Selling (general) - Strategy?

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Selling (general) - Strategy?

Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:35 am

I've been playing a short while now, have used over 40 of my building slots, and am starting to think of efficiency.

There isn't a whole lot of documentation on this game, and I guess I'm trying to figure out how the best players play.

Do you sell items (mainly) in:

Market Stalls
The "Market"

I have been toying with all 3 of them, but haven't gone any particular direction primarily.

Also, how does quality work? How important is it to have high quality goods in each of the above situations? I've noticed that players on the board will pay more...sometimes significantly more for high quality items. Is this just so that their finished products will sell for more in market stalls?

Or does it really affect some of the higher level reputation buildings? Do they ask for higher quality items?

Also, how should I be alotting my buildings? In order to produce the more complicated items, I would need to have several of four or five different buildings. Is it worthwhile to produce ALL the materials yourself? When is it beneficial to buy some of the ingredients from other players or from the market?

Should new players stick to the basics? (Wood, water, contest items, farm items, etc), or should they start assembling a production chain for higher order items early?

Thanks to anyone who can answer.


Sales strategies

Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:46 am

1. Sales strategies

Market stalls account for 70 % of my sales and revenue. The remaining 30 percent of revenues comes from contracts. Open market sales are negligible since I use them only for disposal of unwanted stock.

(a) Market sales - I use this only to clear out my ware house when I have less than a 10-12 hr production run of an item left ; and I have no plans to produce more of the component in the near term.

Using the market this way keeps your commission small, and produces new slots for what should be a nearly full warehouse.

Market sales are your most important resource for producing new contract customers. By communicating with cities that bought my disposal items on sale at the market I have been able to find cities who are interested in contract deliveries. Any time I am looking for new customers - i place a small amt of the item I want to sell by contract - up for sale on the open market. Then I write an in game message to the cities that buy the item and ask if they would be interested in more, and I also ask what average price they are willing to pay (quality zero [base price] + [additional price for each increasing level of quality]).

If I want to sell casks, and they offer to buy them at 70 + 5/Q , that means if I ship them Q:8 casks they are willing to pay (70 + (8 *5)) = 70 + 40 = 110.0 purchase price.

(b) Contract sales - these are preferrable to market sales because you do not lose 10% to commission. This usually means that cities who sell items on the market are willing to sell them via contract for less than their market price.

If they sell an item for 100.00 at market price, they will usually sell it at contract price of 90.0 - 92.0 for the same item (and often even less than that since contracts also give a more or less "guaranteed sale" , rather than having to wait until someone decides to buy whatever you placed for general sale on the open market) , because 90.00 per item is all they receive for their 100.00 item sold at the open market (because they lose 10.00/10% to commission).

If you find a city who is not willing to sell via contract below their market price, I strongly suggest not buying from them via contract since you receive no price advantage.

(c) Market stalls - these account for 70 % of my sales and revenue. The remaining 30 percent of revenues comes from contracts. Open market sales are negligible since i use them only for disposal of unwanted stock.

Market stall sales strategy is an important point to cover so allow me to expand on it:

When the market stall size increases, the amt of items sold per hour in the stall increases. Ideally you want your market stalls selling 100 percent of the time. You do not want them to run out of stock. As much as I try to maintain a fully stocked stall, I regularly run out of stock when I have increased the size of my market stall, before my production finishes expanding to keep up with the increased sales.

For example: if my brewery produces 3,000 beer in 12 hours and my market stall is selling 3,500 beer per 12 hrs , I will soon run out of beer to sell. When I see that sales/per 12 hr supply is greater than production /per 12 hr production cycle - then I raise the price I charge in the market stall until it slows sales down enough to keep the market stall busy for a full twelve hours.

Once my production expands to keep pace with sales in the market stall, it will at some point begin to exceed the rate of sales. At that point - when my production per 12/hr cycle is greater than my market stall sales per 12/hr cycle - I have more production than I have sales of what I am producing. When this occurs I reduce the price charged by the market stall to speed up sales per hour until it roughly matches the amt sold in a 12 hr period to equal the amt produced in a 12 period. Then the expansion cycle begins again.

Which brings me to the last point - expansion as it relates to market stall sales. Ideally you want to expand supply-side first - then when you are producing more than you can sell at a reasonable profit - you expand the market stall to match production. That will minimize the mis-match of production to sales volume.
Last edited by Guest on Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:53 am

Market stalls are not a good choice for beginners, because they have comparatively low profits. They are worthwhile when you can build large enough stalls to justify advertising and you are large enough that your production facilities are penalized. You might also want your own stalls if the product market isn't liquid - but that usually means it's not profitably sold.

