The Merchant Enchiridion

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Raddy, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Raddy
    Offline

    Raddy Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    274
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Highland Park
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Detox
    Level:
    120
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [ A Comprehensive Merching Guide ]

    [​IMG] Code: [​IMG]
    "Codes" are simply disclaimers and notes to take before reading the guide.
    Alpha - This guide is meant to be relevant to all Maplestory's, but is specifically designed for MapleRoyals.
    Beta - Thinking that following this guide will get make you rich is foolish. I am simply sharing general market strategies.
    Gamma - I am in no way trying to ruin the market. Even if every single player followed this guide, the changes in price and quantity of certain items would be insignificant
    Delta - Some things mentioned in this guide will only work for some people. Your own mind has a huge impact on the turnout.
    Epsilon - This is similar to a "money-making guide", but with a set focus on buying and reselling.

    [​IMG]About me (Detox): I have played Maplestory ever since the GMS beta. I was only eight years old at the time, and I shared an account with my eighteen year old brother. Though I quit GMS around v.30, I have played many many many private servers, but I've settled down in MapleRoyals as of last December. I am an extremely overrated merchant in this server. I don't grind or boss or anything. I have spent 80% of my time here in the free market, buying, selling, scrolling and donating. If you want to talk numbers, private message me, but I can assure you I am well funded.

    [​IMG]About me (Raddy): I am a high school student. I am an ex day-trade analyst turned investor. I am also a future Finance student at Southern Methodist University. My involvement in the market (now a long term/Bitcoin trader) has brought about a future career which I actually enjoy. Since I was in middle school, I have always been told that I'm a natural born business man, and I am proud to say that this reputation has stuck with me forever.

    [​IMG]Introduction[​IMG]

    I have received tons of requests over my past few months here to teach
    some members how to build the capital to fund themselves. I figured I could
    at least correct some of the misconceptions of the Royals market,
    and offer a few pointers on how to succeed.
    I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR UNLUCKY SCROLLING


    [​IMG]The Basics[​IMG]

    As stated in my "About Me" section. There are four main sectors of merching: buying, selling, scrolling and donating.

    Buying: Using your own discretion, buy items which you know you can reap a large profit from by either reselling or scrolling. Do not buy a scroll for 4m thinking you can sell it for 5m tops:

    Do not: Find a Scroll for Gloves for Attack 60%, 9m. Buy it and sell it for 10m.

    Do: Find a Scroll for Gloves for Attack 30%, 10m. Buy it and sell it for 16m.

    If you already possess a scroll or item that is more scarce than usual, save them, and sell them when they seem to be in high demand. We will discuss this later in the Inflation/Recession section.

    Buying a finished product (Ex: 57 Att. Maple Skanda, 0 slots) is usually not a good idea. You, the merchant, are looking to create a new item, or upgrade an item purchased from someone else. Most of your profit will come from items you create.

    Selling: Watch prices constantly. Even if you don't play the game much, bring yourself to the FM every day, and look in all of the shops. Mark down prices which seem to be fluctuating, either on a notepad or in your head. You want to sell for the average price, because a successful merchant has to keep moving. If you try to sell an item for a higher price than the equilibrium, it will take much longer, or it may never happen.

    If an item is scarce, the price will go up. If an item is abundant, its price will go down. Lets say you own a crystal shard. You are ready to sell it, but you notice a downward trend in their abundance. It seems perfectly reasonable to wait for the price to rise, but there is risk involved, so sometimes it's okay to just sell it. Once again, we're trying to move quickly.

    Scrolling: We will not discuss white/chaos scrolling in this section, because the logic used here isn't too applicable.

    You must control your emotions while scrolling. Scrolling is 100% luck. I am only trying to teach you how to be tactical about it. "Dummy Scrolling" and similar methods DO NOT WORK. A huge sum of money can be saved by knowing when an item is dead. An item is dead if:
    • You fail the first slot
    • You fail 3 consecutive slots
    • You use the wrong scroll
    • Less than half of the scrolls work
    These rules are pretty general. There are exceptions to every single one of them, but we'll assume they are 100% true here for the sake of comprehension.

    There is nothing wrong with finishing an item. Lets say you have had some bad luck scrolling a luk robe. You find a robe in the FM with 5 luk and 9 slots for only 20m! Assuming 30% overall luk scrolls are about 8m each, and it would take 2-4 tries to land one; this is not a bad deal, and it deducts some of the risks of self-scrolling.

    Donating? Are you mad?: Not at all. Part of merching is creating a database of other users who you can use to your advantage. By donating money to help your friend buy a new spear, or to fund your guild mate's work glove creation etc., you have designed a new connection. There will be plenty of times where you rely on a fellow chap for assistance, and a simple donation will create a new contact in your merching career. [Donate to people anyway, because being a good person is cool]

    What about trading?: Trading is sort of a dark art, because mesos aren't usually involved. I would only trade if someone had something which benefited my actual gameplay (training, bossing etc.). I can't really help you out here.



