How to Get Lots of Bells in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Tips for making money in Animal Crossing for Nintendo 3DS

Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Image © Nintendo

Nobody seems to be wanting for much in the world of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but you’re still going to need plenty of bells, or money, to make your town shine and keep your citizens happy. Fortunately, there are a number ways to make easy money in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Information in this article applies to Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS.

How to Sell Stuff in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

The fastest way to make money in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is to sell items at Re-tail. Re-Tail is the town’s recycling shop/flea market. You can sell most of the items you collect at Re-Tail for a higher price than what you’d get at the Nooklings’ store. Re-Tail is also more convenient to visit, given that it’s in your town whereas the Nooklings’ store is on Main Street. That said, the owner will charge you a small fee to get rid of garbage, including tires, shoes, and Crazy Redd’s fake paintings (which you can keep for your own house if you prefer). 

There’s a little chalkboard outside of Re-Tail that lists up to six items that will earn you twice as many bells if you bring them in, so check it out daily.

Buy Fortune Cookies With Play Coins and Sell Your Prizes

The Nooklings’ Store on Main Street offers fortune cookies, most of which contain a prize ticket for a Nintendo-related item (e.g. Super Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, etc). These items are fun to collect if you’re a fan of Nintendo tchotchkes, but they are also valuable, so consider selling off your Nintendo toys as you win them.

Fortune cookies are purchased with Play Coins, which you earn by walking around with your Nintendo 3DS. In other words, you can put the system into sleep mode and carry it with you while running errands to get as many Play Coins as you need.

You can also sell gifts that your animal pals give to you.

Find, Plant, and Harvest Foreign Fruit 

Your town has its own local fruit, and each piece generally sells for 100 bells. However, you can also procure non-local fruit, which typically goes for 500 bells per piece. If you get even a single piece of non-local fruit, make sure you plant it. Then, plant the fruit of that tree, and in time you’ll have an orchard worth thousands of bells.

Fruit trees can be harvested every three days once they’re fully grown. The easiest way to grab foreign fruit is to visit a friend’s town via Nintendo StreetPass. Your animal citizens may also give you pieces of fruit as a gift, plus you can get a basket of non-local fruit if you complete all of the tasks that Isabelle assigns to you in City Hall. If all else fails, travel to your town’s Island, grab some tropical fruit, and plant it. Avoid planting your trees too close to buildings, rocks, or other trees, or else they won’t grow.

Fruit that grows on palm trees, like coconuts and bananas, must be planted close to the beach in order to flourish.

Find and Grow Perfect Fruit

Perfect fruit looks especially lush and tantalizing, and one piece is worth 600 bells. You can plant perfect fruit to grow a tree full of perfect fruit, but perfect fruit trees are fragile, and they need to be re-planted after they’ve been harvested. You can take home a non-local piece of perfect fruit from a friend’s town and sell it for 3,000 bells, but you unfortunately can’t grow non-local perfect fruit trees.

Shake Down Trees

You can shake trees by standing next to them and pressing the A button. If you’re lucky, money may fall out. You may even score a piece of furniture (don’t ask how it got up there), which you can sell if you don’t want it. There’s also a good chance that a beehive will fall down from the tree. If you’re quick, you can catch a bee for your Museum collection. Alternatively, you can avoid getting a face full of stingers if you run into a house. Even if you get attacked, you can collect the empty hive and sell it for 500 bells.

Search for Unusual Rocks, Then Smash Them!

Each day, you’ll find one rock in your town that is shaped very differently from the other rocks. If you bash it open with your ax or shovel, you can find ore inside that sells for a lot of money.

There's also a rock in your town every day that will cough up bells if you hit it with your ax or shovel. The rock dishes out money in increasing multiples, but you have only a few seconds to get everything you can out of it, and recoil will slow you down. You can increase the rock’s output by digging holes behind you to absorb the recoil.

Cyrus will forge gold furniture for you at Re-Tail if you bring him some gold ore.

Play the Stalk Market

Animal Crossing has a “stalk market” that’s based around turnips. Every Sunday morning, you can buy turnips from a boar named Joan. Then, throughout the week you can talk to Reese and Re-Tail and find out what your turnips are selling for. The price changes twice daily: once when Re-Tail opens for the day, and again at noon.

You must sell your turnips by the next Sunday morning, or else they’ll spoil. "Buy low, sell high" is the best strategy, but that can be harder than it sounds. You can find numerous Animal Crossing stalk market guides online to help you cash in.

Catch Fish and Bugs on the Island

You’ll eventually gain the ability to travel to a tropical island off the coast of your town. The fee is 1,000 bells (the cost covers return), but you’re sure to make that up several times over with the piles of high-priced bugs and fish that you can gather while you’re there. Your spoils can’t leave the island in your pockets, so make sure you check it all into the basket near the exit for the boat docks. The contents of the basket will wind up on the dock back in your town, so you can pick over them and sell what you want at your leisure.

Work on Your Feng Shui

Feng shui is a system that’s supposed to improve the luck of people who arrange household objects in specific patterns. If you arrange yellow and green items in certain ways, you can find extra money and wind up paying less for items, so experiment with your furniture placement as much as possible.

Dig Up and Sell Fossils

Every day, you’ll find star-shaped cracks on the ground. If you use your shovel to dig these up, you might score a fossil. Fossils can be analyzed by Blathers at the Museum, and from there you can sell or donate them.

Take and Sell Items From the Lost and Found

If you build a police station in your town, you’ll also inherit a Lost and Found. The Lost and Found accumulates bits of furniture, stationery, and other items that you can take with you and sell.