Secrets of Pet Trading
Do you have a dream pet that feels impossible to reach? Maybe the paint brush is too much NP, or it can't be created anymore, or it's a super spiffy named pet that someone else has. Don't give up! With work and time it's absolutely possible to trade for your dream.
As someone who has traded for years, experience has garnered me lots of tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Names are the most important aspect of a pet to the Pound Chat, because they're the only thing about the pet that can't be changed. It's far better to trade for a well-named pet with a cheap color than a badly-named pet with a more expensive color.
Pronounceable 3-5 letter names are the most popular; trade for them whenever possible. Real-world names are also popular and trade very well-- just be sure to consider before trading if it would be desirable. No one would name their pet or character something like "ceiling", and if anything it would decrease the value of your pet. Ask yourself: does it sound nice? look nice? would it inspire a character?
Names are subjective, of course; what would be awful to one is perfect to another, and that's what makes trading names so great. One user might offer a Spotted Uni, while another might offer a Maraquan Draik.
Some types of pets are difficult to trade, regardless of the value of their color. Nimmos, Chias and Ogrins, for example, are sadly unloved, and while they can trade well if you find a user who likes them, it's difficult to do so and usually better to stick with more popular species. Kacheeks, Draiks, Aishas, Lupes and other cute species are the easiest to trade in any color, with plenty of fans to always keep them in demand.
Invest in a Secret Laboratory Map.
At 1 million NP, it's pretty pricey, but pays for itself over and over. Adopting well-named pets from the pound and zapping into a desirable color is the best way to get started trading. Going from a Basic to an expensive color like Maraquan or Stealthy can take many, many steps off your trading journey, and it's fun to see how the pet will change! Not only that, but the stats the lab gives can add a lot of value to your pet.
Maybe you don't have a million NP to invest in a lab, but you have half that. Offering a custom pet up for trade can be a great way to trade up, or add value to a pet you already own. Many people are willing to offer well for customs, since they can choose their own name, species and color, and you can end up with a pet worth much more than the NP you spent. If you have a nice 3 or 4 letter name to offer the custom on, the offers you'll get will be even better.
Advice / A.R.B boards.
While asking on the boards for advice on a trade can be a good thing when you're unsure about a pet's value, I've also seen it ruin many trades. If the user who offered on your pet happens to visit it, and sees post after post advising you to "accept and run!!!", they might have second thoughts and withdraw their offer. It's better to look up guides, or if you absolutely have no idea, say you'll Neomail the potential trade to anyone willing to help.
Don't severely under offer.
It's tempting to go around offering on every high-end pet you find, but it makes you appear desperate and inexperienced, and they most likely won't end up accepting anyway. Unless your pet is what the user is specifically seeking, try not to under offer and let good offers come to you.
Be sure to look up guides to find out your pet's value before trying to trade.
Present your pets well.
Never make boards complaining about your pet being hard to trade, or that you're desperate to get rid of it-- it only makes people less likely to offer! Always portray your pet in a positive light.
On the opposite side, you shouldn't overdo it; advertising your pet as "____ the super common epic RW with incredible stats" is sometimes off-putting.
Also, try to give your pets a lookup and customisation and keep them fed; it makes them much more appealing to potential traders, and the pets will be much happier for it.
Rejecting offers with a "nty", replying nastily to perceived "noobs", not responding to Neomails, constantly backing out of trades, purposely and repeatedly under offering-- the Pound Chat remembers these things, and it makes people not want to trade with you, not matter how amazing your pet is. Always try to be polite and treat others well, on Neopets or elsewhere; it makes life better for everyone.
This is the most important thing on the list (after "be nice")! Trading requires lots patience; depending on how valuable your goal pet is, it could take weeks or months, or sometimes even years to get there. The market is slow these days; people are picky and less pets are available, which sometimes makes finding trades a slow and painful business. Advertising the same pets every day can be frustrating, and it can be tempting to hastily accept a less-than-great offer just for a change. But never settle when you know you can do better! The right person with the right offer will come along eventually, and you'll be glad you waited.
A good way to make the waiting easier is to trade for pets you like-- if you hate Kougras and you trade for a Kougra, it will only make it that much harder to be patient. Try to trade for pets you don't mind keeping for a while.
That ends my advice on trading; I hope it gave you insight and perhaps inspired you to pursue the pet you've always wanted. The Pound Chat may seem scary and intimidating, but we're really (usually? sometimes?) a nice bunch of folks, happy to help anyone who needs it.
Remember to keep going and never give up; nothing is impossible, especially on Neopets.
Good luck trading! :)