More Stay Out Guides:
This guide explains how to buy high level items, when you don't have the money or personal rep points.
So i am sure you have tried to buy an ak or something from the weapon vendor in gourmet village (if you made it that far), or a toz shotgun from a vendor in the train station, but you cant because you dont have the money or personal rep points. im here to explain.
Rep Explained (and Bonus Nuggets of Knowledge)
So there are multiple kinds of rep in the game that will effect your relationship with npcs, as well as what they will sell you, the quests they give, or even if they shoot at you on sight or talk to you at all.
Faction rep is its own can of worms, and mostly effects where you are welcome on the various maps / hubs. You can check your reps on the character tab. So long as you arent at war with a faction, usually you are good. keep in mind most quests in the game effect reps with multiple factions positively or negatively. This in general does not effect trading for items themselves, because if this rep is bad enough you wont make it past guards to even talk to the vendor.
Now that thats out of the way, lets get down to the nitty gritty.
Farming up money can be difficult in the early game, so conservation of everything is key.
So basically you have personal credits / trade points. These are obtained per character via doing quests for allied npcs in the hub the vendor is in, or by trading items the vendor is interested in.
There is typically a dialog option where you ask what they are interested in buying, and these will give varying amounts of credits. So for example you can do a ton of acids quests in the train station of lubech, and you will gain rep with him and the gun vendor. but, if you trade the vendor the thing he wants, that will not effect acids rep with you, only the traders (typically).
You need a large amount of rep with traders to get the good stuff, so getting rep is very important to any gear upgrades that are not related to quest progression or looted from the gun crate in vesuiv or elsewhere.
The first ak you are able to buy is in gourmet village, in the lubech outskirts (the first actual large map in the game), and requires a fairly large amount of trade rep. I would grind gourmets quests out, do the mosin and toz quests, and get your money up, because to be fair that first ak KINDA sucks and the mags for it / ammo will be impractically expensive to fight with and survive for a while (on msk, i dont use a rifle i dont have at least 4 mags for, as you have to reload them Escape from Tarkov style).