Contracts are best if you can set up a regular arrangement on a fair price, because you skip the market fees. Most of the standing offers here and on the fax stink, though - bad prices.

Each level of quality for an end-stage product increases the sale price by about 3% in a market stall. This is not generally a big deal, more of a way to get a bonus in something you make a lot of.

You're getting near to your limit so you should build buildings to do what you want to do long-term. Level 1 (20 sq mt) buildings can be torn down for some return but upgrade costs are almost totally lost on a tear-down. You can make either basic or complex products profitable (although you have to pic the right products, not everything makes good money). You should do what you find more fun.


Expansion strategies and product lines

Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:39 am

Expansion strategies and product lines

2. Product line choice
I suggest beginners to choose an item to sell which has a very short production que - no more than two steps.
An example of a short production que is (a) beets , or (b) herbs ; all they require is water and the end product is the the result.

Beginning with a short production que allows you to make an income while you develop product lines which produce more profiftable items.

The more profitable items usually involve three or more steps to produce the end product.

For example: I began producing just beets & herbs (1-step, only requires water) ; then I produced goats (2-step ; requires beets + water) ;
then I produced milk (3-step; beets + goats) ; finally i built stone mines (for iron ore) and manufactories for tools & casks from the milk profits - so I could produce beer and schnapps - which are highly profitable but require 5 steps to produce.

I sold beets on the open market and herbs in the market stall ; then I sold herbs or goats in the market stall and nothing on the open market; then I sold milk in the market stall (only) and nothing on the open market; finally I sold beer/schnapps in the tavern market stalls, and sold any surplus casks/tools/iron via contract.

3. Quality considerations
Eventually you will want to do research to produce higher qualities of your items since you can charge more for the item produced. I strongly, STRONGLY suggest you ignore research until you reach "Sir" level.

Each time your title changes "Freeman", "Bourgoise", "Huckster" etc., you LOSE 8% of your production. That means is you had a dairy that produced 100 milk per hour - as a Freeman, when you accumulated enough cash and "allod" to turn into a "Bourgoise" - the same dairy building will now produce only 92 milk/ per hour.

A single research building of a size to do meaningful research, at the allod level of a Freeman - will account for 25 percent of your total allod ; whcih means only 75 percent of your remaining allod allowance is going to be producing cash. You need close to 90 percent (80-90) of your allod to be producing cash to operate an efficient city.

Quality is not necessary to be profitable. Quality zero items produced in high quantity and sold cheaply - will produce just as much cash as higher quality products produced in more moderate amounts.

4. Expansion strategies

You want to pack as much cash producing sq. feet into your allod allowance as possible, and as little non-cash producing until Merchant allod level: at merchant allod level - your allod allowance is large enough to hold 2-4 research buildings, and not exceed 10-15% of your total allod allowance invested in research instead of revenue production.

Consider that each time you expand a building, you LOSE PRODUCTION. That means if you have only TWO farms, and you expand just ONE of them - you are losing 50 percent of your total production capactiy, until expansion/consruction is completed.

If you intend to expand and grow your city as fast as possible - you must select your building slots with redundancy in mind. That means instead of building only 2 farms or 4 - build TEN so that when you expand two of them daily, your only going to lose 20 percent of your farm-production capacity, instead of losing 30 or 50 percent.

4.(B) Expansion strategies: Production Building-to-Market stall ratio

Some players suggest you have one factory to every two market stalls. This means that the factory must produce enough to keep both market stalls continuously supplied.

I do not agree with this or suggest this ratio. I recommend a 1:1 ratio - and additional redundancy. For example - if I want to keep 4 taverns supplied with beer , i suggest 4 breweries AND an additional brewery for expansion.

Scenario (1): 4 taverns and 4 breweries
When I expand my breweries, if I only expand ONE of the brewery buildings per day, I will end up having only three breweries operating, and the fourth will be under construction. Which would then force me to support 4 taverns from only three breweies.

Scenario (2) 4 taverns and 5 breweries
When I expand the fifth brewery, I will still have 100 percent of the production required to keep 4 taverns supplied with beer to sell. I will have minimal price fluctuation to control sales rate, and minimal to zero interruption in supply of items to sell.

