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[Discussion] How to identify a responsible dog breeder.
This post assumes that you have already decided to buy a dog from a breeder and that you are wondering how to find someone who is breeding their dogs responsibly. What is responsible breeding? It is extremely easy to put a male dog (henceforth referred to as 'dogs') with a female dog (henceforth referred to as 'bitches') and create puppies. Anyone can do it, even people who don't intend to have a litter. So long as a bitch is intact (has her reproductive organs), both intact and neutered dogs will attempt to breed with her whenever she is in heat. Responsible breeding is the attempt to do more than simply creating puppies. The goal is to take every step to ensure that puppies are produced:
For a purpose, rather than for money, the 'puppy experience' or by mistake.
For suitable buyers that are knowledgeable about the breed.
Out of breeding stock that have been proven to be healthy.
Out of breeding stock with a breed-typical temperament.
In such a way that prioritises the health of the dam (mother), the lives of the puppies and the overall improvement of the breed.
What are the typical signs of a responsible breeder? It is often said that, in order to ensure you are buying from a 'good breeder', you should ask to see the mother with the litter. Also, that you should visit the puppies in their home to check for cleanliness and good care. What this advice fails to convey is how easy it is for puppy mills, puppy brokers and poor-quality breeders to meet or pretend to meet these very basic standards. Even rows of cages can be clean and appealing if presented well, but far more frequently puppy mills will sell to or use brokers. Brokers then house the litter for a few days in order to present the image of a sweet, family-raised litter to unsuspecting buyers. Poor-quality breeders (henceforth referred to as 'backyard breeders' or 'irresponsible breeders') can meet this standard easily too: their litters typically are raised in the house by a family, with the dam (mother) on site and a decent degree of cleanliness. The buyers who have been given such low standards will go away from these places happy in the thought that they have bought their puppy from a responsible person, who has bred their puppy with the best intentions and to acceptable standards. This couldn't be further from the truth. So what standards should buyers expect from a breeder, and be looking for? The most basic requirement buyers should have is for their breeder to have completed all of the breed's health tests on each parent. This is one of the most crucial parts of breeding, and yet it is one of the most heavily avoided by irresponsible breeders. You can find out what health tests should be done on your chosen breed by checking out the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals' website, which has one of the biggest collections of breed data in the world. If your breed isn't listed, try looking on the website of their main or 'parent' club for your country by googling "[breed name] club of [your country]". One of the most common breeds in the western world is the golden retriever. Yet it also suffers to a huge degree from hip dysplasia (pain and degeneration of the hip joints) and elbow dysplasia (pain and degeneration of the elbow joints). If you look at OFA, you can see straight away that two of the four required health tests for golden retrievers are hips and elbows. Due to the strong tendency for these issues in the breed, responsible breeders will take their breeding stock to be tested through x-ray imaging once they reach the appropriate age and send off the results to an external canine health institution for verification. Dogs which do not receive acceptable results will not be bred from, meaning that, since responsible breeders only breed from test-passing dogs, their puppies have a much higher chance of being healthy and not inheriting health conditions from their parents. However, puppy mills and backyard breeders, which far outnumber responsible breeders, do not test their breeding stock. They will breed from any dog and claim that, since their vet gave them a once-over and didn't say anything bad, the puppies are healthy. Unfortunately, no vet has x-ray or ultrasound vision, or the ability to see into the future. Testing the parents for hereditary health problems is the only way to prevent (or go towards preventing) hereditary health problems in the puppies. While some health issues are slightly unpredictable or also affected by the puppy's environment, it is clear that by only breeding from test-passing stock, the responsible breeder plays a huge part in reducing health issues in the future. Okay, so health testing is key. What are the other signs? A predictable temperament is one of the key elements of a purebred dog. Most people don't even realise what they are saying when they talk about how intelligent their border collie is, or how their labrador is the perfect buddy. The reason why 'all border collies are super intelligent' and 'all labradors make great buddies' is because temperament (personality, energy level, attitude, drive to work, and instincts) is also heritable (passed down genetically). Think about your favourite breed of dog. Why do you like it so much? Sure, part of it will likely be appearance. You love how fluffy its fur is, how its long nose can reach into your pocket. But I bet you also love how it sleeps on the couch all day after a thirty-minute walk - or by contrast, how it is always raring to go. I bet you love how it's a friend to everyone, or how it's much more aloof and only focused on you. Temperament is as much a part of a breed as appearance and can be even more crucial to dog owners. So, when you are buying a dog, that predictability is important. That means you need some proof of the breeder's dogs' temperaments, beyond what you can absorb in a couple hours' meeting. Responsible breeders take steps to provide evidence of their dog's temperament and this proof is generally seen in two ways:
Competing and titling their breeding stock in one or more dog sports.
Successfully working their breeding stock in one or more forms of breed-specific work.
What are dog sports? Dog sports are a relatively new invention that grew out of working dogs for their initial purposes. Obedience as part of herding or working to the gun evolved into formalised obedience trials. The terrier's history of hunting rats for pest control produced the sport of barn hunt. There are a vast number of dog sports and they are increasing all the time. They are a great way to demonstrate and prove a dog's temperament, as well as exercise, train and entertain a breeding prospect, working dog or beloved pet. Conformation dog showing is one of the most well-known and controversial of the dog sports. It involves the judging of purebred dogs to a written breed standard that outlines the expectations of structure, coat, colour and temperament for that breed. Conformation titles on breeding stock are a common sight in responsible breeders. In the US, a Ch (champion) title and a GCh (grand champion) title are the most commonly seen. Conformation titles do several things:
They demonstrate that the dog fits the written breed standard, which means that they look like a typical example of the breed. Again here we see the importance of predictability and the expectations everyone has for different breeds of dog.
They show that the dog has the ability to cope with the stress and experience of a significant amount of dog showing. This includes loud noise, long days, being crated, being examined top to toe by a stranger, being calm around a vast number of other dogs and being able to perform in extremely busy surroundings. It may, depending on the breed, also include a significant amount of grooming.
They typically demonstrate that the dog possesses a structure and coat that is both good for the breed and healthy for the dog. There are some exceptions and some rather complex nuances to this (notably the lack of control over how judges interpret written standards and how their choices impact breeding), but overall the majority of breeds are judged to a suitable written standard that emphasises predictability in appearance and structural health.
Quite often, people will say "I don't want a show dog, so I won't buy from a show breeder". This makes the inaccurate assumption that every dog in a litter is a potential show dog, which couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, one - maybe two - may be show quality in a good litter. The rest make excellent pet dogs. What is 'wrong' with them to prevent them from being successful show dogs is often as little as a spot of white in the wrong place, an ear flopping rather than holding up or a growth spurt that makes them too large to be shown. However, these should not be dismissed as mere 'vanity' concerns. Remember that colour, coat and size are all part of the predictable nature of a purebred dog and variations from them will mean a loss of that predictability in the future. Other dog sports include obedience, agility, rally, flyball, nosework, coursing, barn hunt, tracking, heelwork to music, water rescue, bitework/protection, disc dog and even competitive surfing. If you are looking for a pet, you may not feel the need to look for a litter where both parents have advanced obedience titles, but their very existence demonstrates several things:
The breeder has likely put a significant amount of time, work and money into training, trialling and perfecting their breeding stock's ability to compete in this sport.
This is only possible if the breeder cares a great deal about their dogs, their breeding kennel and the future of the breed.
In specific sports, it demonstrates that the breeding stock have the correct instincts and drives for the breed (such as lure coursing for sighthounds, water rescue for newfoundlands, bitework for malinois, etc).
It can demonstrate that the litter will be likely to have the right temperament for a specific sport, but this is usually more applicable to those looking to buy a dog for a certain sport since they will be looking for a dog that is more likely to succeed in it. However, again, many fantastic pet dogs come out of litters where the parents have done well in dog sports.
A note on sport titles: Occasionally, a backyard breeder will attempt to legitimise their breeding stock by finding the easiest titles to get and putting them on their dogs. This is, however, easy to spot if you know how this tactic works. These breeders will only ever have entry level, novice or intermediate titles on their ends of their dogs' names (because they require the least amount of effort and ability) and usually it will be a collection of them. A dog with a CGC/CGCA/CGCU (canine good citizen) and/or TDN (therapy dog) as their only titles, despite the dog being a working breed rather than a companion breed, is also pretty common. Here is a list of the meanings of many AKC titles. If you are not sure what a title means, I recommend googling it. What is breed-specific work? Conformation and dog sports are not the only way that responsible breeders can prove their breeding stock. Many breeders never take their dogs near the show or trial ring, but instead work their dogs. Breed-specific work is any form of work that a breed was initially (and sometimes subsequently) bred to perform. One of the most well-known is herding. A border collie breeder may own a large flock of sheep that they use their dogs to gather, move and organise every day. A jack russell terrier breeder may advertise their services as a non-poison ratting alternative, using their dogs to hunt and kill rats in various locations. No titles are earned and no ribbons are won, but these dogs are still tested and proven through the work they perform. Forms of breed-specific work include herding, livestock guarding, ratting, hunting to the gun, property guarding/protection, trailing, small game coursing (or lure coursing as a legal alternative), tolling, and mushing. Scent detection, search and rescue, therapy work and service work are not breed-specific forms of work, but often attract particular breeds of dog. If you are looking for a pet, it is worth noting that there can be a marked difference in the dogs bred for work and dogs bred for sports or conformation. In some breeds (german shepherds, border collies) these splits are more pronounced, whereas in others (salukis, boston terriers), they are very similar and the same dogs can be successful in conformation, sports and work. Often, the lines bred for work (which are the ones often used for sports) are much more energetic, driven and difficult to manage for new dog owners, whereas the lines bred for conformation are calmer and easier to manage for owners who do not want to work their dogs. Demonstrating working ability does several things:
It shows that the dog can 'do the job they were bred for'. The dog has the instincts, drive and ability to perform the job you would expect the breed to perform.
It shows that the dog has the ability to cope with the stresses and requirements of a significant amount of work. The specifics of what these stresses and requirements are will vary according to the work.
It shows that the breeder has likely put a significant amount of time, work and money into training and perfecting their breeding stock's ability to perform this work.
This is only possible if the breeder cares a great deal about their dogs, their breeding kennel, the work and the future of the breed.
It typically demonstrates that the dog possesses a structure and coat that is both good for the breed and healthy for the dog. This may be wildly different compared to the written breed standard, but as a working dog is typically expected to work extensively, a dog with poor structure will not be able to work for long. However, it is not guaranteed that a working dog will be assessed specifically for structure (IPO is one of some exceptions), so elements of unhealthy structure may occur in what otherwise appears to be a happily working dog.
