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kuli.fresh

TF2Shop & Hexide Shop: Some thoughts

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kuli.fresh

I'm wondering why there is no thread about the recent 'changes' that happened to the most common TF2 item shops out there.

 

 

First of all, a short timeline of suspicious events:

 

March 1, 2013:

 

- A statement is released on Hexide Shop's main page:

Our item delivery bots have been suspended. I will be looking into resolving this issue. There is no ETA as to when the bots will be up and running again.

 

- A statement is released on TF2Shop's steam group:

Bots are trade locked temporarily.

 

We are aware that the bots are currently trade banned and are working hard to get them back up

Please be patient, we're sorry for the inconvenience.

 

 

 

March 6, 2013:

 

- A statement is released on Hexide Shop's main page:

Problem with bots has been resolved, however there will be some changes in the upcoming month.

 

- A statement is released on TF2Shops steam group:

Store is open again!

 

We are happy to inform you all that our bots are now unlocked and you can go back to purchasing your items.

[...]

 

In addition to that I know that there also has been an information banner on the TF2Shop page itself reading something about future changes. Sadly I can't get any exact quotes anymore.

 

 

March 17, 2013:

 

- Hexide Shops' item stock is almost empty. Items (especially keys, buds and refined metal) haven't been restocked since at least one week. Keys and buds sold out a few days ago.

- TF2Shops' item stock is also decreasing (unusuals left aside) and it doesn't seem that it's being restocked. Only 7 Keys remaining (right this moment) and I haven't seen buds in a few days either.

 

 

So, what's this all about?!

 

Is Valve fighting these real money shops since they are the biggest competitors to Valve's own (new) community item market? Of course there is still SourceOP Forum but you can't compare this special, admittedly restrictive trading place with open shops where everyone can buy stuff for real money regardless of his own reputation. As I observed especially the key prices those two shops had set were way lower than those on the community market that tend to be almost the same as in the Mann Co. Store. Especially for Europeans this difference was big since the official Mann Co. Store uses euros as currency (the community market aswell) and those inofficial shops use dollars. With the dollar being weak right now compared to the euro, you as clever European surely buy your keys in those dollar shops.

 

It's obvious that Valve is expanding the community market step by step. Recent updates have proofen this making more items saleable each time. And it's obvious that Valve is not willing to tolerate any competitors. The 'black market' (SourceOP?) won't cease to exist, for sure, but the few inofficial TF2 item shops will.

 

 

Your thoughts on this?

(Please don't bother me with needless comments like 'real money trading doesn't matter to the majority of traders'. TF2 became a f2p game financed from ingame sales, to Valve and further developing of this game it does matter.)

 

If there are any insights I didn't get, post them!

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Alex From Security

I read that sort of.

The way it happened I believe is that the bots have traded rare promo items like th V. Big kill and Sparkle Lugar. People who bought it had the item removed and trade banned. Then later got it back.

Not sure why but I think the shops probably wont be doing much rare promo trading.

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MC22

I'm wondering why there is no thread about the recent 'changes' that happened to the most common TF2 item shops out there.

 

 

First of all, a short timeline of suspicious events:

 

March 1, 2013:

 

- A statement is released on Hexide Shop's main page:

 

 

- A statement is released on TF2Shop's steam group:

 

 

 

 

March 6, 2013:

 

- A statement is released on Hexide Shop's main page:

 

 

- A statement is released on TF2Shops steam group:

 

 

In addition to that I know that there also has been an information banner on the TF2Shop page itself reading something about future changes. Sadly I can't get any exact quotes anymore.

 

 

March 17, 2013:

 

- Hexide Shops' item stock is almost empty. Items (especially keys, buds and refined metal) haven't been restocked since at least one week. Keys and buds sold out a few days ago.

- TF2Shops' item stock is also decreasing (unusuals left aside) and it doesn't seem that it's being restocked. Only 7 Keys remaining (right this moment) and I haven't seen buds in a few days either.

 

 

So, what's this all about?!

 

Is Valve fighting these real money shops since they are the biggest competitors to Valve's own (new) community item market? Of course there is still SourceOP Forum but you can't compare this special, admittedly restrictive trading place with open shops where everyone can buy stuff for real money regardless of his own reputation. As I observed especially the key prices those two shops had set were way lower than those on the community market that tend to be almost the same as in the Mann Co. Store. Especially for Europeans this difference was big since the official Mann Co. Store uses euros as currency (the community market aswell) and those inofficial shops use dollars. With the dollar being weak right now compared to the euro, you as clever European surely buy your keys in those dollar shops.

 

It's obvious that Valve is expanding the community market step by step. Recent updates have proofen this making more items saleable each time. And it's obvious that Valve is not willing to tolerate any competitors. The 'black market' (SourceOP?) won't cease to exist, for sure, but the few inofficial TF2 item shops will.

 

 

Your thoughts on this?

(Please don't bother me with needless comments like 'real money trading doesn't matter to the majority of traders'. TF2 became a f2p game financed from ingame sales, to Valve and further developing of this game it does matter.)

 

If there are any insights I didn't get, post them!

And awesome wonders why he is banned.

