June 2016 - last edited June 2016
What I see here of course is that if you don't want to spend REAL money here, then you really have to have patience. One trick I discovered is that when you seem to not get what you actually wanted, move out of the game and when you return, go diirectly to global trade. Do not click on the hats to see what you actually need... they won't be available at global when you do so. Another is, if you need an item, produce at least one or sell at least one, then you'll see, it'll appear on your selections on global... it's not assured, but basing on my experience, that's just what I do... Reached level 28 without a single real money spent. And I'm happy playing... when global doesn't seem to give me what I want, I switch to Sims freeplay, surely, when I do get back, it'll now be available...
I don't think it's all that nefarious, though it does seem that I have more patience if I go read a book, watch a movie, engage in real life, etc. then come back. The oddest thing I've seen about the new update is that the acquisition of neo sims is not directly tied to cash outlay. I can't buy neo sims and I can't buy items to sell for neo sims. That shocks me to no end!