Stocking Your Shop Easily and Cheaply
Running a shop is hard. Running a *successful* shop is even harder. There are so many things to keep track of: making sure things are in stock, pricing items competitively so they sell, and making a profit from it all to keep things running. The go-to method is restocking, but truth be told, I'm just no good at it. I've tried many times, sitting there in the Magic Shop with my fingers poised over the number keys and the mouse over the refresh button, but I always ended up missing the good items, or buying the bad ones that brought me no profit. I guess I'll just have to make my money with games and leave the shop keeping to the pros...
Or maybe not.
If there is one thing that I learned from all my attempts it's that you don't need a lot of effort or even a lot of money to run a successful and profitable shop. If restocking and sniping don't seem like options for you, have no fear! There are plenty of ways to keep your shop stocked and bringing in the neopoints, and I'm going to show you.
Dailies and Random Events
Did the water faerie at the Healing Springs give you a Healing Potion? Old King Coltzan over in the Lost Desert likes to give out dubloons sometimes when you visit his Shrine. (Does anyone else ever wonder how he gets ahold of Krawk Island currency?) Or maybe you've gotten enough omelettes to make your own Giant Omelette! It seems a little obvious, but these are the perfect opportunities to stock your shop. Whenever you get something for free from a daily, throw it in your shop! After all, since you didn't actually spend any money on these things, even if you sell an item for one neopoint you're still making profit. Believe it or not, that'll add up very quickly, and a shop full of very cheap items can turn into a nice weekly profit. And all for no cost to you! Random events can also be a good source of stock, although not as reliable. But if you spend a lot of time online, your chances of getting one are higher, so if a random event happens to gift you with something that you can sell, go for it! Dailies and random events are ways to stock your shop with only minimal effort, or no effort at all.
The Money Tree
If visiting the Money Tree isn't part of your daily routine yet, add it in right now. The Money Tree is very often overlooked (I'm not sure why), but it's a fantastic way to stock your shop with some nice and profitable stuff. The Money Tree has a daily limit of 10 items that you can take from it, but hey, that's 10 free items that you can sell. It takes a bit of practice to be able to get the things you want before anyone else, but a good method is to scroll all the way down as fast as possible and try to get some of the items at the bottom. Usually the donations in the top two rows will be gone as soon as you click them, so it's not worth the effort and you can miss out on some great stuff on the lower rows.
Take your time at the Money Tree and be a little selective with what you choose. There are a lot of junk items flooding the tree, and it's very easy to accidently click on an Old Rotten Left Boot or the Rusty Old Can when there's ten of them taking up half the page. Be patient and vigilante and you can usually find battledome items, books, or even some food that'll sell for a nice profit. And once again, everything is free, so there's no worry about losing money. Just make sure any valuables are in your Safety Deposit Box or somewhere they can't be touched, you don't want those pesky Money Tree Ghosts striking and stealing your stuff while you're occupied!
You're probably thinking "How on earth can I stock my shop with a game?" Well, Dice-A-Roo, aside from being a fun game, can also give prizes during game play. The green, yellow, and silver dice will all award you with a food item if you land on the prize face of the dice. Most of the foods are worth anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand neopoints, and you can keep winning items the more you land on that side of the dice!
In just the past five minutes of playing Dice-a-Roo, I won two Orange Juices, a Negg, a Strawberry Milkshake, Churros, Fajita Chips, Fried Shrimp, Beef and Veg Baby Food, and a Gruel Cake. Totaled up, that's quite a few thousand neopoints of profit all for the price of playing a few rounds. The best way to do this is allow yourself a playing budget--I usually do 200 neopoints--and then just keep playing until you've spent it all. By the end, you should have accumulated quite a few food items that you can now put in your shop and sell, earning back the money you spent on playing and even more!
If you head over to the Mystery Island Trading Post and click on the newest trades, you'll probably see more than a few trades that say "FREE!" in the description. That means the user really wants to get rid of their items and isn't looking for a specific price or item in return. A lot of the time, the items up for trade won't be worth much, but sometimes you can find a really good lot with some valuable stuff. These trades technically aren't *free*, since you do have to offer something on them. But usually you can win these trades by offering an item or two you don't want anymore (usually not junk items, though) and maybe a few neopoints if you really want to win the lot. Just make sure the lot is worth more than what you're offering, and that you'll be able to make a profit on it. You don't want to be stuck with a bunch of junk items that won't sell, even for one neopoint. But, with a little patience and even less money spent, you can build up a nice stock for your shop with free trades.
There you have it, all the methods I use to stock my shop, and none of them costs me very much or takes that much time out of my day. You may not make thousands of neopoints a day, like you can with restocking or sniping, but that doesn't mean you can't make a steady profit that'll help build your bank account over time. Good luck, and get to stocking!