Shopkeeping Without Restocking
Restocking might seem like a simple process – an item appears in a shop, you buy it, and you resell it for a profit – but as anyone who's tried it can attest, it can become far more complex if you intend to do it well. You have to have the patience to refresh the screen over and over as you wait for a restock. You have to know what will turn a profit and what won't just by looking at it, because you can't be wasting time looking everything up in the Shop Wizard or someone will buy all the good items first. You have to keep a cool head when at the haggling screen, so you can get through it quickly and get the item. And perhaps most importantly, you need a fast Internet connection, which is out of reach for many players through no fault of their own. So if you'd like to keep a shop without going through all that hassle, how do you do it? There are many ways, some easier or more profitable than others. You can pick the method that seems like it would work best for you, or try a few in combination with each other. The more methods you use, the more varied your stock will be, and the quicker you will start to see profits from this.
Everyone's heard of dailies (the free or nearly free things you can do on Neopets each day), and most people do at least some. But if you are sure to do every single one every single day, you can reap some pretty impressive rewards for your shop. I wouldn't expect to get anything fantastic from the Giant Jelly or Omelette (although there are omelettes which can sell for thousands of Neopoints, even tens of thousands!), but the Tombola gives out bottled faeries fairly regularly. These don't sell for as much as they used to, but they do tend to sell out fast. With almost every other daily, you're going to get either low-value junk, which you can still sell as long as your prices are very low, or something very rare that you could potentially not even be able to put in your shop because it's worth so much (shops can only sell items worth 99,999 NP or less). It's all about getting lucky, but since you can try every day, you're bound to get something decent at least once in a while!
Quests are another easy, well-known way to get items to stock your shop, but many players don't leverage them to their full potential. These aren't faerie quests that are given out randomly, but rather ones you can elect to take on, such as Snow Faerie, Esophagor, Edna and Kitchen quests. Brain Tree quests also function like this, but they are not recommended for the purpose of collecting items for resale. Out of these, Snow Faerie quests are by far the best. Not only are your chances of getting a decent item to sell much better than with the other ones, but she will give you a fair amount of Neopoints too, usually enough to almost completely cover the expense of buying the items you brought her. Keeping in mind that to make a profit, you should only do quests that require you to spend about 3,000 to 4,000 NP in total, and less is better, do as many of these as is reasonable each day. If you get one that isn't worth doing, let the time lapse and come back for another one later - there's no penalty. The rewards can be stellar, too; I've recently gotten a Bag of Peanuts from one, which sells for 250,000 NP on the Trading Post!
The Esophagor's quests are the second best, but are much less frequently worth doing than the Snow Faerie's. They are either very cheap to do (usually costing about 10 NP or less) or extremely expensive (multiple unbuyable items, meaning that they are worth over 99,999 NP). Obviously, it's best to avoid the expensive ones, because the reward item will almost never be worth that much. When it's only costing you 10 NP, though, what's not to like?
Edna and the Kitchen quests are last-resort quests, at least for me. This is due to their inferior cost/reward ratio. Kitchen quests tend to be on the expensive side, and will only give either a small amount of Neopoints (about 1,000) or an item that is generally not very valuable. Edna's quests, while usually inexpensive, have been known to give terrible rewards. She gives about 150 NP and a random spooky food, which sounds great when one considers how many expensive spooky foods there are. However, she seems to give out the more common items far more often than anything else, meaning that you are receiving the same kinds of foods as you are feeding to the Esophagor for 10 NP. I've logged the last dozen quests I've done for her, and out all twelve I've only received one worthwhile prize: a Bleeding Heart Jelly Sundae. Overall, both of these quests are just much greater gambles than Snow Faerie or Esophagor quests, but by all means try them if you're feeling lucky.
