HOW TO SAFELY PURCHASE A UC NEOPET
DECIDING ON A UNCONVERTED NEOPET
Even with their rarity overall, there are many different types of UCs available for purchase! Deciding on one might be as tricky as securing it. You might choose to narrow it down to your favorite species or your favorite color and select from there, but there are a few factors that weigh in when it comes to selecting as well.Of course, the main factor that one should consider is price. Before purchasing any UC, you should be aware of what your budget is and how much, at maximum, you are willing to spend. Although UCs are rare, some are far more rare than others, and their cost will more than likely reflect this. The most expensive UCs tend to be Plushies, Royals, Draiks, and Krawks, while the smallest price tags rest on Mutants and Babies. Other aspects factor into the price of the UC pet in question such as legitimacy, general risk, name, etc.If this is your first time buying an UC, it is very recommended to go for something cheaper. This will allow you to get experience and fly low under the radar of nosey users who will be out to make your securing process hell. It will also ensure that you don’t lose hundreds of dollars the unfortunate event that something happens to your UC or account while you’re still learning the ropes. There are a few different types of labels that sellers typically use to describe the origins of their pets being sold.
Another factor to consider before buying a UC is the name of the pet. People generally tend to like very well named pets, which usually means around 6 or less letters in the name and proper capitalization. Very well named pets will be pricier than badly named pets. Badly named pets usually have random or unnecessary capitalization, underscores, or numbers in the name. People generally prefer well named pets because they look cleaner and more professional. If you are purchasing the UC for the purpose of later trading it, it is recommended to buy a pet that is well named to attract a wider variety of offers. If the pet is going to be an honored member of your pet family, or if you just don’t care about names, purchasing a badly named pet can be a good way to save money with your purchase. It all boils down to personal preference and the plans for your pet in the future.
As mentioned above, a factor to consider when choosing what UC pet to buy is when your plans for the pet are. While it may be more expensive, it is normally a better idea to purchase the UC you want directly instead of purchasing a cheaper pet to trade up to your ideal UC. The reason for this is because trading an bought pet is usually risky and stressful due to the attention that advertising the pet will bring you and the pet in question. This also requires a lot of preparation, patience, people skills, and fine attention to detail. While you still have to take efforts to keep your UC safe if you purchase the one you want ideally, it is still less risky and easier to blend the pet in when you do so. By purchasing the pet you want in the first place, you will be saving yourself a lot of time and stress that it would otherwise take if you decide to purchase trading fodder.
BUILDING YOUR NEOPETS ACCOUNT
People who own UCs are usually skilled players who have spent a lot of time either trading for a UC, or have spent a lot of time before the conversion to paint their now-UC pet back then. In advance, to appear to others as a skilled player who takes Neopets seriously, you should also build up your accounts. While your side account just has to look like a side and not a shell, your main account is far more important. Depending on how rare and high-tier your UC is, you may need to shoot for quite and impressive account. Thankfully, this can be worked on during the time that your UC caches and is easy to make an illusion of.There are many resources available that provide CSS coding to make your lookup look visually pleasing. Many premades CSS pages produce coding that is very customizable, to where you can alter colors and images to be personal to your own interests; this makes it look more like an actual, individual person is behind the account.Another way to make the account look nicer would be to customize your pets. The point of Neopets is the pets part of it, so you should put effort into your pets (or at least fake that you care about them.) There are countless wearable items out there that can be bought cheaply with just neopoints, but investing just a mere $5 on NC will make you come off as a more serious and legit player. While it is good to dress up your pet, you should be careful to plan out a certain color scheme or theme to match each pet, as tacky and overly colorful wearables slapped together is even worse than no wearables at all to some people.On the topic of coding and caring for your pets, you should treat all of your pets to a premade lookup with nice colors or images. You should make a character or personality for each pet to make it seem as though you truly do care about your pets. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or thought out heavily, but a simple TV trope cookie cutter will do. Something such as a runaway princess or an elemental diety will be more than enough to show you’ve actually thought about your pets. Petpages, although they are extra work, go even further to prove that you care about your pets. Even if the petpage isn’t centered around your pet’s character, using a checklist for avatars, stamps, or cards to fill up the space will make you seem like you care.Alongside your pets and coding, you should also focus on your collections: avatars, stamps, TCG cards, and trophies. While these don’t have to be stellar, they should reflect that you care about your account statistics. It is recommended that you have an avatar count above 200 at the very least for almost any UC pet. While stamps and TCGs aren’t as commonly judged, they should still not be neglected. For low-tier UCs, it would be recommended to have at least 50 to 100 or more stamps – for high-tier UCs, it would probably be safer to have 300 or more. The same concept can be applied to TCGs and trophies: the higher the tier of your UC, the more above and beyond you need to make your account look.
