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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Relaxing, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 14 > Articles > Let's Go Shopping

Let's Go Shopping

by shadowwatcher13

Let’s face it...it can be a Lupe eat Lupe world out there when it comes to shopping at the main shops! It is highly competitive and takes patience and talent just to get a skateboard or bouncy ball from the toy shop. There are millions of people shopping at the same time, same place for the same articles…so it is easy to get discouraged and just “give up”. You may be working with a dial-up modem when others are shopping with their speedier cable connections and you have convinced yourself that you are not likely to win that battle. And every time you do try to shop the main shops, there isn’t much there to choose from…it seems all the good stuff is already gone. So, you have given up and decided to resign yourself to paying the higher Wiz prices or sticking with the cheaper toys, food and books and saying no to the quests that are out of your financial reach!!

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!!!
Shopping the main shops is cheaper (for the most part – there are a few exceptions, we will get to them later) and definitely the best way to stock your private shop or just buy the things you need to care for your pet. The key word is patience, and if you don’t have it naturally, you will have to work on it or you won’t get anywhere trying to shop the main shops!! The second key word is speed… not your Net connection speed (although cable helps, it is not imperative to succeed) but finger and keyboard speed. It comes down to who hits enter first, so practice filling in prices and hitting the enter button on a note pad screen. I usually enter the price with my left hand and hit enter with my right, but your style may be different…the important thing is to work out a rhythm that is comfortable for you! The third key word is choice. If you have never shopped the main shops, I would start with a less competitive store (although they are all chock full of needed and sellable items). The least competitive stores are probably the Tiki Tack on Mystery Island and the Gift Shop in the Bazaar…but they are expensive and “special” in their own way, so unless you want to specialise in gifts, just check them out, watch how the restock happens but don’t buy just yet, okay? Grundo’s Restaurant at the Space Station, the Slushie (Terror Mountain) and Smoothie (Bazaar) Shops, Snow Foods (Terror Mountain) Tropical Foods (Mystery Island) Tyrannian Foods (Tyrannia) and the Food Stall (Lost Desert) all have specialty items that sell out fast, but there is usually opportunity to stock up on other things as well. If you specialise in a food shop, these places will give you the variety you may want to provide and the opportunity to buy it at main shop prices! You can “haggle” with the shopkeepers of any shop as well, so don’t pay the “upfront” price unless it is a high demand item (always pay the asked for price on those, you don’t get time to haggle for the high end items like Neggs (Food Shop), they are gone very quickly…so never try to deal when getting your offer in first counts). The Health Food Shop and Grooming Shop (both in Bazaar) are good places to start as well, right now blue items are “high end” merchandise in the Grooming Shop, but the rest is accessible and both shops offer the type of merchandise that is always in demand! There are some items that are cheaper on the Wiz than out of these shops though, you will have to comparison shop to decide what to buy where! The point here is that these shops do not sell out as quickly as the Toy Shop, Uni’s Clothing, the Food Shop and the Book Shop; so they are good places to learn about restocking and to practice shopping in the small window of time restocking allows.

RESTOCKING
This is what it is all about!!! NeoPet’s shops restock approximately every eight minutes, but that is actually an average and not “the real thing”. Some times are as much as eleven minutes apart and others are as little as five. I can’t give you the restocking times in this article - NeoPet’s doesn’t “publish” them, but they are not as big a secret as you might imagine. I post them about five times a day on the Chat Help board and so do many others, so go to the Board and ask! Keep asking until you get them, (some kind soul will post them) copy them down and keep them close to your computer (I have mine on a Post-It note on my tower). Synchronize your PC clock with the time on the World page, this is very important because Neopian Time is different than “real” time, so you must be shopping by official Neopian Time or you will miss restock altogether!! These times are the only times you will have a chance to buy “high end” items like quest candy, hot toys, medicine (right now Flat-U-Less), food and books!!! You must be there right when the moment changes and refresh until you see what you want, then key in the price and hit enter…quickly! If something sells out before you have a chance to get it, move on! Always have a list of priorities in mind when you shop, if you don’t get a blue hairbrush, go for the red, then the green. Switch to toothbrushes or toothpaste and keep shopping until you have what you want and nothing more appeals to you! Then …switch shops!! Go to Health Food Shop or see what is left at the Book Shop; check out the Pharmacy or drop by the Toy Shop and see if there is anything left there you may want. You have a small window of time to work in, work it to the max!!!

SPECIALISING
You may want to specialise in just one or two lines of stock for your shop (my boyfriend runs a book shop…books only!!) or diversify and offer a little bit of everything (my shop is like that). My best advice is to specialise, trying to shop all the shops is very time consuming and tends to necessitate constant shop upgrades, but if you have the time and you hone your shopping skills, a variety store can earn you very good Neopoints! That said, a specialty store can also be very profitable, my boyfriend’s bookstore also makes very good Neopoints, so the choice is yours. If you do specialise… stick to that main shop and stock up! Keeping inventory on hand is very important, you can stock your shop and while you are selling, you can be buying more stock! That is the way shops are run in the “real” world and NeoPets is no different. If you want to sell make-up and grooming accessories, spend time at both the Grooming Shop and on the Wiz and make sure you cover all the bases; try to get a bit of each type of nail varnish, eye shadow, blush, brushes, toothpaste and mouth washes, etc. When you sell it, restock it! The fact that it sold tells you it is in demand. The same principle applies to any specialty shop, as a rule you will want to pay the main shop prices, have the opportunity to “haggle” the price down and stock up at wholesale prices rather than paying retail prices and then trying to make a few more Neopoints by upping the price more. The key to a successful shop is competitive pricing and buying from the main shops makes that possible!

So now you know that shopping from the main shops is possible, profitable and fun! Whether you are a newbie (someone new to site) or have been around a while but have not yet got the hang of shopping the main shops, you can do it! NeoPets has peak usage times, that will be reflected in your success (or lack of it) when you try to shop, so you will also have to find your niche when it comes to when to shop. Weekends are always busy, but keep trying! Otherwise, your chance of getting what you want depends on timing, patience and working out your own system of shopping. Good luck and have fun!!!


Check out next week's issue for Let's Go Shopping Part Two...

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