Supply and Demand: Neopets Style
Ever wonder why breadfish and sausage omelettes cost so little? Why items in the Hidden Tower retain their price, and probably will always? Why in the world paint brushes and secret laboratory map pieces are incredibly expensive? Even if you didn't wonder about the first two questions, you probably thought, "Yeah, I have been wondering that!" about the last one. So, here's a little lesson on Neopian supply and demand, as explained with some specific items.
Baby Paint Brush
Possibly the cutest paint color around, this brush will most likely always be around 600,000 Neopoints. Why, might you ask? It's sold in the Hidden Tower, the, well, hidden shop run by the Faerie Queen, Fyora. As long as the brush is sold there at the same price, no one will pay more for it when they can just get it from the shop. It just wouldn't make sense to spend more than you need to, especially when the item already costs that many Neopoints! The supply is limitless in the Hidden Tower, making the Baby Paint Brush a consistent 600,000 Neopoints.
One might look at the rarity 112 and think, "Shouldn't this cost more than 30 Neopoints?" If it was really that rare, it would, but the pricing comes down to this: it's from the Giant Omelette. If thousands of people come to the Giant Omelette every day, it's more than likely that some of them will get this type. And, it's not dissimilar to other flavors of omelette, considering each flavor still offers three servings for your hungry neopet. So even if it's rarer, is it really worth more than a plain omelette? Unless you collect omelettes, you're probably not going to hunt this down and pay more for it than a normal omelette.
Astral Blade of the Space Station
I recall getting this in a trade and seeing it was priced 600,000 neopoints over what I was asking! I took it, and after a little while, discovered why the person gave it to me. I wound up selling it for around the original trade price, give or take a few thousand neopoints. Why ever would this be the case? On the trade boards, these items are referred to as "Hard to Sell" items. They are what they're called. The market for these items are low, but they are rare items, nevertheless. At the time of my trade, these went for 800,000 Neopoints, and from what I'm seeing now, a few months later, it seems that the price has dropped all the way to around 100,000 Neopoints. The reason for the drop? Lack of demand for the supply, however small.
These petpets go for about 400,000-500,000 Neopoints at the moment. Not cheap, that's obvious, but the reason why might not be. These yooyus were given out recently after the Altador Cup, in exchange for the points earned by participants in the Cup. People who only played a few games weren't able to purchase these Yooyus, so the reason for their rarity is that the players who got them had played much more than someone who just got to rank one or two. Yooyus have a large demand and small supply, translating to a large price, because they are cute and represent the Altador Cup, an event most Neopians get excited about, so they are worth more due to that as well.
A Shenkuu Stamp costs around 5 Neopoints. A nice little addition to your stamp album, and hey, it's one of the few stamps in Neopia that actually costs less than the price written on it! The reason for this low price is that it's a Key Quest prize. With many players receiving this for free after a game of Key Quest, they might discover they've already won it before and placed it in their album. They sell it in their store, and other people buy it and put it in their album. Eventually, almost everyone's got a Shenkuu Stamp, and there's no slowing of the supply. Since people don't really need or want them, they sell cheaply.
Jelly World Stamp
Wait, what? TNT is actually mentioning Jelly World without a reference to the silliness of the untrue rumor of its existence? Well, that's beside the point, and, I can't give you a good reason, honestly. Neopians are asking 125,000-150,000 Neopoints for these stamps. Are you having another wait, what moment? You mean to say that it shouldn't be that expensive, if a Shenkuu Stamp goes for 5 Neopoints? Let me explain a little. I chose these two for comparison of how similar items can become rare or not depending on how many there are and how many people want them. There definitely aren't as many Jelly World Stamps, and they aren't free prizes from Key Quest. Since there aren't that many, people who collect stamps and still need it in their album are willing to pay more to get ahold of the rarer stamp.
I purchased one of these cute little items for my sister a while ago, and if I remember correctly, they were less than a thousand Neopoints, probably near five hundred. As of this writing, it's 6,000-10,000 Neopoints! What's the meaning for the jump? This item has recently become wearable. When I bought it, it wasn't wearable, and since there's not much you can do with a clothing item that can't be worn, it wasn't that expensive, and the people that bought it, like me, probably thought it was an adorable novelty item. Now that it's wearable, however, the demand has shot up, because the person buying it isn't just splurging on it for fun, but buying it because they want to customize their neopet.
Pile of Sludge
Now that I've mentioned items without a purpose, how can I not mention the pile of sludge? Dr. Sloth thought this one out, I'm sure, because any item, even a 25 Neopoint item, decreases in value. There are many piles of sludge out there, not necessarily because of an abundance of the random event in which Dr. Sloth's ray gun turns an item in your inventory into it, but rather the fact that it won't go away unless you discard it, or unless you feed it to the two least picky neopets in all of Neopia, the Grarrl or the Skeith (yes, they really do eat anything and everything.) Even omelettes cost more than piles of sludge, and that's because they do go away, when you feed them to your neopet, which doesn't have to be a specific species.
Hopefully you've found this little lesson in Neopian Supply and Demand interesting, if not the smallest bit educational, in the sense that it explains why items are the prices they are. I'm sure you can find many other examples of items that are priced reasonably, considering the actual value of it according to supply and demand. I also hope that I answered any questions you might have had as you clicked on this article to read it!
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