Trading among players in Animal Crossing: New Horizon is essentially a big part of the game. It is even more important if one were to aim to complete their catalog or get more flower breeds with the help of others. Being in the AC trading business since the start of the game, I have heard many fearful tales of how people of getting scam or whatnot in game. There are also players expressed they had a hard time determining how to price their goods appropriately.
While this is not the first “how to avoid scam” post out there, I am still going to write one based on the compilation of knowledge I learnt through my experiences. I will try to cover as much points as I could so do bear with me.
There are generally 2 forms of currency in trades: Bells and Nook Miles Ticket (NMT). Sometimes, players also deal by using Star Fragments or Gold Nuggets as a form of currency.
Bells are straightforward, because that’s exactly the currency players are using when buying/selling in Nook Cranny. NMT though, is printed through Nook Miles in Residential Services and used for hopping mystery islands. This method of paying has been preferred by players ever since the duping glitch temporarily existed during the early release of game. The common conversion between NMT and Bells as of right now is 1 NMT for 100,000 Bells, though some do price it at 30k or.. nothing.
A player with fully upgraded inventory can carry 4 million Bells or 400 NMT (or any stack-able item) within a single trip. While it is generally not recommended to go over this amount within a trade, read “Dealing with Multiple Trips” below for better safety precautions.
To get into trading, you must first know the platform to deal with a large number of players. Depending on your preference, you can choose to enter Facebook Groups or Discord servers. Each of them have their own set of rules and regulations, so do read through them thoroughly. Alternatively, do be aware that pricing range of the various goods may differ between the community.
Facebook Group – Generally with lower price tags for buying or selling. Bells are more commonly used as a trading currency, though some do accept NMT. Recommended Facebook Group: Animal Crossing: Trading Post
Discord Server – Communities who usually deal with higher amount of currency, where NMT are highly preferred instead. Recommended Discord Servers: Animal Crossing: New Horizon, Nookazon, or Nook Plaza
Twitter – All sorts of pricing. I personally wouldn’t recommend it here but you can buy or sell stuff by using the #ACTrade tag.
Getting the Right Price
A general rule of thumb is to use the search function of the desired trading platform to search for the item you want to trade with. In most cases, it’ll show the trade history of the item with the pricing in it. If majority of players trade in that price, then that’s most likely the value of that particular item.
※ Bear in mind that the price of an item may fluctuate drastically due to supply and demand.
Searching in Facebook Group
Look for the magnifying class at the upper right of your Facebook group. Click it and type the item name.
Searching in Discord Server
Look at the top right of your Discord for the search bar. Type in your item name, and perhaps also some prefix like “in:” to specify the channel you’re looking in.
Trading in Animal Crossing does not limit into items but also flowers, villagers and various services. Each of them are slightly different to one another though the basis remain the same with someone is paying another party for something. I will briefly describe each trade, and elaborate more on the best (safest) way in handling them.
This one can go by 2 forms: Seeds from Nook Cranny (Read Island Entrance below) or physical planted flowers. The safest method would be having the seller dig up their own flowers and plant them at the buyer’s island, considering planting does not require “Best Friend” authority. This will also keep pesky hands away from your flower farms.
In special cases where seller do want buyers to perform mass digging in their island (I call these flower hell), then the seller should fence up the part where they do not want digging to happen. Here is a perfect example of flower hell from a dear friend:
Author’s comment: In all honestly, this should be a full blown post on its own but I will try cramp them up here.
Villager can be adopted from a player’s island into another whenever they are packing to leave. The short term used in trade is “in boxes”. You can make a villager go into boxes by letting them go when they asked you (bubble over their head), or through inviting campsite visitor.
※ Take note that campsite visitor will randomly choose a villager to move them out, while Amiibo ones will let you choose who to kick instead. Naturally moved away villagers (bubbles on head) will be in boxes on the next day after asking if agreed to let go. While campsite forced out villager will be in boxes on the exact day itself.
Adopting villager in boxes
First and foremost, the buyer must have an empty plot to adopt a villager from another player. The buyer would need to talk to the villager in boxes to convince them to come over, and there should be a mini fading out scene continued by the villager confirming his/her move. When returned to your own island, buyer should notice the empty plot is now sold to the new moving-in villager.
As for the precautions, dos and don’ts, read “Avoiding villager scams” below.
Buyer will be buying a crafting service from the seller. In most cases, buyer would be expected to supply all the required materials for the crafter (seller) with a fee.
Stalk Market / Turnips
Players who are into stalk market can buy cheaper turnips from other players on Sunday, and sell them for a way higher price in another island within the next 6 days. The highest price Nook Cranny can buy each turnip is 800 Bells, though it is very rare. Players are better off selling them in islands around 400~500 Bells and be done with it.
You may find these islands through the mentioned platforms above, or Turnip Exchange. Island entrance usually come with a fee, so do choose your preferred island wisely. Important: Leave through the airport to not ruin anyone’s progress.
Island Entrance (Villager Crafting, Catalog Touching, Celeste, Redd, Nook Cranny and etc)
This is for players who want to enter seller’s island for various reasons. Entrance fee are common though some may do it free. Depending on the seller, roaming visitors may sometimes be trapped for easy access. Buyer are expected to pay in advance at airport before heading to perform certain act. Important: Leave through the airport to not ruin anyone’s progress.
Miscellaneous (Maid service, watering or so)
These are uncommon services but I do see them pop up every now and then. Maid service usually consist of players helping you to chop woods, pulling weeds and whatever task you assign them to do. Watering service is to boost hybrid rates of your flowers.
