Animal Crossing Turnips Guide: Buy, Sell, And Store Turnips

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has an interesting economy, to say the least. Selling fruit, bugs, fish, and various random items to make a quick bell will get you by for a bit, but you’ll need to get better income sources as your house payments start to balloon and you have to make larger infrastructure improvements around town. You’ll need to make use of the game’s stock market–which is cheekily calls the “stalk market”–in order to make enough money for this. Turnips are one of the best ways to get rich in New Horizons. There will likely be even more options for gaining bells as we approach autumn. However, turnips remain a tried and true method.

Named for the turnips you’re buying and selling, the stalk market is a finicky thing that takes practice and commitment. But you can stand to make major profits if you keep an eye on Timmy and Tommy’s prices and know when to sell. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Animal Crossing’s turnip trade, from how to buy turnips to the types of stalk market patterns you should look out for and our best tips.

For more financial tips, check out our guide to making money in New Horizons. To see what other cool things people have been doing in the game, you can check out Xbox chief Phil Spencer offering console information on the show Animal Talking. Social distancing has certainly made us more creative.

How To Buy And Store Turnips

Turnips in Animal Crossing operate on a weekly cycle. Each Sunday after you’ve unlocked Nook’s Cranny, an adorable boar named Daisy Mae will visit your town and sell turnips from 5 AM to 12 PM. She sells them in bundles of 10 for a varying price each week–somewhere between 90 and 110 bells per turnip. There’s no limit to how many you can buy before she leaves so long as you have the bells, and we recommend buying regardless of her price, though buying low is obviously preferable.

All the turnips you buy will spoil the following Sunday and become worthless, so in order to make any money, you’ll need to sell the week’s turnips sometime before Saturday evening. In the meantime, you don’t have to keep turnips in your pockets; while you can’t store them in your home storage, you can drop them on the floor in your home or outside. Keep in mind that any visitors can pick up the turnips you leave outside, so if you don’t have space in your house, make sure you fence in the turnips so they don’t get stolen!

Warning: Time Travel

Be careful when changing the time in your game when playing the stalk market; turnips may spoil if you time travel. In our testing, they only spoiled if we traveled forward beyond the week we bought them in; however, if you time travel backward, your turnip pattern will reset, which can seriously screw up your price predictions. We detail the various patterns below.

Selling Turnips: When Should You Sell?

Starting each Monday, Timmy and Tommy will start buying turnips from you; the only day they don’t buy turnips is Sunday. Generally, anything above 200 bells per turnip is a decent price, but in a good week you can see prices in the 300s and 400s and in rare cases even up to the 600s. Conversely, in a bad week you might have to sell your turnips for only slightly more than you paid for them or even at a loss.

Timmy and Tommy change their prices twice daily, once when Nook’s Cranny opens in the morning and again at noon. This is where things get a little complicated: There are a few general patterns their prices will follow throughout the week, so it’s important to ask them for their prices twice every day to get a sense of what pattern you have. The main patterns to look for are outlined below.

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Spike Patterns

“Spike” (or “hill” and “mountain”) patterns, as fans refer to them, are ideal. Especially ideal is the “large spike” pattern, in which you get prices in the high 300s and up. The general rule with this pattern is that there is a spike in price sometime during the week which is both preceded and followed by a period of decreasing prices. For example, these were my prices a few weeks ago:

  • Monday AM: 89
  • Monday PM: 85
  • Tuesday AM: 82
  • Tuesday PM: 78
  • Wednesday AM: 74
  • Wednesday PM: 71
  • Thursday AM: 117
  • Thursday PM: 184
  • Friday AM: 403 bells
  • Friday PM: 175

In this example, the prices at the beginning of the week drop by a few bells each time, but there’s an increase in price later in the week. The important thing to keep in mind is that with a spike pattern, you never want to sell on the first increase; the price will always increase at least one more time and at most two more times (like in the above example). The gamble is whether you want to sell on that second increase or hope for an even better one the next time the price changes.

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You may also get a more modest spike, commonly referred to as a “small spike” pattern. In this pattern, you will see lower prices–typically below or hovering around 200–but it follows the same general pattern as the big spike. That means you’ll see some decreasing prices followed by two or three successive increases, then decreasing prices for the remainder of the week. We’ve even seen small spikes with four successive increases, though it seems rarer.

There is also a version of this pattern in which a “dip” occurs between two increasing prices. For example, we’ve seen a Tuesday AM price of 137 followed by an afternoon price of 122, then a Wednesday AM price of 170 with a peak in the afternoon at 173. Like with the other kinds of spike patterns, the best course of action is to wait until at least Tuesday so you can get a sense of what the pattern might be. Note that this pattern can easily be confused with the “fluctuating” pattern; if the price after the dip is lower than the price right before the dip, then it’s not a small spike.

Decreasing Pattern

While the spike patterns always begin with decreasing prices, if you don’t see any increases by Thursday, you probably (and unfortunately) have the decreasing pattern. In this pattern, prices just keep decreasing, and you won’t be able to sell at a profit–unless you travel to someone else’s island, which we’ll get into below.

Fluctuating Pattern

This pattern, which is also sometimes called “random,” is what it sounds like. With this pattern, prices will increase and decrease seemingly at random, with a mini spike followed by decreasing prices followed by more ups and downs throughout the week. If your prices start out a bit high and don’t decrease on Monday, you have this pattern. The good news is that you can still make a small profit if you sell during one of the upward trends–it’s just much harder to predict when to sell than any of the others.

How To Recover From Bad Prices

If you got a bad pattern or didn’t sell at the right time, you’re not completely screwed: You can sell your turnips on other people’s islands! If you have friends who are also playing the stalk market, it’s a good idea to talk to them about your prices throughout the week and see if you might get a better deal elsewhere.

What To Do With Spoiled Turnips

If you forgot about your turnips, they will spoil after a week has passed, but it’s not a total loss! There’s one good use for spoiled turnips: attracting ants and flies. Ants only appear on rotten turnips, so they can be hard to catch–especially if you’re careful with your stalk investments. (Flies can also appear on garbage, but they seem to be a little rarer than ants generally.)

Both ants and flies appear year-round and at any time of day, so all you have to do is drop some rotten turnips (just 10 is fine) and walk around until ants appear. Neither ants nor flies sell for a lot, but you’ll need them to complete your Critterpedia and museum. Once you’ve caught the ant and/or fly, you can toss the spoiled turnips in any garbage bin furniture item.

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