So I think I thought of a cool way to do secret shops but needed some input on it, so instead of making secret shops secret and hard to find, make them instead into “Member shops” hence the “Member card” So turn regular shops into these member shops, selling different stuff based on if you have a member card. Say if you have a Member card 2, you get everything that the base shop sells and everything a Member card 1 sells + everything a Member card 2 sells.
Thinking about it, I guess this isn’t a replacement of secret shops but a alternative idea.
I think the problem with secret shop is that the difficulty level changes drastically depending on whether you know they exist or not.
Therefore, I also think that the best thing to do with secret shop is to stop keeping them secret.
That is, the player knows of its existence.
And if they meet the conditions, such as high money, then they can get the goods, and so on.
Instead of cash, it could be the member card2 that you are suggesting.
The products that can be purchased could change at different times of the year, or the prices of the products could fluctuate.
In kaitou, at the start of the ura3 series, a secret shop appears in town to sell items at a high price.
This store is not hidden, it is a tile of a store, and it even interrupts the shinan event and adds a commercial to show the player that have built a store.
This is a form of relief for the player, and also a way to dispose of the excess gold at the end of the game.
In other games, I’ve found the secret store system in TNH to be interesting.
It only sells one item, but the items you can buy are different at different times.
If you don’t have enough money to buy it, you miss out on the buying opportunity.
This gives players an incentive to earn money by actively using Capture to get money.