A note on working ability: some backyard breeders will attempt to legitimise their breeding stock by badly "training" their dogs in a form of work. This training is often poor, infrequently done and performed to the detriment of others. Examples of this can include putting dogs on sheep who are allowed to harass the sheep rather than expected to control them (often these are breeds that have no herding ability) and showing a dog biting a protection decoy's sleeve for the flashy look of it but with no real grip or ability. These flaws can be hard to spot for a newcomer to the sport, so consulting with an experienced mentor should be your next port of call after identifying a potential working breeder, if you are interested in buying from them. I know what I'm looking for now, but where should I look for a breeder? The best place to start your search is the main or 'parent' club for the breed in your country. As previously stated, you can find this by googling "[breed name] club of [your country]". Often, these clubs provide a list of breeders on their website. If they don't, you can email or call the club to ask for recommendations. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any of the breeders a club recommends or provides will be responsible, so be sure to do your own checks on them. Another port of call can be your nearest conformation dog show. This can be found through Infodog in the US, DogShow in Canada and Fossedata or Higham Press in the UK. If not previously mentioned, your country is also likely to have a website that aggregates premiums/schedules and results for all or most of the country's dog shows. Search for a large show near you or one that is specifically for the breed you are interested in, then download the premium/schedule to find out information such as the starting time, the location, etc. At conformation shows, you will have the opportunity to observe multiple examples of the breed and can speak to owners, handlers and breeders about the breed. This is a great place to get breeder recommendations in person - although remember to still check them for yourself once you get home! Many shows in the US are so large that they host multiple different dog sport competitions at the same location, rather than simply conformation. Otherwise, sport trials are often found on the same websites, but some countries do things slightly differently and you may need to look on sport-specific websites for them. For example, in the UK, obedience trials are listed on Obedience UK's website and UK conformation shows rarely host other sports at the same time. It can be harder to connect with working dog breeders, as they may not attend any sport trials or conformation shows. The best way to get in contact with people who can point you towards suitable breeders is to get involved with the work first (this may be through volunteering or even simply showing up to training practices to help), as well as speaking to local trainers and organisations for the specific type of work (local sheepdog trainers, IPO clubs, etc). I've found several breeders. How do I check if they are responsible? Checking for evidence of responsible breeding is the most crucial part of researching a breeder. There are several methods available to you, but some are country-specific and some depend on the breeder's online presence. Proof of health testing is relatively easy to discover in the US. If a breeder has a website or Facebook page for their dogs, they are likely to share their dogs' registered names. These are long names, typically preceded by a common 'kennel name' specific to the breeder, including any titles won by the individual dog. You can also find registered names in catalogues and results for conformation dog shows/sport trials and on the results aggregators such as Infodog, Higham Press, sport-specific websites, etc. that were mentioned earlier. In the US, and sometimes Canada, most responsible breeders send their health testing results to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or OFA. You can search the website for individual dogs by typing their registered name into the search bar on the top right of the page. Ideally, the dog will have its CHIC number, which demonstrates that it has completed all of the breed-required health testing. It can be confused, so let's use an example. We'll look at this Rottweiler and explore her health tests. If we look up Rottweiler health tests, we can see that for a CHIC number, OFA requires:
A hip dysplasia OFA evaluation
An elbow dysplasia OFA evaluation
An eye examination by a boarded ACVO ophthalmologist (min. age 24 months)
A cardiac evaluation, either: congenital exam or advanced exam (min. age 24 months)
Although not specified, the hip and elbow evaluations can also only be performed after the dog has reached two years of age (24 months). Evaluations performed prior this will be recorded on OFA as 'preliminary' evaluations, as the dog has not reached the age determined to be the most accurate at assessing hip and elbow health. Our chosen Rottweiler has completed all four health tests and has therefore been rewarded with a CHIC number. In addition, the breeder has chosen to perform a dentition evaluation and a test for juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy on this dog. This shows an excellent knowledge of the breed (as Rottweilers can also be affected by JLPP, even though this test is not required by OFA) and shows a significant effort to know the health of this breeding animal. This is a very good sign of responsible breeding. If you check a breeder's dogs and they have only performed one or two of the required health tests, flag it up. Why have they done this? Is the dog just younger than the minimum age for the other tests? Have they not had the time yet? Or is it something more sinister: that the breeder knows this could be an issue in their lines and has purposefully chosen not to test for it? Or have they 'not had time' to test but have bred the dog already anyway? If a dog has received a non-passing score on a test or has had a condition flagged up on OFA, take note of this too. There can be good reasons to breed dogs with less than excellent scores (such as a small population that would go extinct if all non-passing dogs weren't bred from, or a breed that typically receives 'worse' scores on average like many dwarf breeds). In addition, some conditions, while noted by OFA on the results, are not hereditary. Add the questionable score to your list of questions to ask the breeder. A note on OFA checks: Some irresponsible breeders will test their breeding stock through OFA before they reach the minimum age for a full result, providing them with 'preliminary' evaluations. This means they are more likely to get good results, as the dog is not old enough for a proper evaluation. Stay away from these breeders. You have no verification that their adult dogs are actually healthy. In addition, some irresponsible breeders will show you OFA certificates, but the dog itself cannot be found on the OFA website. This is a red flag, as the only reason why a tested dog would not appear on the database (unless the test has just recently been performed) is that the breeder chose not to let the results be available online. That is a strange thing to do, since a responsible breeder should be keen to share the results of their dogs, and suggests that either they have something to hide or the certificates themselves are falsified. In other countries, health results are not freely available online. In these cases, you will have to personally ask for proof from the breeder. This is typically provided in the form of certificates from national bodies such as the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Make sure to examine these carefully and compare with confirmed real certificates if unsure. What about checking for evidence of titles? This is also much easier if the breeder has an online presence. Typically, if they do, they will include their dogs' titles in their individual biographies or on their registered names. However, if you cannot find an online presence, you can try looking at results aggregators where, in the US at least, it is common to include every title won by a dog in its registered name no matter what sport it is competing in. An excellent example of how titles may be displayed on a breeder's website is this French Bulldog breeder's site and specifically their dog called Soren. Although this dog is more of an exception (with 55 titles!) than the rule, you can see how his registered name "Daulokke's Une Valliant Grosse" is sandwiched in-between many capital letters. Usually, the letters (titles) at the front of a dog's name are champion titles, whereas the letters at the end of a name are lower level titles, alternative titles or something else. It is also common in the US to keep all of the titles a dog has been given in their name, including the ones gained at levels prior to their current level. In Europe and the UK, dogs typically only have the title showing for their current level. Using the AKC title list, along with other sites and organisations if needed, we can work out what this dog has achieved. If you are need more clarification on a specific title, try searching for it in the specific sport's 'rules and regulations', which should be available to download in PDF form from the relevant organisation's website. Soren's prefixes:
MACH2: Twice achieved the level of AKC agility champion.
ARCHX: Achieved the level of APDT rally champion.
UAGII/UAGI: One level below a UKC agility champion.
UCD: Achieved the first level of UKC competitive obedience.
Silver-ROM: A health-related title awarded by the French Bulldog Club of America. This dog has achieved his OFA CHIC number, with a normal cardiac result, a normal patellar result, a clear eye result and a clear or carrier cataract result. He also has a CGC certificate and an AKC title in two or more areas (further requirements for the Silver title).
CD: Achieved the first level of AKC competitive obedience.
CD-H: Achieved the first level of CDSP competitive obedience.
RAE2: Twice achieved the level below AKC rally champion.
Going into all of these titles will take too long, but you can see how each title says something about this dog and what he has been able to achieve. It shows where the owner's passions lie (agility in particular in this case) and the sheer number of titles demonstrate that a lot of time, effort and money has gone into training and trialling this dog. This a strong sign of responsible breeding. What about checking for working ability? Just like the above, this is a lot easier if the breeder has an online presence. Unlike with sports, where titles are a quick way to see what level a dog is competing at, working ability can be harder to demonstrate online and more difficult to see or understand what is being shown by a newcomer to the work. Working breeders with an online presence often post videos of their dogs training for the work or actively working. An example is this video showing a relatively green (inexperienced) dog working sheep, for potential buyers to see its ability and current level of training. For someone already involved in the work, this video will be very telling, but for a newcomer it can be hard to spot the nuances and understand what you are truly seeing. An experienced mentor in the breed and work is invaluable as a sounding board for moments like this. Some working breeders will trial their dogs. Not in sports like agility or flyball, but in the work they train their dogs to do, in a trial-specific environment. Examples of this include herding trials, mondioring trials and field trials. There is some debate between those who solely trial and those who solely work their dogs as to whether it is trials or work which fully demonstrate working ability, but this debate should only be applicable for those searching for a dog specifically for a form of work. Advice must be sought from an experienced mentor as to whether a dog from trial heritage or work heritage is more suitable for your needs. If the breeder has no online presence, you can attend trials in person or contact them directly to ask if you can meet their dogs. Some breeders may invite you to join them on a hunt/etc. or at a training session. This first-hand experience should give you a good idea of their style of training and working their dogs, as well as their dogs' level of ability. Health tests, check. Proof of temperament, check. What else? Well, if your breeder meets those standards, they are already in the top percentage of breeders in the world. You stand a great chance of buying from a responsible breeder. However, there are another few indicators of responsible breeding - and their opposites, indicators of irresponsible breeding or a drop in standards. I will go through these now. Contracts Contracts are a tool whose use varies by location. In the US and Canada, contracts are very common, whereas in the UK and Europe contracts rarely make an appearance. For the purpose of US and Canadian buyers, I will discuss their use in responsible breeding. While not all US & Canadian responsible breeders use contracts, most do. Their contents usually include a health guarantee up to a certain age, an agreement to return the dog to the breeder if it can no longer be cared for and a promise from the buyer that they will care for this dog to the best of their ability. Some contracts may include extra bonuses, such as monetary reimbursements for the buyer upon proof of health testing. Some contracts may include extra restrictions, such as supplemental, care, food or vaccine requirements. Unfortunately, the simple existence of a contract is not a sign of a responsible breeder. Many backyard breeders and even puppy mills are now writing up their own basic contracts, many of which include requirements which screw the owner if the puppy develops a health or temperament problem. Providing only a couple day's window for an owner to find a health issue with their new puppy in order to get a refund or an exchange is one such example. This is often too quick for devastating incubating diseases like parvovirus or distemper to appear, let alone for hip or elbow dysplasia to occur. Most responsible breeders will provide a health guarantee of at least two years, especially in breeds with a risk of dysplasia, so that the dog's health can be assessed at the proper age and any temperament or other health issues can be given time to appear in the dog. Requiring the buyer to feed only a specific type of food or provide supplements like NuVet to their dog in order to activate the health guarantee is also a red flag. Some breeders prefer their buyers to only feed raw, for example. If this is something you are happy to do, this may not be an issue, but it needs to be noted before you agree to it. NuVet, on the other hand, is a pyramid scheme that can be sold to naive, otherwise good breeders. However, invalidating a guarantee without the lifelong feeding of an expensive supplement is not a sign of a responsible breeder. Vaccine requirements also often make an appearance in contracts. If your breeder has a contract, the best thing you can do is read it, read it and then read it again. Make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to and feel free to ask your breeder why they have included things. Although you are buying a pet, do your due diligence just as if you were buying a house or a car. Registration Registration of your puppy to a kennel club or relevant organisation is one of the most basic things a breeder can do, but it should still be there. The registration may with a canine association such as the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, The Kennel Club, or a working breed-specific registry such as the International Sheep Dog Society or the American Border Collie Association. Kennel club variations from this list should be flagged and investigated. If the registry allows mixed breeds such as doodles to be registered and bred from, it is likely to be a worthless registry that only puppy mills and backyard breeders use. The Continental Kennel Club is an example of this. Breeders are often able to put restrictions on registration. In the US and Canada, breeders can offer 'full' or 'limited' registration to their buyers. Dogs with full registration can be shown in conformation and bred from. Dogs with limited registration cannot be shown in conformation or bred from - if they are, their offspring cannot be registered. This enables breeders to have more control over the breeding of their puppies, which is highly responsible. Dogs can also be switched from limited to full registration if the breeder approves of their health testing and accomplishments, or once a dog or bitch has been sterilised. In the UK, breeders can put 'endorsements' on their registered dogs. These include a 'non breeding' endorsement and a 'not for export' endorsement. The export endorsement prevents a dog from being registered with any foreign kennel club and the breeding endorsement prevents a dog's offspring from being registered with the Kennel Club. These endorsements can be lifted by the breeder at any time. As with limited and full registration, these are excellent safeguards that are often used by responsible breeders. Lifespan and Untestable Issues There are many health conditions that, while assumed to be heritable, are not yet able to be tested for. These conditions include cancers, epilepsy, allergies, autoimmune diseases, bloat, pyometra, among others. Breeders have different ways of dealing with these issues. A responsible breeder will be open with you about any instances of these issues in their lines. Unless they are extremely new to breeding, it is likely they will have experienced at least one of these. "No issues whatsoever" is a red flag and should prompt you to do your own research. Some breeders wait longer than usual to breed their dogs in order to cull (remove from breeding) any dogs that develop these conditions at an early age. Some track the appearance of conditions in their lines and pedigrees to avoid repeating any affected breedings. Some close their eyes and pretend issues don't exist. Since you want to avoid the last one, be sure to ask your breeder about untestable issues. Asking them how long their dogs have lived and what they eventually die of is often a good way to begin this conversation. The existence of these conditions is not an immediate death toll. Every dog has to die of something, someday, so if the breeder's dogs tend to die age 14 from cancer it should not be a red flag. However, if they have epilepsy crop up and keep breeding the parents who produced it, that should be a big red flag. If cancer shows up at age three and kills their dogs repeatedly, avoid them. It is simple to see how these issues can be handled responsibly in a breeding programme. Leaving the Breeder Another quite easy way to identify irresponsible and responsible breeders is through their puppy raising and their methods of sending them to their new homes. In many US states, it is illegal to sell a puppy prior to the age of eight weeks. This is generally seen as the absolute minimum age that a puppy should leave its litter, since after weaning from its mother it is still receiving a wealth of information about dog behaviour from its mother and siblings. Dogs removed from the litter too early often have poor social skills and can develop poor temperaments as a result in later life. In very small breeds, breeders often keep their puppies until they are ten or even twelve weeks. This is done because the puppies are so tiny that they are at a higher risk for injury and illness if sent home at eight weeks. Many breeders, no matter the dog's size, send them home later than eight weeks. In addition, a common theme with irresponsible breeders and puppy mills is allowing the buyer to pick their own puppy. This is becoming less and less common in responsible breeders, who know their dogs, have spent two months with the litter and know each puppy's personality much better than a brief visitor. Typically, although not absolutely always, a responsible breeder will pick the puppy to suit the buyer. While it is absolutely fine to have gender or colour preferences, understand that the goal of a responsible breeder is to place a puppy in a home where it will be loved and cared for for life. While the little shy white one may be your kid's favourite, the bouncy outgoing yellow one is going to get along with young children a lot better. In a similar vein, irresponsible breeders like to let buyers pick their puppy earlier than eight weeks, usually in a 'first come first serve' method. This also demonstrates their lack of care for the puppies, since the puppies' personalities will not be fully developed by then. It is also very difficult to assess structure prior to eight weeks, and, for example, if the owner wants a running partner, picking at six weeks could well ensure they end up with a dog poorly built for distance exercise that develops arthritis or snaps its ACL at age four. A responsible breeder will, most likely, pick your puppy for you and do so no earlier than seven or eight weeks. Red Flags / Green Flags Finally, there are a few extra things to note. I have included green flags for actions that are often performed by responsible breeders, orange flags for potentially worrying things that need investigation and red flags warning you away from the worst kind of breeding. GREEN FLAGS:
Two litters or fewer per year. In a rare breed, one litter per year or less is more common.
