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A detailed closure of the Card Swap Service

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If you've read the latest announcement, we're closing down the Card Swap Service next month. There are many things that led up to the closure, so here's a list of things to let you understand this decision better.

 

The Steam Community Market got better and better

 

The recent addition of commodities makes buying large quantities of cards and emoticons extremely easy. No more "Sold!" and "This item has already been purchased" spam. Compare that to having to queue to buy cards which had to be bought using text commands that included the item's entire name.

 

A system which could compete would be terribly broken

 

Over the past few months, I wrote an entirely brand new Card Swap Service (or Cardswap for short). It used Trade Offers and had a very nice frontend to boot, where cards and other items would have been added to a basket from the site itself then sent to you in a public trade offer.

 

However, this had a couple problems from the use of the Trade Offer system and the Community API. It's a bit more technical, but I'll try to keep it simple:

  • Trade Offers from an API point of view are extremely flaky. If you've ever gotten an error while creating or accepting an offer, well a bot will receive those errors too. It is extremely critical that we know an offer was accepted or not. We can't take what the API says for granted, because someone could abuse this and steal every item if the API keeps telling our bots that an accepted trade actually failed.
  • Trying to track Community items is not possible as unlike TF2/Dota/CS:GO items, they do not have a unique original ID that gets carried with them. As soon as these items are traded, their IDs change, so it makes troubleshooting failed offers difficult.
So yeah - we can no longer compete with the SCM in its current state and an updated service would be fruitless. If Trade Offers were more durable, I imagine we could possibly relaunch the service in the future, but that depends on major improvements to the Trade Offer infrastructure.

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Mr Prince

Lets start using scm for pricing also, since cannot compete with scm :D

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Heated Bread

:(

 

The community market has a limit of 200 trades per year unless you want to give your tax information to valve (U.S. law).  This is a problem not shared by card swapping bots. 

 

Card swapping bots do have a small difference between buy and sell prices, but I have found this to be generally much better than the 15% tax on the market.

 

Card bots are also vastly superior to the guys wanting 2 cards in exchange for 1 card and who'll try to shark you out of your more expensive cards in exchange for comparatively worthless cards.  In short, the bots are better than having to deal with traders.

 

I am very sad to see this service go away.  I want to thank you guys for making it available for as long as you have.  Thanks.  Sincerely.

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Heated Bread

so...uh...what happens to the stock that's leftover...

 

I assume they're going to sell it on the community market.

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Teeird

Card bots are also vastly superior to the guys wanting 2 cards in exchange for 1 card and who'll try to shark you out of your more expensive cards in exchange for comparatively worthless cards.  In short, the bots are better than having to deal with traders.

>sharking cards

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NiceTraderJoe

:(

 

The community market has a limit of 200 trades per year unless you want to give your tax information to valve (U.S. law).  This is a problem not shared by card swapping bots. 

 

Card swapping bots do have a small difference between buy and sell prices, but I have found this to be generally much better than the 15% tax on the market.

 

Card bots are also vastly superior to the guys wanting 2 cards in exchange for 1 card and who'll try to shark you out of your more expensive cards in exchange for comparatively worthless cards.  In short, the bots are better than having to deal with traders.

 

I am very sad to see this service go away.  I want to thank you guys for making it available for as long as you have.  Thanks.  Sincerely.

 

^  Yes, very much this. ^

|__________________|

 

 

The major problems with card swaps and the regular Steam Market are the transaction fees and sold cards are considered "income" and may be taxable at some time if you sell enough within a year.  The trade service here does not have these major problems.  These two items alone make the Cardswap service vastly superior for me.  I only use the Steam Market if I really REALLY have to.

 

Yes, SCM has way more items.  Yes, SCM is easier and faster.  Yes, SCM can turn anything marketable essentially into cash.

 

But, so what?  These things are not why I have used Cardswap hundreds of times and SCM only a handful of times.  For what Cardswap does, it is much less hassle than SCM for swapping cards.  If you want to convert metal -> cards -> keys -> cards -> metal then there is no better place there here.

 

Please, I implore you as a loyal Cardswap user, please keep the service going even if it is just in its current (buggy) form.

 

...or at least until the end of Summer Adventure is over.  ^_^

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Dark Fetus

So what happens to my 100 credits I saved up for getting cards during the sale? Do I just get screwed over and my cards stolen?

