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Themed Shops

ArillesArilles Member Posts: 32
edited September 2012 in The Scarlattan Theatre
Not sure if this is the right place for this, but, what do you all think of Themed Shops? I know some people seem to use their Shops for selling different things (such as Jewelry or Food), and some Cities seem to sell more of certain types of items than others, such as Cyrene selling clothing more suited to keeping you warm in colder climates. Do you think you would make more gold if people new to go to YOUR store for certain things as opposed to shopping around (it might be more convenient too)?

Comments

  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,410 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Yes.
  • LuharLuhar Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited September 2012
    Tahquil answered the question about as concisely as possible.

    To elaborate a bit on why I agree - all my characters, since I started playing in about 2003/2004 have at some point shopped in Modern Man in Delos (okay, bar one female character, but that's irrelevant) purely for the reason that the shop generally stocks a range of male clothing and will have at least one or two items that my character can use. If I go there, I have a good idea what I'll get.

    Some shops seem to have a poor idea of what they're about and I'll generally not remember them if I don't see a consistent type of stock. If I need a gem of negation, I know I'll always check a certain shop in Hashan first, because it's reliably stocked. If I want sigils, there are two shops I always go to, because they're consistent.

    The key really is to decide what you sell and make sure you always have it available. Consistency and reliability are what I look for when shopping and having a good reputation is, in my opinion, a great way to reach that point where you finish clawing back the unholy sum of money you paid for the shop and see some real profits.
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Tahquil said:
    Yes.
    QFT


    Luhar said:
    Tahquil answered the question about as concisely as possible.

    To elaborate a bit on why I agree - all my characters, since I started playing in about 2003/2004 have at some point shopped in Modern Man in Delos (okay, bar one female character, but that's irrelevant) purely for the reason that the shop generally stocks a range of male clothing and will have at least one or two items that my character can use. If I go there, I have a good idea what I'll get.

    Some shops seem to have a poor idea of what they're about and I'll generally not remember them if I don't see a consistent type of stock. If I need a gem of negation, I know I'll always check a certain shop in Hashan first, because it's reliably stocked. If I want sigils, there are two shops I always go to, because they're consistent.

    The key really is to decide what you sell and make sure you always have it available. Consistency and reliability are what I look for when shopping and having a good reputation is, in my opinion, a great way to reach that point where you finish clawing back the unholy sum of money you paid for the shop and see some real profits.
    QFT

    Just to add, I don't personally think that the main reason that 'one-shot' shops don't succeed is that they're easy to forget. The problem is the consistency of supply. A shopkeeper who sells 'curatives' probably has one or two suppliers (or, of course, makes the things himself). He's chosen that supplier because they're good at keeping him supplied, and he gets a nice little discount for buying that in bulk every year.  I go to Cyrenian Supplies for my refills because I know that I will get all my refills when I go there.  I would rather go to three different shops to get my clothes, refills, herbs, knowing that I will get everything in those three shops, than have to spend the afternoon dicking around going to different 'we-dabble-in' shops that may or may not allow me to tick off my shopping list.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • ArillesArilles Member Posts: 32
    I agree with both of you of you. In all honesty a perfect example would be a short while ago I was helping someone shop around. Not only could we not find what they were looking for, but most shops seemed severely understocked, especially in trousers (I was amazed, everywhere we went "WARES TROUSERS" brought nothing up in any of the shops, and I beleive I went practically everywhere except Mhaldor)!
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,132 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Should've gone to Mhaldor. I stock two types.
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,623 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Psst, don't go to Mhaldor. They make trousers out of people looking for trousers.

    HalosCadrik
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,132 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Damnit @Synbios, don't warn him. Do you know how hard it is to find visitors to skin for commodities now that martial law is in effect?
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,623 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If it wasn't for that martial law, @Jiraishin, I would still have a regular stock of duct tape for my engineering jobs. Consider it as equal payment. >:C

  • AzorAzor Member Posts: 145
    edited September 2012
    My shop is enchantments-themed, if that counts as a theme. Probably not. But to answer the question, yes, if people know they can get sigils in my shop, they are more likely to go there for sigils. And so on.
  • BeyaBeya Member Posts: 353 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I was going to open a mask shop in Delos before I came to my senses and realised the price.

    It would've had a huge stock of many different masks, and tailors everywhere would be able to stock their mask for a % return. I wasn't expecting to sell many masks. I just thought it would be a really nice flavour addition to Delos.

    Some days, usually after pay day, I get that feeling again. Then I remember I like to eat.
    "Trust in me, Universe, I will deliver / the promise that no-one shall ever / set their mind to games or play / for Serious Order is the way. I will not rest until it is done; / rules will be made for everyone. / They will know Order and its graces - and just like me, all shall be Greyfaces." - The Heroes of Sapience, Act 5, Greyface.
    OceanaSylvanceAmunetHalos
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Beya said:
    I was going to open a mask shop in Delos before I came to my senses and realised the price.

