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The Worth of a Neopet


by kissy_08

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Someone recently asked on the pound board where to find a guide listing the 'worth' of a Neopet. I don’t remember who it was, but the question stuck in my mind.

I was not amused back then. I am one of those crazies who like to adopt pets out, thinking we help others getting a pet they find beautiful. Putting a 'worth' tag on Neopets reduces them to some sort of merchandise and I prefer it vastly if someone adopts one of my foster pets because they like it, and not because of its trading value.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to condemn trading Neopets here. If B has a pet A loves and A has a pet B loves and they exchange them, it would make both people happier and that’s a good thing in my book. It’s making your choice based on 'worth' instead of preference that’s irritating me.

But it occurred to me that maybe the question was asked because the person asking was afraid to offer their pet. -Afraid to be ridiculed if they offered a ‘low worth’ pet for a ‘high worth’ pet.

So I decided to write a guide that hopefully will give you some insight what adds to the so called ‘worth’ of a Neopet and thus more confidence when you enter the Pound Board.

The Basics

So how does the question of worth enter into Neopet trading to begin with? Let’s go back to my initial scenario. Let’s say A has a cloud JubJub and B has a Christmas Zafara. In a perfect world A longs for the Zafara, B for the JubJub, they trade and everyone is happy.

Now let’s imagine B does not have a Christmas Zafara, but a Darigan Skeith. B still wants to have the JubJub desperately, but A is not fond of a Darigan Skeith at all. A wants a Christmas Zafara.

Now A might get the notion that there are more people out there who would trade for a Darigan Skeith than people who would trade for cloud JubJubs. And so A gives B the pet that B desires for the Darigan Skeith, not because A likes the pet, but because it increases A’s chances of getting the pet they really want.

Suddenly we take the step from personal preference to the ‘worth’ of a pet and in this world ‘worth’ is measured by the discrepancy between supply and demand.

Therefore to get some idea about the approximate trading worth of a pet, we need to think in terms of supply and demand.

Those two seem to be mainly dependant on Species, Colour, Battledome Stats and Name. I’ll concentrate on Species and Colour here and just say the minimum about Battledome Stats and Names.

Many pet traders will not accept a pet that is not decently named, no matter the colour or species (meaning no (or at least few) underscores and no numbers in the name). This means that, if you are not name particular but have a pet with a great name, you can most likely trade it for a pet that has a colour and a species that are much more 'valuable', but is cursed with a horrible name.

Occasionally someone will offer (or seek) a pet with high Battledome stats. If someone is interested in a battle pet, it is HSD (hit points, strength and defense) that counts - species, colour and name not so much.

Supply

I’ll loose a few words about the demand side in this article, though those are observations, not undisputable facts. With the supply side, we are on a much firmer ground.

On the one end of the spectrum we have the unlimited, basic colored pets. Everyone can simply create one of those for themselves, if they want one.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the UC pets. UC stands for unconverted pets. Those pets retain the old artwork, but cannot be customized with clothing. There is no way to create a new UC and each time an account gets frozen or a user paints or morphs a UC, it will automatically be converted, so the supply of those pets gets steadily lower.

Rule of thumb – The more time and Neopoints you would need to create a certain Neopet, the lower the supply will be.

Colour Supply

You can get your first idea about colour supply by looking up the worth of the paintbrush that creates it. I recommend the Trading Post, Auctions, or the Shop Wizard if it’s a cheap brush.

But be careful. That can be rather misleading. To begin with, the Trading Post itself can be very treacherous. There are no firm prices for any item on the Trading Post and just because the lowest price you can find today is 20 million neopoints, it doesn’t mean that someone won’t offer one for 2 million tomorrow.

Anyone who has witnessed the crazy up and downs of Faerie Paint Brush prizes after the plot will probably agree with me.

Morphing potions are something else that can influence supply. At the moment I am writing this article, the cheapest Orange Paint Brush seems to be offered for 530 000 NP, but one can buy an Orange Koi Morphing Potion for less than 50 000 NP. Thus one needs to put considerably fewer Neopoints into creating an orange Koi than into creating other orange Neopets.

The famous or infamous lab ray is another way to paint pets and for trading purposes a very important one.

