━ GETTING STARTED ━
This is quite possibly going to be the most informative section. Please use the dropdown navigation to jump to each link. I arranged the links in a way that would make sense if they were read in order. Each instruction or section will come with according diagrams. Please hover over each image for more info about it. With that out of the way... welcome to the world of trading! Be prepared for endless board bumping, crying, staying up at ungodly hours, crying, impulsive spending, crying, oh, and did I mention crying?
━ GIFT BOX CAPSULES ━
You have may have noticed on the NC forum that many people are seeking GBCS for their items – GBCs stand for Gift Box Capsules! If you are first starting out on trading and don't have much of a Tradelist to show for, many people seek GBCs for their items and you can use these to get your wishes! They restock in the NC Mall for 200NC each. Sometimes they can be discounted during a special event: please see this page
to learn more about discounted GBC events.
Why do people want them, you ask?
Well, you know those pesky grey gift boxes you keep getting from Trudy's Surprise that you chuck into your safety deposit box? That gift box that you thought had an actual gift inside when you first got the gift box from Trudy's Surprise? It has those in it. 2-5 of them, actually
. This is random - and the fifth one is a pretty limited edition box! Each limited edition box is different per capsule. It also comes with a neocash item that is available in the mall. If you get 4 or 5 boxes, you typically get 2 neocash items! Also, GBCs only restock in the mall for a limited time
: for about a week at the end of the month. Once the new month begins, you will have to wait until the end of the month for GBCs to restock. If you have GBCS to trade while people are boxless and GBCs aren't in stock, you are essentially a gold mine.
When can I trade them?
Well...whenever you feel like! But just know that there are some times that are better to trade GBCs than others.
Once GBCs restock in the mall, many people will be posting boards offering their tradelist for GBCs. While this may seem like a good time to trade your GBCs, it actually would be more helpful NOT to trade your GBCS right away - unless someone has a priority wish that you've been endlessly seeking. At this time, many people have access to boxes AND GBCs, and can easily buy them from the mall when needed. If you are boxless and can't afford to purchase Neocash, the best time to trade for GBCs are when they are available in the mall.
Wait until GBCs are no longer in the mall to start trading GBCs - at this time, more and more people will be boxless and will not be able to purchase GBCs in the mall. Because GBCs will be a lot harder to obtain at this time, more people will want (and discount for) GBCs. People will be more desperate to trade HTPW items to get GBCs (see Glossary for "HTPW").
Keep at least 1 GBC spare in your Safety Deposit Box. Yes, I know this is hard. Hopefully chucking it away in your Safety Deposit Box will help you to forget about it. Think of this as your emergency GBC - you can use this to trade for a priority wish if you are super desperate. As well, many users decide to leave Neopets and do a clearout of their closet items - Having a GBC on hand at this time will be useful for you to pick up pretty things to add to your Tradelist (whether to use, or to re-trade). As well, there are users that collect GBCs for their galleries. If you hold onto a GBC, the value of it could increase. If you're lucky, you could score quite a few pretties just for one GBC from a collector.
Surviving a GBC Sale
Buy your neocash ahead of time: Keep in mind that GBCs are heavily sought after in the NC Trading World. And offering them at a discounted price? Well, now everyone and their mother is going to be purchasing GBCs. With this heavy amount of users purchasing neocash to get GBCs, it may make neocash redemption difficult. You may not receive the neocash that you paid for, as there may be a lag. If possible, try to purchase your Neocash at least 2 weeks in advance before the date of the GBC sale. Beat the lag before it beats you! And if the redemption fails at this time, at least Jumpstart is given more time to rectify your ticket, hopefully before the GBC sale starts.
Try to purchase the $25 card if possible: These $25 cards will give you 5 Basic Gift Boxes + a bonus 150 NC. This is your best option, because it will save you from having to open GBCs and the bonus 150 will be enough to purchase an emergency GBC. Neocash cards can be found in local stores such as Walmart, Target or Shoppers. If you are unable to find a card in your local area, try gametimezone.
Beware of over-trading: This is an ambitious time for many users. Shortly before the sale, people may seek GBC pretrades, meaning you reserve some items from someone's tradelist until you're able to start buying the GBCs. It's perfectly okay to do this, as long as the trader offers. However, keep track of your GBC count at all times.Even if that means keeping track of it on a word doc or a piece of paper. You don't want to break your own heart by offering GBCs that you already ran out of. Also - don't spend all your GBCs in one board! There are many boards and many pretties!
