Restocking: the bane of four-fifths of Neopia. Most people can't do it very well, more don't even know what it means and still others simply want to know how so many are experts at it. First, let me clarify what it is, then we'll go on to how you, too, can master it.
So, what exactly is restocking? Actually, it refers to two things: first, restocking happens when more items appear in the official Neopian shops (shops not run by users like you and me). So, when that happens, it's a "restock." However, the other thing that restocking refers to is Neopets users buying any items from the official Neopian shops; when people do that, they also "restock." So, in short, restocking refers to shops putting up new stock and users buying that stock; generally, people aim to restock the items that they can sell for a good profit. That means that "restockers" are simply people who restock.
Another term that's important to know in this case because it's quite common to hear about when referring to certain restocked items: unbuyables. An "unbuyable" is an item that's not allowed to be sold in regular, user-run Neopian shops; items that are priced at more than 99,999 Neopoints aren't allowed to be put into user-run shops (but the Trading Post and Auctions House are fine), so any item that doesn't show up on the Shop Wizard is an unbuyable; something worth 100,000 Neopoints or more. So, when you hear about people "restocking" an "unbuyable," now you'll know what they're talking about.
Two newer terms that are useful if you want to restock are "clear" and "shop with items" (also seen as "SWI"). In Y16 shops were updated to clear all leftover items at random intervals throughout the day to make room for a new stock. This happens to almost all of the shops at the same time and is referred to as a "clear." Since most of the shops are suddenly empty, you might think you're restock banned when you're actually not. It is common to see users ask for a "shop with items" or "SWI" when this happens. Another user will respond with a link to a shop where items are currently stocked. If the shop with stocked items appears empty for you, you're banned. If not, you're able to continue restocking.
So, you know what restocking is, but when does it happen? Are there any specific times when items appear in the shops? The answer is no. There used to be certain times at which shops restocked, but it was fairly recently made completely random and so now the shops just get restocked a few times an hour (six to eight times, generally). So, just keep refreshing a shop page and hope for some good items to appear soon; that's all you can do.
Still, there are some strategies to how the better restockers go about restocking: first, of course, is simple patience. Anyone who restocks has got to be either lucky or patient; you could pass the time waiting for a restock by playing a game like Destruct-O-Match II, but that would risk missing the first few seconds of a restock, in which all of the good items will be snatched up by other restockers. So, it's better just to wait, maybe listening to some nice music while you do, and keep refreshing the page for the next restock. Keep in mind that a shop can only hold a maximum of 48 items, or 8 rows of 6 items. If a shop is full, it can no longer restock until some of its inventory has been bought or until the shop clears on its own.
Books are good items to restock; most are worth at least a bit more than what you pay for them!
Also, make sure to refresh the page by clicking on the shopkeeper or using the F5 key on your keyboard; you see, the shopkeeper (the picture, I mean) is actually a link to the shop page you're on, so when you click him or her the page will refresh! The F5 button is an alternate method for refreshing, albeit slower than clicking on the shopkeeper. (You lose precious milliseconds going from the F5 key to the Num Pad. However if you use the top row of number keys, it may take the exact same time as clicking on the shopkeeper, so take your pick!) It's better to use that method that the usual Refresh/Reload button in your browser because it keeps your mouse cursor closer to the items that will eventually be restocked; when restocking, every second counts.
When a restock occurs, you've got only seconds to restock a good, expensive item (if any appear in that restock). Sometimes there won't be anything good, and you should go ahead and familiarize yourself with all, or at least most, of the items that sell for the most Neopoints. However, when something good has restocked, here's what happens:
- When you click yes, you'll be taken to a page where you can haggle with the shop owner. To save precious time, don't haggle and instead just type in a pattern of numbers that you can type quickly and is pretty close to the amount of Neopoints requested (if they ask for 5,000, just offer 5,454 or 5,432).
- Then, to successfully offer the amount you typed in, you'll have to click on a small, slightly faded image of a Neopet in a box below (this is to stop some auto-restocking programs that users aren't allowed to use).
- When you click on that, you'll be taken to a page that either says the shopkeeper isn't satisfied with your price and wants more Neopoints (which won't happen if you didn't really haggle, or if you correctly clicked the pet) or a page that says you got the item! However, if you were too slow in the process, a different page will appear and say that the item has already sold out and that you didn't manage to buy one in time (meaning another user bought it faster than you).
Clicking any part of the image other than the Neopet will only delay you.
Also when a restock occurs, keep in mind that no matter how fast you are, you can only buy an item every five seconds. Even if you got one in half a second, you'll have to wait five more seconds before you can get to the haggling page again.
To begin, you should take a look at our Neopian Shops Directory. Any shops where you feel some familiarity with the inventory being sold are great places to start. To get an idea of what items to buy, our Neopets Item Database is very useful! Select the shop category you are interested in and sort by price to get an idea of which items will be most profitable. Since new items are added to shops on a daily basis, this is the best way to stay informed. While you're still a restocking newbie, you should try sticking to places with lots of opportunities to snag good items, even if other shops have much more valuable items. When you've gotten a lot of practice, you might try going for some more difficult places that yield better return like Battle Magic.
If you are still stumped, the Pharmacy, Chocolate Factory and Book Shop are all decent choices for beginners. There aren't any perfect places to practice, because there are always other restockers just like you at every shop in Neopia. You just need practice and patience to get better and get the good items before they do! Just remember to familiarize yourself with the worthwhile items of whatever shops you restock.
The Restocking Ban
The Restocking Ban is something you get when you've been restocking for hours on end, or even for several hours on-and-off. What happens is that you get banned from restocking, as implied. Don't worry so much, though. It's not permanent or even a punishment; it means that you can't keep restocking, and all official shops will appear empty until the ban is lifted. How long the ban is in place is completely random; sometimes just a few minutes, usually a few hours, rarely a day or two. The ban was made so that the master restockers couldn't go on restocking from when they wake up to when they go back to bed and so get all of the good items, most likely. The more you refresh the sooner you'll get it, so there's no way around it. If you are Restock Banned on your account, you are NOT allowed to use another account to get around it.
Depending on the age of your account, you will only see certain items when they stock in the shops. Newer accounts will not be able to see rarer items when they stock; you will need to wait for your account to age a little before those will show up with the rest of the items during a restock. Below are the age restrictions for different rarities:
|Age of Account||Rarities Visible|
|10 days||≤ r84|
|16 days||≤ r89|
|1 month||≤ r94|
|3 months||≤ r100 (everything)|
The Restocking Boons
Every two weeks, you can take part in battles at the Battleground of the Obelisk. If you join the Awakened, Thieves, or Sway, participate in the required number of battles, and your faction wins, you may be given the opportunity to claim the Five Finger Discount or Black Market Goods boons. These special bonuses will give you enhanced Restocking abilities for one week, until the truce ends and the factions begin preparing for the next round of battles.
Five Finger Discount
When activated, this boon will give you a 10% discount when haggling for goods in any Neopian shop.
Black Market Goods
This boon causes exclusive items to appear in shops during restocks. These extra items will be highlighted like the Dazzling Blue Mussel Shell below. The items are always rarity 83 or above and any Neopians with the Black Market Goods boon activated can see and purchase them, so you are competing with fewer people to purchase the highlighted items.
Below is a list of all shops & items we have seen to restock with the Black Market Goods boon. If you've encountered an item not listed here, please let us know!