My city has doubled in size every 2-3 weeks using this strategy of production redundancy

4. (C) Expansion strategies - cost reduction

Any one and there dog can run a profitable city. Its almost fool or idiot proof. What is difficult in this game is not making a profit. The difficulty is in the expense of expansion. Just as every time you change allod level "Freeman", "Huckster", "Merchant" etc, you lose 8% production ; you ALSO LOSE by way of the cost of building expansion. The amount of building materials required to expand a building increases (I forget how much but its approximately 8-10%).

In my opinion the real key to the successful development of a rapidly expanding city lies in producing your own building materials. Growing your own wood-water-stone reduces your expansion cost by 80 percent. Your city operating expenses and production costs account for about 20% of your income.

If you are buying your stone-wood-water on the open market your paying 4-5 times the amt you can produce the materials yourself for (4-5 hundred percent inflation of consruction cost). So the real quation is do you want your expansion dollars working at 20 percent efficiency or do you want your expansion dollars working at 100 percent efficieny ?

Personally I have 15 percent allod in research, 45-50 percent in cash revenue production (sales), and 35 - 40 percent allod in production of wood-water-stone-q:0 tools.


Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:20 am

How many slots do you have to keep for water, stone and wood production centers then?

Because right now, I have 41 farms, 4 ranches, 4 wells and 1 lumberjack. I got 52/60 slots used so far.

My water production is not enough to meet my farm and ranch needs. 1 20SQM lumberjack needs 1 20SQM well to be self sufficient in raw material requirements.

I am currently buying water from the NPC, wood and stone from other cities.


Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:03 pm

sajanzv wrote:How many slots do you have to keep for water, stone and wood production centers then?
My current building layout is:
Production facilities:

Farms: 11 - 1250/1300
Breweries: 5 - 600/640
Cattle farm: 1 - 820
Lumberjack: 7 - 800/840
Stone mines: 6 - 600/640
manufactories: 6 - 840/880
wells: 6 - 1550/1600

Farmers market: 1 - 480
Taverns: 5 - 520/560


Master Breeder: 2 - 580/640
Master Craftsman: 4 - 580/680
Master Mason: 1 - 680
Monastery garden: 4 - 640/680

* I upgrade (3) farms , (2) lumber jacks, (2) manufactories, (2) stone mines and (2) wells every 12 hrs ;

which means I actually produce from only (8) farms, (5) lumberjacks, (4) manufactories, (4) stone mines and (4) wells - since the others are allways under construction.
Last edited by Guest on Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:23 pm

Thank you very much. Can you tell me what sizes they are currently?


Post by Guest » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:21 pm

You should have enough stone mines to meet your own demands. It's very profitable. Lumberjacks are very good at the start but long-term less so; build them only if you want to be in the lumber industry. Wells stink, you should never have any.


Post by Guest » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:41 am

Wow. Thank you SO much for this information. As a barebones beginner, the market stalls made me almost no money, so I almost wrote them off, especially since I could sell wood and contest goods for a bundle.

You seem to be advocating controlling the entire production process. Vertical integration, or whatever they call it.

I have enough money from selling goats that I have been able to get a whole bunch of buildings built. I will obviously have to tear a few down, but at least I have a long-term strategy now.

I probably have too many wells (10), which suited me well as a beginner, but I can sacrifice a few as I go. My fruit orchards will also have to go as I ramp up, because they are not really part of the production of any product I'm aiming to produce, although they have provided a small but steady income thus far.

I've got wood and water under control, and have 10 farms and 7 cattle farms, but I'm now working on tools. I had neglected stones and tools at the beginning, but have now built the facilities to get started (although I'm waiting on the coal. Man it takes forever.)

So now I just need to pick a product. I picked, almost at random: salt.

So, I need:

Well: water
Lumberjack: wood, coal
Farm: beets, grain, bread
Cattle Farm: wool, horses
Stone pit: stone, iron ore
Manufactury: iron, tools, carts
Weavery: carpets

and finally:

Trading Post: salt

Plus, of course, research facilities and market stalls.

Am I going to regret heading this direction? Should I buy any of the above on contract/at the market? Is salt a really crappy product?

Also, what is with this debate about water? Seems like people are fairly divided over wells/NPC. I'm tempted to believe the incredibly helpful and intelligent player who answered my question so thoroughly, but what are the arguments on either side of this issue?


Post by Guest » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:17 am

Salt sells well enough. I haven't crunched the numbers but even selling Q0 salt vs Q0 dried meat in a victuals market seems to bring in more/faster profit. (however my victuals markets are 2k and 3k sqm and if I sell Q0 I only sell it at about 10 below stat price)

I don't know about everyone else but I'd buy the horses, ore, coal, tools, water, and maybeee beets depending on the price.

You might also consider building a butchery and making some salt meat on the side.

