The ways in which people make money online never cease to be incredible. Gone are the days when earning an income required hard work or crime. The gaming industry has made it possible for people to make money from sources you might never have expected.
One such source is the trading of virtual items. The global virtual goods market is valued at $67.5 billion and is expected to hit $203.6 billion by 2028. In other words, there is quite a lot of money to be made if you know what you are doing.
Sounds interesting? It is. Let’s dive in and learn more.
What Exactly Are Virtual Tradable Items?
Tradable items come in many forms and depend on the game. However, they tend to be similar across different platforms. Skins and cosmetic accessories are among the most commonly traded items.
They allow players to customize the appearance of their characters, avatars, or items inside a game. One of the biggest reasons for this market even existing is the need for attention. That’s right, people seek out unique or rare skins to stand out in the game. Other times, it could be a collector’s obsession to own as many unique items as possible.
Regardless, these factors are influential enough to create a multi-billion dollar industry.
In games with combat or equipment systems, weapons, armor, and gear can be tradable items. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are known to have users buy and sell individual items worth obscene amounts of money.
Earlier this year, trusted CS: GO trader zipeL helped mediate the sale of an AK-47 skin that was worth $400,000. Many such items exist with high price tags. The Karambit Case Hardened (Blue Gem) knife worth close to $1.5 million is a good example.
It seems unbelievable that such amounts are being exchanged for what is essentially a cosmetic item in a video game.
It’s not just CS: GO. Roblox items and accessories are wildly popular for trading and selling. Some types, like the limited U items, were initially sold directly by Roblox for a set period.
These tend to be much sought after and can fetch high prices in the trading market. As with most tradeable items, the rarer, the more valuable. Some items, like Tix Wings, have only 19 owners. Owners of such items have to decide whether to sell or keep them as valuable collector’s items.
In Roblox, items with less than 100 copies are considered rare. The Wings of Liberty are a good example of such rare items. So is the Valkyrie Helm.
How Does One Get Involved With Item Trading?
The idea of getting rich via item trading sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Well, don’t get too excited. It takes considerable know-how and experience to break into the scene.
The first thing you will want to do is to thoroughly understand the particular game you choose to get into. Learn about the in-game economy, rarity levels, and the value of different items. Moreover, each game may have its own trading rules and mechanics.
Begin with low-value or common items to gain experience and build your trading skills. Trading low-tier items will help you learn the dynamics of the trading market without risking high-value assets.
Often, a lot of your knowledge is going to come from following the official forums and participating in discussions. You probably realize now that item trading isn’t something that can be done with a casual approach.
Item trading might seem like something straightforward, but it is easy to waste a lot of time. Can you make a living by selling virtual items? Well, it is possible, but it is also difficult to develop a reputation for being a reliable and fair trader.
Also, there are a lot of bad decisions that you can make during the process. This can range from overvaluing or undervaluing items, having a lack of patience, overtrading, and even a lack of research.
At the same time, it can be relatively straightforward to start trading right away. According to Gameflip, it can be as easy as searching for the item, comparing prices, and completing the transaction. Many websites focus on making the buying process as frictionless as possible.
A Word of Caution
Successful traders are usually long-time gamers who genuinely enjoy the games they play. Item trading becomes a fun side hustle for them. However, if you are solely looking for a get-rich niche, this isn’t it.
Virtual item markets can be highly volatile. Item values can fluctuate rapidly based on supply and demand, game updates, and player preferences. What’s valuable today may not be valuable tomorrow.
Moreover, There are experienced traders with established reputations who dominate the market. As a newcomer without any reputation, it can be tough to secure deals.
Remember, the world of virtual item trading is also not without its share of scams. There is hardly any regulation or oversight, and market rules can sometimes feel arbitrary and change suddenly.
Regardless of the difficulty, who would have thought that trading virtual items could become such a fascinating and profitable endeavor? Such is the world we live in today. The internet, with a little help from the gaming industry, has turned virtual items into real-world treasures.
Are you going to be selling $500,000 cosmetic items to anonymous Chinese collectors within a few weeks? Probably not.
However, with some effort, it can very easily give you a little spending money at the end of each month. Honestly, enjoying a large pizza paid for by virtual items is something worth experiencing.