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[GUIDE] How to use the compare function:

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Before I even start, I suggest you read polar's guide on unusual suggestions here:
this contains all the basics and info you need to know.


What is compare?
The compare function allows you to compare an inventory between day x and day y, the problem with this is that your inventory is only saved once a day, so if you get a hat and trade it away instantly it will NOT show up. Luckily there are always 2 people involved in a Trade, so you can usually just simply the check the other person's inventory and will be fine. If that is not the case the sale is untraceable and cannot be used, unless someone provides a screenshot.


How to use compare:
You can visit anyone's inventory and click the "compare" button. You can find it here: 




Example: Orbiting Fire Bomb Beanie


To check when the hat sold look at the "Last seen" tab and click the middle mouse button on the sellers date (In this case Master Shawarm's).
This will open the seller's inventory on the date of the sale. Click "compare" and then select the 2 dates you want to compare, to find out when an item sold visit its history:


Example: http://backpack.tf/profiles/76561198080992533?time=1492360028

now click compare and select a date +- 1 day of the sale, in this case:

2017-04-16 and 2017-04-17


This will give you the following link and picture:





As you can see I got the Orbiting Fire Bomb Beanie with ~5 Keys in sweets for my Terror-Watt Samur-Eye. Gent already made a suggestion for this hat, which you can check out here:




That's pretty much the basics, of course this can be a lot harder when someone trades multiple things in 1 day, which is why I recommend you to always check the other person's inventory as well.


Which would work like this in the example given above:
My inventory: http://backpack.tf/profiles/76561198072240925
Select the same date aka. 2017-04-16 and 2017-04-17 and you will get this:


A lot more complicated already and as you can see I instantly traded away a part of the sweets, which is why they do not show up in my inventory.


What to do now that I have the link and know what the hat sold for?
Now you should copy both links and write what the sales was


Sold with ~5 Keys in sweets for a Terror-Watt Samur-Eye (16)


Additionally you should check if the seller had a buyout/how much the seller is reselling the hat for:


But apparently the seller has never made an Outpost Trade before -
I am currently reselling this hat for 15 Keys, so this does not interfere either - http://i.imgur.com/ur27O0H.png


Now you can go to the stats page of the hat you are making a suggestion for and create the suggestion, make sure you include all your evidence, set the correct price range and click "create suggestion". If you miss out on anything you can still edit the notes for 1 hour after posting, the suggested range is final, to change it you have to close and resuggest.



Side Note:
If someone hardly ever logs into backpack.tf his inventory will have "holes", meaning that compare can be rather useless if someone hasn't logged in for 1 month, but still traded regularly.





Near ID:
This feature lets you check what items were included in a trade be aware though, that this does not work all the time and is not 100% accurate either, again I can only recommend you to check the other persons backpack.
When you open a compare link you will be able to see the filter tab, double click an on an item to automatically get the near ID pasted into the filter.



Double click on the Samur-Eye - http://i.imgur.com/fJKzPa9.png - nothing changes as every item removed/added was involved in the Trade.
Double click on the Beanie - http://i.imgur.com/j0cHgEs.png - All added items that were not involved in the trade get hidden, sadly this does not, as already mentioned, work perfectly all the time, which is why the "removed item" section stays the same.

BUT this has become almost redundant, with the recent addition of "sort by time" in compare links, still thought I would add it, as it can sometimes prove itself to be useful


Self-explanatory, type the name of the item you are looking for and hit enter, can be useful when someone traded a lot in one day and you cannot be bothered to scroll through it.


IMO useless feature, as this cuts out either the unusual itself or the sweets added.




If you have any further questions/want me to explain something with even more detail please let me know.

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I'd like to add a few notes that should be emphasized more.


Comparisons are not a way to determine trades with 100% accuracy. In a lot of cases, they are completely accurate or accurate enough and within reason, but not all the time. Many people look at comparisons and assume that's what the trade was. It often leads to people falsely accusing others of sharking or scamming. I've had first-hand experience of being accused on the basis of comparisons, and it's not pleasant.


I also wrote a few notes about comparisons in my guide for the old version here: https://github.com/juliarose/backpack.tf-historical-comparisonSome of the notes are still relevant in the current version.


Also, the quality filter is less useful for suggestions, but can be used for getting a quick overview of items by quality. For example showing the difference in the number of Unusuals you sold/received over a certain period.

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