Being involved in the breed and/or breeding for several decades.
Putting you on a waiting list, because they already have people waiting for their next litter. This isn't a requirement, but it shows that someone is breeding to the demand available rather than just because they can produce puppies.
Having an extensive plan for puppy socialisation (noise desensitisation, encountering new surfaces and objects, meeting people and other animals, car rides, household exposure). Use of the raising system Puppy Culture or Early Neurological Stimulation is not necessarily a green flag, as irresponsible breeders are now aware of it and sometimes use it. It can be a good tool, but consider it in the context of the rest of their socialisation plan.
Breeding unusual colours/coats. Are the colours/coats simply not recognised by one kennel club (such as particolour poodles, recognised by UKC but not by AKC - green flag) or is the colour impossible in that breed without crossing in another (such as merle bulldogs or chihuahuas - red flag)? Or is the breeder claiming that a common coloucoat in the breed, as listed in the breed standard, is rare and asking for a higher price (red flag)?
Breeding dogs or bitches prior to age two. Why has the breeder done this? Do they make it a habit (red flag)? Was it an accident (orange flag)? Are the dogs fully health tested, on prelims or nothing? Most health testing cannot be done prior to age two.
RED FLAGS WITH NO EXCUSE:
Sells puppies on sales websites such as Craigslist, Puppyfind, Gumtree, Pets4Homes, etc. Responsible breeders have no need of these sites, since they build connections in-person and through their network. People with endless puppies to sell do, however.
Prices puppies differently based on colour and/or gender. The only times a responsible breeder may charge a different price in the same litter is if they have a puppy with an unexpected health condition (i.e. deafness, a hernia) or if they are selling with both full or limited registration, as limited is often sold for a lower price.
Having the option to buy a puppy directly on their website, often through a paypal button.
Mentioning that they sell from the Amish, who are often puppy millers.
Producing five or more litters plus per year.
Not willing to meet you or speak to you before selling you the puppy. While some responsible breeders may not want to invite you into their house, you should not be refused a meeting or a long discussion, since their goal is to interview you and be sure you are offering a good home.
When it comes to online sports betting regulation, the USA is still on its infancy. On May 2018, the Supreme Court opened the way for states to pave their own legislation regarding sports betting offers. New Jersey was one of the first states to apply legislation on this matter, having 16 websites offering and accepting online sports wagers. Many of the websites also have Apps available so players can download them onto their devices and use them while on the go.
What to Expect from a Sportsbook App
In order to legally function in the state of New Jersey, online sportsbooks need to be licensed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). The first step players who want to go mobile must take is, therefore, to find a fully licenced site and beware of the - still - many unregulated bookies operating on the market. Ever since sports betting became legal in the Garden State, a huge percentage of all the money legally gambled was done either online or on mobile. Whether wagering on NBA or NFL events, Hockey or even MMA, a look at the growing list of NJ Sportsbooks Apps available in Gamble USA can show that New Jersey already has plenty of variety to choose from.
888sport Sportsbook App
888sport, along with its sister sites 888casino and 888poker, belongs to 888 Holdings and offers an App fit for both Android and iOS. This sportsbook has lots of options when it comes to betting, like Tennis, Nascar, English Premier League, Basketball, Bowling or all the major US leagues. It has around 3547 markets available and a great Welcome Bonus. Players who register get a risk-free bet of up to $500. This means that 888sport will give back the money of the lost bets made with the first deposit. The sportsbook offers 24/7 customer support by email, phone and live chat and lots of payment options, from the traditional credit and debit cards to modern e-wallet solutions like Skrill or Neteller.
DraftKings Sportsbook App
Draftkings is already a household name when it comes to sports betting. With roots on fantasy sports, this established company has over 10 million registered users worldwide and offers a sign-up bonus of up to $1000, made of a deposit bonus and a first bet match of $500 each. The sportsbook app is quick to install and offers a great array of wagering chances, be it on Motorsports, Darts, Golf or Boxing. It’s available for both Android and iOS and can be contacted via live chat or email in case any issue occurs during gameplay. When it comes to payment methods, Draftkings options are a bit limited, only having the traditional debit and credit cards and Paypal.
PointsBet Sportsbook App
PointsBet is an Australian product introduced in 2019, offering dynamic betting to New Jersey sportsbook fans. The sportsbook offers a great welcome package comprised of 2 risk-free bets, each offering a $500 cashback. The app is available for both Android and iOS and the markets on offer include soccer, darts, motorsports and even Aussie football. It also has a really good choice for NFL and NBA sports wagering and lots of betting features. Customer support is available 24/7 and can be contacted via email, live chat and phone. Banking options, however, are not that much, with e-checks, credit and debit cards, online banking and PointsBet prepaid card available.
William Hill Sportsbook App
One of the biggest operators in the world, William Hill has been a household name for many years and almost a synonym for betting. With a long history in brick and mortars, William Hill made a transition to mobile and now also has an app taking New Jersey players by storm. The app is available both in Android and iOS and has great wagering opportunities and features. With a responsive design, the platform offers sports betting in markets such as Hockey, Football, Golf or Baseball and lots of bet types. The support is available 24/7 by phone, email and live chat. Banking options are a bit limited, though. Players can deposit funds via e-check, credit and debit cards, William Hill prepaid card and even visit a William Hill location in NJ. Withdrawals are a bit more tricky, as right now, they’re only available via prepaid card or on location.
No matter the choice of Sportsbook App, players need to bear in mind some issues before downloading any of it and start enjoying some sports wagering. Gambling in New Jersey can only be done if players are located within the borders of the state, even when playing on mobile. Android users must also beware that Google Play does not allow any money wagering and gambling apps in the App Store in the USA. This means that Android users need to download the apps, when available, directly from the websites by following the instructions normally available.
This is the first iteration of a new Newbie Guide to Investing in CSGO, covering most basic issues. Some subjects are in the work and will be added at a later date. Before we start, THIS is a fantastic overview of CSGO Market History (until April 2019) and a must-have, including timeframes for regular and operation drops, many important events and lots of useful info, made by steamfrag
Which items can be invested in?
Introductionary Note: Discontinued consumables (cases, stickers and basically all containers) are better items for long term investment than non-consumables, since consumables get deleted from the market when used, thus reducing their quantity over time, unlike skins which are only deleted if a user gets banned or if the skins are used in trade-up contracts. Specific skins/knives/gloves could be profitable to invest and to hold long term, if you know exactly what you are doing. But generally skins are better suited for frequent trading and not long term investing, or if you want skins to play with and more or less hold their value with some potential to go up in price. As an example, Here is a video from TDM HeyJesus from last year explaining what I mean. If you are more interested in trading with others, nice knives and gloves, etc. and not mid/long term investing, visit /GlobalOffensiveTrade
Discontinued Cases: You could buy 3 cent cases (or less, depending on your currency from steam market, or 1 to 2 cents from cashout sites) when they get discontinued from the active drop pool and are moved to rare drops. This usually happens when a new case is released, the oldest case from active drop pool moves to rare drops. Active drop pool usually consists of 5 cases. Be aware that cases with high volume on market will take a very long time to rise in price. You could also invest in cases at a later time, for instance after few years of being 3 cents, lower quantities on market and upwards price trend, you could jump in or even at an earlier stage when they are still as active drop but anticipated to be the next case to move to rare drops, if you're in it for the very long haul, and if you can get the cases for extremely cheap prices in bulk (1 cent or less). Some cases are much older and/or rarer than others and therefore cost more, for example Operation Bravo case. Sometimes unexpected things happen with cases, for instance Valve decided to make the Hydra Case a rare drop as soon as Operation Hydra ended, even though most people were expecting the Hydra Case to become a common drop after end of the operation and to become 3 cents for a long time. Instead, they went up in price very quickly and very high. So if you invested in hydra cases during the end of operation for 10 cents, you could have made a lot of money by now. But note that the more cases are released, the more options case openers have to chose from. Therefore the rise in price of cases might slow down during time and take longer, as more and more cases are released. This can only be countered by increasing number of players and case openers (natural demand). Last but not least, the popularity and prices of the skins in the cases will influence the price development of discontinued cases (and vice versa).
UPDATE: Lately Valve has done some weird things like dropping a large number of older cases such as Shadow cases, Chroma 2 cases, etc. for non prime accounts. So the old system isn't that reliable anymore
List of all CSGO Cases in Chronological Order:
Rare or Active Drop
CSGO Weapon Case
14. August 2013
eSports 2013 Case
14. August 2013
Operation Bravo Case
19. September 2013
CSGO Weapon Case 2
08. November 2013
eSports 2013 Winter Case
18. December 2013
Winter Offensive Weapon Case
18. December 2013
CSGO Weapon Case 3
12. February 2014
Operation Phoenix Weapon Case
20. February 2014
Huntsman Weapon Case
01. May 2014
Operation Breakout Weapon Case
01. July 2014
eSports 2014 Summer Case
10. July 2014
Operation Vanguard Weapon Case
11. November 2014
08. January 2015
Chroma 2 Case
15. April 2015
26. May 2015
17. September 2015
08. December 2015
Operation Wildfire Case
17. February 2016
Chroma 3 Case
20. April 2016
15. June 2016
Gamma 2 Case
18. August 2016
28. November 2016
15. March 2017
Operation Hydra Case
23. May 2017
Spectrum 2 Case
14. September 2017
15. February 2018
02. August 2018
Possibly Rare (needs more data)
Danger Zone Case
06. December 2018
13. March 2019
18. October 2019
Shattered Web Case
19. November 2019
CSGO Major Stickers and Sticker Capsules: Usually at the end of each Tournament, Valve offers a sticker sale (between 50% and 75% off normal price) in-game store. You could buy stickers and capsules during that sale and either sell shortly after the sale ends, for a small quick profit (not guarantied but happened almost every time till now), or wait longer (usually over a year) for a possibly much larger profit. For instance if you bought Atlanta Legend Capsules 2 years ago, you would have 20x your money as of today! As more tournaments are being held and more stickers are released, it is difficult for most stickers to distinguish themselves among the huge mass of other stickers. Only invest and hold on to stickers that you think are promising. The profit from stickers depends on how nice they look, how popular they are, how well the teams perform in the future and how many people invested in them (basically a combination of all these factors). Sometimes teams disband, players quit or become successful, teams/players get banned, etc. which sometimes drive up the price of the related stickers.
Operation Pass: Sold by Valve in-game in order to get access to an operation. After the operation, all it does is give you access to a coin which you can display (which some players like to collect). You can buy passes during operation (or possibly during a sale of the pass at the end of the operation) then hold on to them and sell at a later date. There were few exceptional circumstances such as Vanguard pass which sold well as it didn't reach as low a discount as people were expecting and wasn't on sale for a long time, so not many were bought. Furthermore, Valve stopped selling the Vanguard Pass before the operation ended, which caused players who wanted to complete the missions to buy it from the market. Similar things happened to the Wildfire Pass. The Wildfire pass didn't even go on sale which caused its price to tripple in a single day when it got removed, then rose in price even more during time.
Viewer Pass: Introduced with the Katowice 2019 Major, a Viewer Pass was a purchasable in-game item which gave purchasers exclusive access to an upgradeable Event Coin, Souvenir Packages, The Major Pick'Em Challenge and Unlimited team graffiti for the duration of the Major. Similar to Operation Pass, all it does now is to give you a collectible coin. The Katowice 2019 Viewer Pass went on sale for 50% for few days during the last days of the major (before the sticker sale!). Some people bought them at 50% off but some people were expecting it to become even cheaper during the sticker sale (75% off), which didn't happen, instead it got removed, thus causing those investors to panic buy. I expect that Valve will use the Viewer Pass System in the next majors too (speculative opinion), as it was probably a big financial success and a lot of passes were sold in addition to a lot of major stickers.
Souvenir Packages: Drops in matches during majors. Research the different packages and their skins. Cobblestone is the most desirable due to the very desired and expensive Souvenir Dragon Lore. Also Cobblestone was removed from the map pool and replaced by Dust 2 in April 2018 and was not available in London 2018 and Katowice 2019 majors, thus increasing its price even more. Recently Vertigo replaced Cobblestone in March 2019. During the tournaments, the supply of souvenir packages will obviously be the highest, but also the interest in them is the highest. Try to buy them as cheap as possible and simply wait. Generating profit with souvenir packages might be a very slow process depending on the souvenir packages you have and the volume which was dropped in the majors. Note: as of Katowice 2019 major, only Viewer Pass owners were eligable to receive Souvenir Packages and Souvenir Packages no longer dropped during matches, but Pass owners could chose a match of their choice and get the Souvenir Package for it. This caused an equilibrium in prices, since most people chose the popular new 2018 Nuke and Inferno packages and the Overpass Package, causing their quantities to be much higher than other less popular packages in the major.