    [​IMG]Building Your Starting Capital[​IMG]

    I believe the ideal amount needed to begin merching is 300 million mesos. I know this may seem a bit daunting, but by only training, you could do this in two days.

    Gachapon: Gach at Mushroom Shrine. Sell the scrolls you get in your shop.
    Hunting: Go to Leprechauns (Map: Creeping Evil), stand between the two meso bags, and just kill one, then the other, over and over. The equipment drop is fantastic, and they also drop lucky charms, which you can sell for 1-2m. Average net: 40m per hour.
    Other methods: Some people prefer to hunt at platoon chronos/ Mixed Golems for GFA 60% scrolls. I find this much much slower and less reliable than leprechauns. You can also hunt for Orbis ETCs which sell for x per million (constantly changing price - trending downwards).



    [​IMG]The Luck Factor[​IMG]

    Once again, the amount of luck you have with scrolling/gachapon is unpredictable. There is nothing that can make you have great gachapon runs or help you scroll perfectly all the time. Since we can't predict any of this, I am going to try to help you manage the money you make due to luck.

    Algebra I says that I usually make 34m mesos on average for an 11 ticket run at Mushroom Shrine. Once again, this is a great way to build some startup funds.

    Now, let's say you spend your tickets in a town of unpredictable rewards. We'll use Kerning City for this example. You roll 35 tickets on Gachapon and you get 20 worthless thief equips, 12 different kinds of potions, and WOAH, two claw for att. 30% scrolls and a lovely 4 att. PGC! You now have about 260m of sell-able items! You don't have enough funds to buy some chaos scrolls for your new cape, and you have no use for the claw scrolls, so you sell them and teleport around in joy with your new-found mesos.

    At this time, you will probably feel like you have more than you really have. Some people will blow the 160m instantly, thinking they will have 100m left and no problems. If you follow through with your misguided plan, you are not ready to be a merchant. More often than not, you will not make a profit with that 160m you just spent (we are assuming this player is new to the free market). Save that money. Never let your capital fall below about 200-300m. You never want to have less than you need to make some quick money.



    [​IMG]Inflation/Recession of a Specific Market[​IMG]

    Since not many changes are made to the actual MapleRoyals gameplay, we can assume that the overall price of goods won't fluctuate much. In other words, it is unlikely that the price of every item in the game will go up or down simultaneously. In this section, we are going to discuss a more narrow topic.

    Gachapon-only items seem to be the most vulnerable to fluctuation. Lets say that at one point, most players use their tickets at NLC (for crystal shards, black versal materia, white scrolls...) but then a few players score some PGCs at Kerning City. Some of those players who used to gach at NLC are now gaching at Kerning City. Subsequently, PGCs will be more abundant and then shards/black versal/white scrolls will become a rarity. Since so many people are selling PGCs, some vendors are going to lower their prices to try to sell the cape more quickly, and this trend will most likely continue until they realize they were making more money at NLC. Players will also start to see a scarcity of NLC goods, and will pay higher prices for them in desperation. Eventually the market will balance itself out, but the merchants who saw the trends and took advantage of them scored huge. These are a few things you could do to reap a profit from this event:

    • Notice the shift in Gachapon spending and buy out NLC goods before they become scarce, then sell them when the price begins to rise.
    • When the price of a PGC hits the floor, buy a few, assuming the price will rise eventually.
    • If you have the funds, buy out the entirety of a certain good and control the price yourself. (We will talk about this dark art in the next section)


    [​IMG]Finding your Niche/Monopolies[​IMG]

    A monopoly describes an event where an individual or group has exclusive control over a market. Here are some examples of monopolies. Some are fictional, some aren't:

    • Raddy sees that high att. Maple Skandas are hard to come by. He buys out every clean skanda in the FM with more than 36 att. and scrolls them to his liking. He sells tons and tons of them at a very high price, knowing that skandas like these can't be found elsewhere.
    • Ty (Hacker) sees that Raddy has bought and used every single Claw for att. 30% scroll, but has over 20 of them in his inventory. He nearly doubles the average price and patiently waits for desperate assassins to give in.
    • All of the bishops have been banned from the server, except a lonely Robb who is too legit to be banned. He is now the only person who offers newt leech, so he changes the price to 100m per hour.
    The price won't always be absurdly high in a monopoly, I just used price change as a reasonable example to show that they have control over their specific market. If you find a chance to control a market, you should go for it. It sounds mean and cruel but such is the life of a merchant. Monopolies only last until a few people catch on and start finding/selling the product themselves, though.

