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Vendor Management 101: An Easy Graphical Guide to Selling

Discussion in 'Guides' started by SidX, Dec 23, 2014.

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  1. SidX

    SidX Grandmaster

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    Sid
    Over the last few months of running my shop, I've rented out vendor spots to lots of different players. I've noticed in doing this that a majority of these players have had little to no experience managing a vendor. Many have never had a vendor before, and others simply forgot how to run one since it had been years since they last played UO.

    I wrote this guide to hopefully explain all scenarios you will encounter when setting up and running a vendor. Hopefully it is to-the-point enough that you will be able to quickly find any answer you may have about running your shop.

    A. What are vendors?

    Vendors are NPCs ('non-player characters') that sell items for you at an establishment. They are setup either in your own home or a home owned by another player. A vendor is like an NPC shop that you would find in a town, only they are run by you and sell your items at a price you set. It's something really unique to UO and is key to making a living in Britannia.

    B. What can I sell on my vendor?

    Any item in UO that you can drag, drop, move, use, wear or consume is able to be sold on a vendor. Basically, you can sell anything. That's what's great about vendors.

    C. How much does a vendor cost to run?

    There are two ways a vendor can cost you gold.

    • Every vendor charges a per-day fee based on the value of the items they are selling. Basically, the higher the total value of the items for sale on your vendor, the more the vendor will charge per day and vice versa. This vendor per-day fee is deducted automatically on a daily basis from the gold stored on the vendor. You must make sure there is enough gold on the vendor at all times to cover at least one day's fees-- if there are insufficient funds the vendor will quit, sending all of his goods to your bank.

    • If you are setting up a vendor at another player's home, they have the ability to charge a "rental fee". This fee is in addition to your vendor's per-day fee, however this amount gets paid directly to the shop owner through your vendor. Some shop owners charge a rental fee, some do not. If you are placing a vendor at a house you own, there is no "rental fee" associated with the vendor. You will only be required to pay the vendor's per-day charge, explained above. Shop owners who charge rental fees typically do so to help cover the costs of promoting the shop, plus the inconvenience of having vendors in their home (i.e. houses cannot be customized if vendors are present).

    D. Where do my vendor fees go?

    The vendor's per-day fee is just a gold sink. It is money that the vendor requires to keep working for you, and without paying it the vendor will quit. The money doesn't go to anyone, it is just deducted from the vendor's gold balance and eliminated from the server. This is why vendor shops are also an important aspect of the server's economy; they act as a great consistent gold sink. A shop owner's "rental fee", on the other hand, is paid to the owner of the house where your vendor resides. The rental fee is paid on a scheduled basis set by the house owner at the time of vendor creation (Weekly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, etc.).

    E. What is my vendor's "gold balance" and how do I pay my vendor?

    Your vendor has a "gold balance", visible by double-clicking the vendor and viewing the balance in the vendor management window (see step "H" below). Gold is added to this balance via two methods; (a) you can drag and drop gold coins onto the vendor (checks do NOT work), or (b) all gold from item sales on your vendor will go to the vendor's gold balance. Your vendor is paid by dropping gold coins onto him/her. To retrieve or withdraw gold from your vendor, double-click your vendor and select "Collect Gold". Your vendor will ask how much you would like to withdraw.

    F. How do I setup a vendor at my own house?

    To setup a vendor at your own house, obtain a plain-hued "Contract of Employment" from any NPC banker. These typically cost anywhere from 950gp - 1,500gp each.

    [​IMG]

    To place this vendor, simply go to your house and stand on the tile you'd wish to use as the vendor's place of sale. Double-click the deed and the vendor will be placed.

    G. How do I setup a vendor at another player's house?

    To setup a vendor at another player's house, you will need a red-hued "Vendor Rental Contract". The plain-hued contracts of employment will NOT work for this. Those are ONLY for house owners. In every event where a vendor will be rented, a Vendor Rental Contract must be obtained. Typically the shop owner will provide this.

