how to make money with csgo skins - the ultimate guide

How To Make Real Money with CSGO Skins in 2020 (The Ultimate Guide)

The economy of CSGO has always been vastly different from other games. In contrast to other titles which feature in-game items, both cosmetic and others, CSGO has been one of the few in which those items have a real value. This means that your skins can be traded for real money.

Although Valve’s marketplace limited player ability to cash-out, by directing funds to the Steam Wallet which can be used only for transactions on Steam, the community was soon able to create other avenues for making money with skins. The fact that skins have a real monetary value has fuelled controversy with critics of the videogame industry but has made CSGO both a great game and a money-making enterprise, at least for those who know how.

In this article, we will show you a few actionable ways in which you can start making real money using your CSGO skins and potentially turn it into a business over time.

5 Ways To Make Money With CSGO Skins

1. Invest & Trade

The most common way people have been able to profit from skins is investing or trading. Although vastly different pursuits, they attract a similar type of user and have been the bloodline of the CSGO economy since the introduction of skins in 2013. Investing is by far the simplest of the two.

The skin economy is almost a truly free market meaning that the law of supply and demand holds invariably true. As such, there is a fluctuation in prices of items depending on trends, hype, new releases, and rarity. Sometimes a certain weapon gets nerfed which will drop the value on its skins while a buff to a weapon may have the reverse effect on the market. Like in other markets, investors make money by buying an item at a low price and selling it at a higher price. The following are some points prospecting investors should follow:

  • As skins get older and their cases do not drop as much or at all, their price increases.
  • Teams that do good in majors or have insane highlight plays often see a surge in sticker prices.
  • When skins get released their price will – often – move downwards, especially skins from cases.
  • Good float, stickers, or patterns all increase the price of items.

Trading is more complex and requires more dedication, but traders often see larger and consistent cashflows. As a trader, your job is to trade items that people do not want anymore with the ones you have. The fact that someone wants to get rid of a skin, introduces a price differential, i.e. someone might be willing to lose money to acquire a different item.

The money they lose in a trade is what the trader gains as profit. Since users are not often willing to lose money trading, most successful traders operate as cash-out services for their clients. This means that you as a trader would pay real money for an item which you would receive in trade, this increases the profit margin. The important thing to note here is that traders need to have and maintain their reputation such that people are willing to use them over other traders and sites while also losing money when trading. Therefore, for example, the Swedish Youtuber Anomaly is such a good trader.

Finally, the last way in which traders make money is through multiple item trades and rare items in which others are more likely to be willing to lose money.

Both traders and investors might need to buy or sell items through trading bot websites or marketplaces which offer low prices and quick cash out. You can learn more about these services here.

2. Rent out your skins

One of the newest ways to make money comes via Lootbear. The new and pioneering website offers safe CSGO renting services for users. But where do they get their $3 million worth of inventory? That is where you come in.

Lootbear offers players the ability to deposit their skins to the website and get paid when their skins get rented. Their service also insures skins against thefts and protects those who agree to rent out their skins quite successfully. Skin renting is an upcoming industry that will see growth in the coming years and allows you to make real cash using your CSGO skins.

By renting skins you are unable to use your items, but it allows you to make money from skins you do not use while still enjoying the game. The best thing about this is that it is completely passive, meaning the only thing you need to do is deposit your skins, then just withdraw your money when you want.

Lootbear has been quite popular with clients so far offering a real reason for users to deposit their skins. The only real risk is losing your items, however, there are protections in place, and item insurance, so you can rest easy and make money.

3. Gamble your CSGO skins

CSGO gambling has for a long time been the lifeblood of the CSGO economy. Due to the ability of skins to be traded for real cash, CSGO gambling has REAL returns; like playing in a real casino. Although that ‘loophole’ has long been used for gambling operations to avoid stringent gambling laws, it also allows players to profit from their CSGO inventories. There are many great websites to choose from and a large array of games to play, here are a few:

Each game carries its own risk and proportionate reward. As always with gambling, it is not guaranteed that you will win, and you should play at your own risk. CSGO gambling offers a good option if you want to make money and have some good fun at the same time, as after all, it is also a game. Gambling is possibly one of the easiest ways to make big gains on your inventory but that is not always guaranteed.

Each different website and game offer an intriguing environment of risk and reward, as well as benefits if you play at a certain website often. The large item catalogs and security due to how mainstream these sites have become, make them a great choice for those looking for a money-making game.

In contrast to Renting or Investing/Trading, a large initial investment is not required, and you can casually play when you want to maybe make a few extra dollars. If you feel like being a high roller, their website rewards allow you to compound your returns and possibly make even more money.

