How to become a successful trader: learning to rate skins, stickers and cases

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There are a lot of subtleties to evaluating items in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. More often than not, everything’s simple: the rarer the skin and the lower the float, the higher its price. In some cases, however, things work a little differently. And these are exactly the cases that the CS.MONEY blog is going to cover today.

Cases

By definition, no case brings profits when you open it. That’s a given. Still, we can talk about several scenarios with cases. The first one: the price when selling one. The newer the case, the higher its value. In the first few hours of the operation, a new case can sell for ten dollars or more! On top of that, old cases can be worth a lot, too, thanks to their rarity. 

The second option is the ‘profit’ when opening one. Right now, the smallest losses will follow when opening the following cases: Snakebite, Dreams & Nightmares, and CS:GO Weapon Case 3. You’ll lose about 35% (here you can find out the statistics on cases) of your case investment when unlocking these boxes. The worst cases to open are the eSports 2013 Case and the Glove Case. Opening these will return less than a third of your original investment.

Knife corner & glove knuckles

As mentioned previously, the usual principle is that the lower the float, the higher the price. Sometimes, though, it’s the other way around. For knives like the Karambit and many gloves, it’s not so much the float that matters, but the combination of pattern and float. Fact is, these parameters jointly affect the condition of the blade corners and the knuckle protection on the glove. 

Even such a small difference affects the price

Consequently, two very similar Karambit Dopplers may have different prices just because one of them has a tarnished blade near the handle. It’s a small detail, but it can impact the price of such items. More or less the same applies to gloves. Take two pairs of Driver Gloves Black Tie, both Minimal Wear. And yet, one is more expensive simply because it has intact knuckles. Be sure to pay attention to little things along these lines.

Esports stickers

As for the value of eSports stickers, there are nuances to evaluating these as well. Obviously, the prices of Katowice 2014 stickers are only going to go up. But what about 2019 Katowice stickers? They’ll get more expensive, too, but not all of them! Let’s take a look at the Cloud9 stickers from the aforementioned Katowice Major 2019.

All stickers from that tournament demonstrate an upward trend in terms of value. Right now, an Astralis fan will give twice as much for one regular Astralis Katowice 2019 sticker as they would’ve done right after the Major. With Cloud9, the situation is even more curious. If you had bought a couple of stickers from this team at the end of March 2021, you’d have paid ten times as much as you would’ve paid on the last day of the Katowice event! 

Why’s that? It’s all about the connection between the sticker price and the team’s image in the pro scene. At the end of March, Cloud9 announced that they were temporarily discontinuing their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive enterprise. This news immediately caused the price to increase. Interestingly enough, this growth was then quickly followed by a decline. A week later, the stickers lost a third of their value (or even more) on the market. Some investors must have suffered serious losses. 

By the way, the Cloud9 club recently signed players from the Gambit lineup. Guess what happened to the prices of the Gambit stickers? Of course, they rose

Cloud9 | Boston 2018 Sticker price chart
Cloud9 (Holo) | Katowice 2019 Sticker price chart

By the way, the Cloud9 club recently signed players from the Gambit lineup. Guess what happened to the prices of the Gambit stickers? Of course, they rose.

Good contracts

We’ll finish our post with another exciting factor that you should remember when evaluating skins: their attractiveness for contracts. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive features a tool that allows you to ‘recast’ ten finishes of the same category into one skin of a higher category. This is a fascinating process that enables you to create, say, a new AWP Dragon Lore. 

The specific mechanics of the contracts are as follows: at the output, you get one of the finishes from the same collection to which the input skins belong. If there are multiple collections, you get an item belonging to a randomly selected collection, but only from the ones used in the contracts. 

This leads to remarkable price changes. The Desert Eagle Cobalt Disruption belongs to The eSports 2013 Winter Collection. It’s a great finish for contracts, as the next ‘step up’ in its collection is only the M4A4 X-Ray. This means that using the Desert Eagle Cobalt Disruption in contracts can greatly reduce the number of possible skins at the output. 

As a result, the gun has become immensely popular with those into skin contracts. So much so that its price has increased from $5 to $70 and is still going up! If you’re going to make a long-term investment in weapon finishes, be sure to consider the role of the contracts factor on the price. 

As you can see, there are quite a few peculiarities in determining the value of items in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If you’re a skin novice, don’t forget that the float and pattern aren’t the only parameters that influence the price tag. Always make sure you have as much info as possible about the items you want to buy or trade. 

By the way, we have another tip for those new to the world of skins: subscribe to our Twitter, where we regularly post interesting stuff. It may come in handy for you!

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