Adoption and Trading
Have you been feeling like something—or more accurately, someone—is missing from your Neofamily? Of course, you can create a Neopet yourself or get one from the Pound, and paint or morph them yourself. However, this isn't the only way of getting your hands on your dream pet! Other Neopians can also help you out in putting together your perfect family of pets through the busy and acronym-filled world of adoption and Neopet trading!
Coming to a new home!
What is "Pet Trading"?
In the most basic terms, trading is when one Neopet is swapped for another. Unlike item trading, which takes place at the Mystery Island Trading Post, there's no official system for advertising pets you would like to trade; finding someone who owns the Neopet of your dreams, and likes one of your pets enough to swap, has to be done through posts on the Neopian Pound Neoboard.
Another big difference between item trading and Neopet trading is that, while someone on the Trading Post might be prepared to offer a whole set of various items in exchange for a single paint brush or map piece, you can't make an uneven trade with pets. Every trade has to be 1:1, that is, one pet sent and one pet received by each player. It's also against the rules to trade a Neopet for anything but another Neopet; you can't offer another player Neopoints or items alongside your pet to try and get them to accept.
So get that price tag off your Tonu before TNT notices!
If you see your dream pet "up for trade" ("UFT"), but you don't own the Neopet the owner wants, don't give up just yet! If you have enough space to create a Neopet, you're allowed to make one with whatever name the person you're trading with would like, and then paint or morph them to get the desired colour and species before trading. This is called a custom. However, what's not allowed is taking an already existing pet from the trader, repainting him/her and sending him/her back as your side of the deal. Effectively, this is the same as swapping a Neopet for a paintbrush or morphing potion, and is against the rules.
Every pet means something different to their owner, and you may well consider your Starry Shoyru to be much more important to you than that Faerie Aisha you just zapped with the Lab Ray—and there's nothing wrong with that! However, in the world of the Pound Chat, it's important to know that some pets are considered more desirable than others, particularly in terms of name and converted status, and also species and colour.
While everyone has their own individual preferences, there's a certain amount of general consensus about what is more desirable overall; you'll have to look a lot harder to find someone who'll trade their pretty, attractively-named Neopet for your Starry Chia than you will if you've got a Plushie Cybunny to swap.
Stealing all the owners' attention? Moi?
Name, conversion status, colour, and species are all separate considerations, but they often stack; a well-named pet who also happens to belong to a popular species will be considered more desirable than one with the exact same name but a species that has fewer fans. Some traders will also take Battledome stats and/or a pet's age into account.
Figuring out a fair trade can be complicated at times, especially since Neopets' unique names mean that every situation is slightly different. The most important thing is that both people are happy. If you want to make sure you're not being tricked (or offending someone by under-offering), you can always ask around for advice on what would be considered a fair trade regarding the pets in question.
The value of different pets is fluid and can be controversial, so Jellyneo does not endorse any one particular guide; instead, we recommend asking around the Neopian Pound Neoboard to find currently trusted and respected petpages that attempt to track consensus on pet values.
What is "Up For Adoption"?
Sometimes, the owner of a Neopet isn't interested in getting another pet in exchange, but just wants to make sure their pet finds a good home. This is often the case for people who are quitting Neopets or taking a break, but there's also a number of users called foster parents who dedicate themselves to finding this type of placement for random pets taken from the Pound.
The first option in that situation is to try rehoming the pet with a friend or a member of your guild, but this often isn't possible. So the next step is to look to strangers to find a new home for your pet.
Like traders, people adopting out pets can often be found advertising on the Neopian Pound board. Unlike traders, they don't take "offers"; rather, they're waiting for you to introduce yourself to them. In some cases, this is a simple Neomail stating that you're interested in the pet. Often, especially when adopting out a pet that many people want and that would be easy to re-trade, the owner prefers a more extensive introduction to you and your ideas for the pet: this is generally known as an application.
Look what my applicants wrote about me!
An application can either be sent by Neomail or copied and pasted onto one of your pets' petpages.
Every owner or foster parent will have their own ideas of what to look for in an application, but if you're planning to apply for a pet, the most important thing is to answer a few basic questions:
- Who are you?: Remember, the person you're sending the application to has probably never met you before. They would like to know your name, as well as a little bit about your experience on Neopets. What are your interests?
- Are you an active player?: Nobody likes to think of their much-loved pet sitting on a neglected account. Are you a dedicated Neopets player who'll keep coming back?
