Shops and Shopkeepers

P-J

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With the new VU the advantages of owning a shop have been reduced (as they can contain fewer items) and shopkeepers (the mannequin’s that can sell items) with their cost advantage (40 pec per item against 1 ped + a % to the landowner in a shop) have never been more attractive.

The price of shopkeepers has rocketed from about 600 Ped about 6 months back to about 2k now.

In short – if you want to sell an item the cheapest way is either through the auction or a shopkeeper. My view is that players that bought a shop have been inadvertently left out in the cold.

Players trying to sell through a shop now seem to be at a significant competitive disadvantage in comparison with both the auction (count the maintance fee and the cost of the shop into the calculation) and with players with shopkeepers in their apartments.

My personal view is that if MA wants a thriving community of shopkeepers then it has to do more for them. We paid MA a lot up-front and are paying a great deal in monthly maintance fees. At the moment only a handful of shops really seem to be working (Buzz’s furniture shop etc).

This thread isn’t about knocking resellers (there are other threads for this) – let’s just take it as read that shop owners can (if they want) perform a useful function and make a profit if they trade responsibly.

So – this thread is to suggest ways in which MA could improve the situation for players owning a shop.

To start the ball rolling:

1. Reduce the cost of selling an item to 40 pec per item (in line with the shopkeepers) – allowing us to buy items most players tt and sell them on to players that need them. This will help provide an important social and economic function in the game.
2. Allow us to use the display space on the walls in the shops to display items – without using a display board. Many players can do this already by exploiting a bug. Let us do this legitimately.
3. Redesign the inside of the shops to make them less ‘busy’. Players need to admire the items not the wallpaper – this is especially true of the top level shops in CND. I would love to see more neutral backgrounds in these rooms.
4. I do not want MA to remove the bug that lets people hang items directly onto their walls, nor do I want them to up the price of selling items in the shopkeepers. If they did do this it would show a disregard for players.
 

Magic Minder

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I agree that a shop is at a disadvantage.

I also feel that having one is alot of fun.
I would like to see changes from MA in order to make the shops more atractive to shop in and to own.

Right Now I am doing well because I have alot of repeat customers and I sell resources and thats always needed problem I believe is that while I have crafters getting my wares. I believe that resellers are also buying them because of my low prices. I would like more crafters to be aware of the shop so that they can get the discount right away at least so they have a steady place to get thier wares at great prices.



If you want to make shops really attractive we need to have crafters and Buyers come to the shops and make it worth there TP trip I cant stand walking into a shop and seeing something there for TT +200 and in auction its TT + 20 I mean I am not going to that shop again right that might even screw the other shop owners around you.

yes MA needs to do something about shops
they know what they can do.
 

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Spud

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Like MM I love owning a shop and have been keeping my prices low to compete with the auctions but my best customer is now a reseller who buys my Flame and Luna pattern clothes at a few ped + tt and puts them on the auction for 30 – 50 ped +tt I can only assume he’s selling them at those high prices as he keeps coming back for more which means ppl are not really using the shops and are quite happy to pay inflated prices at the auction rather than take a short walk and check out the shops which is kind of sad.

I know my fellow shopkeeper Spod has had a similar experiences with his shop and resellers and I must confess I don’t know what I can do about it, it would help if some shop owners sold their goods at sensible prices not over inflated ones and MA would sort out the graphics bug where it sometimes takes ages for the goods to appear.
 

Vince Vaughn

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I think the problem is that shops are set out all over the place... A shop keeper here, one there. There should be ONE or TWO main shopping complexes, easily accessible where ALL the shops are located. Or maybe some central accessible terminal showing all items in the various shopkeepers with their location. Then if the buyer wants he/she can head to the shop and get the item.

At the moment the problem is "inperfect knowledge" on the behalf of the buyer. (Which resellers can exploit). People just don't know what is available in the shops.