    [​IMG]

    This deed is only usable by a house owner. Using this deed will be covered in Step "I", below.

    H. My vendor is setup. How do I manage it?

    When you double-click your vendor, you'll see this window:

    [​IMG]

    1. # of days Vendor salary is paid for: This is the number of days your vendor will continue working. It is calculated based on the amount of gold being held on the vendor vs. how much the per-day charge is.
    2. My charge per real world day is: This is the amount your vendor charges per-day to work for you. It will increase as you add more items for sale on your vendor. It will decrease as items are removed from the vendor.
    3. Gold held in my account: This is the gold held on the vendor and is what the vendor will deduct from for his per-day fees.

    Let's go through this menu to get you familiar with it.

    First, let's stock your vendor. You can view the vendor's pack by clicking 'See Goods'.

    [​IMG]

    This brings up a backpack, similar to your player's inventory backpack.

    [​IMG]

    This is where you can drag and drop items onto (or from) your vendor. In this example, the vendor is selling recall scrolls. Let's add some recalls for sale...

    [​IMG]

    When you drop an item onto your vendor, this message appears:

    [​IMG]

    This stack contains 10 Recalls, which I'm pricing at 350gp. Notice when I enter 350, the recalls are now for sale on my vendor for 350gp:

    [​IMG]

    That's it! You're now selling :) This same method is used to list any item for sale on your vendor.

    NOTE: You must drag and price each item individually onto your vendor. Each item is given a default price of 999gp until you enter your own price. If you fail to price each item as it is dropped into your vendor's pack, it will be listed for 999gp.

    Let's go back to the management window to begin customizing our vendor's appearance:

    [​IMG]

    Clicking "Customize" brings up this window:

    [​IMG]

    It's self-explanatory, really. Here you can change the sex and hair style of your vendor.

    Now we will cover one important part of owning a vendor-- NAMING IT! There are two different sections of the vendor management window called "Rename Shop" and "Rename Vendor". They seem similar but are different in one way.

    [​IMG]

    Rename Vendor

    This option renames the vendor NPC. When players run by, this is the name they see.

    Rename Shop

    This option renames your vendor's shop as seen within the house sign menu. When players single-click a house sign of a house containing vendors, a list comes up:

    [​IMG]

    Players can click any of these titles to quickly jump to a specific shop. It's important you rename the "Rename Shop" portion of your vendor. Otherwise, your shop will show as "Unnamed" in this menu. Your "Rename Shop" name can be different from your "Rename Vendor" name.

    Let's dress up your vendor!

    In the vendor management window, click "Open Paperdoll". This brings up a paperdoll just like your character's. You can drag and drop clothing, armor, weapons, etc. onto the vendor's paperdoll just like you can to your own. It's a nice way to make your vendor stand out, and is highly suggested! Vendors can also wear faction robes freely.

    [​IMG]

    Dragging a robe onto the vendor:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    Great, you've learned how to sell items and dress up your vendor. Now comes the most important part...

    How to collect the gold!

    [​IMG]

    Back on the vendor management window, click "Collect Gold". You'll be prompted to enter the amount you wish to withdraw. Again, be sure to leave enough gold on the vendor to satisfy its "per-day fee"!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last option on the vendor management window is the one you'll only need once-- "Dismiss Vendor". This does just that-- it lets your vendor go. Use this option if you want to remove your vendor and after you have withdrawn all items and gold from the vendor.

    I. Okay, I own a house... how do I rent vendors to other players?

    As covered in Step G above, a "Vendor Rental Contract" must be obtained. Once obtained, go to your house. When you double-click the deed, you are prompted to select a tile where the rental contract will be placed. Unlike "Contracts of Employment", which instantly place a vendor when double-clicked by the house owner, these rental contracts act as placeholders for where vendors will go. We will cover this now.

