There are a lot of economic factors which people like to bring up when thinking about Animal Crossing. The newest release still has the classic Nook-family dynasty, in which they bleed you for every bell you’re worth, slowly increasing your refurbishing costs at an exponential rate.
That doesn’t even scratch the surface on the backwards economic happenings of this island. You can catch bugs and fish to sell to Timmy and Tommy, which I’m pretty sure is both illegal and immoral in real life, and find T-Rex bones in your back garden to sell for a nice price. Don’t even get me started on the intricacies on the ‘Stalk market’.
However, the topic of this article is exactly that: price. Just how much is 1 bell (the in-game currency used in Animal Crossing) worth in GBP?
There are a few interesting blogs available online where people discuss the subject, and a few seem to get a definitive answer.
However, in my experience I found things to be a bit more complicated…
It’s worth mentioning that this is with my limited knowledge of AC (only getting introduced to the franchise a couple months ago), so if you have any theories or ideas yourself, please do get in touch!
One of the main areas which I realised straight away would be how inconsistent prices for items were. While you can sell cherries for 100 bells each, you could also sell a Nintendo Switch for 7,495 bells. I don’t know how you got your Nintendo, but last time I checked you couldn’t walk into a shop with 75 cherries and walk out with one of the best gaming consoles of our time.
Therefore, I had to identify an object which was unique, so that I could compare it with it’s real-life counterpart, cross-reference my findings and (hopefully) find a range for the conversion rate.
So, the first item I considered was, funnily enough, the Nintendo Switch. Every player gets it the second they log onto the game, as it sits in our tents gathering up dust. I couldn’t find a reason to hold onto it, so I went to sell it to Tom Nook. His price, as mentioned before: 7,495 bells.
Because this is a second-hand price, and Tom Nook would have to make money on it, I had a look at how much a popular retail brand would purchase a second hand Switch for. CEX priced up a Nintendo Switch at £214 – not too bad if you wanted to make some quick cash.
So, if we compare these two prices, we can work out that 7,495 bells is the same as £214.
Using this (hopefully) correct maths, one could suggest that £1 = 35 bells. However, I wanted to have a look at some other items and see if this matched up.
As highlighted by the cherry argument, there are going to be some definite outliers and serious questions raised about how reliable this is. I’m going to list off some popular items in AC, and see if my conversion is (somewhat) accurate.
Here’s the prices of just a few of the items available in the game:
Drum set: 1,400 bells
Rock guitar: 775 bells
Mountain bike: 1,275 bells
So the drum set is available to sell for the price of 1,400 bells, which would (using our hypothesis) equate to £40.
The rock guitar, costing 775 bells, would be £22.14, whilst the mountain bike is coming up at £36.
Selling things at second hand you wouldn’t expect to make money, but these prices are seriously low. The Fender Stratocaster, which is the model in which the ‘rock guitar’ is based off of, would be around £150 secondhand, for a more basic model.
Not to mention the drum kit, which being priced at £40 by Mr Nook would be classed as daylight robbery.
Well, it seems like we’re at a bit of an impasse. One of the only items in the game which we can directly link to a real life item, the Nintendo Switch, suggests that £1 could get you 35 bells. However, when looking at other items in the game, we’ve seen that the prices for selling them are ludicrously low. Without adjectives for items, we can’t really compare them with their real life counterparts. We’ll never know if it’s a high or low quality ‘rock guitar’.
Unless this only goes to show just how much of a money-grabbing, deceitful little so-and-so our favourite family of tanukis really are.
When it comes to buying these items in store, they’ll happily charge you the big bucks. But when trying to sell it back, they’ll take nothing less than half-price.
So I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don’t think we’ll ever find a consistent number for how much 1 bell would be worth in GBP. The stats are just too inconsistent across the board. I don’t think anyone plays AC for a realistic economic experience!
But one thing’s for sure, no matter how much one bell is worth, Tom Nook would still overcharge you…
Featured Image: IGDB
Last modified: 25th June 2020