Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

72 ratings
Simple Guide to pay all debts and reach endless mode
By Misfiring
I notice many players are having trouble paying back debt starting on week 3 or so, when the payment gets substantial. This guide will help those players without bogging things down with spreadsheets and data.
Capitalism, Ho!!!

Ever since I got my hands on this game a month ago, wasn't expecting a lot from a game like this, it goes to my favorite game list's top spot as inhumanly quick as a swarm of ladies charging through your shop following a precious metal boom. I beat the game (specifically, paid my last debt payment) on my first playthrough and now enjoying the endless mode (there's so much more to do!). No, I did not visit the wikia or any guide ever until the endless mode starts.

The things is, as long as you plan stuff properly and don't mess up, the game is entirely beatable and even easy. There is quite a lot of leeway built into the game to make the game fun even in the "debt" weeks so you can do whatever you want and still meet the payments, AS LONG AS YOU PLAN STUFF PROPERLY.

The below sections will highlight what should and shouldn't you do while you're paying your debts. There's no real need for eye-melting pricing spreadsheets and preference data tables, the game is easy enough to do it casually.

The guide is under construction and I'm doing this bit by bit.
1. Perform most of your stock in on the 1st day of the week
I'm not saying that you can't stock in when the payment due date is near, but at least 50% of your stocks that you plan on selling should be bought on the first day of the week (the day after you made your payment). This is a good time saving method to maximise selling periods: you want to sell stuffs for as long as possible. Wasting time to buy stocks many times throughout the week is counter-productive. It also keeps you from accidentally blowing money away on the last day of the week.

In the first and second week, I recommend keeping stock of at least 2 items of each category. If you do it on the first day of the week, you can spend all your money and have the whole week to build your cash reserves up. Having items in each category will maximise sales and more people will be able to buy things from you when they ask you about specific items, and it also keeps you from making losses when there is a price decrease, you can simply swap items without needing to stock in again, thus saving time again.

Early on, focus on stocking cheap items. You can have a bit of expensive items, but don't focus on them. Early on, most customers have small budgets and can't afford expensive stuffs, but it is also not good to only display cheap items in your showcase slots, because although cheap items sell more, you also want the rare chances of customers buying your expensive items to shoot your cash reserves up. so the few pieces of expensive items you have will help you balance out the "showcase appeal" and more types of customers will be rolling in. Yes you want more sales, but you also want more appeal so eventually someone will come looking for expensive items and you can provide them. In week one and two, a few high price sales like this can make a big difference.

If you want to buy some expensive items (in week 1 or 2, it'll be the second item in the list), remember to do it ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. This ensures you have a whole week to try selling them, because early on few customers can afford them. It is imperative that you should already reach your goal the day before the payment is due, so on the last day even a price decrease announcement triple combo cannot stop you from paying. It goes without saying that unless there are specific announcements to take advantage of, avoid spending anything on the last day.
2. Buy low, sell high
Of course, you already know this, so I'm going to say something that you don't: DON'T BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE.

Many guides will at this point points you to a giant spreadsheet showing the exact percentages you need to hit to get the best profit for each customer. Forget those. It kills the fun. You don't need those to win the game. You don't even need those to level up quickly.

Haggling is part of the fun in this game. It lets you experience and take note of what's the best price for each kind of customer. Sure you can sell everything at 100% base price and nobody will reject your offer, but where's the fun in that?

Of course, cheap items have very little profit margin either way, so you can sell those at, say, 105% base price and you still sell everything. But for pricier goods, don't be afraid to haggle and get the best profit. Of course, don't go overboard either. Don't put a 120% pricetag on a Little Girl because obviously she won't buy it, and don't put a 120% pricetag on Alouette because obviously she can afford a much higher price. Forget about Near Pin and Just Bonus, you don't need those extra bonuses and they're too hard to hit, it's more worth it to try selling valuable items for a lot of profit.

Of course, try to maintain your Just Combo is important, but don't sweat it. You don't even need a high Merchant Level to win. My level is just 18 when I made the final payment.

If someone sells you an item, don't buy them at 50% all the time. Most of the time 40% is acceptable, and if they don't accept, then only increase the price. Be careful when buying items from customers on the last day of the payment, you don't want to accidentally spend too much. Don't be afraid to drive them away if your cash reserve margin is low.

If an item has a price decrease, stock in on them, focus especially on high priced items. If an item has a price increase, also stock in on them but not too much and sell them immediately. ALWAYS take advantage of price increases, its even worth skipping your dungeon. Item booms are very dependent on your current situation to be beneficial. If combined with a price increase, it is very powerful, but if its combined with a price decrease then don't bother.
3. Don't go to dungeon too much
Any day you spent in the dungeon is a day where you don't make any sales. You only have 7 days in a week, so you want to spend time selling as much as possible. Yes, any items found in the dungeon has over 100% margin because you don't pay anything for them, but in the period you spent killing monsters you can instead open the shop three times and make way more money.

The ideal time to go to the dungeon is the day where there are too many items on a price decrease. Remember, ALWAYS take advantage of a price increase and don't miss it by going to the dungeon.

If you do go for the dungeon, stay in it as long as possible. If you are able, do the whole dungeon in one shot. Dungeons are very time-intensive every time you enter one so make use of it as much as possible.

4. When you unlock Vending Machine, use it
At some point you'll have access to a vending machine. GET ONE AND USE IT IMMEDIATELY.

The reason for this is that you can put cheap items in there and frees up space for expensive goods. By the time you unlock Vending Machine and the first Store Expansion, your next payment will be substantial (week 3 or 4) and selling cheap items is no longer sufficient. Your customer base should have the budget to go for more expensive goods now, so its time to move upmarket and focus on selling second and third items in the category. The Vending Machine allows you to still sell cheap goods in large quantities and boosts your overall revenue.