    Finding your niche is a far greater accomplishment. After a few months on the server, I noticed that I won most of the GM events I participated in. I built my start-up funds by selling all of the prizes I would win from these events, and specifically asking for tradable items when possible (this is more doable now due to the new prize system). If you find something that not many people do, which you can make a large profit from, you have reached the maximum level of success as a merchant.



    [​IMG]Centerfold: Combining the Merchant with the Player[​IMG]

    Unless you're me, you don't desire to be a merchant 100% of the time. You want to play the game as well. Why else would you spend so much time stockpiling mesos?

    Unfortunately, buying items which you plan to use instead of resell directly cuts from your capital funds, with no monetary gain. Luckily, this is no problem if you create a stone cold plan which allocates only a certain amount of funds to spend on your actual equipment. I use a very basic formula to allocate funds for my equipment. It's so basic that you might cry:

    In other words, I would allow myself to buy an item if I had 5 times the price in my capital funds. [If you still don't get it: Lets say I want an 11 att. work glove that is 170m for my hermit. I wouldn't let myself buy it unless I had 850m]. You can create your own numbers here, but I find anything above 3x ≤ y to be ideal.

    Note: The 300m rule still applies. You should never go under 300m.


    Still more to come - Leave feedback​
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  2. David
    Offline

    David Donator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    618
    IGN:
    Tainted
    Level:
    195
    Guild:
    AllStars
    Are you sure you meant to say buy when an item is scarce? Pretty sure that goes against commonsense economics.
     
    maggles likes this.
  3. maggles
    Offline

    maggles Donator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2,871
    Likes Received:
    2,729
    Location:
    local crag
    Guild:
    synergy
    I always use a buff stock scheme model for my merching and it has treated me well for the past four years. Another easy way to make money is keep your eyes open for high amounts of up-and coming jobs in the rankings or looking at future updates. i.e. foresee the class bandwagons.
     
  4. NZA
    Offline

    NZA Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    20
    IGN:
    PizzaPops
    Level:
    128
    Guild:
    Ascend
    This is awesome Raddy, been waiting for somebody to make something like this for awhile. The amount of FM users in Royals makes it much more manageable to follow trends regarding prices and demand. Looking forward to part 2.
     
  5. Marty
    Offline

    Marty Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    2,480
    Gender:
    Male
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Linyah
    Level:
    170
    About time someone made this. Too bad I'm very lazy... But I should start merching again, it was fun to do in gMS back then (Although I used MTS).
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  6. Raddy
    Offline

    Raddy Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    274
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Highland Park
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Detox
    Level:
    120
    Woah, yeah that's not what I meant to say at all. Thanks for catching that!
     
    David likes this.
  7. Rob
    Offline

    Rob Donator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,548
    Likes Received:
    2,642
    Location:
    Westeros
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Robb
    Level:
    999
    Guild:
    Lubs
    I'd like to add that it's hard to get a grip on the current market by going through fm only once a day. You'll want to go through every shop at least twice, usually 3 or more times, to really know what's there.

    And know the general times of day when lots if shops are coming done/going up. Lots of people misprice or don't know prices. Take advantage of that. And get to know merch IGNs to avoid their shops.
     
  8. Raddy
    Offline

    Raddy Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    274
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Highland Park
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Detox
    Level:
    120
    Made some additions to the guide. STILL MORE TO COME, BUT CONTINUE TO LEAVE YOUR INPUTS, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
     
  9. blehmain
    Offline

    blehmain Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    6
    awesome guide man! appreciate the effort and content :c)
     
  10. Goofy
    Offline

    Goofy Donator

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,461
    Likes Received:
    1,827
    Location:
    SoCal
    IGN:
    Goofy
    Guild:
    Queens
    Nice guide! I have been playing maple since beta as well, and have NEVER merched. Not my thing, I guess. Rather play the game than merch and buy leech.

    Random question...in the few months I've been playing, the price of black versal materia has skyrocketed. I have quite a few--should I sell them now, or do you not see them going down any time soon? (I don't even know what they're used for)
     
  11. Marty
    Offline

    Marty Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    2,480
    Gender:
    Male
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Linyah
    Level:
    170
    I've personally seen the BVM price drop in the last week or so, and I'm expecting to see this development continue up to a certain point. People try to gacha for BVM, since they're worth so much, so supply > demand, and prices will sink. (My interpretation)
     
    Raddy likes this.
  12. Raddy
    Offline

    Raddy Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    274
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Highland Park
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Detox
    Level:
    120
    Yeah, the price has started to flatten out recently.

    To answer you're question, BVM's are used to make facestompers and SCGs. I would go ahead and try to sell them pretty soon.
     
  13. Confidence
    Offline

    Confidence Donator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    40
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Confidence
    Level:
    152
    Guild:
    Peach
    Nice Guide!

    Great guide with good diction, not to mention an impressive background as well!

