Caveat Emptor: Codestones
NEOPIA CENTRAL - With a war in Neopia imminent, Neopians everywhere are scrambling
to collect that item of all items, the Codestone. Although the Codestones used
to pay for courses at the Mystery Island are not the only way to raise your
pets stats, they are the fastest way. Unless you are lucky enough to have stats
raised at Coltzan's Shrine or from a faerie quest, the option of using dubloons
at the Krawk Island Training Academy will take easily twice as much time as
the Training School, and you cannot have your pets enroll at both schools at
the same time. The lab ray can also be temperamental, lowering your pet's level
all the way back down to one. As Codestones cannot be bought at a regular Neopets
shop, only found as a random event, the mad rush to buy Codestones cheaply from
another Neopian's shop ensues.
It is possible to get an excellent deal on Codestones using the Shop Wizard,
if you have a very fast connection and are quick with a mouse. Today, for instance,
I managed to get hold of a Lu Codestone for 1 NP, a Bri and Har Codestone for
around 300 NP each, and a Mau Codestone for 750 NP before the Shop Wizard told
me I had done too many searches. However, buying Codestones from other Neopians'
shops has its dangers, and I find it important to warn prospective buyers before
they set out on the Codestone hunt. Here are several ticks I have come across.
The Dark Background Trick:
This trick can be used in many ways, but usually it goes something like this:
You find an amazingly low-priced Codestone on the wizard, and rush to the shop
to grab it before it is gone. When you get to the shop, the prices are in black
text, invisible against a dark background. Oftentimes, the owner will have priced
one Codestone for something like 500 NP, and others for 50,000 NP. If you cannot
remember exactly which Codestone had the low price, you run the risk of buying
an extremely overpriced Codestone. One way to overcome this is by highlighting
the page to see the real prices. Also, if the background takes a second to load,
you may be able to see the prices before they are blacked out.
The Repricing Trick:
Some shop owners price all their Codestones at 500 NP for one second before
they reprice them to 5,000 or 50,000, hoping that buyers will not notice in
their rush to pay. Be alert for this trick! Make sure the pop up has the price
you are willing to pay before you hit enter, or you may lose thousands of NP.
This can also be combined with the dark background trick.
The Fake Login Trick:
Other shop owners figure out a code where it looks like there shop is priced
with very cheap Codestones, but when you click on them, it takes you into a
fake login page. Look at the URL of every login page you come across. If it
doesn't look like this: http://www.neopets.com/loginpage.phtml, you may be submitting
your password to a party other than Neopets. During my Codestone search, I have
come across multiple shops with 3 Tai-Kai Codestones for 300 NP, and 3 Earth
Faeries for 300 NP, that when you click to buy, lead to a fake log in page.
Since I always look to see the account before I report a shop, I have noticed
that each account is unique and different; therefore my conclusion is that one
person has managed to use the same trick to find passwords, then uses stolen
accounts gained from the passwords to do the trick all over again, thus keeping
their own account safe. Don't fall for it!
The Copied Image Trick:
I have seen this done only one time in my search, but I once went into a shop
where the owner had managed to get pictures of Codestones superimposed over
the items really being sold in his shop. Therefore, when you tried to buy a
Codestone for 500 NP, you were really getting a bottle of green sand for 500
NP. Check the pop up box to make sure that the item you see is the item you
are really getting; if it says, "Are you sure you want to buy "Bottle of Green
Sand" for 500 NP?", click NO!
My Tips For Avoiding These Tricks
1. Always check the pop up box before you buy and make sure you are
getting the right item for the right price.
2. If you don't have too much NP out in the first place, you can't ever
accidentally spend 50,000 NP on a Codestone. I usually keep out around 6,000 NP
during my Codestone searches.
3. Report every shop you see that has a selling trick. This will prevent
other people from falling for the trick, and hopefully discourage the shop owner
from using them.
As a last tip, I suggest that if you are feeling charitable, you check
to see how many months the shop owner has been on Neopets. If you buy a Codestone
for 1 NP, and then find out that the owner is a Newbie, you might want to think
about Neomailing them and telling them about the Shop Wizard, and then sending
them either the Codestone back, or something to make up for the loss. This isn't
necessary, of course, but it can be a nice thing to do.
Well, good luck on the Codestone hunt, and CAVEAT EMPTOR!