3. Key Quest
Key Quest is one of my favorite features on Neopets. Not only is it fun and a great way to make new Neofriends, but the rewards are absolutely stellar. Each game of Key Quest gives you Neopoints, the amount depending on how well you played. This can easily get you 1,000 NP a game on its own. The real prize, however, is the key you get at the end of each game. There are four keys: gold, silver, bronze and lead. Each allows you to receive a different number of prizes when inserted into the vault: four, three, two or one, respectively. Many of these prizes are junk (which again, is still perfectly good to sell at low prices), but Codestones and Neggs are shockingly common. Each of these is usually worth about 3,000 NP or more, and I personally end up with about ten of them each night after using all the keys I got that day (you can only use ten per day, but you can play more if you want). However, this isn't even all that you stand to win from this game – the best prizes, which can only be won from gold keys, include such things as red codestones, treasure and secret laboratory map pieces, and even paint brushes. These are rare, but not so rare that you'll have to fear you'll never get any. I've won about a dozen of these special prizes in the short time I've spent playing, and made hundreds of thousands of Neopoints off them. It does take some time to get any keys, but Key Quest is definitely a worthwhile item collection method.
4. Gormball/Dice-a-Roo/Scorchy Slots
This method is perhaps the most overlooked of all. The games Gormball, Dice-a-Roo and Scorchy Slots are the only games that offer a relatively consistent chance of winning an item (some others, like Snow Roller, have a slight chance to, but that's not something you want to count on).
Of these, I find Gormball the most effective – upon winning, one receives a random food, toy, grooming, or magic item of low rarity, plus four times the amount of Gormball points one finishes with in Neopoints. Winning is relatively easy to do if you are sure to only hang onto the ball for an extended period of time if you are the first one to get it after it explodes. Admittedly, the prizes are occasionally disappointing (market value of 50 NP or less), but far more often they are very worthwhile (most of my prizes have been worth over 1,000 NP, and many over 5,000 NP). One of the few prizes I've received thrice was a Blue Wocky Costume, which sells for around 20,000 NP! At around five prizes a day if I play until my pet gets bored, I make a tidy profit off Gormball, and so can you.
Your next best bet is Dice-a-Roo. This Roo Island game is overlooked by many because of its awful Neopoint payout – unless you win the jackpot, you will be extremely lucky to win over 100 NP, and you will have to quit your current game to do collect it. The way to really profit off this game is not to play for Neopoints, though, but for the food items you can win once you've reached the green die or higher. At that point, every roll has a chance of awarding you a random low-rarity food item. You will not get that far in your first few plays (most games end on the red die), but after a few more you eventually will, and generally you will win two or three food items before losing. The rewards are even greater if you can reach the fifth die, which is the last and is silver; instead of awarding food, this die awards bottled faeries. However, you will have to be careful about the Pant Devil when on the silver die. He can show up on any roll and take your items away, so it's best to put them away in your shop or safety deposit box periodically as you play. You do have to be over thirteen to play this game because of its gambling nature, but if you meet that requirement, you can win piles of food and have fun too!
When your pet is bored of both of these games, there is one more you can try out: Scorchy Slots. This game has the potential to pay out fantastically, awarding rare treasure map pieces which can sell for tens of thousands of Neopoints. The catch is that it will take many spins to win anything at all, even a paltry sum of Neopoints. I have won three map pieces at a time, and all six bottled faeries at a time, and even the jackpot – but most days that I try my luck at this game, I come out empty-handed. Since each spin costs 5 NP, it's easy to lose track of how much you're spending and lose a few thousand Neopoints to this game without getting anything back in return. It certainly isn't a bad game, but it's one with higher stakes than either of the other two I have previously described. It is also restricted for players younger than thirteen.
In conclusion, I would like to note that all of these methods won't pay as much as traditional restocking would. Many restockers can make hundreds of thousands of Neopoints a day, while you will be lucky to make 50,000 NP a day this way. But since not everyone can restock, these methods will provide anyone who wants an alternative to that with a shop income that is respectable, if not enormous. Have fun, readers, and good luck!
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It was a bright and cheery morning in Meri Acres. The birds were in the orchards, signing merrily as if it were their last. The sun heated the land pleasantly, baking the farm road into a golden brown.