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Secretly Available or Just Showing Off? The NCC Guide to “Not UFT” Lists


by rayoceanweaver

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Trading Neocash items can be a tricky business. The NCC (Neocash Chat) board is one of the friendliest places on the site, but the very nature of trading items that cost real money makes for frequently contentious issues. One of these issues is the existence of “not UFT”, or closet, lists.

What is a “not UFT” list? These are commonly found alongside wishlists (items you want) and tradelists, (items you have and are willing to part with), and they contain items the trader owns that are, unsurprisingly, not up for trade - hence the partial acronym, “not UFT”. They are sometimes known as closet lists (although the difference between “closet” and “not UFT” is a debate in itself), as the items in them are firmly in the trader’s closet, being used regularly if not permanently, and won’t be departing any time soon. A few weeks ago, having spent a frustrating day trying to find a difficult item, as a spot of light relief I polled the NCC on their opinions about these closet lists being visible. Were they designed to taunt those who desperately wanted those beautiful wearables, or did they have a better purpose?

The overwhelming majority of Neopians agreed that they find these lists irritating, especially if they’re looking up potential trades on Dress to Impress (DTI) and finding item after item in sometimes unnecessarily lengthy “not UFT” lists. That was one of the most frequent complaints – the sheer length of the list. Of particular annoyance are traders who have multiple closet lists with creative labels such as “pry from my cold, dead hands”, “only if I say so”, “seasonal closet”, and so on.

A trend I’ve noticed, and admit to being slightly guilty to myself, is labelling items within a single tradelist with numbered codes. The most popular of these seems to be the use of “99” to indicate how attached one is to an item. It sometimes does seem to get out of hand, with users appending their tradelist with a paragraph of text explaining what each of the numbers 1 to 100 means when attached to an item.

“Not UFT” lists cause frustration to many users when they impede access to the real trade list, either through being overly-long, but also sometimes crashing people’s browsers. Admittedly this isn’t the trader’s fault, but I can understand how exasperating this could be. NCCers are busy people, often with real lives (gasp) or jobs (who else can afford those super shiny backgrounds?), so their annoyance by traders making people waste their time scrolling through hundreds of closet items is understandable, especially when the outcome is simply to find a mere handful of items that are actually for trade.

Many NCCers find these lists to be purely for pretentious bragging or showing off valuable and popular items, and are generally in bad taste. This is one of the most common perceptions of “not UFT” lists, and does seem to give those who use them quite a bad reputation. In fact, several users said that if they saw someone who had a “not UFT” list, especially if it was long, they would immediately close the tab and not trade with that user.

The outlook is not all bad for closet lists. They have their own proponents, or at least traders who are ambivalent towards them. These traders argue that they often simply show extremely hard-to-part-with items, and usually include notes to that effect. Some users commented that their best items came from people offering on their “pry from me” lists, and therefore continue to have their favourite items on display – which seems fine, as long as they’re not one of those who immediately presses the ‘block’ button (or worse, sends a snarky Neomail) when they receive unsolicited offers. “Not UFT” lists are also a great way to have a catalogue of owned items, so that accidents such as trading for the same item twice never occur. I personally have a hidden closet list that does exactly this.

There are some really good reasons for having visible “not UFT” lists. As one user pointed out, it’s actually extremely helpful to see how many of a given item are out there. For the rare, hard-to-find wearables, knowing exactly how many are in existence compared to how many are for trade is a useful statistic. Several users expressed that it was fun to browse “not UFT” lists and see what items people had, a past-time that I myself have often been guilty of. What can I say? Nosiness is Neopian nature! I for one have fallen in love with many, many items that I wouldn’t have known existed save for closet lists.

Some sites, such as Dress to Impress, have functions especially for distinguishing items that are never UFT from those that are merely hard to part with, such as the private/public/trading label system. The general consensus in the poll I conducted seemed to be that closet lists would be much more acceptable were Neopians to use these labels as intended, avoiding much frustration.

So are “not UFT” lists advertising extremely hard to part with items that are secretly available, or just showing off? From what I’ve seen, there’s no one answer to this. Traders come from all walks of life, and although many are hoping for an awesome offer on their sought-after Sea Glass Chandelier, some will undoubtedly just be hoping to make others drool, nose (or snout) pressed up firmly against the glass of the “never UFT” cabinet. Knowing the general NCC etiquette on how to arrange lists, using the correct labels, and having explanatory notes in cases of ambiguity, seems to be the way to go. And a word to any newbies getting in to NC trading – don’t be put off by this etiquette. Most is common sense, and if in doubt, please just ask! We’re a friendly bunch over on the NCC, and would love to see you.

    A big thank you to all the NC traders who gave me their opinions on this issue!

 
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