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This is meant to be a comprehensive guide to the day-to-day gameplay of buying and selling. Note that most information here is based on personal experience.
No Umbrellas Allowed Appraisal 101 (Purchasing & Selling)
I’ve found that helpful information on appraising, buying, and selling items in this game is severely lacking, so I hope that this guide can help direct new players through some of the more confusing aspects of working at Darcy’s. Note that this guide is not intended to provide hints or instructions on the story or lore-relevant characters. In addition, the information here is almost entirely based on personal experience. Please comment with any other tips or strategies that I have missed.
NOTE: Much of the strategy around pricing and selling involves taking percentages of an item’s value. As such, you will find it extremely helpful to have a calculator on-hand while playing.
Appraising an item is mostly the simple matter of correcting the information given in the value cards. In my experience, much of the difficulty in this part of the game comes from ambiguity in the manual or in the explanations given by characters. I’ll run through some of the more confusing aspects of this mechanic.
- My rule for judging condition is that if I can see any part of the yellow face on the left side of the dial, the item is in Fairly Damaged condition. See the image below. I have never seen a new item come in Valueless condition.
- Some brands mention an item’s poor durability and direct you to use the Potential Garbage card. This card should be used only if the item is in Perfect or Slightly Damaged condition. If the item is in Fairly Damaged condition, do not use the Potential Garbage card, even if the manual directs you to.
- Sometimes, an item may have multiple qualities that direct you to use different Popularity cards. For example, a hoverboard may have a page saying that it is Popular (+20% value), but it is also signed by a person who is Narrowly Popular (+10% value). In this case, just use the card that adds the most value, and ignore the other one.
- Some items have been used by famous real-world famous people and thus have a great deal of additional value. These items come with a description certifying that it was used by that person. In this case, the Signature Detector will show you a signature that doesn’t match anything on the list, but *do not* use the Unidentifiable / Fake Signature card. Just use the Great Figure in World’s History card.
- So far, whenever I have found a forged signature or an incorrect brand slogan, it has been the same mistake every time. For example, the correct slogan for SAS is “SAS, proudly from Mindlesia“. Every time the slogan is wrong, it will always say “SAS, proudly from Mindlessia“. There does not seem to be any other possible misspelling. Remember that every branded item needs a slogan (except for Everbrown products, as noted in the manual). If a branded item has no slogan when moused over, it is fake. In addition, note that capitalization does not seem to count for the purposes of determining whether a slogan is fake.
- The Brand Eraser card should only be used on genuine branded items that have some sort of defect. For example, an item called “SAS Badge” must receive the Brand Eraser card since it was broken off of the bag it was attached to. Jewelry that has one or more missing gems must also get this card. You must manually look at the item to determine this. Missing gem sockets are typically the only way to tell that this has happened. In addition, the Brand Eraser card should be used on items that the brand in question does not normally make, UNLESS the manual specifically states that the brand makes limited editions of such items. For example, a tie made by bag brand Easy Enough should NOT get the Brand Eraser card, because its manual page states that such an item is just a limited edition. As such, this item should just get the Limited Edition card.
When you begin a new game, you’ll be told that you should offer customers 70% of an item’s appraisal value. In general, though, you’ll be able to make purchases for less – sometimes significantly less. The key is to identify what sort of customer you’re dealing with, which can be determined by their reactions to the appraisal. I’ve made up the following names to help you in this process.
The majority of customers you’ll deal with fall into this category. They will react positively when you use cards that raise the item’s price and negatively when you use cards that lower it, but they’ll always accept any (correct) information. Once you’re done with the appraisal, begin by offering 60% of the appraisal value. Sometimes the customer will just accept this value, especially if your appraisal raised the price of the item. On the other hand, a customer whose item was worth much less than expected may ask for the exact appraisal value.
If the customer does not accept the appraisal value, they may either simply ask for a better price or give an exact counter-offer. If they ask for a better price, try raising to 65%. I’ve found that rarely, a standard customer will repeatedly ask for a better price than your offer, doing so up to five times. They will stop somewhere between 70-80% (this seems to vary). If you give five offers they dislike, they may either unhappily accept your latest price or walk away with their item. In this case, there’s not much to do but raise the price in steady increments.
If the customer counter-offers, offer exactly the midpoint between your previous offer and their counter. For example, let’s take the woman who sells you the Mona Lisa on day 8. After appraisal, we find that the value of the item is 798V (though this may differ depending on your Expertness reputation). I offer 480V, and she counters with 70% of the appraisal value, or 558V.
At this point, the best move is to offer the value exactly between these two prices – in this case, 519V. As far as I can tell, customers who make counter-offers will always accept this midpoint value. (Round up if this process would result in a decimal value.)
These customers can usually be identified by how they offer a price the moment they enter the shop. From there, they will react like Standard Customers until you point out a card that will lower the item’s price. At this point, they will angrily reject the card and say something like, “What? I can’t hear you. Just give me (some amount of money).” They will still happily accept cards that raise the item’s price. If you wish to make the purchase, you have no choice but to place negative cards in the private slot. Unless there is a serious issue with the item, however, you will still probably be able to make a profit from selling the item. On the bright side, I’ve found that these customers are willing to accept a fairly low price for the item as long as you haven’t angered them too much. Offer 60% of the appraisal price (the one that doesn’t factor in negative cards). They should accept the offer and say “Bye” or “Make it better next time”.
