Quick question on the use of the Shrewd Appraisal skill: does this skill get used in place of Haggling or in addition to Haggling. The skill description makes me think it happens in place of Haggling, which makes it a very powerful skill against shopkeepers with high Haggle skills, by turning the opposed roll into a flat obstacle.
Shrewd Appraisal (p296) is about spotting the minor details, which could then affect the price.
More often, I’d see this has allowing you to get the “inside scoop”, so to speak, a setup / linked test for a later Haggling test.
e.g. “Do you see this mark here? This was crafted by an imitator, and not by Master-Crafter Elise”.
Also we’d use this to maybe spot a bargain.
e.g. “They’ve mislabelled these bottles as table wine, but I’d recognise that smell anywhere: that’s the finest Corvington 1603!”
On the other hand, sometimes, the buying/selling is not that important to the story, and you just need to quickly get a cargo that’ll move the game forwards.
e.g. “You just want to get the barge’s hold filled quickly and cheaply with wool so that you can try to turn a small profit on the way? Roll Shrewd Appraisal (+Haggling & Sheep-Wise) at Ob 2 (Common Goods).”
From what I see, it’s about understanding what you want to buy, and spotting flaws / hidden benefits to affect the value of an item.