Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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TFTRG Trading Guide
By Gamma032 and 3 collaborators
Have you ever wanted that handy pocket booklet full of trading tips and tricks? Well here it is, over 5,000 words focused purely on making you a better trader.

This has been written by the TFTRG administration team. At TFTRG we raffle, trade, hold gamenights and post constant news announcements. Go check it out if you want to!

Also feel free to favourite this guide, rate it and comment below, all feedback is appreciated! This will also be updated frequently to make this the best it can be.

   
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Terminology
TF2 is filled with tricky words that can be confusing for new players. Here's a bunch of trading related ones:

Backpack: The place where all of your items are.

Backpack Slots: A slot in your backpack that an item can be placed in.

Crafting: Combining items to create new ones.

Scammer: Somebody who scams others.

Snaker: Somebody who steals trades not offered to them, but instead another player.

Troll: Somebody who wrecks everything for the fun of it.

Sharker: Somebody who rips off newer players for profit.

Carder: Somebody who illegally hacks PayPal or bank accounts and buys and sells keys to make the process irreversible.

Pure: Metal, keys and earbuds.

Sweets: Small items added to a trade.

F2P: A free to play user (can't trade dropped items).

P2P: A pay to play user (can trade).

Banking: Repeated buying and selling of a specific currency.

Valve: The company that made TF2.

Quicksell: An item selling for under its market value.

Trade offers: A system built into Steam which allows you to trade even if somebody is offline.

Steam community market (SCM): A system built into Steam which allows you to sell and buy items with Steam wallet funds.

Mann. Co Store: A place where you can buy with Steam wallet funds ingame.
Securing Your Account
Before you start trading, it's important to remember that these items have real life value.
Here are a few steps to help secure your account.

Signing in through Steam

Whenever you're signing in through Steam, make sure that the URL bar has https:// instead of http://. On most modern browsers, it will also say "Valve Corporation [US]". If it does not, exit the site immediately. You should never put your Steam account details anywhere else on the internet.

Steam Guard

Steam Guard blocks your ability to trade for 15 days if it's disabled. It might be a pain if you accidentally turn it off, but you'll need this on if you're going to trade. It will notify you if someone accesses your account and give you the IP. If you didn't authorise it, reset Steam Guard to prevent your account from trading for a 15 day period and change your password and e-mail address.

E-mail

Traders should have at least three e-mails:
1. For personal use, contains your real world friend’s messages and whatever you send them.
2. For communication with other people on the internet (that you don't know in real life) and for signing up on other websites.
3. For your Steam account and for Steam Guard.
If a hacker doesn’t know your e-mail address, they won't be able to get into your account. If they do, they can hack in.

You can make an infinite amount of gmail addresses for free, so don't worry about paying for security.

Password

Make sure your password is a smart combination of letters, numbers and symbols. If it helps you remember, try swapping out letters for numbers like this: "y0!05wag". That way it's already considerably harder to guess. There are plenty of other helpful sites on the internet that can help you if you need a good password, so I'm not going to go in depth.

Computer

Your computer is always vulnerable. Use an anti-virus and run scans at least every month. Plenty of malware applications can contain key loggers to find your password. Also make sure you have a private account on your computer with a password. You don't want your brother logging on and stealing of all your stuff, do you?

Common Sense

"If you think something is too good to be true, it probably is". I'll delve into phishing later into this guide.
Getting Started
Before you start trading you’ll need to do a few things to set your account up. First of all, you’ll want to get a premium account. To do this, all you need to do is add $5 of credit to your Steam account and spend 49c on a weapon. If you try out a weapon before you buy it you get a percentage taken off the cost, so you can actually spend just 36c. If you want to go super cheap, you can pick up a giftapult for 10c. You could also get a friend to get you an upgrade to premium gift. The hunstsman is the most popular weapon to buy to get premium.

You can trade without premium, just remember that you won't be able to set up your profile and you can only trade items that have been traded to you by others.

Once you've done that, you should set up your Steam community profile and set your backpack to public so it can be scanned.

Time to get trading!
Pricing Items
Pricing items has been a role taken on by several websites over the years. The first major website was TF2 Spreadsheet[tf2spreadsheet.traderempire.com]. It fell in popularity in 2011 - 2012 after claims that prices had been manipulated for the good of the owner.

