Oblivion talk:Mercantile/Archive 1

The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
Semi Protection
This is an archive of past Oblivion talk:Mercantile discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

Skill Increases

This page says that your mercantile skill only goes up when selling items. However, I just had my mercantile level up while buying items (spells specifically). Also, the page implies (and I've seen it explicitly stated elsewhere) that to get your mercantile skill to go up the haggle slider has to be pushed at least one notch to the right of minimum. Again, doesn't agree with my experience: I have gained mercantile skill when I didn't want to and had pushed the haggle slider all the way to the left. Has anyone tested what really makes mercantile go up? --Nephele 20:37, 10 July 2006 (EDT)

I think what is meant is that it goes up FASTER when selling than buying, and also faster the further to the right the haggle slider is. It'll still go up with every transaction, just not as fast. --TheRealLurlock 23:33, 10 July 2006 (EDT)
My own experience suggests that the haggle slider makes absolutely no difference to mercantile skill movement and that it is only selling that affects it (both confirmed with the console TDT output). On the latter point, I wonder whether the existing level of Mercantile skill makes a difference, since it is one of my majors (I only have the one character) and therefore I started out at Apprentice. CessPitts 12:12, 4 September 2006 (EDT)
As far as I know, having a skill as a major doesn't change how you gain experience in that skill, it just changes how much experience you need in order to advance. According to the construction set, the only way to gain experience in mercantile is through "Barter", which gives 0.4 experience points. (In contrast, for example, in alchemy there are two different ways to gain experience, "Potion creation" which gives 5 experience, and "Ingredient use" (i.e., eating an ingredient) which gives 0.5 experience). Whether that means both buying and selling isn't clear, but it does seem very possible that the haggle slider has no effect. --Nephele 13:32, 4 September 2006 (EDT)
I just did some tests on all of this, and confirmed that the haggle slider had absolutely no effect on the number of transactions necessary to increase my mercantile skill by one level. Also, buying items normally does not give you any mercantile experience. But buying spells does, apparently the exact same amount of experience as a sale would. I'm guessing this may be a slight glitch with spell purchases. --Nephele 00:34, 27 October 2006 (EDT)
Great work, Nephele. One less thing to worry about. Seems like it must've been a pain to document. Care to say how you did it? And thanks for the other correction you made (below). 'Twas I that later found/said it was 96% on the other page. :P I'm never sure what to do with wiki Discussion pages... are they historical records? Cleaned up periodically? Different game sites have different opinions. But at least you've made that Discussion point clear to any new reader. --RedKnight 20:30, 27 October 2006 (EDT)
Since you asked for the gory details, here goes. I started with a save game using a character fresh out of the tutorial with mercantile=5. I repeatedly loaded the same save, then went to a merchant, picked a new haggle slider setting, and kept track of how many sales it took to reach mercantile=6, then how many more to reach mercantile=7. In all cases, it was 8 sales for skill=6, then 9 more for skill=7. I was able to test haggle slider settings ranging from 191% to 138%, and for several merchants I tested both their best-case and worst-case (i.e, slider full left) possibilities.
As for the quirk with spell purchases, that was pure luck. I tested normal purchases a few times, and even after buying 10+ items the skill bar was still at zero. If the first comment in this discussion hadn't been mine, I probably would have dismissed it. But luckily, I'd made the offhand remark that my skill level had gone up while buying spells. So I double-checked, and sure enough, your skill level does go up when buying spells (tested with at least four different spell merchants)... and at the same rate as with sales. I couldn't do a test with nothing but spell purchases (didn't have enough cash), but 1 sale + 7 spell purchases got me to skill=6, and then 1 sale + 8 spell purchases got me to skill=7.
As for cleaning up talk pages, we've tended to keep the discussions around for reference. On talk pages that have become overly long, the old discussions have been archived. Maybe if some of these threads go quiet for a couple months, they could be archived but I don't see any urgent need to do it. --Nephele 01:20, 30 October 2006 (EST)
Great work there, Nephele, and thanks for sharing the details. I figured it must have been a bit involved. We all thank you for spending the time!! --RedKnight 10:15, 6 November 2006 (EST)

Testing Haggling

I just added several points on this page. Everyone interested please take a look and edit the page or comment here if you've seen otherwise. Sometimes it's hard to dissect what might be just "my" game and what's an objective observation. In particular:

