Super Duper Guide to Malling/Managing a Shop
What exactly is malling, and can you make money with it? Usually, people will say no, but from personal experience, it is quite profitable.
Lately, the shops haven't been restocking that often, and it's eating into all our profits. I figured that some people would like to try this out.
I have made ~18million in 2 months. (with advanced)
It's not great, but it's not bad either, considering how low risk it is.
Feel free to skip to the last 2 sections.
History of Malling:
Before pre-historic times when society wasn't yet literate, Neopets had a tremendous following numbering in the MILLIONS.
People used the shops to sell what little they can scrap by for extra NP.
Then, a small group of brave souls started customizing their shops to specific categories.
"OOoo" said one. "I love petpets, and want to only sell them."
"I love food, and that's what I'm only going to sell," said another.
Eventually, these individuals met with each other and formed the 1st archaic semblance of a mall.
^All of this information is historically accurate (verified by me).^
Concept of Malling (in the past)
Back when there was a huge following in the 2000s, most of the players were still little children.
Due to this fact, the idea of a shop wizard escaped them. To buy their stuff, they would browse the huts and look at mall banners.
This allowed many mallers to dramatically increase their price beyond the SW prices (I'm talking about a 100%+ increase in many cases).
Each maller formed an alliance with each other to stick to their category. They can stock only up to 20% or less of other people's categories. (Ex. A food shop can only have at most 20% of collectable cards or toys).
Also, each maller had an obligation to update their banners and donate for the neoboard ads.
Shoppers would use the banners to navigate from 1 shop in the mall to another affiliated shop. This gave the mallers more "hits."
At that time, it was such an effective method that they would increase prices until they stop getting SW hits, and the only hits they got were from their malls and hut position.
That brings up another point of "hut positions."
There are 3 marketplaces: Neopia Central, Mystery Island, and Haunted Woods.
Neopia Central was the most competitive (in terms of shop sizes), then mystery island, then haunted woods. Therefore, the shops with the biggest sizes transferred their shops to Neopia Central to get more hits.
(Believe it or not, people used to browse huts and look at mall banners).
Malls would strategically force their members to upgrade to certain hut positions to generate more hits.
The higher the shop size, the higher up the shop (and mall banner) appears in the hut. Once it reaches a certain size, it gets "upgraded" to the next hut. However, this can be potentially negative, since they are at the bottom of the new hut, so people would strategize.
Benefits of Malling
So you may be wondering how this impacts you.
Well, historically malling has been a great NP generator.
The biggest shop size (now abandoned) is ~3500.
From shop size 1 to 3500, it takes around 1.2 BILLION NP to upgrade.
That person has made enough money to upgrade to 3500 from just malling.
-Make NP relatively effortless
-Low risk, compared to ABing in stamps and magic
-Easy place for beginners to get a hang of RSing
-Make the account look more "legitimate"
-It's actually pretty fun in the beginning
-You'll help clear out shops for other ABer
-You be able to RS in shops that have 22+ items. (My most notable AB item was in Kreludor Bookstore, where I was RSing some low-profit books for my shop, and got a 3mil item since nobody was RSing in a full shop).
- You won't have to deal with Resellers
-You won't have to find buyers. They will come to you!
I have been in several different malls, so the malling experience is much different than malling in the past.
1) It is less profitable to set yourself in a category. You'll make more NP via opening a general store that stocks everything.
2) Board ads are a waste of money. They may have drawn shoppers in the past, but most of the players are much older, so they can SW or SSW search the items.
You'll get 10 hits max a day from neoboards. (It takes a million to appear at the top and 100k to get any hits at all).
The net gain from the ads is in the negative.
3) It is perfectly fine to NOT join a mall.
If you just open a general shop, you'll make the profits anyways.
Hits from mall members may be 10/day.
It may be profitable for other types of mallers (those that stock overpriced petpets or clothes), but your store should be the lowest on the SW.
4) Continuing from point 3, overpriced items barely sell. You have to know what you're doing in order to sell above the SW.
For the purpose of this guide, your store will focus on stocking at SW prices.
5) Hut Positions DO NOT matter. You'll get 1 hit per week or 1 hit per month. I bet that most people won't even be able to find the huts anymore.
How To Make NP
1) First obtain 100k-500k through SSing, or legitimate means.
