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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Relaxing, Yr 20
The Neopian Times Week 91 > Articles > Understanding Inflation

Understanding Inflation

by archangellight

NEOPIAN MARKETPLACE - Hmm... let’s see what Kauvara has for us today... an Earth Faerie? 788 Neopoints? Sure I’ll take... what?!? Sold out? Let me check the shop wizard... GREAT GALLOPING GELERTS! 3500 NP?!

A common aspect of every Neopian’s life is inflation. We’ve all seen it. That 12 NP item suddenly soars to 12,000. This or that disappears, a war starts, a shop is open... all of these are causes for inflation. Today I have gathered up for you the latest and perhaps greatest sources of inflation.

Source #1) Historical Inflation- It’s just always been that way. Take faeries for example. Ever since as long as even the Esophagor can remember, Faeries have been highly priced. It is completely unreasonable... they are old, they are commonly restocked for less than 1000 NP, most of the abilities they give are rather useless, and that is if your pet’s level is high enough to begin with! Why are they so high? Because they always have been! Simple as that! Someone along time ago said “Well, look what we have here! A genuine Faerie!” And POOF! they are expensive! Update: Neopets has finally increased the price of bottled faeries in the magic shop.

Source #2) Fresh Inflation- Neopets comes out with the latest and greatest of anything, and it is a given that the newest ones will be sold for a lot. It doesn't matter what it does, it’s the first of it’s kind; no one else has it! These items are rather hard to sell, because it will usually fall in price shortly after it is released.

Source #3) Useful Inflation- Iron Lupe Swords are a great example of this. Neopets comes along with a decent weapon, and it soars sky high! For those who don’t know, Iron Lupe Swords do 9 icons, which is very well considering the next step up (10 icons) usually sell for a million or greater. This item becomes expensive because it’s good! Two years ago, before the Battledome, Hypno Helmets cost about 350 NP. This is because there was no apparent use. Once people discovered the apparent usage, the price exploded a whopping 1000 times it’s original value. Other items were boosted because of it’s effect. Lemon Chia pops used to cost about 20 NP. Once lemon Chias were introduced, their value exploded.

Source #4) Rarity/ Quest Inflation- An item can become inflated in this manner by three different ways:

A) It is of a high rarity level (90-99). These items are generally good, and hard to get a hold of. Food of this level is used in the Gourmet Club pointing system, and many people collect rarity 99 items.

B) People need these items for quests such as Illusen or Jhudora, and because of the short amount of time they have to get it, people are willing to pay more.

C) Retirement- Neopets stops restocking this item, boots up it’s rarity, and the item soars. This doesn’t always cause inflation, because with some items there are just too many.

Source #5) *Triggered Inflation- A group of people gets together and says’, “Hey! Let’s all buy this item and price it higher!” Bunches of people (commonly known as “Inflators“), usually all collaborating, buy as many of an item as they can, and price it for a high price. They generally use decent items, especially Battledome weapons. Take for instance the Elephante stunray, A decent weapon which does 9 icons and has a chance of freezing. Normally they sell for about 30,000. On several occasions, a group of people bought every Stunray they could find under 70,000, and priced it for 99,999. This caused a massive price spike, and the ray flew up about 50,000 NP in price within the hour. This not only doubles and sometimes triples the profit, but it unbalances the game. A group of semi-rich people could easily accomplish this, and as long as the price stays stable, control the Neopian economy. There are, however, several economical rules which check and balance this factor.

First of all, More of the items are guaranteed to restock (as long as it isn’t retired). Once someone gets one, they can price it lower. For instance, if I bought something and priced it for 90,000, the next person might price it for 80,000 in hopes of selling it faster. The next person might see that, and lower their own to 70,000. This will continue to drop the price. Secondly, the price may not stabilize. If people refuse to buy something at it’s inflated price, it will drop back down eventually. Third, an item (such as the rather infamous Bottles of Sand) that is useless, incredibly cheap, continues to be given out (I.e. Advent Items), or is in existence by the millions, truly cannot be inflated.

Source #6) Neopoint- Increase Inflation- This situation is only theoretical. If, for some reason, every player on Neopets was awarded 1,000,000 NP, prices would soar. Things that had cost 10,000 would soar to millions. In the case of this event, the Neopets economy would completely crash, as shops would become obsolete. Again, as far as I know this has never happened, and most likely never will.

Source #7) Acquirement Inflation- An item that is incredibly hard to get tends to soar sky-high, regardless of it’s use or rarity. For example, a Bartamus pet pet. Though there is nothing special about this creepy little pet pet, but because it is given out at a high level of Jhudora’s Quest, not too many people have them. Same with the Scarabs, Gadgadsbogen, NPv2, and other similar prizes. No one seems to have them... so their price is incredibly high. Also random event items semi- fall into this category.

Source #8) Random-Needed Inflation- The best example would be the all popular Paint Brushes. Everyone wants to change their pet into this colour or that colour, and because new pets are created all the time, paint brushes increase in price. Most paint brushes used to be less than 50,000 NP. But as new pets came into existence, and all Paint Brushes (excluding the Hidden Tower’s baby paint brush and Darigan paint brush) cannot be purchased in the official shops, but rather found only through random events, prices rose. Amazingly, paint brush even survived two rounds with the Rainbow Fountain (for those who do not recall, this was a sponsor offer where you signed up with various affiliates of Neopets in order to receive “Fountain Passes” with which you could colour your pet for free) which rendered paint brush pointless and expensive (and, less affected, the morphing potions, which were expensive and had little variety). The Fountain has since dried up, and is no longer available, so those brushes continue to rise in price.

Source #9) Event Inflation- This type of inflation is part Usefulness Inflation, part large-scale Triggered Inflation. Essentially, a planned event in which certain items are needed causes a rapid rise of price. The best and most recent example would be the War between Meridell and Darigan. People who wished to participate in this war went out to acquire new weapons, and this mass gathering of arms caused their price to elevate. Because so many people wanted weapons, they were willing to purchase them at a higher price. For instance, Icy Snowballs cost roughly between 100- 200 NP. Once the war started, their prices inflated to 400.

Source #10) Time Inflation- Because many if not most of Neopets' players are children and teens, most of the players are generally in school. However, in the evenings, weekends, and summers, they are off and have access to the site. During these times, the price of items inflates slightly, because many more people are on, and need to buy food, weapons, etc. for their pet. An example of this would be codestones. During the week, they sell for about 4000, but when Friday hits, they begin to soar to about 5000. The best times to play are generally agreed upon being 1:00 AM NST, and during the weekdays. These times are very low activity times. Avoid the afternoons and evenings, because most people will be on during this period.

Well, that about wraps up this report, and I hope you found it helpful and useful. Until next time, keep filling those Safety Deposit Boxes, best of luck, and many hours of fun. -ArchangelLight

A special thanks to my pet- SeraphAura, and my guild, the Imperial Guards, for help and suggestions.

*Disclaimer: I am not responsible for loss of Neopoints in attempting to successfully overwhelm the economy of Neopets by trying to create a mass-inflation. Leave the destruction of Neopia (or it’s economy) up to Dr. Sloth.

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