  • Has anyone been able to haggle at higher than 93%? 96% - see this
  • I've seen 97% with many spell merchants in the mage guild, but these cannot be sold to. 96% has been seen with Sinderion. TheAllotrope 20:59, 9 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Thanks, Allotrope (a crystal in various phases? - cool). Actually this is an early entry by me; see this on the Mercantile page. I should've cleaned up this page, but some wikis like for old talk to stay as an archive. I don't know this wiki well. Anyone is welcome to wipe out all my comments. And I made a note right there. Good merc'ing, bro! or sis
  • The character I used for testing had a Merc skill of 65, and I used Fortify spells to raise it higher. This is how I saw that 100 is the max effective value (same Haggle at 100 or at 165), and that approx. every six points of my Merc skill allowed a slider increase. More precisely, across a half dozen merchants, going from 65 to 100 let me move the slider by 6 (35/6=5.83) for each of them, even though they started from different points when I was at 65 (they were 66 to 79; I also did others who started at higher haggle values, but their haggle would max out before I reached Merc Skill 100). It might be different if e.g.:
    • I had started a lot lower than Merc skill 65
    • Disposition was less than 100. I'm pretty famous now and everybody likes me.
    • And/or other broad things like Fame might otherwise be influencing the results for this specific character.
  • I did not test whether attempting raise Disposition above 100 (with Charm etc.) might have an effect, but I assume it doesn't.

--RedKnight 18:16, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Nice tips... I'd been wondering about some of these questions, too. My impression is that any Disposition greater than 100 just gets rounded down to 100. I have a custom spell (charm, fortify personality, fortify mercantile) that I always use before dealing with any merchant. The spell does a pretty big Disposition boost (+50? +70? I don't have the game in front of me at the moment) but when I go to deal with the merchant, the Disposition is always 100. I can then make them refuse alot of offers, and it stays pegged at 100. So even if internally the game is keeping track of a value higher than 100, that value is not being reported to you. --Nephele 18:29, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Ok, I've done more research... Nephele, I have found that Disposition greater than 100 DOES matter. I just changed the page, and will be posting more info soon. It looks like it tracks it way high (like you said, and even though it doesn't show you), but it does still matter up to maybe 130 (even though it tracks it higher than that). So if you charmed it way higher than 130 (or whatever that number is), it doesn't matter if you haggle badly. This is why I am backtracking re: faction mattering... what I didn't realize in my first pass, is that while the game does add in e.g. faction, it ultimately just boils down to Disposition. So to keep it simple, I revised that paragraph as it now stands.

I am pulling apart the haggle equation to a greater extent but it is taking time. Stand by perhaps til mid next week while I work on it. For the time being, suffice to say that Varel (in Anvil, Morvayn's Peacemakers) is the best for getting big dollars from (and many thanks to Docbengal for the important tip)... but for best results, Charm even Varel to 130+ and Fortify Merc to 100. ---RedKnight 23:38, 28 July 2006 (EDT)

Ok, I just added a lot. There's an extent to which the page is getting a bit long and/or repetitious... if anybody wants to take a whack at tightening it up, have at. In the meantime, I may try to gauge just how much Mercantile and Disposition affect Haggle rates. Still, knowing the best possible deals (and how to get there) is the bottom line. --RedKnight 17:00, 30 July 2006 (EDT)

Great job here guys. Page looks great!-- Dieter 08:48, 31 July 2006 (EDT)

What happens if you absorb or drain the merchant's mercantile skill? While it is a hostile action, your character can get away with it due to the 100% chameleon effect. In this way, it is possible to get a merchant with 0 mercantile skill during the transaction. --Bobucles 7:36, 3 Aug 2006 (EST)

Hi Bobucles, my spreadsheet addressed that. Estimated best Sell Haggle Rate at merchant Merc Skill 0 is .9746, i.e., 97% or 98% - very close to Sinderion's 96 (but Sinderion has limited gold). FWIW I for one wouldn't play with 100% Chameleon... why not just hack the merchants to 0? Hehe. But it's just a game; anybody can do whatever they want. As long as you are doing that, please let me know if I was right. Don't forget to get your Merc skill to 100+, and Disposition to 130+. --RedKnight 18:48, 3 August 2006 (EDT)

