Negotiating A Trade As A Buyer
As we all move through our Neopian lives we gather and collect various items for various purposes. Some of us are hardcore Battledome addicts and love kicking the teeth out of the latest enemies, going up against our friends and taking their pets down. Others prefer to stock up a pretty gallery full of Usukis or plushies, a place they can show off on the Neoboards as their proudest achievements. And some of us like filling our albums with collectibles like stamps or cards, earning avatars and trophies along the way. Even more some of us like to customize our pets and paint them with the fanciest, most colorful paint brushes available. Whatever your Neo-fancy is, you've probably had to come up against the Trading Post at one point or another, whether it is to buy the item of your dreams or to offload and item you won as a prize or something you don't use any more. When you are a new player wheeling and dealing small items, this might not be intimidating, but what happens when you take the step into high-value, very rare items?
Negotiation is key, whether you are buying or selling, to make sure that you get a fair deal out of whatever the item is. To make things a bit easier and more relevant, this article is going to cover the two points separately: buying and selling.
To get us started on the buying section, we are going to go through the two different scenarios. The examples presented will work as a guideline on how to go about purchasing items in that tier. For our purpose, we are using "hard to sell" and "easy to sell". This is judging how hard of a time the seller is going to have convincing someone to buy their item, and will give you a lot of power negotiating the purchase.
Items that are easy to sell tend to circulate quickly through the economy, they are highly prized items like powerful Battledome weapons or avatar items (like stamps). Hard to sell items tend to be more niche, items that only serious collectors would go after, things like TCG cards, plushies, poor-performance Battledome weapons, Neohome furniture.
Easy To Sell:
There are items out there that move quickly through the Trading Post and sell frequently, like stamps or secret laboratory map pieces. These are items in constant demand that don't have a lot of price fluctuation. Let's say you want to buy a Baby Paint Brush to pet your Jetsam into an itty-bitty baby. Baby Paint Brushes are VERY easy to sell, and because of this you don't have a lot of negotiating power. For the most part they sell (at the time of this writing) for about 590,000-600,000 NP. You can probably negotiate down to 580,000 NP or so, but don't expect a big discount. Because of the high demand, someone can reject your offer and know that it won't be long before someone else comes along to offer what they are asking.
Hard to Sell:
Let us imagine that you are putting together a fantastic Quiguki gallery. Quiguki are these funny looking Quiggle knockoffs of the very famous Usuki doll collections. They are typically not as popular, and can be a bit rarer because of it. In this example we are going to use the item Quiguki Zombie. It isn't so extremely rare so it isn't likely to be bought by anyone, and it isn't so expensive that it makes a good investment. Because of this, people selling it will have a hard time finding a buyer and it will sit in their trading post lots for a while until someone comes along. But here you are!! You want it, it is the perfect thing for your Quiguki collection. You see they are asking for a price of 7,500,000 NP and you can afford that, but WAIT. Not so fast!
You can some negotiating power here. You know they will have a hard time selling it, and if you show yourself too enthusiastic then they won't lower the price because they'll know you need it. Send them a Neomail offering a price (nothing crazy), but maybe in this case offer around 6,000,000 NP instead. If they've been sitting on it for a while and not getting any offers, they'll jump at the chance at your offer. If it is still a bit too low for them, they may Neomail you back with another offer, maybe asking for 7,000,000. From here you can decide how much you are willing to spend on it, but you've gotten a discount!! Just remember: don't send insulting offers. This person may have spent a fair amount of money to obtain it and they don't want to sell at a loss.
No matter whether you are buying easy to sell or hard to sell items, it is important to be polite and specific. Just being nice to someone will go a long way, and they will be more open to communication. When you Neomail someone about their item, don't just say "550k for baby pb?". Take the time to form an actual sentence, something like "Hello! I was wondering if you would take 550k for the baby paint brush you're selling?". Don't sound like you want the item TOO badly if it is hard to sell though, you want to make them think that you will walk away if the price isn't right, that'll make the person realize they need to sell it now because they don't know when the next buyer may come around. It is an art form to negotiate well, and with some practice it'll become second nature.
You can even use these strategies as a way of turning a profit, trying to get a good deal on an item that someone is desperate to get off their hands and then you turn around and sell it for a higher cost. If you are patient with hard to sell items, they can be very profitable, and it's a method called "reselling". So in the next week's Neopian Times you'll be able to see part two of this guide: Negotiating A Trade As A Seller. See you next week!!