DocSavag's Guide to the Merchant Profession|
What is a Merchant in Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided? For the most part this is really up to you. Merchants in SWG can be massive enterprises of galactic trade and commerce or they can be small shops of any kind of merchandise. The toolset of the merchant profession is intended to empower merchants to sell things in an efficient and continuous manner to large numbers of users.
How do I become a merchant? The merchant profession is based off of the Business Skill tree in the Artisan profession. After you have found an Artisan trainer and become a Novice Artisan you must progress up the Business Skill three to get to Business III where you will get your first vendor. The first vendor isn't much to look at, a big bulky affair that looks rather like a Coke Machine and is fondly known as "Old Bulky" by the old hands of the Merchant profession. It functions quite nicely though and you will be able to use it to get your Novice Merchant skill when the time comes. You will continue on in the Business tree to Business IV which will give you your second type of vendor a small droid called Robo Bartender. He is tiny and almost unnoticeable, a complete opposite it seems from "Old Bulky" but he functions exactly the same. Now lets talk in detail about how to acquire business skills and what that means in terms of skills:
Business I: This skill will allow you to put access fees on any house structure that you are the admin on. (Caution if you are not the owner of the structure you won't get the money or any Experience Points generated by this feature those always go to the owner). Business I requires 500 General Crafting XP. General crafting XP can be gained by crafting almost any item granted in the Artisan skill trees. If you are doing nothing in Artisan other than Business you will stick to crafting any of the survey tools which will give you 57 XP each in Practice Mode. Crank out about 9 of these and you are ready for your first Business Skill.
Business II: This skill will allow you to place premium auctions on the bazaar for a higher fee than standard auctions. The auctions are flagged to make them stand out more in the bazaar listings and they are sorted at the top of every page. Business II requires 1000 General Crafting XP or about 18 of those handy survey tools and you will have acquired the points to train this skill.
Business III: This is the big one. Once you have trained this skill you will have access to your first vendor. This skill takes 3000 General Crafting XP or about 53 of those survey tools. The vendor will hold 100 items for sale at one time.
Business IV: This is the final stage of Artisan before moving on to Novice Merchant. It takes 6000 XP to achieve and that will equate to about 106 of the dreaded (by now) survey tools. This will grant you your second type of vendor. You will also receive an additional vendor slot (giving you two total) and an additional 150 items. This brings your total item limit to 250. The 250 items can be set up on your vendors in whatever way you choose. If you want all 250 items on one vendor that is possible, if you want to split up the items on both vendors that works as well.
Now that you have reached the top of the Business Tree you have to get 5000 Merchant XP to train the Novice Merchant skill box. This XP is generated by three methods. The first is 150 xp per hour that you get for just having a vendor. So Create your first vendor by going to a house terminal and selecting Create Vendor. You will have few choices at this point so select either Bulky or Robodroid and give the vendor a name. The vendor will be placed in your inventory. Next go to the precise place you want to put the vendor down (choose this wisely because you can't move the vendor after placing it. If you mess this up you will have to remove the vendor and create a new one). Click on the vendor in your inventory and select drop. If the vendor isn't facing the right way you can rotate it to fact the correct direction. Do this first before anything else. You can rotate the vendor in one of two ways. The rotate menu item on the radial menu will rotate the vendor 90 degrees each time. The /rotate command will allow you to rotate the vendor free form any amount you desire. Once you have it in the right place and facing the right direction select "Initialize Vendor" from the radial menu. This links the vendor into the vendor database system and sets it up for business. Put some maintenance in the vendor via the radial menu and you are ready to start your journey to Merchant.
The second method of generating Merchant XP is the access fee. You can set an access fee of 1-50,000 credits for a time period of 15 minutes to 2 days. Every time someone who is not listed on the Entry Permission of your structure tries to enter it prompts them to pay the amount you have set up. If they pay it they are granted access for the time period you designated and you are given 50 Merchant XP.
The third method of generating Merchant XP is customers viewing your vendor. Each person who visits your vendor and views the contents will grant you 50 xp. The limitation to this is that an individual cannot generate Merchant XP for you more often than once every 10 minutes.
Using only the first method of generating XP the trip from Business IV to Novice Merchant will be approximately 17 hours (using both of the two vendors you received by Business IV). You can shorten this by having friends view your vendors or pay access fees to your structure to generate extra XP. If you choose to wait for the vendor to generate it alone it will do so constantly whether you are on line or not. After a while the vendor will disappear from the world if no one is near it and return when someone shows up. During these times it will not generate XP, however as soon as it is loaded again by someone coming into the room it will calculate the XP it has missed and grant that XP to you all at one time.
