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What Is The Best Time to Buy CS2 Skins?

The skins trading industry is a typical market, and therefore it follows pretty common market rules. This means that—in general—the prices are dictated by market demand and supply.

As we are talking about game items without any physical form, there is no such thing as different production value. CS2 skins are created within the digital environment, and their cost is based on rarity. The developers may make specific items, like knives, legendary rare, with only a limited number available. This makes the prices reach the sky, where possessing a knife skin becomes a sign of being among the elite. Then the developer may release common skins, available even from the drop, and they will be cheap on the market.

There are some other factors that affect skin prices, such as general artistic beauty (which is subjective, but many people share similar opinions), usage of skins by famous people (such as esports professionals at big tournaments), or releases of new items to the game. All of them are the basis for price fluctuations.

Knowing how the skin market works may help you decide when it is the best time to buy CS2 skins. It’s essential for running a successful trading business, and even if you just want something for your private collection, it’s nice to save some money and still get your skins.

Regardless of your motives, you can buy any skin on DMarket. This article will give tips on better timing for this.

cs2 skin market trends

Let’s list some powers that directly affect prices of CS2 skins.

  • New skins are most likely very expensive. There are not many of these items on the market yet, and people are excited about getting them. It’s low supply and high demand. The same skins get cheaper after a few months. More cases are opened, and more offers appear on the marketplaces. The fuss has passed, and when that happens, it’s a good time to buy new skins.

  • Increased playing activity shakes CS2 skin prices. This trend has a two-sided effect. On the one hand, players come to the game and want to show off with cool skins. This increases the demand. On the other hand, more cases get dropped and then opened. Some of those skins go to the market and increase the supply. It’s pretty much impossible to predict the direction of such price fluctuations. Periods of increased playing activity may be triggered by various factors, such as big updates (release of CS2) and prominent esports tournaments.

  • Substantial game updates may make some skins less popular and therefore cheaper. For example, if the developers suddenly nerf the fire rate of MAC-10, we can expect to see the prices for these weapon skins getting lower. The same pattern works for price increases after big buffs. If, say, G3SG1 and SCAR-20 become more damaging than AWP (which is not going to happen), we will see their skins getting more expensive. This trend is a rare occasion, as Valve is very careful with game balance. The weapon power has been relatively settled for ages, but small adjustments may happen and affect the skins market.

  • The world economy directly affects the skins trading market. If everything is more or less stable in the real world, the game items industry follows its own trends. An economic crisis may make people save money, and skin prices will naturally go down (smaller demand). Or something different may happen. During the pandemic, more people played Counter-Strike, and that increased the demand and the prices. This market is part of global processes.

These are the general market trends that affect skin prices.

One important thing to add here is the impossibility of guaranteed predictions in the market. However experienced a trader you are, it’s not as simple as saying “Now we have the cheapest skins; we buy them and then sell them for twice the price.” Considering trends may give you an idea on how the market works, but it’s always an unpredictable risk. Trends set the basis of success for clever and lucky traders.

Studying stats on CS2 skins best sellers in 2023 may help you come to better conclusions from general market trends.

Seasonal Influences and Special Events

collage from cs2 events

Something that can be predicted is the occurrence of various events throughout a year. Even if we can’t say what happens with the price of this or that skin, we sure can see some changes coming. These events are:

  • CS2 esports tournaments increase activity within the community, so more people purchase skins. It may be better to buy skins before such major events, before demand increases. And even better, to buy them a bit after tournaments, when the general obsession has ceased, and players start to sell what they obtained from drops and cases.

For example, PGL Major Copenhagen 2024 happens in March, and Perfect World Shanghai Major 2024 is planned for December. It may be better to purchase skins a month or two weeks before the events and then two weeks to a month after them.

  • Holidays give people some spare time to play games, including CS2. These are periods of increased activity with generally the same effect on prices as tournaments. Still, the effect is less pronounced, as we don’t have any active promotion of skins here.

It may be better to buy skins after holidays (late winter) and vacations (the end of summer, early autumn), when people reconsider their activity and start selling items they don’t need.

