How to Start Trading in CS:GO

Trading in CS:GO can be a really hard thing to start as there is just so much to learn. If you want to get started with trading, here is a quick guide on how you can do that.

How much will I need to invest?
This might be a bit of roadblock for new traders but it is important to have a decent starting investment for trading. If you decide to trade with just a few cents of inventory items, you’ll be competing with thousands of others who are just seeking to make a profit. Since, at this level, items are abundantly available and serious traders won’t be looking to buy those cheap items for high prices, the profit margins are very low. You may find yourself stuck with items that are hard to sell and periodically even make losses more often than you would otherwise.

A good starting investment would be a 100$ worth of keys but you could do well with much less. Even just having 20$ of inventory would place you at a decent advantage over trying to make a profit with scraps. As your items’ values go up and you have more cash to spare, you can earn higher profits. Even if you end up with skins that are slow to sell, you can continue trading on with the rest of your inventory. Any decently knowledgeable businessman will tell you that you have to spend money to make money. While CS:GO trading may not be as intense as a full-fledged business, this is still a valuable lesson.

Gathering Information and Getting to Know the Market

Before you jump into trading, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the trading market. It is important to know what items cost what and how various factors affect these prices. For this purpose, you can utilize a number of tools that are available at your disposal. To check prices for relatively common items Steam Analyst and CSGO Exchange are fantastic websites. Additionally, try to browse through the CS:GO Trading subreddit and CS:GO Lounge to try to see which items are in demand. This will get you an idea of how easy it is to sell an item. This is important because, early on, you don’t want to get stuck with a high-value item that is difficult to sell.

Playing the game is also an underrated part of trading. Being a part of the community and immersing yourself in its culture will give insight into how the other party thinks. This will allow you to better evaluate how newer items are likely to be priced in the long run. You’ll also pick up nuggets of useful information and might even be able to find players willing to trade with you. In-game hours are also more likely to make you seem less suspicious to traders who may rightfully be skeptical of new traders.

Once you’ve got a decent idea of how the market works and are confident enough, it’s time to start trading. Buy items that you find are on sale for less than they’re worth and sell them on for a profit.

‘Rep’ and How it Will Affect You

When you start trading, you may notice mentions of something called ‘rep’. This is particularly important when you plan on performing trades with real currency, that will force you to use other avenues than Steam’s secure trading service. A decent place to start would be to have an older Steam account with hours in multiple games. When you complete a trade, people will often leave rep comments in your Steam profile. For cash trades, this is often not enough, because Steam profiles are not moderated by anyone but you.

There are well maintained Steam Groups such as CS:GO Rep, where you should set up a ‘rep’ thread. You can ask anyone you trade with to leave a comment on that thread. Since the volume of messages matters, you can benefit from multiple smaller transactions instead of a single big one. It might be useful to buy a few keys off the Steam store and sell them one at a time. This will cause you to lose some money but you’ll gain some all-important rep.

On a similar note, be wary of trading with new accounts who are offering deals that seem too good to be true. Be careful and if you see anyone behaving suspiciously, it’s best not to trade with them.

Making a Profit

You’ll often hear the term ‘buy low, sell high’ but, in our experience, this is only half true for CS:GO trading. It’s quite hard to sell most items for more than they’re worth as other traders are aware of market values. Hence, you’ll be aiming to buy lower than the item’s market worth and selling it at just a bit higher. People are often willing to sell for lower if you are offering keys or other forms of ‘pure’ currency. Also, holding onto items for too long could be detrimental. So, if there’s a chance that the item’s value may fluctuate wildly, it’s often better to sell it for a low profit or even a loss.


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