Hello! Welcome to my (Spell) restocking guide. :) I hope this helps many people become great restockers! It will be updated as much as possible to ensure it has the best information out there. So, let's get started...
First, you need to know what restocking is! Well ... restocking is buying things from neopian (non-user) shops, like Food or Book, and selling them for profit in your store. Other shops, such as the Igloo Garage Sale or Almost Abandoned Attic aren't generally considered restocking because of the different formats they follow and the lack of a haggling system.
So now that we got that figured out, there are a few common misconceptions about restocking I would like to take the time to clear up before we get any farther. When you are restocking and wander into a shop with no current items in stock and a bar that says "Sorry, we are sold out of everything! We get restocked every eight minutes or so, so please come back soon." you need to know that that is fake. shops do not restock around every 8 minutes. Restocks are completely, 100% random, there is no time system or schedule whatsoever. Secondly, when you refresh too much or buy too many items you may be susceptible to something called a restock ban. I'll get into this in greater detail later on in the section "Checking Bans", but basically it means means you are temporarily unable to see any items in the shops, no matter if there are actually any stocked or not.
Now before we go on any further, I would like to clarify that restocking isn't as simple as it may sound. It can be quite a bit of work. Restocking takes lots of patience, dexterity, and a good amount of luck as well. This is no Get-Rich Quick Scheme. Restocking can often lead to frustration, but it can also be extremely rewarding. I believe it to be one of the best/fastest ways to make neopoints if you know what you are doing. I'd also like to clarify that everyone has the ability to restock. It just takes some practice. Do not get discouraged if you miss a good restock, as even the best of the best can miss an item occasionally or make a mistake in which item to buy.
Restocking Acronyms, Abbreviations & Terminology
ub: Unbuyable (you can not buy it on the shop wizard, it must be bought through either trading post or auctions)
hts: Hard To Sell
ets: Easy To Sell
sw: Shop Wizard
ssw: Super Shop Wizard (only available for premium members)
tp: Trading Post
jm: Junk Magic
nh: No Haggle (did not get to the haggle page for an item)
gh: Got Haggle (got to haggle page for an item but did not get it)
mh: Mishaggle (to haggle something other than what you meant to)
ot: Over Tab (switching to the next shop in a different tab without realizing the shop had restocked)
or: Over Refresh (refreshing a shop again after it had already restocked without noticing)
hpd: Half Price Day (every 3rd day of the month all items in neopian shops are sold for half their normal price)
r##: Rarity ## (the higher the number, the rarer it is, usually)
Account Age Restrictions
If you're just starting to play neopets, or have just made a new account (hopefully that is your main because restocking on sides is bad!) then you might not be able to see all items. There is a system in place which makes it so you have to be a certain age in order to see specific items restock. The older your account, the rarer the items you can see. The following table will tell you up to what rarity your account can currently see:
- Newbie: Rarity 79 and below
- 10 days: Rarity 84 and below
- 16 days: Rarity 89 and below
- 1 month: Rarity 94 and below
- 3 months: all items
Recently, TNT has implemented a system into the shops that automatically clears them from time to time. These auto clears are random, and seem to happen for most if not all shops at the same time.
In addition, shops now stock up to 8 rows of items, compared to the 4 rows they used to.
These changes, especially the automatic clears, were highly requested by the general population. In theory, they should help shops stock more often, and thus make restocking more exciting than it was before, hopefully inspiring more people to pick up restocking in the future.
Choosing a Shop
Now that you're up to date on all of the restocking terms and whatnot, we can start with the real stuff! First you'll want to find a shop fits your level of experience. People who are just starting out with restocking and/or on a young account should stay in Food, Book or Pharmacy. Intermediate level restockers can try slightly more difficult shops such as Toy or Clothing. If you are highly confident in your abilities and have a good amount of experience in the earlier mentioned shops, Stamp and Kayla's Potions are good stepping stones. Remember you don't have to limit yourself to one shop either, but it's better to stick with one or two while you're learning the ropes as to not get overwhelmed.
Once you find a shop you want to stick in, take a bit of time to survey the shop. Figure out which items seem to be laying around for awhile and which ones sell out the fastest. This is, in my experience, the best way to figure out which items to go for. You might end up with a few losses, but that's a natural part of restocking. After a couple of restocks you should have a pretty good idea of which items to go for or avoid. Usually 5k/10k items are a good bet, but not in all situations.
Buying An Item
To see full the full view of a screenshot, drag it to your address/tab bar or right click → view image (firefox)/open image in new tab (chrome).
Now, let's try to restock something, shall we? For this demonstration i'll be using the Magic shop as our example. I use this shop because it is the iconic shop most people think of when they think of restocking. However, I do not advise starting in this shop while learning how to restock. There are plenty of other great options for high profit restocks. Most of them will even be much easier to successfully restock and sell than your standard Morphing Potion!
