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Rules for Non-Unusual Suggestions

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polar    3460

This thread serves as a list of up to date rules on suggesting prices for non-unusual items. When a rule is changed, the main post (this one) will be updated, and a changelog post will be added below. If you have questions, please join our discord to ask them.


This is an update of this - http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/792-how-to-make-a-good-suggestion/- and is designed to be a more comprehensive guide to the ones shown here - http://backpack.tf/rules and http://backpack.tf/help/suggestions - which basically introduce users to price suggestions. You can post any questions you have, including asking what a mod's rationale was for accepting / rejecting certain suggestions here.



There are a few basic hallmarks that everyone should recognize.

(1) All of our prices are estimates.

(2) You must provide proof for all suggestions, not just opinion. See "Valid Proof" below.

(3) We are after the most COMMON trade points for items. People will always sell for above and below backpack.tf prices, but this doesn't mean we will make all-encompassing ranges to document every single sale value. We are only showing the most common trade values. The NUMBER of sales always trumps the TIME it takes for an item to sell.

(4) Prices we list are for unmodified items. For low value items (<10 keys), please do not use painted, parted items as proof. For any item, please do not use items with killstreaks as proof. Untradable items are listed at their unwrapped value. If wrap was provided, you must subtract the value of the wrap.

(5) Please do not "refresh" the value on non-unusuals. If the current price is 1.66 refined, please don't make a new suggestion at 1.66 refined.

(6) Most importantly, please use common sense. If you have one sale at 9 refined but there are 40 classifieds sellers at 8 ref, 9 refined probably shouldn't be in your range. Use as many different sources as you can to make decisions rooted in common sense.


Valid Proof for Non-Currency Suggestions

- Primary Proof

#1 Completed sales on classifieds, outpost, bazaar, sourceop, r/tf2trade, or any variety of other trading sites. How do you find completed sales? Screenshot classifieds and check back in a day or two, check recent suggestion snapshots, check recent compare links for seller and buyer bots, bookmark some young, well-bumped trades and wait a few days to see if they sell. Alternatively, look at trades marked as unsolds in recent suggestions and see if they have sold.

#2 Unsolds on outpost that have been bumped adequately and have been up for a reasonable amount of time (This varies on the type of item and its value. See below for details). Unsolds can be used to lower item values but not to raise them.

#3 Marketplace.tf sales can be used as proof provided they are not significantly discrepant from the item market


- Secondary Proof

#1 Any unsolds on any site (besides outpost) that have been bumped at least once. You should put as much proof as possible in your suggestion. However, given a lot of these sites see much less traffic than outpost or bp.tf, these should not be used as primary trades to define your range.

#2 Steam community market. Moderators always take a look at SCM values of all marketable items and consider them in any suggestion. If an item is selling regularly at 1 key on market and you have a single trade at 2 keys, more than likely your trade will end up an outlier if we wait for further sales. This doesn't mean that you should use SCM as the only proof to define your range, but particularly on rare items with few sales, mods always factor in SCM values to help identify outliers and common trade points. For unpriced items, we will consider SCM sales alone as proof only on items >10 keys in value.

#3 Please don't use trades of people "selling for bp.tf price" or "selling for bp price +/- x amount" as primary proof in a suggestion. These are poorly advertised sales that require the buyer to do additional work to figure out an item price. This usually means they will have a harder time selling, so these aren't the best trades to use to figure out item values. Use them as supportive proof but don't use these alone to define your range.


NOTE: Please be wary of using any kind of "shop" or "bot" as proof of solds in any suggestion. These are trades that have been up for months. Shop sellers constantly change their prices. To use these as proof, you will need to show when they last sold an item and at what price.


Currency Suggestions
We recommend that you only try currency suggestions after you have gained some experience with suggesting, as they are significantly more challenging. Remember, we are after common trade points. To determine the common trade points for an item like the key, you will need to show a substantial amount of trades. Have a look at prior accepted suggestions for an idea about what is reasonable. For key suggestions, please refer to our cooldown rules - http://forums.backpa...ey-suggestions/.


One note on refined suggestions. You should really look at multiple different sites include outpost, backpack.tf/forums, sourceop, and tf2-trader to gather proof of sellers of refined in cash. You should check for comments from interested buyers and it may be necessary to add the sellers to ask when they last sold and at what price.


Making Suggestions That Are Meaningful and Relevant

We ask suggesters to avoid making suggestions changing the values on items by less than 5% unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Sometimes the compelling reason is to significantly alter the range while keeping the mean the same. Suggestions changing the mean value by less than 5% are left to the moderator's discretion whether they should be accepted or not. We want to encourage meaningful suggestions that are helpful to the community, not suggestions that promote clutter.


Using Suggestions as a Soapbox

Please avoid extraneous commentary in suggestions. Please post only the relevant proof and a brief conclusion to justify your range. Extraneous commentary encourages spam, and on key suggestions this makes it hard to distinguish posts that are actually relevant to the suggestion from spam. For additional commentary, please use the forums.