5. Showcase
Don't underestimate the showcase item slots. Put the items you want to sell the most on them. Don't fill them up with cheap items, but don't fill them up with only pricey items either. Balance is important here. Customers will also willing to pay slightly higher for showcase items, and on pricey items this makes a difference.

Starting week 3 however, you can fill the showcase slots up with the most expensive items. At this point, customer should have higher budgets and expensive items will get sold more likely. Still, your remaining slots should still have cheaper items.
6. The power of Atmosphere
At the start, your store will be highly biased towards "Plain". This is fine at the start because the vast majority of customers will have small budget and expects cheap items. However, once you unlock the store customisation options, you should take the trouble to change the atmosphere. The nearer the indicator is to the center, the better it is, and more variety of customers will be attracted, specifically those with huge budgets like Alouette and Arma.

What I personally tend to do is place an extremely "light" wall or floor, and then an extremely "dark" floor or wall. After that I place the items to see how far right or left the indicator goes, and use carpets and counters to control it so it is nearer to the center. For example, if you need to sell a lot of bracelets and rings, you need to use very plain carpets and counters to balance out so it doesn't go too far towards "gaudy". On the other hand, if you need to sell a lot of cheap items (item booms), use a "gaudy" carpet.
7. Start small, end big
It's a simple concept that many players are having trouble with. A lot of people tried to sell 5k and 10k items at the start, or they still sticking with cheap items on week 3. The fact is, at the start many customers can't afford anything over 5k so trying to sell those is quite futile. However, things change week by week. On week 2 you should start putting a few 5k and 10k items to slowly move upmarket. Tune your store atmosphere whenever you can to move the indicator towards the center, and rich customers will start visiting. On week 3 you should start phasing out first tier items and, if possible, place them in vending machines. Week 4 should be the dawn of forth tier items, which will be your primary income source in week 5. Stock in forth tier items whenever they're on a price decrease so when those have a price increase, you can earn big.
8. Rip customers off with Orders
Learn to use Orders to make money. Always sell them price increased items. Customers have higher budget when coming to collect their order, so use this oppotunity to rip them off with pricey goods that you'll have a hard time selling otherwise. For example, if someone wants two foods and sweets are on a price increase, give him/her a very expensive sweet (Melon) and a very cheap sweet (Candy) so the total price remains "affordable".

If someone orders 3 Treasures, spend 3 seconds to do the kind of laugh you like most, then give them a super expensive treasure with two Unthankful Statues.
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Lord Strong - My Ultima IV Name. May 24, 2017 @ 5:20pm 
I realize I can do this game but some times the outcomes dont always match what some the guides recomend doing. It seems I should just play through the game no matter if it flows perfectly or not. There seems to be some randomness but somethings seem to happen on certain days regardless. I find I like this game a lot and dont care how many playthroughs it takes. I think a game where the experiences change a little bit can be more fun than doing same thing over and over. I find this game is difficult to master but fun to play then realized there seems to be some randomness so just go with it play it a couple days or weeks then take a break and come back to it. Its a good game in that is 'fun' and 'rewarding'. We cant expect to get all the rewards every time but just have fun getting from the start to finish.:)
Lord Strong - My Ultima IV Name. May 3, 2017 @ 10:23pm 
it seems easy to over analyze a game like this. sometimes i do 105-110% instead of the max markups. I agree haggle more on some the expensive items. It seems going through dungeons 2 times the first few days the week is enough to get extra stock. then can concentrate on advance orders and so on. I seem to miss a whole day in shop when i do dungeons sometimes cause i do the events that come up. seems going to a new tier and phasing out the lower tiers when entering a new week can work well. i dont think you can buy enough items first day first week unless im buying food more. seems thats a problem at start of game. Tear has you go merchant guild instead of market. i think i tried weapons and food a few times seems food on display attracted more customers.
GinEvaMokou May 16, 2016 @ 6:13am 
Didn't make to the 2nd payment on the first try but now this guide made sense a lot. I'm at the 3rd week now but I'm doing well so far. I do dungeon runs only about two times a week which I think it is alright. But I'll see about what I do with your advise in mind for now.
-[FF]- Mr. Mr. May 7, 2016 @ 10:23pm 
This guid helped me out a lot! first playthrough of mine i didint even get the first weeks payment in (i apparently suck at this game XD). But second time through i got to final week but only have 400k pix. i was so close but didnt make it ;3;. But i will try again and maybe the 3rd times going to be the charm :cocochan:
747jhon Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:52pm 
on the Don't go to the dungeon too much my brother went to the dungeon like 100 times and he payed most depts! like when i sometimes go to the dungeon i cant even pay 1 dept! :steamfacepalm:
PrinceVinc Jan 27, 2016 @ 6:43am 
Nice that's almost excatly how I beat the game first try, give and take, another thing to mention would be use the Save function to your advantage.
Billy M.T. Dec 28, 2015 @ 6:58pm 
@Doomeetrue just load your save again after the ending. That's Endless Mode. It's not a menu option or a new mode, just you playing the game without any time constraints or debts to make due
Doomeetrue Sep 12, 2015 @ 11:10pm 
So how do you enter endless mode? I beat the game (not using the guide), it showed me the game credits and then nothing,
Perogi Palooka Aug 17, 2015 @ 5:08pm 
I roughly followed this guide and ended up beating it on the first loop, and coincidentaly also at level 18. Thanks!:happy_creep:
Funky Feb 20, 2015 @ 1:55pm 
This is very helpful. I never actually realized why I was so behind in debt, but it's because of dungeon-crawling. Thanks!