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Six Types of Traders You'll Meet in the Trading Post

by becciness


Chim: Hi, guys! This is our first venture into The Neopian Times. I know we look strange – I'm an apple Chia and my brother, Poke, is an aubergine Chia , but it was just an unfortunate incident involving some wonderfully tempting Chia pops...

Poke: Sometimes Chim gets those wriggling grubs all over him.

Chim: I had to invest in grub repellent. Must... get... them... off-

Poke: And it's even funnier when he goes to the Apple Bobbing Tank.

Chim: The horror! The last time a Lupe tried to-

Poke: This is a family-friendly article, Chim.

Chim: Oh, oh, right. Yes. So, today, we're going to talk about the Trading Post. I'm sure all of you have been there at some point.

Poke: We're so dedicated; we camped there for a whole hour! And what a perilous, unforgettable hour that was.

Chim: Someone nearly tried to trade me off.

Poke: That was funny. They put you on the trading stand and stamped "FREE" on you.

Chim: I was sitting next to several steaming piles of dung as well. (shudder)

Poke: Well, I don't really understand that. Do people truly come to the trading post to trade for dung? Who wakes up in the morning and thinks, "Well, I'm going to buy a nice fresh dollop of dung today: to the trading post!"?

Chim: So, as you can tell, we've painstakingly collected some information to create a helpful guide to the trading post!

Poke: That's right. Here's Poke and Chim's guide-

Chim: Chim and Poke's guide. Alphabetical.

Poke: (sigh) Chim and Poke's guide to the Six Types of Traders You'll Meet!

Chim: The first! The Vague Vendor. These guys, you'll never get a straight answer out of them.

Poke: This guy was selling a ghost paint brush with a coy "Bid what you think it's worth ;)" description. That was confusing - surely that's a given...

Chim: So we ask for a rough idea of what he's looking for. He gives us a little slick grin and says, "What do you think it's worth?"

Poke: I offered 100,000NP and he looked absolutely scandalised! "Are you kidding?!' he yelled. "This paint brush is worth way more than that!" He nearly chased us out of the Trading Post.

Chim: So we asked again for a ballpark figure. He said, again, "What do you think it's worth?" (sighs)

Poke: You should have said, "It's worth exactly three Codestones, six Babaas, ¾ of a cheese omelette, 30.5 NP, and a half bitten red apple."

Chim: We gave up after that. Sorry, readers, we love you - but that was a recurring nightmare in the making.

Poke: On to the second type! The Missing Merchandiser! You know those trades – full sets of expensive items with the ominous 'none' in the description...

Chim: Where do you begin with those? Do you want nothing for them? Or is the price so high that the number of digits of your desired price exceeds the text limit?

Poke: We tried sending them a Neomail just to see if they had any ideas on what they were willing to trade for.

Chim: The difference between the Missing Merchandiser and the Vague Vendor is that the Vague Vendor will at least respond in some (unsatisfying) way. The Missing Merchandiser... well, their trade sits in the trade area, a deserted stand, for weeks... collecting dust – while people offer stuff left right and centre, firing off Neomails-

Poke: I have a feeling they probably get kicks out of that. "Haha, suckers! They think they have a chance to own my ten baby paint brushes!"

Chim: "This close to your dream Neopet? Psych!" Actually, that sounds like it could be fun.

Poke: You horrible little Chia.

Chim: Onto the third type! The (questionably) Charitable Consigner.

Poke: The 'questionably' part is really, really important. I remember this one trade, a full set of Codestones, with the amazing "Free! First offer gets it!' description. I put an offer for it with a scotch egg. Hey, she said 'free', right? In fact, offering a scotch egg effectively makes it not free. I was doing her a favour.

Chim: Did you get it?

Poke: I was hopeful, although I noticed she had a lot of trades with rare items all stating 'Free! First offer gets it!" I received no reply to my exclusive scotch egg offer, although I'm sure she must have received several offers.

Chim: We tried sending her a Neomail. Five minutes later, we get a reply: "It's so hard to keep track of everything." And she closes the trade.

