Adjusting Equipment Prices

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MichaelPfaff
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Joined: 2011-07-17 01:55
Adjusting Equipment Prices

I have a question about how to handle buying and selling goods from a vendor.
Basically, per scavenged treasure table, I'm assuming that "serviceable" goods are fully functioning equipment and PCs are given 100% of their "value".
However, how do I determine what individual mark-up a vendor sells goods at? I've seen the market demand method for determining markup for mercantile ventures, but what about a simple method for determining a city's basic markup?
It seems odd that a merchant would buy scavenged goods for 100% and then sell them for 100%.
Maybe I'm overlooking a rule?
Thanks!
Mike

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

No, you're not overlooking a rule.
The easiest thing to do is simply assume that the vendor re-furbishes the gear and sells it for normal price. Since everything is hand-made in ACKS, there's no material difference between "hand-made sword" and "sword refurbished by hand".
Alternatively you can roll for the price level of weapons in the region using 4d4x10%, adding in the Demand Modifier.

MichaelPfaff
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Joined: 2011-07-17 01:55

//The easiest thing to do is simply assume that the vendor re-furbishes the gear and sells it for normal price.//
Right, that makes sense for damaged gear they are selling, which have a merchant buy rate of 20% of the value (for example, a rusty blade).
But, why does "serviceable" gear (without rust) have a sell value from PCs to merchants at 100%? It doesn't make sense that a merchant would purchase a piece of gear for the same price as he's going to sell it for (100%).
You see what I mean? Shouldn't scavenged (or just old gear they want to trade in) weapons and armor that is "serviceable" be sold at less than 100% to merchants? Say maybe 75% or 50% of the value?
That way, the merchant can turn around and sell the gear for 100% and thus make profit on the deal?
Mike

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

You are thinking of the marketplace as consisting of "suppliers" "retailers" and "consumers", as in our modern marketplace. So the assumption is that when the adventurers sell a sword, they are acting as a "distributor" and selling it to the "sword retailer" for 5gp, who in turn sells it to the "consumer" for 10gp.
But that's not what's going on. The adventurers aren't necessarily selling that sword to the "sword retailer". They are both supplier and retailer. They are selling directly to, e.g., a mercenary brotherhood; the thief's guild; the town watch; the temple. Any of these organizations would have an ongoing need for new weapons and armor. If a sword is serviceable, they buy it for 10gp.
If the players want to hire a merchant to sell for them, then the merchant can take a commission off the top - 10 to 20% seems reasonable. Or they can spend a few days in town and do their own sales.
Also, in general, one of the assumptions of the "trade goods" table is that anything on that table is commodity priced. Commodity pricing means that the bid-ask spread is very small. Weapons, in other words, are a store of value with approximately fixed worth. There's mostly a willing buyer willing to pay market price.
The advantage to this is that you don't need to constantly worry about how much percentage to charge for buying v. selling. Valuable items sell for what they are worth.
Profit comes either from a difference in Bargaining proficiency ranks (10% per) or from buying in areas with high supply and low demand, and selling in areas with low supply and high demand, using the Mercantile Goods table. If you want to add detail, you can add in the various rolls on fees for entering the market, duties on imported goods, and so on. All of these will eat up profits.
I hope that makes sense. The core economic model isn't that of adventurers-as-suppliers, merchants-as-retailers model, it's that of "merchant-adventurers who find goods and sell them to people who want them".

MichaelPfaff
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Joined: 2011-07-17 01:55

Thanks for the detailed response. Good to see how that system is set up and the reasoning behind it.
Honestly, we haven't gotten to "merchant-adventurers" selling crates of weapons part of the campaign yet. :)
We're at the "I want to sell my banded mail to the local merchant so I can upgrade to plate" level of the campaign.
The only reference to selling goods to merchants is the scavenged weapons, which makes sense because the goods are given a "value" and not a sell price.
If you were going to suggest a purchase price from used goods in serviceable condition (perhaps a variable modifier?) for low-level adventurers looking to sell a single sword or suit of armor in order to upgrade, what method would you use?
Thanks so much for the responses so far!
Mike

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

If you just want something quickly, go with a purchase price that is 2d10% lower than the base price.
EXAMPLE: The adventurers sell 10 swords they stole from an evil lord's armory. Swords cost 10gp each, so this is a base 100gp value. The Judge rolls 2d10 and gets a 15%. The price is reduced by 15% (100x.15=15gp) to 85gp.
If you want something more complex, go with a toll for selling in the market (ranging from 1d3gp to 1d6+15gp based on the size of the city), plus a 2d10% cut in price, plus 1gp per 200 stone handling fees (rounded up).
EXAMPLE: The adventurers want to sell 10 swords they stole from an evil lord's armory. Swords cost 10gp each, so this is a base 100gp value. The Judge rolls 2d10 and gets a 15%. The price is reduced by 15% (100x.15=15gp) to 85gp. In addition, they must pay 1gp for handling the swords, and a toll of 1d3gp (roll = 2) for doing business in the town market. They end up netting 100-15-1-2=82gp.

jedo
Adventurer Conqueror King ContributorDwimmermount BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-07 17:26

So the genreal concept is that the Marketplace is kind of like a flea market, and the PCs set up a table, and sell their loot directly to the public at the market rate; (the value in the equipment list). They can make the full value this way, (less any overhead for doing business in the market) but have to spend some time hawking their goods. If they are short on time and/or don't want to bother, they can sell it to a merchant (rather then a end user) but have to accept a lower price for it (the 2d10% less amount.)
I imagine that most merchants have established sources for their goods, and are not very interested in dealing with a grungy adventurer with dubious wares unless its something they can turn around and convert into more cash pretty quickly. (the last thing they want is more inventory to deal with.)
If the PCs have goods that are illegal or clearly stolen, I assume they would be prudent to go through a fence, who is just a merchant who takes a slightly bigger cut to compensate him for the risk he is taking on...?

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Exactly... Currently (latest draft, Hijinks section) stolen goods sell at 60% of the base value.

MichaelPfaff
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-17 01:55

This helps a lot! I was considering a similar percentage method, perhaps modified by Charisma.