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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 92 > Articles > Large or Small -- A Rundown on Shop Sizes

Large or Small -- A Rundown on Shop Sizes

by ryken

MARKETPLACE - Virtually every veteran Neopets player would tell you that the road to wealth lies in running a shop. There are several articles in the past discussing restocking and designing the appearance of shops, all of which provide useful information for a newbie who is just starting out. But none have really tackled shop size in any great detail. This article hopes to fill that hole, and hopefully, give some perspective on this often overlooked detail.

On the most basic scale, shop size determines the number of items a shop owner can have for sale, or keep in a gallery, if you're into that sort of thing. The maximum number of items that can be kept in a shop is equal to shop size multiplied by 5. For example, if your shop size is 4, then you can have a maximum of 20 items in your shop, simple. But that is not all -- having a larger shop also makes it show up higher when people use the Shop Wizard. In effect, a large shop has priority over a smaller shop when both are selling the same item at the same price. This means that a larger shop would have a greater potential to sell its items, given the fact that most people doing quests would pick the first shop that shows up. In this case, size DOES matter.

Before you decide to blow all your spare NP on upgrading your shop to titanic proportions, let us first compare the pros and cons of the gigantic shops versus the normal, run-of-the-mill store that make up majority of the shops in Neopets. It is better to examine the facts before making a major decision, that way there will be fewer regrets later on.

First off, one obvious factor to think about is the upgrade cost. To increase your shop size takes increasingly larger amounts of NP. Thing is, an upgrade will only increase your shop capacity by 5, which is not, by any means, proportional to its cost. The advantage to this is there will be 5 additional items from which profits can be derived from, so the only question here is "Are you willing to afford the cost?" Other than that, there really isn't much to worry about.

The second factor to consider is stocking the shop. The larger the shop, the more items can be up for sale. But how are you going to fill it? To maximize profits, the best way is to do some restocking. Now, as has been discussed in the past, your dexterity and connection speed play a major role in deciding whether you get the premium items or the dregs. Sometimes, it's possible to get by with a slow connection if you are physically alert and fast, though such cases are rare.

Even with both factors present, it is realistic to assume that you can catch 4 or 5 good items per restock. Barring lags, at 7 restocks per hour, you are able to stock up to 35 items. Imagine how many hours you have to spend if you have shop size 300 (1500 items)? You don't have to fill it, I suppose, but then, that is wasted potential, considering you paid good NP to build up your shop to that size. Here is where the perks of having a large shop come in -- since you will appear higher, you have the luxury of pricing your goods a bit higher. Furthermore, you can use the Shop Wizard to acquire the items to fill your shop. The drawback is that you won't be able to enjoy maximum profits since you can only mark up so much: make the price too high, you won't be able to sell it. It takes some time to figure out the balance, but you'll get it eventually.

The third factor, which a lot of people may not realize, is return on investment. Simply put, this is how long it takes for you to make back your costs and gain profits. The first cost, of course, is upgrade costs. As mentioned, each upgrade gets more and more expensive. Add to that the cost of the items themselves. So, before thinking that you made 10k selling this item or that, know that you have not made any profit until you have made back at least the operating costs. Only then can you start counting profits.

Finally, and this one is probably overlooked by many large shop owners, there is financial turnover. Most, if not all, large shops take a long time to run out of stock since the items are priced higher. In a way, this is a blessing as it also took a long time to fill it up in the first place. Unlike in the real world where you buy stock wholesale, items in Neopets have to be acquired individually, so it is quite a pain in the neck to stock 1,000+ items. But the problem here is that in the entire time, your NP is frozen in items. Sure, you can find 100,000+ NP in your till any given day, but not all of that is profit. You have to subtract the purchase price of item, and if you stocked via Shop Wizard, then the profit is not very great.

The only way for maximizing your profits, as mentioned above, is to do restocks. Unless you plan on spending every waking hour restocking, and not even then, you can't possibly fill your shop within a few hours (unless you fill it with junk items, but what's the point in that?). The thing here is that you could have used the NP you invested for other things like weapons or training or completing your collection.

In my opinion, it would be better if your stocks empty each time you log in to Neopets. At least your NP is already on hand, not frozen for who knows how long. Therefore, only upgrade your shop to a size you can manage to fill up via restocks, it is more efficient that way. With effective pricing, you'll probably be able to make millions in actual profits within a relatively short period (assuming you have stocked premium items). However, this is only my opinion, so do what you see fit. It is up to you whether you want to go for a mall or run a small store, given the points raised. Whatever the case, I hope this article has helped out in its own little way on your road to Neopian millions.

Author's note: This is my very first article, so if this ever hits the presses, I will definitely be rejoicing. Please Neomail me any comments, negative or otherwise, so I can improve my writing.

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