Once you have bought a lab ray, you only need to invest time, patience and luck into it and the lab ray will eventually paint your pet... with some random colour. It might have changed your pet’s species before it does so too. So there is a high chance you’ll not be particularly attached to the result.

What to do? Well, you can pound the pet, keep zapping, or you go to the pound board hoping to exchange your pet for one you like better.

I have no hard proof for it, but I think the majority of the pets that are offered on the Trading Post are lab ray painted pets and the lab ray doesn’t care for Trading Post prices.

A striped paintbrush is much cheaper (asking price less than 100 000 NP at the time of this article) than a desert paint brush (asking price over 2 million at the time of this article), but I think I have gotten as many desert zaps as striped zaps. Come to think of it, I have gotten more desert zaps than yellow zaps.

Technically a lab ray painted desert pet should be ‘worth’ as much as a lab ray painted striped pet, but if you have the desert pet, it’s always possible that someone will buy a striped paint brush and create a pet they can trade with you the hard way, while I wouldn’t count on finding anyone buying a desert paint brush so they can create a desert pet that they can exchange for your striped pet.

Nevertheless there is a big difference between colours that are available through the lab ray and colours that are not. Baby, Royal, Pirate, Plushie, Usuki and Quiguki seem to be the colours that cannot obtained through the ray and because of this you’ll not find people who ‘accidentally’ get a pet of that colour.

This means not only that the number of pets existing with that colour isn’t increased through the lab ray, but also that those who do have a pet with that colour will likely be a lot more reluctant to trade it for anything. On a side note, it’s also a lot harder to find someone who will offer such a pet up for adoption or to find it in the pound.

To make a long story short, pets of those colours have significantly more ‘worth’ than what the price of their paint brushes might indicate.

Then there are the colours that are exclusive lab ray colours. Now you might think those are worth very little, because no one pays Neopoints to create pets of those colours, but do remember that with most colours you have the option of creating one by lab ray OR paintbrush or morphing potion, while with the lab ray exclusives there is only that one way. In other words, the supply of them is lower than that of other colours.

The colours we are talking about are Chocolate, Ice, Robot, Snot and Sponge. There is also Clay and Garlic, but there are only two species for each of them that can be painted that way, and Coconut, MSP, Mallow or Alien, who are restricted to one species. Check out the Rainbow Pool, if you want to see which.

There are rumors that the lab ray can give your pet a Jelly colour too, but since I want to be taken seriously I hereby state that I do not believe in Jelly pets or Jelly World.

And there are the magma pets. If you know the secrets of the magma pool, you can create a magma pet each week, if not, you have a problem. There is no magma paint brush or morphing potion, I haven’t gotten a magma zap yet (though I can’t say for sure it’s impossible) and I can say for sure randomly surfing the pound won’t gain you one either, because magma pets change to red when abandoned.

In other words, if you don’t have access to the pool and don’t want to spend the time finding out, you’ll have to trade for such a pet and then use the transfer option.

The good news is that there are more than a handful of people who can help you, so supply isn’t exactly low.

Finally there are the unconverted pets. Like I have stated at the beginning, there is no way to create one. Your only hope is to trade for one, that already exists, or, if you are really lucky, find one in the pound.

Species supply

Check out the Neopet Popularity page, if you want an idea what is the most common and the least common pet. It will tell you that the pet most often created is the Shoyru, while Krawk is the least often created, making it much more likely that you’ll find a Shoyru in the Pound than a Krawk. Ahm…

Talking about Species supply it might be a good idea to differentiate a bit.

Regular pets

Most Neopet species can be created any time you want to have them, as long as you have less than three pets on your account and a name that isn’t being used by someone else.

In other words people usually don’t trade for them or at least not because of their species.

The supply of those pets in basic colours is the same for all species – unlimited.

Bring an other colour into the mix and that picture changes. Say you want a faerie pet. It’s different if you want any faerie pet, a faerie Shoyru or a faerie Ogrin.

To simplify matters, let's forget about the paintbrushes and morphing potions for a moment and concentrate on the lab ray. If there are more Shoyrus around than Ogrins, we can assume that more Shoyrus are being zapped than Ogrins and that means more chances of faerie zaps for Shoyrus than for Ogrins. Bright Sherlock that I am, I conclude there should be are more faerie Shoyrus around than faerie Ogrins… unless people have used all their faerie paintbrushes to increase the number of faerie Ogrins considerably, but not that of the faerie Shoyrus.

