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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 21st day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 135 > Articles > In-depth Guide to Auctions

In-depth Guide to Auctions

by antisureui

AUCTIONS - I invested 10,000 NP in TAG last week. I never play the stocks, I've only bought one other stock in my whole Neopian career. Why did I throw 10k down with such ease of mind? Well, to tell you the truth, The Auction Genie (TAG) is my friend. Him and the Shop Wizard. Those guys are almost as essential as Breads and Bottled Waters.

However, most mice just pass over the little hammer on their way to the blue tent. Well I'm here to tell you that those little white arrows are missing out! The Auction Genie is an essential part of every good player's regimen. It is a way to find great deals, sell items for good prices, and restock. It is a bit more complex than the Shop Wizard, the ins and outs of Auctioning are not as straightforward. Although this may be discouraging, the added complexity allows a higher level of functionality and a completely different shopping experience.

The Basics
When You first click on the auctioning hammer, you reach a screen with a list of auctions that have 1 second left or something around there. Sometimes a lot of the auctions are closed! Well when I first started this was what put me off. I bought an Omelette for 45 NP(About 20% of my total NP), when I discovered the Shop Wizard I didn't go back for a very long time. I assumed that everything there was a rip-off. Well that's not the case. Often you will find items that are selling for much less than they're really worth. This is where Rule #1 comes in.

Rule #1 - If you don't already know what the item is worth CHECK THE SHOP WIZARD before you bid!

Already bid on an overpriced item? Well, if you don't want the item, you can just put the money back in the bank and you will not get the item or have to pay for it. Isn't that convenient?

So how do we find auctions that aren't closed when we get there? You will notice that there are links at the top that say [Auctions 1-20] [21 - 40] etc. Clicking on these will take you to screens of 20 auctions each. As the Auction number goes up, the time left until the end of auction goes up. At 80+ you should have enough time to check the wizard and come back. This is how people restock through auctions. There are often underpriced items available here.

OK, so how do I actually win?
Good question. I often wonder about that myself. Well the answer to How to Lose is easy: Often people assume that if they bid they can go away and they will win. Many others assume that they must keep on bidding and somehow this will cause them to win. However, 99/100 times they do not win. They have merely magnified the price for everyone and earned the scorn of those involved. If they do win, they've increased the price for themselves by the amount (which is usually very large) they've bid the item up. These are two bad ways to go about Auctioning. Those are: not paying attention and bidding wars.

There is no secret to winning auctions. The highest bidder at the end of the auction is the winner (usually). I'll get to the usually part later. Therefore, to win auctions you must be there at the end of the auction.

Rule #2 - For most popular/underpriced items you MUST be there at the end of the auction. Do not bid until within the last minute of the auction and preferably within the last 10 seconds.

Remember, there are people restocking watching for the underpriced item that you want. They will swoop in at the end of the auction and win… if you don't stop them by winning yourself! Again, there is no secret to winning but there are tips. Some people have perfected their methods. Winning auctions is a mixture of skill and luck.

Know your connection speed -- if you have a slow connection you cannot afford to refresh to the last 5 seconds to find the right price to bid. You must refresh to the shortest allowable time - have enough time to type in your price and send it. For example at your connection speed you may have to wait 3 seconds to send, that way even if you press send at 2 seconds it will not reach Mr. Genie in time. Timing is essential.

The max bid is currently 2000 NP more than asking price. Often the final bidders will be bidding the max bid in order to stop others from getting their bids in. You should have this in mind when deciding what price you should bid. Sometimes there aren't any that bid max bid and then you end up overbidding. Even if your bid is the top bid on the list you may not be the winner. Click on the "My Bids" link at the top to see who the last bidder was. The person whose name appears as the last bidder is the winner. This can make auctions a little frustrating.

Yes auctions are frustrating, it is hard to win. But keep at it. With great pain comes great reward as they say… or I hope that's what they say.

Anyway… so now hopefully you've won… what do you do?
AAAH! AAAH! Run around screaming and cheering a bit, but when you've come back and calmed down you've still not got the item! What went wrong? Nothing! Don't put your money away! When you put your money away you forfeit your win. Auctions sometimes take an hour or more to process. It may be a while before you see your precious. Click on the "Status" link at the top of the Auctions screen and you will see approximately how long you will have to wait (The Average Wait Time). Keep the money in your hand, and wait, sooner or later (most likely later) you will receive your item. By the way, congratulations! You have just succeeded at the ancient art called Auctions.

The End
Why Auctions and not Shop Wizard? Have a paint brush that's just not selling through the Trading Post -- or not even showing up in the search? You can put it in Auctions for the market price and it will stand a better chance of selling. In fact, most people look at auctions for unbuyables and not Trading Post. Auction Genie is like the Shop Wizard of unbuyables. Always be wary and check prices on Shop Wizard and for unbuyables check Trading Post prices, but on Auctions you can often find great prices.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but I think that you now know enough about auctions to auction far and wide and succeed. Remember, Rule #3, if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. It may be discouraging but sometimes when there are spaces of hours between restocks, auctions can be just as lucrative if not more.

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