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I noticed at some point that different merchants don't all pay the same for what you're selling. Depending on the category, or even the specific item, some merchants simply pay significantly more.

Are there some general rules on which merchants pay better for which items?

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    I never bothered to look for the merchant with the best prices when I sold my stuff. When I moved to Skellige Islands I had about 30k cash. So, unless I missed something big to do with the money, there is no need to bother about prices as you get more than enough. – raznagul Jun 2 '15 at 8:40
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    One thing I did is keep in my inventory things of different types with a rather high price. One good sword, armor, ingredients, jewellery etc. and try to remember good prices for them. Then when at a merchant I compare those items and have a good feeling if he is giving me a good price for items of that class. – PlasmaHH Jul 22 '15 at 13:32
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Edit: I've been informed this has been patched and can no longer be performed.

In short, the merchant at "Odrin and Friends - Bottlemen" in Novigrad. Here's the long of it:

Most merchants are very stingy when buying your loot. There are a few merchants though that buy at 100% of the item's value. So a stack of junk that may usually be worth only a few dozen crowns is now worth several hundred. But the catch is these merchants have limited funds and replenish those funds slowly.

However, there is one such merchant that you can pump up his crown supply at no cost to you and fairly quickly. His shop is "Odrin and Friends - Bottlemen." It is outdoors on the docks on the north side of the central Novigrad island. The closest fast travel sign is Hierarch Square, which is still a while away.

This merchant buys anything and everything (even monster trophies and foreign currency, but not quest items) at 100% of the item's value. He has 500 crowns to start. He also sells about 230 Empty Bottles at 1 crown each.

An Empty Bottle sells for 1 crown to any merchant willing to take it. So buy a bottle from the Odrin merchant, sell it to another merchant, and you break even. His Empty Bottle supply replenishes completely each time you exit his shop and reopen it. (I have found it stops replenishing when you have a few thousand bottles in your inventory. Getting rid of them causes his supply to return though.)

When he runs out of crowns after you sell your junk to him, buy his Empty Bottles, sell more stuff, exit his shop, reopen it, and repeat to the point where you have sold everything for 100% of its value.

At this point you should have hundreds or thousands of Empty Bottles in your inventory. Each worth 1 crown. It can be difficult to find a merchant to dump them all on in order to exchange them for cash. For this part, you can go to the Loan Shark near the Oxenfurt Gate fast travel sign. Dump them all on him.

When he runs out of crowns, buy his 500-1500 florens to add 1500-4500 crowns to his supply. His stock of florens also replenishes when you exit and reopen his shop, so you can use the same trick here as you did with the Odrin merchant.

Finally to get rid of the florens, go to the Vivaldi Bank by fast traveling to Hierarch Square and exchange them for crowns at the same rate as what you bought them for.

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  • Loan Shark, he does not have florets anymore :-( We need to sell the bottles around. – Inanc Gumus Aug 12 '15 at 13:37
  • I cannot for the life of me find this Odrin merchant. I've been all up and down the entire dock area of central Novigrad and not seen hide nor hair of a single vendor, besides that shady dwarf you can choose not to turn in to the guards during a mini-quest. Could you provide a map screenshot, please? – coredumperror Nov 7 '15 at 10:42
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    Never mind, I found him. He's standing next to the little fishing hut that's just south of a boat, on the north-west shore of central Novigrad. For some reason, he doesn't have a merchant symbol on the minimap, which was why I couldn't find him. Sadly, he's also been patched to sell Empty Bottles for 3 crowns each, so this technique doesn't work any more. :( – coredumperror Nov 7 '15 at 10:52
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    Seems he has been patched even further. Not only are the bottles more expensive, he will not buy items at full price anymore. His prices seem much more similar to other average merchants now, rendering him largely useless. – Jort Jan 5 '16 at 0:47
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In a really cool feature that I've been wanting to see in more games, people will purchase items related to their trade for a higher price, even to the point of not purchasing unrelated items!

This leads to smiths paying a higher percentage of the "inventory valuation" for armour/weapons, herbalists paying more for herbs and alchemical ingredients, and... Actually, I'm unsure about that one book seller.

There are, for a few reasons, some merchants that are almost "best in class" for selling stuff:

For weapons and armour, I have found that the smiths in Novigrad pay a good enough proportion and have sufficiently high cash reserves to make selling weapons and armour to them sensible.

In versions prior to 1.12 (as described in my answer here), the alchemist near Oxenfurt Gate (NE of Novigrad) will pay the full inventory value for items, including trophies - his downside being the relatively low amount of coin he has on hand. It does regenerate slowly over time, and you can buy his stock (curse his reasonable prices) to get a little more.

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    This should be the correct answer, as currently that alchemist does buy at full price. The current top answer is not only unclear on where this merchant is, but also the merchant has been patched. He now sells empty bottles at 3 crowns each and no longer buys at full price. – Spencer Wieczorek Dec 15 '15 at 22:15
  • This answer is not true anymore. – user15877 Jan 20 '17 at 3:29
  • There's a mod called Friendly HUD that will tell you the % of full price that a merchant will pay. Sure, you can do this math in your head. Eibhear in Novigrad is the best I've found so far at 38% of purchase for swords (1.31 patch). Anyone found one that's better? – jcollum Jun 18 '17 at 20:26
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If you want to buy and sword than you will find a better price at a blacksmiths than an armourer and if you want armour then you will get it at a better price at an armourer. So if you want to sell a sword for example, sell it at to a blacksmith. If you want to sell armour, sell it to a armourer. Selling herbs? Sell it to a herbalist and so on.

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    I just want to add that trophies are quite goods stuff for herbalist too. Oh, and sometimes, disassembling before selling is worth for some rare objects :) – deathpote Jun 1 '15 at 22:14
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    @deathpote Apparently there is an alchemist near oxenfort that pays more for the trophies : gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/221052/… – Lyrion Jun 2 '15 at 6:53

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