Nowadays the major website for pricing items is http://backpack.tf/. It solved the problem of manipulation by letting the community provide proof if they beleived a price was incorrect. Any item on backpack.tf has proof behind its price. Backpack.tf also features the largest source of unusual prices. Another popular website is http://www.trade.tf/spreadsheet. It records sales as items in backpacks move around and it can formulate an accuarate price on the current value of the item. Numerous other sites exist but updates are infrequent and fears of more price manipulation still continue.

Most advanced traders use either Backpack.tf or Trade.tf for their item pricing. The choice is dependent on your opinion.
Banking
Scrapbanking is usually the first step in getting some profit rolling in without needing anything but weapons. To scrapbank, you sell weapons for a scrap each. You then you trade a scrap for 2 weapons from any class. If you repeat the process enough, you’ll end up with plenty of weapons and scrap at your disposal.

The next step is to bank craft hats. Generally, you buy hats for 1 refined and resell them for 1.11 refined. The price can fluctuate though, so be careful.

Once you’ve built up a solid amount of metal, you should think about key banking. To do this, buy keys for 1 scrap under their value (or their lower end of the range) and sell them at their value.

Once you’ve done all that, consider banking bill’s hats or earbuds.

Banking is a slow but reliable source of income. It’s also a crowded market as a result. Something to keep in mind is that the more you invest the more you’ll get out of it. You only get 1 weapon for scrapbanking but if you bank earbuds you can get several refined to a key.

If you ever end up stuck while banking, http://scrap.tf/ is essentially a banking service that you can use.
Resell
It’s time to start making some profit. The best way to start making it is by choosing some items in your price range. It could be a Dr. Whoa and a Front Runner if you only have a few refined, but big kills and strange festives if you have plenty of keys.

Let me show you an example of how you buy and sell these for profit. Let’s pretend you’re buying strange Ullapool Cabers for 8 keys and they’re currently worth 9 keys. It would probably take you around a month to buy one because of how little you’re paying, right? Well since there’s thirty one days in a month, choose thirty one other items in a similar price range to the caber. Whenever you buy one of these items, quickly sell it for the items full price. Now you’re statistically making a key in profit everyday.

You can also stalk trading websites and look for people quickselling their items so you can sell it back off, however it can be difficult. Trading servers can also be helpful, as sometimes people will pay extra for your hat because they can't find it anywhere else or don't properly understand other places they can trade.

There you have it; you’re now ready to start reselling items for some quick profit.
Qualities
Here are all the qualities in TF2 and their origins.

Normal: The default items that you start with.

Unique: Everything that isn’t another quality.

Strange: Stranges are found in crates or added to a hat with a chemistry set. Stranges count the amount of kills/points scored while using/wearing the strange. Strange parts can be applied to these items.

Vintage: Vintage items were obtained by owning an item before the F2P update. In that update, all existing items turned obtained the vintage quality.

Genuine: Genuines are promotional items obtained by buying other games.

Unusual: Unusuals display special effects. They are obtained by unboxing crates.

Collector: Collector items are made with 200 of a specific weapon and a chemistry set.

Haunted: Items obtained during the Halloween updates.

Community: Given to community members and are specially granted by Valve.

Self-Made: Given to item creators by Valve.

Valve: Items that only Valve employees can obtain.

Extra:

Uncraftable: Items that cannot be used in crafting. This includes achievement items and other items granted by Valve, such as the duelling badge. Ever since mid-2013, items bought from the Mann.Co store had the uncraftable quality.

Untradeable: Items that cannot be traded. Alike uncraftables, it includes achievement items and other items granted by Valve. Items bought forms the Mann.Co store are untradeable for a week.

Killstreak: Killstreak items are fairly complicated. If you wish to learn about them, consult the TF2 Wiki.

