Merchanting is the trading of goods and services for other goods, services, or PoE usually with the goal of making a profit for the merchant involved. Merchanting may involve many aspects of trade including trade runs from island to island buying goods low and selling them at a higher price, shoppe or stall owning and the production of goods either to be sold dockside or to be sold to other shoppes for a higher level of production, foraging and fruit running, or any combination of merchant activities. Within the Puzzle Pirates world and economy, the term merchanting can often be applied as a blanket reference to any activity within the game that is not directly tied to piracy. (i.e. pillaging, carousing, or politicking.)
- Main Article:Trading
When talking of merchanting, trading and trade runs are usually the first activities that come to mind. Trading is the acquisition of goods or commodities from one island or source and then reselling them at a higher price at another island or source. Usually, these goods and commodities are either purchased dockside via the trade commodities screen on the radial menu from the hold or bid on at the local market. These goods and commodities are then sailed to another island usually where the dockside price is higher than the sell price was at the previous island so that the merchant can sell them there and gain instant profit. YARRG is a tool often used by merchants and traders to find deals on items being sold at a cheaper price on an island than they are being bought on another.
Shoppe or stall ownership
- Main Article:Shoppe Management
Possibly the most common aspect of merchanting within the puzzle pirates world is shoppe or stall owning. A shoppe or stall is a building where pirates can combine labor and commodities to make products. Often, these products will either be sold dockside to ships in need of them (i.e. rum and shot which are necessary to pillaging) or be sold out of the shoppe or stall itself via an order screen. (i.e. clothing and swords.) Shoppe and stall owning can be extremely profitable for the merchant willing to put the time and effort into managing it. Shoppe and stall owners have multiple outlets for distributing their goods including the dockside interface, direct ordering, local production then sailing to other islands to sell to other shoppes and stalls dockside, and private dealings that may bypass all the game mechanic routes of selling and buying. Shoppes are usually hard to come by as they are only built by the government that owns an island and usually only so many shoppes can be built before the island is considered "over crowded". As such, shoppes are usually given to members of the flag that owns the island or allies of said flag. Stalls on the other hand are available to any pirate with the startup cost and first week's worth of rent and are much more plentiful than shoppes are.
Foraging and fruit running
Foraging can be done at any uncolonized island using the foraging puzzle which can be accessed from the radial menu on a ship's hold. Each time a container appears on the foraging board, one of the forager's labor hours is used up. Foragable items include fruit gems and gold nuggets. These goods can then be sailed to a colonized island and are generally bought in large quantities at the palace.
Foraging can become more profitable by using alts to gather more fruit per day. Each alt, equipped with either a labor badge on green oceans or a subscription on blue ones, can gather up to 24 more hours worth of commodities per day. Mass foraging with alts and fruit running generally seems to be more common on green oceans than with blue due to the ease and cost of buying a labor badge over buying an entire subscription. The implementation of the foraging puzzle with release 2008-08-27 may make foraging alts more difficult to manage.
Other common methods of merchanting may include gem running, commodity price fixing, stockpiling of limited edition goods or trinkets during special holiday periods to be resold or auctioned at a higher markup later, or any other method of buying and selling goods, commodities, products, or services that results in a profit.