One of the biggest hardships to endure as an extreme collector is the funds needed to support your habit! This section is designed to help you open your eyes to particular methods which may benefit you. This is not a how to get rich guide. Although I will describe some great methods, it is important to remember that your personal experience in a particular method will make you more successful. I am just giving you ideas to then feed on and work with.
There are some users who strictly collect, and it is their passion, while others collect as a "side job" or a smaller interest. The users who are not 100% dedicated to collecting usually have an easier time creating funds. They do not dedicate their entire wealth towards a gallery collection and they may have plenty in stocks, malling, battling, etc. To the users who are extremely dedicated 100% to collection, take a seat, because the rest of this guide is for you! I know everyone has their own methods of creating NP, and whatever method works for you is best for you to stick with. The longer you stay with a method, the better you will be at it! Nothing is better than personal experience!
Since we all have the same dedication in Neopia, we collectors seem to have the same pattern when it comes to obtaining and spending NP. We usually try to make due with what we have, spend 95% of it on items, gallery expansion, etc. involving the gallery, while the other 5% is used towards obtaining more NP. This is usually a rough area to be in because one of the main keys to becoming wealthy and keeping your wealth is the amount of NP you are using. The only exception to this rule are restockers! If you can successfully make an amount of NP you are happy with by restocking, then this rule will not apply to you. Whether you have 100,000 NP or 10,000,000 NP, the prices of the items are usually no higher than 100,000 NP, so having tons more will not benefit you for profiting. To everyone else, it is important to have a fair share of NP on hand to make money with, and here is why.
One of the best methods to keep your funds growing is by investing! Owning a gallery collection is a form of investing, so you already have some experience if you have never invested before. Users have been investing for many, many years. Most of the richest players you see on this site today came into their wealth from investing. Investing many years ago had bigger results than they do today; however, you can still make a good amount of money. Investing is a method which involves buying particular items which you care to "invest" your money into hoping that a certain amount of time later, it will increase in value, and you can sell for a profit. The general rule with investing is the more NP you can invest with, the more profit you will generate. If you have 100,000 NP total, you can only invest in one larger item around that price, or a few smaller items, maybe around 10,000 NP each. Chances of those items skyrocketing in prices are so slim, it is almost worthless. If you have 10,000,000-20,000,000+ NP, you are able to obtain many more items, high and lower values, which have a much greater chance of fluctuating in price, and that price change will reap a bigger profit. It is a marketing idea; however, it is also common sense. The second aspect of collecting, which is where most people fail, is WHAT to invest in! Now, I have been investing for well over five years, and I could sit here and write pages on the types of items to invest, when to invest, why, what, who... etc; however, I will not! As I have stated earlier, the best way to grow in a method is through personal experience, and that is how I learned. I could type it all up, yet you will only learn by the mistakes you make and the rewards you receive. I will give you five tips on what types of items to invest in, though.
- Investments = Prices Increasing - So think about what needs to occur in order for a price to skyrocket, and see what items fall into that category.
- Remember... you are not the only investor on Neopets! If you think of something to invest in, chances are hundreds or even thousands (if obvious) already have invested in that same item.
- Neopets tends to have its own waves of obsession and dedication. They used to be 100% focused on the Battledome; however, that is no longer the case. The NC Mall is currently quite popular because wearables are wanted by millions of users.
- Quantity v. Quality: You can either invest in many many smaller items, hope they slightly change and then sell them all, or buy one or two larger items, and wait for those prices to change to sell. Decide which one, OR BOTH, suits you best and stick with it!
- PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE! Do NOT expect to buy items and a week later make millions. It could be as short as a week (rarely) or as long as 6-9 months to a year or a few years!