    It would've had a huge stock of many different masks, and tailors everywhere would be able to stock their mask for a % return. I wasn't expecting to sell many masks. I just thought it would be a really nice flavour addition to Delos.

    Some days, usually after pay day, I get that feeling again. Then I remember I like to eat.
    @Beya - A shop like this would be bursting with awesome. But, yes... you'd have to sell a ridonculous number of masks before it made any kind of return.  Hmmm... that gives me an idea.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • BeyaBeya Member Posts: 353 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    @sylvance @Silas Well, if any of you ever want to make this a thing, you may start donating.

    Perhaps I could even convince the UUC clan it's a good idea, where all masks are welcome to be sold.

    I have some fabulous ideas for market concepts, but I just don't have the funds to play them through. I see a lot of the financial side of the game play (gold, that is), as a great source of roleplay for a lot of people. They just need to buy less from denizens and more from mortals.

    I guess I could always take to the roads with my wares.
    image
    "Trust in me, Universe, I will deliver / the promise that no-one shall ever / set their mind to games or play / for Serious Order is the way. I will not rest until it is done; / rules will be made for everyone. / They will know Order and its graces - and just like me, all shall be Greyfaces." - The Heroes of Sapience, Act 5, Greyface.
    SylvanceXerDaslin
  • CrathenCrathen IrelandMember Posts: 111 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited October 2012
    @Beya With hallowe'en coming up, there's no better time to do so. Have a bunch of props to measure up faces, needlessly sharp spikes to wave in people's faces, measure willing participants up and promise them the "perfect mask". Then craft it and offer to sell it for a premium. I'd certainly engage with that if it were shoved in my face. 
    Beya
  • ArillesArilles Member Posts: 32
    We needs shops for Jesters, Blademasters, Priests (Shallam has some Priest stuff, but I dont know if there  is a shop specifically catering to them), there are plenty of shops for Knights, Cyrene has the Ty Beirdd shop for Bards, Eleusis, Mhaldor, and Ashtan have shops for their respected flavours, and Pirates! We need a shop for Pirates with frilly-shirts and sashes and cravats and such! I love it when people stock their wares with things that go together too, as opposed to just anything, it shows they are thinking about what people are going to want to wear with the things they've bought.
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited October 2012
    Amunet said:
    While themed shops are interesting in theory, they aren't really financially viable. As @Beya tried to illustrate, buying a shop is expensive - regardless of whether the shop for sale is city- or privately-owned, property in a good location is likely to cost over a thousand credits. If the shop is located in Delos, that figure triples. Most shops are sold via auction, with the base price set at the lowest amount the seller is willing to take. This often ensures that the buyer will end up paying an astronomical figure. 

    With credits sitting at 6,000 gold per credit on the in-game market, an OOC credit purchase of some size is practically requisite in order to purchase a shop. It's possible to work up the gold by hunting, of course, but few people have the fortitude to bother with that. Renting a shop is another option, if you can find a willing shop-owner. The last time I checked, most renters were paying around 30,000 gold per year, but many of them were also paying the shop's yearly taxes to the city, as well. Profitable enough in the short-term, but after a few IC decades -  a real-life year - the gold a renter has spent would have bought them a shop of their own. Renting also has other drawbacks - you can't customise your shop's name or appearance without the permission of the (often semi-inactive) owner, if you aren't an LMS (another 750,000 gold expense) you can't use bins and your shop looks like crap, if your landlord is branded an enemy of the city where the shop is located, the shop (as well as its contents and your gold) will probably be seized ....

    Keeping a shop stocked also requires a lot of start-up gold and painful accounting, regardless of what you sell. Crafting licenses cost 200 credits, and then transcending the mini-skill for your chosen trade is another 115 credits. To design anything, you must have a pattern, schematic, or recipe, and a blank sketch, which must be purchased at the Crafter's Union Headquarters in Delos. The price of these necessities vary depending upon the item. Crafters can pay 150 credits for a tradebook for each one of these (save blank sketches), but to fill these tradebooks, they must buy one of every type of pattern, schematic, and recipe and copy them by hand, which incurs a cost that is ridiculous as well as wasteful. All crafters pay seemingly arbitrary registration fees to the Crafter's Union, which must be periodically renewed, unless you can afford a folder from the Shop of Wonders (two crowns, or 60+ credits depending upon how much you pay for the crowns). Crafting designs also require commodities, and jewellery designs incur an additional crafting fee, which must be paid every time an item of jewellery is crafted. 

