The NC Mall Guide
If you've ever spotted an NC item that wasn't available in the NC Mall or you have some NC items you would like to exchange, then NC trading is for you! NC trading provides an opportunity for you to obtain current and retired NC items from other users. According to Neopets rules, you can only trade NC items for other NC items. So, you are not allowed to offer or trade Neopoints or Neopoint items for any Neocash items. Most NC trading takes place on the NC Mall Neoboard (commonly referred to as NCC).
In order to send NC items, you must have NC Gift Boxes. Gift boxes are non-tradeable NC items typically obtained from redeeming Neocash Cards or from purchasing Gift Box Mystery Capsules (GBCs) when they are available in the Mall. You can also play the Trudy's Surprise daily for a chance to win a free NC Basic Gift Box! Gift boxes are one-use only items, and you can only send one NC item per gift box.
How to Use a NC Gift Box
Place the NC items you want to send in your inventory, along with your gift boxes. Then click on a gift box and select the item you want to send in the drop down menu and select "Submit".
Select or enter the username you wish to send the NC item to (be sure to double check the username!) and click "Submit". You also have the option to add a personalized message in the drop down menu if you want.
Before the NC item sends, you will be prompted to enter your password and PIN (if available) for security purposes. To complete the process, select "Gift Item". Once the recipient receives the NC item, TNT will send you a Neomail notification.
Note: It is highly recommended that you go to your PIN preferences page and enable a PIN for NC Gift Boxes. This gives your account and your hard earned NC items an added layer of security.
Receiving an NC Item
When you're sent an NC item, it will show up in your Item Event Log. First, you need to open the box to see what is inside. Then you need to decide if you want to accept, return, or discard the NC item. If you choose to return, it will send the NC item back to the sender, along with the gift box that was used. You have 48 hours to decide what to do with an NC item that is sent to you, otherwise it will automatically be returned to the sender, along with the gift box. You will also receive a Neomail notification from TNT when you've been sent an NC item.
The most convenient way to obtain both NC and gift boxes is to purchase and upload an NC eCard to your Neopets account. If you don't have any NC items to trade, then a good starting point is to play NC Mall games, participate in NC Mall Events (when available), or offer a 'custom' with your available NC.
What is a Custom?
A custom is when you or a user offers a specific amount of available NC to purchase requested item(s) in the Mall. The item(s) purchased from the Mall will be used to exchange NC items with another user to complete a NC trade. Before you complete a custom, make sure your trader has the NC item(s) you want and has agreed to trade them for the NC item(s) you will purchase from the Mall. Also, keep in mind the number of gift boxes you need to complete the custom - the less the better.
One of the best times to offer a custom is when you see many traders on the NCC seeking a particular buyable in the Mall. Most often, you will find a trader that is willing to part their retired NC item for the buyable. If you aren't familiar with NC values, be sure to read the "NC Trading Values" section below before you offer or accept a trade.
Basic NC Terminology/Acronyms
Like other neoboards, the NCC has its own lingo as well. You can search our Neopian Dictionary for NC terminology and item abbreviations. Below are some common terminology/acronyms used on the NCC: (Double check with the Dictionary)
- BG - Background
- Buyable - An item available for purchase in the Mall
- Cap - Often refers to a Gift Box Mystery Capsule (GBC/GBcube). The "cap" determines the estimated value of an NC item.
- Cap Sale - Users who put their NC items up for trade at a discounted cap value
- Cookie(s) - NC Fortune Cookies
- Custom - When you (or a user) offers a specific amount of available NC to purchase requested item(s) in the Mall. The item(s) purchased from the Mall will be used to exchange NC items with another user to complete a NC trade. Before you complete a custom, make sure your trader has the NC item(s) you want and has agreed to trade them for the NC item(s) you will purchase from the Mall.
- DW - Dyeworks
- FF - Future Fashions
- Exclusive - NC items awarded from specific NC prize pools. They are not sold separately in the Mall.
