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In Defence Of Galleries

by oily106


YOUR SHOP - Galleries are far, far more than just a way to show off in front of Neopia.

It's a way to collect items that have special meanings to you personally - maybe just a particularly sparkly Negg, or a special obsession. Many people may collect mundane items, such as Glass Roses or Palm Fans, but these collections bring them pleasure. In a recent front-page poll, 24 286 Neopians said they had a collection of a certain item, whereas 22 395 said they do not. Collecting is a great Neopian hobby - it gives you a goal and a purpose, and a sense of achievement when you complete it. I'm sure collections have encouraged many Neopians to work harder for Neopoints, to buy and sell more items and to stay longer on Neopets. Not only does this drive the Neopian economy along, it also means Neopets itself gets more pageviews and more people viewing adverts, which means Neopets gets more money with which to improve the site! Collections can only aid Neopia.

I myself keep a gallery full of random and strange items, and I look with far more pleasure on the gifts from Neofriends than on the most expensive items. I often receive Neomails asking me "Why do you price a 30NP item at 200 000? No one's going to buy it!" That's the point! I don't want anyone to buy it, which is why I price it above the limit it can be bought at. (Items in shops can't be bought if priced 100 000NP or over.) I love even my cheap items - perhaps they have a pretty picture, or a funny description, or perhaps someone gave it to me. Why shouldn't I display them in my shop? If someone gives me a gift, should it rot away in my Safety Deposit Box? Or should I display it to show my appreciation?

Even then, a gallery with expensive or rare items is not bad. It doesn't abuse the privileges of wealth - you have spent time making Neopoints, and then you spend them on things that you want to keep. A poor Neopian may envy these items but then they should work to earn them themselves. It is easy to earn 10 000NP a day just from games, and with a fast connection, you can earn millions. There really is no reason to complain. Even if an expensive Faerie Doll is sitting in a gallery rather than being played with, then why should it matter? There are cheaper toys to play with, ones that pets find just as satisfying and ones poorer Neopians can easily afford. And even if the Faerie Doll was up for trade, the poor Neopians would still find it out of their price range. Whether the owner lets it sit in a gallery or puts it up for trade, it's still out of reach of the poorer Neopians. The galleries give others something to aim for - you want that paint brush, you work hard for it, you buy it. And perhaps you display it in your own gallery ;)

Some galleries may contain normal items that seem very overpriced. If the poorer Neopians find food at expensive prices, then they should look elsewhere. A quick search on the Shop Wizard will mean that no Neopian need be ripped off. The Can of Neocola may be priced at 8,000NP in a gallery purposely so no one buys it. You can find it priced more reasonably in other shops, or you could purchase a Dandelion and Burdock Cordial instead, for a piffling 20NP. An overpriced Can of Neocola in a gallery is not going to condemn someone's pet to starvation - there's plenty of cheaper food and drink on the market. If the person who originally bought that can wants to overprice it in order to keep it, then it's their choice. You don't have to buy it.

And, despite many galleries, Neopian commerce continues to thrive. Many people do use and consume items every single day, buying and selling as they go. What is the difference between buying an item and using it and buying it and putting it in a gallery? Food and books disappear after use; paint brushes, map pieces and codestones can also only be used once -- they would not be available for reselling if used, and so surely they hold up the Neopian economy no more than if the item in question sits in a gallery. Many people save up for the rare Petpet they have coveted and decide to display it in their shop rather than display it by attaching it to their pet. What is the difference? Yes, the Tombola Man does kindly provide us with nice items, if we're lucky. And, many, many Faeries and Codestones given out are used, but you can never tell because they disappear after a single use. If someone wishes to store the items up for future use, or display them, they may well place them in a gallery. The Tombola Man does not give them out with the condition that they must be used - it is your choice what to do with your items.

In addition, the latest poll on the Neopets front page shows the use of shops -

How do you use your shop?

To Make NP : 188,070

As A Gallery : 19,542

What Shop? : 31,085

Don't Use Anymore : 13,582

Galleries are hardly a threat to Neopian business, when they're such a small percentage. Many people make extra accounts to hold galleries in, so the shop would not have been used for selling items at all. Or, like me, they may sell items alongside their gallery. And, if searching for an item in a big gallery is difficult, simply press Ctrl and F and type in the name of the item in the box that pops up. It's an easy way to search!

By placing items in a gallery, we are using them. If I like to buy a pretty paint brush, I may want to display it in my gallery so I'll always have it. Or I may want to store it up for later use, in case prices rise or my pet receives a bad makeover. Why should I have to use it on my pets, especially if they're being labbed or already nice colours? Some collections are also impossible to use -- you can't attach fifty Petpets, or use Palm Fans. And donations to the Money Tree do not help lower class Neopians. They help the Neopians with fast connections, who can grab the best items from the Money Tree. Donating one paint brush will not help anyone, except the lucky person who gets it. Poorer Neopians should work for their items, just as everyone else does.

A counter argument may be that Neopians could just store their items in a Safety Deposit Box. I, personally, find it easier to find items in my shop. I like to see them displayed there, so that other people can look at them. I don't want other people to be envious - I want them to enjoy my gallery, to have fun looking at items they perhaps haven't seen before, to maybe find a new item that they like, to appreciate the collections I have made. I love to look at the latest Gallery Spotlight, to see what items have been painstakingly collected together. Isn't it nice to see an item you may not have seen before? If everyone bought only to store it in their Safety Deposit Box, then that's far more selfish. Items should be displayed.

In another case, galleries can be useful. If I want to see all the cakes in Neopia, so I can choose which one to send to a friend on a birthday, I can look up expensive cakes and try to find a cake gallery. When choosing a Petpet, I looked at Petpet galleries. Galleries actually have a use to them too, you know!

And, on a final note, a store will never be willing to sell a Mystery Island Paint Brush, because the limit you can buy items for in shops is 99,999NP. If you price an item at 100,000NP or above, it cannot be bought. So the only way to get these rare items is through the Trading Post or the Auctions. Thus the rare items in galleries priced over 100 000NP are not available to anyone, be they poor or rich. If the item is not for sale, no one can buy it.

The fact remains that galleries are a fun way to show you love certain items, and have no adverse effects on anyone else or the economy. So, go ahead - get a gallery today!

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