Are you wondering how to trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? A big part of this game is all about collecting fish, bugs, items, clothes, villagers, and more, and we’ll tell you how to enter the fast-paced (and sometimes dangerous) world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons trading!
Why do people trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
If you’re wondering why people trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the answer is pretty simple: they like to collect things. There are hundreds of villagers, furniture items, clothes, and more, and everyone is looking for something specific. Some of the crazier folks want to collect everything!
Even if you only played by yourself, it’s impossible to find everything on one island. For example, each island has its own variants of the Nook Stop items like the Lighthouse and Phone Box; the only way to get the variants is to trade with other people.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Trading Dictionary | Trading Terms & Glossary
To understand how to trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you will first need to know some common terms.
Catalog / Cataloging
The “Catalog” is the items you can buy in the Nook Stop after you’ve picked them up once. Read our Catalog Trading guide for more information!
Crafting services are when someone will make items for you, typically in exchange for the resources needed to make the items and a service fee. In some cases, the crafter will offer to supply the materials at an additional cost.
A “DIY” is the recipe card that you can find in the game with an acorn on the back. Some of these are highly valued, commanding prices equivalent to hundreds of thousands of Bells.
Dreamy / Dreamies
A Dreamy is a villager that a person really wants to get for their village. People will pay anywhere from 10 to 200 Nook Miles Tickets for one.
A villager “in boxes” is leaving someone’s town the very next day. Anyone who visits the island can get this villager to join theirs provided that they have an open population slot.
Consequently, people will sell access to villagers who are leaving their town. This is the only reliable way to trade villagers.
NMT (Nook Miles Ticket)
A Nook Miles Ticket is an item generated from the Nook Stop which lets you go on a Mystery Island Tour. These are valued because people need them to go on Mystery Island Tours to find new villagers. An NMT is roughly valued at 100,000 Bells.
Consider that you can have 40 inventory slots. Here is the maximum amount of Bells you can carry:
40 stacks x 99,000 Bells = 3,999,960 Bells + 99,999 Bells in your wallet = 4,099,959 Bells
Conversely, suppose that you fill your inventory with NMTs (which can have 10 in a stack)
10 NMT x 40 = 400 NMT
400 x 100,000 Bells = 40,000,000 Bells
You can carry roughly 10 times the value with Nook Mile Tickets than you can with Bells, making it a perfect defacto trading currency. Like Bells, Nook Mile Tickets are also inherently deflationary; they’re going to get used eventually and that helps keep the overall supply from growing out of control. They’re also much more difficult to generate with time-traveling; this also helps prevent too many of them flooding the market.
Tips are simply items, Bells (usually 10,000 or more), or NMTs left as a thank-you for a service. They’re not always required, but it’s polite to leave one anyway.
Ugly / Uglies
An “Ugly” is an unpopular villager that people do not like, usually due to their appearance and/or personality. Do not expect to get much money for trading them (except for the handful of weird people who like them).
A “Yard Sale” is when people are getting rid of a bunch of random furniture; typically, they’ll post a screenshot of all the items for sale and take bids.
How to trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons | Safe trading practices
Unfortunately, there is no special trading interface in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That means you’ll have to do things the old-fashioned (and risky) way: dropping items on the ground. When considering how to trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it’s important to understand that trust is a huge factor. The trading community is based on reputation, and thieves are quickly outed and banned.
Usually, players will visit one another’s island, drop items on the ground, and swap places to pick things up. That’s basically how to trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Mail-order trading happens sometimes, too, but there are no guarantees that you’ll get your next item in return and it is more difficult to prove fraud.
If you do get scammed, you should take a video of the last 30 seconds of gameplay by holding the [O] button on the left Joy-Con and post it to the community, forum, or social media site where you engaged in the trade so you can warn other people.
Where to trade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Trading in New Horizons happens at a few different places online; here are some of the better ones!
The /r/AnimalCrossingTrading subreddit has been around for five years and is pretty active. It also has a user review system and the moderators enforce it; bad reviews will cause you to be banned!
The /r/ACTrade subreddit is slightly older than /r/AnimalCrossingTrading, but it’s much less active., It’s still a good place to find deals, though!
Twitter, Discord, Facebook, and other places on Reddit all offer opportunities for trading. Do keep in mind that they may be less safe than a dedicated trading community.
Trading with friends is always the safest bet. The people you know are much less likely to screw you over and take your stuff. (If they do take your stuff, I would say that they’re not very good friends.)
Most valuable items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Naturally, some items are more valuable than others. I wouldn’t pay 10 NMT for a very common DIY, but there are some DIYs I would pay that price for. Here’s a quick list of some of the more valuable items.
What are the most valuable items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
- Villagers (10 NMT–200 NMT/1 million–20 million Bells, depending on popularity)
- Seasonal DIYs (Cherry Blossom Items, certain Bamboo Items, etc.)
- Astrological Star Fragments (Taurus Star Fragment, Ares Star Fragment, etc.)
- The value of these would probably increase as time goes on; a star fragment that only falls in January will likely be worth more six months later in July.
- Ironwood Set DIYs
- Star Fragments / Large Star Fragments
- Gold Nuggets
- Rare furniture
- Wood (Not Hardwood or Softwood)
- Hybrid Flowers
The market is constantly shifting and prices are based on supply and demand. As an example, you can probably buy most DIYs for 1–2 NMTs, but Ironwood Set DIYs will cost you 2–3 NMTs or even more.
Always pay attention to prices. And if you see someone offering a super-cheap deal (like trading a valuable item for a cheaper, normal item), buy it!