- Why are you interested in this pet?: Why are you applying for this Faerie Lupe (or Darigan Aisha, or Island Skeith) rather than simply creating your own? What attracts you to the pet?
- What are your plans?: If you were selected as the pet's owner, what would you do with them? Do you have any ideas in mind?
Try to keep your writing clear and accurate when sending an application; have a friend check over your spelling and grammar if you're not confident. It won't help you get the pet of your dreams if the foster parent can't figure out what you're trying to say.
Once the applications for a pet have been read by the owner or foster parent, they may ask each applicant questions to learn more about them. Eventually, one applicant will be chosen as the pet's new owner, and the pet will be transferred. It's often a hard decision; highly coveted pets may get dozens or hundreds of applications. So if you were turned down on this occasion, don't be too disheartened! There's no way of giving a pet to more than one deserving user.
Letting this happen even to Plushie Neopets is not recommended.
Once you've adopted a pet, the foster parent has no official claim over them. If you later change your mind about how you want to paint or morph the pet, or someday want to give them to a friend, you can't be reported to TNT for going back on the things you once said you planned to do. However, it's very bad manners to outright lie to a foster parent about your plans for a pet just because you think the fabricated version sounds more attractive. It may not be against the rules, but it certainly won't get you a good reputation.
Know the Language
A range of abbreviations has developed that makes advertising pets quicker and more efficient. However, the jumble of capital letters used in these posts can seem a bit confusing. Luckily, you've got this guide to help you out! You can also refer to the Trading and Adoption category of our Neopian Dictionary.
To some extent, the line between name categories is a bit blurred—attractiveness of a name is subjective, after all—but we've tried to give some typical ideas here to help you.
- RN stands for Real Name, and is possibly the most coveted category among owners who are choosy about names. RNs are names that are used for humans in the real world, like "Elizabeth" and "Ronaldo". Note that very unusual spelling variations (like "Elyzzebeth") are generally not treated as "proper" Real Names.
- RW stands for Real Word, and means that the Neopet's name could be found in a dictionary in real life. Misspellings of real words are not considered to count as part of this category, although they may still be attractive enough to count as WN (see the next point). Real Words from foreign languages are generally less valued than English ones. The simpler a word, the more desirable people tend to find it; "Launch" would be preferred to "Relaunching".
- MS stands for Misspelled, in which a pet's name is perhaps pronounced the same as a real name or word, but has some spelling deviation. An example might be "Elyzzebeth" instead of "Elizabeth", or "haertfellt" for "heartfelt". This is generally considered to be a detraction from the quality of the pet.
- VWN stands for Very Well-Named and includes names that are easily pronounceable, contain no superfluous extra letters/numbers, and are not too long. "Proper" (i.e. first-letter) capitalization can also help to nudge a pet's name into this category.
- WN stands for Well-Named. Names that aren't quite short or elegant enough to be considered VWN, but are still attractive and pronounceable.
- DN stands for Decently-Named. Slightly awkward or irregularly capitalized names, as well as names formed by combining several words. Many people believe a name with underscores or decorative letters can still count as DN, but numbers are definitely not allowed.
- BN stands for Badly-Named. Names that contain random jumbles of letters to the point where it's not clear how they'd be pronounced, or names cluttered with extra letters, underscores, and the occasional number.
- VBN stands for Very Badly-Named. Names with strings of numbers attached, that are obviously a joke or insult to the pet or his/her owner, or that drastically misspell something in a way that appears unfortunate rather than funny, are placed in this category. The majority of pets in the Pound fall into this category. VBNs are generally the hardest pets to foster.
- L is often used to stand for "letters". So a "4L" name would be a name with only four letters, which is very short. 3L and 4L pets are particularly popular.
- X and # are not abbreviations, but are used instead of letters and numbers when talking about trade offers hypothetically. A capital X is used in place of any capital letter, a lowercase x represents any lowercase letter, and a # represents any number. Their most common use is for asking people's opinion when choosing between two or more pets: "Which would you rather have, a Faerie Ogrin with the name format xxxx_Xxxx or a Robot Kiko named Xxxxxx#?"
- C and V stand for consonant and vowel and are used similarly as X. Of particular interest are 4L CVCV's, such as
reto, due to their simplicity and (usually) pronounceability.
You said your name was WHAT, exactly?
- UC stands for unconverted, which refers to pets that are still drawn in a certain old art style from before the introduction of customisation in 2007. Some people find the older designs of certain pets more attractive, and may be willing to go further to get one than to get the updated version.
