Trading


I have started putting this together to help me with trading and the many questions I receive during trade negotiations. I will try to add more content and expand it continuously. What I am planning to write about are: how I started trading, how can you start trading, how to know the accurate prices, how to avoid scammers, how to trade with me and more. I divided it into sections for better navigation and “linkability”.





How I Started



My first ever trade


My first ever trade was well before I have actually become a trader, but it’s still quite memorable. Back in 2013, when /r/GlobalOffensive/ had only a few thousand members and top posts had around 200 upvotes I was very active there. The first operation nicknamed “Payback” was still underway and the passes were discounted. The now famous Etherfast made a post on reddit, giving away passes and I was one of the recipients.



Sniffing around for business


On the August of that year Valve introduced “skins” and I started sniffing for business. Honestly I was at the right place at the right time. The price of everything was sky high compared to now and I could cash in on the early skin fever. By just playing the game, I received drops like anyone else and sold them on the market to gain some wallet balance.



As you can see, at the beginning even trading cards and simple everyday drops were kind of expensive. Weapon cases, especially the Bravo case sold for €1-2 weeks after their release. This allowed me some slow, but steady gains.



Market Sniping


I started to figure it out how the community market worked and it was not long after when I started making a bit of a business out of it. In hindsight I have to admit It was pretty lame and inefficient. I was sniping on the market. I would sit and watch the newly listed items on the market. Every now and then I would see an item listed on a somewhat lower price than usual. To get them before anyone else I had to know the prices for most of the items so I could click “buy” without having to check the price every time. At most times I would earn a cent or two by listing the item on a higher price. Sometime I got more lucky and earned 10-20 cents or more even. Of course these transactions are pretty laughable as I literality had to work for them for hours. Should have found a better thing to waste my time on at the end of the summer, huh? Anyways, here are some of the more profitable ones:


I managed to work my way up to about €50 after a volatile day of the bravo case. If I remember correctly it stopped dropping at the rate it was supposed to after just a day, driving the price up. Meanwhile some people kept listing them on seemingly random prices. Here is a snippet from that day:


Not long after this I stopped market sniping. Nothing really happened for months, except I got some drops and sold those as well. Later I tried automating sniping with some relative success. When bravo cases were somewhere around €0.10 in price and the operation ended I decided to invest most of my money in them. I bought up 400 of them waiting for the opportunity to make some profit. The case’s price quickly started to surge in waves. I sold some at €0.20 and waited all the way up to €1 with some. All in all it was one of the events that later allowed me to enter trading as well.


Trading


I got into trading through reddit. I was lurking around on /r/GlobalOffensiveTrade/ for before I made my first move. I bought some keys and tried sniping “quicksells” as fast as possible. I was not very good at it, because back then I didn’t know about trade tools, etc. I had to manually put in every key, count and recount it before sending an offer. That put me in a considerable disadvantage. Still, I caught some cheap stuff that I put right back to reddit and lounge. I have done this for a while and kept improving my methods. For example I set up a system that looked for the “qs” and “quicksell” keywords in newly created posts on reddit and notified me. In case you are still in doubt, yes I was a dirty “quickbuyer”. Back then it did not have that bad of a reputation though, it was considered a normal and in a way essential part of trading. Then came the “go trad men”, “65% quickbuy” and similar russian guys from lounge ruining it for everyone.

Valve’s policies against fraud hurt this part of trading the most. Putting newly bought keys on hold slowed everything down to a halt. I had to adapt and change the way I traded so I grew my funds and expanded my reach by looking for trades on other sites as well. With some minor adjustments the way I traded is still essentially what I do today. To learn about what that exactly is just scroll down and read the next section.

How I Trade


Compared to most other big traders I work differently. Rather than dealing with extremely rare and beautiful gems, I trade more common items and go for the quantity. I advertise on multiple trading sites and in some Facebook groups. You can find me on Lounge, Traders and Outpost for example. In my posts I usually ask for downgrades with overpay, but in reality I do all kinds of trades, low to high, high to high, cheaps for an expensive, and more.

