"How do you do it?" That is probably the most asked question I get. And it is in reference to obtaining infernos. Contrary to rumor, there is no easy way for me to get them. I have never won any in a staff event. I've never been gifted any. I've never said more than 2 words to Yavn. And there's no such thing as any cheat codes to obtain it (yeah, well that one actually was believed by quite a few sadly). The simple answer...lots of trading, lots of patience. The more detailed answer...continue reading.
The first step is to naturally recognize what inferno is. Regardless of what you think it is, it is how it is perceived by the general VMK populace. That means, if everybody says it's the rarest and most demanded item, it is. And that's currently it's status. The rarest and most demanded item. Where's the proof? Check any inferno trade that has happened, and see what was given in exchange for that single magic pin. See how many bid on it. Have you seen any other item match it? Maybe at one time the Stitch Hat and Sparrow Suits did. Red Rockers? What is the comparisson of demand between red rockers and inferno? Inferno definitely wins that one. So you need to accept that this item holds great value and will continue to, as long as the majority of VMK players feel that way. Yes, there are things more rare, but they are not as wanted. That being said, offering your Ned pin isn't going to get you very far.
So now that you know the rarity of the item, it's time to build an inventory that equals the value of inferno. Buyables? NO! Retired? Most likely not. Quest? Perhaps. Beta? Maybe. What makes a good inferno offer? Now that's a good question. The answer? It's going to take some work to find out.
You need to search, both in the game and on the boards. Look at recent inferno trade threads and rooms. See what everybody else is offering. See what those trading inferno like. Once upon a time (like a year ago), it was easy to make an offer. Throw in about 2-3 sets of quest and you're good. The more you give the better your chances. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), that's no longer the case. Yes, it seems like inferno is more common, as you see players (such as myself) with half a lanyard or more of them. But then why is it still seemingly so hard to get? Because of 2 reasons. First, most are not trading them. The like having infernos whether to feel rich or as a sign of accomplishment, or just because. Whatever the case, it's their own choice. The second reason is they are saving them for when something truly rare comes out. (In my case, the green girls' midriff shirt which was available during beta...I'm hoping for the off chance of some beta player returning to the game and not only having it but trading it.) So those that are trading them these days have SPECIFIC wants 9 out of 10 times. There are certain things they would like to get in return for their inferno. And because of the demand for this pin, if you don't like it, tough luck. Somebody else will offer what they want for it and get it. So if you want this pin, you pretty much have to be willing to agree to what they want for it.
And that's why patience and perseverance is essential. Not to mention lots of work and lots of time in trade rooms. When I say "trade a lot" I don't mean I trade a lot of stuff for inferno. Or I trade often for inferno. No. I'm talking about trading a lot of other stuff for better stuff. I look at my inventory and try to trade up. Buyables for retired. Retired for quest. Quest for limited quest. Etc. etc. And not only do you need a large inventory, but a large variety. One person could like snowmen. Others pirate quest. Do you have both ready just in case? I always like to keep at least one of everything so if I need to make an offer and they have specific wants, I know I can offer what they are looking for. In addition, you need to be ready to give up stuff for others. If you only have 1 white snowman and 15 mansion clocks and the person trading wants 10 white snowmen, you have to be ready to trade off those clocks for those snowmen IF you want that inferno.
And that sort of leads me to the next problem. Who is trading inferno? Now that's the toughie. And this is where my advantage comes in. Yes, I'll admit I have an advantage over most players when it comes to trading for inferno. But it's not what most people think it is. My advantage is I know people. And people know me. This is a 2 fold deal. First, I've traded so much and done a lot of 15+ item trades that I have a reputation. I've never scammed or cheated anybody. And I always try to be fair. Many times I even pay more than what something is worth. And that comes back to me in that people WANT TO TRADE with me. They know I'm reliable. They know I am fair. They know I'm sometimes generous. So they WANT to trade me. The second is, your name is remembered. And when people are going through trade rooms or walking around and run into somebody trading inferno, they remember you and pass it on to the person who is trading the inferno. And that's VERY important especially today. The more people looking along with you the better your chances. Sometimes I am told by a friend that a certain player is trading inferno. And nobody else knows. So not only do I get a better deal, but I don't have to worry about anybody outbidding me. Knowing who is trading is a big key. After all, if nobody is trading it, then there's no inferno to offer for.
Again, it's important to have patience. There are times when players left and right are trading inferno. And then there are times when nobody is. Use the down times to continue to improve your inventory. So when the time comes that somebody is trading it, you're ready for anything they may ask for.
