Whether you want to upgrade your CS:GO inventory with better skins, or simply try and make some profit utilizing the CS:GO economy, there are two ways to approach the CS:GO market: trading and investing, just like in traditional markets. But what exactly is the difference? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and which method is the better choice for you?
Investing in CS:GO items is the least time consuming approach and a much more passive way of trying and making some profit, but it also requires much more patience, usually a minimum of 1 to 2 years. The trick is to buy certain limited CS:GO items at their lowest possible price, wait some time until they went up in price due to decreasing quantities and possibly increasing demand, and then sell your items for profit. Some examples are CS:GO tournament stickers, discontinued CS:GO cases, rare CS:GO skins from discontinued collections, etc. Investing doesn't necessarily require you to interact with other CS:GO players and can be done alone. You could simply use the Steam market or Skinport and buy stickers, cases and skins, with a discount.
CS:GO Trading is characterized by high frequency and short-term gains. Finding trading methods which you can rinse and repeat, diving into specific niches which require experience and knowledge and gaining those, utilizing and playing the CS:GO market with its ups and downs, joining and becoming active in trading communities, are just some of the techniques you can use for trading. You can trade with other CS:GO players, which by the way can be a nice way of socializing with others in the CS:GO community, but also gives you the necessary connections over time to build a network and make better and bigger deals. You can also use a safe and legit website like Skinport to find items which are listed with a very high discount, quickly buy those, resell for a small profit, and repeat this process. CS:GO Trading requires more work and time than investing, but provides you with a constant flow of profit and doesn't require you to have your money locked-in investments for a long time.
Which approach is the better one?
Which approach you should choose is dependent on your goals and preferences, the time you want to spend, the level of risks you're willing to take, the amount of money you want to work with, and other factors. You could also combine both, for instance invest passively in some consumable items, but also trade with skins from while to while. We won't get into details about which specific items you could invest in or trade with. That's a topic in itself and might be subject for other blog posts in the future.
Disclaimer: the information provided in this blog is not financial advice and just personal opinions about virtual items related to a PC game.