The Rust Economy - A Guide To Buying/Selling Skins


This guide has been a long time coming, it's been quite a while since I delved deep into Rust, such as my former days where I use to buy and sell skins with substantial profits over $1000 AUD. Over the years I have learnt a lot about the economy, both in Rust, other games such as SWTOR and the wider marketplace. Having recently come back to Rust I have seen a whole variety of new skins and players, both taking advantage of the Rust Economy and falling victim to it's many pitfalls. Sadly we live in an age of corporate greed, sly manipulation and trickery, one showcase of this being online gambling. This guide will steer cleer of onling gambling, it will teach you a secure way to make money from the Rust economy, without the many Rust targeted gamling sites. 

To begin, this guide will be broken down into a few sections. Skin Analysis, price, similar items, sets and when/how to buy and sell.


Step 1: Skin Analysis and Trends

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All skins in rust fit into certain categories, from Apparel to Deployables, Doors, Weapons and more. For the sake introducing new players to all skinable items, a list will be shown below. Although there are a rather large quantity of items in Rust that can be skinned, generally only a select few will be profitable. These are commonly Tier 3 Items and deployables such as Fridges, Tables, Rugs. No market statistic can be determined 100% but a common, plausible reason for this is their size and amount of time used during the traditional Rust wipe. There are of course outliers, where such generally unpopular iteems can sell extremelly well or skinnables in popular categories can sell rather poorly. This guide will aim to teach you to identify and predict these situations before they occur, however like the real like market there are always situations you cannot predict. 

In the categories below all items highlighted in Red will be items that generally sell well and make profit, items highlighted in Blue can be more volatile and unpredictable. All remaining items are generally considered highly risky and not worth investing in.

Weapons

Assault RifleBolt Action RifleBone ClubBone KnifeCombat KnifeCrossbow
Custom SMGDouble Barrel ShotgunEoka PistolF1 GrenadeHunting BowLR-300 Assault Rifle
LongswordM249M39 RifleMP5A4Pump ShotgunPython Revolver
RevolverRocket LauncherSalvaged SwordSemi Automatic RifleThompsonWaterpipe


Construction

Armored DoorConcrete BarricadeGarage DoorSandbag BarricadeSheet Metal DoorWooden Door


Items

ChairFridgeFurnaceLarge Wooden BoxLockerReactive Target
RugRug Bear SkinSleeping BagTableVending MachineWater Purifier
Wood Storage Box





Attire

BandanaBaseball CapBeenie HatBone HelmetBoonie HatBoots
Bucket HelmetBurlap HeadwrapBurlap ShirtBurlap ShoesBurlap TrousersCoffee Can Helmet
Hide BootsHide HalterneckHide PantsHide PonchoHide SkirtHide Vest
HoodieBalaclavaJacketLeather GlovesLongsleeve T-ShirtMetal Chest Plate
Metal FacemaskMiners HatPantsRiot HelmetRoad Sign JacketRoadsign Kilt
ShirtShortsSnow JacketT-ShirtTank Top


Tool

HammerMetal HatchestMetal PickaxeRockSalvaged IcepickSatchel Charge
Stone HatchetStone Pickaxe




Items marked in Red are still not 100% garauntees of success, however as I'll explain now there are other factors and influences that can help determine wether or not the skin will be popular. Items that belong in a set or exist together to makeup a theme are almost always garaunteed to make profit from the base sell price listed by Facepunch when new skins are released every Friday. An example of a set can be seen below,


All items above complete to make a look and style, thus making each individual part more profitable and worth investing in. An indicator of this and the highly potential sky rocket in price of the Playmaker Hoodie/Pants is the current Steam Marketplace value for the exisiting set items, Metal Facemask, Metal Chestplate and Assault Rifle, averaging in value of $15+. There are of course exceptions to this, sets that are introduced that generally remain unpopular or barely increase in value, yet possibly even decrease from the base price. For instances such as this we can look to other indicators, such as how frequently you see the currently listed Facepunch skin during that periods wipe. 