- FG- Foreground
- GBC - Gift Box Mystery Capsules (a.k.a Gift Box Capsule)
- GBcube or Cube - The new Gift Box Capsules that guarantees the minimum of two Basic Gift Boxes when opened
- GBcap - The old style Gift Box Capsules that guarantees at least one Basic Gift Box when opened
- GL - Good Luck
- GLT - Good luck Trading
- HTPW - Hard To Part With (NC items a user considers valuable)
- LE - Limited Edition
- Lending - This refers to users who setup trades to lend out original Dyeworks items. Once you are finished dying a re-colored duplicate of the original NC item, you need to send the original item back to the lender (or follow their instructions for return).
- MC - Mystery Capsule
- NC - Neocash
- NCC - Neocash Chat (NC Trading Neoboard)
- NCer - A user who regularly visits or trades on the NC board
- NTY - No Thank You
- O - Offering
- Over-offer - Offering a higher cap value than what the NC item is typically trading for
- Pretrade - A trade setup in advance
- RE - Retired
- RR - Re-released (NC items that previously retired and are available for purchase in the Mall again)
- S - Seeking
- T - Trading
- TL - Tradelist
- UFT - Up For trade
- Value - Represents how many caps an item is worth for trading
- VHTPW - Very Hard To Part With (NC items a user considers extremely valuable and most likely very difficult to replace)
- WL - Wishlist
- 1:1 - Trading one NC item for another NC item
- 2:1 - Receiving two items for one
Other NC Abbreviations
- BFA - Bump For Awareness
- GTZ - Gametimezone (a site to purchase NC Card redemption codes through email only)
- JN - Jellyneo
- PSA - Public Service Announcement
- Siggy - NeoSignature
NC Trading Values
Since you can't directly trade Neocash itself for NC items, a valuation system was developed to use "caps" as the currency for determining NC values. A "cap" is valued to one GBC (1 GBC = 200 NC) - (e.g If you want to trade for an NC item worth 3 GBCs, then the item has a 600 NC value). The NCC eventually established NC value guides to display the estimated cap values for NC items based on current NC trades submitted by users on the NCC. However, everyone can value their NC items differently, so no specific cap value is law. These guides are voluntarily created by experienced NCers.
Current NC Value guides
Gift Box Mystery Capsules
Gift Box Mystery Capsules (GBCs) are highly sought-after on the NCC, since they help supply gift boxes. The standard price of a GBC is 200 NC (when they are not on sale). They usually release into the Mall toward the end of each month. When they are buyable in the Mall, there are usually several NC trading boards seeking them and traders wiling to discount their NC items in 'cap sales'.
When trading for GBCs, it's important to know the difference between the new and old versions:
The new GBCs (commonly referred to as GBcubes/Cubes) will award one item worth 150 NC (or more) along with at least two Basic Gift Boxes with the chance to receive up to 5 gift boxes including the Limited Edition (LE) Gift Box (themed to the capsule design). Most NC traders prefer the new GBCs, since they guarantee two gift boxes.
The old GBCs guarantees a minimum of one Basic Gift Box with the chance to win up to five gift boxes including the Limited Edition (LE) Gift Box (themed to the capsule design). You will also receive item(s) worth 200 NC (or more if you are lucky). The old GBCs retired in 2014. They aren't in full circulation for trading on the NCC anymore, but they are still existent.
Determining Cap Values
Below are some factors that can cause NC items to inflate and deflate in cap value:
Supply and Demand
The NCC raves over new desirable NC items. When users are able to purchase NC items from the Future Fashions (FF) shop (three days before it is available for purchase in the regular Mall for everyone), it can cause an NC item's value to inflate if there aren't enough circulating for trading. Some users will over-offer to get the item. The cap value will eventually deflate once the NC item is out of the FF shop and available for purchase in the Mall for everyone. So, it's recommended not to rush and trade for NC items that are still available in FF, as you will most likely end up trading more for it.