VV

Nice shop BTW PJ..
and maybe you can update your Soc ;)
 

Etopia

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Vince Vaughn said:
I think the problem is that shops are set out all over the place... A shop keeper here, one there. There should be ONE or TWO main shopping complexes, easily accessible where ALL the shops are located. Or maybe some central accessible terminal showing all items in the various shopkeepers with their location. Then if the buyer wants he/she can head to the shop and get the item.
MA dont whant make good complex, and when there 1 , CND.
they manage to are not abel to load the item corctly so they reduce the displayed item ...

i say shop must be in a large and nice "complex" since the shop apear at hades....

sad , last year MA total failed for me to create dynamic and interessing town on amethera.
they should ... yes should ...
bah , lets then try to learn from their mistake , but o have no more hope for that.
they dont whant to learn , they do things that way on purpose.

player think MA create shop to make it nice place and blabla..
no , MA prefer you use auction , so , resseller can drive and keep price up.
otherwise , why tax on new shop would be so insane...
 

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Vince Vaughn

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Gsmokes said:
Those are both good points.

But we must face the truth.

We need to set realistic goals. There not going to get ride
of there brain child and undo all that they have done so far to design a new shoping area. Besides you want it to be spread around PE because your not always going to be in that one place.

So the only thing we can do now is advice how to fix whats there.

The real question is does it need to be fixed at all.

I feel it does and if we can get enough people to feel the same
way then things will change.

To understand what realy needs to be changed we have to be
able to see the BIG PICTURE.

What changes will realy help Project Entropia in the long run,
The easier the change the better.

The best way to organize the shops is to create a good website
for all the shops to advertise on.
Also the new ingame advertisment system.

But I am a shop owner and I am finding it realy hard to keep one shop full.
That affects my ability to be able to make money while I am away from my shop.

So to allow people to sell to your shop would allow you to run more than one shop at a time and also make it alot easier for you too keep your shops stocked with out having to travel all around looking for things.

But maybe that is why they designed it that way in the first place.

Who knows​
You make good points too.
I agree you should be able to sell to a shop.. that is what is definitely needed.

However I'm not asking for things to be "undone" I am just suggesting a central resource where information on ALL shop inventories are available. I don't think it should be a website. I think it should be an ingame thing.. whether it be a terminal or some sort of mall.. I don't care which.

VV
 

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Dorsai

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I must admit that I tend to use the auction.
I know that the shops are there, but if I want a certian item I have no way of knowing if a certian shop has it or not, other than to go and look. IRL I can look in the Phone book under "Armourers" find "Whoever's Armour Discount Store" and phone them up and ask.

I think PE need to put in a system where-by there is a list of all shops, and where the shop owner can list the items he normally has for sale. I will then know who's shop is worth a visit.

ATM I can't actually be bothered to trapse all over the entire two continenets on the off change that one shop may has the item I am looking for in stock.
The Wiki has a "shop" directory but it is for CND, and only has two shops listed. About as much use to a shopper as a hat stand to a moose.

Until sich time a MA do someting about it, may I respectfully suggest to the shop owners that perhaps they too should take some responsibilty for the lack of use of their services, as no-one has any way of knowing what service they affer atm.

All it needs is for someone to set up a page on the wiki only shop-keepers can edit, the shop keepers to enter their shops & stock, and some adverts on the advertising system giving the link to the shops-yellow-pages on the wiki.

MY :twocents: worth
 

Wot

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I think that you make a mistake.

The shops is not a place for flea market. Us in RL shop MUST offer a lot of thematic items in stable prices.

It should has lower price then in auction but to prevent inflation and resellers items amount should be BIG. In this case auction is overloaded by your items and prices became stabling by YOUR price.

The shop is a part of industrial mass market. Otherwise I personally do not see the long live for.
 

Magic Minder

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well there are only 4 citys ATM

Sakura City
Geneis
TI
Omega


So I simply TP to the 4 and now know which building have
Shops I also know which section not to goto because it over priced
Also when I know a good shop I write the cords down
I tell soc members about them etc ..

Like Etopia shop Spuds and Spods and mine of course.

I have soc mates and strangers I refer there before doing auction so that if cheaper in shop then I tell them to buy there.


And restocking is a problem for me as well but I tell Cu to come 1 a day its worth the secs it takes to tp in if you are a crafter If I have Iron at 130% why not take the trip or Lyst at 110% or Hides at 200 %
its wroth it for sure I sell out but then I will restock its only a matter of time but you are correct it would be cool if they could sell to us
 

Solaris

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Im a shop-owner too, and I strongly believe it nessesary for some changes, if shops are to be attractive in the future too. So I welcome this thread :)

Gsmokes said:
What changes will realy help Project Entropia in the long run,
The easier the change the better.