Australlium: Rare weapons obtained from MvM tours. Are painted in gold and are shiny.
Unboxing
You can unbox a crate by using a key on it. Inside you will get an item that is most likely under the value of the key you used. There is a very low chance (<1%) that you will get an unusual hat. Statistically however, the chances of profiting like this are unlikely. Stay away from unboxing, it won’t do you any good. You could unbox over 100 crates without an unusual and even then, the average unusual is worth 78 keys so it's not in your favour of making a profit. Below is a table curtosy of Tf2 Finance[tf2finance.com] showing the probablity of unboxing an unusual if the chance is .66%.
However, there are a few cases in which uncrating may earn profits.
As mentioned above, salvaged/reserve crates. Assuming that you ♥♥♥♥♥♥ the inate cost of the crate (such as by finding it from a drop), it would be a good intention to uncrate it and resell the item found inside for profits. As most items in such crates are worth more than 1 key.

New crates. When a new crate series is released, for a short period of time, several hours to a day, The stranges inside could be worth higher than a key due to its short supply. If you managed to obtain one early in the update, selling it quickly could net you profit.

Event crates. Similar to the second situation, event crates at the start of an event could provide profit in their contents. Examples such as s.f items from the naughty crates, and normal festives going for above 1 key in the first few moments of the event. This is time that uncrating could prove beneficial.
Finding Trades
Once you’ve figured out what you want to trade for, you need to find a place to buy and sell the items. Here’s a list of ways:

Trade servers: Trade servers are a worthwhile option for somebody starting out. You can advertise to a good 20 + people, however it can be difficult to make profit.

Tf2 Outpost:[www.tf2outpost.com] Tf2 Outpost undeniably has the largest community around. If you want your trades to have full exposure, this is your site. You can pay $5/mth for their premium benefits, which includes automatic trade bumping.

Bazaar:[bazaar.tf] Bazaar offers a wide range of functions. You can have bots trade for you while offline, host auctions and more. The problem with Bazaar is that there simply isn’t enough users to find enough trades. Donations range from $1 - $100 and come with different benefits.

Tf2 Trading Post:[tf2tp.com] The Tf2 Trading Post is just a regular trading site. There’s no donation system and nothing really notable, however the more grounds you cover the better.

Backpack.tf:[backpack.tf] Backpack.tf offers item pricing and unusual searches for donators. They also have a sophisticated card swapping service. You can pay $3/mth for auto bump, raffle entries and bot priority.

The way you’d like to find trades is entirely up to you. Investing in autobump services can be worth it, but it’s all up to your personal preference.
Investments
Choosing items to invest in can be a hard process. Not only is the TF2 market unpredictable, it's harsh and if you make a bad move it could be all over. Here's my view on what items are good investments and what ones are extremely risky.

Stranges. Stranges might seem like a cool concept at first. But when you start trading them around like a mad man, it turns into chaos quickly. Stranges from new crates start high but will then crash. The demand is reasonable, but any fluctuation in price usually is just a drop. Some valuable items have gone up in the past due to the fact that no more were coming in and the demand was massive. For example, strange stock items (scatter, rocket, sticky, minigun and so forth) slowly went up in value over time. Unfortunately for investors, Valve added them back into the game in new crates and the value plummeted. Stranges are mostly stable and can be profitable if you're an organised reseller, however long term investments simply ineffective.

Vintages. Anybody who owned an item before TF2 was F2P had all their items turned into vintage ones. It might seem like a good investment, but there's hardly ever been a dramatic increase in value. The original vintage hats did go up a little when they were removed from the game, however for an investor it's simply not worth the wait. The prices are extremely stable, so a new trader might like to trade them around. In general though, vintages are under a refined and you can't really turn it into anything profitable enough to focus on.

Craft numbers. Hats with <100 craft numbers are one of a kind. I'm going to tell you now though, nobody knows the price of them. They're all over the place and making and accurate price estimation is absurdly impossible. Just stay away from them at all costs. Getting one as overpay on a hat trade is okay, but just know they can take months to sell.

Genuines. Genuine items are basically promotional items and nothing more. The price does go up over time but in reality it really depends on the hat. Research its history and make a judgement from there. The genuine market truly is a shipwreck.

Levels. These are similar to craft numbers. Nobody really actually cared untill some fat bloke came around buying lvl 69 items and showing them off. In the end unless you can find a collector you're going to have a pain of a time selling them. Do be careful though, levels 0, 1, 42, 69 and 100 can add a few scrap (or possibly even more) to the value of your item.