When existent NC items suddenly become popular and desired, the cap value can inflate if many users aren't willing to put the item up for trade. Sometimes, the inflated cap value remains high and becomes the new value for the item. Other times, the NC item will deflate back to the regular cap value when it is no longer popular or desired.
Buyable NC Items
Buyables (that aren't retiring from the Mall) usually have a low cap value, because they are easily obtainable and always available in the Mall. NC wearable items are the most common buyables - they become overly populated from users opening GBCs to obtain gift boxes. Before purchasing a buyable for trading, it's best to find a trader that is seeking the item and has agreed to trade an NC item you want from them in return.
Some buyables are actually sought-after when they are newly released into the Mall, especially those that will award exclusive and Limited Edition NC item. Below are some NC buyables most often purchased for NC trading:
- MME/MiniMME's - Awards exclusive NC items.
- Capsules - Awards exclusive and Limited Edition NC items.
- Game packs - Used to play NC games and to participate in NC Events, which awards exclusive NC item prizes.
- NC Collectibles - Limited Edition NC items.
- Fortune Cookies - Click to view our guide for individual details of each type of NC cookie. Faerie Quest Cookies (FQC) and Upcycle Cookies are more popular.
- Grams - Awards Exclusive and Limited Edition NC items.
- Dyeworks Hue Brew Potion - These potions are used to dye new colors for current and retired NC items. If the NC item in the Dyeworks shop is popular or desired, many NCers will be seeking to trade for the re-colors.
Retired NC Items
Once an NC item retires from the Mall, it becomes more valuable than a buyable, because they can't be purchased anymore. Depending on the popularity of the NC item, the value can increase over the years, given they aren't re-released a lot.
Re-released NC Items
Re-released (RR) NC items are previously retired items that are temporarily available for purchase in the Mall again. When this happens, the NC item deflates in cap value since the item is being populated more on the NCC. Currently, RR NC items can be obtained from opening Retired Mystery Capsules and Birthday Mystery Capsules.
Premium NC Items
Premium NC items cannot be purchased from the Mall, but you will notice these type of NC items trading on the NCC. A new Premium NC item is awarded once a month when you purchase the Neopets Premium feature.
Value Check Boards
NC value guides are not 100% reliable, since they are not always updated super fast when new NC items are released, or the owner is too busy to update often. You can always create a 'Value Check" board to ask the NCC how many 'caps' an NC item is currently trading for. You should wait until at least 3-4 people post a value that is the same or close.
Below are some examples of what you can put in the 'Topic Title' when creating a value check board:
- "Value check: (name of NC item)?"
- "How many GBCs is (name of NC item) trading for?"
- "How many caps is (name of NC item) trading for?"
The 'Topic Message' can state any questions you have about the item.
Common NC Trading Sales
- Cap sales - Some NC traders discount the cap value of their NC items to trade for GBCs. Usually, the goal is to obtain more gift boxes for trading.
- 2:1 sales - These sales allow you to receive two NC items from your trader's designated list,for one. Users often seek GBCs for these sales, but other types of NC items can be used for these sales as well, so be sure to read the trader's instructions for their sale.
Creating a Wishlist and Tradelist
There's a broad range of NC items. If you're not sure which NC items you'd like to trade for, then you can browse our Item Database for a listing of all NC items. You can also preview NC wearable items on different Neopet species and colors in our Customization Wardrobe . Once you have a general idea of the NC items you want and have to trade, creating a wishlist (WL) and tradelist (TL) will provide organization and easy reference for both you and your trader. There are many different ways you can create your WL and TL, below are some options:
Jellyneo's Item Database Wishlist
In order to use our Item Database Wishlist feature, you will need to register a free Jellyneo account first. After creating your account, you can create as many lists as you'd like. Make sure you mark them as either being a Neocash Wishlist or Trade List from the Settings page. Once you do, you will be able to use the Trade Finder with other JN users.
Each NC item info page in the database also has a list of those Seeking the item and those who have the item Up For Trade. Marking your wishlists correctly in settings will have your name appear on those lists.
