Guides In-depth

Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Easy money trick

Here’s an easy trick to earn some fast and easy bells in Animal Crossing: New Leaf… providing you’re not a total dunce when it comes to fishing and bug catching of course! Also called bug or shark farming this “trick” involves collecting items from Tortimer Island and selling them at Re-Tail.

Before you start you’ll need to unlock Tortimer Island. It’s also a good idea to enact the Bell Ordinance in your town hall as this gives you a 20% boost with stuff you sell.


To unlock the island you must first pay off your first home loan. This means finding the 10,000 bell down payment to turn your tent into a house and then a further 39,800 bells top pay off the remainder of your first loan. Once this is complete Tortimer appears on the dock in your town. Speak with him to learn about his island. Return to the dock the following day and you’ll find Kapp’n sitting in a boat. Give him 1,000 bells and he’ll take you to Tortimer Island.



The Bell Boom ordinance improves the economy of your town. Whilst this means stuff you sell earns more bells it also means stuff you buy costs more… so consider your buying/selling ratio before enacting it. Obviously, as this trick is all about selling things from the island, it makes sense to have a 20% boost in purchase prices.

Before you can change ordinances you’ll need to get your approval rating up to 100%. You can sit in the mayor’s chair at the back of the town hall at any time and Isabelle will let you know your current rating. You can raise your rating by selling things at the recycle shop, pulling up weeds, playing each day, donating to the museum and so on… basically just play the game. Once your approval rating is 100% you’ll be able to change ordinances for your town. It costs 20,000 bells a pop but it’s worth it.  To change your ordinance to the Bell Boom  ordinance just do the following:

  1. Go sit in your mayor chair;
  2. Tell Isabelle you want to change ordinances;
  3. Select “A wealthy town;” and
  4. Fork over 20,000 bells.

You don’t have to do this step but it’s advisable.



Once you reach the island the first thing you’ll want to do is some preparation. Leave the starting room to the South to reach the island exterior. To the left of the door is a Gyroid who will loan you equipment. Grab yourself an axe and shovel then chop down/dig up and flowers, bushes and trees in the centre of the island. You want to ensure that only palm trees remain (the coconut and banana ones on the beach). The reason for this is that only a certain number of bugs and fish will appear at any one time. By removing non palm trees, flowers and bushes you can help ensure the low value bugs don’t appear and you see more of the “big ticket” guys.


Once your island is looking a little more like my screenshot you’ll want to come back after 5pm as that’s when all the high value bugs/fish start to appear.

Now’s the fun part. Grab yourself a fishing rod and net then do laps of the island perimeter catching any bugs (on palm trees) or sharks you see. If you see any bugs on the ground be sure to run near them and scare them off. Same goes for any fish that aren’t sharks (you can tell as they have their dorsal fins sticking above the water). Sometimes you may need to whack the water with your net to scare off fish you don’t want.

The reason for scaring off the unwanted guys is that only a certain number of bugs and fish spawn at any one time. When you scare or catch one another appears elsewhere so you want to ensure you don’t have too many “low value” guys on screen or the ones you want won’t appear.

Here’s a list of some of the high value catches I was able to find. You have a limited amount of space so my advice is to let any low value bugs go and just concentrate on filling up on these guys.


  • Horned Elephant – 8,000 bells
  • Cyclommatus Stag – 8,000 bells
  • Goliath Beetle – 6,000 bells
  • Horned Atlus – 8,000 bells
  • Golden Stag – 12,000 bells


  • Hammerhead Shark – 8,000 bells
  • Sawhead Shark – 12,000 bells
  • Shark – 15,000 bells
  • Ocean Sunfish – 4,000 bells
  • Whale Shark – 12,000 bells

Once your inventory is full you can place items in a box beside the island counter. When you return to your town they will all automatically transfer to the Items Pick-Up Box on the dock which let’s you sell them at the Re-Tail Store. This is the best place to sell your stuff as they pay the most. The island store pays almost nothing and Nookling’s General Store charges a handling fee… so you really want to sell everything at Re-Tail.

And that’s, basically, it! If you set your island up right you should have no trouble filling up the Items Pick-Up Box  in 20-30 minutes. Once you sell everything at Re-Tail you should be clearing 350,000 to 450,000 bells each time which is nothing to sneeze at. The only downside of it all is the back and forth you have to do transferring items between storage and inventory…


This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we could earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. Stevivor is an independent outlet and our journalism is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

About the author

Dave Haldane

There are two things I love in life... video games and my family. I work full time as an IT manager to provide for my wife, three kids and a heavy gaming habit. I own almost every console since the Atari 7800 and am proud of my extensive collection of games.

I'm more of a single or coop player but I do dabble in multiplayer on the odd occasion. If you want to have a game or just chat feel free to add me, PM me or email me.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment