CS: Go Trading Up 100 Weapons Skins

1/24/2014 Unknown 3 Comments

Ever since Counterstrike: Global Offensive started dropping weapons skins and weapons boxes, a highly speculative market has begun to form surrounding various boxes and weapons skins.  Some people can actually make some money from earning, buying, and selling skins and boxes (I'm not sure of a way to get profits out of the Steam Wallet, but I don't doubt there's a way).  The thing is, there's not much information at all about how how many of each type are created (only how many are currently in existence) or any solid way to speculate on the returns value of a case or a specific skin.

After purchasing many cases and keys hoping to get something of higher value than the amount I spent on the cases and keys (lets be honest, the keys cost way more than the cases), I was able to walk away with a Stattrak Case Hardened AK-48 (field-tested), which is currently worth about $50 at the time of me writing this.  I was not yet recording my expenses/earnings (let's be honest, it's winnings, not earnings. This is straight up gambling), but I'm pretty sure I more than broke even.  I have since started recording all transactions so I can crunch numbers once I have complete enough data.

One aspect that I was quite curious of was the value of the trade-up contract.  The trade-up contract allows you to select 10 weapons from the same collection and trade them in for a single weapon of higher quality.  I decided to test the behavior of the trade up by trading in 10 sets of 10 weapons.

Trading Skins: M240 | Jungle DDPAT (field tested) x 100

I went ahead and selected the cheapest weapon available when I conducted the survey, which turned out to be the M249 | Jungle DDPAT.  I purchased 100 of them for $4.87.

I got 4 different types of weapons skins total in various quantities adding up to the total of 10 trade up weapon skins.

Negev | Palm (field Tested) x 2
2 of the trade up skins were the Negev | Palm (field tested).  Each of these skins is worth $0.05.  The Negev is individually worth $0.0013 (once I round up it's a wash) more than the average I paid for each of the M249s, but considering I traded 10 of those for 1 Negev, that's definitely a loss in total for $-0.87

SSG-08 Mayan Dreams (field Tested) x 3
A cumulative 3 of the trade-ups resulted in the SSG-08 Mayan Dreams (field tested).  Each of these skins is worth $0.07, making the total return value of these skins $0.21. More valuable than the Negev and M249 by a rounded value of $0.02 each, but still a loss on the whole because of the trade up.  This loss accounted for another $-1.25.

Sawed-Off | Mosaico (field tested) x 1
I also got a single Sawed-Off | Mosaico (field tested), which was probably the most attractive skin of the day (not saying much), but alas, it was only worth $0.08.  You know the story.  That's another loss.  This time for $-0.40.

Glock-18 | Sand Dune (field tested) x 4
The most valuable skin I traded up for was the were all Glock-18 | Sand Dune (field tested) skins.  I got 4 of them.  Each of these is worth $0.18.  The total value is $0.72.  That makes the loss on this trade $-1.23

All together, I lost about $3.76 (yes, go check my math.  I know it doesn't add up, because I only gave you two decimal points, but I did the addition using 3, so sue me).

What do you do when you're down by such a large percentage?  Double down.  I traded the 10 trade-up weapons in for 1 super weapon.

MAG-7 | Hazard (field tested) x 1
The MAG-7 | Hazard (field tested) is worth $0.15, which brings my total losses to $4.72.  So, the moral of the story is, trade up contracts are not lucrative.  Ever.  If you have 10 weapon skins that you can trade, it will be more profitable to sell them on the market and buy a weapon equal to the value of your profits than it will be to use a trade up contract.

The jury is still out on the value of boxes.  I bought about 70 bravo boxes since they are about to expire soon.  We'll see if the value goes up or not.  I might open some of them to write a similar post, but about boxes, except that will be a little more expensive since I'd have to purchase a key for each one.

My safe advice is that you will be better off in the long run to just buy the Stattrak knife you're drooling over, because you will typically spend more money buying keys and opening boxes than you would to just splurge for the knife.  I know of some people that opened a Stattrak knife on one of their first cases (allegedly), but that's rare.  just remember, you are gambling, so you can play the odds, or play it safe. 

In the meantime, cross your fingers on the value of these Bravo boxes going up from demand, because I don't want to have to buy 70 keys...


  1. Technically it isn't as profitable to sell them as sometimes for the 4 cent weapons, you are actually only getting 2 cents of profit. I think the trade up is for those that got the weapons or traded for weapons and are too cheap to sell.

    1. In every single instance of the 100 weapons I traded up, the value of the trade up weapon was less than the sum of the weapons that went into it.

  2. I just traded 10 $0.30 Novas for 1 $4.70 CZ75.


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