When you pick up items in Skyrim it tells you the value of each item. However when I go and sell the items the merchants are only paying 30% of this value, at best.

Discounting any perks or other effects, how high does Speechcraft have to be before merchants start paying full value for items?

  • 4
    My guess is well over 100. Nov 24, 2011 at 2:41
  • 6
    Unless the growth is something odd, I don't see any way they'll ever pay over 50% for anything given the values of items and my current level of speech. Nov 24, 2011 at 2:46
  • There are items you can wear that help when selling. Vosung mask gives you +20% Amulet of Zenithar give you + 10% I haven't found a ring but there has got to be one somewhere. lol
    – user18600
    Jan 19, 2012 at 0:34
  • One thing not noted anywhere is that if you look carefully at the equation that's used, for any arbitrarily large value item (say a potion worth > 100k), it's impossible to get the full value of the item because you can only get close to 100% of the value, but never reach it. The formula rounds up, so, an item valued at 1 septim can get full value fairly easily. Jun 16, 2020 at 12:49

7 Answers 7


Sounds like you have low Speech

Speech will directly affect the prices paid when buying from and selling to merchants, even without the assorted perks. At 0 speech, merchants will sell items for 3 times their base price, and buy for a third of their base price. At 100 speech, merchants will sell items for twice their base price and buy for half.

  • Wow, I though 100 speech would mean the margin was almost 0 (e.g. paying true value but still selling for more to make a profit). I guess I'll have to get used to getting ripped off!
    – jwaddell
    Nov 24, 2011 at 2:53
  • 6
    @jwaddell Yeah, it's impressive to me too, but it makes sense in that you acquire the better items through quests, and you move from a 9:1 buying-selling ratio to 4:1. Taking the important perks from the Speech tree (5 in Haggling, 1 in Allure) gets you an additional 35% against the opposite sex, which brings you to 2:1. You get ripped off, but if you could buy and sell at cost, you could essentially rent items for free.
    – brymck
    Nov 24, 2011 at 3:37
  • and you can buy tons of ingredients and then make something and sell it again
    – user4951
    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:50
  • and in addition to skills there are perks. so not 1:4. Buy tons of ingredients from alchemist craft your own and then sell it back and you are still at profit
    – user4951
    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:51

The value in your inventory is the worth of the item. Vendors will give you a percentage of that value based on your speechcraft skill and other factors. Likewise they will sell it for a multiple of that value.

Specifically the price is:

Sell price = [ value of item ] / [ 3.3 - (1.3 * [speech skill]/100) ] 
           * [(1 + Haggling %) * (1 + Allure %) * (1 + Fortify Barter from potion) 
           * (1 + the sum of Fortify Barter from equipment + Fortify Barter from Blessing of Zenithar)

From the UESP Wiki.


Are you using your perks on speech at all? You need to pick the basic speech improvement perk at the bottom of the tree. It'll get the vendors to sell at a much better rate. Simply ramping up to 100 will help a bit, but not nearly as much as the perks.


I have gotten at least 61% confirmed sale value out of my x360 legendary edition of skyrim with all expansions and patches that were given for consoles. My speech is only about 69 or 70 right now, I have only one rank of haggling, another 35% of fortify barter from equipment, and no bonus from allure. I did not calculate buy value just now but the 2/1 ration should roughly hold so I should be buying items at around 125-135% of actual value depending just how specifically the math works out. I'm not sure what that last 30% of speech penalty does to affect the other math without sitting down and doing it all longhand.


You can easily get the true value without the speech perks (accounting for 100 speech skill).
Some ways:

  • Mask of Clavicus Vile, a daedric artifact -> 20% better prices (also known as Fortify Barter - FB).
  • Thieves guild helmets
    • 10% nooby ones
    • 15% better set (I think)
  • Cicero breast piece -> 20% better prices.
  • Amulet of Zenitar -> 10% better prices
  • A necklace of another deity (which I don't remember) -> 10%. I found it with my first character ever.
  • Sometimes you can find necklaces in general stores with FB of up to 20%.

With all the best items above you can get 60% + 50% from 100 speech, that gets you 110%. I'm not sure if you can actually get more than the true value for items but you could always try.

I'm fairly sure I didn't list all FB equipment in the game.

Now say you can't get all the equipment listed abover or for RP reasons chose not to, then there are FB potions, which would be "random of haggling", and the highest I've seen was either 30 or 40% in the game.

Then there's the fact that many skills can be used to make large amount of cash such as:

  • Normal Enchanting
  • Alchemy (easiest I think)
  • Blacksmith (after the first 60 levels it starts paying off itself, I think)

For those shady characters, you can pickpocket everyone in Riften. If you get caught - and you're in the Thieves Guild - you only have to pay half of what the bounty normally is.

And if you're having trouble with money try doing a bunch of petty quests or some faction's questline. Faction questlines are always very rewarding.

  • 1
    i also forgot to mention with a necklace you find in general stores that isn't amulet to so and so you can disenchant. so normal necklaces with fortify barter can be disenchanted and used on a ring too putting you at a even high possible %. This really helps for those characters that are RPing.
    – user24935
    May 5, 2012 at 0:15
  • Hey, welcome to GSE. You can edit your post (via "edit" right below it) to include your comment
    – Wolf
    May 5, 2012 at 0:52

Get speech perks maxed out so you can get up to 100k or 500k gold. 5/5 perks to start req 80 speech, then there's up to allure/merchant/invest/fence/master trader = 9


Hi guys just to let you know it is possible to get the full value of an item by wearing amulet of Zenithar which you can get if you follow a dirt trail east of Riftens towers. Cicero's clothes gotten by doing the dark brotherhood quest the cure for madness if you kill Cicero masque of Clavicus vile which you get by doing a daedras best which starts in Falkreath at the blacksmiths you must not kill Barbas to get it you must also have theses talents in speech as well as 100 speech to start with haggling 5 of 5 and allure and that's all people anymore enchantments or armour will not effect the price you get but don't forget to sell your items to the opposite sex P.S to get your speech to 100 quickly go to Riften then go black briar meadery speak to the guy behind the bar ask him about maven then bribe then persuade then bribe again then persuade then keep on persuading until you get 100 speech also if you chose to get the investors perk invest in the Riverwood trader so he then has 10000g to buy your items and if you are a female character you can kill the man so his sister takes over the shop and has over 10000g to buy your stuff. Hope this helps.

  • According to the UESP speech above 100 has no effect, and the maximum resale multiplier is capped at below full price, so if that's correct (and the UESP is pretty reliably correct), this is wrong twice. Mar 5, 2013 at 15:46

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