These customers appear beginning on day 11. They will always be wearing a Pre-Avarice Criminal Badge, and will usually comment on it, stating that they now have nothing to fear, or that you look so pitiful locked behind your desk. During appraisal, when you use any positive or negative cards, they will respond with something like “Whatever” or “You’re the judge”. The reason that you’ll love these customers is simple: they’ll accept any offer that’s at least *20%* of the appraisal value. Even if you offer less than 20%, they’ll just counter with the 20% value. Cherish these customers – they’ll give you enormous profit margins on their items.
Like above, these customers begin appearing on day 11 and always wear a Badge. You can identify these customers by their reaction when you use a positive card on their item. They will state that they do not want their item to be worth any more than necessary. Do not use any other positive card – this will cause the customer to leave the store. Instead, just keep these cards in your private slot. They will accept any negative cards you use, so feel free to present those.
When these customers walk into the store, they’ll state that they don’t want to sell the item but were forced to by a family member. The appraisal will be uneventful, but they become very annoying once it’s time to offer a price. If you offer two prices that they deem too low, they will immediately leave the store. Start by offering 75% and then 80% after that. You won’t make much profit off of these customers, but it’s still worth it to buy the item.
These customers begin appearing after Wonsu gets fixed. They’ll usually just state directly that they are Fixies, but they can be identified otherwise by their lack of reaction. When appraising their item, they will refuse to accept any subjective information, meaning that they reject any cards with a blue corner. All correct green-cornered cards will be accepted, but blue-cornered cards must be put in the private slot. If there are more than two blue-cornered cards, you’ll have to either refuse the sale or accept that you’ll lose some Expertness reputation when selling the item. After you make an offer, they’ll counter with around 70% of the appraisal price. It’s no use arguing with them, so just accept this offer.
Once you’ve purchased an item, you should consider whether it would be best to immediately put it on the showcase or save it in your inventory. There are several reasons for holding onto an item:
- Items in Fairly Damaged or Valueless condition can be repaired beginning on day 9. The cost of a repair varies depending on the value of the item, but is always at least 50V. A good rule to keep in mind is that repairing a Fairly Damaged item will double its price, meaning that repair is worth it as long as the item is worth at least 50V in the Fairly Damaged state. Be mindful that repaired items cannot be repaired again or recommended to club members.
- Signatures that lower the value of an item can be erased by Bohko beginning on day 8. His service always costs 15V per signature erased. This is almost always worth it unless the item is especially cheap. NOTE: items cannot be individually selected to be erased, meaning that Bohko will offer to erase every item in your inventory with a bad signature. This includes items of Great Figure in World’s History value, even though erasing these signatures is pointless. To force Bohko to erase only the signatures you want him to, just press the lock icon that appears when you mouse over an item. Bohko will ignore any locked items.
- Once your Recommendation skill gets high enough, members of Mindlesian clubs will begin to ask for items with specific qualities. There are four clubs in total: the first wants items with signatures, the second wants items with national historical value, the third wants art, and the fourth wants items with archaeological value. These club members are willing to pay significantly more than the appraisal price for these items. I’ve found that I can offer around 150% of the appraisal price in these cases. As such, it’s in your best interest to offer very expensive items to get the greatest profit. In the early game, it’s a good idea to hold on to one or two expensive pieces of art (worth ~3000V) for this purpose. Also hold onto any National Historical items you can, since these are fairly rare and you’ll have nothing to offer the club member otherwise.
For items that are ready to be sold the usual way, it is possible to sell them for slightly more than the appraisal price. I like to start with 110% of the appraisal value, rounding down if necessary (so an item worth 28V will be offered for 30V, and an item worth 880V will be offered for 968V).
Some customers will not accept this price and will give a counter-offer. Taking this counter-offer may be worth it if you need money immediately, if it only lowers your price by a couple of Vanas, or if the item in question is time-sensitive and needs to go as quickly as possible. Usually, though, I deny these offers, because eventually a customer will show up who is happy to accept the 110% price.
Finally, a note on recommendations: it is in your interest to build your Recommendation skill as quickly as possible. The first club member will come on day 6, though there’s no way your Recommendation skill will be high enough for him to ask for an item. If your skill is at least 5% on day 11, he’ll ask for an item and you’ll be able to make a huge profit, as mentioned earlier. You can build your skill quickly by placing nothing on your showcase except for one expensive item in the recommended slot. This will cause any buying customers to only ask for this item, and when you sell an item in this slot you’ll gain 1% Recommendation skill. DO NOT PLACE CHEAP ITEMS IN THIS SLOT. Using this slot to sell items that are cheap or in poor condition may decrease your Recommendation skill, setting you back from being able to sell to club members. Save it for items worth ~500V or more.