I'm a Novice Merchant. Now what? First of all Congratulations you have become a merchant. Now the real fun can begin. Novice merchant grants you two new vendor types and allows you to operate up to three vendors with item limits of up to 750. This is important because all of your skills in the Merchant skill tree are gained through Merchant XP and this is primarily generated by your vendors. The two new vendor types are Standard which looks surprisingly like a bazaar terminal, and Random NPC. The NPC vendor will look like any of the player creatable races. You are not given a choice at this level. The race, gender and appearance of the vendor will be random. To get a specific type you will have to create and destroy them until you find something you are happy with. Other than appearance the vendors all operate the same.
The following sections will describe the skills that you will acquire during your merchant career. The path ahead is fairly long for a profession in SWG if you leave the XP to just the 150 xp per hour you get per vendor the trip will take you about 14 days to complete. This is assuming that you master the Management tree first and place a new vendor each time you are granted a new vendor slot.
Management I: You are granted 1 additional vendor slot and your total item limit is raised by +500 items. In addition Management grants you the use of a new sign for housing structcures:Sign #1
Management II:You are granted 1 additional vendor slot and your total item limit is raised by +500 items. In addition Management grants you the use of a new sign for housing structcures:Sign #2
Management III:You are granted 2 additional vendor slots and your total item limit is raised by +500 items. In addition Management grants you the use of a new sign for housing structcures: Sign #3
Management IV:You are granted 2 additional vendor slots and your total item limit is raised by +500 items. In addition Management grants you the use of a new sign for housing structcures: Sign #4
Hiring I: Each level of hiring gives you new options for controlling the appearance of your vendors. Hiring I grants you the right to select a specific race from the available player races (Bothan, Human, Mon Cal, Rodian, Trandoshan, Twi'lek, Wookiee and Zabrek) as well as grant you the ability to place a new terminal called Small which looks like the banking terminal and a new droid the EG-6 Power Droid.View All Vendors
Hiring II: Gives you the droid WED Treadwell, plus the NPC races of Aqualish, Bith,Devaronian, Gran, Ishi Tib,Ithorian, Nikto,Quarren,Sullustan, and Weequay.
Hiring III: Give you the terminal called Fancy which looks like the ticket terminals.
Hiring IV: Gives you a terminal called slim which looks like the standard mission terminal and the droid 21-B Surgical Droid. In addition you can now give items and clothing to most of your NPC vendors (Ithorians can't wear any of the clothes in the game because of their shape). When you give the clothing to the vendor it will wear it, replacing the clothes it is wearing at the time. Once you give an item or clothing to the vendor you cannot retrieve it.
Efficiency I: Gives you a 20% reduction in the charges for the Global Bazaar listing fees.
Efficiency II: Gives you a 20% discount to the cost of Vendor maintenance (normally 15 credits per hour)
Efficiency III: Gives you another 20% discount on the Global Bazaar listing fees. This skill also raises your item limits by +100.
Efficiency IV: Gives you a 20% reduction of all maintenance fees for structures that you maintain. If you pay maintenance into a structure (any amount) the structure will discount the entire remaining balance by 20% until someone who does not have Efficiency IV pays maintenance into the structure. In addition you are now allowed to place a merchant tent. The merchant tent is a player structure that takes up 1 lot and has storage for 75 items. This tent is made by an architect with the aid of a Tailor. This skill also raises your item limits by +150.
Advertising I: Gives you the ability to select from a list of adbarks. These are canned phrases relating to specific categories of items (weapons, clothing, etc) that the vendor will announce to people when they come near. Only the NPC's can adbark the droids and terminals are silent.
Advertising II: Gives you the ability to create a custom message to adbark. These custom messages cannot currently use the user variables like %TT to customize the response, we believe this is a bug but have no confirmation at this time.
Advertising III: Allows you to place your vendor on the Global Map for an additional fee (6 credits per hour). This will allow people to see your vendor in the category you select by looking on the CTRL V map. You can only have one category per vendor, but you can re-register once per day and change the category.
Advertising IV: Gives you a 20% discount on the cost of your global advertising. Advertising IV also gives you the ability to operate a Merchant Barker Droid. The barker droid can be purchased from a Droid Engineer and will allow you to put in a message of 128 characters which it will announce every 60 seconds as long as someone is nearby. It will also give people a waypoint that you input if they select him and request it.
Master Merchant: Congratulations you have made the final step in your merchant skills. The master merchant is granted a new droid vendor the Protocol Droid. Unfortunately the protocol droid can't adbark and for some reason he seems to be pink. In addition to Pinky the Silent Protocol droid the master merchant gets an additional 20% discount on the maintenance costs of his vendors, 2 additional vendor slots and an increase of +1000 to your vendor item limits. At Master Merchant your toolchest now includes 12 vendors and 4000 items which can be split up in among your vendors or placed in only one vendor.
