The Employment Agency: Stats for BusinessPets
The one thing most people don't know about Faeries is that they are very impatient; sometimes, a Faerie just happens to decide that she needs 6 Roast Tentacles, and she needs them within the next 5 minutes. And she's willing to pay big bucks to get them on time.
That's where the Employment Agency comes in. Every 10 minutes, new jobs are added for business-minded Neopets to complete. My Neopet Arlera loves completing jobs; she's completed over 800 now, and she's asked me to share a few tips with the good readers of the Neopian Times to help you boost your pet's CV and earn generous rewards in the process.
Arlera says, "Avoid Baby Dolls at all costs!"
Let's start with the basics; what is the Employment Agency? The Faerieland Employment Agency can be found, as its name suggests, in Faerie City. The first thing you'll notice is that there are 2 different types of jobs available for contractors to accept; I will be covering Basic Jobs, the free jobs, in this article.
Arlera says, "Free jobs for all! Down with Faerie elitism!"
You can complete 5 jobs a day in total, with one or more pets. Jobs are released in "batches" every 10 minutes; they go fast, but extra speedy pets might be able to complete more than one job from the same batch (the exception being a 5th job cannot be accepted from the same batch as the 4th job; best not to question these things.) If you're pressed for time, you might also want to consider accepting jobs with 2 different pets before completing both jobs at your leisure; the obvious downside of this is that you'll end up with a smaller time bonus. For this reason, I would recommend you only attempt 1 job with 1 pet per batch if you're going for maximum profit, as the most lucrative jobs aren't around for long!
Unlike regular faerie quests, Employment Agency jobs can be completed with the help of the Shop Wizard. It is actually rather difficult to make a loss, but if you do find you've accepted a job that won't pay decently (it helps to be good at mental arithmetic), don't be afraid to quit the job; Arlera won't complete a job with a potential profit of less than 1,000 NP. It will cost you 200 NP, but it won't be regarded as a failed job or count towards your daily limit.
Now, onto the strategy! Although it's true that the batches of jobs are released every 10 minutes, some jobs start appearing up to 10 seconds before the 10 minute mark; for example, if you're waiting for the batch to be released at 12:40:00 pm NST, start refreshing at 12:39:50 pm NST. When the jobs start appearing, scan the page quickly, keeping your eye on base reward and time; Arlera doesn't do jobs with a time limit of less than 2 minutes, with a base reward of less than 6,000 NP (the base rewards range from less than 100 NP to almost 10,000 NP) so if I don't see any suitable jobs on the first page I quickly load the next page and continue scanning. However, you might prefer to spend longer looking at jobs to decide which will give a better return; the choice is yours!
Arlera says; "I'll never make Arch Master if you give away all my strategies!"
Another top tip is to learn what types of items give what types of rewards; collectable cards, for example, tend to have well established vales and guarantee a modest return. Toys, on the other hand, are a lot more volatile; you might make big, or you mind find yourself faced with buying 20,000 NP of items for a 10,000 NP reward!
Arlera says, "What did I tell you about Baby Dolls?"
There are some other tricks of the trade; you can usually save money on smoothies by buying them directly from the smoothie store; Bitten Red Apples can be bought as (whole) Red Apples and fed once to your pets, who will take a bite out of them for you.
Arlera says, "I already knew all that! Let's get onto the data!"
I decided to record information on all the jobs Arlera completed over a week: a total of 35 jobs, with a total time spent doing jobs of 59 minutes and 16 seconds and a total profit of 159,444 NP. The average number of items to find was 4 in an average time of 35 minutes; the average base reward was 8,303 NP and payout was 9,838 NP, with average expenses of 5,283 NP per job. The most profit on 1 job (for 4 Shenkuu Firecrackers) was 9,899 NP (Arlera has made over 10,000 NP on a single job a couple of times before, but this is very rare) and the average profit was 4,556 NP. This means that my average daily profit was 22,778 NP, from which we can estimate the average yearly profit as being a jaw dropping 8.3 million NP!
But how are bonuses decided? I plotted a graph of the percentage of time limit taken (x) against bonus reward as a percentage of base reward (y). The relationship is y = -x + 25. I'll try my best to explain it for the non-mathematically inclined; if your pet takes 1 minute and 30 seconds to complete a job with a time limit of 15 minutes, the time taken is 10% of the total time, so x = 10. Plugging that into the equation, we find that y = -10 + 25 = 15; therefore if the base reward is 6,000 NP, the time bonus paid on top of the base reward is 15% of 6,000 (900 NP). Theoretically, if you completed the job in 0 seconds you'd be paid a 25% bonus; but if you take longer than a quarter of the total time allowed finishing a job you won't get any bonus at all!
Arlera says, "Now if you don't mind, I've got some jobs to do!"