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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 106 > Articles > In-Depth Restocking

In-Depth Restocking

by noremac9

MAIN SHOPS - There have been uncountable articles saying, "Restock, you fool, it will make you rich!" I think that has been established. But now you want to restock -- so what? Shouldn't someone tell you HOW? Maybe I'm just putting words into your mouth, but yes, bingo. And look at that -- exactly what I'm writing about! Coincidence? I say alien Aishas.

Before we get started, I'm afraid I must mention one tiny little catch to restocking. You have to have a fast connection. In other words, 56K modem (or ANY kind of dial-up) won't cut it. Sure, there are people who can restock with dial-up, but frankly, you're better off playing flash and card games. It's just not feasible. If you have cable or DSL, do a search and find a site where you can test your speed, then, well, test! If your speed is 300K+ you're good to go. Below that, well, it's just going to be a rockier road. Many will complain that restocking isn't fair to anyone without a wicked-fast connection-- they're right. But let me give you a hint: life isn't fair. It's just the way they designed the system. Never fear, though, there's still plenty of money in games.

So, let's start with the basics. You need to pick a shop to restock in. Luckily, there are tons of shops. Unfortunately, there are tons of people in those shops, doing exactly the same thing you're doing. But that's aside the point. There are 63 shops at the time of writing this. That's enough for you to pick at least ONE. Although, there are only so many profitable shops -- many of them are either totally worthless, or too hard to restock in, due to competition. Okay, so you saw it coming -- I have some recommendations. For green-as-a-forest-hat newbies, I recommend the bakery. You know all that food they release on pet days? 81.54% of it goes to the bakery. Most importantly, the bakery stocks a LOT of gourmet (read: big profit) food for you to snatch, and stocks lots of stuff every restock.

The biggest drawback is that there are so many items, it may take a long time to become familiar with what and what not to get. Another drawback is that most of the food is fairly similar looking, so the rare stuff won't catch your eye without training. Another good shop to start out in is the Pharmacy. It stocks valuable items that aren't rare. Does that make no sense? Well, the wheel of excitement is ALWAYS giving out a disease. This disease ALWAYS has a cure. This cure ALWAYS stocks at the pharmacy. Many of these cures are quite common, they just have high demand. Some are just rare. It's a pretty good place for new-folk to stock, and moderate people, too.

Also, do not stock at the Toy Shop, The Magic Shop, The Battle and Defence Magic Shops, and many more. These are simply expert shops -- when you get good, go there and make a fortune. Until then, stay away. Assuming you've picked a shop, we'll move on. If you haven't, read former paragraph till it's apparent.

Now that you've got a shop, KNOW your shop. You've got to know every item that stocks there's value, be it high or low. If it's someplace like bakery, where there are seemingly infinite numbers of different items-- just learn the general categories. As long as you know "This looks rare!" and "This looks sad and lonely!", you're doing fine. You'll miss things occasionally that were valuable, but that's the way the Illusen Cream Cookie crumbles.

Okay, so here comes the doozie, The big one. The really long part of the article that seems to be nit-picky and boring. Well, it really is the most important part: form. Technique. Seriously, as crazy as that sounds, it is.

We'll start with refreshing. There are several different options here. Most people use the F5 hotkey to refresh rapidly, then when they see a restock, quickly shoot their hand over to the number pad. Personally, I use my mouse to click the refresh button in my browser window, mainly because my computer doesn't have that hotkey. The important part of mouse-refreshing is to minimize the space between the center of the page and the refresh button. In other words, if there's any room above the top of the items you can see, scroll the page down till they're at the very top, hence bringing the distance to the smallest level. This is assuming your browser keeps you at the same place every time you refresh. If it doesn't-- which is common-- ignore that and just hit the space bar a lot.

The next important tactic to remember is keep the cursor at the very CENTER of the shop's item. In other words, assuming there are sixteen items in the shop, put your cursor in the very middle of the screen. This allows you to go ANY way you see an item with maximum speed. You can choose top or bottom, but I prefer all-around. It just has slightly less risk involved, though you might have a bit slower response time.

Next, there's keypad hand formation. You've got to find what's right for you-- personally, I put my middle finger on 8, my index finger on 4, and my ring finger on 6, forming a triangle. This forms a formation that can quickly be adapted to take on any number. If you wish to use copy and paste to do your restocking, after selecting the proper number, just keep your hand over CTRL/Command + V. Remember, you have to choose a broad number for copy and paste restocking, and so number selection is very important. I really, honestly don't recommend it. It's cheap, and it's hard, so why bother?