Sticker Capsules 1 and 2 and Community Sticker Capsule: These capsules were common drop for a long time, opened with sticker capsule keys and pretty much worthless (just like cheap cases), then they got discontinued and rose to high prices reaching a peak in May 2016. Probably with a June 2016 patch, they became rare drops which increased their quantity and crashed their prices (combined with the inevitable crash after the crown foil hype). However, after an initial crash they slowly rose in price again and sticker capsule 2 is at its all time high right now (as of May 2019). I assume its also just a hype correlated to the now second Crown Foil sticker hype which could crash back again. At these price levels, invest very cautiously. Also look at specific stickers in these capsules, such as Flammable foil, headhunter, crown foil, etc. At the right prices, these might be interesting items.
Gift Packages: Around christmas time Valve sold gift packages for $1. If you open a gift package on a server, it awards a random player a random regular skin drop. In the past players who opened the most packages were displayed on a leader-board in the beginning of every game of every Valve NA CSGO server. This has been exploited for advertising. In 2013, people didn't anticipate that the Gift Packages are limited to the Winter months and in the following year, CSGO exploded in popularity. This multiplied the price of these packages until they were sold again in 2014. In 2014, many people expected the same thing to happen, so the supply of Gift Packages increased. CSGO exploded again, but this time the price of gift packages increased much more because gambling sites started to boom and they competed for advertising. Fast forwards, Valve eventually removed the leaderboard feature a long time ago. For a long time gift packages were even below the in-game price. Recently though (since around end of 2018) the supply seams to dry up slowly and the price is climbing again (this time probably due to natural demand from people who actually just want to gift). We can see a similar trend with pallet of presents (which gives up to nine people in the user's match a random item). There is also the Audience Participation Parcel which drops up to 25 gifts randomly to viewers, but this item hasn't done anything interesting price wise yet.
Skins from Cases: Unlikely to be more profitable than consumables and it is more risky, unless you really know what you're doing. Sometimes Valve changes the design or details of a skin, which could also affect the prices. Also nerfs and buffs for a specific weapon tend to change the prices of skins for that gun (depending on how severe the buff/nerf is), for instance the AUG skins experienced a rise in price after Valve lowered the price (in game!) to $3.150 in Oct. 2018 and pro players used the AUG in the major. Skins which are used as trade up fodder tend to go up in price, whenever a new case or collection is released. There are a lot of other factors which determine the price development of skins which can't be all covered here
Skins from Collections Exclusive to Operations: skins which only drop during operations tend to rise when the operations end. However, the more operations they have been through, the higher the total supply on market and thus the longer it usually takes for them to go up in price during the breaks between operations. The following collections were dropped during the last 3 Operations (Bloodhound, Wildfire and Hydra). Operation Hydra was the last operation we had and it did end on November 13, 2017, which is more than a year ago! Note that these skins only dropped for those who owned the operation pass for the operation. Those who didn't own the pass, got their drops from the regular active collections.
The Cache Collection
The Chop Shop Collection
The Cobblestone Collection
The Gods and Monsters Collection
The Overpass Collection
The Rising Sun Collection
The Danger Zone Collection: the Danger Zone Collection was basically just one skin, the MP5 Lab Rats. Players could get the skin by reaching Prime Status after CSGO went F2P in December 2018. The skin was available for a few weeks. A lot of the CSGO playerbase got the skin, which makes it a questionable investment since there are probably a LOT out there and the gun/skin isn't that popular. Could be a long term investment nonetheless, if you start to see quantities lowering over time and some stable price action.
Skins from Inactive or Retired Collections: The following collections are either inactive for now or completely retired. But some of them could be reintroduced in the future.
The Assault Collection
The Aztec Collection
The Baggage Collection
The Dust Collection
The Inferno Collection (The Old One)
The Militia Collection
The Mirage Collection
The Nuke Collection (The Old One)
The Office Collection
The Vertigo Collection
Skins from Active Collections: The following collections are current active collections which drop skins in-game. Usually It is not recommanded to invest in any active collections (though some old skins which are suitable as fodder for certain trade-ups see occasional spikes whenever new cases and collections are released). Also the new Nuke and Inferno Collections are popular and people use skins from them to trade-up to better skins of these collections.
The 2018 Inferno Collection
The 2018 Nuke Collection
The Bank Collection
The Dust 2 Collection
The Italy Collection
The Lake Collection
The Safehouse Collection
The Train Collection
Knives: If you know what you're doing and are familiar with patterns, etc. you can make some profit. But as mentioned knives are better suited for frequent trading and simply as play skins, even though some knives like the Butterfly Knife experienced significant price rise in the past, it is usually not a good idea to use knives as investment items. For instance the same amount of money you paid for a knife 3 years ago spent in specific stickers, would have generated much more profit in the same timeframe.
Gloves: see knives
Graffitis: Since Valve offered free graffiti for the duration of the major (since Katowice 2019 major and now in Berlin 2019 major), but none for sale, it is an option to invest in all previous major graffitis. The quantities for some old team graffitis could go down significantly and thus increase the price (which it has already done).
CSGO Keys: CSGO keys have a fixed price in game of $2.50 and are used as currency amoung traders, and of course to open cases. Investing in keys is pointless, unless you want to park your money, or trade or cashout, or unless you can buy keys at a cheaper rate than one normally could (currency issues). There is a special situation going on with the Hydra key which crashed significantly in price after the Operation Hydra Case became a rare drop and became an expensive case. There are different opinions as how the Hydra Key price will develop in the future. Some say it will crash even more, some say it will more or less stablize at the current price levels (1 Euro), others even invest in it right now and say the price will go up again, as soon as the old supply is dried out. For this guide, I remain neutral and leave it up to you to make up your own mind about this specific key. Note: currently this key is not accepted by most traders. There are other keys tied to expensive cases such as Winter Offensive keys which are also not accepted by many traders, though they are low in supply and thus still hold a stable price on market.
Dual Berettas Retribution (removed due to artist ban)
P90 Desert Warfare (removed due to artist ban)
CZ75-Auto Poison Dart (removed due to artist ban)
MAC-10 Curse (removed due to artist ban)
USP-S Orion (removed due to artist ban)
Note: Some skins were banned from a case, but can be traded up to with trade-up contracts
Sticker Howling Dawn (removed due to copyright violation)
Sticker King on the Field (removed due to artist ban)
Sticker Winged Defuser (removed due to artist ban)
Sticker Harp of War (Holo) (removed due to artist ban)
Removed and Reintroduced Stickers: there were a lot of other old stickers which were offered in the in-game shop of Valve and which were discontinued in the past and went up in price really high, but were reintroduced in 2016 to the in-game shop and remained there till today as random coupon offers, which caused their price crash back to around 1 Euro for normal stickers (more for the holos/foils). These sticker were the community series stickers (1,2,3,4 and 5) and the Halloween 2014 series. It is an option to buy these stickers in-game whenever you get a coupon offer and hope that some day they will be removed again, but this is a gamble. Also since these were available for a fixed price for so long in the shop, some investors might have had the same idea and stocked up on them. And the quantities might be too high for significant gains in the future. Also most of them aren't that popular anymore.
Current in-game Coupon Offers: each player has a coupon offer section with 4 slots with some items (sticker capsules, music kits, pin capsules, single stickers) offered. You could buy these items in-game and hold with the idea that at some point some of these items might get removed, but this is a gamble and impossible to predict and pretty much dead money until something happens. Note that whenever you buy an item from this section, the slot which you bought the item gets automatically refilled with another offer. This was not always the case. In the past after you bought all your 4 offers, you had to wait for new offers. But Valve always comes up with new ideas to make bank.
StatTrak™ Swap Tool: these tools are sold as a 2-pack in-game for a fixed price. People bought this, used one and sold the other one on the market. For the longest time these tools were around 10 cents on steam market which is quite a big difference to what they logically should be (half the price you pay in game). Recently they have gone up in price and reached that level. So right now, its pointless to do anything with them. If they ever go back down to those previous lows, you might want to consider them if you can get them very cheap. But keep in mind that there is max. cap of what they can rise up to obviously, and that there are better investment options out there
Other ways to profit on the market than long/mid term investing
Flipping Items in Coupon Section from in-game Store: You could buy stickers, sticker capsules, pins capsules and music kits when you get a coupon offer in-game. Check the price on steam market and if the price you pay in-game + steam tax is still lower than the lowest steam market price, then simply buy in-game and instantly sell on steam market for few cents quick profit. Mostly there is no or just a few cents to be made, but sometimes some offers give you better instant profit. Note: with the introduction of the EZ4ENCE music kits, Valve added a "new releases" category, which enabled users to buy as many of these music kits as they wanted as long as these were sold in this category. This means that potential investors could have stocked up on these items.
Trade-up Contracts: Determine if a certain skin can be traded up to profitably (consider Steam tax). If so, buy the lower level skins (either through buy orders at steam market, external cashout sites, or trading sites), and sell the traded-up skin on the market until it becomes unprofitable. This is already being done by bots and many other users. Note that the float value of the traded-up-to weapon is a function of the average float value of the traded-up-from skins. For more information and good trade-up contracts, visit the youtube channel of TDM Heyzeus. But remember that whenever a video is posted, a lot of people copy and paste the trade-ups shown in the videos making them unprofitable instantly, so it might be wise to revisit older trade-ups or come up with your own trade-up ideas. Use the trade-up calculator of csgo exchange to double check. Remember to switch the formula to calculate odds to new theory "based on outcome" (the old theory was incorrect).
Wide Daily Seasonality: Some items peak every day at around noon and tank after midnight (EST). If the difference tends to offset the Steam tax (15%), it can be taken advantage of. Usually, this requires a large volume to be reasonably profitable. If you engage in this technique, keep in mind that there is a scalability limit for the profitability.
Expansion and Contraction: After a popular game/operation/case/tournament/Steam-sale/market-bug is introduced, players try to dump their items on the market to buy whatever is hot. At the same time, buyers tend to also go for what's hot. Old investment supplies increase, and demand lessens. It is usually wise to do the opposite of the general market behavior and buy on these market crashes. When you want to sell something, it's usually best to wait until the market has fully recovered. Further, during some crashes, it might be better to wait until the end to buy-in as many investors try to buy in early.
Tournament Sticker Capsule Opening Arbitrage: During a period of time of some Major sticker sales, it was profitable to buy capsules from the market, open them, and then resell the stickers on the market (in the average case). Examine the EV carefully.
Wide Bid/Ask Spreads: take advantage if the daily bid/ask spread is larger than the Valve tax. Buy commodities that are being demanded at a much lower price than they are being listed at, then sell them back. Don't do this en masse before an expected downturn.
Grinding Weekly Drops: When a new case is released it can be worthwhile to accumulate in-game time in order to get the new highly-priced case.
Hunting for sub-variations of items: Some items on various markets have specific sub-patterns/properties that are more valuable than the usual ones (ex., 5-7 Case Hardened blue pattern and other desired knive patterns, specific signature Souvenir Packages, skins with expensive stickers, etc.) and they are sometimes undervalued (especially during market downturns).
