FIFA Encyclopedia

FIFA 15 - Profiting off of Team of the Week


FIFA 15FIFA 15 - Profiting off of Team of the Week

Team of the Week (TOTW) / Not In-Form (NIF) Method

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This method relies heavily on the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand. Very generally, supply and demand is the relationship between the effect that the quantity or availability (or supply) of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on price. Usually, if there is a low supply and a high demand, the price will be high. In contrast, the greater the supply and the lower the demand, the lower the price will be. In the context of the FUT market, understanding supply and demand will give you an enormous leg up on your fellow traders. The following method helped me turn 10,000 coins into over THREE MILLION coins in just under eight weeks of casual trading. Every Wednesday, EA releases a new Team of the Week (TOTW). This TOTW is composed of the players who had the best performances during the previous week (for example, if Samuel Eto’o scores a hat trick for Chelsea against Arsenal over the weekend, he’ll likely be included in the next TOTW).

The TOTW contains special black-coloured cards, called in-forms (IF’s), that replace the standard, not inform (NIF) version of the player in packs that week. These are harder to come by in packs when you are just opening them, so this makes this kind of card especially rare and therefore more valuable.

So, because there are no new NIF’s of that player in packs that week, the supply of that player on the market subsequently decreases by a large margin. If the demand were to stay the same, prices would increase simply by virtue of there being fewer cards on the market. However, the demand for the NIF will increase, as the player will be hyped by EA. Just because people cannot afford the in-form version does not mean that they are completely uninterested in this player – it actually spurs interest in this player. In addition, because that player performed well over the weekend, lots of gamers saw the player’s performance and were likely impressed enough to want to try him out on FUT.

In order to entice players to buy packs, EA will advertise the TOTW all week via Twitter, the web app, and on your console. By advertising the TOTW, EA is trying to say that these are some of the best players in the game. Experienced FUT users know that IF’s can be hit or miss with regards to how well they perform on your team, but the average FUT user does not.

The average FUT user will usually be interested in the TOTW players, but will likely be unable to afford IF’s. Therefore, the average FUT user will settle for buying the NIF’s.

The heightened interest in the player that derives from EA’s marketing and advertising of the TOTW combined with his real-world performance leads to an increased demand. The decreased supply of NIF’s combined with the increased demand for the player lead to a rise in prices. This method works week in and week out simply due to the naturally occurring shifts in supply and demand in the FUT market for the player’s NIF. For example, when I was refining this method, I decided to give myself 20K to work with as an experiment and see how much I could make in a week.

On a Thursday in February, the day after the TOTW was released, I decided to invest in the NIF version of David Alaba, the Bayern Munich RB who had been given an IF that week. I started off with buying eight or nine and I used that profit to buy more. I kept using all of my trade profit to buy more Alaba’s until I had a full trade pile's worth of Alaba’s. When cards sold, I made sure to restock as quickly as possible.

When it was all said and done, I had bought and sold 177 Alaba’s. The profit I made from the first eight or so Alaba’s enabled me to buy 12 more. Then, once those 12 sold, I could buy another 20, and so on. My average profit per card was 875 coins, and my total profit was 155K.

Note that the 875 coins represents nearly a 60% increase in Alaba’s price that week. I was buying him for around 1700 coins and selling him on for about 2700 coins (875 coins is the profit after the 5% tax EA takes out of every sale).
60% profit margins is a large margin. With this method, you should expect to see a 20% increase in price over the course of the week. The more you buy, however, the larger your margins should be, considering that if you buy 100+, you can help drive the market up to where you want it to be.

So, in less than a week, I turned 30K into 185K just by recognising the shift in supply and demand that was occurring within the NIF Alaba market, taking advantage of that shift by identifying NIF Alaba as a good investment, and then making that same investment 177 times over the course of a few days.

What is the most important lesson about the Alaba experiment? This Alaba investment is a great example of why it's so important to buy in bulk.

  • First, making 875 coins on one card isn't anything special. However, if you repeat that same investment 177 times, the coins start to add up.
  • Second, when you focus on one player, you only have to spend 20 minutes a day trading. Just do the appropriate searches, find some deals, and keep the trade pile restocked.
  • Third, the fact that I set the prices for 177 Alaba's (or 17 pages worth of Alaba's) definitely helped nudge the market in the direction I wanted it to go.
  • However, buying in bulk is not always all that plausible. You can do this on a small scale or focus on other methods until you have enough to really take advantage of this method by buying in bulk.

Choosing Alaba to invest it was purely out of necessity. I didn't think he was going to be a particularly terrific investment. He had a fairly high card weight, he's only rated 77, and he's from Austria, which makes placing him in a non-Bundesliga a bit difficult.