The best way to organize the shops is to create a good website
for all the shops to advertise on.
Also the new ingame advertisment system.
A really good website already excist: http://www.pedirectory.info/wiki/index.php?title=D06021005
- and here its easy to make changes, adds and update ur inventory.

Im a little disapointed about the ingame add-system, since its both expensive and have little view-effect. In a week or two, nobody will take notice of the blurred small screens hanging around. But this of course will be changed from MA in some time, when they register the effect. Its new - let it proove itself.

Wishies for shops to become more attractive to buy from and own:
- Allow to hang stuff on walls (as orig. planned)
- Disallow closed shops or limited access (sry Buzz, but I think its bad business environment)
- Disallow items not for sale
- Disallow shopkeepers (lag issues only - not because I dont have one :D )
- Set maximum tax on sales - to compete with auction
- Allow special items with price set at tt (as customer-bate)
- Make a look-through window from outside the shop
- Make a writeable billboard or shop-sign outside the building
- Remove the weird swedish contry-style wallpaper and carpets
- Possibility to give shopowner reputation-points

Most importantly it could be a huge advantage to be able to buy exact parts of a stack, instead of having to buy the whole stack or none. This way the customer could choose freely how much ore or wool he would like to puchase from the stack set on display. The cost would of course be calculated properly.

One more advantage from auction, giving customers better service, would be to leave messages to the shop-owner ingame. This is a critical wish, I know, but it would improve shop-standards greatly.

Now:
I know some of the items in my particular shop have higher prices than the auction - especially some of my leathers are largely overrated. This is mainly a time-related problem, since some goods where bought before rates dropped. Hence the shopowner faces yet another challenge: To contantly keep prices adjustet.

This problem also have a positive side for the customers, who might go shopping to find an item sold way lower than current marcet rates.

So:
Go shop-hopping before you buy from the resellers or in auction.
Its fun and you just might find that really cheap oreminer you always wanted :cool:
 

Solaris

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Dorsai said:
I think PE need to put in a system where-by there is a list of all shops, and where the shop owner can list the items he normally has for sale. I will then know who's shop is worth a visit.
Very good idea!! :thumbup:
List of shops with generic updated inventory and prices - right next to the auction. This would really rock the shopping :laugh:
 

DarkMatter

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One option, to assist the shops and shopkeepers, would be to have a forum location for those that register as shops or shopkeepers to have a sales directory. They could then list those items they have in stock usually. Some kind of search within that forum area could make it easier to locate what you are looking for. I know I would use that function. Right now I think I've visited a the shopkeepers north of Hades Center, and maybe one other. That's it. I don't take the time to run around and look everywhere. The only reason I looked at Hades is that I was running by at the time. :)

I don't know how well this would work, but it might. I also don't know how much trouble it would be. It's also a way that the forum could help the users.

Please don't flame me for not searching for this idea, because I have. Maybe I didn't use the right terms, etc. but I did search... and read this entire thread.

DarkMatter
 

mrproper

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Thank you for referring to us Solaris, indeed we provide shop listings, detailed info, banners, shop location and directions, and even advertised spots.

If you request, we can show you how or provide live market prices for an unlimited number of items in the shop so visitors can see if your items are worthy of not going to the auction.

PE Directory - Shopping Portal

Read the page and find out how to submit shops and check our Yellow Pages for the complete shop/services list.

Currently we are upgrading the shop listing designs and preparing for a major site opening so the submissions may take some time to be processed.

CND shops are going to be indexed by default.
 

Magic Minder

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and a great service it is that pedirectory provides :)
 

spod

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I have made quit a few comments on how MA has treated shop owners already but now seems like ia good time to bring them up again :)


shops cannot compete with auction interms of reach - its easy for anyone in game to check auction.

the only way we can compete with auction is to sell things that auction cannot handle economically; items armound the tt+1 mark.

The shop would sell items you would not see in auction - and auction would move towards what it is intended to be - an outlet for comodities and rarer items.

That was the niche that i saw in the shops. I know spud was going for a similar angel. we both wanted to sell as low as possible.

Unfortunatly this was the first thing that MA shut down.

the way the shops are set up now it encourages a reselling approach -

buy items that do not appear in acution to often and stock them, that way people have to come to you for it. corner the market and exploit people.