RECEIVING THE UNCONVERTED NEOPET
Even after building up your accounts, there is still more work to be done in preparing to receive the UC. Depending on what you and your seller decide, they may either transfer the UC to an account of your choosing, or you may receive the account that the UC is aleady on to aid in your purchase. Regardless of how you choose to receive the UC, patience and preparation are needed in abundance to make the transaction go as smooth and risk-free as it possibly can.Essentially, you should choose to have the UC sent to an unlinked side account. An unlinked side account is a side account that does not link from your main account’s lookup – preferably a side account that no one knows about. If you choose to purchase your UC on the account it’s already residing on, this can serve as your unlinked side account as well, given that the account is of course safe or secure. Your goal with this task is to not have anyone stumbling on your side account during the cache process. Information about caches will be provided further in this guide.No matter where your side account comes from, you should do your best to make it not look like a shell. A shell account is typically a very newbie looking account with little to no stats or collections. A shell account typically looks effortless and empty. Your UC is only as good as the account it comes from – if people see an UC pet on an account that’s under two years old with no avatars, they might be inclined to report you just on this alone. There is a multitude of ways to improve your account to make it look like a side and less like a shell.During the time that the pet spends cacheing on your side account, you will want to slowly start falling into inactivity on your main account. This generally means slowing down how often you post on the boards and guilds, spending time making or replying to neomails, and just generally trickling to a standstill when selling or buying items, feeding kads, sending high scores, and other activities that would allow your username to be visible.Once the UC pet has cached on your side account, you should go fully and completely inactive, completely ceasing your activities on this aforementioned places on site. After waiting at least three days, you can send the UC pet to your main account and then remain inactive while allowing the pet to cache on your main account. Once the pet has been cached, you can very slowly start integrating back into the community and site features.
AFTERCARE FOR BOUGHT UC NEOPETS
PLEASE NOTE: Neopets Cache’s no longer exist, due to Neopets making it so you need to be logged into a account to view lookups. So you can disregard this as a whole.
A cache is a screenshot of a web page taken at a certain date or time. Pages cache when google comes rolling around and takes a quick screenshot of the page every now and then. This feature exists to allow people to view an archive of the web page when it may no longer exist, or when the web page takes too long of a time to load.This ties into Neopets in particular because other users will be able to access a screenshot of your pet from the past. If it shows the pet has been on a different account than yours and you have no explanation as to how this happened, they will lunge at the report button. Having your UC pet cache properly before rearing your head into the Neopets community is necessary unless you want to be frozen. While they are not always an extremely accurate representation of a pet’s legitimacy, they are very important to users regardless. A lot of people are curious about a pet’s cache because they want to know the pet’s history and be able to view any sort of proof regarding it – if caches don’t line up or if anything is even slightly out of place or suspicious, other users will leap to the conclusion that your pet was bought.With how important caches are to players, it is crucial that you obtain an accurate one before you interact with the community. The more people that see your pet with an inaccurate cache, the bigger chance it is for you to be frozen. Caches on neopets usually update at least once every 3 weeks, but this extend or retract to be longer or shorter amounts of time depending on certain circumstances.There is no absolute safe way of making your UC pet cache in a timely manner, as a cache updates when google spiders crawl onto a webpage, take a screenshot, and then submit the screenshot to google servers. In order for a page to be crawled upon and its cache updated, google spiders have to be able to find it through other pages. While crawling over pages that are in their queue to crawl over, they can, along the way, pick up the links to other pages that are nearby. For example, if they start at the Neopets homepage and then crawl to the boards, they could then pick up the links to people’s user lookups who are currently on the boards, then the user lookup’s listed pets, and so forth.If your pet has no cache at all to begin with, the easiest way for it to gain one is to very minimally expose it. Google spiders crawl over pages that they have already cached in order to update them every now and then, and in the progress, they will also hunt for new pages to cache. While it is never a good idea to expose yourself on the boards, you could attempt to submit game scores for high score tables that aren’t actively watched, so google spiders will be able to crawl to your user lookup from the high score tables.
If your pet already has a cache but you simply need it to update, an easy way to help encourage google to update it would be to minimally edit the pet’s lookup or petpage. Every now and then, google goes through all of its indexed pages and updates the cache of pages that have since been updated. To update the pages you want to be cached, the method is as simple as writing a new sentence or a few words every day. While this method takes the longest about of time, it is also the safest, as a natural cache runs no risk of being fishy on its own.