I am still looking for quicksells as well, but I rarely get any, people seemed to have grown resistant to it and “pure” keys have also lost their trading appeal. Trading all kinds of items allows me to interact with all kinds of people as well. I try to have as many successful trades every day as possible. I spend hours a day taking, considering, then countering or accepting offers, chatting with people, writing comments, updating trading posts and whatnot.


My profiles on the trading sites I use:


Trading with me


This section is a guide to help you trade with me. I always recommend sending an offer first where you can also add a comment of what you are looking for. If you want my help choosing an item that you can afford or want to discuss the specifics of a multiple item trade feel free to add me.


Tips for sending an offer


  • Items: I trade mostly, but not exclusively in CS:GO items. I can accept items from other games as well, but only if they are marketable and easy to sell. I am not interested in rare high value items that sell every two months or so.

  • When my items are tradable: This has it's own section.

  • Keys:Since the 7-day update I very rarely deal with keys. The reasons for this are the following: I have limited inventory space, if I accepted offer with keys my inventory would be full and I would be unable to make any more trades. People are not that interested in keys anymore, so I also adjusted.

  • Collector’s items: You have to understand that I don’t trade items to use them in-game, therefore I will have no advantage of cosmetic differences. I am not interested in overpaying for your top floats, amazing patterns and looks, katowice and other stickers on weapons.

  • Find what you like: It’s easy to get lost in a big inventory clicking away between pages, but search and filters make it much easier! With a few keywords you can search for paint styles or knife types. With advanced filters you can filter for item types and categories.

  • Inspecting: With metjm you can inspect items without opening up the game. It is great if you are on mobile or on a work computer without CS:GO installed. You can right click the “Inspect in Game…” and copy the link address then open metjm and paste the link there.

  • Include a message: With a trade offer you can also include a message! Use it to tell me what kinds of items you are looking for other than what you send the offer for. This makes counter offering much easier!

  • Pricing: I have created a whole section about pricing. If it’s still too complicated or you are not sure, feel free to add me on steam.

  • Accounts: Trading accounts is against every site’s terms of service. It is also very easy to recover an account after the trade through customer support rendering the deal void. For these reasons I do not trade and am not interested in any kinds of accounts, be it Steam, Origin, Uplay, LoL or else.

  • Games: Sorry, I am not interested in Steam game gifts or keys. The same applies for every other service.

  • Holds: Unlike many other traders I don’t have that big of a problem with trade holds. If you don’t have steam mobile authenticator you can still trade with me, although I will ask for more overpay if you want me to wait two weeks. If you are not sure what trade holds are or why you have then them check out Steam’s relevant Knowledge Base article.

  • Trade restrictions: If there is an item in your inventory, but you can’t see it in the trade window then it is not tradable. There are two possible reasons for this: you bought your item on the Steam Community Market or unboxed it not long ago. Every newly purchased and opened item gets a week long restriction. This policy was implemented by Valve because of widespread fraud and money laundering in the past. If you navigate to your inventory and click on the item in question you should be able to see when the trade restriction expires. It’s the same with me, here is an example of what it looks like.

Tips for adding me


  • Civility: I always try to be civil and understanding and I expect some degree of politeness from you as well. If you start throwing insults or profanities at me I will remove you from my friend list.

  • Language: I communicate in english during trade negotiations so I expect you to be able to understand and use the language to some degree. You can try to use Google Translate, but it can produce some very confusing results.

  • Idea: If you add me please have something thought out of what you want. I don’t like when I get messages like “Hey I have x item offer me something, I don’t care what!”. At least tell me what types of items you like/are looking for.

  • Private and friends-only profile: I don’t accept private profiles because that way I have no information to asses someone and most people with private profiles are scammers anyways. Steam has a Knowledge Base article about setting profile privacy settings that you can use to make your profile public before adding me.