I just loaded up and looked at the data for Aurelinwae (a merchant in the Imperial City's Mystic Emporium that comes with the official Wizard's Tower (Frostcrag Spire) plug-in). Aurelinwae is a merchant that deals in magical goods (scrolls, soul gems, and alchemical ingredients). She comes with 2000 gold to haggle with. Best of all, she's at a low Novice mercentile skill... get this... it's only SIX (6). That's right. She's the easiest to haggle with and has the most gold making her the best "official" merchant. I haven't been able to level up skills enough to know her best HR, but so far I've been able to get it up to equal that of Sinderion's 96. More testing needs to be done with her. --Noran the Axe 10:07, 3 October 2006 (EDT)

Excellent, Noran. Thanks for doing that research. I'm not playing Oblivion anymore, but my spreadsheet indicates that Aurelinwae will only be, at best, 1 better than Sinderion (115/97). However, the curve is very flat there (see the Curves tab on the spreadsheet), so she may well be 116/96. It's easy to test, though... just use spells to get your Merc skill to 100 or more, and your Disposition to ~130. Whatever you see then, that's her max rate. If she does differ, I'll put her in the spreadsheet if I find the time. Either way, she's still the best... what difference does 1 cent on the dollar make, when you can sell all that expensive stuff (finally!)... and at a convenient I.C. shop, too!
For the record, relative to my curves, it looks like true Master simply side-steps haggling... the curve predicts 97/114 at best (for merchant Merc skill 0), not 100/100. Thanks again for checking that out, Nephele... it gives folks something to keep working toward! --RedKnight 10:28, 3 October 2006 (EDT)
Actually, RedKnight, my contribution on the Master-level perk initially was just cleaning up what had been written by TheAllotrope, so he deserves most of the credit for researching this. But I did then decide to double check how it works myself, and determined that the Master-level perk completely does completely ignore the haggle settings. At first glance, it looks like haggling is still in effect: you can pull up the haggle slider, and it shows the standard values; if you push it to the far right, you are still not at 100/100. But the prices shown in your inventory are in fact all 100/100 values, no matter what your haggle slider says. --Nephele 10:53, 3 October 2006 (EDT)
I just reached Mercantile skill level 100. Wow. Sold a lot of arrows. One by one. /me nervously laughs. There is a mod out there which disables the "How many" prompt. That makes it easier to sell stuff one by one, but I still need to see a doctor soon - I think I have RSI. ;) Maybe a shrink? About haggling... A master cannot haggle anymore. The dialog is still present and works a bit odd. If you push it to the left, the merchant is not complaining, but you still get the default value. If you push the slider to the right, the merchant complains. However, no matter which side you push the slider, the values on screen don't change. Also, pushing the slider to the right does not change the merchant's disposition. The percentage you had before reaching master gets lost and is replaced by an interesting default value. For an example: Before reaching master, Falanu Hlaalu in Skingrad bought my stuff for 86%. Her slider is now reset to 78%. The percentage for selling does not change. In her case 132%. This might be interesting for RedKnight. Each shop keeper has a different default value. If you guys need me to check something out then just ask. I'll be checking this page from time to time. MadGizmo 20:18, 1 December 2006 (EST)
A little addition to the above. In case it wasn't obvious the main page is right - a master can sell stuff for the price listed in your inventory with a maximum of the the gold of the merchant increased by 500. That 500 is on top of the investment you made in the shop. I also wrote earlier that my character is a member of the DB. That should determine the disposition of most NPCs to be far below 100. However, my character is a Knight of the Nine these days with a Fame of 155 and sadly no Infamy :( That quest took the infamy away. Tsss. That'll change soon though... I also want to test my minion and see what happens (to master level Mercantile) if he increases my infamy again. ;) I suspect that it doesn't change the prices, but I am not sure. MadGizmo 20:56, 1 December 2006 (EST)

Update: I have just added a major revision (v. 2.0) to my spreadsheet on sales vs. merchants. It's another zipped Excel file, here. There's lots of info there, too much to easily try to put in a wiki at the moment. A.k.a. it's simple as pie to have in a spreadsheet, but days of work to translate into a pretty wiki page. Therefore I am just posting it to the Discussion page for now, until I can get around to doing more. The spreadsheet is not highly detailed in its explanations, but does continue my trend of going deeper and deeper into "everything there is to know about making the best sales vs. merchants". Also note, I would like to put this into .pdf, but since my additions are currently going at a blazing pace, why take a day to properly pdf it, when it's changing daily?

