Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Building a Distinctive Neopets Christmas Gallery :: Top Tips

OK, I admit it. Long after my daughter has grown up and moved on (I initially joined Neopets to share it with her....when she was 9), I'm still on Neopets nearly every morning. There are many "ways in" to Neopets - for me, it's building collections. And over nearly ten years, I've converted our original joint account into a Christmas Gallery (username lrn_jbk945) that I'm very proud of.

Thanks to everyone who has neomailed this season with compliments about my Christmas gallery. Some have asked for tips on how to build a collection like this, and since neomail is too limited to say very much, I am sharing my top tips here.

1. Be realistic about the size of your gallery, because the cost of upgrading can be crushing. The bigger your collection, the more impossible it is to buy anything because it costs so much just to add slots in the gallery. At this point, with over 800 items in my collection, I’m up to 33K (NP) just to add five item slots – a major investment when I'd rather be spending my neopoints on buying great Christmas items.

2. There is no index where you can find all existing Christmas/Holiday items. The best way to discover what's out there is to look at top collectors and see what they've got, what they're adding, and start making a wish list for yourself. Keep that list on your computer, and note the current "going price" on either the Shop Wizard or on the Trading Post. From year to year, the value of items changes, and you'll have a reference to refer to when Christmas is rolling around again and you want to consider buying new items.

3. My favorite gallery to for browsing is by a Canadian woman who calls herself Wizzney (gallery name is wizzneys_christmas). She always has the best stuff – I’m constantly surprised by new, great items she has (I don’t know how she affords them!) Anyway, I look there first to see what is there, and what I ought to acquire for my collection.

4. Narrow your focus. There are SO many Christmas items, and the older/rarer ones are terribly expensive. If you have a special focus that you highlight, it’s easier to come up with a standout gallery. In my case, I’m leading with Taelia, the Snow Faerie, and have a great collection of her items. That makes my gallery stand out as different from all the other Christmas galleries out there, and also gives me a message platform for the holiday season (see image above). Developing a focus also helps you determine things you know you DON’T want to waste neopoints acquiring (for example, I don’t really care about Wreathy, the Snowager or Raindorf…..so I don’t waste neopoints or precious gallery slots on them).

5. I don’t put all the Advent Calendar items in my gallery – only ones that actually relate to Christmas and have a positive vibe (the gross and/or violent/angry items just don’t work in my gallery). When you decide not to display a new Advent Calendar item, hold it for two days and then put it up for sale. You’ll get the highest price early – from people who forgot to do the Advent Calendar on a particular day and are willing to pay premium price to have the item during the Christmas season. The longer you wait, the less it will be worth, because Neopia is obviously saturated with these free giveaways.

6. What about NeoCash items? Hmmmmm.....this is a personal choice. These purchases are called "microtransactions," and they are a major Internet revenue source in Asia. The trend is just catching on here, and as a media professional, I'm interested in this trend. I'm also willing to spend small amounts of cash ($10 at a time) to buy items that particularly enhance the theme in my galleries. On the other hand, I do feel a little guilty about the kids on neopets who look at my gallery, see NC items, and know they can't afford them. Not guilty enough to stop buying them, though. I just try to balance those acquisitions with other items that I acquire through "free" neopoints currency, to keep it fair.

7. By the way, if you buy NeoCash cards (at Rite Aid, CVS, Target, etc), when you cash them in you get rare items that are worth a lot of neopoints. These small cash transactions pay off in large numbers of neopoints.

8. I spend the rest of the year building up my total of neopoints, so that I can buy for Christmas (and Halloween - my other gallery). If you're an adult like me you probably don't have time to play games to acquire neopoints. Still, there are steady and reliable strategies that require only about 10 minutes per day, and neopoints steadily build. They are:
* Set up a bookmarks folder so you can quickly click through all the free daily giveaways - Tombola, Coltzan's Shrine, Discarded Magical Blue Grundo Plushie of Prosperity, Neopets Fruit Machine, Weltrude's Toy Chest, Wheel of Slime. Do this every morning.
* Always keep 800 NP available so that you can play Test Your Strength and buy a Scratchcard from the Ice Caves as often as you can (you can do each of these every six hours). Test Your Strength gives good spooky items which always sell quickly, and you can always sell a scratchcard for more than 600 NP. Nice, steady income.
* Play Fashion Fever every day. Quickest 900 points you can earn.
* Buy Race to Riches scratchcards in bulk at the lowest price on the Shop Wizard, and scratch 5 Race to Riches scratchcards every day. You always make more than your money back - I'd say the average return is 50%.
* Don't scratch ScratchCards of a higher level than Race to Riches. They have the same prizes, so there's no premium to win. You'll make many more NP by selling them.

Good luck building your own distinctive gallery collection! And as I say on my Christmas Gallery homepage:
Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.

Have a GREAT holiday, however you celebrate it!


No comments:

Post a Comment