There are many e-sports games which attract a lot of attention online. One of the most popular is CSGO. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of a handful of games where players can acquire skins, to improve their game cosmetically. Trading, buying and selling skins has become a business in itself, but how do you ensure that you don’t get robbed trying to acquire skins? In this article, we will take a quick look at CSGO skins, reveal how you can obtain them cheaply, and discuss how you can try and make a buck selling them on for a higher price.
Not everybody is an expert CSGO player, and they should have the chance to get involved, too. Seasoned pros can skip ahead to the section about acquiring cheap skins. With that in mind, let’s begin by looking at what CSGO skins are.
What Are CSGO Skins?
For those of you who aren’t aware, CSGO skins (sometimes referred to as “finishes”) first appeared in the Arms Deal update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. They are essentially weapons, which feature different textures. These can be equipped and used in-game, but they have no real perks or bonuses, save for cosmetics.
How to “Uncrate” Skins
Ordinarily, players will acquire skins simply by playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. These come via loot crates/drops where you open CSGO cases for skins. You could also land weapon cases which reward you for completing missions and objectives. You will need a key to open weapon cases, and these can be purchased from Steam, traded with other players, or bought in the game.
“Uncrating” skins in this manner is the cheapest way to acquire skins. However, there are also exchanges and marketplaces where players trade, buy and sell skins with one another. This is where you could end up bagging quality skins or making a buck or two, and these form the basis for most of our article.
The Value of CSGO Skins
Some players go to great lengths to cosmetically enhance the look of their weapon. Again, these skins give you no gameplay advantage and do little more than look fabulous. However, some are far more valuable than others. What determines the value of a skin? Several things, to be honest. Here are just a few of them:
- Collections: Approximately 100 skins have been released for CSGO. These span ten collections, ranging from Assault to Aztec, Dust to Office and many more.
- Quality Grades: Skins are also graded by their quality. The quality of skins denotes their availability, and these range from Consumer Grade (which are very common), up to exceptionally rare Gold grade skins.
- Wear and Tear: Another aspect to consider is the age of the skin, or wear and tear. These range from Factory New to Battle-Scarred, and everything in-between.
- Other Features: Skins may also be marked as being a Normal, StatTrak or Souvenir skin. Normal skins are incredibly common as their name suggests. StatTrak skins tend to keep statistics on how many kills you have acquired, although these will reset if it is sold to another player. Lastly, Souvenir skins are those which have been won via e-sports competitions. As you can imagine, these are the rarest and most valuable skins around and often have price tags above hundreds of dollars.
As you might imagine, skins lost and gain value at different times. In most cases, the value of skins is determined by the factors listed above. This is especially true of the availability of a skin, its demand and wear. Like all exchanges, consumer demand can inflate or deflate the value of skins.
Top 5 Cheapest Skins
Of course, if you want to get starting snapping up skins, it always helps to go for the more affordable, cheaper skins to begin with. This gives you the ideal opportunity to learn how marketplaces and exchanges work. These skins are all plentiful, can be found relatively easily, and are cheap to acquire.
- AK-47: Jungle Spray (Field-Tested): If you want a nifty, realistic AK-47 skin, the Jungle Spray, Field-Tested AK-47 skin fits the bill. Ideal for any wannabe drug lord, this jungle camouflage skin can cost between $2 and $40, depending on the grade and wear you are after.
- Five-Seven: Urban Hazard (Factory New): A simple pistol skin found in the Vanguard Collection, the red and black skin costs as little as $0.50.
- M4A1-S: Boreal Forest (Minimal Wear): With a woodland camouflage cover, the minimal wear version of this skin costs as little as $0.25.
- MP7: Urban Hazard (Factory New): This flashy orange and black style skin is ideal for MP7s and is a steal at just $0.25 on average.
- P250: SuperNova (Minimal Wear): A StatTrak skin is also available here, with the pistol skin costing as little as $0.50 in some places.
Note that some of these cheap skins will also be available in other editions, which can alter the price a touch.
How to Find Cheap CSGO Skins
As mentioned, skins can be bought in several different places. You can head to the Steam Community Market and start there. You will have several filters that you can use to find cheap skins, and one of those is the price. If you don’t use the filters properly, you may find yourself having to scroll through many pages of skins. If there is a specific skin out there for the price you want, the filters will make short work of finding it.
Another way you can go about acquiring cheap skins is to head to third-party markets. These will often have even lower prices, but you always run the risk of being conned by a trickster. If you want to find original, rare and top CSGO skins on the cheap, then third-party markets are ideal places to head to. The number of skins here is considerably larger than the Steam Community, so the value of less in-demand skins is often less.
Make a Buck or Two Selling Skins
As mentioned, consumer demand will see the value of a skin rapidly rise or fall. There are a few skins which have a generally stable price, and those are the ones listed above in our Top 5 Notable Skins section. For the most part, though, selling a skin for top dollar is down to timing.
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to avoid selling skins for a while, unless they currently have an excellent value. The more people who acquire a particular skin, the quicker its value will drop. If you have a skin which is already popular (and thus worth very little), you are probably best off hanging on to it. In time, it may become rare, and that is when you might consider selling it. Of course, if you are already in possession of a valuable skin, you could make a buck or two straight away by selling it.
Some CSGO gambling sites provide their players with P2P skin withdraws. This is a withdrawal option that allows players to withdraw a skin through the site, but a skin listed by a user. These can be very convenient, especially if you’ve been playing at a site for a while and have earned a decent bank roll.
Choosing to sell your skins via the Steam Community Market is one option. Here, you can simply set the price of your skin, and then check back in later to see if it has been sold. You are likely to get more money for your skins here, but any money you do receive will be fixed to your Steam Wallet. In short, you can use it to buy games or more skins, but you can’t cash it out to your bank. This would be a problem if you were thinking of selling skins worth hundreds of dollars.
The other option is to head to third-party markets like Skinwallet. The former will see you get less money for your skins, but you will need to check back every once in a while. Moreover, if you want to sell CSGO skins quickly, you will need to drop the price.
As for Skinwallet, this option allows you to sell cheap skins for around $0.50 or higher. Once you sell your skins to Skinwallet, they will pay out your cash in three minutes or less. There are other resources out there where websites buy your skins off you for fixed prices, and these, too, maybe worth having a look at.
Is It Legal to Buy/Sell CSGO Skins?
One of the most commonly asked questions concerning skins is, “is it legal to buy/sell CSGO skins?” This topic causes a lot of debate over the internet. On the one hand, what you are doing here is not gambling, as you are essentially buying something for your game from another user. As you know what it is that you are buying, it cannot be considered gambling.
On the other hand, paying for keys to unlock weapons cases (when you have no idea what it is inside) is borderline gambling, depending on who you ask. Ultimately, you’re going to need to make your own mind up on where the line falls. However, unless your country has specifically stated that buying skins is illegal, then you should assume that you can go ahead and do it.