The same argument goes for the other nonbasic colours too, though the question of when the particular colour was introduced to the species plays a role too.

The more recently the colour has been introduced to that species, the lower the supply will be.

Now to the bad news - the fact that a certain colour/species combination is rarer than another one does not necessarily mean that it will be perceived as being ‘worth’ more than the more common one.

There is a reason Neopets has termed this page Neopet popularity. If more people create Shoyrus than Ogrins, it stands to reason that more people like Shoyrus than Ogrins.

And if it's ten times more likely that someone wants a faerie Shoyru than that someone wants a faerie Ogrin, then the fact that there are ten times more faerie Shoyrus around than faerie Ogrins won’t count for much. Can you follow me so far?

Practically speaking, that means that you might have to search longer for a certain colour of an unpopular species than for one of a popular species, but you won’t necessarily need a ‘better offer’ once you’ve found someone willing to trade.

Limited edition pets

Those are pets that can’t be created all year round, but only on their pet day. Even then the number of pets that can be created that day is limited. That’s where the limited in Limited Edition Pets comes from.

Besides creating those pets on their pet day, you can always morph or zap another pet into one, but that needs either Neopoints (if the former) or luck and effort (if the latter).

The LE pets in order from most common to most rare are

1. Kiko; 2. Jetsam; 3. Cybunny; 4. Poogle; 5. Tonu; 6. Koi; 7. Chomby; 8. Hissi

Since access to them is limited, this order tells us only something about the supply (rarity) and nothing about the demand (popularity) they are most likely to have.

We could add the Lutari here, but since they run away when you try to give them to another owner, they are irrelevant in terms of trading Neopets.

Restricted pets

Draiks and Krawks are for species what the unconverted pets are for colours: Extremely rare pets.

We distinguish them from the LE pets because they cannot be created on their pet days and it is highly unlikely (some say outright impossible) to create one by using the lab ray.

Those are the only Neopets where I understand the urge to think in ‘worth’ categories, to put a virtual price tag on them, because though they aren’t items themselves, they are created through items that are bought and traded for with other items and Neopoints.

The items I am talking about are: Morphing Potions, Transmogrification Potions, Draik Eggs and Krawk Petpets. Feel free to find one that is offered for less than 11 million neopoints in the Trading Post or the auctions. I for one haven’t seen one yet.

DUCKs

DUCK stands for Draiks, Krawks and unconverted Neopets; in other words, the really low supply pets. Most people who own a DUCK will only trade it for another DUCK.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have one. There are a lot of other lovely pets out there.

Demand

Like I initially said, it is much harder to say anything definite about the demand side than about the supply side, yet some observations can be made anyway.

Colour Demand

Themed colours like Faerie, Maraquan or Darigan seem to be more popular than those that are not, Sketch for example.

We can only guess the reasons for that. Maybe those colours attract not just those who like the artwork, but those who are fans of the lands they represent too.

The reason why colours like Desert, Halloween or Zombie are so popular might have something to do with this as well, but here another element is added: The paint brush clothes.

Say person C wants her faerie Grundo to wear Lost Desert Grundo Sandals. Then C has no choice but to get a clothed desert Grundo for herself and give his sandals to her faerie Grundo.

The demand for clothed pets is higher, simply because those who like the pet as a whole, are competing with those who are only interested in the clothes.

Now if person C gets the desert Grundo she might abandon him as soon as she has him. That way the clothes stay in her wardrobe and the pet can be adopted by someone to whom the desert clothes are not the main attraction.

Therefore an unclothed pet will be considered worth a lot less than a clothed pet of the same colour, when it comes to trading.

The last thing I want to point out about colours is that certain colours or colour/species combinations offer the owner of said pet the chance to get an avatar they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. This adds a crowd of avatar collectors to those who desire the pet as such.

This does not have quite as much impact as one might imagine, because the avatar collectors will often retrade or pound the pet as soon as they have obtained the Avatar. The pet loses its worth to them then.

Nevertheless the label of avatar pets adds ‘worth’ to a pet as well as explains why certain paint brushes are that expensive.

Pink pets and Snow pets are what come to my mind as well as orange Grundos, but there are probably more pets and colours out there which have this particular trait.