Festives. Festives and the hats that come with them fluctuate all the time. They go up during Christmas and fall back down after a while. This is one of the most popular items to invest in. They might only give a few refined, but in the end you don't have to do anything and bulk sellers can make a fortune.

Painted items. Painted items are another pain to deal with. Hardly anybody is going to pay a decent amount on top of your hat for paint. A popular resolution to pricing these is to just halve the value of the paint, but you should be thinking more like a quarter or even less.

Unusuals. These are insanely risky to deal with. They fluctuate like mad and can take months to sell.

Collector's items. Dont touch them at all. Basically theres an increasing supply with a decreasing demand. Only buy if you're actually collecting. But the price will probably drop lower in the future, leading you to get a net loss in profits.

Killstreak items. Basically the unusuals for weapons. Similar to unusual trading, they are rather risky to deal with. However, with the hype up for these killstreak items, their price at the time of my posting would be even higher than its actual value.

Festive killstreak items. Take something that is already in low demand, and now make it limited edition and x 24 its requirements to craft. Just don't bother.

One of the few things that are worth investing in are promos and pure. They are:
  • Ebenezers
  • Earbuds
  • Keys
  • Bill's Hats
  • Max's Severed Heads
  • Holiday Headcases

In order to decide whether an item is worth investing in or not, you need to act like a share holder in the real world. http://backpack.tf/ is useful for this purpose because it allows you to view data on price increases and the number in existence. You can compare how many exist to other promos/pure items to determine how much competition you will have. Before investing, always have a look at the item value graphs. They can either be:
  • Positively Trending (Clearly going up in value)
  • Neutrally Trending (Not moving or going up and down)
  • Negatively Trending (Clearly going down)
Unless you have other reasoning to believe an item will go up in value, only buy if the graph is positively trending.

An example of a positvely trending item

An example of a neutrally trending item

An example of a negatively trending item
Dealing with Trades & Bargaining
Getting what you say during a trade right is crucial. You need to be quick but friendly at the same time. If you’re friendly enough, they might even end up buying some other items off you or give you some free stuff if you’re super lucky. It needs to go fast but at the same time full spelling and grammar should be used to give the best impression. The way you handle a trade is completely up to you, but if you manage to be friendly enough there’s perks.

Another one of those perks is that they might let you bargain them down a bit. Before you agree on a price, ask if you can get a little bit more/less. It might not seem like much but it all adds up in the end. Even if you have enough to pay the full price, some traders might be willing to go a bit lower if they’ve been selling it for a while. The trick is to be pushy, but not so pushy that they tell you to piss off.

Always approach a trader with a greeting and then politely ask what they were after. Once you've completed the trade, thank the other user.
Organisation
Keeping your trading organised is important if you wish to maximise the amount of trades you're making. The first step is to use the steam friends functions. You should add a tag something along the lines of "To be traded" if somebody is offline and they've added you. If you know what they want, you can add a nickname. Frequently check back to your friends list and see if anybody tagged has come online. If they don’t respond after four or five times, just delete them to keep your friends list clean.

You could also make use of the trade offers system to send people offers if you know what they want and are offline. Finally, you could set up a trading bot to do all the trading for you but you’ll need to have a fair amount of tech knowledge to do that.

Always delete people after you have finished trading with them unless you have the intention of trading again. Having a small friends list helps you find people without the use of the search bar (for example, if their name is in Japanese and you have to search for them manually to tag them).

Leveling up will increase the maximum amount of friends you can have in your list. You can do this if you need to keep lots of people added for some reason.
Unusual Trading
Be prepared for possibly the longest segment of this guide. Here we are going to go over all of the terms, tricks and essentials to get you ready for unusual trading.

Terms:
Cancer: A lowly valued, ugly effect and hat.
Low-tier: 0 – 3 bud unusuals.
Mid-tier: 4 – 10 bud unusuals.
High-tier: 11 – 25 bud unusuals.
God-tier: 26+ bud unusuals.
Themed: A matching hat and effect.