Now, when you first open up a shop, you may see one of two things. First, there is an empty shop. You won't see this happen very often, mostly on Half Price Day or in a shop with relatively little items available to restock (such as Royal Potion or Coin). If you do stumble upon an empty shop however, it will look something like this:
More commonly, it will have some junk items in it (items that are generally not worth buying, so they may be there for awhile), that will look like:
Now's the fun part! Waiting for a shop to restock. When a shop does restock, it might look something like this:
When this happens you want to skim through quickly and find a good item you want to go for! Obviously here, I am aiming for the Grarrl Morphing Potion. Click it and get ready for the confirmation popup. You don't want to move your mouse and click it, because that takes too long. The trick is to either press enter or space bar, and that will automatically hit the OK button and send you to the haggle page...
When you get to this page you want to immediately click in the haggle box. As shown in the screenshot above you do not want to bother with deleting the zero, it just wastes time and it will not affect your haggle. After clicking in the box, type in your haggle (see the "Haggling" section below). Now find the neopet in the picture below the haggle box and click that. After, you will get one of two pages. If you didn't get the item, you will be presented with a "SOLD OUT" page, as shown:
However, if you successfully restocked the item then you will be given this type of page:
Types of Haggles
Repetition: Repetition haggles are haggles with only one number involved. as in 11111 (for 10k items), and 5555 (for 5k items). These are one of the slowest haggles, and only recommended for beginners.
Exact: Exact haggles are haggles where you enter in the exact amount that the item restocked for. So if an item restocked for 5000, you would haggle 5000, etc. I do not recommend this haggle at all, as it can get very complex with some types of items.
Two-Step: Two-Step haggles are haggles that start out with one digit as one number, and then the rest of the haggle consists of a different number. Example would be "15555", "2555", or "5444". I would only recommend these for last second decision haggles, or when the two numbers you've picked to haggle with are uncomfortable to reach. As such, I often call these "Panic Haggles", and usually come out because of bad planning or nervousness on my part.
Alternating: Alternating haggles are haggles which use two numbers that alternate, as the name suggests, as in "9898" or "5353". These haggles come out relatively fast and are better than most other haggles. I would recommend it to be one of your go to haggles, if not the only type you use.
Another alternating-like strategy you could use is, say you were haggling on a 5k item and wanted to haggle 5353, you just tap both numbers twice. It takes a little bit of practice to get the number you want first consistently, but it can work out pretty well.
Row: Row, or "Step Ladder" haggles are haggles with 3-4 numbers. These are the most complex haggles, which means they are also the hardest to do, especially if you use the number pad. Row haggles could be things like "12341", "9879", "34543", or "5645". If you can get these haggles down, I definitely recommend you use them, as these are very efficient if done right!
You do not have to haggle the exact amount an item restocks for, but it is wise to keep it relatively close. In my experience I usually get more leniency if I haggle more than restock price, so I tend to favor those.
Also, I would like to note that the key to a swift haggle is being able to type in your haggle and locate the neopet simultaneously. I say this now because it's something you should keep in the back of your mind as you're "learning the ropes", so to speak, of haggling. But you shouldn't worry about getting it down right away, it is a technique that will come to you with practice.
Now, before we get started it's important to know that there are numerous ways to haggle, and no single way is the right way. There are two basic ways to haggle; You can haggle with either the number row or number pad. You should experiment and find a way that works best for you. Here I have provided with a summary of how both setups might work to give you an idea of which would be best for you. Since I have never used the number row, I have asked my friend, an experienced restock, Meghan, to give her insight on row haggling.
Spelt's Haggling Method
Haggling Method: Alternating
Resolution: 1600 x 900 (widescreen)
Visibility: 4 rows
Refresh Using: F5
Reasoning - I like my window to stay at the bottom of the page. When you use the shopkeeper it completely reloads the page and takes you back to the top, F5 doesn't do that.
Using the Number Pad
Reasoning - I have Haggled with the number pad ever since I started restocking. I've tried the number row occasionally, but it just seems awkward and uncomfortable and my fingers fell out of place too easily. Number pad lets me get more creative with my haggles easier since the keys are all relatively closer together. Even something like 37373 isn't much of a stretch for me.
Strategy - I have my left hand pinky on the 'f5' key and my thumb on the 'enter' button. I use the 'f5' key to refresh the page, and as soon as I see a restock I click on the item I am going for and press the 'enter' button to go to the haggle page. While it is loading I shift my left hand over to the number pad and place my fingers on the numbers I am going to be using to haggle. Since I have been pad haggling for awhile now I can find the numbers i am going to use without having to look, but you may need to look to find your finger placement until you get used to it.
Megh4n's Haggling Method
Haggling Method: Alternating
Resolution: 1280 x 768 (widescreen)
Visibility: 4 rows
Left - Hovering over number row
Right - On the mouse
Refresh Using: Shopkeeper
Reasoning - Since haggling is done with my left hand using the number row, moving those fingers can lead to trying to haggle with the function keys instead of the numbers
Using the Number Row
Reasoning - When I began restocking, I was using a desktop computer and had been using the number pad. But when I purchased a computer of my own, I got a laptop. Most laptops that I have seen, including my own, do not have a functional number pad for the purpose of restocking. This left me no choice but to change my previous method. Now this doesn't mean that the number pad is the way to go. I did make the change because I had to, but I wouldn't go back. With any change, it just takes getting used to.