For example, the skin below the Cutesy LR300 has been released in the current week, and you are uncertain of how this item will fair in the future. Observe throughout your wipe how frequently you come across an enemy or friend with this weapon, furthermore. Are your favorite/currently most popular rust Youtubers using this skin? If yes to both, or atleast one of these factors it can be seen as a positive sign that the price will increase over time. Generally for all skins, even ones that are most certaintly to increase in price should not be bought until the day before Facepunch refreshes and updates it's Item Store with new items. This allows us to have a little bit more time to evaluate each skin and deteremine how it will fare.

Sadly not every skin will have a comparison, making this next influence rather difficult to predict. For a large quantity of skins there already exist a decent amount of similar items, skins for the item that look similar or close to the currently listed skin. If a currently listed skin by Facepunch is similar to an item already existing then we can generally observe that the price will be rather limited in growth, this however can be good, offering an almost certainty that profit will be made, albeit minimal. However before you go ahead and purchase this skin, observe the price of the similar skin, how long since it has been released by Facepunch? What is the current price? If the current price of the similar skin is rather high, for example $10+ then we can determine that newly released similar skin will be somewhere in the same range, although slightly lower due to there already exisiting a skin of the same style. 


Step 2: Deteremining When To Sell

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There is no real answer to this part of the guide, however generally as soon as the skin becomes tradeable the price will begin to fluctuate. For the most part, due to it's recent release and high quantity currently in circulation the Steam Marketplace value will decrease. This is no reason to be worried, say you purchased the Playmaker Hoodie from Facepunch for $1.2, a week later it's listed on the market place for $0.80c. Don't fret, patience is our friend here. As said above, there is no real answer to this but generaly the longer you wait the more potential the skin has to increase in value and become profitable. A rule of thumb that I usually live by is waiting a minimum of one month, one month from the date the Skin becomes tradeable on the open Steam Marketplace. If the skin has gradually increased in price since the date of tradeability, it is generally a good idea to hold onto the skin. Sit on it and wait for as long as possible, as time passes the quantity of the skins actively floating around will decrease, thus increasing the price even further. This is by no means an instant win game, patience is key. I've seen far too many people sellout too soon, only for the price to double, tripple or even quadruple weeks or months later. 

The bext example for this is the Urban Sheet Metal Door, it's base retail price from Facepunch was around $2.10 as is all Sheet Metal Doors. Shortly after becoming tradeable it's price dropped by about half, however as time progressed and quantities began to drop the price began to rise. About, 1 year later the skin is now sitting at around $17.80 on the Steam Marketplace, a profit of $15+. This can further be increased once you get a good grasp on the system, being able to purchase multiple of the same skins. However, if you do this it is highly reccomended to sell no more than 2-3 of the purchased skin per week, if you are to say buy a large quantity such as 30+ and try to sell them all at once, the price will decrease rapidly due to the influx in circulating quantity. 

If after one month the skin has still not increased in price, it can be reccomended to sell anyway, cut your losses incase the price decreases further. There will always be wins and losses, however with this guide it will help you understand the market place and move towards success. 

So, let's say you've followed this guide and have waited a few months. You've decided to cashout your skins, depending on how you wish to do this you will have multiple options, some safer than others. The safest option, although the least profitable in regards to real cash would be to sell on the Steam Marketplace. Other options that you can take, that will result in money to your PayPal/etc are sites such as https://swap.gg/  and https://tradeit.gg/ 


Beyond Rust

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The methods explained above can exist beyond just Rust, they can be useful for other games and economies, such as MMO's like World of Warcraft, CS:GO and more. I hope this guide has been helpful and has pushed any interested skin sellers in the right direction. If you wish to contact me for further support, feel free to join my discord at https://discord.gg/rPWmf8X or drop me a message on Reeddit