4. Bet on real CSGO matches

Since the first serious CSGO majors, bets on matches have been an omnipresent part of the CSGO economy. Valve even added a version of the ‘game’ into their in-game major experience through the “Pick’em” game.

Like in so many other sports, CSGO match betting allows those who are interested in the game to make money by betting on the outcome of games. Although this could be grouped with ‘gambling’ (see the previous paragraph), match bets require significantly more knowledge and are based on a calculated judgment. Although match bets have been around for a long time (remember CSGO Lounge?) they had a hard time following legal action against Valve, but some have returned. The best match betting websites are Thunderpick,, and Unikrn.

CSGO match betting gives you a return based on the odds of a team winning a game. More complex bets are also possible. As such when you feel like a team might win a game, you can bet on it and make some money.

The odds in some of these matches are sharp – since betting sites need to make money – so the returns for ‘safe’ games might not be too good. So, the tip is, play the underdog with very little money once in a while. Low investment and possible large gains make it a very appealing choice. Like all other bets and betting strategies, winnings are not guaranteed so, play at your own risk.

5. Trade-Up Contracts

Initially added into the game following the Arms Deal update, Trade-up Contracts have been around for a long time. Surprisingly, these contracts, part of the game, can offer relatively reasonable profits, if done right. So, what are Trade-up Contracts?

They are a feature of CSGO where you can use 10 skins of a certain rarity to upgrade into 1 skin of higher rarity, the odds of the possible skins you could get are calculated by the collections in which the skins are. So how can we use this feature to make money?

Occasionally, there is a ‘market imbalance’ where a certain skin (usually of purple or pink rarity) is significantly higher in price than its inputs (the 10 skins) on a trade-up contract. We can exploit this market imbalance to do what is called ‘arbitrage’ and make money.

These market imbalances are not straightforward as they make sense only when considering a 100% chance to get an item when the chance really is >50%. As such, the skin might not be a statistical arbitrage opportunity (price*odds > price of inputs) but usually the sum of the possible outcomes (average price > price of inputs) is an arbitrage opportunity meaning that profit over many trade-ups is possible.

Serious investors and traders keep an eye out for such opportunities to make a profit. Due to a large number of skins, it is very probable that such opportunities will come up more often in the future. Keep an eye out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the money I am making via CSGO items real?

Yes! We are talking about real money that you can withdraw in whatever currency (or crypto) you like and use on whatever you want.

Are CSGO money withdrawals safe?

Generally, yes. There are many websites so we cannot vouch for all but the websites we have mentioned and feature on our website all have safe withdrawal systems often based on independent processors like PayPal.

I would like to start investing in CSGO items what should I do?

Like any investment, you should research, research, research! Find out as much as you can about the CSGO economy and certain items you feel like are good investments. When the time is right, buy the items you want to hold on to.

I would like to start trading CS skins how should I do it?

You should begin by trading items with a group of your close friends that also play CS and are members of the general community. As we discussed, your reputation is particularly important, so you need to start by making a good name for yourself around the community. Reddit and other forums such as Facebook groups are also good for this.

How much can I make by renting my skins with Lootbear?

We do not know at this time since Lootbear keeps that information private, but you can check them out and find out.

Is CSGO gambling safe?

Yes, all the websites we have mentioned and feature on our website are trustworthy and safe, both on the game side and the payment side.

Can you bet on live CSGO matches?

Yes indeed. Some betting platforms allow you to bet with live odds. You can also break down your bet on a per map or per series basis as well.

How come Valve made Trade-up contracts profitable to players?

Good question considering how unfair cases are. The reason is that Valve has no control over the arbitrage in Trade-up Contracts because the prices of items are market-determined. This means that this feature is community-controlled and not Valve controlled when it comes to making a profit.


All in all, the CSGO economy is a unique beast for any video game. The main draw of the economy, that skins can be converted into real cash, has helped many fans of the game make extra money on the side. The techniques we described are the main possible ways for you to make money in the CSGO economy.

Each is different, easier, harder, based on skill, based on luck etc. but they are all able to help put cash in your pocket. However, like any other industry, it takes effort to break on through and make large amounts of money. Most of what we have outlined is simple and will offer you a small extra income, but Investing and Trading offer the largest serious gains, however, CS investors and traders now operate as businesses making it hard for individuals to enter the market.

All of our recommendations will work to add a few hundred bucks a month to your wallet if you have the time, patience and, money to make it happen. 

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