All of us start pretty much the same. A couple thousand credits (after codes), some clothes and a few rooms. For those lucky enough to start in the park or go to the park soon after starting, we end up with a set of quest items. But however we start, the build up of inventory is acheivable by anybody willing to work for it. In life, we work to earn money and we earn money to buy stuff for ourselves. VMK is no different.
The work comes in a few different ways. The easiest that anybody can do, is the daily credits from the NPCs. The most obvious is playing the mini-games. Part of the work however, is research.
RULE #1: KNOW YOUR ITEMS
After I got scammed early on, I took it upon myself to do a little research. (Okay a lot of research.) I went to every store and made sure I knew what was being sold and for how much. I knew the difference of colors. A black pinao was 750 credits while a red only 400 (or something like that). I went through the forums and found out what was beta, what was retired, what was quest, and what was free. KNOW THE VALUES. This will not only help you NOT get scammed, but also will improve your trading ability and earn you respect from other traders if you know your values.
For example... If I was trading a Stitch Hat and you offered a pink cap, I would laugh at you for sure and never want to trade with you again. However, if you offered a couple candy cauldrons, I'd know you were giving a serious offer and respect that.
RULE #2: PATIENCE
So how does credits factor into trading? Simple. It's how you start. Everybody needs buyables at some point. Yes, you look at those trade threads and see the "no buyables" 99% of the time. But this is where patience comes in. Every now and then you come across somebody who has a dream. A dream to build this awesome room. And more often than not, they don't quite have the credits to do so. (Or in my case, are too lazy to spend them.) So they offer rare for buyables. JUMP on these trades. Keep saving those credits for times like this. The jackpot is when ride events happen. Everybody is building. Everybody is spending. And they have a deadline. Rare gets traded for buyables. Easy enough.
RULE #3: PERSISTENCE
I spent the first 4-6 months of my VMK life going from trade room to trade room. If I wasn't playing a mini-game, I was typing in "trade" and hitting search. I remember quite a number of items I was looking for. From Magic Mirrors to dresses to magic pins. And I remember I NEVER found it on the first try. And if I did, I NEVER settled on the first price UNLESS I knew it was to my advantage.
Back in early January, the Magic Mirrors were no longer being given out at Disneyland. So it was difficult to find one. And if you did, they were practically asking for inferno for it. I remember looking for it really distinctly because I must have gone through (no exaggeration) 40 or so trade rooms before I came across one that cost me simply a purple carpet chair.
If you can't get what you want at the price you want it at...
DO NOT BEG after being told no.
DO NOT CRY and WHINE after your offer is refused.
DO NOT GIVE UP.
DO SEARCH MORE.
Find out what most people are asking for, for the item in question. Either go to the trade rooms and ask somebody trading what they want for it. It doesn't mean you have to trade that person. Just ask and use that to see what people want for it. Look through the boards and find people trading it. Look at what they want for it and see what others offer for it. Look and learn. You will learn the values quickly by doing this. You will find out how far you can push the envelope. You will see the highest and lowest acceptable prices (although there will never be a highest), and use that to your advantage. There's always somebody out there who will go for the lowest value. Find that person and you'll come out ahead.
Before I continue, let me backtrack a bit to trading etiquette...
When you enter a trade room, ENTER the room. Don't just stand at the door clicking on people or yelling out what you want or what you're trading. Most people don't like that. And many times you'll end up blocking the door. Find your way INSIDE the room and take a seat. Let others walk in as well.
Look at the room. See what's in it. If it's nothing but buyables, don't expect to find anybody trading beta in it. Most rooms reflect the type of trades that go on in there. Vice versa, don't go into a room full of beta expecting to trade off your buyables for something. Think of it like stores. You don't go into a 99 cents store looking for a diamond ring.