  • Private and friends-only inventory: If I can’t see what you have and you don’t notify me about it beforehand then I will very likely ignore your friend request. Same as for profiles you should change the privacy settings before adding me.

  • Empty inventory: If you add me without telling me why and you have an empty inventory I will just assume that you either want to scam me or you will beg for free items. We can’t trade if you don’t have items, so I ignore profiles with empty or close to empty inventories.

  • Commenting: Leaving a comment on my profile before adding me is positive and it will increase the chance of me accepting your request. A helpful comment would read like “Hi! Added you to trade, I want to upgrade to an M9 Bayonet!”. If you write something like: “added for trading” or “adding to discuss” doesn’t get you anywhere, everyone adds me for trading and your message will contain no helpful information.

  • Bans: Vac bans do not disqualify you right away, but I don’t like cheaters and their excuses so It decreases the chances of accepting. Trade banned or steamrep flagged accounts will be ignored.

  • Real money: I don’t do real money trades anymore, mainly because of the huge amount of scammers out there. Therefore please don’t add me for any paypal, bitcoin, paysafe, skrill, steam wallet or other trades.

  • Adding: By clicking the “Add me on Steam” button below your Steam client will automatically send me a friend request from you. Clicking “Comment in Steam” will load my profile in your steam client but it won’t bring it into focus.

Status

I am usually active between 8AM and 12PM UTC.

My current steam account status is:




As you have probably guessed I am trading for profit. I am not requiring enormous overpays like others and I can undercut trading site prices as well. Feel free to leave a recommendation comment on my profile after our trade, I will very likely return the favour.

Pricing



Pricing mistakes


Determining accurate prices is not easy and many people use different ways to do it. In this section I will identify and detail some of these and will also show how I do it.

One of the most common - though not the worst mistakes is relying on external pricing sites. We are trading on steam so we should use steam market prices, I will explain later how to do it well. Hitting up steamanalyst, cs.money or bitskins is comfortable but it’s for the lazy. No, steamanalyst is NOT smarter than you. It uses the steam market to calculate some kind of average. The price you get there is often inaccurate and misleading, not to mention "Community prices" which are awfully outdated, if they were ever accurate. Like 58 keys for an M9 Doppler P1? Give me twenty on that price.

Batman slaps meme applied to cs.money users.
A lot has changed since I made this, but it's still funny so I am leaving it

Another mistake made mostly by rookies is searching for the item and getting the “Starting at:” price as the actual price of the item without checking anything else. “Starting at” is the price of current lowest listing of that item and it is wholly inaccurate when applied to rare items. On very rare items that price can be extremely overpriced compared to what it usually sells for. Some put their item up for sale for 150% or even 200% of the normal price and those items just sit there for months without takers.

Not long ago I had a guy insisting that his ★ Shadow Daggers | Damascus Steel (Well-Worn) worth 75 euros because at the time that was the price of the lowest listed. This is actually a common way of cheating others as well, but I usually assume that the other guy just doesn’t know any better and try to explain it. This is in part the reason I created this section. Now back to this guy and his daggers. Glancing at the chart on the left you wouldn’t think that his knife is anywhere near €75, would you? I don’t think either, It hasn’t sold for that price even one time for months. A fair valuation would be around €60-61 in my opinion.


Very similarly people can argue that the item’s price “dropped” and it’s worth much less than before. They say that it’s now worth as much as it was last sold for. You can see an example on the right. It’s the chart of ★ StatTrak™ Bayonet | Doppler (Factory New). You can see that it sells for around €240 most often, but the last time it was sold for at an especially low price of €200. This does not by any means counts, it was one single transaction and it does not set the price of the knife.


Cheaters can apply these tactics whenever it fits them. When their stuff sells for high they argue that it’s the new price trying to make you overpay. They also try to send offers when your item’s price is “down”. Be aware of these and don’t make the same rookie mistakes.



