I'm working on NPC merchants. The basic design is, when a player is within oview(4) of a merchant, their shop will open up in the player's statpanel.

Objects for sale are coded to check to see where they are, if they are in the player's inventory and within oview(4) of a pawn shop, it sells the item. If not, it defaults to using the item.

In the shop panel, cost of the item(s) are shown in the suffix panel, which is generated when added to the merchant's inventory. Items stay in the merchant's inventory (unless they are a pawn shop) and instead clones the object and gives the player the object.

I'd like to also allow players to examine an item to see what they do or what stats they might have, it doesn't matter if the player is the owner of the item or not, if it's visible, they can examine it.

I'd like some suggestions. I was hoping BYOND would have some sort of object hover text support, unfortunately it appears not.
The easiest way would probably be to trigger the examination by clicking the item or an "examine" verb defined on items. Examination would then just be outputted text, or an alert() or input() popup with the details.

The fancy way would be to do everything in the HUD. Shop windows, item interaction, and you can get your mouse hover tooltips exactly where the mouse is. This is a lot more work than a skin, but the skin can't really do what you want no matter how much work you put into it.