Of course, there's no (non-freezable) way to get around the pesky "Do you want to buy this?" message. This is, to be honest, where I slip up the worst. I often miss the "okay" button once or twice, losing serious speed getting the item. If you have a mouse that automatically puts your cursor on the okay button -- I envy you. You have a big advantage. That'll definitely put you ahead of the game. For the rest of us, just try to get it where you ship your cursor right over that baby. I have no advice, it really just takes practice.

Finally, in the category of form, there is mishaggling. Mishaggling is about as common as a Chia on a Lupe's dinner plate, no joke. It's just the way it works. While often times, if you're fast enough, you can still get the item, it's definitely a good way to miss things. One of the best ways to protect against mishaggling is to get rhythm going with your fingers. In other words, to avoid typing one digit over/one digit under the desired number, try something like 545 instead of 555. With 555, the rapid pressing causes you to often go one over (or more, if you're me.). With 545, you can get a good idea of what you're doing, thus minimizing mishaggling. If you do (and you will!) mishaggle, and you notice it right away, you might have time to hit the stop button on your browser and quickly modify the number, then resubmit the bid. This is a much better idea than re-haggling, though it does have one drawback-- if you hit stop, and it doesn't register until the next page has come u p, then you will have a huge delay because that page will not be fully loaded, and, well, you're in serious trouble.

Okay, enough with all that form stuff. We need to get onto the part about CATCHING the restocks. See, catching a restock is like catching an ugly Faellie. I can't think of why, but I know it is. In order to help you catch the hideous little bugger, there are things called Restock Chats (Or, more commonly, RS chats). This is a place (usually on AIM) that people get together and alert each other when they see a restock taking place. In smaller chats, you usually have a designated alerter, who constantly refreshes, making sure they see the first item to stock. In larger chats, you can count on SOMEONE seeing it, and thus don't have to worry about having a certain person.

Many people fear they will be scammed if they go to one of these chat. While there can be a scammers in the chats, it's very easy to avoid them. Simply don't give out your password (EVER!), don't establish direct connections, and don't go to any URLs they give you. If you follow all those rules, you're guaranteed to be 100% safe. If someone is harassing you, block them. 'Nuff said.

If you don't want a chat, or can't find one, you have to restock alone. This has some nifty bonuses, but it also has a major drawback: getting banned. When alone, you have to refresh a LOT to make sure you don't miss the restock. This causes you to get banned, since every time you refresh, you have a small chance of getting banned. Do it enough, and you probably will be banned. To avoid banning, yet still make sure you see every restock, I surf in a separate window, or chat on instant messenger while I restock. When surfing, every page you go to or so just go back and refresh. With instant messenger, just go back every 20-30 seconds or more.

Of course, there's still one VERY important matter I haven't even discussed: the restock tree. This is a little know, but very important, fact about restocking. The restock tree is the order shops restock in -- just try to imagine it like a disease. The disease always starts in the main shop. It slowly spreads outwards to the other worlds' shops, infecting them, too. Eventually, all the shops have been infected, and everything will DIE! Er, and the restock is over. This gives you a definite advantage when restocking in shops outside Neopia central-- you can refresh in, say, the book shop, and when you see it's restocking, go back to your other window in Haunted Furniture. Now you KNOW a restock's coming, and you can lie in wait, like a Mutant Puppyblew on steroids. Plus, if you see it late, it might've still not reached the shop you're restocking in, and all is not lost. On a side note: make sure an alerter in a chat is never in one of the outer shops alerting.

Oh yes, and all for you restocking greenies , I threw together a quick lingo list. It's not much, but it'll save you from the embarrassment of asking the masters. Because I did. And they WILL laugh you out of town, so remember that.

RS = Restock. If it is unclear what this is, start the article over.

RSO/0 = Restock OVER. This means the restock has ended, and there are no more items coming into the shops.

RSNO = Restock NOT Over. If someone say "RS0!" and it's not over, then people say "RSNO", so you know the other person was wrong.

GJ = Good job. When someone gets a good item, and shares it, most people will say "GJ," meaning nice one, bro.

There's only one other very important piece of advice I can give you. When you are bad, ADMIT it. When I started restocking, I wasn't just bad. I was SAD. Not my mood, but my skills were undeniably pathetic. So I didn't deny it. And people will respect you for that. They might still laugh at you, but as you get better, they'll say, "Wow, Zimboflartsan, you really are better!" If you instead say, "I 0wnzers all ya'll!" they will find out you don't, and you will be the clown of the class. Or the class clown. Or whatever.

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