Correct Pricing


My method of pricing is very simple. Before looking at the charts I ask myself: What is the price I think I could sell this item for in 2-3 day on the market? Then I analyze the last month, especially the last week of the graph. It’s easier to show than to tell, so let’s take a look at the picture on the right.


We are looking at the last month of the ★ M9 Bayonet | Safari Mesh (Field-Tested). All the lines and colors might seem confusing at first, but let me walk you through it. The only thing we have to have a good look at is the second red line. It marks the highpoint of the last few days’ sales. This tells us that every couple of hours someone was able to sell their knife on that price. If they could sell theirs we can sell ours as well. That is it, we have a fairly accurate price of the item. I further analyzed this chart to show you a few things. Marked by a yellow line I highlighted “quicksells”. These were impatient fellas who could not wait a few hours to get rid of their knives or they were in a hurry to spend their money. I speculate that these people are impulse buyers who want to have a new item or a new steam game right away and rather than waiting a bit they throw away a bunch of money.

Moving on to the last two weeks of the chart I highlighted two things. With light blue a very clear downtrend and with a darker blue a possible recovery initiating. The market moves in both directions over time. The causes of downtrends are usually major game releases, steam sales and new cases or operations. Uptrends happen either when new players enter the playerbase or when existing players have more money to spend and are more confident in the market.

When items are more rare getting an accurate pricing becomes increasingly difficult. Take a look at my next chart. It’s the last 40 days of the ★ StatTrak™ Huntsman Knife | Forest DDPAT (Battle-Scarred). I has been sold only three times over this time period from the low of €52 to the high of €69. What is the price then? If you can’t tell by it’s own chart let’s try its more popular brother’s. The Field Tested variant is around €72-74 so that is a start.

You could go on checking both in non-Stat Trak and measure the price difference there. For example if the price gap is €5 which would be around 10% of the price, then you can discount the Stat Trak by 10% as well arriving to €65. You might apply a bit more discount because of its rarity and let’s be honest, its undesirability. This is the end of the pricing section, I plan to write about patterns, floats, tiers and else in another section.

Becoming a trader


I have been getting questions about how one becomes a trader so I thought I would sum up my general response here. First, let me make that very clear that starting out with trading in the current climate is extremely hard and I don’t recommend doing it. The reasons for this are many, but they are neither obvious nor simple. I already detailed how I started trading in it’s own section. The thing is that it’s not really possible anymore.

You can’t snipe items off the market because of bot overgrowth, you can’t invest in cases because their price does not go up. You can’t get great quicksells because of Valve’s policies and because so many others started doing it. If you seriously set your mind about getting into trading I recommend putting in some serious cash and time to get anywhere, but that is just my two cents based on my experience.

Reputation


Good reputation is very important for me. Although I am not doing many real money deals anymore I have been called a scammer by people who don’t think it’s possible to become successful without cheating. That is essentially the reason I wrote this section, this way I can just link to it whenever my reputation comes to doubt.

First let me emphasize that you DO NOT have to trust me. I try to do everything that is possible through steam trade offers. This way there is no possibility of anyone getting something other than or less than what they were promised. Still, if you need confidence to make deals with me I gathered some reputation info here.

Profile “+reps” are not a very good way to determine trust, but I have gathered 370 pages of them, which adds up to 2220 over 4 years as of this writing. I have not used them in a while, but I am +51 on steamtrades, and have 77 in my CS:GO REP! Cash thread.

I have made over 21,000 trades and 35,000 market transactions on steam. I have a great inventory of thousands of items that I would not dare to risk over some petty scams. I don’t hide behind silly nicknames and private profiles, I am very open about who I am, you can find my social media here on my site.

Scams


Impersonators

This section is a work in progress. I just wrote it up real quick so fewer people fall for impersonators. I have been getting increasing amount of messages about profiles that are made to look like mine. I have two accounts, the one I use for trades that is linked in the “Trade with me” section and a vault account that I use to store items. I WILL NEVER ADD YOU if you don’t especially ask for it. These profiles often take my inventory link and put it in their description, making it look like it’s theirs. They are trying to use my reputation to make people send their items first in some real money transactions, attempting Opskins scams or "verifying" items. These are the the methods I have heard of so far.