Waiting for a cache can be stressful and leave you wondering if you’ve done it correctly. Rest assured, caches will update naturally if you give them enough time and patience while following known methods to maximize the chance of a quicker cache update. However, there is a method that is rather instant, taking up to usually a day at most. This is done by submitting your URL to google through a form to specifically request a page’s cache to be updated. This method, while much quicker, does come with the very high risk of a double image. A double image is when your pet’s cache will show their flash image twice, stacked on top of one another.
CREATING A STORY
While caches are a necessity, they alone will not be enough to stop some exceptionally nosey users from prying about the origins of your UC pet. Having a believeable story even further padded with evidence, coupled with a cache, can make most users satisfied. An important thing to consider when coming up with a story is writing it down somewhere only you can see it, such as a physical notepad. This way you can easily keep track of what you’ve decided on and stick to it, as telling different people different stories will have you immediately called out.In the case that you are called out, there is truly nothing you can do other than have a solid story or alibi and hope people believe it. This is why it’s so important to take necessary precautions along with building up your account to avoid being called out in the first place. In the event that you are called out, you may have to rely on a solid story alone to avoid being reported.An important thing to remember is that people will usually only grow suspicious of your story if you flat out say it. As they say, the guilty dog barks first. You should only provide a story privately when asked, and you should keep it precise enough to where it can be explained in 2 or 3 neomails in the person questioning you has to ask for more details.Deciding what story to tell – if asked for one – can depend on a variety of circumstances regarding the UC pet in question and your account. However, it is common sense to NOT ever use one story; this story is the classic “I got it in the pound” scenario. Users are very heavily invested into pound_release and will not ever buy this story, no matter how legit you make it seem. Saying that you received an UC pet in the pound is only recommended if you’re looking to be frozen.On the topic of much more probable stories, the first aspect to focus on is your personal account. A story that works for an unknown account might not work for a very well-known account, and vice versa.
Unknown accounts are generally accounts that are not ever or are very rarely active on the boards and other exposing site events. They usually don’t have extreme scores or RW usernames that encourages anyone to view their profile.For lower tier UC pets that are on an unknown account, it is usually passable to say that you’ve always had the pet before the conversion happened and it was a lab zap, boochi victim, or painted by you personally. In order for this story to work, the pet should either be on an account that was made earlier than April 27th, 2007, or you should be able to link to an account of this age and claim it was your old main. Regardless, it would be wise to make the pet and the account feel very homely, as if you’ve owned the pet for a long time. Some outdated/broken CSS might help with this illusion if you’re able to find any.For a mid-tier UC pet on an unknown account, people might prod or poke you about it a bit more. Mid-tier pets consist of UC faeries and greys, which have very dynamic poses and expressions that make people highly seek them out. For mid-tier UCs, it may be excuseable to say that you traded for the pet, especially since mid-tier UCs are constantly being traded and passed around. For most people, telling them that you traded, say, an UC Faerie Kougra for the pet does the trick. If someone is being exceptionally nosey, however, you can give them the name of a frozen UC to appear more confident and specific in your answer.For a higher-tier UC pet on an unknown account, you must be extremely careful. People tend to think that a high end UC on an unknown accont is instantly suspicious. The safest option would be to disguise yourself as someone who is very slowly coming back to Neopets after a long hiatus. It helps to further this illusion with outdated or broken CSS. If choosing this method, you should be very careful of your account’s trophies, customization, and other public statistics or collections to make sure you don’t have any newer additions.On the topic of coming up with a story for a higher-tier UC on an unknown account, it may also be an option to state that you traded your pet for another higher-tier UC, and solidify your statement by giving them the name of a frozen pet of this tier.