Addional Info: http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/60275-suggesters-etiquette/ things to look out for as suggester if you care about your own and the sites reputation

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polar    3460

TL;DR. The major changes ---


(1) Classifieds can be used as primary proof depending on the situation. You'll need to read above for more detail

(2) For all items >10 keys in value, you can only make a suggestion if you are changing the high or low end by at least 0.5 keys.

(3) A bit more detail about what's a quicksell, what are valid unsolds, etc.


In the past, we had been pretty lenient about leaving suggestions up until trades "matured." But from now on, we'll be closing them as we see them if they don't meet the criteria stated above.

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polar    3460

A change in the mean of at least 5% is required for non-unusual suggestions


This does not apply to refined, keys, and ToD tickets. If the change is less than 5%, you can make the suggestion but you must provide a rationale for why the change is needed. Usually we will go with the votes in situations like these.


The essence of the rule: No more suggestions changing the value on an item from 10 ref to 10.11 ref.


Some math to show what is and isn't acceptable. NOTE: It's at the mods discretion if they will accept one anyways, and the votes will be taken into consideration.


1 key changes

20 keys to 19 keys is okay. A 1 key change on any item higher than that is less than 5% - this will affect high tier aussies the most.


0.5 key changes

10 keys to 9.5 keys is okay.


0.25 key changes

5 keys to 4.5-5 keys is okay


0.15 key changes

3 keys to 2.85 keys or 3 keys to 2.7-3 keys is okay.


0.1 key changes

2 keys to 1.9 keys is okay


1.22 refined changes

24.22 ref to 13 ref is okay. 1 key to 0.9-1 keys is also okay.


1.11 refined changes

22.11 ref to 21 ref is okay.


1 refined changes

20 ref to 19 ref is okay.


0.88 refined changes

17.66 ref to 16.77 ref is okay.


0.77 refined changes

15.44 ref to 14.66 ref is okay.


0.66 refined changes

13.33 ref to 12.66 ref is okay.


0.55 refined changes

11 ref to 10.44 ref is okay.


0.44 refined changes

8.66 ref to 8.22 ref is okay.


0.33 refined changes

7 ref to 6.66 ref is okay.


0.22 refined changes

4.33 ref to 4.11 ref is okay.


0.11 refined changes

2.33 ref to 2.22 ref or 2.33 to 2.11-2.33 is okay.


0.05 refined changes

1.22 to 1.11-1.22 is okay. For low tier items, it is at the discretion of the mods. Technically, 1.44 to 1.33-1.44 ref is less than 5%, but a mod may choose to accept based on the votes.


Try to not go above the aforementioned price changes. Some changes that are technically less than 5% might get accepted at the mod's decision due to either having overwhelming proof that a small change is needed, or in order to update certain items to cleaner prices(for example, three whole pages of valid sellers for 5.00 refined on an item that's priced at 5.22, or a price change of an item priced at 15.11-15.77 to 15.00).


Modifications to ranges with no/little change to the mean


We will allow suggestions that change the range without changing the mean ONLY if there is overwhelming support for the suggested range. This includes changes from 1.44-1.66 to 1.55 or 5.33-5.66 to 5-6.


Things we will take into consideration on suggestions like these:

(1) The amount of proof provided

(2) We will be more lenient about widening the range vs narrowing the range. A change from 5.33-5.66 to 5-6 is more likely to be accepted than a change from 5-6 to 5.33-5.66.

(3) We will be more lenient about suggestions that change the range to more easy to follow values. A change from 4.88-5.11 to 5 flat is much more likely to pass than a change from 5 to 4.88-5.11.

Edited by Mindacos
Added and updated the guidelines for 5% changes to keep up with the keys' current price in ref.

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polar    3460

Rules for Decorated Weapon Suggestions


(1) We will only accept suggestions for skins greater than 10 keys or ~25 USD on SCM in value. Quality of the item will not matter.


Rationale: A lot more sales happen on SCM than anywhere else for the really low tier skins. And the SCM price will automatically be updated and updated much more quickly than manual updates for suggestions. Let's leave these <10 key items alone. Sale values and lowest seller values are usually close enough on SCM for these low tier items.


(2) SCM sales can only be used for unusual skins, and even there, preference will be given to item sales (SCM sales will be considered the outlier if an item sale value and an SCM sale value are discrepant).



EXCEPTIONS: Items already priced with accepted suggestions can be updated with new suggestions.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2216
Teeny Tiny Cat

Steam community market sales for strange cosmetics <10 keys - these get a price automatically via the site based on SCM sellers, so suggesting prices for them based on SCM sales is fairly redundant if the price points are similar. The automatic pricing will keep these updated more quickly and accurately than suggestions can.
You can suggest based on SCM sales if both these conditions are met: 

  • the value displayed on the site from SCM sellers deviates significantly from SCM sales and/or classified listings
  • no item sales are available

Please use some common sense about when this is appropriate.

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Foamy the Fearsome    625
Foamy the Fearsome
On a suggestion earlier I saw some confusion regarding "rare items". I assigned it to myself so I wouldnt be typing everything for nothing, but for some reason the suggester was able to close it despite that.

leaving it here as a reference.


