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Remove Backpack.tf Estimations based on Steam Community Market


Baloo
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I did not want the title to be too long, this is targeted towards killstreak items due to them being highly misleading.

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This website suggestion was first spurred by a recent status update I saw here on the backpack.tf forums, and then reinforced today due to a trade I came across while moderating tf2outpost.

 

The issue is people are either unknowingly or maliciously misusing backpack.tf 'valuing' of killstreak prices to try and sell a killstreaked item far above its actual worth. The backpack.tf 'valuing' of killstreaked items works by taking the price of the current lowest seller on the Steam Community Market (SCM) and converting it into keys. In theory this would work great for killstreak items being sold at high volumes because it would be relatively reliable and would help a trader by having them not need to do the conversion themselves.

 

However, that is in theory. If we look at the trade I pulled off Outpost, then we see a Specialized Killstreak Flower Power Revolver (Minimal Wear) attempting to be sold for 14-15 keys. The reason for this is because the user is quoting the current backpack.tf 'value' listed for the item which is right now ~19.66 keys. This is based solely off there being one Specialized Revolver currently for sale on the SCM for $46.00, a little absurd. Even more ridiculous is the most recent sales for the Revolver have been under $2.00 every time.

 

Now, as I have already said, I understand the helpfulness and utility of this conversion process in theory. However, it is currently being at best misused, and at worst abused, by traders who do not understand anything other than the price listed on backpack.tf in their backpacks. We have seen this in the past with inaccurate prices on craft numbers under 100, and I believe the method used to rectify this should be used again for killstreak items. By putting a warning on killstreak items notifying a trader of its increased value; we can still help newer traders understand an item's value without misleading them on its likely worth.

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Does the API not include data about recent sales? I'd prefer sales to be based on an average of sales over the past week, and if there are only a handful of sales, then also a warning to double check the SCM. 

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-snip-

 

That's the other alternative I had in mind, I just didn't write it out. I am unsure if the API includes that information, nor do I know if it would take more space on backpack.tf's servers to compile, calculate, and store recent sales data versus the current lowest seller. However, assuming both issues are resolvable, then there's still an issue of multiple items either never having sales or having a sale once every month or so; such as my revolver example which has not had a recorded sale since September 3rd. I am aware you suggest having a warning to check the SCM. However, if all they're gonna find is a ridiculously high seller, then its still going to be an issue. I realize my proposal does not fill the gap of information any better than your suggestion, but I do think leaving it a bit more open-ended would force newer traders to do a bit more research on the value of their item to determine a selling price of their own.

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That's the other alternative I had in mind, I just didn't write it out. I am unsure if the API includes that information, nor do I know if it would take more space on backpack.tf's servers to compile, calculate, and store recent sales data versus the current lowest seller. However, assuming both issues are resolvable, then there's still an issue of multiple items either never having sales or having a sale once every month or so; such as my revolver example which has not had a recorded sale since September 3rd. I am aware you suggest having a warning to check the SCM. However, if all they're gonna find is a ridiculously high seller, then its still going to be an issue. I realize my proposal does not fill the gap of information any better than your suggestion, but I do think leaving it a bit more open-ended would force newer traders to do a bit more research on the value of their item to determine a selling price of their own.

Assuming sale-information is in the API, then you could show a price if there are at least x sales in the past week/month, and if there haven't been, then show no price but rather a warning. 

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Well the issue is mostly just skins and either way alot of people have a good idea of pricing it. People who are selling it like in your example of the flowerpower are usually new to trading. Also thankfully the scm prices do not count to your backpack or someone can easily manipulate backpack rankings

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