When you have a few peds on your avatar’s ped card in Entropia Universe, it is a good idea to price around and window shop a bit before doing any buying. The global auction system, accessed from the auctioneer npc is one of the main markets in game, and it is what is used to determine market value of item. However, in game shops in the malls and outlying areas are where you can sometimes find some spectacular deals. Actually, some “resellers” that sell things on the auction get their stuff from shops around the countryside where they can find items cheaper than they can in the auction. Sure, there are some greedy shop owners that want to price things way above where they should be, but there are also lots of shop owners that price things well below the auction values on a regular basis.
At my shop in Omegaton West Habitat, Delta Tower, I try to personally keep things below market value when possible. I can’t do it on everything since the minimum markup on items is +1 ped, so minimum total price is 1.03, which is the +1 Ped + 2 pecs for taxes that is automatically added to the pricing. Tax is approximately 2% in most shops in games currently.
The reason I, and several other shop owners, can keep our prices so low is that we deal directly with crafters, hunters, and others that get us the goods in direct deals, or bulk buying deals. That keeps things cheap, and keeps those that we buy from having a steady income instead of a sporadic income they would otherwise have if they only used the auction system to sell everything. Additionally, the auction costs them more in the long run since the auctioneer will take a fee from the seller of items regardless of whether the item sells or not.
Shop owners like myself, who set up consignment deals, usually pay Trade Terminal value to those we buy from, then we try to sell the items in question, and if we get sales, we share profits back to the original item’s owner later. If the item does not sell, we contact the original owner after a specified time period and offer the item back to them at trade terminal value. That keeps them having some peds on hand, us having something to sell, and keeps the general public happy since they have interesting items to look at in the shops that are always changing. We can afford to change the inventory out and swap things around that don’t sell since we are not paying markup for the items until a sell is made in consignment shops.
Other shops pay markup on everything, and then they get stuck with items they might not be able to sell. That’s sometimes the right way to do things, especially if markup climbs later after an item is acquired, but many times, it’s silly to pay full markup for items that you might not be able to sell, especially if you are just buying it for the purpose of reselling it.
When you double click on an item in a shop, you will see the item screen that explains more about the item. There are several tabs in the item screen, including a little popup window you can access that shows the market history of the item, which lists the price that the item was sold at in the auction for the day, week, month, year, and decade. That history screen is very important when you are checking prices on things since you’d otherwise have no reliable way of knowing exactly how much an item is worth. Before that window came along, buying things from shops was hard to do since it was difficult to know how much the stuff you were looking at was really worth. The same thing happened on the auction sometimes before the history window existed. Be glad it’s there and use it. It could save you a lot of peds over time.
Not all items in shops and booths are for sell. You can tell what’s for sell or not by seeing how much the markup is on the item in the main item screen (left most tab). Items that don’t have a markup are not for sell, and cannot be purchased. Usually items that are not for sell are there just for decorative purposes to give the shop a theme or specific look that the shop owner wants the place to have.
If you do window shop, be sure to look around at all of the malls and shops. There’s a bunch of them. Many don’t have their rent paid, so you cannot access them, but the active shop owners do keep their rent paid, and keep prices marked up, usually at descent levels because they want you to buy. Pricing around at various shops, just like window shopping in the real world, can sometimes get you some spectacular deals you would have otherwise missed.
In a future post, I will go in to details about what it is like to be a shop owner in this virtual universe.
In another post in the future, I might try to list all of the shops in game that I know about. There’s a LOT of them. Remember there’s 3 mall shops in game (Port Atlantis, Twin Peaks, and Emerald Lakes) so far, lots of various shops in the countryside and in apartment basements (Omegaton West Habitat, Genesis HQ, Sakura City, Treasure Island, Minopolis, North of Fort Argus, and a several other places too), a really big shopping area on Club Neverdie, a few booths on Crystal Palace, and several other places people can sell things since shopkeepers enable ANY estate in game to become a shop… including but not limited to any apartment, any hanger, and any Land Area. Additionally, shopkeepers can be used to add more item slots to already established shops, making them even bigger than they once were.
There’s an entire virtual universe to window shop in!
When new planets come in to play there will likely be even more shops elsewhere.