Pro - I find using the number row more comfortable. When I used the number pad, I used to turn and move my keyboard to avoid having to reach across to the pad with my hands working side by side.
Con - Sometimes it is a stretch to haggle with numbers that aren't close to each other, ie. 18181. That I think might be the hardest thing to get used to, but it is possible, even with small hands like mine.
Bans, just like restocks are more or less random. There is some correlation between how much you refresh and how many items you buy to how fast you might get banned, but there's not really anyway to delay or stop it from happening completely. I've been banned within minutes while refreshing relatively slowly before, and other times it has taken me hours to be banned while refreshing wildly. However this is only my experience, you may develop your own opinion. You're still better off not refreshing like a maniac, just in case. I'd say refreshing every 3-5 seconds is a good bet. If I'm in multiple shops I'll just cycle through them at a normal pace.
With the more recent changes to the restocking system, checking if you're banned has become a little more difficult than before. One of the ways I have heard of people doing it is keeping an extra junky shop open in another tab. If shops clear, you can try to buy an item, and if it says SOLD OUT, you're not banned. However, this doesn't seem very consistent to me, but as of right now it unfortunately seems like the best method we have of checking. Otherwise, you just have guess whether or not you're banned, if you've gone a long time without seeing anything restock.
Now that I've explained basically everything you'll need to have a working understanding of restocking, I just want to clear up a few last things.
Lots of people seem to think you need crazy fast internet in order to be able to restock. That is a myth and is simply not true. I personally have pretty terrible internet. Download for me usually ranges from 1-2mb/s, like this:
But can get even worse occasionally, even as bad as something like this:
Even with this internet speed I am still able to restock fine. It would definitely help if I had faster internet, but it doesn't make it impossible.
Buying Out Shops
The theory here is that buying out junk items from shops can increase the likelihood of a restock. I personally am a firm believer that this can make a shop more active, but others may disagree.
Unfortunately, most shops nowadays are slow enough where they get filled up to the maximum shop capacity of 24 unique items fairly often. So to restock in some shops it's a requirement to buy out junk items to clear out space for new items to stock. Usually you can make up what you lost and more with subsequent restocks, so I will usually buy out shops to clear some or get some activity going. Plus, it gives me something to do while shops are being boring.
Hopefully, in the future TNT will fix the restocking system so this is not necessary. Right now, however, this is the most effective way to get a dead shop moving in my experience.
When does (shop name) restock?
Restocks are random.
How much do r##s restock?
Restocks. Are. Random.
(shop name) hasn't restocked for awhile, and it's completely empty, does that mean it'll restock soon with a lot of good items?
Restocks are random.
If I buy out a shop, will it stock faster?
See above section "Buying Out Shops.
How long do bans usually last?
usually between 16-24, in my experience, but they can last anywhere from a couple hours to a few days.
I've been restocking in pharm for a couple of days and I think I'm ready for magic, yes?
Trust me, you are almost certainly not. Magic is only for the extremely experienced restockers. I would suggest trying out as many different shops as possible before attempting Magic. When you do decide to give it a try, be ready for quite a few missed opportunities. Very few people succeed in Magic immediately.
I searched the shop wizard for an item I restocked and nothing came up, does this mean it's UB?
The shop wizard does not show all shops at the same time. If you refresh a few times and still don't see anything, it is most likely UB.
How much NP should I have out?
Depends on the shop. For beginner shops 50k should be enough. For more experienced shops 200k. I always have out 500k at all times, but certain shops like magic and merifoods have items that stock for more than 1mil, so for those it's best to keep out around 2mil.
Can you RS on your side if you're banned?
No, absolutely not!
I searched for an item I restocked in the search bar and nothing came up ... What's going on?
It's r99, they do not appear in search results.
Where can I find a good adblocker?
Both Firefox and Chrome have acceptable ad-blocking addons. Adblock Plus is my preferred choice.
I've had a book in my shop for 30 minutes and it won't sell! :( Help?
Things don't sell instantly, be patient. As long as you have it priced lower than the shop wizard than it should sell eventually, and if it doesn't in a few days reprice.
Can I adblock images, or js?
No. Even if you have good intentions doing either of these is simple against the rules, period.
I searched something in the trading post and nothing came up, what?
When you're searching in the trading post, the search can not have a space before or after the name, if it does then you will see nothing. If you searched right and it still doesn't bring up anything then it's either a new item (in which you should put it in your shop, or sell quickly on the TP), it's a rare item and none are currently on there, or the item is glitched.
Someone wants to buy my item through auctions, and they told me they wanted private and high rise, what does this mean?
Private means they want the auction set to NF only (only your neofriends can bid on it) and high rise just means a large jump from starting price and the increment. For example, you want to price something for 4,000,000 neopoints, so the starting price should be "2000000" and the increment should be "2000000". Don't worry, it will work out. The first bidder doesn't bid only the starting price, they bid the starting price PLUS the increment, so the first bidder would then bid 4000000, and the next bidder would bid 6000000.
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