Semi-known accounts will generally be accounts that post on the boards a few times a week, have active neofriends who they keep in contact with, and participate rather casually in site events. For lower-tier UC pets on a semi-known account, the best option might be to stage a trade publicly. This would involve getting a decoy semi-main or a main with the pet in question on it, waiting for the pet to cache on said account, and then making a board looking to trade the pet. You can say that you’re seeking certain names with a custom, pets with a specific birthday, etc. You can then hop on your actual account, wait around for a few days, and then publicly offer. Logging onto your decoy again, you can reply to yourself saying that you love their offer but have to consider it while waiting to see what other offers show up. The trick in this is to play both accounts as humanly as possible; for the dummy account, really pretend to be reluctant to trade the pet due to sentimental value. As for the actual account, make it seem like you really want the pet and perhaps even overoffer with a custom of some sort to tempt your dummy account. Make sure the accounts are built up and have different CSS, different listed interests, different names and even typing styles and usage/choice of smilies. As for mid-tier UCs on a semi-known account, you may be asked a bit more since you have such a desireable and endearing pet. To best pull this off, it is recommended to have a second account that poses as a friend of yours. Make the friend appear as though they need to quit Neopets due to, say, it being too distracting from school – perhaps their UC is the reason they keep crawling back to Neopets, so they know they need to get rid of it. You should have your userlookups link to one another to make it publicly known that you are friends, or perhaps even have a conversation with yourself every now and then on the boards so your friendship is visible. When your friend sadly has to quit or go on hiatus, their UC can be a gift to you! It helps to write a blurb on your pet’s lookup along the lines of, “Came home forever on December 3rd! Thank you so much Katie, I will forever cherish her! *squish*”When it comes to higher-tier UCs on a semi-known account, the task can be daunting. For UCs of the higher tiers, you really need to make the adoption process look personalized. Most people don’t give away a high-tier UC at all, even to their friends.It is recommended to mention an older sibling who used to play Neopets back in the day, perhaps one who even introduced you to the site. A bit of psychology goes a very long way with this. You should play the role of the sibling and make it look like they are very reluctant to let go of the pet. Make the sibling account log in once a week or so, as if they are debating on what to do or are trying to get back into the game. With this story, outdated CSS can really help give a solid illusion of an older and inactive player. In the meantime, you can casually complain to your friends every now and then about it. “He has such an awesome UC and it’s just rotting on his account, and he won’t let me have it no matter what I offer him xD I mean, come on, what are you going to do with an UC when you don’t even play anymore?! Ugh, lol. Anyways, I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and I’m hoping I don’t need a root canal.” In a few weeks time, make it look like they finally caved in and let you have the pet.
OVERALL TIPS FOR BUYING UCS
Regardless of how well known your account is or how rare and elusive the UC pet in question is, there are some general tips and gidelines that one should follow to make the transition go as smoothly as it possibly can.Truly consider if the UC pet looks awkward or out of place on your account. Very critically evaluate your account, as you can never be too careful. Ask yourself the following: if this account wasn’t yours and had this UC pet on it, would you be suspicious? If the answer if yes, work even harder until you can safely say no. A good exercise would be to browse the neoboards, click on some random user lookups, and ask yourself if you’d be suspicious of them having the pet. Evaluate what would generally make you suspicious about that person: account age? Low avatar count? Not enough effort into their pets? Ugly or tacky CSS? Once you have in mind the bare minimum amount of stats it would take for you to not be suspicious of the account yourself, you should shoot to even further beat that expectation. It’s a lot of work and effort, but you’d always much rather be safe than sorry.Take into consideration the date or time period that you transfer your pet. For example, if you’re using the story that your friend is quitting Neopets and adopting out her UC due to it distracting her from school, you might not want to attempt it in the middle of the summer, when school would be out. Most people adopt their pets out in the beginning of the month when transfers reset, so it might provide some extra padding to your legitimacy factor if you do the same. For high-tier UCs, adopting them out around Christmas, if you’re willing to wait, can add a layer of protection and legitimacy.If you decide to actively use the boards, use your wits about it and stay clear of trouble. It would be best to avoid interacting with or posting on the boards of people who are known to report UCs, or just generally hungry for and active in drama. You don’t need to have your UC as your active pet at all times, either. Generally, you can still be active and participate in conversations without bringing blaring attention to yourself. Just be polite, friendly, and casual.With UCs, it’s usually just better to quit while you’re ahead and to not bite off more than you can chew. People will happily report you for having too many UCs, even if you obtained them all legitimately. It’s wise to stick to one or two if your method of obtaining them is buying them.
When posting on the boards, specifically the wretched PC, always be with someone else, or even surrounded with a group of friends. Even if you have to have an unrelated account or two posing as your friend and bumping with you, it’s still far better to have safety in numbers to reduce your chances of anyone deciding to publicly confront you.
Over time, try to make friends with other users, or at least butter them up a little to get on their good side. A little bit of kindness can go a long way. Simply posting a “Good luck!” or helping others bump their boards will be highly appreciated. Buying someone the item for their faerie quest and sending it to them instead of giving them a link to the cheapest shop is a tiny and inexpensive act of compassion that will make you seem generous and helpful. Leaving compliments on things that players take pride in, such as their collections, their customizations, their art, or their pet’s characters, will flatter them and possibly make their day. If you are kind to others, they may very well stick up for you if you run into trouble.