    I especially like the section about dead items; it cleared up a lot for me. My question is, if I have a 7 slot item, how would you scroll it if you had:

    - 2 10%s & 5 60%s?
    - 2 70%s & 5 60%s?
    - 4 30%s & 3 70%s?

    Please feel free to include any insight on what you would do in scenarios where a certain amount of scrolls don't work in the 2nd or 3rd slots, etc. Thanks in advance! ~f11
     
  14. jmmainvi
    Offline

    jmmainvi Donator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    872
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New York
    Country Flag:
    Guild:
    Heroes
    Two things that I disagree on - I'll comment on them each individually.

    In the first example - why not? assuming that the going price of GFA 60% is close enough to 10m that it's going to sell within a day or so, congratulations. You just made an 11% profit, because FM stores have no tax. I can understand this rule in the case of an item that has a pretty solid going price (pharoahs wrappings are at the moment a HARD 10m top price - I would never buy one for 10m and hope to get 11) but with more maleable items, or if it's a 9m wrapping I can sell for 10, I can't see a reason not to.

    Sure, the second case is better. You always like to see bigger returns. But those kinds of profit just aren't around all the time. Better to make 10% today, then 10% on that tomorrow, then 10% on that the next day, and then find the bigger profit imo than to spend 3 days with your money not doing anything for you hoping that something pops up.

    Again, why? Mesos that are just sitting in your inventory aren't going to be making you mesos. Make your money do work. Better to turn that into items, even if they're small 10% profit items (that you recommend against buying.) 300m that's going to return you 330m is more than 300m that's going to still be 300m the next time you log on.

    If you're saying that in the context of "You want to have enough to nab those 4 BVMs you find for 50m each, or that cheap gen 20" I can understand that, but you need to clarify that, because the way you put it makes it sound like 300 = 0, when that's not what you meant (or maybe it is, I can't tell.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
    Katsuruka likes this.
  15. Bizq
    Offline

    Bizq Donator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    166
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lima
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    Bizq
    Level:
    14x
    Just some friendly reminders (you won't understand much if you are not into economics):

    - The amount of 'Sellers' is most likely to increase if:
    1. The profit is above zero (that is economics profit, which includes opportunity costs). In this case, opportunity costs can be seeing as 'is it worth putting this in my store? will it give me more money than selling other things?'
    2. Is easy to enter the market (you can get the items fairly easy)
    3. There is too much Demand for the current Supply
    There are more factors, but i think i covered the most important ones.

    -A Cartel is hard to build as of Prisioner's Dilemma. Therefore you will most likely end up choosing to fight prices instead of collude them.
    - If its possible to find a 'Oligopoly'(another person enters the market), you will enter inmediatly to a Competitive market as stated by the Bertrand Paradox.
    - With both of the above said, its unlikely to sustain a Monopoly. This statement of course has a few exceptions (Market unlikely to enter), like winning event items and selling them at high prices.

    Which conclude to:

    - Don't "Get items -> Sell -> Repeat" for markets that doesnt have a supply / things people need but no one sells if you plan to keep doing it. People will start noticing its profitable and you won't get as much profit as before.
    - Be patience. Try using smegas daily only so not many people sell it.
    - THE ABOVE WON'T MATTER IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO DO THIS: If by any chance you encounter anyone who is compiting with you and lower the prices, try deleting him from the market by buying all the items that he sells and you sell, then re sell them. This will mantain your Monopoly/Oligopoly (winning 1m is better than selling less).
    - If you do not have the money to do the previous statement you only way out is to enter in a Bertrand Model and start fighting the prices until both of you encounter the lower price (the cost it takes to get the product AKA the price both of you consider is worth your time to get it).
    - This leads us to a rather obvious conclusion: DON'T SELL STUFF AT TOO HIGH PRICES.

    Note: Everything said in this post is not a 100% accurate statement. There are many factors that will change the behavior of the 'Buyers' such as Lazyness (AKA 'i dont wanna see every store on the FM so i'm buying this ones'), Externalities (gachas not working for a indefinitly period of time), etc.

    Of course you may think not everyone would think of this things just to sell what they want, but people notice most of this things and unconsciusly react to them (sometimes for good, sometimes not).
     
    Lxtq and Confidence like this.
  16. iLLES
    Offline

    iLLES Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    177
    Gender:
    Male
    Country Flag:
    IGN:
    iStylez
    Guild:
    Rouge
    Is there an updated version of this guide or a similar guide anywhere? I'm finding there's so much supply of crap all over the FM and when i look at people's stores, only very few actually have a lot of items sold. It seems ther's just way too many scrolls (especially gach) and items and not enough buyers. I guess you could just lower prices on stuff but even then i find things sell slow. What are fast moving things to buy/resell?
     
    fireware90 likes this.

Share This Page