Stay up until midnight NST on the day of the GBC sale: From my experience in the GBC sale, many people wait until midnight and post "1 GBC flash sales where they discount their pretties for GBCs, regardless of value. The early bird gets the worm. This is great for picking up trading fodder. Seek spares of your items while you're at it. Invest in these now, while you can easily get GBCs for more boxes at a discounted rate. You can use these for future re-trade.
━ CUSTOM ━
Purchased neocash but there are no GBCs in stock at the NC Mall? Consider trading a "custom" instead! Trading custom means you can purchase things that are buyable in the NC Mall, as part of your trade. Keep the value guide in mind as you're making your offer. ~1 = 200NC. You will need to do some math to determine how much custom to offer, depending on what item you are trying to get.
Neo sometimes hosts big site events, in which users can purchase some sort of ticket or widget from the NC Mall, and participate in an event that gets them neocash items. Some examples of this would be the Altador Cup, Shenanigifts, Stocking Stufftacular, Valentine Grams, etc. The tickets/widgets they sell are usually a pretty hefty custom (700NC+) and many people may not be willing to spend that much Neocash on one ticket - however, this is your time to shine! If you can offer custom at the time of a site event, you have a chance of getting some real nice higher value pretties you've been seeking! Listed below are some examples of items from previous site events that people have offered custom for. Hover over the picture for the name and price.
━ COOKIES ━
Disclaimer: NCCers were surveyed on Sept. 24, 2016. Depending on the date you read this guide, the info may be recent or outdated! ~ Trading with custom is not only reserved for just site events. Sometimes, people will happily trade for cookies. I will talk about the most popular cookies to use as trading fodder: Archive, Faerie Quests, Lab Cookies, and Training Cookies
Please note that people have differing values when it comes to trading cookies. Some value cookies as ~1, and some value them as ~0.5. It is really up to the trader. Although some of these are cheaper than purchasing a GBC, you may want to consider how many boxes you're using up when trading cookies.
Archive Cookies are popular on the NCC, as this cookie can award 3-6 random recently retired items over a time span of 3 days. From 3 days of opening, you can spin the NC Archives Wheel 1-2 times (this is chosen at random). There are tons of super cool retired wearables out there and some not-so-great ones, and for those willing to take a chance, these make great trading fodder. It is difficult to catch these at the NC Mall as almost everybody buys them, and they have limited stock. If you're quick enough to catch it, they stock for 225 NC. MOST people would typically value 1 Archive cookie as ~1, because it costs a bit more than a GBC. While some may choose to trade them, others choose to open them, because some retired wearables have spiked up in value - either great for trading fodder or for getting those hard to find high valued wishes!
Faerie Quest Cookies (FQC)
These ones are also very popular on the NCC, because it gives you a higher chance on getting that elusive Fountain Faerie Quest that lets you paint your pet any colour you want (including some exclusive colours like Chocolate, Sponge, Alien, etc.). These bad boys cost only ~100NC. Because of the low price, however, there is some dispute as to how these cookies are valued when trading. Some may value this cookie at ~1 because it still takes up an entire gift box to send. However, because it's such a low price, some may value it at ~0.5 because they're easier to get. Many accept Faerie Quest Cookies as fillers for higher valued items, but it all depends on the trader. All traders are different so please confirm with your traders how they value this cookie, as it varies for many.
Lab & Training Cookies
Lab Ray Cookies stock in the NC Mall for 125NC. When opening this cookie, you may receive 1-3 (chosen at random) extra lab ray zaps for 7 days. If you miss one day, you will NOT be reimbursed for your zaps, so keep that in mind! Again, like the Faerie Quest Cookie, there is some dispute regarding how to value these cookies, as they are only 125 NC. Again, confirm with your trader how they value each cookie, and keep in mind your box count as you are making these trades.
Training cookies have limited stock and stock for 125NC. When opened, the training cookies grant 5 days of faster training time at Neopian Training Schools: the Mystery Island Training School
, the Cap'n 3-Legs Training Academy
, and the Secret Ninja Training School
. Same as the faerie quest cookie, many may have differing values for these cookies - some may not value it at ~1, so please do confirm with your trader.
