How To Win At The Steam Community Market
July 24, 2013

How To Win At The Steam Community Market

With the recent Steam summer sale and the addition of trading cards, the Steam Community Market has become a thriving place for both buyers and sellers, as in game items are now available for local currency. Although the market may change in the foreseeable future, these strategies should help anyone looking to get in on the action.

Just to preface this, this is not a get rich quick scheme and any currency earned cannot be traded through Steam for real local currency; this is a safe, paced guide to putting some money in your Steam wallet for whatever you fancy. Please use common sense, ample judgment and some decency when playing the market.

Don’t Undercut

For those who don’t know, undercutting is the act of deliberately reducing the price of an item by fractional increments (from 99c to 98c). Do I really need to say any more? Sure, you may make an immediate profit that’s only a penny less, but soon enough that sets the starting price to begin going down and with that, your profit, too, should you decide to sell. The only time it is even mildly acceptable is whenever there is low quantity of a particular item and the current price is absurdly high. And even then don’t cut it by more than 25 percent of the original listing price. Don’t be that guy. Just don’t.

Stock up for later

With the summer sales bombarding you, it’s easy to consider selling off your summer cards for a quick buck; but holding onto them may prove to be a better decision. These cards will remain in your inventory after the sale has ended and will only go up in price as people try to sell them off for the most down the road. And while it hasn’t been announced if the winter sale will bring about any new cards, you can bet that there’s always someone who’ll want to buy it off of you to get his Steam Level up.

Rarity is a Commodity

It goes without saying, the rarer something is, the higher the price should be. This can apply to everything from a Mann Co. Supply Crate Series #3 to a Chivalry: Medieval Warfare trading card and shouldn’t be treated any lesser. Because these items are in such rare quantities it can be easier to sell them at an increased price, producing more profit. Currently the market has a hierarchy trend to it, with Vintages selling at the highest price per quantity, followed by Genuine and then Strange, with a few exceptions in between due to rarity.

How can I get in on this?

The easiest way to get in on this is to simply play games. Playing games with cards will give you cards that you can sell on the market. And if you’re wondering which games you currently play that will give you cards, simply go to your profile, and click on badges. Any games listed will drop four cards before you must purchase other cards. Another easy way to get in on is through Team Fortress 2, more specifically crates. Because the crates drop at a fixed rate and require purchasing a key to open, many people simply never open the ones they have and will gladly give them away for almost nothing. Just to prove a point, I went to a random server and offered a scrap to anyone who traded me their crates, within five minutes I had to buy a backpack extender just to accommodate the 112 crates I received from various players. While I doubt you’ll always find this generosity wherever you go, you are sure to run into a few people who will gladly part with them to free up space.

And that wraps it up for now. While the market is sure to have changes coming soon, these basic principles should stay true for the most part. Good luck and happy trading.

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