As February rolls around, all Neopians have their eye on one prize. And no, it isn’t the Valentine’s staples of candy, balloons and teddy bears. Mysterious Valentines Cards take Neopets by storm, sending a frenzy of confused players flocking to the Boards, looking for answers to the burning questions: What are MVCs? How do I get one? And what’s so special about them? Through my extensive experience Restocking and answering your questions on the Help Chat (or HC for you regs) I have deciphered the most common questions of MVC season and put them all together in one easily accessible article. Ready to learn something? Here we go!
MVC is the abbreviation for “A Mysterious Valentines Card.” Although they can rarely be seen year round at the Igloo Garage Sale, the beginning of February welcomes an influx of MVCs stocking in massive quantities of 30 or more for a two week period, selling for roughly 150x their stocking price. But before you see dollar signs flash before your eyes, let's cover a few facts. First, most year-round Restockers (or those who make a majority of their money by buying items from Neopian shops and reselling them for an escalated market price in their own shop) are aware of MVCs and will migrate into the shop especially for the season. With them, Restockers bring haggling knowledge and experience. ‘Haggling’ is the process of hitting the number keys to enter a price when purchasing an item. Just like with anything, yearlong familiarity with the number row and the process of buying items puts luck in a regular Restocker’s corner. Also, they do not have the tendency to ‘freeze up’ like an MVC Restocker (or, one who makes their money predominately from Games or the Stock Market and Restocks only during MVC Season), who may tend to panic at the site of the MVCs or expensive items and lose precious seconds. In addition to the competition that the experienced Restockers bring, hundreds of MVC Restockers will come out of retirement, creating specialized Boards where they will reunite and watch for potential restocks together. In short, MVCs stocking in massive quantities does not guarantee a successful Restock! Hopefully the subsequent information will give you a fighting chance this year.
First off, begin familiarizing yourself with the Gift Shop as soon as possible. You can find it in the lower left hand corner of the Neopian Bazaar, labeled ‘Gifts Galore’ (or Shop #17 for those who know their way around Shop URLs.) Begin to refresh, using either your Browser or the F5 button, and watch the shop for any activity. You will begin to notice a trend in what items never sell, and ones that sell very quickly. Many MVC Restockers, without any experience in Gift, tend to buy items that are losses, or overlook potentially expensive items because they are focused on only one thing. Heart Pendants, Charm Bracelets, any Spoon, and most Wearables are all profit items. Be sure to avoid most Tiki items, Cups, and Beach Towels. As these items become secondhand to you, you will not be distracted by ‘junk’ when the store restocks, and will be able to focus right on the potential profits. Remember, all restocks are absolutely random. Although at ONE time shops did stock according to certain times, they are now absolutely unpredictable. If you are totally sure you are noticing a trend in when the shop stocks due to seconds, or number of refreshes—step away from the computer and go on a walk, because you’re focusing too hard. ;) Just accept the fact that the shop will, eventually, restock, and just hope you are there to catch it. Do not get fussed if a shop has not restocked in a while. Sometimes it can restock twice in one minute, sometimes once an hour or less. As a VERY broad, general rule, Gift restocks roughly every 20 minutes—however, this is not concrete and can very immensely throughout any given day.
So, the time has come—you have familiarized yourself with the Gift Shop, you know where it is and what to look for—where to go? If you are not old enough to access the boards, crank up some music and kick back. :) However, if you are over 13 or have Parental Consent, you have a few options. Choose the board that you most commonly frequent and check for Restock threads. Year round, only one Restock thread runs on each board—Restock Help and Chat in the HC, Battledome Restock and Chat, etc. The people on these boards are generally referred to as ‘regulars’ or ‘regs’ and spend a great deal of time together during the year discussing shops and restocking. Although they are skilled in the knowledge of how to assist people in restocking, those who are new can find these boards intimidating due to lack of experience or recognizing someone. However, there are no set ‘members’ to these boards and anyone is more than welcome to participate. If you feel no one is talking to you, just be patient and continue to hang around; just be aware that the conversation will involve a variety of shops in addition to MVCs and will not focus on them explicitly, as most members of these threads have prior experience to the system. Your other option is to browse the boards and look for an MVC Restockers board. These begin to pop up at the end of January/beginning of February and disappear after Valentine’s Day. These Restockers are going to focus solely on MVC talk, and if you are looking to find out the last time they stocked or in what quantities, this is where you should go. The benefit to these boards is that they remain extremely active and contain a variety of people, both those that are familiar with Restocking MVCs and many who have little to no experience. Some feel that these boards have a more ‘inclusive’ feeling than the year round restock boards, but the choice is entirely yours. I recommend chatting while you wait on restocks. Sometimes it can become horribly tedious refreshing hours on end, and it is nice to celebrate with like-minded people when you succeed in grabbing one (or more!). Occasionally, the chatting will result in you MISSING a restock... which is the reason that some choose to restock in silence. Either way, you now know where to have a question answered if one arises during the process.
