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Trader/tariff question

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:45 pm
by Ouijdani
I have some questions about how trade works.

1. I've not yet determined what advantage I gain from having a trader come in that buys (for example) furniture and sells jewelry. Why should I import jewelry when I have shops that make it? My guesses are: I can rake off a margin in the form of "tariffs", or possibly the trader sells a kind of jewelry that my shops do not make, thus counting for an additional lux item, making my civs happier, or both?

2. What exactly are "tariffs"? Are they taken from civ/trader exchanges in the form of a bread tax or in the form of what the trader is buying or selling

which leads to the next question:

3. When a trader "sells" an item is it sold for bread or is it traded for other goods. If for bread, how do I know the price my people are paying versus what they are selling to the trader for? (i.e., how do I know a particular deal is profitable for my civs?)


My concern is that I might spend 360 bread to open a trade route early in the game, and maybe it takes years to make that back in tariffs, whereas if I waited a decade or so I could recover my investment in a much shorter time and not run the risk of food shortages during the early years.

Ouij

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:53 pm
by Tinkerbell
The point of merchant peddlers is twofold

1) Keep lux shops with food if they don't have enough sales. They cannot get food from bakeries.

2) Supply city with import-only lux & other high quality lux that your lux shops are not able to make at this time (cedar furniture, gold emerald jewelry) ~ furs, incense, MONKEYS :D & spices.

There is a third reason, tarriffs, but that is too low to waste a Scribe on. The best I have figured is that tarriffs are magic bread that comes from nowhere.

The reason to open World Map peddler sites is to get more types of lux goods for your people. They last longer, not better.

The other reason is that opening those sites can reveal more sites that are VERY important.

Merchant peddler transactions are always in food. When a peddler buys from a lux shop, they always pay in wheat. They will accept anything due to bartering, even at lower prices than usual.

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:44 pm
by Ouijdani
Ah, so regardless of what they sell, if they buy goods they do it in wheat so my shops have more wheat in their economy (or to eat).

If my jewelers make quartz jewelry, and a trader brings in turquoise jewelry, are they different objects to the civs? Or is jewelry just jewelry?

In my first city I put 2 scribes on taxes (2 farming regions) and a third on "all chores" assuming he would do the tariff/exchange work.

---------

Is there any way to tell the current price at which shops are selling goods? Or is it always 1 food per item? (I think I have seen that rate.) Or does the price change with overall scarcity of goods?

(I'll keep asking stuff as long as you keep answering...) :)

Ouij

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:28 pm
by Tinkerbell
Jewlery is not just jewelry. There are different qualities, meaning they last longer. I Labbed this for v1.2 & I seriously doubt the prices have changed.

Sell Prices Common & Luxury Wares

EDIT: Forgot something. I have a gut feeling from several Labs, but was not able to definitely prove (cuz COTN is not a spreadsheetable game) that more types of lux, especially exotic import-only lux, help Nobles to evolve faster. Many things help a Noble evolve faster (including just time), the most important being tons of food to purchase & maintain townhouse enhancements.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:17 am
by sakasiru
Hi! Let me add a few lines to that...

"Ouijdani" wrote:
1. I've not yet determined what advantage I gain from having a trader come in that buys (for example) furniture and sells jewelry. Why should I import jewelry when I have shops that make it? My guesses are: I can rake off a margin in the form of "tariffs", or possibly the trader sells a kind of jewelry that my shops do not make, thus counting for an additional lux item, making my civs happier, or both?


Both.
If you have traders that buy stuff, your local luxshops will make a profit from selling to them. This is nice if you have few nobles and elites, and your luxshops are sitting on their wares.
If you have traders that sell stuff, you may have new wares your local shops can't produce. F.e. if you don't have a gold mine or not enough overseers to mine it, your nobles can get gold jewelry through them without trouble for you.
There are also wares your nobles can only get from peddlers: Monkeys, spices, incense and fur. later in the game, they are eager to get their hands on that stuff, and if they get their hands on it, they will evolve faster. Faster evoving = sooner more farms = more bread in your city ;)


"Ouijdani" wrote:2. What exactly are "tariffs"? Are they taken from civ/trader exchanges in the form of a bread tax or in the form of what the trader is buying or selling


If your peddlers are placing their tent inside a merchant center (they'll do if there's room) and a scribe is set to collect tariffs, then you can earn a little extra bread. I never tested what happens when you buy from them, but if you sell to them, you get a small amount of bread for every item you sold. Better items = higher tariffs, so a basalt statue will bring more than a clay statue.

This may seem less income than just planting fields, but if you need the food and are able to sell high quality wares, it is worth the cost of the scribe.
I made a scenario where a great deal of your income comes from tariffs, so it isn't that bad of an income source. Sure, if you have plenty of floodplain why bother? But it's definitely an interesting addition. If you are interested, I highly encourage you to explore the matter ;)

"Ouijdani" wrote:3. When a trader "sells" an item is it sold for bread or is it traded for other goods. If for bread, how do I know the price my people are paying versus what they are selling to the trader for? (i.e., how do I know a particular deal is profitable for my civs?)


They buy and sell for food just as others. usually, they will go to a luxshop and buy every item they can get until the amount of wares they came for is bought. During that time, nobles can go to the merchant center and their tent and buy whatever they sell. Note that the merchant will pack up and leave as soon as he has bought what he wanted and stayed a while, whether he sold anything or not during his stay.
Tink already posted a list of prices. I once made some studies about the amount of tariffs they bring, but I have to dig up the notes somewhere first :o


"Ouijdani" wrote:My concern is that I might spend 360 bread to open a trade route early in the game, and maybe it takes years to make that back in tariffs, whereas if I waited a decade or so I could recover my investment in a much shorter time and not run the risk of food shortages during the early years.


It costs your bread, but it benefits your shopkeepers and nobles, so it's just like spending bricks to build them a temple. If you don't have the bread spare, don't spend it. In the early years, focus on getting your city running. But then it's a nice completion of the services, and it's good for your nobles and your shopkeepers as well.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:59 pm
by CharleyK1
I can add one more item to think about as far as tariffs and scribes. Most players probably won't want to micro-manage this much, but I've noticed that you CAN manage to use the same scribes for farm tax assessments as well as tariff collections. I place my scribes close to the farm area of course, but I also try to place my merchant center(s) mid-way between scribes/farms and elite/lux shops. I watch for "all fields counted" (or some/many missed) and then change all my scribes to "work all jobs" or better still, "collect tariffs." They'll collect tariffs (and work at exchange.) Then, I watch for the flood notification (flood is... ) and I switch all scribes to "assess taxes." I may not get max tariffs collected this way, but I get quite a bit, and if I time the "opening" of my trader sites just right, I can indeed get max tariffs this way (when the timing is perfect, I can see the traders pack up and leave before I assign the scribes to "assess taxes".)

One other thing I've noticed, at least in version 1.3.0.1 - As long as you have an exchange built, it doesn't seem to matter if a scribe EVER works there - goods seem to be available for pickup by any/all shops and craftsmen that use the commodities.