Generations of unusual effects:
Generation
Effects
First Generation
Burning Flames
Scorching Flames
Sunbeams
Purple Energy
Green Energy
Vivid Plasma
Searing Plasma
Haunted Ghosts
Massed Flies
Circling TF Logo
Circling Hearts
Circling Peace Sign
Purple Confetti
Green Confetti
Second Generation
Orbiting Fire
Nuts n' Bolts
Bubbling
Steaming
Stormy Storm
Blizzardy Storm
Smoking
Third Generation
Miami Nights
Disco Beat Down
Kill-a-Watt
Terror-Watt
Cloud 9
Aces High
Dead Presidents
Robo Effects
Anti-Freeze
Roboactive
Time Warp
Green Black Hole
Memory Leak
Overclocked
Power Surge
Electrostatic
Sulphurous
Phosphorous
Halloween Effects
Cloudy Moon
Eerie Orbiting Fire
Flaming Lantern
Cauldron Bubbles
Knifestorm
Misty Skull
Harvest Moon
It's A Secret To Everybody
Stormy 13th Hour
Arcana
Spellbound
Hellfire
Darkblaze
Demonflame
Something Burning This Way Comes
Poisoned Shadows
Chiroptera Venenata
End of the Line
Frostbite
Morning Glory
Death at Dusk
Molten Mallard

Trading Unusuals:
Trading unusuals can take a long time. If you don’t quicksell them, they can take months to get a good offer worth taking. The value can also shift dramatically over time, so you need to be careful. If you wish to sell them, put them on a trading website and go in unusual trading servers.

Abbreviations:
Here are the abbreviations of some of the effects.
Burning = Burning Flames
GE = Green Energy
PE = Purple Energy
GC = Green Confetti
PC = Purple Confetti
DBD = Disco Beat Down
N&B = Nuts & Bolts
Flies = Massed Flies
Secret = It’s a Secret to Everybody
Cloudy = Cloudy Moon
Harvest = Harvest Moon
Blizz = Blizzardy Storm
Sulph = Sulphurous
Phos = Phosphorous
Lantern = Flaming Lantern
Searing = Searing Plasma
Vivid = Vivid Plasma

Choosing Unusuals:
While trading unusuals, it is important to remember a few things.

• Is it a new effect? New effects sell for high when they come out but rapidly drop after the hype dies down. You need to be careful of this because while it might seem like a good deal at the time, it might be an awful one in a week or two.
• Do you have the time? Do you have enough time to pricecheck all your offers and find a buyer? It can be a painfully long process.
• What are other people selling it for? Will you be able to get the price intended? There are often people selling for less than the market value. You might need to compete if you want to sell it soon.
• Will you be able to profit more another way? Is it a worthwhile investment? It can take a while to sell, so consider other options. Perhaps banking earbuds could end up being more profitable in the long run. Calculate how much time you think it would take for you to sell your hat compared to the profit you're getting.
• What's the demand like? How much has it sold for recently? What kind of offers are other traders getting, if any? Try to find an unusual with a high demand so you can find a buyer quicker.
Themed Unusuals:

Themed unusuals are when the hat and effect are fitting. For example, a massed flies swagmans swatter or a blizzardy storm head warmer. Themed unusuals are usually in high demand, just be sure to point out the theme to any potential buyers. These can sometimes be a source of profit if the seller doesn't realise the theme.

Miscellaneous Unusuals:

Unusual miscs are in high demand because you can stack them with the effect from the hat. There isn't many of these around, so keep your eyes out for a good deal. Don't try to sell an unusual misc and hat as a set, it will take a long time and you probably will never find a buyer.

Marketing:

Whenever you sell your unusual, think about ways you could market it. If it looks nice, try getting a screenshot made for you or post a video of you wearing it on YouTube. If it's a cancer unusual, point out how cheap it is. If it's got a special level, paint, name or anything at all, mention it. Have a good sales proposal like a car salesman normally does, a manipulative and slightly misleading one. Don't point out a bad effect or hat, an ugly paint or anything that will lose interest from a potential buyer.

Event Unusuals:

Event unusuals, like the Halloween effects, are under a significant lack of supply. This means that they can actually be fairly easy to sell even for a high price. As usual, demand will also increase when the event comes around again.

Notes:

When trading unusuals, it is important to note that it is significantly unlikely that somebody will pay in pure unless it's under 3 buds. Accepting unusual offers is usually the only way to trade your way up to the top.

