The Merchant is one of the ten classes of hero. They are able to trade with other citizens of the Kingdom. They sell exotic items from far away lands and they have connections that can be used to help expand the influence of the kingdom.
The Merchant's main source of Simoles and experience comes from, obviously, trading. Merchants enjoy a perk that allows them to buy or gather any kind of item, and either sell them to other villagers through the stall on the Merchant's front yard for a significant margin, or by exporting/trading them to other territories via the ship at the docks. Both methods have distinct advantages, while profit margins depend on the Merchant's level and the kingdom's security aspect.
Selling from the Stall
also come by large Selling goods to other villagers at the stall nets a significant amount of quick XP. Successful Compliment taste, Butter up and Hustle interactions reward the Merchant 10, 15, and 20XP respectively, while a successful sale will net the Merchant 150XP for each sale. Since a successful sale always involves a combination of any of the two customer interactions, one successful sale could give off 185 XP within a few Sim-minutes (if "Butter Up" and "Hustle" were used before asking the customer to buy).
Despite what the game text says, making a sale does not require a set relationship level with a customer. The Merchant simply needs to establish a "rapport" with a customer by successfully performing any two of the three available Merchant interactions (Compliment Taste, Butter up or Hustle), it takes 3 Compliment Taste to persuade them to buy something (No chance of failure), 2 Butter up or a single Hustle to persuade them to buy something from the stall. A high-level Merchant with a decent amount of focus will almost never fail, and can even sell to a Sim that the Merchant considers an "enemy."
Selling from the stall in detail
- First, send your merchant to check for what items are 'hot' at the village store.
- Then go buy them (It really helps to have the haggler trait for that. Sending a child will save you a bit of time, if your merchant has one, but it will NOT benefit from your "haggler".
- The only time you don't buy the 'hot' items is if they're cheap (By that I mean anything less than §20).
- Then buy the most expensive items you can afford, even if they're not 'hot' that day (like effenmont and gastrobury maps).
- Add the items you just bought to the stall(s). You do this by using the 'Check Merchandise ' interaction, or simply drag and dropping them from the inventory.
- Make sure your focus is high (making new friends is a good way to increase focus), open the stall(s) for business, and sell to everyone who hangs round the building using the merchant menu.
- A single Hustle will unlock the 'Persuade to buy' interaction, but it's worth buttering them up as well as both interactions are worth exp (And the higher the level of your merchant, the more profit they make from sales).
- 'Hot' items should sell for a very high profit margin, and you should get good returns on other expensive stuff you bought.
- Never sell cheap stuff (like flowers or fish), as your customers usually buy those first, and you make very little profit from them, even at lvl 10 merchant.
- 'Persuade to buy' is only available once per day per sim, so you cannot sell unlimited stuff to one person.
- Adding interaction items (gambling tables, book shelves, etc.) near the market stalls increases the number of potential customers, that hang around.
- Children sometimes block the important market stall with their sword fight, so it's good to place some dolls behind the stalls, so they don't get in the way all the time.
Exporting/Trading by Boat
Exporting goods to other territories by boat takes more time since setting up a trade involves a number of steps (open cargo hold, place items in the cargo, merchant disembarks, then gets on the boat again to sail to other territories), so using this method to do business will earn less XP per minute compared to selling from the stall. But since exporting does not require a successful level or focus check, earning Simoles and XP using this method will always succeed.
The Merchant receives a huge profit from exporting to other territories, and even more so when the territory needs items that the Merchant can acquire for free (e.g. Tredony buys Herbs and Seeds, while Snordwich buys fish.) Since the Merchant regularly gets tasked to "Trade and deliver Gems" from Tredony, spending some time gathering Wildflowers and storing them in the cargo hold will pay off with extra Simoles whenever the trip is made. (To avoid time-consuming trips to the Village Shoppe, it's also a good idea to always have at least 6 Barley, and either 2 Mushrooms or 1 Cheese in the inventory in case the Merchant is tasked to trade for gems or wood.)
Trading by boat also gives the Merchant an opportunity to acquire XP, renown, Simoles and rare items from random events.
This method is best used very early for earning Simoles and XP, since selling goods to customers from the stall heavily depend on a Merchant's focus and level, and focus may be hard to maintain on a kingdom that's just getting started. Gathering Wildflowers and exporting them (along with Grassweed, Seeds, and other harvestable plant items) to Tredony on day one has been proven to be a good, productive move for a level 1 Merchant.
The Merchant can also use a Scribe Table, where a constant stream of XP can be earned by "Balancing the Books." The Merchant's initial house layout does not include the Scribe Table, but can be found at the Monarch's castle or bought in Buy Mode and used anytime.
- Acquire Gems or Wood via Trading and Deliver to Jeweler or Carpenter (Hard)
- Ask 2 Customers to Buy (Easy)
- Butter Up 2 Customers (Easy)
- Compliment the Taste of 2 Customers (Easy)
- Learn Hot Items and Buy Items (Easy)
- Open Stall for Business (Easy)
- Pay Taxes (Easy)
- Acquire 5 Eyepatches|Powdered Wigs [Pirates & Nobles] (Easy)
- Ask Guildsman|Pirate to Sell the Consortium's|Fleet's Surplus Weapons, followed by Bribe the Guild|Pirates into Selling their Weapons, followed by Buy the Weapons for §100, followed by Hand the Guild|Pirate Weapons Over to a Pirate|Guildsman [Pirates & Nobles] (Hard)