Currency Arbitrage: If a particular conversion is highly skewed and Valve's adjustment is slow, it can become profitable for users in a certain country to buy items in the store or Community Market and resell them off the community market to another country. Note that using VPN to fake your place of residency is against Valve TOS and bannable
Listing High, Hoping for a Market Bug: List items for a higher price than their market value and hope that a Steam bug will occur where sellers temporarily won't be able to create new listings, while buyers can still buy the items, or hope that someone decides to buy heavily in one of your items and buys a lot at once
How many items can I hold in my inventory? Officially, 1000. You can list excess items on the steam market (for high unrealistic prices) and basically use the steam market as extra space. Note that the price of your listed items on market + your steam wallet cannot exceed $2000 at any given time. You can increase the number of items in your inventory and the amount of steam wallet money through some tricks. It is however recommanded that instead you simply make extra accounts and prepare them for usage as extra space and as storage accounts, if you need more space. How much is the Tax/Fee on Steam Community Market? Approx. 13%-15% total for most. Here is one in Euro by donbernie and Here is one for items under $1 by HwanZike Yes, if you want to make Gaben really happy, sell for 3 cents and give him 2 What are some real-money marketplaces for CSGO items? Use all external sites at your own risk
www.bitskins.com (UPDATE: Bitskins seams to have new owners since Oct 2019, though still unknown who they are and how the site will develop from here)
I've personally used skinbaron and skinbay and had no problems so far. There are others out there like cs deals. Update (Oct 2019): I used Bitskins before they changed ownership in Oct. 2019. I am waiting to see who the new owners are (still unknown) and how the site develops, before using them again. Also note that the most popular one, OPSkins was BANNED by Valve in 2018. Do not use OPSkins if you want to cash out from or cash in to Steam anymore. Their so called VGO Skins aren't actual CSGO skins, even though they look similar. Update (Oct. 2019): OPSkins apparently made a comeback with a P2P system without using Bots. Proceed with caution, because Valve basically sent them a cease and desist letter in the past letting them know that they aren't allowed to be associated with CSGO and use any intellectual property of Valve on their websites at all anymore. What is the most efficient way to cash out? Sell the items directly at Bitskins, Skinbaron or another trustworthy site. Depending on the items, this can take a while. As an alternative you can exchange your investments into liquid items (popular skins for frequently used weapons, certain knives, case keys, sticker keys, nametags etc. - spend some time to determine which item gives you the best rate) and sell those liquid items on external cashout sites. The latter method will increase the speed at which you get money but will lose you a larger percentage. Keep in mind that BitSkins/Skinbaron take a percentage (5% to 15%), Paypal takes a percentage (~2%), and that the item values on external sites (real money value) are always lower than in the Steam Community Market. Also, every transaction on the Steam Community Market takes away 15% already. Occasionally the items on external sites are so cheap compared to SCM that it becomes worth it to sell them on SCM instead, buy keys from the in-game store, and then sell those keys on external sites again. When selling on SCM it almost always is correct to sell with an order that's higher than the highest buy order and higher than the lowest sell order if the lowest sell order is lower than recent trends display. What is the most efficient way to buy in? Buy items (not necessarily CSGO only) from trustworthy external cashout sites or from highly reputable sellers with high cash rep if they offer a better deal (you can find some on /GlobalOffensiveTrade) and sell the items on the Steam Community Market. Spend some time to determine which item gives you the best discount compared to Steam Market Price. Be aware that some items such as souvenir skins, certain Stattrak knives, etc. might have a very high discount, but are very very hard to resell back on steam market, avoid these items and stick to popular items. There is a reason why they have such a high discount. Also be aware that some items might be manipulated on steam market, thus showing a very high discount on 3rd party sites when compared, avoid these items and check their market history to be sure. http://csgo.steamanalyst.com/hotdeals is one of the tools that can help you with good deals, or the deals section at BitSkins. The general rule is also the cheaper the items, the higher the possible discount. For instance you could buy very cheap stickers for sometimes 50% off, and resell on steam market. But the downside is that it takes a lot of time and effort than a single expensive item, but gives you more steam wallet money at the end. Make sure that after steam tax, you always get more money than if you deposit the money directly to Steam, otherwise this whole process becomes completely pointless. What are the case opening odds?
Knives and Gloves
Why did item X increase/decrease in price? Possible reasons: CS:GO updates/balance changes/game changes/market changes (e.g., Tradeup Contract), new cases/operations (both short-term, due to opening frenzies, and long-term, due to increased supplies of skins), a famous streameyoutuber hypes an item, someone tries to manipulate the market, a AAA game is released, a tournament is taking place (CS:GO, DOta 2 etc.), a Steam-sale like Summer sale is going on, a market-bug is ongoing, the ingame drop rate was increased/decreased, legal issues about things related to the CSGO market (e.g., betting/gambling), etc. If I create a new Steam account, how do I transfer items to that account? How long does this take? Create a new account, log in (via the thick client), set up your profile, enable Steam Guard, wait 15 days, and transfer the items to the account from your main (double check that it is your account). If you intend to use the thin client (e.g., via Chrome), make sure that you log in from there as well because Steam will impose a 7 day trade restriction on your account when you attempt to create a new transaction from a new device (a device meaning a new browser). Also, if you do not have mobile authentication enabled on the alt account, there will be a 3 day delay for trades. You can use the same phone number & email address for many Steam accounts. Also, Gmail forwards emails addressed to your account even if dots (.) are added in between the username characters of your email address. If I create a new Steam account, how do I use the Community Market? How long does this take? Same steps as above, but you need to purchase a game that costs at least $5 or deposit $5 into your Steam wallet (and wait a month) before being able to use the Community Market. Keep in mind that using a new payment method will trigger a weeklong community market cooldown on your account. After buying a CSGO item from the Steam Community Market, how long do I have to wait until I can sell/trade it? They are sellable immediately on the Market. You need to wait 7 days until you can trade them to another account. Note that items from some other games, have the 7 days cool down both for trading AND steam market (like Rust). How do buy orders work? When you place a buy order, the market first looks for all the cheapest items that can fulfill your order. Then the oldest listing (i.e. the seller who has waited the longest) is selected and purchased. If the items are listed in multiple currencies, the amounts are first converted into your currency before being selected (i.e. a 0.03 RUB listing has no priority over a 0.03 USD listing). If multiple buy orders satisfy a new market listing, the oldest matching buy order will be selected. It used to be different in the past, but was changed in 2017. How do I create multiple listings at once on Steam Market? You could use one the addons listed in the "useful sites and tools" section of this guide down below. The current most secure way (since no external extensions are used) is a solution suggested by u/soldture . Simply copy this link: https://steamcommunity.com/market/multisell?appid=730&contextid=2&items=Falchion%20Case Change Falchion%20Case to your desired item name. This solution only works with commodity items. This also works with other games (you have to change the appid and replace it with the appid of that game, for instance Rust is 440. Item X hyped and is going to moon. Should I Buy? Usually parabolic moves are followed by a crash (not always but most of the time). It is almost never a good idea to buy when something is mooning because of a video, some news, manipulation, mass hysteria and hype or whatever else. Buy the rumour, sell the news. Item X is crashing hard. The Market is crashing. I am shaking and panicking. Should I Sell? Stay calm, take a deep breath and find out what is really going on and what you really think about it. As an example: there was a huge panic when gambling sites were being banned. Many people panicked and sold their items for ridiculously low prices. People were telling eachother that the skin market will crash and never recover if there is no gambling and the world is going to end. And here we are in 2019, and almost everything (including skins) is at its all time high. However, sometimes you just need to sell fast. Let's say you have a skin from a collection which was inactive for a long time, making the prices of the skins go very high, and then suddenly the collection became active again for whatever reason. Or Gaben officially tells us that he is going to do something crazy with the market which will inevitably crash everything. In that case yes, sell fast (just an example)
Useful sites and tools
Use all external sites, tools and addons at your own risk, some are risky to use, some old and not updated
Credits Helicobacter: FAQ 2.0 (huge shoutout, copied a lot of stuff from this FAQ, sometimes word by word) Steamfrag: Very useful graphs and market data Disclaimer:The information offered here is not financial advice. We, the mod team, are just a bunch of gamers and hobby investors. Do your own due dilligence before investing any real money in to a game and do it at your own risk! Use all external links, sites, tools, addons, etc. at your own risk! Any information in this thread may be outdated at any given time. You should be mentally prepared to lose everything invested in virtual items. Valve could change the rules affecting the market anytime. Third party cashout and trading sites and their BOTS could be banned anytime. External events such as successful lawsuits against Valve, new state laws, new country laws, etc. could also affect the market anytime by forcing Valve to take measures (for instance case opening is now restricted in Belgium and Netherlands, OPSkins got banned, Gambling sites were banned, etc.). Also note that all of your items legally belong to Valve, even if you paid for them. Suggestions and potential corrections to this guide are always welcomed and will be added if necessary and approved by the mod team. I will try to keep this guide updated. Last updated: Nov. 2019
A: tl:dr: Perhaps some discontinued containers/stickers. This thread lists a lot of interesting plots and on this thread you can check out which items were available on which timeframes. Case investing: Buy cases & sticker capsules when they are at 3c/4c. They can't get any cheaper and once they stop dropping they might rise in price (Be aware of the volume on the market - cases with close to a million currently on the market will take a long time to rise in price.) Popularity of the skins in the cases has an influence. i.e. Vanguard cases are still cheap and will rise in price slowly as the skins aren't as desirable, despite the supply stopping. Huntsman cases are much more desirable and quickly rose in price once they stopped dropping. Sticker Capsules were great investments as once a sticker was used on a skin, it was gone from the market for good. Gun Skins from cases only leave the market if a user is banned or the skin is used during the Trade-Up Contract. Supply for stickers should always drop (note: as of the 2016-06-15 patch, they are most likely rare drops). Some cases are more rare and therefore cost more, for example operation Bravo cases. If you know what you're doing, it is sometimes profitable to buy cases at prices higher than 3-4c. Sticker Investing: You could buy stickers when you get a sticker offer then sell on market. Check the prices and be aware of the market tax. You might net a few extra cents pretty quickly but you're really not getting much profit here. Buy up on stickers when the capsules have stopped dropping / they are no longer offered as common deals - My guess is the capsules themselves would be better investments and I don't think there's really any way to know if a sticker is no longer offered as deals other than their recent trending. Stickers, are very similar to passes, they are most commonly a long term investment. Team stickers have always gone on sale at the end of valve sponsored tournaments. Tournament Sticker Investing: Buy stickers at a low price (during the sale towards the end of a tournament is best) and sit on them. You can either sell shortly after the tournament for a quick profit, or wait 6 months+ for a possibly larger profit. As more tournaments are being held and more stickers are released, it is difficult for most stickers to distinguish themselves among the huge mass of other stickers. Only hold on to stickers that you think will appreciate. If you're lucky a team will be banned or split or become successful in the future which is likely to drive up the price of their stickers (see ibuypower). The amount of profit from these stickers depends on how nice they look and how popular they are (if they are too popular, they can be a liability because of overabundance). Katowice stickers look great, Dreamhack not so much, 2014 cologne even less so. This comment and this comment might clarify some Tournament Sticker questions. Skin Investing: Trickier than the other two and more risk involved. I wouldn't really recommend as it's unlikely to be more profitable unless you really know what you're doing. If a skin goes contraband, for whatever reason, the price will shoot up. Buy early when this happens and you should see profit if you wait. Don't expect it to really happen again. Valve will likely not let any copyright infringing skins through after the Howl. Skins from a case that has stopped dropping or from a collection from an operation that has stopped will rise. How much so will depend on their desirability. This will be a slow process. (example: M4A1-S Guardian). Valve, with the Vanguard Operation, reintroduced some rare skins into the game, such as skins from the Cobblestone collection, Overpass collection, Cache collection and Dust collection which drastically reduced the value of the majority of skins involved. Gun Skins from cases only leave the market if a user is banned or the skin is used during the Trade-Up Contract. Knife Investing: More or less don't. Knives are fickle things to trend. Maybe you find a knife with a nice pattern going cheap due to an oblivious seller. But it won't be easy to get rid of. As with the skins knives from cases that are no longer dropping should rise in price, knives from current cases (i.e. Falchion) will drop in price until the case stops dropping. Operation Pass Investing: These are the things that you redeem in order to get access to an operation. After the operation, all it does is give you access to the coin (which some players like to collect). All passes so far have gone on sale at the end of their operation. You can buy passes then sell after the operation has finished. If you want to do this, buy during the sale and wait 4-6 months. You should see profit, but I personally wouldn't bother. Vanguard sold well as it didn't reach as low a discount as people were expecting and wasn't on sale long, so not many were bought. Furthermore, Valve stopped selling the Vanguard Pass before the operation ended, which caused players who wanted to complete the missions to buy it from the market. Souvenir Case Investing: Research the different cases and their skins. Cases like the Cobblestone case is the most desirable due to the Dragon Lore. During the tournament the supply will be at it's height so buy early and wait. Profit will continue to climb but might be a slow process depending on the case you have and the volume that were dropped. Gift Package Investing: In the Winter months Valve sells gift packages for $1. If you open a Gift Package on a server, it will award a random player a random regular skin drop. In any given 2 hour period, those five players that open the most Gift Packages are displayed on a leader-board in the beginning of every game of every Valve NA CSGO server. This has been exploited for advertising. In 2013, people didn't anticipate that the Gift Packages are limited to the Winter months and in the following year, CSGO exploded in popularity. This multiplied the price of CSGO Gift Packages until they were sold again in 2014. In 2014, many people expected the same thing to happen, so the supply of Gift Packages increased. CSGO exploded again, but this time the price of gift packages increased much more because gambling sites started to boom and they competed for advertising. It is possible that in 2015, many people and gambling sites will buy many more gift packages than previously, and that the relative growth of CSGO will decrease. Valve announced that they will pull the advertising feature of the gift packages during early 2016. Tournament pin investing: Coming soon CSGO game key investing: Coming soon
Q: What items have been (in some cases, virtually) discontinued?