  • Steam Sales have a direct effect on gamers’ spending. It’s appealing to buy a game with a huge discount (even if you don’t plan to play it anytime soon). Many people start selling items to get funds for these purchases. Be there to not miss this opportunity.

Steam sales are quite predictable. They happen every season, and you can find info on timings on the web.

Impact of Game Updates and New Skin Releases

cs2 skin releases and updates

These factors activate a few trends: activity of players, changes in the meta, and additions of new items to the general collection.

As we mentioned earlier, players’ activity has varying effects, and it’s hard to predict what will dominate. Game updates bring more people; they want more skins, which increases prices; but then they sell skins they got in the game, which decreases prices.

Periods of increased activity make more people want to get free skins. Some of them remain in the game, but some flow to the market, and this may affect the price too.

If the updates change the meta, the predictions become more accurate. Still, current changes in the game balance rarely have a big effect on which weapon is more popular in CS2.

Releases of new skins are actually the biggest power on the game items market. When this happens, new skins become super popular and quite expensive. Old skins may get a significant price drop, so it’s a good period for buying them. Then, after a while, new skins become cheaper—better wait before purchasing them.

Remember the addition of Agents to Counter-Strike. When they were new, they were unfairly expensive, but regardless of that, people wanted them. Now, the price is stable and dictated more by rarity.

Or, the release of Anubis Collection Package in February 2023 affected the popularity of other weapon skins from that set, such as P250 (people wanted Apep’s Curse) or M4A4 (people wanted Eye of Horus).

Traders and gamers should keep an eye on new skin collections and act accordingly.

Community Market vs. Third-Party Sites2

DMarket mascots

To buy CS2 skins cheaper than usual, it’s a very good idea to use third-party marketplaces. While both the Steam Community Market and many external platforms are affected by other trends described in our article, third-party sites may offer promotions for various periods.

For instance, the DMarket marketplace regularly offers discounts to buyers. The purpose is obvious—to bring more people to the platform, show them all the wonders of using the service. Some promotions are permanent, and some are connected to seasonal events, tournaments, game updates, and basically, all big events happening in the game and around it.

If you look for cheaper CS2 skins, look for this list.

Rarity and Skin Condition Considerations

cs2 skins of different quality

Counter-Strike has shown the rule of keeping skins from an older game in a newer one—from CS:GO to CS2. Why is this important? It directly leads to increasing prices of rare items in the long run.

Currently rare skins get only rarer in the future. Buying them after release (a bit later than the initial fuss) may be a good investment.

In theory, skin exteriors may get worse because of active usage in the game. Say you buy something Factory New and after a while get Battle-Scarred. In practice, this requires a lot of usage, so you can mainly ignore this factor for your long-term investments. Better-looking skins are usually more expensive and they keep their value. Old-looking skins are usually more common and, therefore, cheaper. It’s rare to have a skin of a worse condition available in smaller numbers.

To summarize the information, it is better to buy CS2 skins:

  • a bit before or a bit after big tournaments
  • after holidays
  • during Steam sales
  • right after releases of new skins (for older items)
  • a few months after releases of new skins (for these new items)
  • after a period of big activities in the game (caused, for example, by big updates)
  • during promo periods on DMarket

These tips are never 100% accurate, as the market is simply unpredictable. If you want to earn money while playing CS2 and from trading skins, you absolutely have to be in the whirl of activities within the game and around it, follow every possible market change, and check what happens with the prices. Thorough observations will give you a better understanding of various market processes. With an addition of some luck, you will easily build your successful skins trading business.

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DMarket is here to help you with this (sorry, not with the luck part). Stay tuned to us on Facebook and Twitter for everything around the game items industry. Let’s power up your business together!

Eugene Bozhenko image
Eugene Bozhenko
Eugene Bozhenko is an enthusiastic gamer and professional gaming journalist with 14 years of writing experience. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Ukrainian National Union of Journalists. Eugene has experience writing about culture, sports, modern technology and politics but gaming remains his long-term favorite topic.
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