- T# stands for tier #; for example, "T9" means "tier 9". This refers to a popular ranking system for assigning approximate values to different UC pets. Higher tiers imply higher value, either through desirability or rarity (or both). The tiering of UC pets changes somewhat regularly and can be a matter of controversy; to get the latest, we recommend asking around on the Pound chat.
- BD (and SBD) stands for (semi-)Battledome pet, meaning the pet has great (or semi-great) Battledome stats.
- HSD stands for hit points/strength/defence, the three most important Battledome stats. Sometimes these are written separately (e.g. "HSD 10/12/14") and sometimes as a single sum (e.g. "HSD 36").
- Basic means a pet that is blue, green, red, or yellow.
- RB and RG refer to a Royalboy or Royalgirl pet (there is just one Royal Paint Brush, but its effects differ by pet gender).
- Werelupe refers to a Halloween Lupe.
- IQ it stands for Island Quiggle, a species/colour combo needed for a certain avatar.
- A bunny or Cy is a Cybunny.
- Peo in this context refers not to the Petpet of that name, but to a Peophin.
- In the past, DUCK was used to refer to the three rarest types of Neopet during that time: Draik, UC, and Krawk. However, Krawks and Draiks have become much easier to obtain thanks to the Forgotten Shore, so this acronym is not used much anymore.
- PDRK refers to the most sought-after UC species and colours: Plushies, Draiks, Royals, and Krawks. This is essentially the successor to DUCK.
Nonono, I said I wanted a DUCK with good Battledome stats, not a *Battle Duck*.
- PC stands for Pound Chat which refers to the Neopian Pound Neoboard.
- UFA stands for Up For Adoption.
- UFQA stands for Up For Quick Adoption, indicating that the owner is in a hurry to find a home for his/her pet and will accept a very simple expression of interest. It's still a good idea to read the advert thoroughly to find out exactly what they expect.
- UFT/UFQT stands for Up For (Quick) Trade.
- OTB stands for Offer To Beat, and is used to show what pets a trader has already been offered in exchange for their pet.
- S stands for Seeking, and is used to create the equivalent of a wishlist (as in "S: a Chocolate Cybunny".)
- O stands for Offering, usually used in tandem with "S" as above (as in "S: UC Plushie Gelert, O: UC RG Kyrii").
Trading Scams and Traps
Unfortunately, there's a small number of malicious players spoiling things for unsuspecting users. Here are some things to keep an eye out for if you want to stay safe.
- Asking for or offering any kind of incentive or fee for a foster pet is not only a scam, but also against the rules. This includes sending items or Neopoints to try and influence a foster parent to consider your application more favorably. The only exception to this is to cover the cost of the transfer, which TNT decided to allow starting October 2021.
- Before you respond to an advert for a UFA or UFT Neopet, make sure that the pet's owner actually does intend to adopt out or trade that pet! While some people do ask their friends to help advertise, a few malicious users will claim to own a pet that actually has nothing to do with them, just to wind up other users or harass the real owner. If in doubt, a polite Neomail to the account the pet is on can't hurt.
- If you don't see anything to indicate that a particular pet is UFA or UFT, it's not generally considered good manners to ask. If you're really and truly interested in that specific pet (for instance, because their name has a particular sentimental significance to you), Neomail once and very politely ask what the situation is, but don't get your hopes up too high: most owners aren't interested in trading.
- Never ask for a pet that is labelled as "not UFA/UFT".
- While a foster parent can give you some ideas on what they would like to see in an application, they can't oblige you to present it in a particular form. Insisting on having an application on a nicely-presented petpage, for instance, is against the rules; owners are obliged to accept applications in Neomail form as well. There are still a few foster parents out there who don't know this rule or forget it from time to time, though, so if someone tries to insist on a specific format, don't be afraid to set them straight.
- If a Neopet is lost in a "Pound transfer" (i.e. not using the official transfer system), it's okay to Neomail the person who adopted him/her and ask for the pet back. However, offering or demanding any kind of reward for the pet's return is not allowed. Also, some unscrupulous users will pretend to be a lost pet's owner to try and get a free Neopet; if you're at all suspicious of someone who's claiming to have "lost" a pet you've just picked up from the Pound, don't hesitate to ask for details only the owner would know, like the original species of a zapped Petpet or what books the Neopet has read. You are under no obligation to return the pet if you don't believe the claim.
This article was written by: Dream, Suzuka, and Kenny