If you don't have a gallery on Neopets, you can click here to create one. You can only have one gallery per account. Most NC traders use their gallery as a TL, but it can also be used a both a TL and WL. You can add different categories to display your NC items up for trade. However, if you have a lot of NC items, this option can become pricey for upgrading gallery space. Also, be cautious not to mix Neopoint items in with your NC categories - you don't want any user to accidentally confuse them.
NC Mall Album
Though you can use your NC Album as a TL, it's not recommended as a first choice. Most NC traders avoids using them since it has some drawbacks. NC albums will display every NC item you've ever owned on your account, so you will need to make sure you keep it up to date for the NC items you are trading. It's also tedious to navigate through many pages if you a have a lot of items, and you can't create categories.
NC Tradelist Categories
Below are the most common categories you will see when browsing through NC TLs, here's what they stand for:
- Buyables: This category will only list NC items that are buyable in the Mall.
- Highlights: NC items in this category have a higher value to the owner. In most cases, the NC items are retired or popular.
- Cap Values: Several TLs have NC items categorized by the item's cap value (e.g 1 Cap, 2 Caps, 3 Caps etc...). Values can range as you choose (e.g 1-2 Caps, 3-5 Caps etc...). This setup makes it easy for users to know what you value your NC items at before offering.
- Closet: Some NC traders like to display NC items that are currently in their closet or being worn on their Neopets. NC items in this category usually aren't up for trade unless the user offers them.
- HTP/VHTP: Standing for "Hard to Part With" or "Very Hard to Part With", NC items in this category are usually considered favorites or NC items that are difficult to replace because of cap value, popularity, or rarity. They're typically up for trade for specific NC items the user is seeking.
- Gifts: Gift categories are created to display NC items users were generously gifted. These NC items usually are not up for trade, and it would be courteous not to offer on them.
- Reserved: Items in this section are put aside to complete a trade with a specific user, or to complete a pre-trade. These items aren't up for trade, unless the owner states so.
NC traders often like to put their TL or WL in their NeoSignature (siggy) for convenience when trading and posting on Neoboards. Having these lists in your siggy will increase your odds of finding other NC trades as you post on Neoboards.
The first step is going to the Neoboard preferences page. In the box after where it says "Enter your NeoSignature here:" you can put "TL or WL: ", then put a URL (the web address of your list). The URL should start with http://www.neopets.com/. Putting the complete link will make it easier and faster for users to access. (In the example below, the asterisk (****) represents the pet's name if you are using a petpage).
NC Trading Etiquette/Guideline
Below are some recommended guidelines to help you have a successful NC trading experience:
- Be considerate. When making an offer, no one is obligated to accept your offer. So, there's no reason to be rude, even if someone declines a perfectly fair offer. Find another user to trade with.
- Cap values are subject to change. You should reference a current NC value guide or create a 'value check' or "fair trade" board on the NCC to make sure you will not over-offer or under-offer your NC items.
- Don't list NC items as up for trade if you have absolutely no intentions on trading them - this is misleading and causes unnecessary disappointment.
- If you have a lot of NC items up for trade, create a categorized TL rather than listing all the items in several posts - the same goes for NC items you are seeking. This will make trading a lot more organized and easier for a user to search through.
- If you aren't sure about an NC trade, don't use their offer as an "OTB (offer to beat)". This is something that really shouldn't be done on the NCC, since it involves real-life money. Majority NCers frown upon this!
- When you are offering or accepting an NC trade, ask the user which account they would like the NC item sent to. You can't assume that a user wants the NC item sent to the account they are communicating from.
- During a NC trade, make sure you send the other person's item, before you accept yours. This will prevent a user from feeling uneasy.
- Be polite. After finishing a NC trade, a nice gesture is to say "Thank you". When declining an offer, you can say "No thank you" or something similar.
- If you agreed to a custom offer, and your trader has purchased requested NC items from the Mall, don't back out of the trade! This is rude, and no one wants to waste their NC.
