[Mall Science] A Theory to Making a Successful Mall

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussion' started by NetherSpecter, Nov 1, 2014.


What do you look for most in a mall?

Stock 28 vote(s) 80.0%
Good Prices 20 vote(s) 57.1%
Nice Flow 8 vote(s) 22.9%
Awesome Design 6 vote(s) 17.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. There are dozens of malls across EMC, and while some of which are successful others are not. I'm here to attempt to understand and explain the process of why malls are failing and how they can become successful.

    Now there are many types of malls, there are mega-malls, which are the most common, that buys and sells close to every item in the game. There are regular malls which just sells close to every item in the game, then there's specialty malls which focus on one type of selling process (Wood malls, Gems and Ores malls, Promo malls, etc.). No matter the mall if they are successful they are probably doing something right and I'm here to explain how and why people find them better than one of the failing ones.

    Let's take for instance the 2000 Mall on SMP1, owned and operated by Todd_Vinton. He uses the classic colored wool floors and a wide layout of items. Why is his mall successful? Well off the top of my head he keeps it well in stock, his prices are firm but fair, and it's easy to understand. Not only that, it flows well. His mall creates what I like to call the "River Mechanism", it's a simple 3 step process that gets the customer to the product easily.

    1. The location of his res teleport faces the shop teleports allowing players to get to his shops without issue.
    2. His shop teleports are easily understandable and pretty straight forward.
    3. Once you've entered a shop teleport all you have to do it jump down the center and you return to the shop teleports, instead of having to type /v Todd_Vinton to return to the start, or look for another teleport to return to the start.

    Now let's talk about prices and stock and how they affect whether or not you can run a successful business. A simple rule will tell anyone that what you have always has a certain price, and that that price can change fast: "Supply and Demand".

    What supply and demand tells us is that if something is in high demand, the supplier's prices go up. In early 2013 the price of Diamonds on EMC was 45-54 rupees, now almost two years later they are sold for 69-74 rupees. Why? Because the supply was low and the demand was high, diamonds were bought out and horded for their necessity that the prices rose drastically and are now one of the most expensive materials needed in Minecraft.

    So it's important to keep your shop stocked, but don't overstock it because you never know when the prices might rise and people buy you out. Always keeps stocked stashed away.
    Prices are just as important as stock, in fact might be more important because depending on your prices might just affect your stock. If your prices are so low you're selling more that you can supply, you're running a bad business, if your prices are so high that no one is buying your stock then you're running a bad business. So you have to find the middle man when pricing your wares.

    A little trick most people like to use is they fill most of the slot in their shop chests with dirt or other cheap products, this is pretty handy as no one will be able to sell tons of stuff to you and run you out of your money.

    "A set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty, especially in art."
    Everyone likes it when something looks amazing, you wouldn't visit a restaurant if it was dirty, filthy and just plain gross, now would you? No, you wouldn't shop at a store that was messy and unorganized. Believe it or not, most malls are successful because they're clean. They don't have thousands of chests, signs, and crafting benches laying around disrupting the flow.

    The outside is just as important. Plenty of people walk around their server looking at people's reses and creations, when someone sees your amazing building they will more than likely visit it thus providing you with a customer.

    That's it for now, this page may update depending on the change of the economy or EMC/Minecraft itself. If you found this page helpful in anyway then my work is complete, if you have any suggestions for this page please tell me as it might help some upcoming businessman.

  2. The reason 2000 is so successful is because they have the best stock out of anyone. They are semi-expensive and semi-laggy, but the stock is great and they have the largest selection of enchants. 2000 is the first and last of the ultra-malls
    Mirr0rr and NetherSpecter like this.
  3. Simple: sell items in high demand for reasonable prices. The corollary to that is keeping those items in stock.

    I've made about a million rupees in two months by selling redstone, quartz, gold, iron, lapis, glowstone, emeralds and diamonds.
    NetherSpecter likes this.
  4. The dominant factor is convenience. Time is more valuable than rupees. Players want to play Minecraft; they would rather not play Virtual Thrifty Consumer 3. (Minus a few such as myself, where economy adds entertainment value.)

    Setup a shop customers can remember, stock it with the items they want, and they will pay premium prices. It's a convenience tax and it's a win for both the shopkeeper and the customer.

    Players think they want good prices and stock -- but don't take their word for it. Their words say they want cheap prices; their actions say they want convenience. (And that's OK!) Aesthetics, layout, signs, etc...those seem important, but only so far as to a) make the shop memorable, and b) facilitate a quick purchase.

    Also, if you want to avoid the pain of restocking, offer a competitive restock price. Restocking is more convenient than creating a shop or holding auctions, and players like myself who have bulk items want a convenient place to dump them.
    Todd_Vinton and NetherSpecter like this.
  5. Anyone else remember 35 rupee diamonds?
  6. Those were the good days :rolleyes:
  7. The way to do it is to focus on the supplier side for all items which are highly demanded and make sure that someone stocking your shop gets a fair and reasonable price. If you are out of stock, that price needs to go up. The thing you notice with Todd is that every item can be sold to him for good value, better than you could get from a shop easily.

    This is why I don't recommend getting into running a mall until you have at least 1 million rupees (to be safe, 2 million), because a well-stocked mall literally contains several million rupees worth of inventory. It takes a several weeks of solid focused mining to make a million rupees.
  8. We can return this, just everyone will need to change the price to 35rupees or they will not be selling diamonds :p
    But who is the brave person to start :)
    Todd_Vinton likes this.
  9. And He Would Know
  10. Yes I run the largest group mining operation that I know of. If anyone you know has more than 110 thousand blocks of tunnels in a single mine, feel free to correct me.
  11. I think 2000 partly does well because of its easily remembered number. If you've tried doing /v +mall you'll see how hit and miss it is. It feels like the majority of things tagged mall are either small shops or closed. After a while you just go to the ones you remember.
    Todd_Vinton likes this.
  12. Layout is important. I've found a few malls on azoundrias's website and they may be cheapest but I just cannot find the item. Some malls spawn you on their roof, one teleports you into a beacon, one has items in seemingly random order on pillars.
  13. I know. I've been frustrated and confused by this myself. I do wonder what I could do about this though. If you have any ideas I'd love to implement them.
  14. I understand that this is a necro bump but nonetheless I feel like this thread could provide some help to those looking to start their own malls or large shops.
  15. I second that. I've been noticing less shops on the server, and the ones I do notice are almost always out of stock with a few key exceptions.