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Arcadia, the alchemist in Solitude sold me this:

Do Not Delete

Is this an actual item or a bug?

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25  
Well whatever you do, don't delete it. –  Kort Pleco Dec 18 '11 at 7:24
1  
At any rate, it just seems like a debugging item that was left in the game. –  Arkive Dec 18 '11 at 7:55
2  
Broken Steel Sword handle implies you may have been futzing with the console? –  Raven Dreamer Dec 18 '11 at 8:24
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@RavenDreamer, no futzing going on here. I found that Broken Steel Sword handle fair and square! And I've used the console once and that was ... 50 game play hours ago –  Coomie Dec 18 '11 at 9:26
2  
I got this in Arcadia's shop on PS3, so you definitely don't need console commands to make this weird thing appear. –  sXe Jan 4 '12 at 5:42
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3 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

In TES games the store works by having a chest under the floor, it's why you can pickpocket money you invested back without taking it actually from the shop. If taken it may break the shop and crash the game when you ask to see [the merchant's items].

from: Reddit /r/Skyrim comment on the post, "Erm.. I found this in a Whiterun?? Explain"

Do not take it! I saw another post on this and the explanation was it is a glitch. Something about how it is actually the chest the game used to store the shop's loot (usually hidden). Taking it is supposedly a game breaker.

from: Reddit /r/Skyrim comment on the post, "Erm.. I found this in a Whiterun?? Explain"

This is because their on-person inventory does not correlate with their shop inventory, apparently it gets added to both.

Superduper game breaking spoiler about console commands: tcl inside a shop's cell, there's always a chest with the shops inventory under the floor you can take from. That's how Bethesda makes shops work and why pickpocketing the gold back does not effect the shop. Obviously world-event shops don't work this way. IIRC it was like this in Oblivion as well. ALSO: when it says Do Not Delete, do not... take that chest. Badbadbadbad.

from: Reddit /r/Skyrim comment on the post, "TIL You can steal the gold you give to shops you invest in."


The Do Not Delete usually appears as a chest outside the bounds of the normal map in numerous shops across Skyrim. There are actually four different types of the item in the game, and based on their editor IDs, they may have something to do with the Thieves Guild.

Note

They do not have any physics applied to them which means that they will simply float wherever dropped.

Bugs

This item is occasionally sold by merchants, but it appears that it shouldn't be. If the player buys one, it is recommended that they reload from before buying it, or if not, at least sell it back to the merchant they got it from.

from: UESP wiki, "Do Not Delete" article

Do Not Delete is a treasure chest, involved in a bug.

Explanation

"Do Not Delete" is a scripted placeholder left in-game by developers to represent the total gold-value merchants can hold. Its presence explains why gold can be pickpocketed from merchants, without their total gold value depleting.

Function

It appears as a tiny version of a wooden chest. It has no base value or any notable uses and a weight of 0.5. It is possible to come across it while clearing dungeons. It can be dropped or placed into a chest for safe keeping and appears as stolen when kept safe in a normal chest. It cannot be bought back after 24 hours in game time. It can also be used to reach otherwise inaccessible places in the game, as it floats in place when dropped.

When placed, the rotation of the player is related to how the chest is placed. Looking parallel to the entrance of the room usually results in a completely level box. However, looking perpendicular to the entrance can place the box on its side.

The stolen tag can be removed by placing it in an empty chest, then instructing a follower search the chest.

"Do Not Delete" chests can only stack in groups of 11. Once a twelfth chest is picked up, it begins a new stack.

Locations

from: The Elder Scrolls Wiki (wikia), "Do Not Delete" article

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Should I sell it back? –  Coomie Dec 19 '11 at 2:09
2  
@Coomie If you have an earlier save game, before you bought the 'DO NOT DELETE' chest, just load that instead. From the discussion on those threads I linked to, buying that chest could lead to crashes and other game-breaking behavior. See this comment and this comment for more info. –  galacticninja Dec 19 '11 at 8:06
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It's been more than 48 hours, I've been back to that shop, I've bought from that shop, I don't yet have 100 speech but there's been no crashing or other adverse effects. In fact it seems like Arcadia now consistently sells Daedra Hearts - WINNING! –  Coomie Dec 19 '11 at 11:03
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I got two and use them as stepping stones to climb anywhere you can't normally get to –  user17488 Dec 31 '11 at 9:39
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@brosidonx that sounds like troll physics.... –  Pureferret Jan 15 '12 at 19:16
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It's not useful; it just hovers wherever you leave it.

Per a few videos and forum threads on Google, there appear to be multiple places you can find these boxes. I'd advise trying to use several in order to box in an NPC so it cant go anywhere. Maybe you can finally get creepy Aerin to stop watching Mjoll sleeping!

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No game breaker. Buying it affects nothing, actually allows her to sell rare items. Daedra hearts etc..

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2  
As LessPopMoreFizz alludes to, buying it does adversely affect your game, and has no effect on shopkeeper inventory. BUYER BEWARE: Item in question may crash your game. –  Raven Dreamer Jan 15 '12 at 2:02
    
I didn't allude to anything. All I've done in this question is a minor grammar edit. And maybe some flagging. :P –  LessPop_MoreFizz Jan 15 '12 at 18:45
    
Well, I was going to credit GalacticNinja... but I couldn't find him. ;) –  Raven Dreamer Jan 16 '12 at 1:08
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protected by Community Jan 16 '12 at 15:33

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