A: Here's what you can only get from the marketplace/trading and absolutely nowhere else: GUNS M4A4 Howl (removed due to copyright violation) Dual Berettas Retribution (removed due to artist ban) P90 Desert Warfare (removed due to artist ban) CZ75-Auto Poison Dart (removed due to artist ban) StatTrak MAC-10 Curse (removed due to artist ban and cannot be traded up to) StatTrak USP-S Orion (removed due to artist ban and cannot be traded up to) The Consumer Grade skins of the Assault, Alpha, and Office collections cannot be traded up to and these collections did not return after their initial drop phase. STICKERS Note all of these are probably now rare offers in the in-game store: Sticker Howling Dawn (removed due to copyright violation) Sticker King on the Field (removed due to artist ban) Sticker Winged Defuser (removed due to artist ban) Sticker Harp of War (Holo) (removed due to artist ban) Sticker Windy Walking Club (probably no longer for sale) Sticker War Penguin (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Terrorized (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Stay Frosty (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Fight like a Girl (probably no longer for sale) Sticker CT in Banana (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Chicken Strike (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Bossy Burger (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Blitzkrieg (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Witch (probably no longer for sale) Sticker T on Cat (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Stay Frosty (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Till Death Do Us Part (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Terrorized (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Pigeon Master (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Blitzkrieg (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Windy Walking Club (probably no longer for sale) Sticker War Penguin (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Shooting Star Return (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Nelu the Bear (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Flashbang (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Fight like a Girl (probably no longer for sale) Sticker CT in Banana (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Chicken Strike (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Cat Call (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Bossy Burger (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Trick Or Threat (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Zombie Lover (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Witch (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Trick Or Treat (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Bomb Squad (Foil) (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Work For Ammo (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Warowl (probably no longer for sale) Sticker T-Rekt (probably no longer for sale) Sticker SAS Chicken (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Piece Of Cake (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Pandamonium (probably no longer for sale) Sticker My Little Friend (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Massive Pear (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Ho Ho Ho (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Blood Boiler (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Headless Chicken (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Hostage Rescue (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Wanna Fight (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Witchcraft (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Robo (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Lucky Cat (Foil) (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Baaa-ckstabber! (probably no longer for sale) Sticker CS On The Mind (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Doru The Fox (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Queen Of Pain (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Eco Rush (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Just Trolling (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Flickshot (probably no longer for sale) Sticker One Shot One Kill (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Chi Bomb (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Dinked (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Awp Country (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Ninja Defuse (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Delicious Tears (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Knife Club (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Doomed (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Don't Worry, I'm Pro (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Pros Don't Fake (? probably no longer for sale) Sticker Firestarter (Holo) (probably no longer for sale) Sticker Phoenix (Foil) (? probably no longer for sale) CONTAINERS 2013/2014/2015/2016 Souvenir Cases (ceased dropping) Sticker Capsule 1 and 2 (ceased dropping, (note: as of the 2016-06-15 patch, they are most likely rare drops)) Community Sticker Capsule 1 (ceased dropping (note: as of the 2016-06-15 patch, they are most likely rare drops)) 2014/2015/2016 Tournament Sticker Capsules (no longer for sale) Gift Package, Pallet, and Parcel (only available during Christmas) OTHER All Operation Passes (no longer for sale) Music Kit Midnight Riders (no longer for sale, probably only available during Christmas) Weapon Case 1 (confirmed rare drop) Weapon Case 2 (confirmed rare drop) Weapon Case 3 (confirmed rare drop) eSports 2013 Case (confirmed rare drop) eSports 2013 Winter Case (confirmed rare drop) eSports 2014 Summer Case Operation Bravo Case (confirmed rare drop) Winter Offensive Case (confirmed rare drop) Vanguard Case (confirmed rare drop) Huntsman Case (confirmed rare drop) Chroma Case (confirmed rare drop) Phoenix Case Breakout Case Revolver Case Falchion Case Shadow Case Wildfire Case Chroma 2 Case Chroma 3 Case Operation Hydra Case (probably a mistake by Valve) u/steamfrag has posted the drop timeframes for these., created a timeline visualization here, and overlayed price history visualizations here. The following collections are discontinued when no operation is going on: Cache, Overpass, Cobblestone, Chop Shop, Rising Sun, Gods and Monsters. Consumer tier skins in those collections cannot be traded up to. The following collections don't drop right now but could reappear in a future operation: Baggage, Mirage, Nuke, Militia, Inferno, Vertigo, Aztec, Dust, and, potentially, Assault, Office, and Alpha.
Q: What currently drops ingame and what are the case opening probabilities?
A: All mainstream cases outside of the cases listed in the "other" section above drop. u/qsulphurous: The currently dropping weapon collections during non operation times are: Dust 2, Train, Bank, Italy, Safehouse, Lake. Mirage used to be in the drop Pool but was replaced by Bank when the Huntsman case was released. Here are the case opening probabilities
Q: What are some ways I can make a profit on the market, other than investing (long-term)?
A: Note that a lot of these are automated already with bots (which can hurt your profitability) and that some are more scalable than others (e.g., through multiple accounts). Weekly Operation fluctuations (hotshowerscene) - With the new "1 drop per week" for the operation we're seeing big fluctuations in some skins on the market . As the drop resets everyone levels up then most sell their skins more or less immediately. This massive influx drives the prices down. As the supply of skins slows throughout the week the price climbs back up, usually peaking just before the drop resets. If you play this right you can make a bit of profit by buying and selling on the market at the correct times for the correct prices. This can be a gamble as there's not really much certainty on the price. My advice here: research the skins and their trends. Skins that can be used in tradeups to highly desirable skins are the best, but it's hard to judge what will happen and what the price peak will be. If you do this, make sure you're happy with any profit and don't get too greedy. (example: Skins that tradeup to M4A1-S Icarus Fell) Random fluctuations - Keep an eye on mid price skins that there isn't a huge volume of (see Deagle Blaze) and if you manage to pick one up at a low price and sell at a peak price then you can net a few bucks profit. Do your research and hope you get lucky. Wide daily seasonality: Some items peak every day at around noon and tank after midnight (EST). If the difference tends to offset the Steam tax (15%), it can be taken advantage of. Usually, this requires a large volume to be reasonably profitable. If you engage in this technique, keep in mind that there is a scalability limit for the profitability. Expansion and contraction: After a popular game/operation/case/tournament/Steam-sale/market-bug is introduced, players try to dump their items on the market to buy whatever is hot. At the same time, buyers tend to also go for what's hot. Old investment supplies increase, and demand lessens. It is usually wise to do the opposite of the general market behavior and buy on these market crashes. When you want to sell something, it's usually best to wait until the market has fully recovered. Further, during some crashes, it might be better to wait until the end to buy-in as many investors try to buy in early. Trade up items by starting from undervalued items - Start with an inexpensive item (snipe undervalued items from Opskins or CSGOlongue) and make a lot of profitable trades. This usually requires a lot of work. Also, most questions in this arena are better suited for globaloffensivetrade (and if you're trading game gifts /gametrade). Trade up contract arbitrage - Determine if a certain weapon can be traded up to profitably (consider Steam tax). If so, buy the lower level skins, and sell the traded-up to skin on the market until it becomes unprofitable. This is probably already being done by bots. Note that the float value of the traded-up-to weapon is a function of the average float value of the traded-up-from skins. Tournament sticker capsule opening arbitrage: During a period of time of the Cologne 2015 sale, it was actually profitable to buy capsules from the market, open them, and then resell them on the market (in the average case). Smart/educated betting - Bet on teams where the betting odds are inefficient. Most questions in this arena are better suited for csgobetting. Wide bid/ask spreads - Take advantage if the daily bid/ask spread is larger than the Valve tax. Buy commodities that are being demanded at a much lower price than they are being listed at, then sell them back. Don't do this en masse before an expected downturn. Snipe undervalued items from the markets - In the Steam Community Market, this doesn't work well for the more expensive/rare items as the bots close to the Valve data-center (working serially and randomly) are likely to be faster. For OPSkins you can sort the items according to price and find undervalued items. Some sites compare the prices across sites, which allows arbitrage. There's also an extension that shows how discounted different items on OPskins are. Nonethewiserer: For CSGOlongue you can create quick buy order (on auto-bump) and offer fewer keys than an item is worth, and the order can go through on market crashes (quicksell listings). Salvaging the junk yard of gambling sites (barnyard303): Cases can be acquired from CSGOskins for 1 cent as they are trying to liquidate them quickly. Decent skins are overvalued on gambling sites and can be used to cash in. Watch a tournament and hope for souvenir drops: During tournaments, link up your twitch account to your Steam account and keep the twitch stream running in order to potentially get a Souvenir case. Grinding operation missions or weekly drops: It is often the case that paying for the operation pass early is profitable if you get the mission drops and sell them on the market. When a new case is released it can be worthwhile to accumulate in-game time in order to get the new highly-priced case. Sticker flipping: Sometimes it is profitable to buy stickers from the store and then flip them for a profit (after the 15% Steam tax) on the community market. Hunting for sub-variations of items: Some items on various markets have specific sub-patterns/properties that are more valuable than the usual ones (ex., 5-7 Case Hardened blue pattern, Black Pearl pattern of Doppler knives, KennyS Cobblestone Packages, skins with the Howl sticker) and they are sometimes undervalued (especially during market downturns). Item gambling: If done kosher, a -EV proposition because of the rake. Over many trials, a guaranteed loss due to the law of large numbers. That being said, some people have developed shady schemes where it can become profitable (e.g., via market manipulation). However, these schemes are risky. Currency arbitrage: If a particular conversion is highly skewed and Valve's adjustment is slow, it can become profitable for a certain country to buy items in the store or Community Market and resell them off the community market to another country. You can use a VPN and Paypal to pretend you live in another country, although it's pretty risky. Sell high and hope for a market bug/manipulation: List items for a higher price than their market value and hope that a Steam bug will occur where sellers temporarily won't be able to create new listings, while buyers can still buy the items (or hope that someone engages in market manipulation of your item). Create high buy orders to items priced out of SCM: Some items (e.g., Kato 14 Holos and Dragon Lores) have a market value greater than can be listed in the SCM. Some uninformed owners will still list these items on sale on the SCM (way below market value) every few months, and their sell order gets matched with the highest buy order. Therefore, a profitable strategy is to create the highest buy orders on these items. Check this FAQ for how you can create these buy orders. Note that you actually need to have the money in your Steam wallet, and that it needs to stay there for a while (you can make buy orders for 10x the amount in your wallet). Having a large Steam wallet is already associated with hidden costs (inflation, illiquidity, Valve's fickle nature etc.); determine for yourself whether you deem these costs worth it. You also need a way to check if your buy order is the highest every now and then.
Q: What are some good sites and tools for market information, outside this subreddit?
Officially, 1000. You can list excess on the market, but after around 200 items listed, the Steam Community Market homepage wont load any longer; the specific item pages, will load, however. I'm not sure after how many items those pages will fail to load. levitating_cucumber and el_vper: You can also reach over 6000 items in your inventory by listing items on the market, buying more items, then cancelling the listed items (4000 2000 is the maximum safe amount). Note that your listing volume+Steam Wallet cannot exceed $500 at any given time. Konstaduck: If you have 999 items in your inventory, you can also accept a trade with at most 1000 items for a total space of 1999. u/MikeR0tch: Apparently, the trade trick doesn't work any longer, unless you follow some specific rules.
Q: How much does Steam charge in tax/fees when I sell an item on the Steam Community Market?
This thread show the exact formula, while this thread shows the values for cent values in the range $0.01 to $1.
Q: What is the most efficient way to buy in?
A: Buy items (not necessarily CSGO only) from trustworthy sellers (e.g., Opskins) that you can sell on the Steam Community Market. Spend some time to determine which item gives you the best rate (http://csgo.steamanalyst.com/hotdeals is one of the tools that can help you with that, there's also an extension out there that displays the discount% on each item loaded). Alternatively, Steam gift cards are sometime on sale. If someone is selling the investments you want off market at discounted rates, that could be an even more attractive option. When you buy from the SCM, it is almost always correct (unless you are dealing with something timing-sensitive) to place a buy order that's lower than the cheapest sell order.
Q: What are some real-money marketplaces for CSGO items?
A: Sell the items directly on Opskins/Bitskins (or a trustworthy competitor with small fees). Depending on the investment items, this can take a while. As an alternative you can exchange your investments into liquid items (popular skins for frequently used weapons, certain knives, case keys, sticker keys, nametags etc. - spend some time to determine which item gives you the best rate) and sell those liquid items on OPskins. The latter method will increase the speed at which you get money but will lose you a larger percentage. Keep in mind that OPskins takes a percentage (5% or 10% depending on your membership - there are coupon codes btw), Paypal takes a percentage (~2%), and that the values on OPskins are lower than in the Steam Community Market. Also, every transaction on the Steam Community Market takes away 15% already. Occasionally the items on OPskins are so cheap compared to SCM that it becomes worth it to sell them on SCM instead, buy keys from the in-game store, and then sell those keys on OPskins. When selling on SCM it almost always is correct to sell with an order that's higher than the highest buy order and higher than the lowest sell order if the lowest sell order is lower than recent trends display.
