You might think you've heard of every way of making neopoints by now - stock market investing, playing flash games, restocking, sniping, etc. However, there is one method that is often overlooked - item investment.
Item Investment is basically buying items while they are very cheap from being given out, then waiting and selling them after they've inflated. This is very profitable, as long as you invest in the right items. It is also a more certain way of making Neopoints than the stock market, and you don't need to be quick and skilled, unlike restocking and sniping.
Anyone can try item investing - you don't need to be very rich at all! You can start item investment with 5000 neopoints or less. Actually, you might have some investment items already, stuck in your Safety Deposit Box. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
The Different Item Choices
This is the most important part of item investment. You must choose the right items to invest in. If you search up old Advent Calender prizes on the shop wizard, you'll notice that some items are now very expensive, while others are only a few hundred neopoints. This is due to the 'demand' of an item. Different items obviously have their different uses, and this will affect the price.
Take a look at 2008's Advent Calender, and you'll find that Classic Neopian Holiday Tales, a book, is selling for much more than the Freaky Factory Plushie, a toy, and Florg Salt and Pepper Shakers, a basically useless item. The reason is clear books can be read to your Neopets to increase their intelligence, while toys can't do much except make your Neopet happy and useless items can simply do nothing except sit there and look pretty (or not).
When buying an item to invest in, always think about why it would go up in price. Is it rare? Is it a consumable? (i.e. food or books, which disappear after used)
In general, the best items to invest in are wearables, books, rare foods and stamps.
Annual Site Event Prizes
The ideal items for investing in are items that are given out once only - items that are of a limited supply. You don't always need to spend money either - you can start with any items given out for free to you.
The Daily Dare in March gives out prizes everyday, which may inflate a huge amount over time. However, while it is still running, almost everyone has the items and the market is flooded with them and consequently, the price goes down. Lulu's items were probably the best to invest in, as the tickets had to be bought with NeoCash. They were expensive, but the items' value will go up even more later. TDN's coverage of the Daily Dare, with the prizes, can be found here.
The Advent Calender gives out prizes in December, too, and those prizes are also great to invest in. Advent Calender items often become retired, which means there is no other way they can be obtained again, other than buying from other Neopets users. Obviously, this means the item will inflate. Take a look at past Advent Calender prizes here.
The Altador Cup Prize Shop has many items you can buy with your prize points. It's a good idea to buy them then. Next year, the shop closes and a new shop opens up for the new Altador Cup. The item can no longer be obtained now, and will start selling for quite a bit. Predictably, the more expensive prizes (such as Yooyus) will inflate more. Those items are better to invest in. TDN's Altador Cup Coverage is here
Plot prizes are retired and most are now very rare. Just like in any site event, there are better prizes for those who managed to complete more of the plot. Higher-value plot prizes are extremely rare and expensive now. To see what prizes previous plots have given out, take a look at this page. It may take a very long time, even years, for plot prizes to yield a profit, but when they do, it is worth the wait.
Checking the Market
After buying investment items, you'll obviously need to wait. Keep track of the item's value - check it on the Shop Wizard every month or so. Don't worry too much if the price seems to be going down - after a long time, the price would've gone back up again. It's important to keep track of your items' value, rarity and price on the market. Things can suddenly happen! Using a chart would be a great help, as you can see the changes in price, but just a note is fine. Also note down the price that you bought the item for, or you could make a loss when you finally sell.
Item investment can be a slow process at times, but is definitely profitable. It is an easy way to make neopoints which requires much patience, but is definitely worth it. Happy Investing!
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