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The G What ™

GUIDE: Good Proof Vs. Bad Proof

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The G What ™

Are you a new or first time suggester? Have you tried suggesting before, and were told that your proof was not valid? Do you like to criticize others on their proof? If you said "Yes" to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place. I have seen new users struggle with their proof, and as a recently promoted pricing expert, I have compiled this handy pocket guide to what is usually considered good proof, and what is considered bad proof. Therefore, you can make and evaluate price suggestions more effectively. Please feel free to link this guide to new users that may need the help.

 

Good Proof:

  • Links to current Outpost trades. 
    • ​Current Outpost trades are considered the following:
      • ​Trades that are bumped often, they are even better proof if the seller is a donator with a blue or green name; these trades bump automatically.
      • Trades that are recent. Having a sold item or an offer from weeks or months ago is weak proof. Prices can change quickly in the mean time.
    • Example: http://www.tf2outpost.com/trade/13918834 This trade is clear, often bumped, and maintained. (Although his prices are a bit high)
  • Links to current Bazaar trades.
    • ​It is often more difficult to ascertain how often Bazaar trades are bumped, and they can be edited after an item is sold. Only use Bazaar if the information is current and valid.
  • Links to the tf2 trading reddit.
    • ​While the tf2 reddit is rarely traversed, reddit keeps an archive of all posts and can often be great for keeping track of offers.
  • Backpack classified listings.
    • Backpack classifieds are removed after the item is sold, but a screencap of listings is great proof.
  • Your inventory history.
    • Do not copy/paste the text, make a screencap.
  • Current offers on any of the links listed above.
    • Current offers are offers that have not been retracted, and are not old. 

Bad Proof:

 

  • High buyouts.
    • Often referred to as selling =/= sold. Anyone can list any price as a buyout. I could say "Selling a key for 8 refined" but if nobody pays 8 refined, it is not proof.
  • Any sort of quicksale/quickbuy.
  • Bazaar auctions.
    • Auctions are a variation of quicksales. As a matter of fact, Bazaar's rules state that if you list an item for auction you cannot back out due to remorse, and you must list it for less than market value.
  • Trades from dispenser.tf, bazaar BUY NOW! trades, and most bot trades.
    • Bot users are known to increase their prices as a matter of convenience to their customers. As a result, these sales are rarely good proof.
      • However, if it can be shown a large amount of bots are buying or selling for a significant difference in value, a price may be changing. This is often most apparent in currency items, such as keys. 
    • Bazaar "Buy Now" trades almost always fall outside of the actual price range, and are difficult to determine if they are successful. 
  • Scrap.tf, Scrapbank.me, and other related sites and services.
    • These sites pay under the market value in order to maintain their profitability, and are essentially quicksale bots.
      • In some cases, lowering the price of a craft hat might require the proof of hat bot sites. A large amount of a particular hat in their bots can help to show a low demand, although it is not to be used as proof alone.
  • Trade.tf and its related spreadsheet.
    • While trade.tf is a useful tool to find deals, and is currently the only way to find closed outpost and bazaar trades, the spreadsheet on the site calculates the Median prices, not the most commonly traded prices.
      • Additionally, the Trade.tf spreadsheet updates hourly and is known to fluctuate greatly in value over the span of a few days.
  • Old, unbumped, or "stale" trades.
    • If a trade is not maintained, it is not good proof. A stale trade can be identified if it has run a long time, is not bumped, or the user is not responding to offers.
  • Trades you have witnessed or what you paid.
    • Just because you may have paid 3 buds for a specific unusual does not make it three buds. You may have overpaid. 
    • Additionally, saying "I've seen people sell keys for 4 ref in a trade server" is not good proof, as voters need to take your word for it.
      • However, if you can validate these trades with screenshots or other proof, these can be good proof.
  • Steam market prices.
    • These can be used to supplement existing proof, but are not to be used as proof themselves. Simply saying "These sell for $2.00 on community market" is not enough to require a prce drop. 
  • Raffles/giveaways
    • This should go without saying, but cleary entering a raffle and thus getting an item for much cheaper than normal does not constitute proof of any form.