Q: Why did item X increase/decrease in price?
A: Possible reasons: CS:GO updates/balance changes/game changes/market changes (e.g., Tradeup Contract), new cases/operations (both short-term, due to opening frenzies, and long-term, due to increased supplies of skins), a famous streamer hypes an item, someone tries to manipulate the market, a AAA game is released (short-term loss and long-term losses), a tournament is taking place (CS:GO, DOta 2 etc.), a Steam-sale is going on, a market-bug is ongoing, the ingame drop rate was increased/decreased, legal issues about things related to the CSGO market (e.g., betting) etc.
Q: If I create a new Steam account, what do I have to do in order to transfer items to that account? How long does this take?
A: Create a new account, log in (via the thick client), set up your profile, enable Steam Guard, wait 15 days, and transfer the items to the account from your main (double check that it is your account). If you intend to use the thin client (e.g., via Chrome), make sure that you log in from there as well because Steam will impose a 7 day trade restriction on your account when you attempt to create a new transaction from a new device (a device meaning a new browser). Also, if you do not have mobile authentication enabled on the alt account, there will be a 3 day delay for trades. You can use the same phone number & email address for many Steam accounts. Also, Gmail forwards emails addressed to your account even if dots (.) are added in between the username characters of your email address.
Q: If I create a new Steam account, what do I have to do in order to use the Community Market in that account? How long does this take?
A: Same steps as above, but you need to purchase a game that costs at least $5 or deposit $5 into your Steam wallet (and wait a month) before being able to use the Community Market. Keep in mind that using a new payment method will trigger a weeklong community market ban on your account.
Q: After buying an item from the Steam Community Market, how long do I have to wait until I can sell/trade it?
A: They are sellable immediately on the Market. You need to wait a week until you can trade them to another account.
Q: How are buy orders prioritized once someone sells an item with a price in the buy range?
A:See answer here: Price -> currency -> datetime of order. Apparently, there is some controversy over this. There's the hypothesis out there that this ruleset only applies to weapon listings and that sticker listings work as follows: Price (order qualifier) -> some combination of currency and datetime of order (quantifier)
Q: How do I add over $400 to my Steam Wallet?
A: Buy keys and games with your wallet funds and then create refunds on all those purchases. Redeem Steam Wallet codes. Perhaps you have to use the Steam API to create buy orders with these large amounts of Steam money (u/ursoos). It's needless to be said that this is quite risky.
Q: How do I mass sell items without having to list and confirm them one-by-one?
Q: Help! I listed to many items and my Steam market page won't load any longer. How can I access the listed items?
2016-05-24 Added changelog, referenced a thread with interesting stats in the first section 2016-05-24 How many items can I hold in my inventory? Linked the quick trade trick. 2016-06-15 Added FAQ element on SCM market page not loading. 2016-06-16 Changed references saying that Sticker Capsules do not drop. Added reference to Javascipt source which is potentially able to remove listings in case pages do not load. 2016-06-22 Added http://184.108.40.206/charts/items/ to websites 2016-06-24 Added more information to How do I add over $400 to my Steam Wallet? 2016-06-28 Added revolver case to rare drops 2016-07-03 Added more info to "Why did item X increase/decrease in price?" 2016-07-04 Minor formatting 2016-07-05 More info added to the question about listing and confirming items to sell on SCM 2016-07-07 Grammar 2016-07-17 Added the Q&A on Steam tax 2016-07-21 Added more clarification to Why did item X increase/decrease in price?, added Falchion to rare drops, added all kinds of references to OPskins-SCM arbitrage opportunities, and an extension that shows discount% on OPskins items 2016-07-22 Added Q&A regarding what currently drops. 2016-08-27 Qualified the tl:dr in the first question, added Shadow Case to rare drops, added tips for SCM buyin/cashouts at the respective questions. 2016-09-06 Added http://beta.csgro.com/ to links 2016-09-18 Create high buy orders to items priced out of SCM, added more realistic warning at the bottom of thread 2016-10-04 More clarifications to Create high buy orders to items priced out of SCM 2016-10-25 Added indications that retired in-game sticker offers returned as rare offers 2016-10-25 Added Wildfire case as rare drop 2016-12-06 Added more software links 2016-12-10 Case opening probabilities 2017-01-14 Added link to steamfrags item availability chart 2017-03-16 Added Chroma 2 to rare drops 2017-09-23 Added Chroma 3 to rare drops 2017-09-23 Added Operation Hydra Case to discontinued drops Please notify me of potential corrections and suggestions. Any of the information in this thread may be outdated at any given time; invest at your own risk. You should be psychologically prepared to lose everything invested in CSGO items. Valve is very fickle with regard to rules and regulations that could affect the SCM, the CSGO game, general Steam item management, and anything related.
I have been a matched betting enthusiast for years and now I am teaching it for free to everyone.
Hey beermoneyukers! After years working in my 9-5 job as a website developer for a large corporation I decided I could not face selling my soul any longer lols and packed in my job. Since then, I had a stint working as a freelancer whilst also making a healthy side income via matched betting. And over the past 9 months I’ve been building a website that teaches people how to do the same. There are a lot of websites out there that teach matched betting, but most require a monthly subscription and most have long articles that can be a bit dry and hard to follow. So instead, I built a website, Team Profit, that: Is completely free Uses animated video guides to teach people (link) Has infographics to accompany all video guides Provides step by step guides for 25+ bookmaker offer which will make you £600+ risk free (link) I have amended the video script over 50 times to try to make it as concise and helpful as possible, hopefully they are a good watch! Any feedback on the videos, guides, blog or anything else, please let me know, I spend every day adding new content and improving existing content. If you are thinking of learning matched betting and making £600+ risk free, please check it out! www.teamprofit.com
MEGA FAQs GUIDE TO MATCHED BETTING
The video guides I posted above will teach you everything about matched betting. However, I figure no harm in me writing down everything I know about matched betting in an FAQ style layout. Hopefully this will be useful to you. I have tried to answer every question as concise as possible / no rambling :D I have split the FAQs into the following sections:
INTRODUCTION 1) What exactly is matched betting and how I do make money risk free? 2) How popular is matched betting? 3) Does it involve gambling? 4) How much money will I need to start? 5) How much time will it take me to learn matched betting?
OFFERS & YOUR PROFIT 1) How much money can I make matched betting from the welcome offers (new customer only)? 2) How much is a free bet worth in actual cash profit? 3) After I have finished the Welcome Offers, how much money can I make matched betting each month from Daily Offers (existing customer offers)? 4) What type of Daily Offers are available?
BOOKMAKERS AND BETTING EXCHANGES 1) Which bookmakers have the best welcome offers? 2) Which bookmakers have the best offers for existing customers? 3) What is mug betting? 4) What is a betting exchange? 5) How do we use a betting exchange?
ADDRESSING COMMON CONCERNS 1) How sustainable is matched betting? 2) Will it impact my credit rating? 3) Do the bookmakers have terms to stop customers from withdrawing? 4) Do I need to know about sports?
WHICH WEBSITES TEACH MATCHED BETTING - YOUR OPTIONS 1) Where can you learn matched betting?
ADDITIONAL FAQS 1) Depositing and withdrawing 2) Sending identification documents Any questions that haven’t been answered please add a comment and I’ll add the FAQ and answer.
1) What exactly is matched betting and how I do make money risk free? There are more than 25 online bookmakers in the UK. In order to attract new customers, they each offer free bets, known as ‘Welcome Offers’. In total they offer over £800 in free bets to new customers. In order to receive the free bet, bookmakers require you to place your first bet. An example offer is ‘Bet £5, Get £20 free bet’. The risk is that you could lose both the £5 bet (your own cash) and the £20 free bet. By using a technique called matched betting, we remove this risk. This is because we match our first £5 bet on the bookmaker with a £5 bet on a betting exchange on the opposite outcome (this is known as a ‘lay bet’). For example, we bet £5 on Man Utd to win on the bookmaker, and £5 on Man Utd not to win on the betting exchange. As we have now bet on all outcomes, regardless of whether Man Utd win, draw or lose, we will neither win nor lose money. However, we have received the £20 free bet! With the £20 free bet, we can now repeat this process by betting on say Liverpool to win on the bookmaker and Liverpool not to win. This time, because we are using a £20 free bet but our winnings are paid out in cash, we will always make a profit. We repeat this process for 25+ bookmakers, one by one. In total we can convert the £800+ in free bets to over £600+ in actual cash profit, in very little time at all.
2) How popular is matched betting? Matched betting isn’t new and has been around since at least 2005. However, it is only since 2015 that it has really increased in popularity due to the rise of websites teaching matched betting. You can see this trend here: Google Trends Link By looking at the various matched betting sites popularity, a reasonable estimate is at least 25,000 people in the UK are matched betters. You can see a review of sites that teach matched betting in the ‘Which websites teach matched betting?’ section below.
3) Does it involving gambling? This is the most common assumption with matched betting. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it did involve gambling simply because the name ‘matched betting’ would suggest it did. However, matched betting does not involve gambling, you will never be risking a penny. Because we are always covering the opposite outcome occurring, there is never any risk we will lose money. Furthermore, we still receive the free bets which we will where we make our profit. The profitability and risk free nature of matched betting has been reviewed in the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian
4) How much will I need to start? You can start with as little as you want, however the lowest I would recommend starting with would be £25. With £25, you can start your first bookmaker welcome offer and make a deposit into your first betting exchange, meaning you can start making a profit. For more details, see this Starting with £25 guide. The downside, with only £25 you are restricted by having to wait for withdrawals before you can move onto the next offer. Therefore, I would say an optimal amount to have available for your cash flow would be in the region of £200 as this allows you to complete multiple welcome offers simultaneously.
5) How long will it take me to learn matched betting? To learn the principles of matched betting, it will take up to 20 minutes. To become familiar with completing your first offer, I would set aside another 30-60 minutes so you can take your time and ensure you are completing it correctly. For example, the video guides on Team Profit last a total of 21 minutes (8 minutes for the explainers videos and 13 minutes to watch the step-by-step real time example). Although they last just 21 minutes, some users watch certain parts of the video again to become comfortable with the process. It is very much recommended to avoid trying to learn matched betting by yourself. There are thousands of experienced matched betters who can help you. For more details on this, see the ‘Which Websites Teach Matched Betting’ section. If you need any help anytime, please do comment in this Reddit thread and I’ll help you out.
1)How much money can I make matched betting from the welcome offers (new customer only)? From the welcome offer, you can make approximately £1,000 cash profit. There are 25+ bookmaker offers available on sports for at least £600 profit. These are relatively straightforward offers and good value in terms of time to complete. It would take around 12 hours to complete these offers, which works around £40 / hour tax free. You can complete them over any time period you like. There are at least another 5 bookmaker offers, such as Bet365 and BetVictor, though these require more time, you could make around £100 to £200. They require more time because the bookmaker requires you to bet many more times before you can withdraw. Plus 20+ offers across casino and bingo, though some are not risk free and typically take more time to complete, but you should be able to make at least £200 profit from these offers. So overall, there is an easy £600 profit risk free, then up to another £400 if it’s worth your time to do them.
2) How much is a free bet worth in actual cash profit? A £10 free bet is worth between £5 to £8 in actual cash profit. The reason for the range is because the higher odds you choose for your free bet, the more actual cash profit you will make. For example, if you bet on a football team with odds of 2.0, the £10 free bet will convert to around £5 cash profit. Whereas if you bet on a football team that is unlikely to win, with odds of say 6.0, the £10 free bet will convert to around £8 cash profit. Note though, the higher odds you choose, the more you will need in your betting exchange account in case the bet wins. For a detailed explanation with examples, read this free bet profit article.
3) After I have finished the Welcome Offers, how much money can I make matched betting each month (from existing customer offers)? Anywhere from £100 to £1,000+ per month. Bookmakers continue to run free bet offers to retain their customers, I refer to these as Daily Offers. Daily Offers are typically less valuable than the welcome offers but still worth completing. For example, rather than ‘Bet £5 Get £20’ that they offer to new customers, they may instead run ‘Bet £20 Get £10’ and on a particular football match. I would say for people with a day job, aiming for between £300 to £500 a month is realistic. In terms of time required, for every hour you spend, you should make around £30 tax free. So to make £300 a month, expect to spend around 2-3 hours a week. I’d say to earn more than this, you will likely need to accept a lower hourly rate and do some of the low value offers too. If you are looking to make £1,000+, I’d expect you would have to be near full time and also be fortunate to keep your enough of your bookmaker accounts open for 12+ month period (what is mugging bet FAQ below).
4) What type of offers are available for existing customers?
Easy offers: The most common easy offer on football matches is Bet £20 Get £10 free bet. Many bookmakers run this offer, though it will usually be on a particular football match. The most common easy offer on horse racing is usually on SkyBet, who will run simple offers such as ‘Get £25 free bet if your horse comes 2nd or 3rd’. There are also easy casino offers, such as ‘£5 risk free’, where you spin on slots and hope to win, if you don’t they’ll refund up to £5 of losses. These offers can make you up to £300 per month (or £500 on a good month with European football) and are easy for those with a day job.