Any and all comments or suggestions on it welcomed. Is something missing that you'd like to see? --RedKnight 23:14, 4 August 2006 (EDT)


From a comment added to the main page:

'all shopkeepers turn into "Creepers" once your skill reached 100'

What is meant by a creeper? Admittedly, I haven't had the patience yet to get my mercantile skill up to 100, but one of my characters is close. If I knew what I was looking for, I could pretty quickly force his mercantile up to 100 and investigate. --Nephele 14:13, 29 August 2006 (EDT)

Creeper was a character in Morrowind. He was a friendly Scamp merchant, who was most notable in that he would always buy and sell items at 100% of their value (since creatures don't have mercantile skill or disposition, needed to calculate barter prices). Thus, those in the know would sell items to Creeper in order to get the best prices. Creeper also had one of the highest values for available gold in the game, 5000. He was second only to another creature merchant, the infamous talking Mudcrab, who had 10000. However, the Mudcrab only purchased weapons and armor, and he was on an island in the middle of nowhere, while Creeper was nice and convenient in a city, near fast travel services, and he'd buy anything.
Part of this is duplicated by Oblivion's Mercantile perks. For example, after you reach Journeyman, you can sell anything to anyone, much like Creeper. And once your Mercantile is mastered, you essentially can sell everything at 100% value, so yeah, kind of like Creeper. Not a bug, but an intentional feature, of course. --TheRealLurlock 14:54, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
Thanks, Lurlock, that helped! But it's not obvious that being able to buy/sell at 100% should actually happen at 100 mercantile. According to the page right now, the best possible ratios are sell 96%, buy 116% (in tests done using boosted mercantile, rather than natural mercantile=100). If buy/sell at 100% is indeed a master-level perk, that would be an important feature to mention... or figure out whether it's a feature or a bug. --Nephele 16:03, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
It's true, I never made a true Mercantile 100, I just used spells... and I've since moved on to other games, so I doubt I'll ever test it. The other caveats I said above (bullets near beginning of Testing Haggling section) are also true... I only ever tested with my one and only character, so I also have no way to know if there might be e.g. differences across different characters. Since no one has posted exceptions to my findings, perhaps they're valid. But I never tried true Mercantile=100... if it means Base Value of 100%, that's very cool - and important to point out. --RedKnight
Either that, or nobody has bothered getting their Mercantile high enough to test this. After about 50, it starts getting really tedious, selling stacks of Restore Fatigue potions one at a time in order to boost your skill. (Incredibly boring, but there's really no faster way to do it.) By the time you get to 75, it's a real chore. And a great deal of effort for very little pay-off. The few extra gold you get for doing it is not worth the hours you could have spent raiding dungeons for more gear to sell, thus making a far greater profit. If someone is enough of a masochist to try it, I'll be interested to see the results, but it won't be me. --TheRealLurlock 19:39, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
Quite true. Plus of course, any decent player can have plenty of money fairly soon into the game. That's one of the reasons I stopped investigating once I found the bottom line (fingers crossed). Still, I considered asking if there was an easy way to hack my merc skill (and merchants', too) in order to test various things... anyone know of an easy way? --RedKnight 20:19, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
I have reached mercantile skill 90 the hard way. That is selling stuff one by one. The best you can do is to sell arrows and to use a mod that turns off the confirmation on the number of items to sell. Goblins have lots of arrows. I sometimes get 2000+ arrows by clearing a Goblin cave. Depending on your skill level you need to sell a couple of hundred arrows to advance. It is tedious and I now have trained 5 levels, because repetition is really boring. So I am level 95 now. I am reaching 100 soon and will let you guys know what happens. MadGizmo 04:44, 1 December 2006 (EST)
FYI, Mercantile=100 has already been tested and confirmed (see some of the discussion under Testing Haggling), so the description of the Master-level perk on the page is accurate. --Nephele 12:06, 1 December 2006 (EST)

Merchant's Fear

When I had Mercantile skill level 60 (I have reached 95 now) the disposition of NPCs dropped due to the fact that I joined the Dark Brotherhood. ;) That meant that merchants didn't want to sell me stuff for what I haggled before. I started to investigate what the best spell was to get it back to the old level or to improve on it. I found out that 3 things are important. 1) Mercantile level (obviously), 2) Disposition (obviously too) and 3) Luck (surprisingly). I sometimes was able to get better prices when I fortified Luck. I tried to test #3 as follows. Before haggling I saved the game and then observed how much I could increase the slider. The maximum was always the same (depending on the disposition and mercantile level), but when I fortified luck there was a very small chance that I reached 1 more on the slider. Not sure how slim it is. But knowing this I created a spell called "Merchant's Fear". At the time I had Mercantile level 60 and Luck level 50. When wearing amour I had a spell effectiveness of 95%, so I created two variations of the spell. One for wearing armor and one for wearing robes. The one used when wearing robes: Charm 100 for 6 seconds, Fortify Mercantile 40 for 6 seconds and Fortify Luck 50 for 6 seconds. The numbers for wearing armor were Charm 100, Mercantile 43 and Luck 53.