2) Open your shop and upgrade to shop size 100+
The bigger your shop, the greater variety of items you can stock. This translate to more SW hits and profit.
Eventually, you'll want to upgrade your shop to size 500+
3) Open abrosia and set the profit margin to 400.
Yes, you read correctly. I don't set it to 40k, or 400k. 400 seems to be a decent number.
You can go above 400 (you'll get less items) or below 400 (riskier, since many items aren't accurately priced in the database. This may lead to a negative profit).
4) Toggle with your settings to make sure you have ~1600 to 2000ms buy time.
Having a buy time that is too fast is NOT that important, as you'll be gunning for items that have low profit margins.
5) Set item management to every 2 minutes (very important, since you won't be able to buy with a full inventory).
6) Run abrosia in store(s) of choice.
Having advanced really helps (but it is manageable without advance).
It's really nice to be able to choose a store of your choice or buy only selected items (more on that later).
Also, don't just stick to 1 store. AB 1 hour at a store, 1hour at another store, and so on.
7) Run the shop auto-pricer.
Set the AP to 5NP below the lowest on SW (should be the default setting).
Also make sure that there is 3 searchers per item (should also be default).
You can switch it to 2 items for a quicker pricing, but it will be less accurate. (more on this later).
9). Modify your buys with Abrosia.
Try different stores and different profit margins.
Also, if you have advanced, you can choose to not buy items that you already have enough stock of (one time I had 50+ icy tissues).
10) Use your profits to continuously upgrade your store.
You do not want to upgrade your store beyond size 750. The return on investment takes a long time (it takes 150k per upgrade in size at this point).
More importantly, with a shop size 750+, it'll take too much time to price your items.
1) How much NP can I make with malling?
On average, I will make 100k+ per day depending on traffic.
It really depends on shop size (greater variety of stock to choose from) and how often you price items.
Your items will quickly become not the lowest on SW after you price it, so you have to frequently re-price your shop.
2) Already mentioned in 1, but price your shop every so often.
I notice that I have 200k-400k profit on the day that I price my entire stock.
Unfortunately, when you stock 700+ different items, you get SW banned easily, so it may take hours to price your entire stock.
3) Look for items with actual uses.
Faerie quest items, food, drinks, and chocolates go quickly because they actually have uses. Some shops (usually the ones that were present in the beginning, stock items that have uses).
When TNT implemented newer shops, they didn't create a market for them, so steer away from those.
4) To price your entire stock quicker, set the APer to do only 2 searches for the items. (This may result in less accurate prices).
It will allow you to price 60-100 items before you are SW banned.
5) Be careful with the APer.
For some reason, if you decided to leave it out all day (to price 700+ items worth of stock), it may freeze.
I have noticed that the program freezes if I leave it out too long after I press the "save shop prices" button (prices may still save).
This may seem like a trivial issue, but you'll pull out your hair when you find out 5 hours of pricing your stock did not save.
5a) When using the APer, select 60-80 items to price (if you set search to 2 per item).
Then price the item, then save shop prices.
This ensures that the database will be updated and the program won't freeze on you.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I have noticed that the information won't be sent to update the item database if you don't fully price all the items you have selected.
Ex. You select 100 items to price, but you only price 80 before you are SW banned. I believe information won't be sent to the database until you price the other 20 you have selected.
("Updating database" phrase doesn't show).
6) Sometimes databases may be a little funky, and you end up buying unprofitable items.
EX: Owabit is priced at 2047 in the database, but a shop wiz search shows that it is ~1k only, so you have a negative profit.
That is OKAY!
Your net profit gain will almost always be greater than your net profit losses (due to differences in database and SW prices).
To circumvent this, you can create a manual list (if you have advanced) to weed out items that you know aren't profitable.
Since I'm to lazy to do this, bypassing that shop is usually the best option.
Even if you pretend it doesn't exist, that works too.
7) You can buy items using other programs too.
I have experimented with the USAB from ValorSuite and bought codestones and books below SW price. Then I sold them at SW price.
I usually like AB better, but you can't really AB codestones.
8) You can still join a mall.
Make sure you get the food/drinks category, or general category, as they make the most NP.
9) Remember half price day.
You can easily make 1 mil just from half price day.
I can stock up on 1k+ items, each with profits of 1k+ (at least 1 million NP).
Edited by SuperDuperPuppu, 04 October 2014 - 12:18 PM.