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Animal Crossing cherry blossom farmers are making bank right now

Virtual economies are wild

An Animal Crossing human wearing all black and standing in front of some cherry blossom trees and an eagle named Keaton Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

At a mere ten days, Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ cherry blossom season is woefully short. Many players didn’t manage to find all the accompanying DIY recipes during that time frame. Players could time travel so that they don’t have to wait nearly a year to get another chance. But there’s another option. You just have to be willing to drop a ton of bells.

Nookazon, the leading Animal Crossing marketplace, launched an “auction” feature in early May that lets players bid on items of interest. A Nookazon representative tells Polygon that, so far, the biggest auction on the site was over a bundle of 100 cherry blossom petals. Initially posted at 10,000 bells, the auction closed with a bid of a whopping 2.8M bells.

The price point, while outrageous, makes sense. Most players aren’t in early spring anymore, meaning that items belonging to that season are now rare and therefore open to be sold at a premium. Anyone who had the foresight to stock up on their seasonal crafting materials, rather than using them up, can now sell them at a huge profit. The wider pricing trends just two days ago saw a single petal hit a high of 40,000 bells — though Nookazon lists the “average” price at 25,000.

Things get even wilder when we look at the price points for DIY recipes that use these blossoms. While the items themselves often sell for about 100,000 bells each according to Nookazon, the ability to permanently craft such items is worth much, much more. A Cherry-Blossom Branches DIY Recipe listing by a trusted seller on the platform, for instance, is currently going for 8 million bells plus 80 Nook Miles tickets. Prices vary depending on what blossom-related recipe we look at, but generally, they aren’t cheap — you can expect to drop dozens of Nook Miles tickets or millions of bells.

These are eye-popping prices, but generally speaking, blossoms were easy to come by — they literally rained from the sky in-game. Upcoming seasonal materials won’t work that way. Acorns and pine cones, which will be available in future seasons for those of us in the northern hemisphere, are acquired by shaking trees. Most of the time, shaking a tree will get you a stick (or perhaps a hornet), rather than the crafting material. Based on our testing, getting the necessary materials for such seasonal recipes is a giant headache. You won’t get what you want half the time you shake a tree.

Such items are only live for you if you’re time traveling, or if you’re in the southern hemisphere, which means that the Animal Crossing economy hasn’t fully settled on the worth of these seasonal items just yet. But right now, Nookazon listings for a single acorn are at 100,000 bells, though you can get them for slightly cheaper at a bundle (one trusted listing has 5 acorns for 400,000 bells.)

Likely, this will give rise to two types of Animal Crossing players. There will be those of us who collect and craft to enjoy in our own games or with friends. And there will be those who hoard seasonal items and recipes until they’re no longer available so that they can flip them for millions on the market when supply is low. We’re already seeing that divide happen. And if you don’t manage to collect or craft everything you want before the season is over? Get ready to drop a few million, if not grind those Nook Miles tickets.

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