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Pricing with the Shop Wizard


by arbok2000

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SHOPS - If you're like me, you tend to shove all your accumulated items in your Safety Deposit box, and forget about them. Over time all those prizes from the Tombola, gifts from Neofriends and battle items and food you never got around to using, build up and you want to sell them in your shop.

I have created this guide to help you in your quest for fast sales or fair returns, and provide a number of various pricing methods, all using our friend, The Shop Wizard.

Getting Started - Shop Wizard structure

One of the basic things you need to know about is the structure of the Shop Wizard. The pages you see on the shop wizard are sorted into groups. Each group has a set of letters, which correspond to your username:

a i q y 1 9
b j r z 2
c k s 3
d l t 4
e m u 5
f n v 6
g o w _ 7
h p x 0 8

The means, people with the username starting with the same letter as you, for example "a" for arbok2000, will all appear on the same page of the shop wizard search (along with the other letters in that group.) For example, the group I am in is the "a i q y 1 9" group. This means that everyone whose name starts with the letter a, I, q, y, 1 or 9 are always listed on the same page in the shop wizard, no matter what the item being searched for is.

If you do a shop wizard search and go for the first page you see, you may be pricing your item way below or way above the bottom price on your group's page. It is up to you whether you use your groups page when conducting the below pricing methods, however it could be beneficial to you if the buyer is taken initially to the page with your shop on, and buys the cheapest on there. This would mean you have more chance of selling your item when other pages aren't considered.

In order to get to the page with your username on, first do a search on the shop wizard, and then refresh the page until you see usernames that begin with your letter (or another from your group.) Then you are free to get pricing!

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Method One -Pricing Lowest on the Wizard

An automatic reaction is to search for the item on the shop wizard and use the lowest price (or less) so it will sell. This is highly unnecessary as often you aren't getting as much as you could, but does provide the best "guarantee" of a fast sale.

This method is a very easy way to do your pricing, which is why it is very popular. But please beware, although it doesn't take any calculations, and means your prices are the most appealing to people out of all the others, the money you get back can be poor, and also if you fall victim to an error based on someone else's mispricing, you could get even less money than what you should.

There are two tips you can use for this particular pricing method. Firstly, use your groups shop wizard page (see above) because the prices vary widely between various groups. Secondly, make sure you always go lower than the minimum price, or you will just be mixed in with the others at the same price. One Neopoint less should do the trick as it is cheaper but not at a great loss

Speed to price up: Fast
Sale Speed: Maximum
Money Back: Minimal

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Method Two -Pricing Average on top five items

This is a good method to use for getting a fair price on the Wizard and still having a low price. To do this method, do a search for the item on the Shop Wizard and then add up the lowest 5 prices. Then divide the answer by 5. You can do this with the Neopets Calculator

Here's an example based on the current price (at time of writing) of an Ice Mirror:

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First we add up the five lowest prices on the shop wizard page chosen:

36,666 + 40,000 + 75,559 + 80,000 + 98,999 = 331224

Now to get the average we divide by the number of numbers (5) so:

331224 / 5 = 66244.8 = 66245NP

NOTE: If you don't know how to round numbers off, just ignore the numbers after the '.'

_________________________

As you can see from this example, the price given is not the lowest; in this case it's the 3rd lowest, (but as the item is so spread out in price it gives a good general cost.) Obviously the more spread out the bottom five prices are, the further away your price will be from the bottom, but it all depends on how fast you actually want a sale and how much you are willing to let it go for.

You may wish to consider that if someone is selling 2 (or more) of the same item in the bottom five, this should be counted twice (etc.) because when one sells there will be another there. (For example, if there is an item at the top of the list at 200 but there are 3 of them available, instead of using 200 and the 4 prices below, take 200 three times and then just two below to make up the five.)

If the bottom five prices are the same, then the average is going to be the same as those prices, so if the bottom 5 prices are all 132, there is no need to do the calculation as this will end up as your answer.

It's also worth mentioning that many items are actually less spread out than the Ice Mirror, and that using this method DOES guarantee you will be in the five lowest prices for your group page (if you used it.)

Speed to price up: Medium
Sale Speed: Medium (Varies on price range)
Money Back: Medium

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Method Three -Pricing Average on top ten items

This is a similar method to the one above, but the price you get will be higher. However as a consequence, you will be somewhere in the lowest ten prices, lowering sale speed from the five method. To do this method, do a search for the item on the Shop Wizard and then add up the lowest 10 prices. Then divide the answer by 10.

Again, you may wish to consider that if someone is selling 2 (or more) of the same item in the bottom ten, this should be counted twice (etc.) The calculations are the same as the above example, but with ten prices instead of five, and you divide by ten at the end.