Harder offers: If you are looking to make more than £300 to £500 a month, then you will need to spend time on Saturday’s completing horse racing offers on Channel 4 racing and during the week too, though Saturday’s are the most profitable. Plus you will need to do more advanced offers such as football accumulator refunds, each way offers, though I will leave these aside given they could have their own separate thread :p If you’d like to understand where you can learn more about these offers, see ‘Which sites teach matched betting?’ FAQ below.
BOOKMAKERS AND BETTING EXCHANGE
1) Which bookmakers have the best welcome offers?
There are 3 formats of bookmakers welcome offers.
‘Bet £X Get £Y free bet’ - these are the most straightforward. Simply place your first bet and receive a free bet. This format of welcome offer, ranging from Bet £5 Get £20 to Bet £50 Get £50, is available on Coral, SkyBet, BetBright, Betfred, Paddy Power, BetStars, William Hill, Stan James, Betway, Ladbrokes, TitanBet, 32Red and MarathonBet.
‘Refunds’ (also known as Risk Free offers) - these are similar to Bet £X Get £Y free bet. The only difference is you only receive your free bet if your first bet loses, hence I refer to these offers are refund offers. This format of welcome offer is, ranging from £10 to £50 refunds, is available on Bwin, Dafabet, UniBet, Totesport, 188Bet, SuperLenny, Genting and 888Sport.
‘Multi Bets’ - these welcome offers require multiple bets to be placed before receiving your reward. It can take form of a bonus which requires to bet £X amount until you can withdraw any winnings, or the form of a cash reward once you have bet £X amount. This format of welcome offer is available on Bet365, BetVictor and some other bookmakers, however they often require such a large amount of betting that I haven’t included them in this list. The quickest to complete are the Bet £X Get £Y due to their simplicity, then the next best are the ‘Refunds’ offers. The Multi Bet offers can be very valuable (e.g. Bet£365’s offer is worth over £150 profit risk free) but can also require much larger deposits in order to place the bookmaker bets and lay these bets in your Exchange.
2) Which bookmakers have the best offers for existing customers?
Bookmakers vary in their level of generosity to existing customers. This is a little subjective, but in my opinion, this is the ranking of bookmakers for existing customers:
Best: Bet365 Bet365 run a £50 Risk Free offer most months (sometimes twice a month during popular football months) which is worth £35. It is very quick to complete (less than 10 minutes) so for £35 to £70, or around £500 a year, it is a great offer. Plus they have one of the best horse racing offers, up to a £50 risk free bet if your pick a winning horse with high odds. This is a profitable offer worth around £20-£30 a week, or up to £1,000 to £1,500 a year.
Second Best: SkyBet SkyBet run regular £5 to £25 free bet offers on horse racing and football, plus regular £5 risk free offers in SkyVegas.
Third & Fourth Best: Coral and Paddy Power Both these sites run regular horse racing, price boosts and football offers (Bet £20 Get £10 in particular), at least £20 to to be made on every week from these two sites.
Good: William Hill, Ladbrokes, BetStars, Stan James, Betway, Bwin, Betfred, Totesport, 188Bet, 888, BetVictor All these bookmakers run offer(s) each week so it’s worth ensuring you have completed the welcome offer for each of these sites so you can take advantage of their daily offers for existing customers.
3) What is mug betting? If you are only ever betting when you receive an offer, the bookmaker will no longer allow your account to receive free bet offers (this is known as being ‘gubbed’). To get around this, you should place ‘mug’ bets. ‘Mug’ bets are simply bets that a ‘mug’ punter would place. Mug bets include £1 accumulators (betting on several teams to win) and betting on favourites without an offer. Most advice suggests that for every offer you receive, you should place 2-3 mug bets. If you are gubbed, it does kinda suck when you receive the email, as you can no longer profit from the bookmaker’s offers. It is also becoming increasingly common as bookmakers are noticing more suspected matched bettors, due to its increasing popularity. My advice is to make money whilst you can and take sensible precautions to try to keep your account active. For more details, see this Mug Betting article
4) What is a betting exchange? A betting exchange is a marketplace for customers to bet between each other on the outcome of particular events. This differs from a traditional bookmaker because an exchange also gives you the ability to be the bookmaker yourself and take bets from other exchange users. Standard bookmakers generate profit by offering odds that are in their favour. Betting exchanges explained in terms of how they generate revenue is they charge a commission on any winnings a player receives. The two market leading betting exchanges are, Betfair and Smarkets. For more details, Betting Exchanges Comparison.
5) How we use betting exchanges? When matched betting, a betting exchange is used to place our lay bets (the opposite bet to our trigger bet). So when we place the trigger bet with the bookmaker on one outcome to release the initial free bet, we must also cover the opposite outcome so that if the bookmaker bet does lose we still win on the lay bet - making it risk free! Similarly when we are placing the free bet bet with the bookmaker we then lay off that bet using the exchange and because we’re using a free bet but being paid out in cash, this is how we turn free bets into withdrawable cash. We only ever use betting exchanges for lay bets.
ADDRESSING COMMON CONCERNS
1) How sustainable is matched betting? Matched betting over the past 6-9 months has become harder. Most bookmakers have realised they are thousands of matched betters taking advantage of their offers and so have either reduced the generosity of their offers or have made the daily offers more complicated. However, there is still intense competition between the bookmakers, meaning they will always run special offers to an extent. By spending a few hours a week, you can still make £300 to £500 a month, whereas in past year(s) this figure could have been £500 to £800. The biggest issue matched betters face is being ‘gubbed’. As explained in the mug betting FAQ, this is when a bookmaker restricts you from receiving free bets and bonuses. There are various theories as to how a particular bookmaker decides to to gub a customer. Reasons include taking up too many offers, winning a high % of bets, withdrawing regularly, placing bets far in advance or at irregular times. The truth is nobody really knows precisely why people gubbed. However, you can expect to get gubbed at some point from a particular bookmaker, it may be 2 months, it may be 2 years, it is hard to know. I really think though that everyone can make up to £1,000 from the Welcome Offers and at least £300 to £500 a month without any problems. I think the issues comes when you are making £1,000+ every month which sooner or later bookmakers will catch up that you are taking up a lot of offers. Having said this, some people say they have been making £1,000+ every month for years, so maybe it is possible if you are using a wide variety of bookmakers and consistently placing mug bets.
2) Will it impact my credit rating? Having betting activity on your bank statement does not impact your credit rating. The only thing to be wary of when making betting deposits and withdrawals is that it can affect your application for a mortgage. So if you’re planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future then I’d recommend using a separate bank account to that which you’ll be applying for the mortgage with.
3) Do the bookmakers have terms to stop customers from withdrawing? The vast majority of welcome offers do not have any withdrawal restrictions. A handful of welcome offers do but this will be state in the terms and conditions. It is much easier though to use a matched betting website as they will clearly highlight the key terms of each offer (see ‘Which websites teach matched betting’ section below). Casino offers will almost always have withdrawal restrictions, however for the matched betting welcome offers we are focusing on sports betting.
4) Do I need to know about sports? Not at all! You do not need a sports background or have any sort of betting knowledge, many matched betters do not know anything about sport or betting before learning matched betting. You may learn matched betting a little faster if you have sports betting experience but it really isn't important at all.
WHICH WEBSITE TEACH MATCHED BETTING - YOUR OPTIONS
There are 30+ websites that three key stages to matched betting: Stage 1) Learning matched betting Stage 2) Completing the Welcome Offers (for new customers) Stage 3) Profiting in the long term from Daily Offers (for existing customers) Below I have tried to cover the main sites that will help you with each of these stages.
In summary, I may be biased :p but I think the: Stage 1) and Stage 2) best approach is to use TeamProfit.com Stage 3) Join a paid membership site, either OddsMonkey.com, ProfitAccumulator.co.uk or ProfitMaximiser.co.uk to continue to make money from the Daily Offers.
TeamProfit.com(link) I really believe Team Profit is the best site to learn matched betting and complete the welcome offers, but compare us to the other sites and see what you think! Learn matched betting with animated videos (link) 25+ Welcome Offers using the step by step guides (link) A free Facebook group to provide help to you anytime you need (link).
MoneySavingExpert.com(link) The advantage of MoneySavingExpert is the sheer volume of content, covering all aspects of matched betting. The disadvantage of MoneySavingExpert it is not well structured as it is just one forum with a long lists of posts so it takes quite a while to find relevant threads and miss key information.
MatchedBettingBlog.com(link) The advantage of MatchedBettingBlog is the clear layout of the daily offers posted each day for with step by step instructions. It’s a good site to check to avoid missing the best and easier daily offers. The forum community also helps to post additional offers on top of those listed on the homepage, and also provides general advice on completing daily offers. The disadvantage of MatchedBettingBlog is it is relatively limited in terms of teaching matched betting and does not provide a clear list of welcome offers. Also, for those looking to make £500+ every month, it doesn’t provide any software to help with the more advanced types of matched betting with daily offers, such as horse racing refunds and accumulator refunds, that the paid member sites offer. Additional free matched betting sites include: Matchedbettingfree.co.uk (link)(Reddit thread link) Freebets4all.com (link)
Paid sites usually charge £15 to £25 a month. In return, they will teach matched betting, provide list of welcome offers and provide daily offers too. Additionally, most paid sites will also provide software that helps to make you more money plus save you time.
OddsMonkey.com (link | non) OddsMonkey charge £15 per month or £150 per year. They are the most well known provider of matched betting software. Earlier this year, they added the full range of matched betting services, so now they provide all of the below: Tutorial articles Welcome offer step by step guides Daily offers calendar Software: OddsMatcher, Horse Racing Refunds, Tennis Refunds, range of calculators and spreadsheet Forum The advantage of OddsMonkey is the exceptional value. They have the best range of software and tools for matched betters to maximise their profits, are consistently bringing up new tools at no added cost. At only £15 per month it is one of the best options to consider. The only disadvantage is the forum is not as busy as the next two options, ProfitAccumulator and Profit Maximiser. Though the forum is still a sufficiently active to ensure any questions have you are answered quickly.
Profit Accumulator (Link - Chazmer87's I don't have one | non) Profit Accumulator charge £23 per month or £150 per year Profit Accumulator helped to bring matched betting to the main stream with a highly active community. There are clear similarities between OddsMonkey and Profit Accumulator in terms of their high standard of software and offers. The advantage of Profit Accumulator is their very active community. There is a great deal of advice in virtually every aspect of matched betting and the information is all well structured. Plus they have a very good offers coverage. The only disadvantage to Profit Accumulator is the higher cost. The membership itself is £23 per month, plus their version of the Horse Racing Refunds software is £10 per month, or £115 a year. So in total you are paying £33 per month versus OddsMonkey’s £15 per month.
Profit Maximiser (Link | non) Profit Maximiser is run by the original matched betting guru Mike Cruickshank. Mike has been building software for matched betters for many years and has a very active Facebook Group. Each piece of software is sold separately, I believe the below is accurate, each have their own £1 free trials: Bonus Bagging £27 plus VAT - provides a list of all welcome offers and teaching (Link | non) Profit Maximiser £97 plus VAT - provides all daily offers (Link | non) Each Way Sniper £47 plus VAT - provides a horse racing betting system (Link) Accumulator Generator £149 plus VAT - provides a football betting system (Link) I believe Mike may have a couple more tools, if so I’ll edit this post if you could please comment / send me a message. The advantage of Mike’s products is that there is no monthly recurring fee, so if you intend to do this for many months, it may work out profitable to do so. Plus from what I understand their Facebook Group finds some lucrative casino loophole offers faster than other matched betting providers. The disadvantage of Mike’s products is that you have to buy each product separately rather than having it all within one simple account. Additionally, the total cost if you were to buy all 4 above listed products is £320 + VAT (total cost £384) whereas you could receive all these tools for £15 per month from Oddsmonkey. Having said that, Mike’s products do come with a £1 free trial, just be careful to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to continue. Additional free matched betting sites include: Yes Bets link Pure Profit link
1) Depositing and withdrawing To ensure you qualify for the Welcome Offer, use a bank card to deposit into your newly set up bookmaker account. Most sites will allow Paypal too though check the terms and conditions. If you use Skrill or Neteller, typically you will not qualify for the Welcome Offer (bookmakers have this rule to prevent fraud) but you can check the terms and conditions. Withdrawing is easy, you should receive your funds within 1-3 working days depending on the bookmaker.
2) Sending identification documents Occasionally, bookmakers may require to send in identification documents (passport or drivers licence for example) and a copy of your bank card. This is to prevent fraud. This usually happens if you are not listed on the Electoral Roll or there is a difference between your home address and billing address. Simply take a photo of the documents they ask for and email them back.
THAT COMPLETES THE MEGA FAQ GUIDE TO MATCHED BETTING!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do post a comment thanks!
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