NCvesting: Your Guide to Neocash Investments
A few days ago, a new Neocash (NC) trader asked me for advice. She had her eye on several populars-- sought after items-- and was struggling to trade for them. Despite offering their estimated value in Gift Box Mystery Capsules (GBCs), she was having no luck. Helpful fellow traders calmly explained to her that many valuable populars are glued to people's’ closets and are only up for trade for other valuable wishes.
This makes sense. Quick economic lesson: public goods theory. Value is partially determined by jointness of supply and non-excludability. The former means multiple people can use the same thing without supply diminishing. In this case, I can go buy 10 GBCs when they are released in the mall, and so can everyone else-- they are still available in infinite quantities until retirement. Second, non-excludability means my purchasing of a GBC does not prevent you from also buying some. The gist is that GBCs, though very useful for trading, are not exactly equal to a rare item released several years ago, with only several listed for trade.
So, back to the aspiring new trader, how do you start to get trading “ammo”? Accumulating trade-worthy items, that inspire offers and are the key to unlocking popular goals, takes time. The Neocash marketplace functions like an economy, where investments are a chief source of success. I have devised and practice three key strategies that help accumulate investment capital:
1. Buyables Stash: From time-to-time TNT releases pretty new mall items that are only on sale for a few weeks. If something is seasonal, sparkly, pink, endearing, or otherwise generates hype on the boards, buy it! Pay attention to popular items-- what are the patterns, trends, etc.? Things that are delightfully holiday-oriented, glitter or glow, can be layered (i.e. background items), and so on are usually safe bets. You’ll notice a few “casual seekers” looking for the item in the next coming months-- don’t trade it yet. Hold onto it for at least a year. To keep track of this, I make a “hoarding” list on DTI set to private. Here I place items I anticipate becoming popular later that I do not wish to include on my tradelist. Let them gather dust. Watch the boards. Once time has passed and the item is now rare and lust-worthy, wait for its value to plateau (remains the same for several months) before trading. This may seem like a lot of effort and, yes, it requires patience. But it is worth the wait. I call this item incubation. Let them rest, accumulate value, and draw them out later to get your most-wanted items. At any given time, I have at least ten items in my incubating stash.
2. Events Customs: When a new event is released with a NC component, the excitement over prizes to be is only outdone by the number of users that flock to NC Mall Board in search of tickets/token/etc to participate. Commonly the highest value “entry item” can be around 1800 NC, AKA a ~9 value (1= 200 NC). This is approximately the value of mid-level populars, such as Damask Lamp Garland and Window with Twinkling Lights Background Item. This is a fast, low box way (you only need one to send an event ticket, rather than nine for nine GBCs) to get populars to add to the stockpile of trading fodder. Monitor the boards, make your own offering “custom”, and look at the oftentimes intriguing tradelists of custom-seekings displaying pretty things for tickets. Even if you don’t need the item for your own closet, if people are regularly seeking it, it is not a bad trading offer to have on-hand.
3. Trend Spotting: This is the trickiest, but oftentimes most rewarding method. Spot trends and get in early. If something, while still buyable, is already trading for a solid value, then get several right away. An excellent example, and one of my alltime favorite items, is Snow-Yooyu Inspired Contacts. When they were awarded during the Altador Cup a couple years ago they were immediately trading for a 4-5 value. Remember, you can partake in the NC version of this event on sides. Thus, the maximum number of contacts per person was 5. However, many others seeped onto the boards asking 4 or 5 GBCs per pair. I fell in love with these delightful, wintery blue eyes and decided they worked perfectly on many of my pets. Fortunately, I traded for most of my pairs shortly after their release. Now, two years later, they are nearly impossible to find and one can expect to fork over at least a 15 value for a set. Imagine what lovely things you could find armed with several Snow-Yooyus you had stashed away? A more recent example is Ruby Falls Background, a limited edition bonus from one of this year’s valentine’s grams. Immediately, the background started at a 5 value. A month later, it is trading at an 8 value. I fully expect this rise to continue. My advice, buy into trends when they are still reasonably priced and people will actually trade them for GBCs. They will come in handy later. I, for one, have four Ruby Falls Backgrounds stashed away and will likely not even consider trading these for at least another year. Note rising populars and trust your intuition. Don’t wait to trade for them until they are rare and under high demand. Get in early. Economically speaking, buy stocks when they are just starting to rise but are still affordable. Reap the rewards of their meteoric value rise later.
In conclusion, NC trading can be daunting; repeated refusals of GBC offers rather frustrating. Don’t worry. We were all beginners once. While it can seem otherworldly, remember the NC marketplace operates like any other economy. Approaching it from an economics viewpoint drastically simplifies the trading and investment processes. Investing is key. Yes, it requires patience and attention to trends. But once you get the hang of it, it is the easiest way to trade for dream items and get hard to find populars later on. After all, good things come to those who wait (... and invest strategically).
Search the Neopian Times
|A Color to Match|
A day didn’t go by that I wasn’t grateful and overjoyed that I was not only brought into the world but that I was lucky to get an owner such as Rellexia, who gave everything she had to her family which motivated me to do the same.
Yet still every morning I woke up, and every morning I stared at the mirror before going downstairs with the same feeling ached in my heart, the same thought popping into my head.
I hate being a mutant!