With the original system i could offer a service to the community - buy items from people that they would otherwise tt , then sell them on for a few extra pecs, and make my money from a high turnover, rather than high prices. Now i an less able to do this. And to offset the greatly reduced turnover the changes MA imposed after only a few days. Some item prices have had to rise.

That said i am still proud to say that my " prices are so low, even reseller shop there"

So MA to reinvigorate the shops.


remove the tt+1 minimum (a 5pec tax minimum can stand if it must)
remove the monthly fee (the total monlth fees collectable is about 2000ped)
if you really need the $200 that much then you are in trouble, and the positive feel it would create would be beyond measure-

or alternativly -

give us fee ad space each month to promote our shoping area.

better signage - the number of people who have come up to me at thhe TI city TP wanting to know where the shops are is unreal.

Fix the visual bugs, so that when we do get people to our shops they can see all the goods we have to sell.



ramble over, i am sure there was a point when i started
 

Gsmokes

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Spud

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spod said:
I
give us fee ad space each month to promote our shoping area.

better signage - the number of people who have come up to me at thhe TI city TP wanting to know where the shops are is unreal.

Fix the visual bugs, so that when we do get people to our shops they can see all the goods we have to sell.

3 excelent ideas, I dont usally bash MA but it is about time they provided us with a service for the monthy fee we pay
 

aridash

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I like shops and go round a couple at least once a week. I do wonder if some are making any money as the stock seems unchanged. The reason for this, interesting given some of the comments by shopkeepers here, is that some of the prices make the resellers look ethical. For example, i spotted a vigi harness for a bargin +80ped.

However those that price reasonably get my custom. I particuarly like to buy ore rather than wait on a auction bid - i'll even pay a small premium for that.

Whats lacking is not knowing whats available or where. i only go round a couple of the shopping areas as i dont know where others are. As already mentioned there needs to be a directory offline (cause it going to happen in game realistically) which PEdirectory is trying to get going, but it needs to be comprehensive to be really worthwhile.

What MA could do is make something show up on the map where shopping facilities are. They could also put names on the apartment buildings (and houses). Or a map at the nearest tp. Or a higher detailed map through the 'm' key when in town. Something so i dont have to run into three buildings to find Epsilion.
 

Solaris

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aridash said:
What MA could do is make something show up on the map where shopping facilities are. They could also put names on the apartment buildings (and houses). Or a map at the nearest tp. Or a higher detailed map through the 'm' key when in town. Something so i dont have to run into three buildings to find Epsilion.

Very good idea :thumbup:

Please MA - listen to this!
 

Dorsai

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Thanks for the link to the shops Directory.

Now all thats needed is to make sure it's well known.
 

mrproper

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Dorsai said:
Thanks for the link to the shops Directory.

Now all thats needed is to make sure it's well known.
PE Directory uses MediaWiki software. Content manager in wich anybody can edit (some vandals often do that evey week :rolleyes: ).

That means you as a shop owner can edit your own info and use the shop page as a shop homepage, you can change the details and info and we just have to make sure someone checks it and validates the info from time to time. That is why we are hosting some ad space to pay for our employees. There is a thread in here that asks savvy users to enroll.

Also, any player can find in their hearts to visit some of the shops and if they like them buy some stuff and tell the world. All I see in my shop checking runs are expensive shops, slightly over the market price shops and spot-on competitive shops. Now everybody browses several shops, and for sure they browse the same item or stack in the shop. My questions are:

- Why do you set high prices? I know you must protect yourself against auction fluctuations that could clean your shop because of the recently lowered prices, but asking 200% of the market markup is not a solution. You paid big peds to get the shop, shopkeepers, decorations, the goods themselves. Don't let them get dust, have special offers, change some prices and advertise, don't set all the prices with the same markup modifier (eg, +50% markup)

- Why do you set the same markup for several items/stacks? Can't you make one stack 110%, one 115% and one 120%? You can put the price labels one any quantity you want, but if I see the same markup on all the items, I get the general ideea about how expensive/cheap a shop is compared to the auction house. Be immaginative, vary your markups. So what if someone buys the cheaper stack, let them have it, you still make a profit. Maybe the price will get lower while you are away, you could still make a sale, maybe it will get higher, you sell all the stuff (from a specific category) even the ones with higher markups. Be a sport, gamble a little!
 
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