You also need to remember that the more your unusual is worth, the harder it will be to find a buyer. Sometimes having a cancer unusual can actually a be good thing because you'll have a reasonably good chance of selling it for pure as somebodies first ususual.
Steam Community Market
The Steam market is a widely used way to sell TF2 items for Steam wallet funds. The problem is that you can’t buy other real life things after you've sold an item. This has led to a choice on what is the better option. You can buy keys on SOP for around $1.80 but you can get them on the market for around $2.10. The down side though is that you can be scammed if you use paypal. The choice is yours to make.

You can also sell items on the market but you’ll have to pay a fee to Valve. This makes profiting off the market difficult and you’re better off sticking to regular trading if you’re after profit.
Phishing
Phishing is a major problem in the Steam community. I've already explained the ways this is done in the security portion of the guide. Scammers often take control of accounts they hack into and send messages to their friends to continue the chain. You should always be cautious if something seems a little too dodgy. Steam has a notification if a link sent to you is not an official Steam website. Look carefully for this notification, many people ignore it. You may also find various tricks on YouTube claiming you can have free items just by e-mailing your account details to a scammer. Item drops are done on the Valve servers, so unless they're an insider that's not going to happen. Who would risk their job just to give you free earbuds? It doesn’t make sense, does it? You may also see websites offering free games for referrals. I can tell you personally that when I tested it, I was asked to simply complete a survey for 1,000 nappies before I claimed my game.

If someone sends you a phishing link, report it directly to Steam so they can shut down the account. Don't report it to Steam Rep, they won't mark somebody sending phishing links around. Keep an eye out for these things and you can stay safe from phishing.

If you unfortuantly do fall victim to phishing, read this article: http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/1206-guide-to-recovering-hijacked-items/
Scamming Techniques
The best way to avoid scamming is by knowing how it's done.

The Quickswitch Scam

The quickswitch scam is an easily done scam done in the trade window.

Quickswitch scams exploit a simple human error. This is that people tend to not check the trade twice before they confirm a trade. All the scammer has to do is quickly switch a valuable item around for a worthless one. If you notice, all they have to do is quickly close the trade before the you can take a screenshot. That way, you will have no evidence against them.

Here's a list of the most common switches so you can remain safe while trading.

Earbuds switched with a Spycicle
Holiday headcase switched with a Holiday Punch
All-father switched with Lord Cockswain's Novelty Mutton Chops and Pipe
Balloonicorn switched with Reindoonicorn
Genuine variants switched with unique variants
Vintage variants switched with unique variants
Unusual variants switched with unique variants
Strange variants switched with unique variants
Strange festive variants switched with strange variants

...and many more.

Keep your eyes on the trade if you want to avoid this.

The Chargeback Scam

The chargeback scam only effects PayPal cash traders. It abuses the fact that PayPal doesn't support the idea of trading for virtual items. As a result, after a payment as been made it can be charged back, meaning the transaction is reversed. This is done if the scammer contacts PayPal claiming the transaction wasn't authorised by him.

The Spycrab Scam
The spycrab is a form of gambling. The spycrab scam happens when if the scammer loses the game, they leave and don't pay up.

This can be avoided by using a middleman to hold the items during the spycrab.

The Cash Scam

The cash scam is common for any cash trader. The scammer will ask you to go first and will insist on not using a middleman. Once you give them the items or cash, they'll run and won't give you anything at all.

To avoid this, always make sure the person you're trading with has a good amount of reputation. Whoever has the least cash trading reputation should go first. If you still feel unsure, you can use a middleman. Also make sure the person has a good amount of TF2 hours and items.

The Middleman Scam

The middleman scams by having two users. One will pretend to be a trusted middleman (usually by being moderator on a server or by using a fake reputation link) and the other scammer will peform a cash trade. When the items are sent to the middleman, the scammer won't pay you and the middleman will make a run for it.

You can avoid these risks by not using a middleman at all or by using a SteamRep approved middleman because they're usually considerably more trustworthy.