One word of warning. Adding an avatar Petpet to a Neopet to create more trading 'value' is against the rules, because Petpets count as items and you are not allowed to trade an item for a pet.

Species Demand

I already said something about the demand of regular pets and all I am willing to say about the DUCKs is that the demand is much, much higher than the supply.

This leaves the problem of the limited edition pets. How to figure out which pet species is most popular among them? I decided to ask around on the pound board.

The question I asked was this: Out of all limited edition pets, which is the pet you would pound most likely and which is the pet you’d pound least likely?

46 very nice users decided to help me and I want to thank them for that here once again.

The users were allowed to name more than one species for each question. Interestingly enough every species has had at least one user who said they would hold on them most likely and one user who said they would pound them most likely. I hope this means I have asked enough people to get a fair result.

I arrived with the following ranking, in order from most popular to least popular:

1. Cybunny; 2. Hissi; 3. Poogle; 4. Chomby; 5. Jetsam; 6. Tonu; 7. Kiko; 8. Koi

Like I have predicted in the supply section, most rare doesn't equal least popular for limited edition pets.

Colour/Species combinations

For this topic let us go back to the faerie Shoyru/Ogrin theory, which I stated earlier. I said if the difference in supply is as big as the difference in demand, then the fact that there are fewer faerie Ogrins around than faerie Shoyrus has no impact on the ‘worth’ of the Neopet.

I don’t know if you have noticed that, but this was a big if.

To illustrate, let's take a look at faerie Unis and faerie Grarrls. According to the Neopets Popularity page Unis are the sixth most popular species, while Grarrls do have place 19.

I like this ranking, because I personally like Unis a lot more than Grarrls.

But if I take a look on the faerie pets, I consider the faerie Grarrls much more beautiful than the faerie Unis. I hope all those who love faerie Unis will forgive me, but when I look at a faerie Uni I only see a basic blue Uni with pink wings and that kind of fails to impress me.

If I look at the faerie Grarrl, I get horns and wings where there were none before and a body that is painted with an amazing pattern in pretty colours. In other words I see a whole new creature that appeals to me a lot.

Now let us suppose for a moment that I am not the only person who thinks that way. The result would be that there are more people who like faerie Grarrls than people who like faerie Unis, while there are fewer faerie Grarrls than faerie Unis around.

This would mean that faerie Grarrls were ‘worth’ more than faerie Unis.

There are pets which gain their ‘worth’ not because of their species and not because of their colour, but because of this particular colour/species combination.

Now you probably want to know what those magical combinations are. I can’t tell you; there would be far too much guessing involved. My advice is to study the Rainbow Pool and decide for yourself which colour fits which species the best and if you are unsure to ask around and listen to what other users have to say.

I am neither able nor willing to assign an undisputable 'worth' to every possible Neopet/Colour combination.

Before you are too disappointed, remember that a good trade is one where both people are satisfied. The only way for that to happen is when the pet they are getting has more 'worth' to them than the pet they are giving and this has to be true for both trading partners. For that to happen, the two have to disagree on the 'worth' they assign to the pets.

If everyone valued the same traits about Neopets in the same measure, there would not be much point in trading.

And this concludes my introduction into the world of supply and demand of Neopets.

Don’t be afraid to enter the Pound Board

Even if you don’t feel like your Pets will have enough ‘worth’ in the eyes of the professional traders to give you your dream pet, do not be afraid to enter the Pound Board, please.

1. Not everyone you’ll find there will think in terms of ‘worth’, when considering if they want to acquire your Neopet. You might be lucky enough to find someone who is offering you a ‘high worth’ Neopet for a ‘low worth’ Neopet, because this particular Neopet is exactly what they have been looking for and worth more than any other pet to them.

2. You might find someone who will offer you your dream pet for adoption instead of demanding a trade.

3. No one has the right to insult or harass you, no matter what they think of the pet you are offering. But keep in mind that by the same token, you don’t have the right to insult or harass anyone, even if they offer you a pet that you consider worth much less than the one they want to have. In this the people on the pound board aren’t so different from the people elsewhere. Those who are polite and friendly will gain more friends than those who are rude and arrogant.

I hope this guide has helped. Good luck in finding your dream pet!

 
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