    So you double-clicked the red deed and chose your tile. Let's place it down.

    [​IMG]

    Once the tile is selected, the contract gets locked down automatically in its place.

    [​IMG]

    Now is the fun part, setting up the rental agreement / contract! To do this, single-click the deed and choose 'Contract Options'.

    [​IMG]

    This brings up the following window:

    [​IMG]

    1. Contract Length: You may choose how long you'd like the contract to be. Your options are 1 Week, 2 Weeks, 3 Weeks, 1 Month. Experienced shop owners will always choose 1 Week durations when renting to other players, even if the contract is going to renew. This is because some players unfortunately abandon their vendors, and if this were to happen there is nothing the landlord can do until the vendor or contract expires. This could take up to 1 month if the "1 Month" option was chosen! By choosing "1 Week" for all rentals, you are ensuring yourself as a landlord that you will not have to wait more than 7 days to end a contract for any reason.
    2. Price Per Rental: This is the amount that is charged per contract renewal term. If a contract is setup to be weekly with a price of 1,500gp, the rental fee will be 1,500gp per week... and so on.
    3. Renew on Expiration: IMPORTANT: Both the landlord AND the tenant must click the arrow to set the contract to renew. If this is not done by both the landlord and the tenant, the vendor will expire at the conclusion of the current contract term. This is one of the most commonly overlooked items by tenants. Tenants can set their contracts to renew by single-clicking their vendors, going to 'Contract Options' and then clicking the arrow.
    4. Offer Contract to Someone: Only click this when all of the other terms of the rental have been chosen. By clicking this, you will then be able to select a nearby player to rent the vendor spot out to. The other player receives the below prompt:

      [​IMG]

      The tenant can approve or deny the terms. If approved, the vendor is created and can be managed as explained above.
    J. My vendor vanished, what do I do?

    This is common, so don't be afraid. Often times vendors will expire for two reasons: (a) the vendor did not have sufficient funds to continue working, or (b) the contract terms did not allow for the vendor to continue working (i.e. either the tenant or the landlord chose not to renew the contract).

    If you notice your vendor is gone, check the bank of the player you used to create the vendor. There should be a backpack with all of the vendor's contents and gold inside. Kindly request that your vendor be setup again if you rented at another player's home, or set the vendor back up if you had it established in your own house.

    K. What do I need to watch out for when running a vendor?

    There are very important tips you should always know when managing a vendor. They are:

    1. ALWAYS remember this is Felucca... PKs / reds and thieves commonly camp vendor houses intent on killing and/or looting shoppers and vendor owners to snag goods. Be wary of this and be ready at any time to recall out of the environment. It is highly suggested that you do not bring multiple pack horses to stock a vendor for this reason. Always use just your own pack, or a single rideable beetle if necessary.
    2. NEVER delete the character used to create your vendor. While you can manage a vendor you own from any character on your account (it does not have to be the character used to create the vendor), if you do end up deleting the character that was used to create the vendor there could be issues collecting gold or managing the vendor entirely. Also, if the vendor were to expire, its entire inventory could fall to the ground and become freely 'lootable' by the public. This is because there is no longer a bank box for the items to go to. If you do delete this character, page a GM. They may be able to reassign ownership of the vendor to another player on your account so you can continue managing the vendor.
    3. Always double-check your pricing. As explained in Step H above, any item you drop onto your vendor has a default price of 999gp. This price stays in effect until you enter a new value. Since items must be added and priced one-by-one, it is common that players will overlook one item, or one pricing, when adding multiple items. Don't make this mistake. There have been many occurrences where players will put a high-end item on their vendor worth 100k+ and forget to price it, or will drop a second item into the vendor's pack before entering a value for the first item. This will list that item for 999gp and someone will make off with a big bargain.

    L. I want a vendor! Where can I set one up?

    There are many established shops in UOF. Simply walk around the Britain Bank and ask around-- many shop owners will be glad to rent you a space at their mall. Alternatively, you can place a vendor at a house owned by you by following the steps in Step F above.

