The video game merchant counterpart to the ever popular magic satchel mechanic. Essentially, it's when even after The Hero has purchased 99 or so Potions/Swords/etc., the item shop will just keep right on selling them. Arguably an Acceptable Break from Reality due to the potential frustration that players may endure should there ever be a limit to how much stuff you can buy from a single store, alongside with designers having to keep track of the amount of each item in every store available. Occasional subversions will have certain items and weapons that can only be purchased once, such as a plot-specific item or an exceptionally rare weapon, and have everything else be bought infinitely to distill the frustration.
Compare Infinite Supplies, which is a non-gaming variant on this.
Note: Please limit examples to aversions and inversions, since this trope tends to have a habit of being everywhere.
- Generally, in The Legend of Zelda games some shops will sell items that Link can use forever, such as new armor or pieces of heart. Once these are gone, they will sometimes be replaced with different wares but more often they will be sold out forever, denoted by a wooden sign with an X painted on it. This is just as unrealistic in the opposite direction, as it means these shops only have one of the given item and had no prospects of selling them to anyone else (Though in one game, once all these one-sell only items are sold, he immediately announces that he has enough money to retire). Items that can be used or lost, like potions or ammo, will never run out and otherwise infinite use items that can be lost (such as a wooden shield that was destroyed) will be back in stock after they are lost.
- In Rogue Galaxy, many shops have limited quantities of certain items, and they are indicated by a quantity number on the shop screen. (This doesn't stop other shops later on from stocking the same items in unlimited quantity)
- Merchants in Dark Souls generally have limited supplies for everything but the weakest consumables.
- In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale you always have a finite number of items to sell (since you're limited to what you find or buy wholesale). The highest level of items you can buy at wholesale price from the Merchant's Guild and some of the items in the market always tend to be only available in limited numbers as well.
- Stores in Baten Kaitos had limited items, though after a while they would restock.
- Half-Minute Hero: Possibly averted in the multiplayer; you can set shops to have their stock limited to one item, forcing people to race for them.
- Warcraft III: All shops except the marketplace have limited quantities of items (most between one and three) that replenish over time. The marketplace, however, starts out empty and gradually fills with items found by players as they kill monsters for experience, these disappear for good when bought.
- Each shop in Spelunky sells exactly four items, which makes sense since most of the items give their respective effects for the duration of the entire game.
- In Dungeon Crawl, the trope is averted: every shop has a limited number of items, usually 6-8, in lettered slots. Every slot holds just one item (or a set that must be bought all at once), and once an item is bought it's gone forever, so if you should run into a food shop, it's plausible it holds merely eight bread rations and will never, ever restock. Combined with the rarity of nonperishable food outside shops, and a pretty harsh hunger system, this was intentionally done to discourage players from boring level grind strategies.
- In Nethack, not only does each shop have a limited inventory, they also have a limited amount of money with which to buy items you want to sell.note
- Ancient Domains of Mystery: Shops have finite inventories (randomly generated), and if you change your mind after selling them something, you can buy it back... provided you have enough extra cash to meet their higher sell price.
- The shops in Disgaea carry a limited selection, but replenish in the three seconds it takes to leave the shop and re-enter.
- Averted in M.U.L.E.. There is a limited supply of stock in the store, if a fire breaks out all the stock is destroyed. If there is no smithore than the store cannot produce new MULES for the players to purchase.
- The Elder Scrolls generally averts the trope throughout the series. Merchants typically have a limited inventory (although, in a few instances, they may sell infinite amounts of some very basic items) and also have a limited amount of gold when selling, meaning you may need to visit several merchants and/or barter in order to unload all of your loot without taking a loss. Merchant inventories and gold typically reset after 24 in-game hours.
- Fallout games in general are aversions, as shops only have limited stock. Not only that, but the shop owners had limited money as well, meaning that if you're selling items to them, you could only sell them so much before they were out of money. This can lead to situations where, if you have a high-value item, you can't sell it to some shops without taking a loss (i.e. it might be worth 1000 caps but the shop keep only has 400 on hand). They eventually do replenish both stock (unique items excepted) and funds over time, and later games allow you to invest in shops to permanently increase their buying power.
- Averted in Neverwinter Nights 2. Not only do merchants have a limited stock (apart from very basic items such as +1 Healing Kits), their money supply never resets.
- Dragon Age: Origins averts it for anything except basic crafting components, though the merchants appear to have infinite funds.
- Evil Islands: Shops have limited quantities of items (randomly generated after you complete a mission, meaning they do restock after a while), indicated by a quantity number on the shop screen, and if you change your mind after selling them something, you can buy it back... provided you have enough extra cash to meet their higher sell price.
- Traders in the Gothic series have a limited amount of items and, in the first game, currency (the trade system is based on direct exchange, so the latter running out doesn't prevent deals). Usually a few new items are created once per chapter.
- The X series uses limited stock as a feature, creating an in-game economy that the player can participate in.
- Both averted and played straight in Neopets, since most shops have a certain amount of each item for stock before it sells out, requiring restock. The general store, though, has infinite stock, but only sells the same goods. Additionally and literally, users can buy as many shares of stock as they want on the stock market, with the only limit being 1000 per day.