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More Abandoned Than the Attic


by anti_guy

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Restocking. The art of rapidly refreshing at a shop in the hopes that they will stock a rare item. On the off chance that they do stock a rare item, it's a race to the checkout counter for anyone who happens to be in the store at that time. Usually, restocking is only done in stores where items that sell for a lot of NP, such as Kauvara's Magic Shop, or where an avatar can be won if a rare enough item is purchased, which can be very difficult as anyone who is trying for the Chocolate avatar can attest to.

The biggest stores for restocking sell rare, easy to sell items. But what about the stores that sell items that, while still rare, are much harder to sell to someone who isn't a collector? There are some stores that very few, if any, Neopians ever check. And what about the shopkeepers at those stores? Why do they sell what they do? What do they try to do for their businesses? I've managed to talk to some of the shopkeepers at the less popular stores to try and find out just how they stay in business.

For the interviews with each shopkeeper, the interviewer's text will be bolded.

The first shopkeeper I was able to get an interview with was the young Cybunny in charge of a personal favorite of mine and my Neopets, the Plushie Shop.

"Hello. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me."

"It's always a pleasure to talk to a reporter."

"I must say, this is quite an impressive collection of plush dolls you have here."

"They're usually just called Plushies, but thanks!"

"My first question for you is how did you get into this business, the Plushie business?"

"Well, I've always loved dolls. Any type, actually. My favorites though were easily these soft, stuffing filled dolls called Plushies. They were and still are the best for cuddling. After getting a lot of plushies as gifts, I decided to learn how to sew so I could make my very own, one-of-a kind plushies."

"Interesting. But then why did you wind up selling these creations of yours?"

"When I first started, I immediately was hounded with requests for plushies of specific 'pet species and colors. It might sound dirty, but at that moment, I knew I could make a successful business out of this hobby of mine. I'm not bad for doing that, am I?"

"I'd say no. You found an opportunity and took it. Now, how do you feel about restockers and restocking in general?"

"I have a slight problem with restockers. I get most of the basic 'pet species plushies from a distributor and I have to put a certain amount on the shelves as part of our contract. That means I don't have a lot of room for rarer, more expensive plushies to go on sale. Since there aren't that many rare plushies on sale, not many people even attempt to restock here."

"I see. Now, what makes these plushies so rare?"

"The basic Neopet color plushies and a few other species/color combinations are from a distributor who I can't name. The reason that a lot of other plushies are more expensive is that they're paw-made."

"You make these plushies by yourself? Very impressive work."

"Thanks! I do make a lot of rare plushies by paw, so I can sell them for more than anything that can be made in bulk."

"Supply and demand, I understand. Thank you for time. So, any last remarks for the readers?"

"No problem! And to all the readers out there, the best toys all come in plushie form, so come get a soft, cuddly friend for your 'pet today!"

Heading a bit further south is a building where a cacophony of instruments is almost always constant. No doubt this is the Music Shop, whose owner was only willing to meet with me after finding out that I was a musician myself.

"Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today, sir."

"No trouble at all, my boy. Before we begin with the interview, there is one question I wish to ask of you."

"Um, OK. Shoot."

"Music is a representation of what a man is. So tell me, what music do you listen to?"

"Death Metal and House."

"Ugh. Foolish music for the foolish tastes of a foolish fool. It feels inappropriate to give the time of day to one like you who cannot appreciate the finest music from the finest instruments in all of Neopia."

"Well, seeing as how this shop is almost always fully stocked, I'm going to assume that there aren't that many Neopians looking for this kind of music?"

"Sadly, you are correct. Not many are looking into the fine art of instruments and music."

"If the interest is waning and you don't sell much of your stock, then why do you stay in business?"

"It is a matter of principle. I am not in this business for the money. Again, there are quite few Neopians who actually take a serious interest in music. I devote my time and career to spread a single shred of classical culture on these poor, uncultured fools."

"How do you deal with restockers at your shop?"

"Restockers? You mean those foolish parasites who hound the chocolatier until he sells something rare and then fight over said rare object? Bah, complete and utter fools, the lot of them. I highly disapprove of that uncivilized behavior, but I will absolutely not stand for it at my shop!"

"Why do you not want restockers at your shop?"

"Restockers are foolish fools who do what they do so they can sell their foolish goods to other foolish fools for a foolish profit. The instruments I sell are not to be used as mere trading fodder. They are treasures that must be given the utmost respect and dedication."

"How do you stay in business?"

"I do sell some instruments. And to those who truly wish to learn the musical arts, I offer lessons. For a fee, but it is for a reason."

"Before I go, I would like to ask why there are so many different types of instruments sold in your shop, especially some of the more 'unique' ones."

"Every instrument has a unique sound, each of which can sound divine when played correctly. I supply a vast selection of instruments so that any aspiring musicians can find the exact sound they are looking for."

"Thank you for your time. Anything else you would like to say to the readers before I go?"

"To any aspiring musicians reading this, stop by the music shop in the Plaza in Neopia Central. I will be sure to find the perfect instrument to suit your tastes. I will also provide lessons to anyone who seeks them, provided they are truly passionate about music."

The next shop is the final, non-food selling shop in the Neopia Central Plaza. Shaped light a giant pencil, the School Supplies shop stands tall.

"Hello sir. Thank you for taking the time for this interview."

"It is no trouble, my fellow scholar. I am always happy to aid in another's learning."

"Can you tell me exactly what you sell here?"