Upcycle cookies are a popular one because of 2 reasons: It helps you to get rid of the 100 spare Dashing Gothic Jackets you get from opening GBCs, and there's a chance of getting neocash awarded once you complete the tasks! The upcycle cookie allows you to donate betweeb 2-4 items to the Money Tree (chosen at random) over a time span of 4 days. In exchange, you can receive a money tree capsule (with new LE's), neopoint items, or neocash (25-150NC). These bad boys cost 175NC in the NC Mall. These typically are valued at ~1 each, because they are almost the same price as a GBC which is 200NC, and they do use up box per cookie.
━ TRADING TIPS ━
Just lurk. Visit the NC mall board. Check out how people use the certain NC Mall Lingo. Just get a feel for what items are currently popular. Take note of how people organize their tradelists. What better way to learn about Trading than witnessing it in action?
Also, don't use those free stat raising cupcakes/open goodie bags! Sometimes for certain events the NC Mall releases a gift bag freebie or a Cupcake freebie in the NC Mall for all the users to obtain. The gift bag contains a free item, and a Cupcake awards pet stats + possibly another item. KEEP THESE! Many people are into training their pets, and seek those cupcakes. It is very common to trade cupcakes/cake slices for items. As for the gift bags, there are many gift bag collectors out there who may be seeking those gift bags. just note that goodie bags become more valuable the longer you hold on to them. it may take a while to trade these.
Lastly, hold onto the free Dyeworks potions! Neo sometimes has events that award free Dyeworks potions (Advent Calendar, Altador Cup, etc.). Many non-NC customizers usually just give these potions away thinking they aren't going to need them. Dyeworks potions are great tradable items. You might want to consider holding these in your Safety Deposit Box until a new Dyeworks item comes along. When there is a new Dyeworks item, many people seek Dyeworks potions to dye the item before it retires - and are desperate to trade away pretties for dyeworks potions.
━ DYEWORKS ━
Picture that you're browsing through items on DTI. And you stumble across the peaceful tree garland - but hey, there's 3 other colours for it! How is that possible? Well, there are certain Neocash items that come in different colours. This is what Dyeworks is!
━ HOW IT WORKS ━
In order to dye an item, you need to have one of these dyeworks potions. As stated earlier, you can purchase one from the NC Mall, wait until you get one from a Neo event, or trade for one. Items can be dyed as many times as you want - as long as you have potions! Please note: NOT ALL NEOCASH ITEMS ARE DYEABLE!
There are two types of Dyeworks items: Retiring Dyeworks and Non-retiring Dyeworks. These are the only items that can be dyed. More about Retiring and Non-Retiring Dyeworks will be explained in the guide.
Make sure you have the potion and item in your Inventory
Visit the NC Mall and click 'Dyeworks'
Hover over the picture of the item you want to dye. There are 3 categories: Accessories, Clothing, and Trinkets. When you find the picture of the item you want to dye, hover over it and click Use a Potion!
You will receive one of the re-coloured versions of the Dyeworks item (IT IS CHOSEN AT RANDOM - YOU DO NOT GET TO CHOOSE YOUR COLOUR), and the original Dyeworks item. Both will appear in your inventory.
Dyeworks Potion + Peaceful Tree Garland = Yellow, Pink, or Purple version!
━ NON-RETIRING ITEMS ━
The list below contains Non-Retiring Dyeworks
. This means that these items can be dyed at any time. Hover over each picture for the name.
━ DYEWORKS LENDING ━
Don't have any of the Dyeworks Originals but want one for a custom? No problem! Consider Dyeworks Lending! Dyeworks lending means one person that has the dye works original and lends it to you for a gbc, or small wish. Or some other ways, which will be mentioned.
METHOD 1: Lending for a GBC
Pearl wants one of the peaceful tree garland recolours, but doesn't have the original Peaceful tree Garland to dye.
ZC has the Tree Garland original.
Pearl can give ZC a GBC, so that ZC can lend her the original peaceful tree garland to dye herself as many times as she wants.
When Pearl is finished, she will return the original item back to ZC.
Angela's Tip: Many lenders do 2:1 for GBC lends - you may want to consider finding those traders first!