    Then, you take into account advertising, which is, by comparison, negligible in its cost, but can be time-consuming. Market ads are 50 gold per. A Marketeer's license is 20,000 gold and will allow you to use the market for free - this can pay for itself if you don't have it repeatedly revoked for your witty but underappreciated advertising skills, as I have. Ad listings cost 100 gold each and last for ten IRL days, but will probably be ignored unless you use them in tandem with Market ads. They are also annoying to format, and an unattractive ad, with no formatting or too much ASCII, isn't going to draw in customers. Posters are 1,000 gold, last for 30 months, and have to be placed strategically in order to attract the most customers. There can only one poster per room, and most of the prime locations - NoT, Dockhand Square, Central Market, the Crossroads of Hashan, Centre Crossing, Fish Street, Stygian Crossroads, etc., etc. are always occupied.

    Tl;dr, shopkeeping is a gigantic pain in the ass. It is difficult enough to make a profit off of an investment of thousands of credits without limiting your sales to a niche market. Shops with gender-specific clothing, or shops based around supplying a specific necessity - armour, curatives, enchantments, etc. - are realistic, but a shop selling nothing but pirate gear, or animal costumes, or gold-plated undergarments probably won't produce a steady source of income for its owner. That is why themed shops are relatively rare.
    This.

    In my opinion, this post sums up everything that is wrong with Achaean shopkeeping. It's why we need stalls.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • LuharLuhar Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    If you assume that a shop owner is aiming for a profit, then broad themes (alch/conc cures, clothing, jewellery, forged goods, etc) are good, narrow themes (masks, stolen blademaster swords, cigars, etc) are not good and having no theme/consistency at all is probably the worst (unless your theme is "stuff that people always need").

    If you really don't intend to make a profit and if you become a shopkeeper purely to sell something that you enjoy making and enjoy seeing people (occasionally) use, I suppose niche is much less of a worry. If I buy a shop, it'll be because I want to have a shop that's like this - making actual profit takes an effort that would spoil my fun.
    Jiraishin
  • BeyaBeya Member Posts: 353 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited October 2012
    @Amunet @Luhar You all have it so right. As Beya, I don't sell bombs to make a profit. I haven't sold bombs in about 5 IG years - the last sale was about 350 gold.

    I've made posters to advertise the bombs and I travel from city to city and push my wares because it provokes interactions. The posters add flavour to the world and make newbies think, "Wow, this world has so much going on. Look what the players can do!"

    I advertise jokes on market in response to other people's. Nothing makes me smile more than market interactions.

    Selling a mask here, a Delosian frog cake there or a web bomb at home doesn't even start to cover my costs for these interactions. This is literally what I spend my gold on, and I enjoy it.
    "Trust in me, Universe, I will deliver / the promise that no-one shall ever / set their mind to games or play / for Serious Order is the way. I will not rest until it is done; / rules will be made for everyone. / They will know Order and its graces - and just like me, all shall be Greyfaces." - The Heroes of Sapience, Act 5, Greyface.
  • BeyaBeya Member Posts: 353 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Crathen said:
    @Beya With hallowe'en coming up, there's no better time to do so. Have a bunch of props to measure up faces, needlessly sharp spikes to wave in people's faces, measure willing participants up and promise them the "perfect mask". Then craft it and offer to sell it for a premium. I'd certainly engage with that if it were shoved in my face. 
    Please speak to me further on this subject in messages. Thank you.
    "Trust in me, Universe, I will deliver / the promise that no-one shall ever / set their mind to games or play / for Serious Order is the way. I will not rest until it is done; / rules will be made for everyone. / They will know Order and its graces - and just like me, all shall be Greyfaces." - The Heroes of Sapience, Act 5, Greyface.
  • CoeurCoeur Member Posts: 155 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Yes, definitely! Probably having a bin in a shop that is themed is more feasible - with items that are of use or at least, decorative, such as clothes. 

    Though I of course, have to agree with @Beya for the travelling merchant idea, as well as stalls. That's like walking RP interaction waiting for you to engage in, should you dare!

  • KaliciKalici Member Posts: 23 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I'm late to reply, but let me just say, as a newbie, I think themed shops, or bins in shops, are a great idea, because I have literally spent hours between the Achaea wiki and the game itself, trying to learn where to get things.  It doesn't have to be super easy, (that would take some of the fun out of it), but just a bit more simplicity might help.  Even if there was just a command "help shops with food", "help shops with clothing", etc., that would be good.
  • JovoloJovolo EnglandMember Posts: 3,249 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I know Cyrene has a merchants directory with listings of where to buy certain things. It's something that other cities could invest the time into creating and aides of relevant ministries could keep updated. Definitely possible to do. 

    Sorry off that's not really on topic, thread was necro'd and I only really read the latest post. 


    :)>-
  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo DomingoMember Posts: 3,287 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Beya said:
    I was going to open a mask shop in Delos before I came to my senses and realised the price.

    It would've had a huge stock of many different masks, and tailors everywhere would be able to stock their mask for a % return. I wasn't expecting to sell many masks. I just thought it would be a really nice flavour addition to Delos.

    Some days, usually after pay day, I get that feeling again. Then I remember I like to eat.
    I would have loved such a shop. I dearly love masks, but its so difficult to get one that is any good...

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...


    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

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