Reincarnation Of The Strongest Sword God – Chapter 3684

Chapter 758 – Upscale Shop
“How much for this shop?”

After suppressing his restlessness and apprehension, Shi Feng pointed at the red text on the tablet and directed a question at the administrator.

Two kinds of shops were available in the Eternal Realm’s Neutral Cities: ordinary and upscale. In addition, both types could be categorized into Small, Medium, and Large Shops. It was also the case for lands.

For ordinary shops, they could only sell the items that they had in stock. Or, more specifically, they could only sell the items stored in their warehouses. Meanwhile, for each transaction ordinary shops made, they would need to pay a 10% processing fee to the city, which was significantly better than the 20% that street stalls had to pay. Players could also hire NPCs to manage their shops for them. More importantly, ordinary shops could display ten times more items.

Hence, whether it was the average player or the various powers, they would usually try to purchase shops if they were looking to do business in a Neutral City. They would sell their wares through street stalls only when they lacked the means of acquiring a shop.

Naturally, another viable option existed for players who could not afford to purchase a shop: the city’s Auction House. The only drawback was that to commission items in a Neutral City’s Auction House, players were first required to attain noble status within the city. Additionally, they would need to pay a substantial processing fee of 25% or more.

In return, players gained access to a significantly larger customer base, making it considerably easier to secure a favorable price for their wares. Often, the additional profits generated were even sufficient to cover the exorbitant processing fee. However, the Auction House was not something that most players should consider utilizing during the early stages of a Neutral City’s development.

For upscale shops, when compared to ordinary shops, not only were they significantly rarer, but they also possessed vastly superior functionality.

Unlike ordinary shops, upscale shops were not limited to simply selling the items they had in stock. In addition to their own stock, upscale shops could connect with other shops and share their products, and the number of shops an upscale shop could connect with directly correlated with its star ranking. If an upscale shop’s star ranking reached a sufficiently high level, it could even establish connections with shops in other Realms. This feature would not only eliminate the hassle of transporting goods, but it could also substantially expand the amount and variety of products available in the shop.

However, upscale shops were incredibly rare. In Shi Feng’s previous life, out of all the Neutral Cities controlled by the various human powers in the Eternal Realm, some didn’t even have an upscale shop, while those that did would not have more than a handful.

Hence, now that it was revealed that Luminous Sky City, one of the Eternal Realm’s ten most populated Neutral Cities in the future, had an upscale shop for sale, how could Shi Feng not get excited?

“Bidding for this shop starts at 175,000 Eternal Gold Coins, Lord Count. Located in the city’s outer area, this shop, though slightly outdated and categorized as a Small Shop, boasts a genuine 3-star ranking,” the NPC administrator explained. “Currently, fifteen nobles and two great nobles have already expressed interest in purchasing the shop. If you intend to purchase it, you will likely have to spend up to 500,000 Eternal Gold Coins.”

A starting price of 175,000 Gold and an estimated final price of 500,000 Gold? When Shi Feng heard the administrator’s answer, he immediately felt the malice of the Main God System.

It should be known that ordinary shops situated in the outer areas of the Eternal Realm’s Neutral Cities typically sold for 10,000 to 20,000 Eternal Gold only. Even prime real estate in the inner areas would, at most, be sold for 40,000 to 50,000 Eternal Gold. After all, constructing a Guild City in the Eternal Realm only cost around 300,000 to 400,000 Eternal Gold.

The upscale shop’s starting price of 175,000 Eternal Gold was already double that of ordinary shops located at the core area’s main street.

Of course, the upscale shop was undoubtedly worth this price. Simply the fact that it was a 3-star Shop made it vastly superior to any of the ordinary shops situated in Luminous Sky City’s core area.

A 1-star Upscale Shop could only connect with one other shop. It was also incredibly challenging to upgrade a 1-star Upscale Shop to 2-star status. Not only did the shop have to maintain a sufficiently large foot traffic and transaction volume across a long period, but more importantly, it also needed to accumulate sufficient Shop Reputation.

An upscale shop’s reputation could only be raised by gaining favorable opinions from NPC Nobles. Essentially, the shop would need to have enough NPC Nobles buying items from it to increase its reputation. However, it should be known that NPC Nobles had a much greater demand for quality than players. For example, Legendary Weapons and Equipment, which players considered incomparably precious, were only considered products of fine quality in the eyes of NPCs. Many NPC Nobles, therefore, disdained purchasing such items.

The difficulty of upgrading a 2-star Upscale Shop to 3-star status was even greater. Once at the 2-star status, an upscale shop’s reputation could only increase if it had enough local great nobles patronizing it. Otherwise, its reputation would never reach the 3-star standard.

As for reaching the 4-star standard, the shop would need to have great nobles from other cities patronizing it. Although much more difficult to accomplish, the benefits of reaching the 4-star standard were game-changing for upscale shops.

As previously mentioned, the number of shops an upscale shop could connect with corresponded to its star ranking. At the 1-star standard, an upscale shop could only connect with one other shop. Meanwhile, advancing to the 2-star standard would double that connectivity to two shops, and advancing to the 3-star standard would double it again, reaching four.

However, upon reaching the 4-star standard, an upscale shop would achieve a substantial leap, being able to connect with up to ten other shops. This improvement would substantially expand the shop’s operational scale and transform it into a trade hub leagues above 3-star Upscale Shops.

Of course, while it would be better to have a 4-star Upscale Shop, Shi Feng was already satisfied that he could outright purchase a 3-star Upscale Shop in Luminous Sky City. With it, he could save a lot of time and trouble.

“What are your thoughts, Lord Count?” the NPC administrator asked with a smile. “As this is the first shop we have made available for auction, bidding will conclude in just 29 hours. If you seek to purchase it but lack the necessary funds, out of consideration for your status as an esteemed 2-star Count of Holy Ring City, we can offer you a loan of up to 500,000 Gold, repayable over a week with a 40% interest rate. Furthermore, if you succeed in winning the auction but fail to repay the loan, we will confiscate only the shop; no additional fees will be imposed.”

“…”

When Shi Feng looked at the smiling administrator, he suddenly felt like he had accidentally entered a back alley store.

A 40% interest rate meant he needed to pay back 700,000 Eternal Gold to the city in one week. Moreover, even with this loan, he wasn’t guaranteed to win the auction…

Auctions for real estate in the Eternal Realm’s Neutral Cities adopted a closed bidding process. Additionally, each person could only bid once. Once all interested buyers had placed a bid, the winner would be revealed at the end of the auction. In other words, while it was possible that some bidders might have only placed a bid that was one Eternal Gold higher than the starting price, it was also possible that someone had bid several times higher than the starting price.

Furthermore, he couldn’t simply avoid paying interest, even if he failed to purchase the upscale shop. He’d still have to pay every coin he owed.

“Do you wish to proceed with this transaction, Lord Count?” the NPC administrator asked with a welcoming smile.

“Fine! I’ll take the 500,000 Gold loan!” Shi Feng said, gritting his teeth. Although the risks were indeed great, the potential rewards were too good to pass up. “Also, I’ll bid 570,000 Gold on this shop!”

While the NPC administrator might have said he should only expect to spend up to 500,000 Eternal Gold, he wasn’t so naive as to bid only at that price. He’d be ruined if he failed to win the auction.

“Very well. I have confirmed your bid. We will inform you of the auction’s results in 29 hours, so please be patient.” After the NPC administrator verified Shi Feng’s intent, she handed him a bidding certificate that displayed the auction’s remaining time.

29 hours 43 minutes 27 seconds…

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