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Brad Pitt

So what happens to my 100 credits I saved up for getting cards during the sale? Do I just get screwed over and my cards stolen?

You have 30 days to use your credits, read the announcement

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Dark Fetus

You have 30 days to use your credits, read the announcement

But the bots aren't carrying any normal cards? Shouldn't the inventory at least be re-added for the 30 days for us to get what we want?

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Jitsumi

That was the "Future maintenance: Cardswap overhaul"?

 

Well, that's sad...

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Jitsumi

Trade Offers from an API point of view are extremely flaky. If you've ever gotten an error while creating or accepting an offer, well a bot will receive those errors too. It is extremely critical that we know an offer was accepted or not. We can't take what the API says for granted, because someone could abuse this and steal every item if the API keeps telling our bots that an accepted trade actually failed.

I don't really understand what is the problem here. If you treat the trade offers one by one, then, if you receive an error, you just have to check if the trade offers was created or not? right? (you're speaking about the error 16 right?) Or you just have to check in you inventory if you did or not recived/sent the cards.

I mean, at steamcardexchange, they using trade offer to make exchange with their bot, and it's working well...

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fisk

3830eb08a5.png

 

I wouldn't call this working well. That's a third issue with systems like this: they're highly vulnerable to being broken, and I'd rather spend my time adding stable features than maintaining one which is unreliable.

 

If I could just set it up and leave it alone working autonomously forever, then that'd be great, but this is real life.

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knavesmith

The announcement mentioned something about credits being "added to your site donation amount." How much will a credit add to the donation amount?

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Cedarium

The announcement mentioned something about credits being "added to your site donation amount." How much will a credit add to the donation amount?

I'd also like to know this, but idassume it would be calculated by checking key/ref credit prices and comparing them to your credits

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ambientsorrow

I only found out about this site a week ago and being a background/emoticon collector it was a godsend for being able to get the ones you need from various sets without having to use the market.  So it sucks from the perspective that it's being taken down, but i never had any problems either besides the inventory listed on the site and the inventory of the bot not being aligned properly. So it's a shame, but hopefully something else will take it's place.

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Flame of Arc

To bad it is gone. Was the only place for easy trading of foils, backgrounds and emotes.

 

Is the only way to get something from the bots within the last few days to use stored points from before the announcement?

 

@Fiskie: There is only one big problem with their trade offer system I experienced and that is from steam itself. When the bot has 7 cards from my wanted card and I chose the first of them, I must get this one card because the other cards can't be traded instead if my chosen one is traded before so the bot must decline. Because of this many people don't understand why their offer is declined and complain about it. Most of the other problems from the last week are caused from th steam sale overload.

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Brad Pitt

To bad it is gone. Was the only place for easy trading of foils, backgrounds and emotes.

 

Is the only way to get something from the bots within the last few days to use stored points from before the announcement?

 

@Fiskie: There is only one big problem with their trade offer system I experienced and that is from steam itself. When the bot has 7 cards from my wanted card and I chose the first of them, I must get this one card because the other cards can't be traded instead if my chosen one is traded before so the bot must decline. Because of this many people don't understand why their offer is declined and complain about it. Most of the other problems from the last week are caused from th steam sale overload.

 

You can give the bots TF2 keys / metal to get more credits.

 

The announcement mentioned something about credits being "added to your site donation amount." How much will a credit add to the donation amount?

1 credit = 1 cent added to donation amount

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Dark Fetus

So is that a no to temporarily putting more cards in for us to spend our credits on?

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knavesmith

So is that a no to temporarily putting more cards in for us to spend our credits on?

I was going to bank in some cards, but apparently the bots are no longer accepting Steam items.

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Jitsumi

3830eb08a5.png

 

I wouldn't call this working well. That's a third issue with systems like this: they're highly vulnerable to being broken, and I'd rather spend my time adding stable features than maintaining one which is unreliable.

 

If I could just set it up and leave it alone working autonomously forever, then that'd be great, but this is real life.

 

I guess you found other problems. But this screenshot was taken during the summer sale event. Of course there is a lot of problem during this time, steam became so unstable (not only for the trade offer). Bedore the summer sale, few people were complaining about the bot. And generally, when they complained, it was not about the bot that was not working, but because they didn't understand how to use it correctly.

 

Well, there is no much more i can do if you want to close the service, except saying thank you for taking care of it until now, because it was very cool service.

I just hope you didn't take this decision by doing tests during the summer sale...

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