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AwesomeMcCoolName

Well, if valve really wanted to stop pp trading they would go all out and end it quite essily. (Ban anyone who continuously does 1-sided trades/mentions cash/$/USD/etc... and then does a 1-sided trade).

 

The problem with the shops is that they movea fairly large amount of inventory, which means the likely hood of having scammed/carded items is far greater than normal.

The reason valve is against pp trading is because they end up with tons of reports each day saying they were scammed in a paypal trade, but valve knows if they went all out and ended pp trading, then the mannconomy would come to an end, and their profits would actually decrease.

 

As for hexides low supply, its because hexide treats his sellers like crap.

 

@MC, i don't wonder why i was trade locked*, but rather I was wondering what the best approach to dealing with it is (things to say/tings not to say).

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Scott Bakula

I've seen tf2shop restock several times, it's just that even at $1.65, keys go really fast.

 

I do remember that when the site went back up and the bots were unfrozen, it was stated that they had reached an agreement with Valve. What that was, I cannot say, but if I had to guess, I'd say that they have to give a cut of the profits to Valve in order to keep running.

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Uranium235

It makes no sense to compare Steam Wallet $ Key prices with PayPal $ Key prices. Although it seems like $1 should have the same value in both, it does not. Steam Wallet money has a lower value.

 

You have to compare the $1.65 with other trusted PP sellers for $1.30. They take $0.35 for access, convenience (and security). If you wanted to compare that to Wallet money, you'd have to look at how much Wallet money you get from cashing your TF2 items out via the Community Market compared to selling via PayPal to a trusted buyer.

 

If you sell a Vintage Bill's hat in the Market, you get about $100 Wallet money for which you can buy 46 Keys (1.7 buds). If you sell your Vintage Bill's to a trusted PP buyer (not directly, but by selling buds - best value), you get about 1.8 * $34 = $61.20 PP. So it's fair to assume that $1 Wallet money has roughly about 60% cash value.

 

With $61.20 PP money you can buy 47 Keys with a trusted PP seller and only 37 Keys in the tf2shop. So, tf2shop takes a hefty premium for their service.

 

The Community market is very competitive, from a buyers point of view. Easy, fast, secure and fair prices.

 

That doesn't of course change the fact that if you don't have funds in TF2 already, you have to invest more money if you want to cash in via the Market instead of tf2shop. And that's probably why they sell their Keys pretty well too.

 

The current $ to € exchange rate does not matter, as it affects both markets in the same way. The Community Market uses daily exchange rates with not more spread than banks take too.

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MC22

So basically:

GabeN: gimme yo money or your shop is dead, boy

Tf2shop: *blubbers*

GabeN: hand it over ya punk. *takes out banhammer*

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Uranium235

The main problem Valve has, is probably that they don not want scammers and hijackers to have the ability to cash out quickly out of Valve's reach.

(by hijackers and scammers selling to ppl that fence stolen items quickly through tf2shop, knowingly or not, see the samhudson333 case)

 

They have to deal with the fallout of scammers and hijackers that take advantage of a system Valve has no stake in and no direct control over.

It looks like they use the power they have to pressure bot operators to be more careful, because it seems they don't really care unless being pressured.

 

The WH had to learn that lesson a while ago, that's why they had to introduce a new trust system. Otherwise they would've been shut down permanently.

And that's probably also the reason the WH does not buy scammer magnets like rare Vintage Items anymore.

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Hand slapper

I remember watching someone discuss this in a youtube video. He thinks the keys could come from stolen credit cards.

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Resi

Both shops went down due to trades involving hi-jacked items.

Both shops worked the issue out with valve and got their accounts unbanned.

 

Hexide is empty to make way for the changes currently coming to the site to ensure an issue such as this does not happen again.

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kuli.fresh

Both shops went down due to trades involving hi-jacked items.

Both shops worked the issue out with valve and got their accounts unbanned.

 

Hexide is empty to make way for the changes currently coming to the site to ensure an issue such as this does not happen again.

 

Thanks for the info!

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Sheep

I remember watching someone discuss this in a youtube video. He thinks the keys could come from stolen credit cards.

-snip-

Haha Aces.

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Uranium235

Apparently, a trader of ours (who is long gone) had put duped items onto the storefront. Valve asked us to implement strict security features to reduce/prevent duped items from entering the store.

 

What has the whole issue to do with "duped items" being the problem? Did Valve actually use that term or did you just rephrase that to sound less problematic? I suspect is is stolen / hijacked items they are concerned about, that only later may get duped when Support restores the victim's backpack, not duped items per se.

 

The rare Vintages just happen to be a scammer / hijacker magnet, I know that from experience.

 

many high-tier key traders were temporarily locked for questioning. Apparently no one wants to risk buying carded keys again for the next while, hence the low supply.

I've spoken with a few suppliers, and they've said that 100% legitimate keys are harder to obtain for low price in high quantity.

Interesting to see that high-tier Key traders seem to have used the store regularly for fencing carded Keys, everyone seems to know when they are carded, no one seemed to have a problem with that, but everybody swears he didn't know when getting into trouble with Valve and/or SR.

 

I guess that would displease me too, if I was Valve.

 

At least that's what I take from this statement and what's between the lines.

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