- Introduction to CS:GO and skin trading
- What exactly are CS:GO skins?
- Can CS:GO skins be considered an investment?
- Which skins are in big demand?
- Are expensive skins worth investing in?
- Why are cheap skins worth investing in?
- Should you buy CS:GO skins?
- Bet on your favourite CS:GO teams at LV BET
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a game that offers more than just cut-throat FPS action. Its skin trading dynamic rivals that of the New York Stock Exchange, and one look at the thousands of constantly changing skin prices is enough to see how.
INTRODUCTION TO CS:GO AND SKIN TRADING
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — better known as simply ‘CS:GO’ — is an online first-person shooter (FPS) that has been the talk of the town since its release in 2012.
To some, the game might appear old, but CS:GO’s popularity has been on the upswing for as long as it’s been online, with drops in player count occurring infrequently at the hands of other FPS games.
Embedded in the game’s clean and compact FPS nature is the market that few game studios in the world would want to miss: skin trading. While brushed off by seasonal players, CS:GO skins are fervently sought after by the collectors among veterans of the game.
Is it possible to make extra money through CS:GO skins trade? In this post, we’ll aim to unveil precisely that.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE CS:GO SKINS?
CS:GO skins — also referred to as ‘character finishes’ or ‘weapon finishes’ — was a feature introduced to the game in the ‘Arms Deal’ update. Simply put, skins add different textures to in-game items, such as weapons and characters. Some even add different effects to the item, for example, an imprinted easter egg.
When it comes to obtaining weapon skins or character skins, players have quite a few options to choose from:
- Earning them through random drops by playing in online community and official servers.
- Opening containers, such as weapon cases or souvenir packages.
- Trading 10 skins of the same rarity for one of a higher rarity with a Trade Up Contract.
- Trading with other players.
- Buying CSGO skins from the Steam Community Market.
Now, for the million-dollar question: are CS:GO skins worth investing in? Well, there are some things to consider.
CAN CS:GO SKINS BE CONSIDERED AN INVESTMENT?
To preface this question, we’ll have to underline the fact that not all skins hold the same value. The most valuable skins hold the greatest demand, whereas the least valuable skins aren’t normally sought after by too many players — generally speaking. Having said that, there definitely are exceptions.
Another important aspect of skins is that their price doesn’t necessarily reflect their inherent value. Cheap skins can attract great demand if they look cool and have been discontinued. For example, the M4A4 | Howl skin was discontinued due to copyright infringement, thus propelling the skin’s value to a mind-boggling extent.
Most people in the business of buying and reselling skins aim to purchase them while they’re cheap and sell them once their value increases. Granted, some skins never increase in value, which means that ending up with an inventory full of cheap skins is quite a big possibility.
WHICH SKINS ARE IN BIG DEMAND?
The factors contributing to skins’ demand are float values, rarity and special features — all of which require close observation before committing to a purchase.
The float value is synonymous with the wear and tear of skins, and it negatively affects the skin’s value the more it is used in matches. The float value ranges from 0.00 to 1.00, and there are five categories under which a value can fall:
- Factory New: 0.00 to 0.07
- Minimal Wear: 0.07 to 0.15
- Field Tested: 0.15 to 0.37
- Well Worn: 0.37 to 0.44
- Battle Scarred: 0.44 to 1.00
Different collectors prioritise different float values. Some may prefer Factory New skins that haven’t been worn yet, while others might enjoy collecting Battle Scarred skins to add to their collection. Either way, the float value is one of the biggest considerations buyers and sellers make when it comes to determining the value of a skin.
As is the case with material, real-world items, skin scarcity and value are inextricable. Most rare skins are considered that way due to the fact that they are very uncommon, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, they could be rare due to other factors unrelated to the game.
Certain skins offer special features along with their change of appearance, making them much more valuable in the process. Some features can also be applied to a skin, thus increasing its value considerably.
Most players prefer skins that can attract attention, whether it is by their design pattern or even special features.
ARE EXPENSIVE SKINS WORTH INVESTING IN?
High-spending collectors are the biggest market for expensive skins, with most of them always on the lookout for extremely rare skins to add to their collection.
Whether buying an expensive skin is a shrewd investment plan or a myopic purchase will yield different answers depending on who answers the question.
As a rule of thumb for anyone looking to make money by buying and reselling skins, it isn’t advisable to purchase expensive skins unless with the intent to sell them for an inflated price later on.
The real investment opportunity lies in cheap skins, and we’ll explain why in the following section.
WHY ARE CHEAP OR FREE SKINS WORTH INVESTING IN?
A cheap skin isn’t necessarily a worthless one. Although such skins might not be top-dollar ones, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth collecting and that their price won’t inflate in the future.
It’s important to keep in mind that, in the context of CS:GO skins, cheap skins aren’t synonymous with common ones. Cheap skins can still be rare, and it is for that reason that many players are interested in buying them. The easiest way to sell cheap skins for above market price is by creating a bidding war between potential buyers.
What’s more, you won’t have to pay a lot of cash to get your hands on cheap skins since they will be way more affordable than their expensive counterparts. Browsing the Steam Market can help you identify some good investment opportunities at a low price, so feel free to see what cool skin you could get.
In order to wrap up this segment, it’s important to point out that cheap skins are much easier to sell than expensive ones. Many players are generally willing to pay for cheap skins, whereas expensive skins normally attract a smaller pool of buyers.
SHOULD YOU BUY CS:GO SKINS?
The bottom line is that some CS:GO skins are definitely worth investing in, while others are not necessarily worth the money. Identifying between the two might sound like a hard undertaking, but it is actually relatively simple.
In principle, a cheap skin isn’t as worthless as an inexperienced player might think. A cheap skin that is both scarce and in pristine condition (in terms of its float value) can really be worth the purchase — even with the hope of selling it for an inflated price in the future.
It should also go without saying that a cheap skin won’t necessarily increase in price very quickly, if at all. Investing in CS:GO skins can resemble stock investment and gambling online in more ways than one, so one shouldn’t spend too much money on them with the sole hope of having them sold for a profit.
In fact, the price of any skin can drop as easily as it can rise. Whether the price of a skin can increase tenfold or plummet to half its initial price is something that no skin-trading connoisseur can really know, regardless of their experience in the matter.
Having said that, doing research about the skin you’re interested in buying is always a good idea. One of the best sites that help in this regard is Skinwallet: “a mass-deposit website that allows you to sell CS:GO skins in huge numbers in mere minutes,” as its website description claims.
BET ON YOUR FAVOURITE CS:GO TEAMS AT LV BET
Whether it is supporting your favourite CS:GO team or just seeing the most valuable knife or gun skins in action, keeping your finger on the pulse of this esports classic is a must. Feel free to follow the teams playing the latest CS:GO games by visiting the betting markets over at LV BET.
Curious about more related articles? Have a look at the LV BET Sports Blog, where we delve deep into everything sports-related, including esports news and announcements. Use your summer break to brush up on the business of esports betting.