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As some of you know, the original thread of this title was demolished during the Zynga Player Forums update/transfer. So, I figured it was a good time to do an updated version
Most people know that when you post an item and someone clicks it, you Give one to the person who clicks to Get one.
Some people do not know that part of your inbox works the same way. I will go over the 4 typical sections of the inbox, what you will see there, and how they function when you click them.
Please keep in mind that I do have an itemized inbox, so I can see every single item, and some people have a grouped inbox, so it will look differently - but it functions about the same.
This is your inbox (sitting innocently next to the language/earth icon)
Not to be confused with your "mailbox" which is at the front of your farm next to the order board/market stand and contains, "special deliveries".
This top section, you will not actually see all day. It is a post item that will appear approximately every 12 hours.
This section will only ever contain 1 post item. On my farm, I have the "Mystery Gift" item. When I post this item, other people can click it and send me a mystery gift. Mystery gifts range from coins, to baby bottles, to 5 packs of power. I have received as many as 5 of these mystery gifts from one post, but farmer's are only allowed to click 1 per day.
You may have a post item for literally anything else. Wood, metal, pride fences, etc. If your post item is one of these items, you will not be able to ever click a mystery gift.
The most loved, and let's call it the first REAL section of the inbox, are gifts.
Gifts are items sent to you either through the popup when you load your farm, or through the Send Gifts button at the top of your farm. People sending gifts can choose from several, but most people send water, since it is in such high demand.
The XP that you see in the gifts section is given to you when someone visits your farm and clicks "Send Gift". They are also sent to you when someone accepts your visit to their farm.
You can save gifts until you need them, they will not register on your farm until you click "Accept and Send". When you "accept and send" a gift, it will send 5 coin stacks back to whomever sent it to you.
For the most part, you can hoard these indefinitely, however - I've never been able to get my gifts section to go much higher than 200.
If you skip everything else in this thread, this is the section you want to read.
The Requests section are items that your friends need. They will not receive those items until you click send.
There are 3 very important requests in this section: Water, Fertilizer, and Baby Bottles.
When you click "Help" to "Give one" you will also "Get one".
I do not recommend making it a habit to hoard these items indefinitely. As with the gifts section, there is a limit to how much your inbox can hold. It is best to use them as soon as you can, so you can get them to your friend as soon as possible - and also to make room for more coming in.
It is also a good idea to send these requests as often as you can. The request line for Water, Fertilizer, Baby bottles, does not affect how many people you can request for ingredients.
Please also note, that if the Baby Bottle says it is for a recipe, the request came from the ingredient request line and therefore is NOT a give one, get one item.
To send requests for these give one, get one items, you will want to click their respective meters. The first popup will usually tell you to buy something - close that - then click it again. The second popup will prompt you to use any that you already have in inventory, and when you have, it will give you an "Ask" button.
To send give one, get one baby bottle requests, just try to raise any baby with no bottles.
I try to make it a habit to send these requests specifically for others to hold onto. Since they also send me requests, we both can utilize them when we can, and since so many requests are out there, I usually have a good stream of incoming that I don't need them sent to me immediately.
The limit for Requests is hard to pinpoint because it shares a limit with notifications. Approximately 1500 total.
When you clean out your requests for other things (maybe holding back a dozen bottles or water), all those items get sent and show up in the notifications of your friends. When your friend clicks that notification, it sends you a 5 stack of coins. So, lets say you take a day off. If you're not around to send the part requests, then there are a lot less 5 coin stacks coming in. With less notifications, there is more room in requests. It's all very interesting.
If you're like me, you might log on just to clean out your inbox, even if you don't have time to play. In those cases, it appears it is split 50/50 and I will have around 750 requests and 750 notifications. But if I take a day off, I can load the farm and find over 1,100 requests, and only 400 notifications.
I guess now we should talk about notifications
Notifications are pretty straight forward. It is just telling you that these items have been delivered. They will NOT register when you click them, because they registered when you loaded your farm. In fact, I'm convinced that's why you get unresponsive plugin messages. Your game is reading the inbox to see what stuff to write to inventory. And don't worry if the notification comes late, this is very common. If you just used 12 sugar, and you go into your inbox and see that some was delivered, odds are pretty good you already used it.
I did completely fail to get a screenshot of the notifications section - you'll have to forgive me it's late, and I just wanted to get this done so I can sneak in a little farming.
There is one interesting thing about notifications.... the 5 coin stacks do not register until you click them. These also cause an unresponsive plugin message if you click as fast as I do.
Since I only have 1 hour to edit, I hope I didn't make any horrible mistakes in this posting.
I hope you found it helpful