If you use such a spell then you will not be penalized for pushing the slider too high. ;) In that case the merchant still complains, but his disposition won't drop. The downside is that you have to keep using the spell each time you buy or sell something. However, I am very used to it now. To be on the safe side, save the the game before you sell something. I accidentally shot a merchant because I selected the wrong spell. ;) MadGizmo 05:29, 1 December 2006 (EST)

I was rethinking the reason of the random advantage in the above spell. It remains a mystery where the random advantage aspect kicks in. The only reason I can think of is that the equations are using floating point values. Floating point values are inaccurate by design. This is because floating point values are an approximation of the actual value. Technically this has to do with the limitations of their mantissa and exponent. See Floating Point Numbers.

As a practical example: I have seen Falanu buying my stuff for 87% of its value. The next time I visited her, she started to complain. I had to move the slider back to 86%. Odd. MadGizmo 11:27, 2 December 2006 (EST)

Possible explanation is that when you got her to bartar at 87%, you were under the influence of a bonus to one of the relevent stats, such as personality, luck, or merchantile. Just a theory. 05:59, 4 December 2006 (EST)
Yeah. We can only guess. MadGizmo 22:36, 4 December 2006 (EST)

omg wat a rip off

current im apprentice in merc and the best person i know to barter is the smith in a fighting chance in market district, pay me 1200. i usually find stuff like daedric warhammer which are worth 5000 gold, and i got no choice but to sell for 1200. can someone plz suggest a method to increase the money i get? is there even a merchant with 5000 gold barter? i found a goblin totem stuff worth 7767 (no use though, only shock damage 20 on hit i got apothesis anyway) and i only got 1200 gold for it. plz help me im getting ripped off badly — Unsigned comment by T3h 1337 h4X0Rz (talkcontribs)

There's nothing to do it about it; that's the way the game is designed. Once you get to expert level in mercantile you can invest and get 500 more gold; at master level there's another 500 gold available. But that's it. You can never get the full value for the expensive items. But face it: by the time you're collecting daedric warhammers you've probably got more gold than you know what to do with (or you very quickly will), so what does it matter if you only get half the gold for the item?? --Nephele 23:13, 3 December 2006 (EST)
Well, I think it matters because Mercantilism could be a very interesting aspect of the game if it had been better designed. I was looking forward to role-playing my character as a retired adventurer, after completing the main quest and become master of the guilds, traveling from town to town buying and selling items including an occasional relic from the "old days" as an adventurer. The excitement would come from making deals through haggling and charming people (magically or otherwise) buying low and selling high, a basic principle of economics. The problem is that there is little variation between merchants, we seem to only have the option of buying low and selling lower which makes no sense. Perhaps a good business could be made by buying from some merchants and then selling to Sinderion (or Aurelinwae). Of course then we come to your last point, that money is fairly unnecessary in the game and you always seem to have more than you know what to do with. It seems that making the mercantile system more involved could make accumulating money a more worthwhile endeavor. Another thing that would make gold more necessary would be increasing the value of things like houses, and not giving homes away quite so readily in the form of guild houses. Just my two cents on the issue of getting ripped off and the uselessness of the Mercantilism system, which I believe could have been as interesting an aspect of the game as working on spells or fighting skills. --MacTheBadger 14:46hrs (EDT) March,22 2007
Although I understand why they did it, this bugged me for a long while because like Mac above I would have liked a proper economic aspect, sort of like Morrowind. I know that Creeper and the Talking Mud Crab basically allowed you to accumulate infinite money very quickly (with a certain soul gem..), it was nice to be able to sell stuff after all that hard work going and getting it (much harder without loot levelling, too!).
Anyway, what I decided to do in Oblivion much of the time would be to dupe items pre-sale so that I could get near enough (or 90%, fair is fair) of the base price of the item. So for a Daedric Warhammer of 5000gp, just dupe it four times and get 4500 odd eventually.. I'm not purist enough to avoid duping anyway since the game is far too hard without it. Cheers. --Harmonica

Reverse Pickpocketing

In some of the other pages (especially Dark Brotherhood pages), they talked about "reverse pickpockleting", which involved opening the pickpocket window and giving the target in question a self-damaging piece of equipment that (once equipped) will kill them without getting your hands dirty. Why not try sneaking the merchants some equiupment that damages their mercantile skill?

