merchant

There are traveling merchants in the square today! Can I go look? Can I? Can I?
— eager child
  Merchants obtain and provide items and materials required by the people of Fillimet, and create desire for other less necessary items. Most will also work to obtain items of particular interest or importance for trusted clientele.

Career

Qualifications

Successful merchants require a healthy business acumen, preferably combined with a variety of trading partners from whom they source their goods. Those trading in larger volumes can command lower prices from their suppliers, increasing their own profits. Others decide to specialize in a specific kind of goods, attracting customers seeking those specific items.  

Shopkeepers

Shopkeepers maintain one or several storefronts at fixed locations. They may rent or own the buildings, and some also live within their shops in an upstairs or back room. Shopkeepers rely upon others to deliver their goods for sale in the store, and may purchase through any combination of delivery services, traveling merchants or adventurers, local artisans, or even dedicated traveling procurement employees.  

Traveling Merchants

Traveling merchants spend their lives on the road, setting up temporary pop-up shops in promising locations for several days before moving back onto the road. They are common sights at the Portal Exchange, hawking their wares in the Chromatic Market or seeking leads for new suppliers. These wandering traders follow rumors og good deals on merchandise, with the intent to resell them in areas with greater interest and higher prices.   Traveling traders may also contract with shopkeepers along a set route, regularly bringing them agreed-upon goods for set prices. This method of business carries less risk due to the guaranteed sales at their destination, but also avoids the potential of quick profit when they correctly guess the next hot commodity, and so most wandering merchants split their business plan between both approaches.  
Smugglers are also likely to present themselves as traveling merchants due to their similar lifestyle, and it is not uncommon for a legitimate traveling trader to maintain a small smuggling business on the side.
 

Artisans and Manufacturing Businesses

Some manufacturers may decide to skip the middle man and sell their wares directly to the consumer for better profit. This is more common among low-volume artisans targeting the local population as their main customer base, but larger manufacturing-focused companies often also maintain their own sales departments.

Payment & Reimbursement

Merchants are paid directly for their wares at the time of purchase. Depending upon the merchant they may also be open to haggling, barter, trade, layaway, or the performance of services in exchange for goods. More prosperous merchants may also take orders to obtain specific items for a trusted client.

Type
Financial / Trade
Legality
While merchants are technically legal across Fillimet not all items or materials are legal to sell, while others have restrictions and limitations on who may purchase then and in what quantities. In many cases these restrictions are limited to a particular area of government, although some materials such as Imperial Night Rose Tea are almost universally banned.   Some merchants also choose to specialize in illegally obtained goods, fencing stolen items or even partnering directly with bandits to provide information on goods they wish to acquire for sale, through any means necessary.
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Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio

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