Important: Unless you know the person personally, under no circumstances should you best friend anyone during maid/watering/whatever services. Being Best Friend gives the person authority to dig trees and flowers in your island, which may lead to your island’s destruction like many many tales out there.
Probably the most important section of the entire post(?). Here’s to how to avoid getting scammed. I will go through the basics and move on to very specific situations.
Before we start on anything, player should understand how auto-save works when in another person’s island. Auto-save does not happen frequently when you’re in a foreign island, and thus, it’s easy to roll back inventory state of anyone within the island.
Forcing game to close or disconnect
In any case of scam, be it buyer/seller trying to run with goods or situation like seller taking the money and trying to kick you out, the very first thing you should do is head to your console’s main menu and force close your game. It takes 10 seconds to kick a player out of island, and by right, you have more than sufficient time to have your game force closed. If you’re using LAN adapter like me, you may also physically plug off the LAN cable immediately.
Forcing a game to close / force disconnecting internet will throw you back to your island, and you will regain whatever that is supposed to be in your inventory before you head out earlier.
Setup safe-trading area – Easy version
So if you have other stuff lying around your island and don’t want others to touch them, the easiest way is to put a 2×1 table at the entrance of your airport. Buyer/seller will be limited to dropping/picking item off on the the table and nothing else.
If the method is deemed too slow, especially for large transaction trade, player may also adopt to fencing a small area (6×3 or so) around the airport entrance to restrict movement instead. Fencing method is also good for crafting services. Simply plop a DIY table within the fence and you’re good to go. PS: It’s possible for island owner to remove fence if visitor is inside building
Setup safe-trading area – Advanced version
This setup is rather efficient for those who are doing island entrance services or villager trading.
Start by fencing around your airport entrance, and then leave 1 or 2 tile open to put bench or stool. The idea is to have the island owner sit on the stool or middle of bench while waiting for the visitor cough out their money/goods. Once the visitor did, the island owner may pick up the money/goods on floor and the visitor may use the stool/bench to go through and visit the island instead.
Auction / Bidding
If you are involved in bidding for an item/villager, and the auctioneer claim that someone has offered more than you. Attempt to ask for a screenshot as proof if you intend to overbid it. This is to safeguard that the auctioneer is not claiming an ’empty’ bid just to milk more out of you. If the auctioneer refuses, you may decide on your own if you should proceed with bidding more or simply let it go.
Dealing with Multiple Trips (Price over 4m Bells / 400 NMT)
Most scams I read involves a trip requiring multiple trips (800 NMT for Raymond, for instance), where the seller would shut down the airport when buyer left to bring in the second/third trip of money. To avoid such tragic, you will need help of friends.
First, you should confirm to the seller that you’re bringing friends to carry the remaining money, so you can pay all in a single trip. By right, no legit seller would outright reject such proposal, unless they are there to scam you in the first place. Once confirmed, have your trustworthy friends to be your extra body in carrying the extra Bells or NMT for you.
The idea is to complete a trade within a single trip, leaving little chance for a scam to occur. If it’s about buying a villager, what we (my friends and I) would do is drop the first half of money first, have the buyer talk to the villager to move in, then drop the remaining money. FYI, the highest body count we used in a single trip was 4 bodies + 1 buyer. It worked out just fine.
Avoiding villager scams
This will be in multiple parts since it is the most risky in my opinion. First and foremost, if the seller claimed the villager is in boxes, have the seller send you a screenshot as proof. Once proven, head over to the seller’s island to drop your money and talk to the villager.
If anything goes wrong in between, force close your game as taught above. If the trade involves multiple trip, use the suggested method above. The same goes to the seller, if your buyer is trying to do anything funky, just kick the person out of your island by force closing your game. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Being aware of the glitches came with patch
Back during the release of game, force kicked villagers by Amiibo can cause a glitch empty plot in the buyer’s island. This Amiibo glitch has long since fixed as of 1.1.4 patch.
However, the same 1.1.4 patch comes with another set of glitches (lmao). This glitch can affect any moving-out villager, not just forced Amiibo like in the past. There’s currently two way in determining if the villager in box is glitched:
- The villager will be crafting on nothing inside his/her house when in boxes.
- The villager is able to be invited multiple times. For example, asking to move-in again if interacted once more despite the buyer already have the villager confirm the move-in at first try.
If the villager is having the first symptom, attempt to have the seller force close the game and hard reset it (do not save). Doing so may fix the glitched villager. If the villager is still crafting on nothing, it’s unfortunate that this villager is a goner. No one should be adopting him/her or it will cause a glitched plot.
If the villager is having only the second symptom, you are in luck. Simply decline the villager when he/she asks to move-in the 2nd time and head back to your island normally. By right the villager will be moving in without problem. Accepting the 2nd move-in will cause the villager to glitch. Alternatively, another way to avoid glitch is to not interact with the villager the second time after he/she confirmed the move.
What does this 1.1.4 villager glitch do?
Basically, it will cause your empty plot to glitch. The adopted villager will never move into the island and yet your plot writes “[Blanks] has moved out”. Blanks as in no villager name there at all. The plot will remain this way for a few days (Around 5 or more) and become empty again. You can either progress the game normally and wait for 5 days, or time-travel day by day to resolve it. In any case, the villager is a goner.
Well, that’s all I can think of right now. I hope the long-winded post helped anyone. The villager glitch may be fixed in future (or new may come out lol?). All in all, players should really keep themselves updated of the newest glitch and bugs to keep themselves safe during trade. The more information you have on-hand, the harder for you to be scammed.