"I'd be delighted. Here, we sell only items of the utmost importance for any Neopian, young or old, who is looking to increase their knowledge of the world. No, these are not books, but we do provide many of the tools one might use to receive education from another."

"So, school supplies?"

"I suppose you could say that, yes."

"Why school supplies?"

"So that any Neopian can have the proper tools to allow them to properly understand another's instruction. These goods I sell here are of the utmost importance for any Neopian hoping to get the utmost quality education from Neoschool."

"But Neoschool doesn't exist."

"And neither does the long-fabled Jelly World, good sir. That doesn't stop jelly foods from being made. It is not just Neoschool these products are used for. Students from Brightvale University would much rather come here than to purchase from the University Bookstore. We all know how they participate in price gouging."

"I can attest to that. Next question: How many Neopians try to restock at your store?"

"In the context you use the word 'restock', I am quite unsure of what that means. I am the only one who restocks the shelves after the entire quantity of something has been purchased."

"No, restocking is--"

"Oh ho ho, good sir, I was making a joke. Even scholars like myself need a sense of humor. I am quite knowledgeable about restocking, so I know that there are no Neopians who would even attempt it at my store. These goods are not rare, nor are they popular for collections. However, these items are still quite important for any Neopians looking to study even if they do not use books."

"Well, that answers all my questions. Anything else you would like to say to the readers?"

"Why, yes there is. My fellow Neopians, the search for knowledge is never-ending. Please support the founding of a new Neoschool to help further advance any studies."

There are two more shops I'm going to cover, both of which are in the Neopia Central Bazaar. The second to last stop on this tour sells items for something that many Neopians forget they even have: The Card Shop.

"Hey man! You know you want this sweet card!"

"Come again?"

"I'll give you a great deal on this uber rare card. I know you want it. Who wouldn't?"

"No, I'm not a collector."

"Then why're you here? If you with the tax man, you're in for a world of pain!"

"Calm down, kid. I'm not the tax man. I'm a reporter."

"Oh yeah. I remember the message. Some guy coming to see how the heck I'm still in business? Ain't that right?"

"Yes, that's me. So this is the Collectable Card shop. What kinds of cards do you sell here?"

"Oh, you know, greeting cards, get well cards, cards for magic tricks. No, we sell trading cards here, genius."

"And how many units of trading cards do you sell?"

"These days, not much. The Trading Card Game community is all but dead."

"Why do you suppose that is?"

"Pay to win model isn't a fan favorite, if you know what I mean. The rich get better, rarer cards. The poor get whatever else I got covered in Spyderwebs in the backroom."

"How many Neopians restock here and how do you deal with them?"

"None, and I don't. Next question."

"Why doesn't anyone restock here?"

"Look, the rare cards can get pretty dang expensive. They can sell for a lot of NP. However, I collect the cards too. I don't always put the best stuff on shelves. The rare really only go up if I got doubles, you dig?"

"Isn't that against the law?"

"No. It's my choice what I sell. If I got something good enough to keep, I keep it."

"If almost no one shops here, then how do you stay in business?"

"Avatars. I get some cards that those avatar hunter nutjobs are all after. Granted, they're rare, so I don't always put them out. Low supply, high demand equals easy profit."

"I see. Anything else that you'd like to say before I go?"

"Yeah. To any collectors reading this, get over here. I got some good stuff that'll go fast. Get it before someone else."

Most people think of the Chocolate Factory or Uni's Clothing when they think of the Neopia Central Bazaar. Lurking in the shadow of the Chocolate Factory is the last stop on this tour, the Grooming Parlour

"Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today."

"It's no problem. There was only one appointment today, but it already happened."

"Appointment?"

"Yeah, for our most fabulous fur wash and styling. Say, would you like me to do your hair? I think you'd look great with red extensions!"

"No thank you. I'll keep my hair the way it is. So, what exactly do you do here?"

"Well, this is the grooming parlour. So I wash, cut, and style many Neopets' fur. And for those who like a fresh, pretty look, I also do makeup for those that want it."

"What is with all those things you sell?"

"Not everyone who comes here wants a style I can do. Those products are both for doing your own styling or maintaining what I do for you here."

"How many customers do you get here?"

"The store gets a few customers daily for makeovers, stylings, and the like. But the products for sale don't sell well."

"Why do you think that is?"

"I guess some Neopians don't care how they look. It's a shame."

"I'm sorry to hear that. But onto the next question, do you ever have any restockers?"

"Most of the products sold here aren't rare. If I ever get rare products to put on the shelves, they usually are taken by whoever's here for an appointment."

"If the products don't sell well, where do you get the money to stay in business?"

"Again, we get some good customers for makeovers and salon treatments. They are somewhat expensive, but for any Neopian who cares about their looks, it's worth it."

"Do you ever get any famous clients?"

"Actually, yes Princess Fernypoo and Capara the Kyrii are both frequent customers here. In fact, and this is a big secret, but Her Majesty, Queen Fyora was here the other day for her hair styling."

"That is a high profile clientele. So, anything else you'd like to say to the readers?"

"Sure! If anyone out there is looking for a fabulous new look, come right on in. You'll get a brand new look that I guarantee you'll be happy with! Walk ins are always welcome!"

So there you have it. Five underappreciated stores in Neopia Central. I'm sure there are some readers out there who frequent these stores, while other might not even know they exist. Take a few minutes out of your busy day and go check these places out. There might even be something really rare or valuable in there for purchase. Hey, you never know.

 
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