Ok, I have this vendor..what do I do now? Good question. There are a few things you should know about this vendor you've become entrusted with I will outline the various systems that make up the vendor interface below. The first thing you need is something to sell. Once you have that you are ready to explore the interface.
Creating Placing Your Vendor: From your housing structure control terminal select create vendor, choose from the options presented there to create your vendor and give it a name. The vendor will be placed in your inventory (make sure you have room for it). Select a location carefully as you won't be able to move the vendor once it is placed. If you drop it in the wrong spot you will have to delete it and start over. Once you have the perfect spot you cand select the vendor in your inventory and drop it into the house. Once that is done you can rotate the vendor around to face the direction you like and then click on it and select Initialze. This funtion locks the vendor into place and makes it ready to accept sales from you. Once this is done you can place some maintenance into the vendor ( the costs of the vendor will depend on your skill level but the base cost is 15 credits per hour). The next thing to do is click on the "Use Vendor" which will bring up the vendor interface below:
For Sale: The default screen is the For Sale screen. This will list all the items you have for sale on your vendor. The first thing you will notice is that there is nothing listed (even if You have previously listed things for sale) don't panic. The vendor interface doesn't load the items by default to increase speed. Hit refresh or change the category and it will come right up. The second thing you will probably notice is that at the top left are four zones (Galaxy,Planet, Region, Vendor ) selecting one of these allows you to see items not only on the vendor you are currently accessing but any of your vendors in the galaxy depending on the zone you pick. This defaults to the regional view and all vendors in the immediate area that belong to you will be shown. This can be very confusing when stocking or retrieving items or handling offers. Be careful that you have the vendor on the right zone before performing. Do not fear, your customers only see the items on the vendor they are looking at. You are the only one who has access to the other zones. At the bottom right is a button named "Sell an Item" click it and it will bring up a dialog with your inventory shown on the right side. You may pick something from your inventory. Put in a price and optionally a description and click the "Sell Item" button. The item will go up for sale on your vendor. Congratulations now all you need is a buyer. Items placed for sale are on sale for 30 days. After 30 days they are removed from the for sale section and placed in your stock room. You must retrieve them or put them back up for sale within 30 days or they will be deleted by the vendor.
The other button there beside the "Sell an Item" button is for withdrawing sales. Click on any sales item listed and click withdraw. The item will be placed in your stockroom. (more about that later) The Details button will show you all the particulars about the current item you have highlighted.
Offers: The offers tab will show you any items that have been offered for sale by visitors to your vendor. You can double click on the item to see details about it. Click "Buy" to purchase the item and have it put into your stockroom or "Reject" to send an email telling the buyer that you are not interested in purchasing the item. The seller should have 7 days to retrieve the item before it is deleted. No email is generated on an offer. You must check your offers manually to see if you have any. If you are online when the offer is made you will see a system message. No other notification is sent. Items purchased from this tab should go to the stockroom where they can be retrieved or put up for sale.
Stockroom: The stockroom holds items purchased through the offers screen, and items withdrawn from sale (either by your manually or expired by the 30 day timer) The stockroom has a 30 day timer. Anything in the stockroom beyond 30 days is subject to deletion. Be very careful about storing items in your stockroom.
Caution: Be careful when deleting a vendor. You canot withdraw items into the stockroom and delete the vendor and still retain those items. Any item for sale, in the stockroom, or waiting to be purchased (offers) or picked up will be deleted when you remove the vendor.
Tell me about those Tent things: I thought you would never ask. The right to place a Merchant Tent is granted to a Merchant at Efficiency IV. The the tent may be purchased from an architect. The tent comes in three colors (Brown, Green, and Grey) and can be placed on any build able planet. The tent takes up 1 user lot and holds 75 items. The tent is meant to be a public building so you cannot make it private. You can however put an access fee on it and declare it as your residence. The tent is large enough to hold 6-8 NPC vendors or 4-5 terminals. Anything in the stockroom on any of your vendors can be put up for sale on the vendor it is on. You cannot use the stockroom to transfer items from one vendor to another or to retrieve items from vendors other than the one you are using. Sometimes you are allowed to withdraw items from a vendor that is physically close to the vendor you are operating from, but this does not work all of the time. The best rule is that you must go to the vendor where the item is actually held in order to retrieve it.
I have all these skills, now what happens if I give them up? If you sacrifice your merchant skills which grant you the ability to place and operate vendors you will be unable to place any new items up for sale until you have the skill to operate the number of vendors you retain. So if you are a Master Merchant and have 12 vendors and you drop your Master skill you must surrender 2 vendors before you will be able to put any items up for sale on ANY of your vendors. The vendor will continue to sell your items to customers during this time, you simply won't be able to put items up for sale until you have either retrained the skills you gave up or removed vendors to get back to the number you have the skill to operate.
Message Edited by DocSavag on 09-16-2004 10:35 AM