Try to keep those tips in mind when you are searching for investment ideas. These are only a few things to keep in mind, as there is more, but that comes with experience. This is not a method everyone likes, mainly due to the patience aspect; however, it can be quite rewarding. When I began investing, I did not see any profit for over a year. The items I invested in took a while to increase; however, every week or so, I would keep buying items to invest in (I used Trading as my main source of income then) and then once I hit my year mark, the prices increased, and I was able to start selling items! Once I hit that mark, it was a never ending cycle. For example, items I bought in Jan 05, I sold in Jan 06, which gave me profit. I would then sell items in Feb 06 which I bought in Feb 05, and the cycle would continue. I did not do exactly one year each month, but just to give you an idea that if you keep investing, the cycle will continue and you will always have items to sell, which can be a problem if you are not an experienced Trader... WHICH leads me to the next section of this guide!
If the investment idea is not something you can find yourself interested in, then you may want to consider Trading. It is important to keep in mind that the more experience you have, the better you become. Also remember that thousands and thousands of users make their profits from Trading, so you are not along in that field. Just because you make money trading does not mean you are a "reseller." In my mind, a reseller is someone who buys a few cheap items, and then "quicksells" them for a quick profit. That is a method of creating NP; however, it is looked down upon and you will get bashed by users since you may offer extremely low on items. My method I propose to try is simply trading at its finest. Obviously all methods of trading revolve around "buy low and sell high." What makes this method different than reselling is the patience. Similar to investing, there is a waiting factor that would happen regardless of what field of trading you become involved in (yes, you can focus on certain areas - I will discuss shortly). You need to always remember a simple rule: There are always users who need NP and others who need items. This is a rule to live by when being a trader. You will commonly find users say they will sell an item cheaper because they need "pure NP" for personal reasons. You can then purchase that item at a discount, and then wait until you come in contact with someone who needs that item and sell for the regular price (I hope that made sense). Waiting to find someone who needs your item is the tough part, but it is possible if you advertise what you are selling all the time, so all users can see what you have for sale!
As I said earlier, there are multiple fields you can focus on in trading. I have been trading for five to six, to maybe even seven years now? I do not know, but it has been many years. I have focused on different areas in trading; however, I found my niche just as you will once you try! Here are a few different areas you can focus on:
- Easy to Sell (ETS) Items: These are your always wanted items. Hidden Tower, Good Weapons, Popular/Always Liked items. This area generally has a LOW wait time.
- Hard to Sell (HTS) Items: This is a very broad term, but basically anything that may take extra time to sell, whether it be rarity 101, code items, plot award, etc. This can tend to have a high wait time (I've had some items for over a year).
- Item Specific: If you used to be obsessed with Neohomes, and know the items well, you could focus on just trading those items. This is great because other users will know your specialty and will contact you automatically if they need any item within your range.
- Rarities of Neopia (As I like to call it): These are your items which almost do not even exist anymore. Most people do not own these, and may have never heard of these. This is a harder field to get into, as it can be hard to come across these items; however, it can be quite rewarding.
These are just some of the fields you could focus on within Trading. Always remember that you are not a quick reseller, you want to be an experienced trader. One issue which I would like to address being a Trader is the price exchange. It is my personal opinion that when you have a seller of an item, and a possible buyer for the item, it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a price. There are a few exceptions to the rule due to the item at hand; however, in general, the seller should always provide a price and then the two parties can discuss and agree on a fair amount.
One last tip to end the trading section... HAGGLE HAGGLE HAGGLE! You never want to haggle down so far or low that you annoy the seller; however, try to fight for a fair price. If you are looking to buy an item, and they said 700,000 NP, try to see if they will do 550,000 NP or 600,000 NP. If they are firm, then you cannot do much, but if they will go that little lower, that means more possible profit for you! The only time you should not haggle is when their price is low enough you are confident in a profit. That is when you can agree and trade.
As I have mentioned above, there are many other ways to maintain and obtain NP, whether it be through the stock market, restocking, games, etc. These are just two ways which I personally feel go along with the pattern of gallery collectors. You need to remember that you are doing all of this hard work to build up your gallery collection, so by investing or trading, you are allowing a steady income, as well as opening yourself up to many more items, which can only help you for your own personal gallery. You may cross paths with a user who is selling an item you need for your gallery, so keep your eyes open!
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