Fence is the term used to describe a member of the Thieves Guild who will buy stolen property. Stolen merchandise can only be sold to a fence. Stolen property is identified by the word "Stolen" on the top right of the item description. When one levels up Speech skill sufficiently, one can receive a Perk that allows you to be able to sell stolen merchandise to any shop you have invested in.
As the Thieves Guild gains influence, fences have more money. With no influence, they have 1,000 . With one city influenced, they have 1,500 ; two cities gives them 2,250 ; three cities gives them 3,000; and with all cities they have 4,000 . There are certain quests that Delvin Mallory gives the Dragonborn to help someone in a major city - these quests, once completed, gain influence for the Thieves' Guild in a particular city, as well as unlock a fence vendor in them. These quests stand out from the normal burglary or bedlam jobs, and offer a unique length which sometimes leads to a dungeon. They become available after the Dragonborn has preformed 5 small jobs in that city (Fishing job, Bedlam job, Numbers job, Shill jobs, Sweep jobs, or Heist jobs, which are provided by Delvin or Vex).
The Thieves Guild is located in Riften, to the southeast. In the city it is located through a series of tunnels in the sewers. Through a few quests, one can get fences in all the major cities (the cities that have a keep).
Obtained during the Thieves Guild main questline
|Tonilia||Taking Care of Business||Riften||The Ragged Flagon|
|Mallus Maccius||Dampened Spirits||Near Whiterun||Honningbrew Meadery|
|Gulum-Ei||Scoundrel's Folly||Solitude||The Winking Skeever|
Obtained after completing City Influence quests from Vex and Delvin Mallory
East of the main gate. Her house has two entrances. She also has a stall (Near The White Phial during the day).
|Endon||Silver Lining||Markarth||Silver-Blood Inn and house (Northwest of the Inn).|
|Khajiit Caravans||Obtained after completing a miscellaneous quest given by Tonilia after the Thieves Guild has a greater influence in Skyrim.||Several Cities||Near any stable.|
- All fences have identical capacity for money, so increasing one increases them all. Due to this, probably the best fence would have to be Gulum-Ei, as you can go to the Temple of the Divines, then get the blessing of Zenithar and (if your Speech is <100) go and see the town beggar (Noster Eagle-Eye) out front of Radiant Raiments. Add this to a fortify barter necklace, thieves hood and a fortify barter potion and you can quite easily get max discount. If your Speech is <80 however, you should get the blessing of Dibella (which can also be done by visiting Endon in Markarth instead of Gulum-Ei), but you will likely not be able to max the discount yet. There are a few other items to Fortify Barter and Speech outside of the necklace and hood/mask, but they are unnecessary unless <90 Speech.
- If you have a load of loot that you want to sell off, then you can just travel from 1 fence to another doing laps, by the time you come back to the 1st one their money reserves will have replenished. Tried & tested with circuit of: Niranye - Endon - Gulum-Ei - Enthir - Mallus Maccius.
- Fences will buy stolen items, but they will not be registered as stolen in the merchant's inventory. This means if you have an item you want to keep, but is stolen and you want to remove the label, sell it to any fence and immediately after buy it back. (You will lose some gold with this method, but think of it as a price for removing the stolen label.) There are a few items that this will not work on.
- Unlike in Oblivion, Skyrim does not have any Fences outside of the Thieves Guild (for example, in the Dark Brotherhood). Therefore, if you intend to sell any stolen items, you must join the Thieves Guild, unless you invest some perks into your Speech path and thereafter invest in a merchant.
- The Khajiit Caravans don't become fences until after reaching the Thieves Guild growth stage 3 by completing Moon Sugar Rush.