A Newbie’s Guide for Owning and Restocking Your Shop
You just started your Neopets account and while lurking around the site you notice these amazing accounts, galleries, and collections. Your first thought is how do I get there? While playing games can provide you with many neopoints, owning a shop can provide many more. With just a few simple steps you can quickly earn those points you need for that awesome paintbrush or plushie gallery you have been striving for. These are some tips I have learned to run a successful and profitable shop.
Tip #1: Pick a product category.
There are so many different items out there in Neopia and so many categories. When creating a shop think about some of your own Neopets goals? Do you want to be on the high score table of the book club or get your pet that gourmet club trophy? What about completing your stamp or Neodeck album? Choose a category that interests you. Let's say you pick foods and decide you will open up a food shop. This is such a huge category; there are thousands of food items. It would require a lot of learning to get to know the average prices of all of them and what you can make profits on. Try to minimize the items you need to restock by choosing specific types of food, such as Kadoatery foods, slushies, or gourmet foods.
Tip #2: Get to know the products you will be restocking
You decide that you will be restocking Slushies. You go to the Neopian Slushie Shop and find an item for 2500NPS. You haggle and buy it for 2111NPs, but when you check the Shop Wizard you realize it is only worth 500NPs! What a bummer! Before you just go buying everything in the Neopian shops, check the shop wizard for common items you will be buying and compare the average prices to those charged in the Neopian Shops. Most of the time the Neopian shops have the best prices and you can usually make a profit, however there are items that are worth a lot less. In order to maximize your profits you need to know the prices of the items you are selling.
Tip #3: The Shop Wizard is your best friend.
Ask any shop owner what their best tool is, and they will tell you the shop wizard. You have been selling Blue Bomberry Slushies like hot cakes and need to restock that item immediately. You visit the Slushie Shop and they do not have it! The Neopian shops have different items every time they restock, so you will never be able to get your best seller every time you visit. Have no fear, there is the Shop Wizard! You search Blue Bomberry Slushie and nothing comes up. That’s weird it is a common item? The Shop Wizard doesn’t show you every owner carrying that item in their shop each time you search. It uses a system so different usernames starting with various letters and numbers pop up each time. On your second search 10 different shops have a Blue Bomberry Slushie in stock. Whew, that was a relief! Keep this in mind when checking for prices. It may take extra time, but you can find an item cheaper if you search for an item a second or third time. Plus if you are really lucky, you may find a really good steal once in a while.
Tip #4: Not too big, not to small, JUST RIGHT!
There are many huge shops out there! There is nothing wrong with having a size 120 shop, but it would require a lot of NPs to expand your shop to that size and hours of restocking. Choose a manageable sized shop and slowly expand as you get to know about more products. A shop size 10-20 is perfect for a new account. You can always have 100 items stocked, and it isn’t too much trouble to restock those 20 items you sold overnight. As you start saving your profits expand your shop and stock multiples of your best and fastest selling items.
Tip #5: Steals and Deals
This could just be my personal theory but I notice that during the day when many users are online I can find items for cheaper on the Shop Wizard than at night. At night less people are restocking, the items with the cheapest prices have sold, and it seems I am paying a couple hundred NPs more for an item than I would have earlier in the day. However, at night less users are online and it is easier to grab more items in the Neopian Shops. Restocking more than once a day is the key to getting great deals. Also keep a note of Half Price Day on the 3rd of every month, when all the items in the Neopian shops are half price. Now that is what I call a steal! Stock up on this day and throw a few items into your SDB for later in the month when prices slightly increase.
Tip #6: You're not old enough yet!
So if you are a newbie you may not have known, but you can’t buy every item in the Neopian Shops! There are restrictions on new accounts. As a newbie, you can only see items with less than a 79 rarity in the Neopian Shops. Anything with a higher rarity you need to use the Shop Wizard. As your account ages you can see more items in the shops. After 10 days you will start seeing items with up to an 84 rarity. 16 days items up to an 89 rarity, 1 month items up to a 94 rarity, and after 3 months you will have access to buy every item that gets restocked in the Neopian Shops.
Tip #7: Bring on the Traffic!
If you're not selling as many slushies as you would like, advertise a little bit! There is a specific Shop Ad board on the Neoboards where you can advertise the great items and prices in your shop. So when your advertising slushies and someone needs one for a Faerie Quest or Edna, you know who they are going to! It is a great way to tell users that there is a new shop in town and you are serious about doing some business!
And my last but most important tip for you is.
Don’t be a rip-off! That Blue Bomberry Slushie I brought up before, that sells for an average of 2500NPs, would you buy it for 10,000NPs? NO WAY! If you are charging double the price of most users, you will hardly ever sell an item. Keep your prices fair and you will sell way more than you ever would if you were overcharging. Remember that rule your parents taught you, “Don’t do to others as you wouldn’t want done to you?” You wouldn’t want to be overcharged, so don’t do it to other fellow Neopians out there.
In conclusion, shop keeping can take a little bit of time to get the hang of. But with these few simple steps you can become a master shopkeeper. Just follow these few simple tips and you may have that Faerie Paint Brush sooner than you thought!