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With balanced demand amongst all shops, some shops run out of product before others because of inventory quantities. I see that I can pay to upgrade inventory, but I don't know whether I get more bang for my buck starting with shops that have the largest inventories already, or starting with the smallest, or if there are other factors besides inventory size to consider when upgrading. So which shops does it make best financial sense to upgrade first?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

For upgrading, the increase in the default stock (75) is flat across the board.

This means that no matter the size of the store's stock quantities, the 'upgrade' is going to be the same constant amount.

However, if any workers there are working their 'Dream Jobs', the stock increase effectively doubles to 150 for the number of items matching Dream Jobbers.

As far as which stores to upgrade first, that depends on your playing preference. A general order follows:

  • If you're having trouble keeping stock in your smaller stores (especially your Food-based ones), then you can start with those to help balance things out. Having empty stores brings in nothing, while larger stores can be kept at least partially stocked without as much maintenance.

  • After that, prioritize upgrades to stores where the workers are in their 'Dream Job', as the additional stock bonus helps make the upgrade more worthwhile.

  • Otherwise, in general it's best to spread the upgrades around all of your floors so that they're consistently keeping their stock longer.

Last note, don't get too aggressive with your upgrades - unless you're frequently leaving your tower for long periods of time and have stores emptying out a lot, those Tower Bux can be better spent on other things like the Coin Bank and quick restocks/sales/builds.

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IMO the elevator upgrades are the first thing your Bux should go on if you use the elevator. The last elevator is amazing – Ben Brocka Mar 23 '12 at 14:52
I would argue time and coin efficiency is increased by building but never stocking or upgrading Food floors. As your build floors like the Auto Dealer, where a 3rd dream job nets you ~20000 stock of your most expensive item, food floors become increasingly worthless. The only reason to even build them is to maintain 100% business demand for your other floors. – tiddy Mar 23 '12 at 15:47
Actually, I use some Food Floors as Tower-bux machines - because of their quick turn around times, you have lots of opportunities for the "Fully Stocked" bonus. – KatieK Mar 23 '12 at 17:00
@BenBrocka Yes, as far as general Tower Bux use, elevator upgrades are a godsend, especially once you get the finally elevator. – JohnRegner Mar 23 '12 at 21:18
@tiddy Regarding coin efficiency, it's really a matter of how often you check on your tower. Larger stock amounts mean less maintenance, but they aren't profitable purely from an hourly sale or per-sale rate. Having more stocked stores will mean more sales per minute/hour, so there's some tradeoff to be made. – JohnRegner Mar 23 '12 at 21:22

Every shop upgrades the same way. From the Tiny Tower wiki:

At the cost of 3 Tower Bux, the player can permanently upgrade a commercial floor. Each level of upgrade does the following:

  • Adds 75 Stock to each product

  • Adds 45 Coins to the cost of restocking each product

  • Adds 5 minutes to the restocking time of each product

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Tip: If you are spending a lot of time on your Tower, checking it often then there is no real need to upgrade (use the Bux for more profitable things as others have said). If you only get to it every so often (say a couple times a day or less), upgrade the floors that have low stock/restocking times.

Because of the infrequency I check my Tower, I like to have the minimum stocking time be 30 minutes so that they stay stocked longer. With those 5 minute stocking times its great if you're checking constantly because you can get more Bux for having a floor fully stocked, but for me I was always running out of stock and therefore earning nothing.

However, my OCD kicked in and I had to have all the floors on the same upgrade "level" so now all of my floors are upgraded. :)

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Since I regularly leave the game for several hours at a time, I upgraded all my shops to a 1-hour minimum stock-time. With the tower-bux cheat, I'm planning on getting them all to an 8-hour minimum, allowing the game to earn me money for much longer periods of time when I'm not playing it. Though this will cost me a ton of bux, and take a long time to do, it's still a better long-term investment than simply buying cash with 50 tower bux at a time, especially above 150 floors.

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