Also, regarding someone mentioning not researching until they reached the Sir level - I started research right from the beginning and never stopped. I have 13 masters lodges currently and diversifying in research seems to have paid off with the addition of the master of research cert's. (GO ME! sorry, couldn't resist)

Good luck!


Post by Guest » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:06 pm

Welcome to Kapi-Regnum,

Your questions are all the decision making questions every city has. There is lots of time for trial and error and even a restart button in the profile. There really is no way to loose in Kapi!

Beer is the easiest cash, trade caravan the most complicated. How much energy do you want to put into this game?

I have a very complex city, I want to be totally self sufficiant. That doesn't mean I don't do trade by contract or market sales, it means I am not dependent on them.

Changing your stratagy as you grow will happen. I produce some things in quality 0 on purpose, but I work constantly at upgrading my knowledge and even spend the dollars to buy knowledge. My market stalls are constantly upgrading - everything is - big markets are great, nothing is big in the beginning. The little markets you start with will support your upgrades so you don't have to keep selling all your building materials to support yourself...

There is no profit in water, but it sure is used... I have never regretted being self sufficiant in water, I don't like not having enough. A couple of wells and always one upgrading means I still have to purchase water.

Have fun, don't tear down buildings when you change your stratagy! Tear them down when you need the space , use them and the employees in them as long as possible - this way you make up the little bit of loss you suffer in a teardown, My experience has been if you tear something down before you need to that will be the building the next contest product will be in and you will have to rebuild.

You will find as many opinions on this as you find players... A great bunch of players. Good neighbours!!!

Good luck to you.....
The littlewoman from Haltonhills xoxoxox


Post by Guest » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:18 pm

Salt has decent profit but it's a thin market. I would be surprised if you could support a large successful city just on the salt market. Salt that's sold in stalls has a very high quality and isn't on the market; the market is for people buying salt for deliveries to special buildings (or for making salt meat for deliveries). It also sometimes has the problem that people sometimes sell salt for less than the cost of production because they make their own caravan supplies and don't realize they could just sell the supplies for more than the salt they make! If you make it sell it in batches of 500 (or multiples thereof) because that's what people need for deliveries. Stick to a single quality too (probably Q0), so it's easy to combine your offers. Deliveries *are* coming into style now so maybe salt is becoming something you can sell a lot of.

If you want to do caravan stuff, spices are an easier market and you can sell them in a stall at low quality, although the profits are poor until you get your quality up. With any caravan stuff, I would suggest you keep some no-brainer moneymaker like lumber or a supplier arrangment in case the market goes whacky for a while. That way you can still earn kapis if the market get strange and you can't sell product for a few days.

Market stalls are not a good investment moneywise for you. With any profitable product, you'll make more with two production facilities selling the product on the market than with a production facility and a stall. *Eventually*, when you have a net worth of a few hundred million, you'll make more in the stall, and so you might well want to reserve slots by building currently inadequately profitable stalls; but for now they'll just slow you down. ABSOLUTELY don't build a stall for salt; you need a very high quality to make any money with direct sales.

Research is like market stalls - you'll want it eventually, but at the start a production facility will make you far more. If you do salt it will be a LONG time before the research ever does you any good because you'll need a high quality for stall sales and a low quality (like 0) for market sales. Medium quality is useless. If you do spices OTOH research would be worthwhile even with just a few caravans.

If you do caravans, consider buying some of the supplies on the market. Carts and especially horses often sell cheap. Long-term you might want to make them yourself because sometimes you go to the market and there's nothing there at a good price. Alternatively you might be able to find a supplier.

Buy 0-quality tools from the NPC; don't make them. The materials cost more than the tool does; you actually lose money making them. Even lower-quality tools (the only kind you can make now) aren't worth making; the quality boost isn't enough to justify the expense. Very high-quality tools are worth it but that takes millions invested in research.


Post by Guest » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:16 pm

1. Build a market stall for whatever you need to sell in the future. Keep upgrading it until it is big enough and your quality good enough to sell in ur own market stall. i.e. use some of ur building material each day to upgrade the stall.

2. Build a research facility and upgrade it to at least 100sqm. That should take enough time for you to be getting rich on selling low quality stuff. Now, start researching. By the time you have a decent quality, you would have gained a promotion or two.

3. Always have a pair of production buildings. Use one and upgrade the other. Actually, this also applies to research buildings. Then you can set one to research, and other to upgrade in the time it takes the first to research. i.e., you use the research buildings alternately and your successive researches are faster or as fast as ever.

