Making the Most out of the Trading Post
Offer! Lowest on TP! Mail offers! These are phrases that can make even the most grizzled Neopians recoil. Trading items or Neopoints on the Trading Post can be a very stressful and arduous experience. Many users fall into the trap of selling their Negg for too low of a price, or buying an expensive paint brush for far too much.
It does not have to be this way, however. The Trading Post is actually an excellent opportunity for Neopians to gain value, either through getting the items they need or even making a profit from trading. This guide will go into some tips on buying and selling items and give all Neopians a fair chance at making the Trading Post work for them.
The first thing that needs to be stressed in any Trading Post guide is the importance of knowing prices. Sometimes it can be very difficult to find a price. The first place most Neopians go to is the Shop Wizard, but the Shop Wizard does not work for items worth over 100 thousand Neopoints.
Instead, users can find prices on the Trading Post or on auctions. For most items, other users are also selling the item at the same time, so prices can be roughly gauged by looking at what other users are asking for in their wish lists. Furthermore, if there are auctions selling the items, users can look at what others are bidding on the items.
This becomes much trickier when an item is rare or when it does not have any prices listed publicly. Another valuable resource to use is the item database on the fansite JellyNeo. JellyNeo’s database covers the vast majority of items and also includes a helpful trading history showing past prices of the item. In the rare case that JellyNeo has no history whatsoever, pricing becomes difficult. Users should instead post to the auctions and trading chat on the Neoboards and ask for a “price check.”
In terms of actually buying things for good valuable on the Trading Post, buyers should use sound trading psychology. Most sellers are happily willing to negotiate prices- this is especially true if their wish list does not lay out a specific price value. The best strategy here is to find the rough value of the item using the techniques previously listed in this guide, and first offering a substantially lower offer than this price. Most users will reject this outright, but some desperate sellers who need Neopoints may accept it. If sellers reject this offer, a higher offer should be made by the buyer. If this offer is again rejected, the process should continue until either the seller agrees to take the offer or the buyer decides the seller’s asking price is too high.
It should be noted that other users are human, and all negotiations should be respectful. If a seller says no more negotiations or does not want to sell their items, buyers should drop the negotiation and try with other users. Buyers and sellers should be kind to each other and work to find a price that everyone can agree on. Buyers and sellers should never force or pressure other users into accepting an offer- this may be considered harassment which is against the rules.
It is worth noting most users strongly prefer offers in pure Neopoints. If a buyer’s offer is comprised of items, usually sellers will ask for a total offer that is worth more than what the item the buyer is trying to buy is worth.
It is also worth noting that for some items which are worth less than 2 million Neopoints, buyers can just bid their offers on the Trading Post lot. The negotiation does not even need to take place over Neomail. Sellers can reject offers they do not like, and it is much faster for them to accept offers they do like. Since the cap for the amount of Neopoints that can be offered over the Trading Post is 2 million Neopoints, for items worth more than 2 million Neopoints, users must negotiate over Neomail and will likely need to set up an auction to conduct the transaction.
Sellers should take into account the advice on knowing prices in the buying section! It is just as important in the selling section here. Not properly taking the time to research item prices is one of the easiest ways that users can end up ripped off. Sellers who spend hours restocking that super rare morphing potion should spend at least a few minutes learning its price!
In selling items, the Trading Post wish list is extremely important. The description should either have a price outright listed or details about how negotiations are to be conducted. Wish lists that just say “offer” are not necessarily bad but are less informative than wish lists that say “Mail offers, will go lowest on the TP” or “Looking to sell for 400k, will negotiate.” Sellers should let buyers know if they want to receive Neomail, or if buyers should just straight up bid on the TP lot. Also, if sellers want to sell an item for Neopoints quickly, it is helpful to put this information in the lot’s wish list.
In terms of negotiating, sellers should take the opposite strategy of buyers. Sellers should always ask for more than they think the item is worth. It is worth pointing out this perceived value of the item may be lower than the listed price by others on the Trading Post. Some buyers may agree to this price, others will balk. Sellers should progressively lower their asking price until either the price is too low for the seller and too high for the buyer or the buyer agrees to the trade.
Selling very rare items can be extremely difficult. There are far fewer buyers and the prices are much harder to determine. One technique sellers can use to make the process easier here is to advertise the item publicly on the Auctions and Trading Board on the Neoboards. That way, lots of users can see that the item is up for sale and the seller can receive lots of offers. Furthermore, sellers who do not need pure Neopoints immediately should take their time with these very rare items and try to really get the best offer. For items that are exceptionally valuable, waiting a few weeks can potentially yield a payout difference in the tens of millions of Neopoints!