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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 19th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 123 > Articles > The Art of Trading

The Art of Trading

by geomunky

TRADING POST - Nowadays, trading has become an extremely difficult way of making money for newbies to get into. Don't let it discourage you though, as there are little tips and tricks you can use (or spot being used against YOU) to get a great deal.

One of the most important things to remember is that the person you want to trade most probably wants the most NP they can get out of you, so make sure in your initiation Neomail * your offer comes across as though you are looking for the item they have, but are in no rush to buy it. By doing so, you do not seem desperate (although you may be) and immediately the person has second thoughts about attempting to rip you off, or as we like to call it, "getting a good deal" :-P.

Inside your initiation Neomail, it is best to ask how much THEY would like for their item, whether it be pure NPs or items. This way, THEY start off naming a price so that you can now haggle DOWN. If they don't give you a set price to start at, and you end up offering, they then will be able to haggle you UP, thus enabling them to get more out of you. Positioning yourself during an offer is probably the most crucial part about negotiating. If you are the one with the item, use the opposite of this technique (tell the offerer to make their offer and then try to haggle them up).

Here is a fine example of how trading can work out (and sometimes it turns out like this exactly):

You: Hey, how much for your (item)?
Them: hm... how about 200k?
You: I'll offer 100k?
Them: 150k and you got yourself a deal

In this situation, you haggled them down 50k less than they were charging. Now let's look into more complex ways to haggle them down, so it is less obvious we are trying to "get a good deal" (winkwink). One of the most common techniques is the "I can get it for ____ NPs, will you go cheaper?" technique. This does have a downfall though. It is just as easy for someone to say "Then go get that one, I'm not selling that low" so be careful how low you go. If you are offering on a Darigan Paint Brush, and you Neomail them asking if they will go cheaper than 300,000 NPs, their answer is obvious - NO. Be careful on which items you use it on, and be realistic, because it's obvious to see where people are heading, and that's what you want to conceal. Make sure to research the item and it's value and possibly brainstorm realistically at what price you would be able to say you can get it for.

Another trick someone might use on you is the "fake item trick" I like to call it. Be aware, this IS cheating so I'm only telling you this so you are aware to make sure it is the item you are looking for, and not a cheap copy of it. Let's make it into a scenario, shall we? (Since they usually Neomail you first, they will be the ones first in this scenario)

Them: Hey, would you be interested in trading for my Magical Cloud Gelert Plushie?
You: Maybe, how much are you asking for it?
Them: I'm tired of looking at it (usually a lame excuse), how about 80k?
You: Okay (thinking you're getting an awesome deal).

So you go look up their trades and sure enough, there's the Magical Cloud Gelert Plushie sitting in their trades. You offer what you agreed on offering and you wait. (Them has rejected your offer on Lot 55...) appears. You panic a little, since you think someone else stole your deal. Sure enough, they Neomail you saying they accidentally rejected your offer, and that if you offer again they'll gladly remember to hit the accept button. Of course you don't spot the suspicious action of "accidentally rejecting" your offer -- you're getting an awesome deal. You hurry to go offer and see that it's the same Gelert plushie, and they accept. What?! What's this in your inventory? It was magical! WRONG. In the process of "accidentally rejecting" your offer, they swapped the magical one for a fake one, something that can be done with a lot of items. NEVER use this technique in trading, as it's cheating. Below are some of the most common "fake item" technique items used that you should be aware of:

- Magical (color) (species) Plushie (i.e. Magical Rainbow Buzz Plushie)
- Sword of Skardsen / Bendy Sword of Skardsen
- Ghostkersword / Chocolate Ghostkersword
- Enchanted Kiko Squeeze Toy / Non-Magical Blue Kiko Squeeze Toy
- Chia Pops (i.e. Lemon Chia Pop / Sherbet Lemon Chia Pop)
- Battle Potato / Raw Potato

One of the best ways to find a good deal is to hang around the Newest 20 (which I do often). There, people are always putting up cheap items, or are looking for certain items. When you are the offerer, stick around reloading the Newest 20 until you find something either cheap or something that has a potential of being a good deal for you. Newest 20 is one of the best ways to trade, as you don't really have to wait and guess if the person is going to respond. It's evident that they are online as they are putting their trades up, and they will most probably get back to you ASAP. Personally, I hate waiting for people to respond to my Neomails, or playing Neomail tag (you Neomail them, they respond 5 hours later, you respond the next day, etc. etc.), which is why I hang around Newest 20 often. Usually you can negotiate and either make the trade or not on the spot, so there's no waiting involved besides waiting the two minutes it takes for them to respond.

The Trading and Auctions Chat always has traders everywhere, so check that board out sometime and you may find a good deal, too.

Trading is not hard at all, it just takes a little experimenting of new techniques to find out if they work or not. Negotiation is crucial, and there's nothing worse than negotiating with a brick wall - a person that won't or can't negotiate. Next time you're out trying to trade, refer back to this article and try out the technique I told you, or even better make up your own. Who knows, it might just work :)

* Initiation Neomail: the very first Neomail you send to the player you intend to trade with.


P.S. - Remember not to be offensive, as you might be dealing with the same trader in the future and they may not give you a deal because of your past confrontation. :)

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