How to Start Investing in CS:GO in 2021
With all the hype revolving around crypto investments lately, let’s check out what our options are to invest in CS:GO and make a profit along the way. After the Arms Deal Update in 2013, CS:GO included a live market of tradable skins.
The market itself works just like any other investment platform; the prices of skins are in proportion with the demand for them. In other words, every skin is worth exactly how much people are willing to pay for it. The higher the skin demand, the higher the price. Of course, the price is also affected by different variables like skin type, exterior, quality, etc. We will talk more about that later. First, let’s focus on what’s really important and what is the best way to start your CS:GO investing journey.
What Does it Take to Start Investing?
It doesn’t take much to start investing in CS:GO. First of all, you must have some basic knowledge about CS:GO. You need to understand the mechanics of the game and the community behind it. In this particular case, the community is what is essential because they are the ones that dictate the price of every skin. This isn’t a stock market where one whale can own 40% of shares and manipulate the price. It is a fair, community-based market where everyone has the same chances of success. Therefore, if you understand how the community thinks, you will be able to predict prices.
With that in mind, investing also takes your time and energy. You can’t expect to start earning right away; nothing comes overnight. So, if you aren’t patient and you want to make easy money fast, this probably isn’t for you.
Of course, you also need to be interested in this game and have some starting capital. The initial capital does not have to be significant. Although a higher starting capital will bring a higher profit. Still, you can start trading from as low as $10 and slowly move forward towards your goal. Your balance will grow with every successful trade, and you will be able to invest more after every transaction.
Thus, your profit will also grow, and you will be able to spot new investment opportunities along the way. If you are planning to make some long-term investments, you will also need to expand your storage. Therefore, make sure to buy some Storage Units - these cost around €2 per unit. Every Storage Unit will allow you to store an additional 1,000 items in your inventory.
When to Start?
The best time to start investing in anything is right now. The sooner you start investing, the sooner you can learn about the market and start making a profit. There is always an opportunity, but you need to know what and when to buy. Buying at the right time will play a significant role in the success or failure of an investment.
When to Invest?
The best time to invest is during any active operation. Why is that? It is mainly because you can purchase skins at low prices and hold them until the price goes up. It does not matter which skin you buy; even if it is low consumer grade skin, you will still make a profit. After the operation ends, those skins won’t be dropped anymore. For example, consumer grade (common) skins can be purchased for just $0.04 during the operation. Afterward, people continue to buy those skins to use them in trade-ups and so the supply will go down, causing its price to go up. It really is Economics 101; low supply and high demand always result in higher prices. So, make sure to always buy skins during any active operation.
It is also good to buy Souvenir Items during Major tournaments. Their price almost always goes up after the Major ends.
What Are the Best CS:GO Items for Investing?
There are plenty of investment opportunities on the market. You can invest in pretty much anything, from weapon skins and weapon cases, to stickers and sticker capsules. In addition to that, as crazy as it sounds, you can also invest in Operation passes.
The easiest way to earn money is, of course, buying low and selling high. In other words, you can buy skins at discount prices and resell them for profit. Try to look for high discounts to maximize your profit. If you don’t know where to find them, just head over to DMarket Bot and look for high discounts. If you are confident that the skin is worth more than the price suggests and that it can be sold for more, just go with it.
With that in mind, let’s check out which CS:GO items you should look for.
The holy grail of all CS:GO skins are weapon csgo skins, without any doubt. The most valuable and the most expensive items on the market are always weapon skins. On the other side, some of the cheapest items available are also weapon skins. Therefore, you need to learn how to spot valuable weapons and know which weapons to invest in. Before all that, make sure you already know the difference between skins and why their prices are as they are. For those who don’t already know, check out our CS:GO Skins Quality Guide and learn everything you need to know about skins and their rarity.
Keep in mind that you need to invest in skins that you can sell later. There are some quite expensive and rare skins that just can’t be sold because players prefer other skins of a similar price. If you are ever unsure about the popularity of a skin, take a look at its trending in recently sold items. If one skin is frequent and you consistently see it, it is safe to assume that it is a popular skin that can easily be sold.
Another factor that you should include is how new the skin is. If it is a skin from the latest released collection, its price will probably be much higher. New cases bring new skins to the game, and it is an unwritten rule that their price always starts high and slowly decreases over time. As more cases are opened, the supply increases and the price goes down. However, if the skin is a popular one and players actually use it, the price will go up again eventually. Let’s take a look at one example from a popular skin that is highly used in the game.