Impersonation Scam

Impersonation is where someone imitates another one's Steam Profile without the person (real profile owner) knowing about that. For simpler definition of 'impersonation', it could also be defined as making a clone of someone for negative purposes. There are two types of Impersonation Scam.
  1. Impersonating Trusted User
    In this case, someone will be impersonating or making a clone of a famous trader or a trusted admin from TF2 related websites or a trusted middleman to make you believe that they are the 'real' one while they are actually a fake clone. Once they make you believe in them, now you trust them and trade your items to them and they could just run away as soon as possible after the trade happened. How to avoid this type of scam? You can avoid this scam by going on SteamRep middleman list[steamrep.com], however, SteamRep doesn't take any responsibility if the mentioned middleman turned on your back or betrayed you and decide to attempt a scam on you. Huge consideration is needed to decide whether to use middleman or no.

  2. Impersonating Your Own 'Trusted Friend'
    This is a pretty old scam attempt, but not much people have known yet and many fell for this. The whole point of the scam is the same, that is impersonating or making a clone of someone. But in this scam attempt, the scammer will ask you to pick your own trusted friend from your friendlist. Once you tell them your trusted friend's profile name, they will add your friend to tell them that you and the scammer are not ready. While the scammer is holding your friend from trading you, he will use another account to impersonate/make a clone of your friend to make you believe that it's really your friend. The scammer with the name of your friend will proceed to invite you to a group chat where you will be trading that fake account all your items which need to be traded. Once the trade is done, both scammer and impersonator will run away and probably proceed to block you. How to avoid this scam? You can simply check your friend's profile and compare it to the accused impersonator profile. Impersonator usually give a dot (.) after their name to prevent numbers on the name. For example "Dee_Jay007 ♥" will be impersonated, the scammer will use "Dee_Jay007 ♥." instead of "Dee_Jay007 ♥" to prevent Steam showing the name like "Dee_Jay007 ♥ (1)" and "Dee_Jay007 ♥ (2)". Then, always check for playtime history and backpack history.


Raffle Scam

1. Rigged Raffles
Raffles have pre-determined winners, most of the time friends who return the raffled item, etc Key after the raffle. Allowing the raffler to continue indefinitely, earning profits.

2. Impersonation of Raffler
Impersonating a well-known raffler to receive Free Items/ Entry Fees from members who believe they are contributing to the group or participating in a raffle. This would cause credibility of the raffler to drop.

3. Impersonating a Winner of a Raffle
Impersonating the name/profile/profile picture of the winner could cause the raffler to give the item to the imposter. This would similarly cause the credibility of the group to drop.

4. Fake Winner Scam.
Getting added randomly by a bot, saying that you've won a raffle. Bot continues by asking you to add another player Via an URL to claim your prize.
Url is a phishing link.


Raffle scams can be avoided by ensuring that the person you are trading is authentic. Measures such as checking rep threads and Games/ Game Hours and backpack is an easy way to determine if the person is an imposter.
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153 Comments
bubby626 Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:09pm 
Thanks for the scamming help. Needed it so there would be a very low chance it would happen.
Mars May 14, 2015 @ 4:18am 
thank you!now i know all about trading ^^
Afrozone100 May 8, 2015 @ 4:16am 
Amazing guide 10/10
Я|♠The Ace Of Spades♠ Feb 28, 2015 @ 6:20pm 
I got impersonted before by my BEST FRIEND MY friends came to me saying "YOU DUCKING SCAMMER" and other things and I ad no idea what they were talking about then I found out about being impersonted and I reported him.:spycon:
Derringer Jan 4, 2015 @ 3:52pm 
i haven't dealt with a single unusual yet but i am fairely experienced with trading and i say you've covered everything. 10/10 guide, good job man
HypedHDx Dec 26, 2014 @ 9:18pm 
How Do U Do An Raffle
James Dec 19, 2014 @ 10:25pm 
I dont know how long this has been around, but recently comments have been popping up in my comment section with phising links, similar to messaging. Maybe add that as a new way?
jdragon7 Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:43pm 
I watched a guy get quickswitched but he got nothing out of it. The guy who quickswitched him walked out of that server with something along the lines of 8.00ref (I wish I knew WHAT he wanted that would've been worth that much). The next ten minutes was nothing but me missing headshots and getting distracted by the guy who got scammed raging in voicechat until a server admin came on and kicked him. That was something. It's for this reason I do not trade anything besides a Unique Weapon for a Unique Weapon. Yeesh.
Gamma032  [author] Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:24pm 
Added the new EoTL effects.