--DragonAtma 22:25, 17 February 2007 (EST)

  • From the Oblivion:Drain Skill page:"Drain Skill and Absorb Skill are the only ways to reduce a skill. No Damage Skill effect exists in the game (even in the construction set)." Drain skill probably wouldn't work and Absorb Skill is even less likely. As far as I can see regarding spell availability none of the effects are available for enchanting anyway and if available would be more likely applied to weapons which are difficult to find at zero weight(a major point in reverse pocketing)without glitching and at that point you may as well just not worry about any of it at all and just duplicate glitch stuff to sell and ignore the little details like the merchant's skill. There may be exceptions made possible through unofficial mods or the console commands, however I do 360 Oblivion and cannot personally verify such mods or commands.

"Give Away" to increase skill?

I've looked around the site and haven't been able to see if there's an answer to my question. When you "Give away" stuff to a merchant (example zero value stuff to a fence), does that increase your merc skill or not? --TobyD 16:53, 19 November 2007 (EST)

You do not gain any experience. See Oblivion:Commerce#Zero-value Items. I'll add it to the mercantile article, too, since it should be mentioned here. --NepheleTalk 17:26, 19 November 2007 (EST)

Removed incorrect info about Disposition over 100

I relied on the info here about buying/selling with disposition over 100, but it isn't true that bad deals don't hurt. I tried this, and eventually, Disposition falls to 99 when making bad deals.

Skill level

Whats your skill level when you first start the game? 23:55, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

I believe 5, this can be changed by racial boni and classes. — Unsigned comment by (talk)
It can be anything between 5 and 30 (I think) depending on what specialisations your character class has. See Oblivion:Classes for more info. –RpehTCE 01:07, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
Although i am not sure, it is possible for you to have even higher than thirty, like orc with combat as specialization, blunt as major. that would put it at 45 wouldnt it?Mikeyboy52 03:28, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
That would make BLUNT at 45, not mercantile.

Repairing items

Something I thought of recently... the Apprentice perk means that condition no longer matters. I always repair everything anyway for the Armorer skill gains, so I'm not sure what it does in numbers. I assume items at 50% health sell for 50% as much? If so, do Expert-repaired items sell for 125% of a normal item? Of course, the low Mercantile skill would probably not make this worthwhile, unless using a large Fortify Mercantile spell to avoid the perk but still get the skill. It's not something that would normally come up, as a character with Mercantile < 25 and Armorer > 75 is rather unusual... Krenn 20:54, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

It's funny you should bring this up now, because I just thought of this the other day myself and meant to check on it. As it turns out, you will indeed get a higher price for items that are repaired to 125% when you're a Novice at Mercantile than you will once you become an Apprentice. I went back to a very early character and fudged his stats. My most expensive armor repaired to 125% would've sold for a whopping 21 septims, but went down to 17 septims when I advanced his Mercantile rank. I'll note this on the main Mercantile page. --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 12:05, 12 June 2008 (EDT)
One more note here - it seems that while the items repaired to 125% can sell for about 25% more than a normal 100% item, they are capped by the base value of the item, and don't go any higher. Krenn 18:02, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Confirmed. Good catch! --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 17:19, 26 June 2008 (EDT)


I don't get the second sentence here:

Investing in a merchant to increase their available gold does not cause any change in the haggle slider. Thus, the truly dedicated could, for example, invest in Sinderion and sell everything worth up to 900 to him, then visit other merchants to sell more expensive items.

I removed this second sentence.

What does this mean? Travb 19:10, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

I tried to clean this up a bit

Encouraged by the clean up tag. I spent a couple of hours and tried to clean this page up a bit.

I love this site, it is the best site on the web for oblivion info. But it is way to technical, written by experts in the game who seem to have forgotten that many non-experts come here for advice to. Travb 19:57, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for your efforts! The edits that I checked on all seemed to make sense. I'm considering whether some of the comments that you moved to the Notes section should be moved back into the main body of text, but overall, great job! Please, feel free to continue to help improve our wiki. --GuildKnightTalk2me 22:06, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

I tried to clean it up as well. This page needs some work. There are bugs that could be irrelevent to some subjects. — Unsigned comment by (talk) on October 4, 2007

I did too

I just did a complete overhaul of this page, and shortened everything I could. There was a lot of information that was just irrelevant to the skill itself, and should be on the merchants page, not mercantile. Just like Vampires vs. Vampirism.