As for the actual offer, it isn't enough to just throw out what you have and think that's good enough. No. A long list may impress a few people but not most. Sometimes quality wins over quantity. Sometimes the way you offer affects whether it's accepted or not. Remember, inferno often times requires large trades. And history has had as many scams as completed trades. So traders are always wary of scammers or possible scammers. You should have good trading etiquette with any trade situation. But when it comes to inferno, if you are rude, even if you have the best offer, it could kill your chances.
When you offer, you want to make sure you catch the trader's eye. If they want Stitch Hat as their main priority, don't have a list of 40 items and put the Stitch Hat at the bottom. There is a very very good chance they will miss it. You want to organize your offer. First stuff you list is what they ask for specifically. Then you place everything else in order with most valuable towards the top and going down. That way they see the stuff they want first and won't miss it. Sometimes it even helps to break the list. For example, I would post something like this:
...versus something like this...1x Stitch Hat
1x Stitch Travelling Pin
1x Mansion Clock
1x Gold Snowman
1x Pirate Couch
1x Pirate Stool Set
1x Bird Hat
2x Pink Heartless Hampers
Second list is unorganized and messy. If the list was longer, there's a very big chance that Stitch Hat would be missed. Pictures help sometimes, but not always. But even if you post a picture, you should use the same organization. Group similar items together with the more valuable towards the front and center so they are the most visible. If you have a room full of stuff and you have 4 Gold Snowmen in 4 different places, there's a good chance the person viewing it will miss one or two. If you put all your rare in the back and buyables in front, the first thing the person sees is the buyables and may not want to look deeper. You want to catch their attention. And you want to make it VERY CLEAR what it is you are offering.2 Pink Heartless
1 Stitch Travel pin
Pirate stool set
1 Bird Hat
1 Stitch Hat
But there's an easier way to do this. I'd say 75% of the time, a person trading inferno has a specific wish list. And most of the time, that list is never offered. People offer maybe 1 or 2 items they listed, but not everything. The easiest way to win an inferno trade is to offer exactly what they ask for. And sometimes it's not even worth as much as what you might throw up as your offer. Case in point, I once traded 15 items exactly for inferno. Offers of 3 sets of pirate quest, 3 sets of holiday quest, 5 beta items and such were thrown out. But she didn't trade them. I traded her 4 Hotel pins, a full green explorer's suit (with boots), a teleportation pin, a full gray mansion suit (with hat), a purple carpet chair and 2 mansion pins. She gave it to me because it's what she asked for and I was the first to give her exactly what she asked for. Everybody else complained that theirs was worth more. But why would she trade for stuff she didn't want over stuff she did? It's simple logic that many fail to accept. If they ask for something specific, offer that. If you don't have it, go out and get it.
Inferno trades are more often than not, large trades. They are not easy. They can be a lot of work and can get frustrating. And scammers are always out there. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. If you have a trade over 15 items and don't know the person, have a leader present. Even if it isn't to hold the items, at least there is somebody else reputable in the room to support your report with one of their own. If a leader isn't available to you, have a trusted friend. Somebody to back up your story should something go wrong. Again, if it sounds fishy, don't do it. I've been scammed 2 times and people have tried scam me another 4 times. You have to play smart and be aware of how players can try and trick you.
Backtracking a little bit to the way you offer. Begging to have your offer picked, unfortunately, will more often than not be laughed at. It says you're desperate and want to get it the easy way. Continually asking the person trading is another form of begging and can get on their nerves. You need to be persistent, but not in that fashion. If they express interest in your offer, they will tell you. If they are not interested, come up with another offer. Trying to convince them yours is the best when they already rejected it hardly works. Saying "BEST" or "BIGGEST" or whatever inferno offer ever and then having nothing rated in value higher than regular quest? That says a lot about you as a player and will be remembered. Saying "beta inferno offer" and having only 1 piece of beta in an offer of 50 items or worse yet, no beta items? Again, you will be remembered for that. And you will have a much harder time in the future. Do not lie about what you have. Do not try to make your offer seem like it's worth more than it is. Very few people these days who trade inferno are new. They know what their pin is worth and will go after that much and no less. Greedy, I know. But that's the way it works. If you want it, you have to accept it.
I'm going to end this with a thought. I know a good number of you will read this and think, "all this for a pin?" Or you'll think, "this is why players are so greedy on VMK." Or something along those lines. Y'know what? I agree. Wholeheartedly. But this is how it works. This is how I get inferno. I understand the system. And although I may not like the system, I go with it. Because I've tried to get around the system and it doesn't work. I know many will not agree with this. But if you want that little magic pin, this is the way I know how to get it.
Happy Trading and Good Luck!