AWP | Asiimov
The graph you can see above is a price chart of AWP | Asiimov (Field Tested). This is probably the most famous AWP in the game used by many professionals like Skadoodle, coldzera, and KennyS, who likes to call it Magic Stick. As soon as the weapon was introduced, its price was already above €100. However, it slowly started to decrease and, at one point, you could buy it for around €20. But due to the fact that this skin is popular and it is well-used, its price started to go up once again. It took a few years, but now, AWP Asiimov is at an all-time high, valued at €140. If the trend continues, the price of this weapon will increase even more.
Besides regular weapon skins, there are also knives and gloves, which are, by default, the rarest skins in the game and this fact greatly affects the price. These skins don’t contain cheap items within their categories. Their price makes trading really slow, and you will have to be really patient and wait for the right buyer who is willing to pay such an amount.
Investing in weapon cases is a little bit trickier. You should look at weapon cases as a long-term investment. You basically need to predict if the price of the specific case will go up or down in the following months. Luckily, it is not so hard to predict. Let’s take a look at some weapon case investment opportunities that have already happened in CS:GO.
Operation Hydra Case
Operation Hydra Case is a classic example of a good investment. When the operation first came out, and the new case was introduced, it was valued somewhere around €4. However, this case was a common drop during the operation, and many such cases were in circulation. Players were eager to sell them because they were getting those cases for free after every few games. They didn’t understand the potential value of this case after the operation was finished. Due to that, you could buy one case for only $0.07 at the time. If you invested just $10, that would buy 143 cases. One case is now worth around $8, which would have resulted in $1134 of pure profit. Moreover, the price of this case will only go up as they are not dropped anymore, and are now in limited supply.
Cobblestone Souvenir Package
There are plenty of variations of Cobblestone Souvenir Packages from previous Majors. What they all have in common is their price, which is above €400 for every single case. Some cases from old Majors are worth more than €1000. The main reason for this is a legendary AWP Dragon Lore that can be obtained from this case. During every Major that involved Cobblestone in the active map pool, this case could be bought for around €20. Given the fact that Cobblestone is no longer in the Active Duty map pool, there is no wonder the case is worth so much today.
Stickers and Sticker Capsules
Truth to be told, the community isn’t so crazy about stickers, and they aren’t sold in such high volumes. However, investing in stickers can be a great opportunity, especially if you buy Autograph Capsules during Major events. Stickers of the most popular teams like Na’Vi, Astralis and Liquid usually show the best growth after each major. Also, the price can go up if the team is disbanded after the tournament. Stickers in the form of professional player autographs also show a steady increase in price after just a couple of months. If the player becomes MVP of that tournament, ends his career, or switches teams, those stickers can be worth much more than the initial price.
With that in mind, stickers are also a long-term investment because their price may or may not increase over time. The real-life examples are some teams that are no longer active on the scene. The CS:GO team Titan got disbanded in 2016 due to financial issues. That means their stickers are unique, and there won’t be any Titan stickers in the future. The rarest Titan skin is a Holo version from Major in Katowice 2015. The skin was worth only €3 at the time, but it is now priced at €650.
Another real-life example is former CS:GO team iBUYPOWER that received a ban from competitive tournaments due to a match-fixing scandal. Some stickers of this team are so rare they can’t even be found on Steam Marketplace as their price exceeds $1,800, which is the maximum price set by Valve.
Investing in Operation Passes2 is a rare opportunity that comes along once every few years. Valve often offers a 75% discount on the Operation Access Pass at the end of the operation. If we look at past operations, the price of every operation pass will inevitably go up. So, always buy as many as you can at a discounted price. They can be purchased for a limited time, which means their number is also limited. After the sale, they can’t be bought anymore, and the supply slowly starts to decrease. As the supply decreases, the price naturally goes up until there is none left. We don’t need to look for an example because every Operation so far is an example. Though, the most profitable one ever was Operation Vanguard. Let’s take a quick look at the price chart of this Operation Pass.
The initial price of this operation was $5.99. However, over time, the supply shrank, and now there aren’t many left. That resulted in a 10,000% price increase. One pass is now valued at over €500, and it can only go up as the supply still continues to decline.
To sum up everything that has been stated so far, investing in CS:GO is profitable, but it is a long process, and it requires a lot of time and effort. You need to know the market inside-out, do your own research and predict prices based on multiple external factors. So, make sure to be an active member of the community and gather as much information as you can. When the opportunity presents itself, you will be able to spot it. Resist the temptations, and don’t be greedy. Even though profit is the primary goal, it shouldn’t be your main focus. Just focus on the market and try to make the right choices using your own knowledge. Don’t rely on luck.
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