Trash and Treasures: Confessions of a SDB Packrat and How to Downsize
|NEOPIA CENTRAL - Consider for a moment those among us who do not use their Safety
Deposit Boxes. Despite a name indicating the contrary, certain parties consider
them unsafe. Still, others simply do not believe in maintaining a collection of
items large enough to warrant such a storage system. They may have extensive galleries
and multiple open trades; nevertheless, that little icon on the far right-hand
side of the Neopia Central toolbar remains perpetually ignored. For those to whom
this article is directed, this phenomenon is shocking and teetering dangerously
on the brink of insanity.
While a recent poll indicated that the average Neopian has around 450 different
items in his/her SDB, many denizens have thousands of items at their disposal;
some claimed to have more than 2,000 stored items, a virtual cornucopia of trash
and treasures. Whether they are considered collectors, investors, hoarders,
or, to be frank, habitual packrats, having 154 Pepperoni Omelettes is not the
least bit peculiar to a large segment of the Neopets community. For many, however,
there does eventually come a time when enough is enough. Unless Adam plans on
awarding prizes to those of us who have a penchant for amassing vast quantities
of odds and ends, it is time to schlep through several dozens of pages and do
some serious pruning. The burning question is, however, where does one start?
First of all, it is essential that you discard the principle beliefs of a
packrat. People like to retain copious amounts of junk for a couple of key reasons.
Acknowledging why you can't thin the herd is the first step to combating your
problem. As you survey your bountiful assortment of assets, think about the
following points: will this item ever bring me great pleasure or be of any real
use? Is it at all likely that this item will one day have great monetary value?
The most common misconception amongst packrats is the belief that one must
hold onto absolutely everything because it is inevitable that it will one day
come in handy. This is a terrible doctrine to live by and may result in spontaneous
combustion if put into place in daily (non-virtual) life. Despite what millions
of people repeat to themselves on a regular basis, it is highly unlikely that
you will ever -need- a lot of your acquisitions. Do you keep foods that your
pet refuses to eat, regardless of the fact that that they will never be the
least bit useful to you? Do you have several cheap, weak weapons that have been
collecting dust since you started making frequent visits to the Hidden Tower
and the auction block? If it is possible to hitch hike across the entire galaxy
while in possession of nothing more than a towel, it shouldn't be that difficult
for you to ask yourself if and when you plan on using that Quiggle tongue whip
before you throw it into your SDB to be ignored and forgotten. Right about now,
you are undoubtedly saying, "Well, what if it is worth something someday?" which
brings me to my next point.
Another mistake that packrats often encounter is the belief that anything
and everything that they hoard will eventually become extremely valuable. There
is a difference between a worthy investment and a junk heap. As you sit there
contemplating your extensive collection of rotten berries, take into account
the fact that ubiquitous items that are essentially useless will probably never
be rare enough to fetch a significant number of Neopoints, even if they are
retired. The basic concept of supply and demand tells us that items will only
increase significantly in value when the supply is insufficient and the demand
is high. Also, in order for an item to be coveted, it must possess desirable
qualities and be attractive to a potential buyer. Items such as paint brushes
and plushies are appealing because they can be valuable additions to a collections
and/or serve important purposes. An item that will not add prestige to a collection
and/or is not functional will more likely than not maintain a modest value,
regardless of whether or not it is retired. For example, during the Mystery
Island plot, many of the useless souvenirs given out as prizes in Tombola did
not increase much in value, despite rumors that they may never be available
again. Of course, certain items will become increasingly valuable over time
and it is impossible to completely write off something as worthless junk, but
ask yourself if the Toy Sail Boat will ever be rare enough that someone would
be willing to pay thousands of Neopoints for one.
Now that you have seen the contents of your Safety Deposit Box in a new light,
it is time to decide what you're going to do with everything. Using the criteria
listed above and a few tips from an organizational television show, your items
should fit nicely into the following three categories: keep, sell, and throw
away/donate. Whether or not anything goes into the latter category depends entirely
on how generous you happen to feel; even things that are clearly junk are worth
at least one Neopoint, but you may choose to give away some of your unwanted
items or donate them to the Money Tree. If you get stuck along the way, take
a mental note of the item and come back to it later. Go with your gut instinct;
if your first impulse is to get rid of something, don't mull over it once it
is sitting in your shop waiting to be priced. Chances are, you will be able
to replace it later if you desperately need to.
The last step in the cleaning process is certainly the easiest. Price your
items fairly and watch your inventory shrink by the minute! If you are selling
large quantities of the same thing, I would recommend putting no more than five
of each item in your shop at one time. It takes a little bit longer, but consumers
are often reluctant to buy from shops that are selling 25 of the same item and
other shop owners will purposely price products one or two Neopoints cheaper
than a bulk seller in order to draw customers.
Congratulations! If you have gotten this far, you are almost in the clear.
All you have to do is sit back and wait for the profits to come rolling in!
Watch the less industrious and efficient packrats take your junk off of your
hands in exchange for some cold, hard cash. A lot of the rubbish accumulating
dust in Safety Deposit Boxes is acquired through random events or transactions
that are faint and distant memories. It is not implausible to think that you
may make thousands of Neopoints just from doing a bit of condensing. That much
sought after Baby Paint Brush or Blue Draik Egg may be closer than you think
when you take the time to rid yourself of bits and pieces that you no longer
need or want.