Three years on, players are still finding new ways to maximize Bell-making in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. A recent Reddit post revealed a get-rich-quick scheme using donation boxes.
The best part is that it’s not really a “scheme” at all; there’s no cheating, glitches, or game mods involved. To double your money, all you have to do is sell your donation box while it’s a “hot item.”
The donation box is a furniture item added in the 2.0 update that requires 800 Nook Miles to learn how to craft, then four wood and softwood to actually construct it. It’s an easy way for visitors to tip island caretakers; you and your visitors can both add up to 1,000 Bells per “donation,” and the maximum number of Bells one box can hold is 99,000.
You can sell the donation box at general store and pawn shop Nook’s Cranny, but you’ll want to hold onto it until the sign outside the store indicates it’s the day’s “hot item.” Then, like other Nook Miles items, you’ll be able to sell it for double its value, which includes the number of Bells inside (make sure you talk to shopkeepers Timmy and Tommy, though, and don’t just place the box in their store’s drop-off container—you won’t get the “hot item” benefit if you do).
In this Reddit user’s case, a donation box sale on a “hot” day could yield nearly 200,000 Bells in one, effortless sale. A commenter on the post notes receiving “only” 600,000 Bells for their sale—they would have earned more, but they were fatigued from making so many 1,000 Bells deposits.
In short, selling a hot donation box is a highly lucrative hack. To take further advantage of it, other Reddit commenters suggest you routinely place Bells into a couple of donation boxes, as you’re not limited to offloading just one “hot item” a day. And that way, you’ll always be prepared for a sale. You can always remove the Bells from donation boxes on your island, too, if you need extra funds.
“Mom, I’m a criminal,” the first Reddit user said about finding themselves suddenly overwhelmed with cash. No, you’re an entrepreneur.