4. btw, salt is a complex product. Start now by producing raw material like beets, horses, carts etc. Sell them to other cities. When their quality is good enough, then start producing your own salt. You would still import some raw material, but it would help keep ur costs down until your quality is good enough to earn serious money.

5. If ur thinking of tearing something down and don't need the money or the building slot yet, wait for the promotion, they pay you back on tearing it down. It is a % of the build cost (materials not included) but it increases with every level. Until then, just enjoy their produce/sales. Why not buy a few good quality products from the market and sell in ur stalls while your own quality comes up?!

And, have fun.




Choosing a product

Post by Guest » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:16 pm

Here are some in-game tools (which took me a while to locate as a beginner), to help you choose a profitable product.

At the top of the menu bar are the icons for knowledge, workshops, etc . The very first icon is labeled "Office". "Office" will take you to a huge sub-panel of icons. The first one of interest is the one labeled "Statistics".
"Office"--> "Statistics"

Statistics gives you the current average price for all items sold thru markets in the game, and what average quality of the item the avg. price is for.

This helps you set a profitable price in your market stalls.

The second tool I would suggest is the one called "Supply/Demand", which will give you a panel showing how much demand there is for an item, and how much supply for that demand is currently produced.
"Office"--> "Supply/Demand"

The rate at which items sell in market stalls is determined by
(1) size of the stall (number of salespeople)
(2) Price charged for the item compared to avg. world price
(3) Quality of the item compared to avg. world quality
(4) The volume of advertising (40,000 points max) - adds 87% to current base sales rate

(5) The over-all "World" wide demand for the item compared to the world-wide supply

I abstracted the top most demanded items from the complete list to show you an example of "most-demanded" products. Any of these will sell quickly.

While salt is one of the most expensive products it is also one of the most (if not THE most) complicated supply AND research chains. Anything on the following list would reach profitable status long before salt would.

product............ demand ...... supply
herbs ............. 18,904,993........ 1,123,633
grain ............. 19,897,468........ 3,984,678
fish ................ 23,209,754........ 3,444,975
bread ............. 23,489,193.......... 123,651
nuts ............... 23,960,165....... 1,033,241
grapes ............ 24,738,228....... 1,385,132
cherries .......... 24,916,371.......... 128,086
pears .............. 25,469,137.......... 346,010
berries ........... 26,545,851.......... 632,087
apples ............ 27,297,717.......... 749,166
milk ................ 37,014,633...... 1,473,382
mead ............... 54,886,516.......... 22,692
schnapps .......... 56,528,222......... 72,781
beer ................ 91,143,752....... 8,983,176


Post by Guest » Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:11 am

Looking at the products with the highest *item* volume isn't too useful. The largest number of items sold generally comes for cheaper products which may or may not be particularly profitable. That rules out the real bad items (which aren't sold much) but it misses all 3 of the most important profit sources in Kapilands: Beer, Chairs, and Shelves.

The best thing to look for is the highest *money* volume but that takes some spreadsheet work and I'm in a rush. An easier things to look at is supply/demand: how much of the supply is being met? A high percentage means the product is at base highly profitable as a lot of players are making it, and keep making it, and more of it. There's a twist in that the larger the percentage filled, the lower the profit, so this is a list to *look* at. Chairs and shelves in particular trade back and forth on which is made more because the one that's made more becomes less profitable, encouraging players to switch to the other, making the first more profitable again, etc. The top 10 things on *that* ratio are:

Product Supply Demand Ratio
chairs 5,649,242 1,406,625 0.248993582
shelves 4,949,350 1,024,129 0.206921919
silk 567,878 101,241 0.17827949
fish 23,363,724 3,838,141 0.164277792
grain 20,029,465 2,600,944 0.12985589
casks 2,500,782 311,494 0.124558638
dried meat 7,011,930 721,181 0.10285057
beer 91,748,387 9,310,533 0.101478983
tables 2,165,721 196,250 0.090616474
herbs 19,030,406 1,022,733 0.053742048

You won't go far wrong making any of these or things needed to make them (except maybe casks and silk, I haven't tried silk and casks were not very profitable when I tried them.) You should test them a bit first though. Grain and Herbs make decent money, but the *big* money comes from quality there because it's relatively easy to get the quality very high. (Although they're farm products and so you make a lot of money in most contests.) And, of course, keep in mind it's a game so you want to do what you find fun. Some people don't like juggling the complexities of a complicated chain; others love it. Some like twiddling stall prices for efficiency; others would rather just send off a contract or a market offer 1/day.

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