Had I given myself more coins to start with, I would've been flipping Barcary Sagna's instead (higher rated French RB who plays for Arsenal). Sagna was a lower card weight, a higher rated card, and at the time, was a much more popular player than Alaba.

This goes to show that the player doesn’t necessarily have to be a FUT superstar or a superstar in real life in order for this method to make you tons of coins week in and week out. With regards to your timetable for investing with this method –

A. Between Sunday and Tuesday, make a list of players that have had big games and start researching their FUT data. Go to http://www.futhead.com or http://www.futwiz.com to check out the card stats. Go to http://www.ultimatedb.nl to check the card weight. Go to http://www.ultimateteamtrading.com to see exactly what is happening in that player’s market in real time.
B. On Wednesday, EA announces the TOTW. They usually announce it on Twitter several hours before it is officially released. The earlier you know who is in the TOTW, the sooner you can start investing. It may not seem like much, but as I’ll explain in a bit, player prices can dramatically shift over the course of a few hours. So, do yourself a favour and start investing as early as you can on Wednesday!
C. Once you’ve started to accumulate players, start listing them immediately for ~20-30% above market price. The market will catch up to your prices by Friday or Saturday. By listing above market price entices other sellers to list their prices higher. For example, if market price is 5K, and you list your cards at 7K, sellers will notice this and consider listing their prices at 6K. The 6K price point is still undercutting you by 1K, but it helps raise the market floor up to 6K. If needed, you can adjust your prices down to 6K as well and earn an easy 1K per card. However, the more likely scenario is that increasing the market floor early helps accelerate the price increases that occur anyways due to the shifts in supply and demand.
D. You should be all sold up by Sunday night, so take a little time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, buy that IF you’ve had your eye on, and gear up to do it all over again next week.
When thinking about who to invest in with the NIF / TOTW method, there are two primary factors that you’ll want to consider -

1. What is the card weight? This piece of information can be found for every card on http://www.ultimatedb.nl. The lower the card weight, the better your investment is likely to be. As we saw with Alaba, a high card weight definitely isn't an investment-killer, but it's something to think about.
2. Do the lineup test. That is, when you're playing games, do you come across this player when you're playing other lads in FUT? This isn't scientific and I don't have any hard lineup data, haha, but it's a decent indicator of how popular the player is and how in demand he'll be.

Just because a player gets an IF doesn't necessarily mean that his NIF will be a good investment. People still have to want to play with his NIF. So, just because that non-rare gold striker from Ligue 2 with three-star skills, two-star weak foot, and 65 pace gets an IF doesn't mean that his NIF will start to skyrocket in price.

Players that you can buy in the 3K-6K range tend to provide the best profit margins. However, players that you can buy in the 12K-15K range tend to provide the best profit per card.

Deciding whether to go for a lot of 3K-6K cards and getting a higher overall return on your investment or going for more expensive cards and getting larger profits per card depends on what fits within your overall trading philosophy.

My final tip is an important one – always (and I can’t stress this enough) do your research before you start buying a player. Go to http://www.ultimatedb.nl, search for the player, and check his average prices. If you start buying on Thursday and see his price has already increased 25% from the weekend, then move onto another player.

In cases where a player scores a hat trick in a big game (for example, if David Silva scores a hat trick and Manchester City beats Manchester United 3-0 in the derby), there are a few high-risk, high-reward traders out there that will buy hundreds of a player as soon as they see that said player put in a great performance purely on speculation that the player will be included in the next TOTW.

I’ve invested on Saturday afternoons myself after seeing some great performances and it’s been hit or miss. In some cases, everything lined up perfectly and I correctly guessed that a certain player would be included in the TOTW. I had the added benefit of slowly driving up the prices myself over the course of a few days, which kick-started the naturally-occurring price increase that occurred later in the week.

However, there have been multiple times where I saw players do some amazing things on Saturday, so I sank a million coins into his NIF on Sunday, only to find out that he was not included in the TOTW on Wednesday.
When that happens (and if you try to invest early every week, it will happen eventually), you find yourself with lots of coins tied up in a mediocre investment. At that point, you have two choices, neither of them good. You can either take a sizable loss and unload all your cards, or you can spend a lot of time slowly breaking even, dedicating all your trade pile space to unloading your cards and having most of your coins tied up and unable to invest until you can get rid of most of your inventory.
Investing before you’re 100% confident is always a risky plan, and there is no guarantee that it will pay off in the end. Risk can be rewarding, but you have to know the detriments of being caught in the wrong before going for a risky investment like this.
So, if you see that a player has already risen by a significant percentage (over 15%), just move on to your next target. This is a telltale sign that the market has been artificially inflated by the high-risk, high-reward traders. Investing at that point means that you’re not only buying in at an already-inflated price point, but that you’re also buying into an unstable market due to the artificial inflation.

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