Poke: I nearly cried myself to sleep.

Chim: There, there.

Poke: I m-mean, how h-hard is it to look at your lots and pick the first offer listed? (sobs) I imagine they're thinking: "Haha! I got over TWENTY offers! That's five more than my last lot!"

Chim: (hands Poke a tissue) Moving on to the fourth type before Poke starts to wail. The Strict Seller! They know what they want - to the exact item or number of NP. And they're not afraid to block you if you so much as try to offer lower. Serious guys, they are.

Poke: Sometimes they say stuff like: "I am not obliged to accept any offers." I don't understand. Do they think the Defenders of Neopia will swoop down on them if they don't accept a reasonable offer? Or that Dr. Sloth will aim his Virtublaster 1000 at them and fry them to crisp? "Wait, Dr. Sloth! I wrote that I am 'not obliged to accept' any offer!" And Dr. Sloth goes, "Oh, okay, this is all a misunderstanding", packs it up and goes back home.

Chim: Or perhaps TNT will knock on their door with their lawyerbot: "on 11:22AM NST, you received an offer of 2,000 NP for your 1 Negg. The Shop Wizard has calculated that this is a reasonable price and you are therefore legally obliged to accept this offer or you will pay damages."

Poke: Don't give TNT dangerous ideas.

Chim: Oh, okay. Can we delete that from this article?

Poke: (muffled, incomprehensible noises) – Er, so – other things Strict Sellers like to say: "I will not look at any offers less than 10k". To know that, don't you have to look at what someone is offering?

Chim: Maybe they close their eyes when they get to the trading post page and randomly assume one offer is less than 10k. Like a trading post Wheel-of-Pickiness. If you hit the jackpot, you even get blocked.

Poke: And risk not blocking you, Chim? That's not a chance I'd be willing to take.

Chim: Alright, alright. No need to be mean. (Huffs) Moving on – the fifth type: The Odd Operator.

Poke: A rare breed. They like to put a little twist into their trades. I spotted one the other day: "First offer IF the first offerer Neomails me the name of my granny's favourite asparagus-themed item. Go."

Chim: If you know the answer, it shows that you stalk his granny.

Poke: That's definitely when the Defenders of Neopia come in.

Chim: Maybe it's a well-placed trap. Do you think anybody went for it?

Poke: Probably his granny.

Chim: I love that he wrote "Go." at the end. Like there would be lines of people just clamouring to get their Neomail in, pushing people out of the way... 'On my mark... get set... go! Ooh! I know, I know! It's Asparagus Balls! Gotta be quick!'

Poke: And here we go, dear readers: the last type of trader – the Trash Tycoon!

Chim: Ah, they're a total mystery. Just why do they put huge amounts of dung, biscuits, old boots, sludge, seaweed, driftwood, and other miscellaneous bits of junk on trade? Sometimes they are lovingly placed into in separate trades... with absolutely nothing in the description. Perhaps they think it can make a pretty Neopoint? Perhaps they think it'll strike a chord with the masses of dung-lovers in Neopia? Maybe they think we'll accidentally type into too many 0s when we place an offer? Maybe they just love showcasing their fine collection of driftwood? What could it be!?

Poke: Logically, it might be for people looking to get the rubbish avatar. And there are genuinely people who want to create a gallery of junk.

Chim: You ruin all my fun sometimes.

Poke: Someone has to, Chim. Well, here we are – six different types of traders you'll meet in the trading post. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Chim: If I've learned anything, it's this: don't try haggling with a Vague Vendor-

Poke: Don't wait for the Missing Merchandiser to come back-

Chim: Don't actually think for a second that you're going to get anything free from the trading post. You're in for heartbreak otherwise.

Poke: Don't be offended if a Strict Seller randomly blocks you. They probably had a bad day and your username looked funny.

Chim: Stalk as many grannies as you can.

Poke: And put your dung on trade. Who knows, someone out there might love it. And name it. And dress it up.

Chim: Thank you for your attention, ladies and gents. Next: we might even brave the auction rooms for you.

Poke: Good night!

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