4

Since the barter skill doesn't affect the repair prices, I'm not sure if there is. While I'm not certain, I assume that all of the merchants charge equal prices for repairs. I'm approaching the vanilla game level cap of 20 and still can't afford fixing some of less common weapons such as Fat Man.

I'm aware of the Alien Epoxy, but I have no desire to start Mothership Zeta yet and this is a disposable item with limited quantity (and would be off-topic as an answer).

3

No, there is no method in game for reducing the cost of merchant repairs. As you said, barter does not change the price that merchants repair for. You can increase the value of repairs offered by caravan merchants by investing in them using Uncle Roe in Canterbury Commons. Each stage of investments increases the repair skill of the merchant you invested in. Costs to repair will still be exorbitant, but they'll repair to a higher quality.

As it stands, using merchants to repair your gear is almost always a worse deal than repairing the item yourself. The only exception would be using them to repair unique items that could not be maintained otherwise.

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