5 Things Not To Do On The TP
I left Neo about four years ago, and was joyous upon my return to find so much had improved by leaps and bounds. I could literally make a novel out of how things have, across the board, simply gotten better and less frustrating and more enjoyable in virtually every single area. For the most part I've been happily getting back into the swing of things, contemplating housing blueprints and what color to paint my Neopet now that so many are available for so many pets, but one thing has been needling in on an otherwise blissful experience.
It's the Trading Post and the way users on it make selling their own items almost impossible. That's right, this is about how to help Neopians trade and sell on the TP. I'm very frustrated and honestly annoyed with the mistakes I'm about to address, but I'm on everyone's side here because these mistakes hurt both sellers and buyers. No one benefits from this, so everyone should be in agreement on changing these few simple things. There is no excuse for any of these, so in no particular order, I'm going to list off the biggest blocks to getting things traded on the TP.
1. No Wish List: This right here is the single most common of the items on the list. It's mildly irritating when you're looking for something for, say, a faerie quest, which results in people shrugging and going to use the Quest help board instead. When it's junk items, even people who want them now don't know what a reasonable offer is or if the blankness means free, and they may not leave an offer out of fear of insulting you accidentally with that. But on items that are above 100,000 NP in worth, items that users cannot locate a price on, or items that are exceedingly rare, this more than anything will send people walking right by your post. After all, they now have to Neomail you to get a guess on what to offer, and they may not speak your language. They may worry about being cheated by the seller who could theoretically inflate the price of their post to an unknowing buyer. The result? Neopians will go find someone who took the five seconds to label their post instead.
2. Lowest on TP And/Or TP Price: This goes back to that rare item, item over the 100k limit problem I mentioned earlier. Lots of times, I cannot find an item's actual price on the TP, so the above two statements are useless. It's another situation that requires that I Neomail the seller, when I'm not sure if they have enough common language with me for a Neomail to go through. Worse, many times Neomail gets you nothing but silence or the seller has blocked non Neofriends from Neomailing them. This leaves people stranded. The only option if you really want the item is to guess a price and hope it's not so off you're immediately blocked or seen as mocking them. Or worse, your offer might overshoot the actual price and leave you having drastically overpaid for an item. This is why people go right past potential good deals; they have no way of knowing what you want unless you say it, and you haven't, so they're locked out of the whole affair.
3. Reasonable Offers Only: What is a reasonable offer? The price this item goes for normally on the TP, presumably, but when that item has a price range difference of 50k depending on the person I'm asking, how do I know what to offer? Do you have a price you'll go no lower than? Reasonable is subjective, not objective, and the end result is that people hesitate before making offers on these items. Better to overpay a little and get it done than accidentally offer too low and get angry Neomail from the seller. And again, some items have no price I can find on the whole site, so 'reasonable offer' is in that case so vague it requires a Neomail – or it would if your Inbox was open and accessible.
4. Best Offer: Not going to mention a starting price? What the average is? What you'd accept? Then why should I sit down, Neomail you, wait at least a day for a reply if not more – or if I get any at all – so that I can be told something vague like 'I don't know, I was thinking 200k-ish or something'. In the space of the time it takes to deal with that, I can instead turn to a Neopian who has listed his as 210k, and for a slight increase get the same item without the hassle in usually much less time. I respect you want to make a profit. You need to respect that no matter how much I beg the Faeries, they can't come up with a Telepathy Potion for humans. Treat your buyers with respect instead of dangling a carrot out in front and waiting for the one who amuses you most. We'll appreciate it.
5. Mail Offers: This requires I do research. I have to pick out the one item from your lot I want, I have to TP check it, Auction check it, Neomail you about the price I'm willing to pay and then wait to be accepted or rejected or otherwise hear back from you. This can take a long time, depending on how often you're on and how often I'm on. One of the common results? I find someone else who has stated their price, I go get the item from there and write an apology Neomail to you about having contacted you at all. This one is entirely the fault of the people doing the selling, and it's solved by listing the initials of an item (ABC, for example) and the price in the Wishlist. ABC = 120k, for instance This means that while I still have to do the Neomail wait-to-separate song and dance with you, I now know it's worth it because I know what the price is.
Overall, my advice for selling and trading things is this: do your part. Research your item's worth so you know what you can reasonably expect to put it up for. Put the NP desired in the Wishlist field. Do not react with anger when people Neomail you about an item if you have made the above errors. Treat your fellow Neopians with respect and basic courtesy. People are not trying to irritate you, they are trying to get a clear idea of what the right thing to do is in this situation. Respect that, respect them, and respect yourself by putting things up in a neat and orderly fashion that encourages buyers rather than discourages them. This way, the Trading Post will be a better place not just for the buyers, but for those offering up trades to begin with.