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Hooray! But I had to trade the shovel for it. That's two hundred rupees gone, if the store by the starting village even has one more to sell that is.

What else can I give in exchange?

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It is true that the dog will then allow me to trade the item back, but... – badp Nov 22 '11 at 1:42
Indeed, the shop won't sell me another shovel. It will sell me another level 1 shield though. :/ – badp Nov 22 '11 at 1:45
@LessPop I thought it was supposed to be a Goriya, not a Moblin. – Grace Note Nov 22 '11 at 18:28
@grace my bad! Point is, it's not a dog! – LessPop_MoreFizz Nov 22 '11 at 19:13

First off, your shovel is unique. You can't go get another one. That said, by the time you can get the Boomerang, you probably don't have much more need of the Shovel. And you can always go back and swap if you do. The other items you can trade, by contrast, are far more useful and valuable to you. He'll take nearly anything though, so if you really feel like giving up your Hookshot instead, go for it.

The only items he won't accept are Bombs, the Bow, Magic Powder, Shields or a Power Bracelet.

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I think he's much more selective than that. For instance, he also won't accept the 20 rupee level 1 shield that's for sale at the shop for whatever reason. – badp Nov 22 '11 at 1:57
I'm reasonably sure I had both the boomerang and the shovel when I played… – CyberSkull Nov 22 '11 at 3:25
@CyberSkull He'll take other items. But the Shovel is the best choice because it is the least useful. – LessPop_MoreFizz Nov 22 '11 at 3:30
In this game, any item can be assigned to any button (A or B) so you might want to revise what you said there. – Jeff Mercado Nov 22 '11 at 3:56
For completeness' sake, the reason is missing space in the inventory. If you trade for an item that you can get back or can get an upgraded version of, you will have a total of 11 items available, but there are only 10 spaces in your inventory. This would mean that you would be unable to attain the last item (usually the magic rod). This can actually be done due to a glitch where you get another shovel, but this problem is the reason the items mentioned in the answer cannot be traded. – scenia Jun 1 '14 at 11:45

The idea is to get all Secret Seashells first (the ones you have to dig up anyway). there's 27 in total, IIRC.

After digging them all up there's no more point to keeping the shovel. The boomerang is one-hit-kill for most common enemies, and also lets you cut several bushes at a time. It is superior in every way.

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