- Please don't bombard someone else's trading board saying you are seeking the same item too. If it is not a joint trading board, You should make your own trading board.
- Be cautious when receiving neomail offers. Some NC traders like to neomail major under-offers to take advantage of users that might not be familiar with their NC values. If you aren't sure of any item value, ask the NCC what the estimated cap value is or reference a current NC value guide before accepting or making an offer.
- If you are new to NC trading, it's best to make trades on the Neoboard rather than through neomails. If someone is trying to take advantage of a trade, NCers will be able to see it publicly on the Neoboard and warn you.
Making a NC Trade
When NC trading, you don't have to stick to one-to-one (1:1) trades; you can trade or offer multiple NC items for one item. If you are new to NC trading, don't be discouraged if you don't receive an offer or make a NC trade your first time - everyone goes through this at some point! There are different ways you can approach NC trading, below are some options:
Creating a Trade Board
Go to the NCC and click "New Topic" at the top right corner of your page. When the page opens, make sure 'Board' is set to "NC Mall".
In the "Topic Title" section, state what you are seeking and/or trading. Try to be as clear and to the point as you can - you have a limited amount of text you can enter. If you are seeking and/or trading multiple NC items, you can use item abbreviations to save space. You also have the option to use some emoticons to make your title more fun and noticeable - just don't overdo them and spam. You will eventually get the gist of different 'Topic Title' styles as you browse the NCC more.
In the "Topic Message" section, you can list the NC items you are seeking and/or trading. Or, you can post your TL and/or WL (if you have one). Lastly, be sure to state if you want to receive offers and trades by post and/or mail.
Before creating your board, double check to make sure everything you listed is correct, then click "Create Topic" to officially create the board. Once created, you will be automatically reverted back to the NC Board. Your board will be bolded. The NC boards can move fast, so you will need to bump your board periodically. I would also recommend to bookmark your trade board, so you won't lose it and have to create another one.
Below is an example of a trade board:
When you accept an offer, tell the user which account(s) you want the NC item(s) sent to, and ask them which account they would like their NC items sent to. You should never assume someone wants their NC items sent to the account they are communicating from. Both traders should send the NC item(s) in a timely manner. If you know you're going to step away for a bit, have good communication and let your trader know. Don't accept your NC items before you send theirs. Most NCers copy and paste the GBC confirmation message to their trader to confirm they've sent the items. It also confirms the NC item went to the right account. When the trade is complete, than the user for the trade to be courteous. Also, for any offers you aren't interested in, don't ignore them - let the trader know a decision either way.
Charter NC Mall Board
Offering on Trade Boards/Neomails
Here are some guidelines for offering on trade boards:
- Before you make an offer, make sure you read the trader's instructions for offers and trades.
- Check the NC value of your items and the traders so you won't majorly under-offer or over-offer.
- If they accept your offer, let them know which account(s) to send your NC items to, and ask them which account(s) they want their NC item(s) sent to.
- Once confirmed, send the NC items in a timely manner. If you're going to step away, let your trader know.
- Make sure you send their NC item(s) before you accept yours. Most NCers copy and paste the GBC confirmation message to their trader to confirm they've sent the items. It also assures the NC item went to the right account before the other person sends their NC item.
- When the trade is complete, thank the user for the trade to be courteous.
What is Considered a Fair Trade?
A fair trade is subjective on the NCC, and it depends on the individual traders. Some NC traders are very strict with cap values and trading for popular items, while others might not mind a minor cap difference between items. Ultimately, you should trade for NC items you actually want. If you and your trader are both happy with the NC item(s) you received from a trade (as long as there were no cautions or scams involved), then it's generally considered a successful fair trade.
You can always create a "Fair Trade" board to ask the NCC if a trade is fair based on the item's cap value, rarity, and popularity. If you are completely new to NC trading, I would recommend creating these boards until you are more familiar with NC values.
This article was written by: Sab