is purchasing from your shop, and they will be shown on the shop ledger.
It is not only players which can buy from a shop, but the NPC citizens of a city may do so aswell. So do not be surprised if they appear on your shop ledger.
Protecting a Shop
At some point during your time in Elysium as a shop owner, you will no doubt experience someone attempting to break into your shop. There are two areas of security you will want to look into to stop the thief getting away with any of your luxurious goods:
Protecting the outside of the shop
The best method of security is to stop the thief getting into your shop in the first place. You could do this in a number of ways, but here are a few:
Protecting the inside of the shop
Once inside your shop, the thief is able to take as many goods as he can carry. Here are some ideas on how to stop thieves getting away...