METHOD 2: Lending for a GBC + Dye
Pearl wants one of the peaceful tree garland recolours, but doesn't have the original peaceful tree garland to dye.
ZC has the original ptg.
Pearl can give ZC a gbc + a dyeworks potion.
ZC can use Pearl's dye potion to send the item, and send the dyed version over to Pearl.
Angela's Tip: I find this way a little less economical, especially if you're after a certain colour. You only really get one shot, unless you send more dye potions - but that would be a waste of boxes.
METHOD 3: Sending Back a Dyed Item
Pearl wants one of the peaceful tree garland recolours and has multiple dye potions but no GBCs.
ZC sends Pearl the Peaceful Tree Garland.
In return, Pearl sends ZC back the original peaceful tree garland, and one of the recolours she got.
Angela's Tip: This is a very beneficial method for Dyeworks LENDERS in particular. Like I mentioned earlier in the guide, dye works items are great trading fodder. This is an easy way for you to get the Dyeworks items as Trading Fodder. Remember to keep an eye on your box count if you choose to do this.
METHOD 4: Lending for a small wish
Pearl wants one of the peaceful tree garland recolours and has multiple dye potions but no GBCs.
ZC has the Original Peaceful Tree Garland up for lending.
Pearl has no GBCs but she has a small wishlist item from ZC's wishlist.
Pearl can send over the small item, in exchange for the Peaceful tree Garland.
Pearl can dye the tree garland as needed, and return the original tree garland.
Angela's Tip: This is a very beneficial method for Dyeworks BORROWERS in particular. You can save a GBC this way.
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━ TRADING ETIQUETTE ━
Be respectful of other traders: ~Louder for the people in the back~. I put this as the first rule because I cannot stress this enough. This is not the auction house. If you see someone offering on an item, do not try to outbid them right away. Give the trader a chance to see if they're interested in that first offer. And if they're not interested, then you can offer. Your trading fodder could have been someone's priority wish. I can understand if you post at the same time by accident, but please have the decency to at least say "if you're unable to work out a trade with ________, feel free to send me a neomail!". If you feel like your offer truly is the offer to beat, then you should have no problem waiting your turn.
Beware of "blind bumping: When you are bumping your thread in hopes of getting a trade, you will most likely become bored and have many different tabs open to amuse yourself. Commonly what ends up happening is the person gets so used to bumping their board every few minutes that they completely forget to check for new posts. If you've been gone from your board for a while, hit "Refresh" instead of making a reply, instead of just posting a reply. If you find that someone has posted and you missed them neomail them right away and apologize even if you are not interested in trading with them.
When accepting a trade, remember these rules: Be polite, tell them where to send the item, ask where they want the item. If they are sending a gbc and you need to open it to open it to get the box, tell them so they don't worry. Confirm that you actually have the item and a spare gift box before you send the item. Try not to accept an item until you've sent your half: you may find out you don't even have that item anymore. Also try to make a habit of sending them the confirmation message once you've sent your item, so that both parties know the trade went as planned. Don't forget to say please and thank you!
Reject offers politely: Many times, a person will have an item from your wishlist, but you will have nothing on their wishlist to offer. This trader may reply to your board offering GBCs + another item from their tradelist. Though you may not be interested in their items, always reply back. You can post on your board "I will take a look at your TL", it takes 2 seconds. If you feel bad about rejecting publicly, you can always just neomail them and politely decline. If you can, provide a reason as to why you can no longer trade, just so long as it does not offend the trader. If you want it short and sweet, a simple Unfortunately didn't see anything I needed at the moment so I will pass. Thanks anyways and good luck trading! will do.
Assume all mistakes were accidental: Though it rarely happens, sometimes a trader will mess up and send you the wrong item (ex. they send you a mystery capsule instead of a regular GBC). Do not make false accusations. We're human, and we make mistakes. Do not accept the item. Neomail the trader right away and explain the error to them as politely as possible. If the person agrees to send you the correct item, then send back the item, and they can re-send. In the case where you've messed up, and sent the trader the wrong item and have no boxes to reconcile, immediately contact your trader. Reconcile your mistake by seeking GBCs so you can re-send the item(s), unless the trader decides it's okay. It is common courtesy.