Other helpful information

  • To screencap on a Windows PC:
    • Press Print Screen
    • Open Paint
    • Press Ctrl+v
    • Crop out extraneous information, if desired.
    • Go to an image hosting site such as imgur or puush. (I prefer imgur)
    • Upload the photo, then copy/paste the link
  • To screencap on a Mac:
    • Press Command+shift+3
    • Save as an image to wherever you please.
    • Go to an image hosting site such as imgur or puush.
    • Upload the photo, then copy/paste the link
  • To find proof for lowering a price:
    • Find unsold items at the current high range.
    • This is the only time that old trades are good. A seller that does not get his asking price in three or more days is unlikely to get that price.
      • This does not mean that old trades are always good, an unbumped or poorly maintained trade is still not valid.
      • Additionally, items such as botkillers, vintages, unusuals, and genuines often take longer to sell at full price.
    • Find sellers under the current range.
      • While some of these may be quicksells, a large amount of sellers under the current range means a price update is in order.
  • To find proof to increase a current price:
    • Find proof that the item sells quickly at the current range.
    • Find offers above the current range.
    • Find successful sales above the current range.
  • What is an old trade?
    • This varies depending on the person you talk to and the item in question. Most common items generally sell in their range in less than 24-48 hours with healthy bumps. As an item gets to cost 2 keys or more, it can take a week or longer with frequent bumps. In the case of expensive items, especially rare items, or unusuals, it can take a month or more. 
  • How much proof is enough proof?
    • This depends heavily on the item that you are suggesting for. A good indication is how many pages there are of sellers on Outpost. For example, if there are 20 pages or more of sellers, you'll probably need at least 25 links. The more common an item the more links you will need, so that you find good trades and not outliers.
  • For more information about price suggestions, read Derpeh's guide here: http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/3203-guide-making-good-suggestions/&do=findComment&comment=33640 and Cleverpun's guide here: http://forums.backpack.tf/index.php?/topic/792-how-to-make-a-good-suggestion-bullet-points-version/

Changelog: 8-26, 15:47: Created guide. 

                    8-27, 00:50: Edited some diction to be less verbose, added how to screencap on Mac, added note on raffles. 

                   9-3. 00:18: Added subsection on expected amounts of proof. Will probably update this to a final version within 2-3 days.

                     9-3, 19:24: Edited explanation about old trades, edited information about bazaar buy now trades.

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The G What ™

Thank you sir Santa. I've actually had two different people add me for help on this, so I figured a guide I can bookmark would be helpful.

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Karam

Thank you sir Santa. I've actually had two different people add me for help on this, so I figured a guide I can bookmark would be helpful.

 

Sir Santa ? I'm so done here

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puddingkip

I'm ever so sorry milady KMD I hope I haven't offended you. I'll fetch a cup of tea for you at once as a token of my apologies

Ftfy

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puddingkip

Very nice guide!

 

(BTW can i get my "Sir" please? :c )

Sorry but the title sir is reserved for those who deserve it. Alex Ferguson is a sir and you a stupid hoe you a stupid hoe

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Santa Heavy

Sorry but the title sir is reserved for those who deserve it. Alex Ferguson is a sir and you a stupid hoe you a stupid hoe

Kippy Minaj

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Offline

But what if a significant amount of Buy Nows are used as proof? :c

 

Also,

  • Raffles/giveaways
    • This should go without saying, but cleary entering a raffle and thus getting an item for much cheaper than normal does not constitute proof of any form.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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The G What ™

But what if a significant amount of Buy Nows are used as proof? :c

 

Also,

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

That's actually an interesting point, Sir Offline. My guess would be that buy now trades would generally fall under selling =/= sold, but as far as I see it if a large group of people started offering 6 ref for keys via buy now it would still be valid. I'll have to ask a moderator, I think Sir Polar Bear is on. 

 

Very nice guide!

 

(BTW can i get my "Sir" please? :c )

ofc sir Final.

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The G What ™

I think this should be pinned and/or put on the rules.

Thank you sir Shredder. I actually got the go-ahead from Sir Polar Bear that I could link it to people that need the help. (He was very helpful with clarifying some points (such as bot trades) and getting the guide together.) I also invite people to use this for new suggesters, While Derpeh's guide and Cleverpun's guides are great, this helps supplement those and theoretically should cut down the "Needs moar proof" comments.

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HeavyLord

You just called two people sirs, I'm not coming back to this thread

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Triforce of Charmanders

You just called two people sirs, I'm not coming back to this thread

And he never came back. RIP in peac HeavyLord

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