    I personally run a shop just outside of Vesper city, The Vesper Trading Co. (see link in signature), and rentals are 100% free with us. If you would like a vendor, PM me and I will get you setup.

    M. I have some more questions... what now?

    Luckily the UOF community loves to help :) If you have any more questions not covered above, just ask here. I (and whoever else) would be glad to help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2014
  2. SaladinX

    SaladinX Grandmaster

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    Wow. Very informative guide!
     
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  3. halygon

    halygon Grandmaster

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    Halygon
    Great guide. Stickied.
     
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  4. Leviathan

    Leviathan Master

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    Leviathan
    Awesome man. +1!
     
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  5. Alucard

    Alucard Grandmaster

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    Thanks ! it's really helped for me
     
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  6. Vince[Tharakus]

    Vince[Tharakus] Grandmaster

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    Tharakus
    Helpful and well written as usual!
     
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  7. SidX

    SidX Grandmaster

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    Sid
    A lot of players who setup vendors at my shop have said they would use this guide to get familiar with vendors. Almost all of them did everything perfectly but forgot to renew their contracts! The vendors ended up expiring creating a lot of confusion.

    Just reiterating Step I (letter 'i'), part 3 that covers how to make sure your contract is renewed :)

    Happy selling!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2015
  8. Killian X

    Killian X New Member

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    Killian X
    First, this guide was perfect, exactly what i was looking for, so thank you! As the newest resident newb, how does one manage pricing? Is there an updated guide somewhere or do you just price shop other vendors and make it competitive?
     
  9. Mango

    Mango Grandmaster

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    Mango
    nice job!
     
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  10. Smokey McCallum

    Smokey McCallum Grandmaster

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    Nice guide. I wish everyone would name their shops, itd make searching for what you want so much easier.
     
  11. SidX

    SidX Grandmaster

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    Sid
    This annoys me so much.. especially in Yew where the shops are not user-friendly.. having double-thick walls of vendors with no gaps to walk around makes it hard to use "vendor look". So what do I do? I go to the house sign menu! And every vendor says, "Shop Not Yet Named". So frustrating :(

    Thanks @Mango and @Killian X !

    Also Killian, personally I usually just go by what I see elsewhere at shops when pricing my own stuff, then undercut just a little bit of course ;). If I have a rare or something not very common (i.e. power scrolls, SSs, statues), I usually just go to Google and search for "uoforum <item name>". Any pages that come up in the results I just browse for prices.
     
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  12. Smokey McCallum

    Smokey McCallum Grandmaster

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    Im tempted to just ignore the shops that are not yet named to teach people not to be lazy but they wouldnt know and the shop might have what I want ha. Nice idea with the google search, Ill deffo be using that.
     
  13. Mango

    Mango Grandmaster

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    Mango
    Yeah, I can't stand vendors that keep all the default names, and no shop name.

    I try to keep it simple for people and use very basic naming like "ingots", "crafted armor", etc...

    But I kinda REALLY like the way @Blaine the Gypsy does it. He rocks a solo vendor with a unique name. I don't know the exact goods the vendor carries based off the name... but instead i see his vendor and I know "That's Blaine", and then I'm just compelled to look at his vendor because we've all seen him active on the forums. - A unique approach, & awesome branding. Just had to give kuddo's! <3
     
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  14. Smokey McCallum

    Smokey McCallum Grandmaster

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    Think if I was to do that itd work against me ha.
     
  15. Blaine the Gypsy

    Blaine the Gypsy Grandmaster

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    Blaine the Gypsy
    I've had random mega deals people can stumble upon. It's never about making the coin it's about making an impact.
     
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  16. Tearloch

    Tearloch Grandmaster

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    Anyone know if there is a way to increase the amount of vendor slots a house have? Like a gold sink purchase or something?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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