***Be kind to newbies/returning traders!!!!!!: Remember: we all started off in the same place. Now, most NC Traders are generally nice people: we link new traders to value guides, reply to value check boards, provide tips, even sometimes gift neocash items to others! All too often though, we've seen an experienced trader attempting to rip off a newbie. This usually occurs by the experienced trader asking for more than what an item is worth, or under-offering on a higher value item. Some may try to rip newbies off by neomail, in order to avoid getting called out: If someone mentions that they are a new trader or back from hiatus, immediately post a value guide to their board. If you notice any populars in their tradelist, include the value in your post (copy and paste it) as quick as possible for them to see.
Be kind to one another. Like I said, this is literally a virtual website. There is no need for hostility. If you get a mail with an underoffer, the worst you can do is say no. Please don't leave a poor seeker's neomail rotting in your inbox, or keep bumping over their post on your board, out of pettiness. Some people aren't aware of value guides, some may be new to trading - you never know. It takes 2 seconds to politely decline. Trading is already scary enough as it is, we do not need newbie traders being terrified to join this board because of trading snobs!
━ SENDING ITEMS ━
Time to get those gift boxes out of your safety deposit box. Dust off the cobwebs on them a little too. It's time to trade! First things first, make sure the basic gift box and the item you want to send are BOTH in your inventory, or else you cannot send the item. You will need to remove the item from your closet, gallery, or safety deposit box. When you click the gift box icon in your inventory, you will be lead to a pop-up window that looks like this.
So far, so good! Using the little drop down menu, choose the the item you want to trade. For this example, I'm using Enchanted Desert Oasis Background. After you click Submit, you will be lead to a screen that looks like this:
This screen is pretty self explanatory. In the blue box you will either type your trader's username, or you will select a neofriend from a list that you're sending the item to. In the red box you can choose to include a pre-set message (this step is entirely optional). Alright, filled out both fields? Click Submit again and you will be lead to a confirmation screen that looks like this:
This screen is also self explanatory. You will need to fill out both fields and after you press Give Item you will get a small confirmation message that lets you know that your gift was sent. You will get a neomail to be alerted when your trader received the item(s).
━ RECEIVING ITEMS ━
When you receive a neocash item, you will receive a notification at the top of your page that looks a little something like this (note that in this notification you can see the username of your trader - keep this in mind!):
Click that little gift box and it will lead you to your event log
. The screen will turn into this (notice that the username is still there...):
Alright, now you have two options: Open
. If you return, it will lead you to a confirmation screen telling you that you are about to return the gift. Continue on and press Return Gift
. You will be able to do that on this screen, and the next upcoming screen. I don't have screenshots because lazy. :* But anyways, press Open
and you will be lead to this screen:
POOF! The username is gone!
It's important you keep track of the username - sometimes people like to gift and if you keep on clicking there's no way for you to see who gifted you! Also, if you're juggling multiple trades, keeping track of usernames makes it easier for you to keep track of what has and has not been sent yet. ANYWAYS, click Accept
and the item will be placed into your Inventory :)
━ BACK FROM HIATUS? ━
Sometimes people may take a hiatus from trading, or Neo altogether, and decide to come back and start fresh. At this time, you may feel out of the loop, and maybe even a little intimidated to go back into the world of Neocash Trading. If you are one of these people, there are some things you should know...
Don't announce that you're coming back from hiatus. The NCC is generally a nice batch of people, but "coming back from hiatus" puts you in a position to be easily taken advantage of, because you won't be aware of current populars or the value of your items. If you have some items you're unsure about it doesn't hurt to make a value check board (a board where people list how they value it/what they traded it for/what would be a fair trade), and ask people for an updated tradelist.
If possible, limit your board to POSTS ONLY. Mailing at this time can be difficult, because of the reason above. People have more luck ripping you off if they can do so without being called out on. What better way to do that than via neomail? As well, if you announce that you're coming back from hiatus, many people will be interested in seeing if you have their WL items. Many people may come to your board all at once, making it very disorganized.
Check your value guides ahead of time. In the time that you're gone, items may have either ridiculously inflated or deflated in value. Knowing your values ahead of time would be very helpful. Link them back to The Trader Pocketbook for a list of updated guides. Just note that some of these guides may be outdated, so if anything, it might be best to make a value check board to see what recent trades have been made for an item you're trading or seeking.