When you see something you want or hear somebody say they're trading what you want, don't click on them and hit trade as first reaction. ASK THEM what they want for it. It saves a lot of headaches. From their answer, you'll know the value range they're looking for. You'll know if you even have a shot at it. And you'll know if they're serious about it or not. If they say, make me an offer, then by all means hit that trade button and offer away. If they give you a value, feel free to bargain, but don't push it so far as to become annoying or offer something that isn't worth their time. Trading involves respect. If you conduct yourself well, and you show that you are serious about trading, you will find yourself in better trade situations and given better bargaining chances.
Finally, if your offer is refused, no matter how many times you say "plz", it will still be refused. Plz is not an object of value. Begging is not a respectable thing to do in a trade. It just says you are desperate and don't have anything worth offering. It says you are basically asking to have it given to you for free. And THAT IS NOT TRADING.
RULE #4: HOARDING
A lot of players have a hard time holding on to what they get. There is always that temptation to trade off for more. And sometimes it leads to bad trades. I tend to do that sometimes. I see somebody offering something I want and stupidly give up something that could be quite valuable later in return. But I solved this problem for myself.
I created another character. Anything I wanted, I always tried to find 2 or more. And I would give at least 1 to my other character. And I would forget about its existence.
Players ask me how I'm constantly pulling out all this quest stuff. They think I got to Disneyland everyday. Which I do. But there's a 90 day limit to redeeming quests. I can't do them every day. What I did was trade. Always for 2. And I'd give one to my other character. After 6 months of this, I went back into the rooms of my other character and realized how much stuff I had. In the beginning it will not seem like much. But after months of collecting, you'll go back to that character and realize you've collected a LOT. But the key is to FORGET the other character has ANYTHING. Never use that character. Just log it on to trade your stuff to it and log it off. Easy as that. It builds. Slowly but surely.
And that's how I've done it. That's how I've amassed what I have. That's how I trade. And that's how I've earned respect as a trader.
But wait...what about infernos? Well, it's pretty much the same thing.
Before you can even think about trading for inferno, you have to know what it's worth. Look for those inferno threads. See who wins and look at their offer. Try to create an offer similar to that by collecting. Collect other stuff as well. Be patient. Wait for it to be up for trade again. Sometimes an inferno is up for trade every other day. Sometimes there's no infernos for trade for a month. Patience. Collect. Build. When an inferno is offered, look at what the owner wants for it. Do not just throw any old offer up saying, here's my offer. NO! Look at what they're looking for. Modify your offer to fit what they want. If you don't have what they want. Trade what you do have for what they want. If they don't have anything in particular they're asking for, watch and see which offers they say they like. You'll see common items that they like in those offers. Mold your offer to have those items in it. WHAT THE OWNER WANTS IS WHAT YOU OFFER. That is the big key that many do not seem to understand.
For example. The easiest inferno trade involving more than 5 items was this. A girl posted that she had inferno for trade and was looking for specific things for it. A Grand California Pin, Pirate 1/5 Pin, Disneyland Hotel Pin, Paradise Pier Hotel Pin, Tomorrowland 8/9 Pin, Full Inner Space Pin set, Cowboy Pants and Hat, Full Green Explorer Suit and a Top Hat. The first four people that posted, you'd think they stopped reading after "Inferno for trade." They offered pirate quest, snowmen, candy cauldrons, etc. Only 2 of those 4 offers had something on her list. And even then only 1 item. I did not have the explorer suit or inner space pin set. So I went off and hit the trade rooms. After 4 hours, I got it and posted my offer of EXACTLY EVERYTHING she asked for. Nothing more. Nothing less. Meanwhile, she had gotten more offers of Stitch Hats, blue boxes, red crates, etc. Yet, an hour after I posted my offer, she chose me. Why? Because I had what she needed. Plain and simple.
That's it. Seems simple, huh? Seems pretty obvious, huh? So why doesn't everybody seem as successful? Because even as simple and obvious as this is, people either don't get it, or just like doing things the hard way.
Have fun trading! Good luck! And hope to see you on VMK! ^_^