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I'm playing Oblivion (PC, GoTY Edition) and came across a particularly valuable item that I'd like to sell. Unfortunately, it's valued at over 2000 gold, meaning I can't sell it to most merchants for its actual worth.

I'm aware that being an Expert in Mercantile allows you to invest 500 gold in a specific shop of your choosing, while being a Master allows merchants to have an additional 500 gold when you're bartering with them (and that they compound on top of each other). So (to my understanding), if you're a Master in Mercantile, the DLC merchants can have 3000 gold available for bartering.

Does this mean that if you happen upon an item that's worth more than 3000 gold (assuming you're a Master in Mercantile), that's the maximum you can sell it for? I'm doing a vanilla playthrough, so I'm not interested in exploiting any glitches or installing any mods (at this moment, at least).

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No. You are right about the limit being 3000 gold.

As a minor compensation for this disappointing answer, you can invest in a shop before you reach the Expert level by fortifying your Mercantile skill at 75 or higher.

And, for the sake of exhaustion, I have added a list of the wealthiest merchants in Oblivion GOTY:

  • Aurelinwae can be found in the Mystic Emporium in the Imperial City's Market District. Once you have mastered Mercantile AND have invested in her shop, she has 3000 gold. In addition, she has a low mercantile skill (of 6) herself (meaning it's easier to sell items at higher prices). She will only buy non-magical items once you have reached skill level 50, though.

  • Rowley Eardwulf, in the Wawnet Inn, west of the Imperial City, has the same amount of money (provided the same conditions are met), but a much higher mercantile skill level (of 44).

  • The third and last NPC with this amount of money is Nilphas Omellian, who is a trader living at the Merchants Inn, also in the Imperial City's Market District. His skill level is slightly lower than Eardwulf's (at 40), and he will buy any type of item from you.

  • Could you elaborate on your comment regarding increasing the merchant's supply? How might that be helpful in my situation? – aloofmaloof Dec 12 '18 at 19:31
  • Is there any limit on the amount of gold that a merchant can have at one time? If a merchant has more than 3000 gold (because you purchased items from him), and you leave and return later, will he still have that larger amount of gold or will it reset? – Roijan Eskor Dec 12 '18 at 19:49
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    @Roijan Eskor The amount of gold is reset after 24 in-game hours. – Joachim Dec 12 '18 at 19:52
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    @aloofmaloof Buying items you need will increase the merchant's gold supply. Think of it as trading your valuable item for money and other helpful things. – Joachim Dec 12 '18 at 19:54
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    @aloofmaloof I am terribly sorry: it's been a while since I played the game, and it seems it handles these transactions differently than other, later Bethesda games. Apparently, the caps do not go up when buying items. I will reflect my epistemic changes in my answer. – Joachim Dec 12 '18 at 20:12

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