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Is it more cost-effective to sell many items of poor quality, or fewer items of higher quality that have been repaired together? Does the answer change depending on the item? Does it change depending on my repair skill?

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it usually depends on your carrying limit and yes, repair skill. Most times I tend to use heavier items to repair each other and keep the lighter and more expensive items separate (i.e. higher caps/weight ratios). Having jury rigging also helps a lot. –  z ' Jul 8 '13 at 12:01
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I seem to recall that fixing items until the 'no more penalties line' (75% for weapons 50% for armor) gives the highest amount of caps. –  Ids Jul 8 '13 at 12:25
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The best bang for the buck is gambling with luck maxed out (and knowing the method in Caravan). The caps you can win make sales profits seem puny. –  SF. Jul 10 '13 at 20:01

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

You should repair items before selling them, rather than selling many cheap weapons.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. You don't need to go back to town as often; weapons get heavy pretty quickly. You will definitely make more money-per-minute-played, considering the time to get to town, sell your stuff, and get back to whatever hole-in-the-ground you were exploring.
  2. You'll make more money by repairing items together*. This is especially true when the weapons are under 25% quality.

Once you hit a repair skill of 90 and level 14, it's worth picking up the Jury Rigging perk just so you can merge vaguely-similar weapons together (and convert the cheaper weapon into a higher quality on the more-expensive weapon).

*This depends on your skill, of course. I don't have numbers to back me up, but if your skill is below 25 or so, you may lose money. (But you'll still make more money-per-minute-played, because you're not trudging back to town as often.)

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In my experience it's usually better to just give the armor to your nonhuman companion, he can't wear it, and your weapons to your humanoid companion, who won't use it if you don't also give them ammo. If one fills up you proceed to give the rest to the other companion. This adds roughly 400 lbs to your carrying capacity before being overloaded. –  Selonianth Nov 2 '13 at 17:47

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