Once you have decided where you will situate yourself during this arduous MVC season, it is time to actually do some restocking! Begin refreshing in the Gift Shop as you practiced, never faster than 5 seconds or so as you run the risk of being banned. This is when you are no longer allowed to see items in the Neopian Shops and occurs if you are refreshing them too fast. A ban allows you to still see the SHOP, just not the items inside of it, so it may not be immediately apparent to you that a ban has taken place. Generally, the Gift Shop stays pretty full of junk. If all of it disappears simultaneously, you have probably been banned—be prepared to wait anywhere between 2 and 24 hours on the ban to lift. If you see items, continue refreshing your shop, looking for that special Pink envelope sealed with a heart. There are other items that are similar in appearance to the MVC, so be sure to check it says “A Mysterious Valentines Card” before you click. But the time has finally come and – Surprise! – a collection of cards has stocked. Quickly type the price into the Haggle box. MVCs tend to restock for less than 1,000 Neopoints. So you will be using a three number haggle; simply, you will be entering a price by pressing 3 buttons. Although there is some debate on this, personal experience leads me to tell you the fastest way to enter the number is through alternating keys. You do NOT have to submit the exact price to purchase the item. Simply a price close (either higher, or lower) to the one listed will be successful. For example, submitting “343” is generally (but not always, everyone is different :P) faster than submitting “333.” Try to keep the alternating numbers together, such as “353” or “323” as opposed to “393”, or subsequent numbers that are far apart. Do NOT attempt to haggle down the Shopkeeper! These cards go fast and you do not need to waste your time over 100 Neopoints when the payoff of Restocking one is much greater. Once your price is entered, slide that mouse down as quick as you can and pick out that Neopet from inside the picture. (I know, it seems obnoxious to have to complete this step, but be happy! This is what helps Neopets know you are a real person, not a cheating Robot, so be thankful you have to do it. ;) ) Sometimes the Neopet can be quite difficult to see, but never fear, he is always ready and waiting. If you reach the “A Mysterious Valentines Card is SOLD OUT!” screen, keep your chin up! There will be many, many more and you will hopefully have better luck next time. If you reached the “I accept your offer of...” screen, Congratulations to you! You have officially become an MVC Restocker and can now reap the benefits of this wonderful season.
So, you have your MVC. Whoopee! What to do with it? You have three options. You can sell it, store it, or use it. When selling, be sure to check the Shop Wizard and refresh multiple times to price accurately. Initially they may begin Unbuyable (that is, over 100,000 Neopoints) and will be sold on the Trading Post. Soon after they begin restocking however, they will drop to buyable. Selling them in your shop is definitely the fastest way to sell an MVC. If you price reasonably by the Shop Wiz, your MVC will probably be gone within the hour. Putting your MVC on the Trading Post if they are currently buyable is not wise unless you are selling them in Bulk (that is, more than 1 at a time). Some people like to get rid of all of their MVCs at once, selling them for a slightly lowered price, 10 at a time. This method is entirely up to preference for you. Another, more patient portion of the Neopian population, prefers to save their MVCs to sell in January when they are at an inflated price. This option initially appeals to many people—but stop and think! If you are the type that is looking for money often and finds themselves frequently selling Safety Deposit Box treasures to make ends meet, this method is NOT for you. You will most likely end up selling your MVCs in June for pennies when you could have sold them in February for a good price. If you are a serial hoarder, go for it. However, if you don’t think you can wait an entire year, go ahead and sell them now and appreciate the money. However, if you have never used a MVC before, be prepared to put one aside and see what all the fuss is about!
The entire reasons that MVCs stock in massive quantities and cause such a big commotion is that more can be gained from them than simply Neopoints. When one is sent to a friend, both you and a friend receive a special Valentines Site Theme (which is simply adorable!) However, be aware – the card WILL disappear when you use it! When trying to find someone to send it to, make sure you find a friend who does NOT have the site theme to ensure maximum benefit. If you can’t think of anyone, it might be a nice gesture to make a thread on any Board and offer to send it to a stranger; this is a holiday of Love and caring, after all! You could also, if you wish, send it to a side account of yours, which is legal since no financial benefit can be gained as the MVC disappears after one use. Choose wisely. ;)
Well, there you have it! Anything you could possibly ever want to know about A Mysterious Valentines Card. Best of luck to you, and Happy Valentines Day!
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|Fifteen Years Ago|
Like a thunderstorm it rolled towards her, dark clouds threatening to crash once they had reached her. Valentines Day.