Leaving common items aside, there are rare items in different categories. You can't treat all rare items according to 1 set of rules; look at them as individual exceptions to the rules set for regular items, depending on the situation. For most 'rare' items, that means that single buyers/sellers have more power over the market, as the market is limited and thus the amount of potential evidence is limited.

For some items however, this will backfire. Thats where it starts to matter how rare something is.


A few cases below. Listing them here because the comment section people seems to mix these up:


1) A rare item unlikely to ever sell, that shares its stat page with a much more common item:

The main reason this did not pass was because there was an invisible difference between prewrapped (and actually tradable ones) and normal untradable ones. The only ones that could ever possibly sell were the wrapped ones, which are far more rare than the non-wrapped ones. Aside from that, it makes no sense to raise such an item with a buyer, as the chances they'll ever be exchanged are super-limited. 



A situation where an item as mentioned above actually had an exchange:

Despite being unlikely to sell, this item sold, which normally means you have a go for your suggestion. However, there was another problem at hand, a criterium that still isnt satisfied: This rare 'glitched' version's sale would influence all non-glitched ones as well, meaning that a sale on a super-rare item would influence a super common item. That's why it was closed



A situation where a rare item thats normally unlikely to exchange can actually be updated:

This suggestion actually had a sale. Since theres a difference between craftable and non-craftable that is properly separated on the individual item's stat pages, this wouldnt influence regular hetmans. Theres only a dozen or two of these in existence, and since the only added value they could possibly have is a collector's value, theyre unlikely to exchange. Nearly all exchanges youll see are collectors buying one.



This suggestion, which should fall under a separate category of the situation above:

There are only two of these in existence. A generic buy order on one of these is as useful as making a buy order on something like the sun, or - more realisticly - on an artwork. In the case of the artwork, it makes no sense for me to make ads in newspapers or billboards stating "I want to buy 'the scream' for 1000 money units. Must be the original, not accepting duplicates". If I want this piece of art, I can go to the owner of the only one of them in existence and offer him 1000 money units. The owner will either accept or decline. If he accepts, then 1000 money units is a reasonable price. If he declines, then 1000 money units is not an accurate price.


This analogy may sound stupid and far fetched, but think of it this way: how is it different from this scenario?

"I want to buy 'the dapper disguise' for 1 money unit. Must be tradable, not accepting untradable copies". A generic buy order on the classifieds makes no sense similar to the billboard/newspaper ads in the other situation. If I want this item, I can go to the owner of the dapper disguise (or in this case, one of the two owners, which still really isnt that much effort) and offer him 1 money unit. There are two relevant scenarios: one in which one of the two agrees and takes the money unit, and one where none of them agrees. In the first case, 1 money unit is a fair price for this. In the second case, 1 money unit is not an accurate price.


The problem with this suggestion [still referring here: http://backpack.tf/suggestion/57de6ec9c4404560424e2471] is that the concept of a 'buy order' makes no sense here. Buy orders are meant to make owners of rather common items come to you instead of the other way round, so that you dont have to ask all 10000 owners of an item if you can buy them. The number is simply artificial - whether its too high or too low isnt the issue here - and holds no actual value. There is nothing here indicating that 1 key is a good price for this item, and the situation here doesnt allow this to be seen as 'better than current'

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2216
Teeny Tiny Cat

Classified snapshots in suggestions:


Now that the site automatically provides a snapshot of the classifieds at the time the suggestion was made, it is no longer required to include screenshots or histories in your suggestion body. It is still advisable to check other areas of the market and include proof from outpost, steam community market, etc, if it exists. It is also recommended that you include a rationale for your suggested price in your suggestion. Showing that you put thought into your work will only help you with the votes, and it is more likely that a mod will accept your suggestion, especially in close calls.


Please note that snapshots will also allow you to more easily track sales in previous suggestions. Have a look at snapshots in previous suggestions, especially those made in the last 2 weeks, to help you find sales.

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Teeny Tiny Cat    2216
Teeny Tiny Cat

Sales in non-unusual suggestions


Recently we have been trying to emphasise sales more in non-unusual suggestions. From now on, we will be doing this much more religiously. You can find sales easily on common items in a number of ways:


- screenshot classifieds and check back in a day or two

- check classifieds in cache

- bookmark outpost trades

- check recent suggestion snapshots

- check histories of current sellers, and refresh their backpacks - they may have sold some items but the site hasn't updated yet

- check compare links for bots - if they're selling one, they may have sold more

- check compare links for buying bots - if you're dropping a price based on an unsold, but bots are managing to buy regularly, that's a more common trading point 

- marketplace.tf (unless the item market is different)

- scm (unless the item market is different)


From now on, if you make a suggestion using just sellers/buyers and mods consider that you could have easily found sales, your suggestion may be closed without giving you time to close it yourself. This is to encourage people to check markets properly and make sure they have the most evidence possible before suggesting. If you absolutely cannot find anything, you can still suggest with sellers/buyers if the change is meaningful. I am not putting a #% on meaningful. It's context dependant and I'd like suggesters to start using some common sense and making arguments for their chosen ranges.


I keep seeing "buyers counter" on non-unu suggestions when buyers/sellers are 1 scrap below suggested price. To clarify this; buyers do not counter if they are successfully buying. Those are sales.

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