Here are some examples, and again, THESE ARE NOT ME:

If you get in contact with any new ones you can give me their profile links and I will add them to this shame list. I can’t do much more than reporting them and trying to warn others not fall for them. You can initiate a steamrep report if you have evidence, or just report them on steam directly:

Impersonator attempting Opskins scam

Thanks to Andrius, I can now show you an example of how these impersonators are trying to steal your items.

They start out by adding you on steam usually from facebook trading groups or from the comment section of my profile. Then they proceed to "making an offer you can't refuse". In this case the scammer offered a flip knife doppler for a flip knife crimson web with a worse than average float. This is the point where you should be suspicious, no trader will offer you a 30% overpay outright.

Then comes the bullshit. The scammer needs an "excuse for action" so they invent one. In this case they have to "makes sure that the knife is 100% marketable on Opskins market". They do not offer a reason of why or how that could be the case and there is no such thing as an umarketable knife, red flag number two. Please note that there are multiple scam types that are called opskins scams. If it was the fake-opskins-site type then they would have told you that they want to buy your item through opskins for safety. But this is a fake-opskins-bot type one so they will utilize your trust in the site.

First they use a cheap item that you are not afraid to lose to demonstrate how the site works. After this you trust the site and they are ready to use it against you. In the next round they ask you to list your knife the same way you have done with the cheap item. But this time they send you a trade offer from one of their own accounts that is made out to look like an Opskins bot.

And that is basically it, they might try further persuade you to accept the offer if you are hesitant. Below is the chat log of a scam attempt.


Confirmation-replace scam

Since I wrote this up here I made it into a Steam Guide, it's more interactive and up-to-date than this so you should check it out. This is a relatively new scam method that is very effective and leaves users wondering how it even happened. I first encountered it when someone accused me of scamming them with an empty offer. I shrugged it off as one of my impersonators scamming someone, not realizing what has actually happened. The next one was very similar, we made a deal with a guy on steam and he sent the offer, that is when it happened. Instead of confirming our trade he confirmed something else. An offer with the same items as he put in from his side, but empty on the other side. It looked like he was trading it with me, but instead it was a bot that automatically canceled his offer, change the name and avatar of the bot account to mine and sent himself the offer.

For this to work someone has to have access to your account. In all cases I encountered it happened by logging into a phishing site. Once they have your login info they still have to trick you into giving them your items, this is how they do it.


Gaining access to the account

There are a few different ways this can happen, I will talk about three of them here. The first and most common way of getting users to give away their login info via a phishing site. These sites are set up to look legit, usually copying an existing site’s design. By the descriptions of who were scammed and by other attempted scam descriptions it usually start when a user adds you and wants one of your items. They ask you to log in to a site they link and check the pattern index of your item. By logging in however, you hand them your password and steam guard code.

The second one is used to be more common, but can still occur. The developer of a browser extension goes rogue and decides to scam it’s users. Depending on what’s granted they most likely have permission to modify data in the browser, essentially handing them access to the account, they can do anything that a user would on the steam web platform, including accepting and canceling steam trade offers. The third is by infecting the user with a malware that can, for example log their keystrokes when entering passwords and sending it to the scammers.


The sting

Once the scammers have access to the account they can wait for the user to try to make a legit trade with another user or a service like csmoney or opskins. If they don’t want to wait they can also quicken it by offering the user a too-good-to-be-true trade or offering to by some item on an absurdly high price on opskins. In any case, once a user sends an offer to anyone they immediately cancel it and resend and accept their own without anything on their side. The user expects the confirmation on mobile so he or she accepts it blindly, essentially giving away their items.


What can I do to avoid this scam?