Stuck Mercantile level

I am having a slight problem.

No matter what I do, my mercantile level is stuck at 27. I tried selling to many different vendors, and even buying spells, but still no increase.

Anyone have that problem?

Slowpoke59 23:35, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

You're likely the subject a known bug, see Skill Level is Frozen. This likely happened after you received the reward from A Shadow Over Hackdirt. You can prevent that from happening again by installing the latest patch. Once you sold enough items, your skill level increase will pick up again. --Timenn < talk > 03:28, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

It is a part of the game. I was at Mercantile skill 28, finished the quest with Dar-ma "Shadow over Hackdirt"; went 5 levels up (automatically upon completing the mission) on Mercantile with Dar-ma's Skill boost. I did not increase any Mercantile skill points until those goods that I CONTINUED TO SELL had surpassed the 5 point increase she gave me. After I sold enough goods that the game registered I was at Mercantile Skill 33, the points went up as normal when selling any goods. Easy glitch to overcome if you understand it(and take the time to seemingly be wasting your time.) — Unsigned comment by (talk) on October 4, 2008

Or more likely a bug overlooked by the devs (until the patch came through, of course). It defeats the purpose of awarding skill levels, and they probably wouldn't fix it in the patch if it wasn't broken. Vesna 22:12, 5 October 2008 (EDT)

Quick-sell Binding

Is there a way to bind a key to quick-sell one item out of a stack on PC? It is noted as possible for the console versions. Sorlac 01:53, 17 April 2009 (EDT)

No, but there's a really, really helpful mod called Toggleable Quantity Prompt that does what you're looking for. Get it from TES Nexus here. –RpehTCE 07:39, 30 April 2009 (EDT)
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. ZOMG THANK YOU. I have just started re-playing Oblivion, and am trying the "farm run / alchemist" cash spinner for kicks... and my mouse finger is about to fall off from selling about 200 "Restore Fatigue" potions one at a time using the horrible default slider. I LOVE YOU. 19:26, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Selling over 100%

Although in some cases merchants can't afford this but with the mastery perk, wouldn't you be able to sell over 100% using the haggle slider and buy less than 100%, if true you could turn the tables on the merchants and make them buy your stuff for more than you buy thiers. — Unsigned comment by Dadrak (talkcontribs) on 20 April 2009

Nope. When you get the master's perk you always buy and sell for 100% of the value. The slider makes no difference. –RpehTCE 07:11, 20 April 2009 (EDT)

that's a bummer they should let you be a real sort of merchant able to sell items over 100% oh yeah and i just wanted to ask a question does it always show 100% price eg does it show some thing worth 1000 gold show as being sold for 1000 gold or does it just give you the amount anyway — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 17:22 on 26 August 2009

It shows you the price at 100%, regardless of what you set the haggle slider to. As I recall, you can still fail to haggle if you set the slider too high, but if you set it within an appropriate range, you'll get 100%. —Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 23:01, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Tips for increasing Mercantile (on the PC)

My Mercantile skill has just reached 100 in my game, from a starting value of 25 (major skill/non-specialty), and I never used a Mercantile trainer once--all 75 skill increases came from selling items. I used to think this skill was the most agonizing skill skill in the game to raise manually, but now I think it's easier than some skills, especially Security and Marksman (Marksman being the absolute worst).

Some things I did that made it faster (some of these only apply to the PC version):

-The key is that using the slider is slow. It's so dreadfully inefficient to click and drag the slider all the way to the left over and over that one actually gains Mercantile MUCH faster by selling items like arrows in stacks, and then using the massive amount of saved time to loot more dungeons. A single slider movement doesn't seem like much, but when the few extra seconds from each slider movement are multiplied by the massive number of transactions you need to raise Mercantile skill, it comes out to hours.

-Pick up and sell any item that has value, no matter how low that value is. Even--or perhaps especially--random clothing and shoes. Since there are so many different kinds of clothing, it becomes much easier to sell them one by one, since large stacks force an extra click at least. Yes, this will force you to go find a merchant a lot more often, but it's really no worse than maybe a couple minutes every hour.

-Repair all armor and weapons as much as possible before selling them. With Armorer > 75, for some reason this has the effect of putting all identical items into seperate little stacks of 2, making them much easier to sell one-by-one.