Speed to price up: Medium > Slow
Sale Speed: Medium > Slow (Varies on price range)
Money Back: Medium > High

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Method Four -The Cross-Page Average

Another method using averages based upon simulating a search someone may undertake to get the lowest price.

First do your search for the item you are pricing, and then take note of the lowest price. Refresh the page and note down the lowest price again. Then do this a further three times until you have five figures, and average them.

Here is an example using the book "Disco Kau" at time of writing:

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First we add up the five prices collected from the shop wizard:

7,000 + 7,999 + 8,000 + 8,901 + 7,000 = 38900

Now to get the average we divide by the number of numbers (5) so:

38900 / 5 = 7,780NP

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This method finds a low price based on 5 random pages of the shop wizard, which means that the price represents many different prices. You may wish to make sure you use different group pages each time because it is totally random and may count the same price twice, but I don't feel it is required.

It does not guarantee your position on your page, so you could be quite high up or very low down, but this is a fair pricing method that does take into account how low or in fact high, people can get the item for on other pages.

Speed to price up: Quite Slow
Sale Speed: Medium > low (Varies on price range)
Money Back: Varies

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Method Five - The Complete Average

This may be useful when the range of prices is very high and there aren't many to add up. It will get you a complete average of the shop wizard page but it will mean your price will be anywhere on the page and fast sales are not guaranteed at all. To do this method, do a search for the item on the Shop Wizard and then add up all the buyable (under 100,000 NP) items, then divide this by the number of prices.

Here is an example using a white Anubis at time of writing:

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First we add up all the prices under 100,000 NP:

43,000 + 43,500 + 45,000 + 50,000 + 65,000 + 77,770 + 95,000 + 99,000 + 99,999 + 99,999 = 718268

Now to get the average we divide by the number of numbers (in this case 10) so:

718268 / 5 = 71826.8 = 71,827 NP

NOTE: If you don't know how to round numbers off, just ignore the numbers after the '.'

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As you can see, this is a very high price compared to the lowest figure, and the item may not be sold for a long time because of it. This depends on if the lower items are priced low for a fast sale, or if the higher ones are people being greedy.

The reason we don't include the items over (and including) 100k is that they are in galleries and so will never be bought. The means they are just making the average price you get higher, reducing probability of sale because you are likely to be on bottom of list.

Speed to price up: Very Slow
Sale Speed: Slow (Varies on price range)
Money Back: Can be Very High

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Tips and Considerations

There are things you need to take into account when pricing your items, and things you can do to make it all easier. Here are a few:

Use "Identical to my phrase" Shop Wizard option
If you have a yellow Meerca plushie, and select "containing my phrase", you can just as well end up searching for a "magical yellow Meerca plushie" instead, which are a lot more expensive. Be wary of this because it could also happen backwards (like with "reject", "burnt", "broken" and "fake" items, which cost less generally) and you will make a loss. Just copy and paste in the item name if you don't think you can remember it all.

Plan ahead
If your gallery was bulging with items, or deposit box almost bursting full, then it can take a long time to price everything if you are using averages. Use a spreadsheet program, if you can, to keep track of all the items and prices. A good idea would be to paste all the item names into a new spreadsheet, and then you can keep going back to it and adding in the prices before transferring them onto your shop itself. This keeps down the number of open browser windows and you don't get the risk of the computer crashing and losing all the prices that you hadn't saved, as you'll have a backup.

Consider the best method of pricing for you
The best method overall would be to use Method Two, averaging the lowest 5 prices. This allows for a decent sale time and also a decent return. If you feel sorry for people buying overpriced items, because they don't refresh, it is best to average the lowest price of various pages (Method Four.) Don't be too greedy, and be aware that taking a Complete Average (Method Five) could severely reduce any chance of sale due to other people pricing low with Method One.

Consider the best method for the item
Junk items would probably be best sold with Method One. There may be a lot of people selling something for 2 NP, so selling for 1NP may boost your chances, although it may be easier just to donate the junk stuff to the money tree. Sometimes you might want to get back some money because you paid too much for an item in the first place, so you may wish to use a method with a higher return or add a bit more NP to the price after averaging.

Experiment
If your prices are low enough, then a couple of items priced by Method One, could attract people to buy other things that they could perhaps get cheaper. Do some testing and work out if you can do this effectively or not, you can always lower the prices if it fails, but be careful what you "give away" at a low price. You can also average any number of items you want. The less items in your average, the lower your price will be (and the faster it will sell) and vice-versa. If you aren't happy with the averages for five or ten items, you can try seven. You just have to make sure you divide by the number of prices you have added up.

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I hope you find this guide useful, it is my first article and I would appreciate comments. Thanks for reading :)

 
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