Taking Advantage of Events
Before this event (or "plevent" as some are calling it), there was a normal and healthy amount of excitement and anticipation for what was to come. This naturally led to a wave of disappointment when users worked out it may not be exactly what they expected. The fact is that in this new Neopian environment there are a lot more giveaway events of various complexities such as this or Festival of Neggs which barrage the user with swarms of items. But how does TNT choose an item to give away, and what does it mean to me? In this article, these questions and more will be answered as we probe further and find out just how we can get the most out of events such as this.
Unlike most of the larger events such as Daily Dare or Festival of Neggs which give out unique items, the recent trend has been to give out old items instead of new ones. On the plus side, this method of prize giving can offer more item prizes in number, the value is decreased. Now before I continue on with this article, I must hasten to mention that these hypotheses are just that and are based purely on what I have observed in the past few years from TNT's item choices. So what does warrant a giveaway item? TNT seems to like to use these kinds of events to help reduce inflation on certain items. The first thing which seems to guide them is theme, if a pet type is a lead in the event, or the event is about a certain theme the items picked are more likely to be from that theme. For example, most of the items given away during the Krawk Island Disappearance were pirate items, while the digging during the obelisk event was mostly giving out Tyrannian items. Besides this, they normally choose items which they feel are more expensive than they should be given the amount of time since release. Combine these two and TNT gets a great way to drastically reduce the price of any item they wish.
These events and giveaways pump a huge amount of excess supply into the market and dramatically drop the price over just a couple of days. This mass reduction of price of these items has been worrying to some, and to others more than a little exciting. The issue most people have with it is when they release an item which is particularly sought after and completely devalue it overnight despite being R99 or R98. This devaluation of items has been a particularly major issue even beyond events with the battledome and other dailies releasing particularly high rarity items for very little work. At this point you may be wondering what you can do as a player to help yourself make the most of an event. Well, that depends on where you stand.
If you wish to make a quick amount of cash, your best option in one of these events is to sell out of these items at the start of the event as much as you can. The longer the giveaway goes on, the less these items will be worth. If you miss this initial window, it may be better just to keep these items in your SDB for a fair period of time and hope they increase. One side effect of having a great deal of high rarity items this cheap is that the shops which sell these items will be clogged with these items. This is bad for restockers, but may also mean that TNT may decide to retire the item in question. This clears up the shop space for other items and causes a sharp price rise due to the number of people who will try and invest in these items before they go up in value. Generally under these circumstances the items will rise in price before falling again; this is your second chance to sell to get good money. After this, your best bet is simply to wait the few years until it goes up enough to be worth it again.
As you can see it is hard to make quick cash from these events unless you get in the very small windows of profit. This being said, what do you do if you already own the items in question? The only thing you really can do is sell as fast as possible similar to the people looking to turn a profit. The restocker is most likely the most disadvantaged group from this kind of giveaway and depending on the items given out may lose big. However, when the retirement of these items occurs it is time to hit the shops as they will hopefully be clearer than ever. Granted, this is not a brilliant way to make the most of the event, but your options are limited.
If you choose to keep the items instead, what is the motivation? Well, for one, giveaway items are rarely repeated more than once. This means that if you decide to keep all the items you get over time it will make it easier than ever to obtain the packrat avatar. The prices will drop dramatically over the days of the event. If you are a collector who wishes to buy a certain item, do not buy it until nearly the end of the event. If you know when the event is ending, start buying a few days before it ends. This avoids you running into a collectors rush after the event is over and people rush to buy the items when cheap. If you do not know how long the prize pool will be around wait at least a couple of days before buying and buy when the majority of items reach less than 1k each. If you need help with buying these items, fansites often offer complete prize listings which can be used to help you buy the items you need. Not only will doing this make you prepared for if they do one day bulk-retire cheap items but you will be one step closer to the packrat avatar.
Some items given out in giveaways sometimes retain their past prices or are more likely to rise in price. Mostly these items are books or other one use items (other than food). These items can take longer than normal to reach a buyable level but hopefully will be the first to rise back up in price after the event is over. Sometimes codestones, tradeable neggs, paint brushes or dubloons may be given out by events. These will rarely reach the same low prices as others and in the case of all bar the paint brushes (which may suffer a dramatic price drop) will often fling back up to where they came from fast due to an active market. Items such as this showing up are great news for battlers who may be able to snag cheap training items but there is more to look out for. Potions may sometimes be stat increasers, weapons may sometimes be good. For example, the Essence of Esophagor is a 9 icon attacker which generally isn't considered horrible but is given out by this event. Sometimes even better items are devalued such as the Parasol of Unfortunate Demise was when the Negg Puzzle Daily was introduced.
The list of items may also contain cheap stamps, collectables or gourmet food items for users who collect those kinds of things. These items may increase in price faster as they are used and keeping an eye out for when they are event prizes may offer an easy way to boost your scores. Occasionally the list may also contain items which it shouldn't, such as a Key Quest or NC code item, which may increase back in value simply because people forget about the re-release and try to collect it regardless.
After the event ends and the supply of items halts, sometimes the fact that these items have been given out is forgotten. Their prices are low, they are clogging up shops and TNT decides to retire them. While this may not happen as often as it should, they have been promising one recently which is just another thing to keep in mind. Each time TNT mentions this impending retirement the items in question will slightly rise in price purely on speculation. When they do finally retire, they will shoot up. By having a great deal of these items on hand, you will not be one of the users rushing to buy these inflated items, which is yet another boon for collectors.
While an event may not have the world shattering effects of a plot, there are still positive aspects. Events can lead to revamps of Neopian worlds, new characters to use in items and extra avatars for collectors. It may not be perfect but keeping in mind just what it means for the way you play is important to be able to make the most out of these events. These events may offer new ways to obtain items which you otherwise thought you would never own, while providing a powerful deflationary effect on the Neopian economy.