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Shopkeeping 101


by streamergurl

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So you have decided to join the vast majority of Neopian addicts… err… users who have a shop. You’ve selected the items, decorated your shop, and finally opened it up.

And the next time you visit Neopia, after collecting your bank interest, you look and the amount of Neopoints you have to your name, and are about to get depressed… and then you remember your new shop. With much rejoicing, you run over to your shop, greet your Neopet that’s been watching the shop, and check the shop inventory. What?? Only 2 things sold? What happened?

Unfortunately, running a shop is not easy. It takes some time to get things running properly, and it takes even more time to find your shop specialty. So, along with patience, here are a few guidelines to help your shop not only make you money, but to also keep your customers happy.

My Neopets asked to help revise this article before I sent it in. Since they are permanent residents of Neopia, (while I only visit) it made sense to get their opinions on a few things. Here is what they came up with.

Neo: The best way to get your sell your stuff in your shop is to advertise. There is a board dedicated to shops, where shopkeepers from all over Neopia come to advertise their shop. And even more importantly, shoppers come to these boards just to buy things!! There is a very simple way to get your shop noticed, and to attract customers to your shop.

Let’s talk about an ad for your shop. Find some slogan that fits your store (hopefully one you can remember), type it once, then copy and paste it for the remaining ads you post. It saves a lot of time, since the shop boards (especially at night) update so quickly.

Come up with your own slogan. Don’t rip off someone else’s. Keep it short, and to the point. Include a working link (shop link and then a space), since that means easy access.

Alysa: Know how your pricing technique compares to others. If you’re pricing on the high end, don’t advertise yourself as cheap. Most shoppers know the difference, and will most likely ignore your ad in the future.

Let’s say you’ve decided to price things cheaply. Do NOT advertise yourself as the lowest person on the Wiz. This claim is posted about 5 times a day on the shop boards. You may very well have checked the shop wizard, and priced your item lower than everyone. Chances are, 5 minutes later, another shopkeeper has found your low price, and is undercutting you. Keep in mind that the market is constantly changing. Deal with it.

Also keep in mind the value of each particular item. Not everything is worth 200 NPs. Some are worth more, some are worth less.

Colleen: Scan the new board topics on a regular basis. Advertise when people go on shopping sprees, or when someone is looking for an item you have. If your shop is cheap, and they’re looking for cheap things, advertise!!

Another word to the wise, “cheap” means different things to different people. A person who has 15k will most likely think something for 800 NPs is cheap. A person who only has 300 NPs will think that your item is too high. Who is right? Well, again, that answer varies.

The shop boards is an excellent place to find great deals. Alysa and I are waiting to be painted with the paintbrush of our choosing. While our owner saves up that money, we’re constantly scanning the boards for good paintbrush deals, and learning how much each particular one is. People usually advertise whenever they put up a paintbrush for sale, so we look at those on a regular basis.

Alysa: Speaking of people, most owners seem to forget to include their Neopets in advertising their shop. Our owner made more Neopoints when she decided to include the 3 of us in the shop upkeep. We help her scan the boards for various things, and one of us is watching the shop when she’s away.

Remember – it’s a lot more fun when you and your pet work together! So please, include them somehow! Not only will they be happier, but it will help you in the end.

They’ll tolerate your obsession with the new game in the arcade better if they have something to occupy themselves with while you play it.

Neo: This also saves time. If you’re playing a game, and your pets are working on restocking your shop, or scanning the boards, it makes life easier for you. And since things tend to sell quicker with this method, you’ll make more Neopoints, and all of you can go eat at Kelp (or wherever you’re dying to go) sooner than expected.

Colleen: Remember to keep advertising. People flock to the boards for different reasons, at different times, and on different days. If you can remember (another thing your pets can help you with), advertising about 2 or 3 times a week on the boards helps with your shop traffic, which also helps sell items quickly.

You will get constant traffic, but it picks up when you start advertising. Sure, that big-ticket item might not sell for months, but it will eventually catch someone’s eye. Advertising regularly increases this likelihood.

Alysa: Remember to listen to the advice of others. Shop ratings vary, but they’re a pretty good objective opinion on how your shop stacks up to others. If you’re happy with your shop, that’s fine. But if things don’t sell for a while, it might be time to try a new tactic (like lowering your prices).

The boards also overflow with people who know what they’re doing, and some are probably happy to offer advice or answers. The Help boards are a good place for this. Wise people hang around there, patiently answering probably the same questions for days at a time. We like these people a lot, since they’re very friendly and very helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!!!

Me: I hope this helps! Rake in those Neopoints! Go on a shopping spree and make someone else happy!

And don’t forget to check out my shop!!!

 
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