The best thing you can do is to not log into any shady sites, always check the domain name of where you are logging in. Also don’t install random software or browser extensions from the internet without at least a bit of suspicion or research of it’s legitimacy. What I often recommend to people who like to log in to sites with steam that open Steam in your browser, log in there and if you encounter any site that asks you to log in with entering your password then it's a scam because you are already logged in to Steam and they should not prompt you to do so again.


What can I do once I got scammed or caught an attempted trade scam?

What you immediately want to do is logging out from every device, you can do it by going to: Steam->Settings>Accounts->Manage Steam Guard Account Security… then clicking “Deauthorize all other devices”. This will log you out of every device that you ever logged into with your account except the one you are currently using. If you managed to do it then go back to the account settings and change your password. If you were scammed by a phishing site then you are okay, that is pretty much all need to do to secure your account. If you were not phished then it’s tougher. I recommend reviewing your browser extensions first, remove suspicious ones and if you are still not entirely sure what gave access to your account to the scammers you should reinstall your operating system.


What can I do to revenge it, make their job harder and help prevent others getting scammed?

This is not the type of scam like a Paypal scam that you could screenshot and send to SteamRep and have the guy banned. What you can do however is to help take down their site. SwiftOnSecurity has compiled a great list of companies at Got Phish, you can go over the list and submit the site that has phished you. This helps to put the site on a blacklist and getting taken down eventually.

Charity


Having many items has disadvantages as well. Other than the constant swarm of scammers trying to infiltrate my inventory, there are beggars as well. These are mostly kids from poorer countries like India, Russia or Turkey. They beg, lie and even threaten me to get free items. They often invent stories of dead relatives, say it would make their dreams come true or set them for life. I have a zero tolerance policy towards them.

In my view giving away my items for free would not even count as a charitable donation because the recipients are not really in need of the items. Like does anyone really NEED a knife or a nice skin for a video game they waste their time on? I think not. And if I wasn’t trading I would very likely not have any expensive skins and especially not a knife. By this standard it would mean that I am giving away a luxury to others that I would not spend my OWN money on for my OWN use. That would be insane, right? Yes, it would.

You could argue that they don’t want the items, they just need it’s value and I accept that argument. But I can’t reward begging, which would mean that I am rewarding laziness. In that case these young fellas would just learn that there are folks out there giving them something for free when they ask. I don’t want to support the imprinting of this expectation.

There is of course the argument I often get in some form or similar to “but it’s nothing to you man”. This is absolutely false, it’s something for me. I worked and am still working hard for what I got. Implying that a knife is like a piece of candy for me that has no value is just laughable. Even for the cheapest knives I probably work days for, would you think that days of my life worth nothing for me? If you do, you are very very wrong.

There are some cases where people are in real need and they ask for a donation. Unfortunately on the internet everyone can claim to be whatever they want to be without others being able to confirm it. This leads to many made up stories and fake charities. So even when someone is in real need they cannot prove it. Even if they were able to, how do I choose who gets and who doesn’t?

This is a real dilemma that many others face in their everyday lives. In reality the answer to this question is not that complicated. The ones most in need get it, right? Well, kind of. In my view we should give money where it can be most efficiently used. The GiveWell organization has an audited list of the most efficient transparent charitable organizations around. On the top of this list as of this writing is the Against Malaria Foundation. This org distributes mosquito nets around African countries efficiently decreasing child mortality rates. So think this through, let is sink in then ask yourself. If you are one of the people asking for your “dream items”, do you really think you would use the money better than an african kid without protection against malaria spreading mosquitoes?

So please don't be one of these guys:


What's trade locked?


After the 7 day trade lock update I started to develop a new site where you can check anyone's, including of course my inventory and whether the items are trade locked and if they are when they will unlock.

Here is the link to my inventory on my site: https://www.whatstradelocked.com/inventory/76561198036030455 I am planning to add many more features to the site, such as getting notifications when an item you are interested in becomes tradable, etc.