-In the shop window, scroll so that the item you want to sell is second from the bottom. That way, you can position the mouse such that the pointer is right over the "okay" button of the confirmation window. If you set it up right, you can just keep clicking in that one spot and your items will keep getting sold, as long as none of them are in big stacks.

If you do all of that, raising Mercantile is really not all that bad at all...plus, you get obscenely rich in the process (my character's worth 330,000 gold with all houses and furnishings purchased), hehe. Certainly a lot less painful than sitting there picking locks for a zillion years, in my opinion. Shashakiro 02:50, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

I noticed a few of those to help accelerate Mercantile training, and thought up another way, but have not examined it. You will also likely lose money in the process, but I believe it is the fastest way to increase Mercantile on the PC, Unmodded.
1. Get a bunch of Alchemy Ingredients.
2. Go see Sinderion (Best deals, and he buys/sells alchemy ingredients and potions).
3. Buy all/most of his inventory.
4. Make as many potions as you can. (Mastered Alchemy May help). Make sure each potion will be in it's own stack, no greater than 2, to avoid the "How Many" box from appearing. To do this, simply name the potions uniquely. a1, a1, a2, a2, a3, a3, etc...
5. Drop items you do not want to accidentally sell off somewhere. (You may want to keep some that would be "Above" all the rest. The key to saving time is to have the itmes sold near the bottom of the sell screen.) Some Quest Items may interfere, so be aware.
6. Sell all potions/ingredients one at a time as described by Shashakiro, such that the item selected is right over the Accept button.
7. Click in those few pixels until all items are sold.
8. Buy them all back again (Losing money, not gaining EXP, but saving TIME).
9. Repeat 7 and 8 until you run out of money, or hit your desired Mercantile value.
I do believe the worse the potions are, the less expensive they are, and the less gold lost per iteration.
The longest parts are the set-up, naming the potions and getting all of them, then you would want to buy them back to be able to use them again without having to do the naming again. --Karplusan 20:14, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Another thought here:
Pressing the Up key while at the top of your item list will bring up the box prompting you to buy/sell the top item in the inventory. Pressing Up again will confirm the sale. Enter can also be used to sell an item on the list, but really, just pressing Up repeatedly will zip through the inventory. If you want to train mercantile with just this, and no mods, buying and selling dozens of foods is the best method. Potions are more expensive, so if you're strapped for money, you don't want to be losing all that gold in the spread. Collect 1 or 2 of each type of food and cheap flora, rig up a food merchant's inventory so that he has 1 or 2 of each (ONLY 1 or 2, and no drinks/potions either), and then endlessly buy and sell back the whole inventory with the up arrow.
Just for laughs, I set up an AutoHotkey script that pressed Up a hundred times or so in the ingredient tab, then Shift-Left/Right to switch between the buy and sell bags, basically looping this until I halted it. It trained the skill like a champ, making a transaction every half-second or so. Definitely more funny than useful, since you can advance skills with the console... but I suppose the console is blatant cheating.
I agree with you guys; this is by far the worst-designed skill. No one has a prayer of becoming a master mercantile unless they train it aggressively or just pay Palonyra. Mercantile training should definitely scale up with the transaction size and effective use of the slider. Tlist 20:56, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I dont see this on the article

If you sell a varla stone (base price 1000) at 50% when your mercantile is 7, the you actually sell it for 507 instead of 500, when you sell it at mercantile 57 at 50% base value, its 557 gold. basically, whatever your mercantile is, it adds on to how much you sell an item for, but cant go over base price. Can someone confirm so I (or whoever else wants to) can make the edit to the page? Mikeyboy52 06:22, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

nevermind, found out what it was, when I was using my thief charecter I had it on 55 percent and with my wizard i had it on 50 percent, although its still wierd that it has an additional 7 gold than it should be. Mikeyboy52 12:51, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

hmm...maybe because of the shop keepers dispostisn?(sorry about the bad spelling)


Under "Merchant Disposition", transaction means a single item or a bunch of items (like arrows) sold, right? --Stevepoppers 11:10, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Yup- your mercantile increases for each individual transaction so you'll get more experience if you sell stacked items individually than all at once. -Snorkel.maiden 11:28, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

But the Merchant's Disposition won't increase unless I sell those items in bunches worth more than 100 gold, right?


How many experience points are needed in order to level through merchantile? It mentions the experience you obtain from doing things, but not how much is needed in order to level.— Unsigned comment by (talk) on 19 February 2010

Prev: None Up: Oblivion talk:Mercantile Next: None