I do not have a degree in boundless economics. I do not take responsibility for you losing your entire fortune because you decided to invest it all into edible lamella. This guide is intended to provide some quick tips and tricks on the important bits of starting your own boundless business.
You want to make money
Man that gleam from an exo from 5 months ago looks amazing! But it’s 200 a pop! You definitely need at least a smart stack of it. But quests only pay a few hundred and you just don’t have the time to mine enough to support your gleam addi… hobby. There’s only 1 solution! You have to open a shop!
1. Boundless economy 101
There are 2 major categories of shops: Permanent/block shops and consumable shops.
As a starting player, it may seem easy to start a block shop and make money mining rocks and shoveling dirt. However, remember that the demand for rock and dirt is pretty low due to the ease of access to these resources. Going with exo colors is usually your best bet here. Even T4 exo’s can have great colors (see the current shadow red gleam for example) and are fairly accessible for newer players. The key with permanent-item shops is to stand out. You could do that with low prices, large quantities or a focus on 1-2 specific blocks. (more on this in point 5)
Consumable shops will require a bit more initial work, but will usually provide you with a steady stream of income due to the very nature of consumables. This is the route i took, and look at me now, i’ve made a giant marble ball with all my earnings! (if that’s not the hallmark of success i don’t know what is) If you don’t have any starting money, you’ll have to spend some time gathering all the required materials, but once you’re up and running, you can re-invest the money you get from sales back into more materials and use the profit to expand!
2. Nobody wants your rock salt, karen
The cornerstone of a good shop, is choice in wares. You may LOVE to farm rock salt. But with current recipes, not to mention the hundreds of smart stacks of stock most existing players already have, nobody is going to buy your rock salt. To start a successful business, you’re going to want to focus on something that’s in demand. Focus on 1 thing at the time. Are you going for base materials? Or something crafted? Maybe brick? Marble? Glues? Find out what actually sells! For me, i knew that certain forging ingredients just aren’t used at all. There’s no point for me to invest in these items as they’d just sit in their stand, not being sold.
Do market research. See what your items are being sold for. Undercut them where you find big gaps in the economy, as long as you still make a profit!
3. Location location location… location.
As in real life, a shop’s success can stand or fall with where it’s located. People are lazy (yes, you too reader, don’t be offended, we all are). Why would they go through 5 PS portals, and then walk 1500 meters just to get to shop, to buy a bit of glue? As a budding shopkeeper, the first thing you’re going to want to do is go to some of the big malls near you and walk through them. See if they have any empty spots. The closer to the portals/entrance the better. You want as much visibility as you can! (remember this when you build your shop too!)
But Suji, why not just make a shop at my own place, then connect portals to it? Well my fellow Oortian, you get 1 huge advantage with a stall in a big mall. An existing customerbase. I know that when i go on shopping trips, i tend to pop into a world i know has a big mall, look at my scanner and see what’s close. I reckon i’m not the only one that does this, as it’s a very effective way of finding what you need! You also save yourself the cost of having to fuel portals and can use that money to stock your stall. I’m going to refrain from endorsing any malls in here, but if you’re interested in which ones are my favorites for starting in, you can always PM me!
4. Choosing a name
This may seem trivial, but this is actually very important. It should be simple, and should describe what you sell. “Bob’s Bricks”, “Mabe’s Marble”, “Byron’s Bloods”. Something easy to remember, or something funny that sticks!
5. Choose to be different
All of us here are a bit special. But you want to be the most special! When somebody in-game asks “does anybody know a good rock-salt store?”, you want the general public to tell them about your store. You want to be known. Having an easy name to remember is the first step. But there are extra ways to differentiate yourself!
- Quantity: Probably the biggest one. I would 100 times rather buy something at a store that has a ss of the thing i’m looking for, than having to scour the known universe for 10 here, 20 there. I’m happy to pay a fair bit more to save me from that trouble.
- Specialising: Another way to differentiate yourself, is by specialising. Let’s say you open up a paint store. You can stock all colors, but you will never be able to stock big enough quantities for all colors. If you, let’s say, only focus on bright colors, you will be able to stock much more quantity AND you’ll make a name for yourself. People looking for bright colors will automatically visit your shop first, assuming you have consistent stock, because they know they won’t have to go to all the planets to find what they need. Never underestimate the power of a reputation.
- Location: Having a location that’s easy to get to and gets lots of incidental foot traffic, can really boost sales. Currently there are a few planets (mostly the ones with the giga-malls on them) that have their own economy for some items. They might be almost twice the price of other planets, but they still sell due to their location.
- Consistency: If you stock consistently, especially your in-demand items, you will become the first shop people will check when they need what you’re selling. Lots of stores can be fairly inconsistent with their stock, so they can be a waste of time to check often. Become the first place to check for people and you’ll see sales rise!
Pretty much all of these will rely on your customer being lazy. And there are a lot of people in this game with more time than money (myself included!), all of these methods can be used to not have to undercut, but still make a good profit
Goodbye, 9-5 lifestyle
Once your first stall is stocked and ready to open, make sure you announce it in your guild discord and these forums. As with your store location, you want visibility. Then all you need to do is watch the coin roll in and restock the stands whenever they’re empty. Congratulations! You’re now a small business owner!