I have started funding my alchemy addiction by stealing from shops and pick pocketing from NPCs. I am wondering if they ever get any contents back after I have stolen from them.

  • I have no proof either way, but I've seen a few shops restock themselves. It's like many many days later though.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 14:34

7 Answers 7



  • Shop Inventory and money gets Restocked after 48 hour. (This affects only the trader itself, not the whole cell.)
  • Cell Contents reset 240 hours after last visit. (This affects items on shelves and tables.)

This happen with EVERY SINGLE Shop and EVERY Location except for your homes.

  • 2
    From my extensive testing, it's not technically 48 hours. It's upon opening the shop after a full day of inactivity. Example: I buy out a shop at 5:30PM. If I wait 39 hours (8:30 AM the day after next), the shop will be fully restocked.
    – Hyppy
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 18:28
  • I can't verify the 240 hours figure (I tested it and saw no reset, but waiting right outside the shop door might not count), but I have seen every shop I've ever cleaned out reset after spending time away from it.
    – Ben Blank
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 19:07
  • Every single shop except the one whose owner I accidentally, er, mailed away to Sovngarde early when I got caught being a thieving little cat.
    – aedia λ
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 22:51
  • So your houses do not re-stock? What a shame.. :) Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 10:12

It seems that some places will, but some will not. Shops will restock their items, and some locations will as well (such as Diabella's temple), but some will not (such as the outside marketplace in Whiterun).


Shopkeepers are supposed to restock every couple days, and I've noticed that the items laying out in the shop to be stolen match up with the list of items for sale, so I'd suspect they'd restock just as if you had bought the item.

  • 2
    Restock happens 48+ hours later. Then they get new gold.
    – Neon1024
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 14:41
  • This absolutely doesn't happen. I cleaned Whiterun out, and many days later, I can't be sure nothing hss come back, but at least most of it has not. It's been probably at least 20 restocking periods.
    – agf
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 19:02
  • They absolutely get more money if you leave them alone - I've sold gear until they shopkeep ran low, then ran off to do other things, and came back a couple in-game days later and they were ready to buy again. What I don't know is how that interacts with goods being stolen, and I have no independent verification that goods restock because I don't pay attention to that sort of thing, but the consensus among reputable sources is that they do. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 19:04

Yes, some places do restock. I can't say which types of places do, but as i'm playing a thief class, I have cleaned out several places, and occasionally when I go back (for whatever reason) the NPC's nostalgia for the lost items seems to have caused them to get new ones. The best part is, I took the good stuff, so that means instead of only finding buckets and brooms lying around, I can pick up another Grand Soul Gem.

A good example of this, is the temple of Dibella in Markarth. When I got sent there on the "hangover" quest, I cleaned it out. When I went back to hand in the quest, all the items I had stolen were back, and I was able to clean them out all over again.


I don't know if they all restock. But there are many shops that definitely do restock.

The potions, general goods, and smithing shops in Whiterun restock fairly quickly. I run through them all (especially the alchemy one) every once in a while for some easy gold and materials. I've stolen from the potions store 15+ times now, so that one definitely restocks.

I'm not sure how often they restock, but it's definitely not as long as a month. Maybe a week or so.

Contrary to the post above, I don't believe it interacts at all with the inventory of goods that are being sold by the shopkeeper. It's never had any effect on the items available to sell or her available gold. And her gold is replenished much more often than the items I stole are.


Save, kill the shop keeper, then reload. Saving will result in the shop having its money and new items.


While others have stated that shops do restock after the items have been stolen, I feel I should point out a faster way to level alchemy - buy the ingredients. Buy the ingredients, make the most expensive potions, sell the potions, save the game, kill the shopkeeper, load the save, buy the ingredients, make the most expensive potions, and on and on and on.

  • This is more of a comment on the question than an answer to it. Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 11:19

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