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TG Borris

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So I've been away from trading for quite some time, last time I traded earbuds were worth close to 20keys. What happened and what are your guys opinions on the future of earbuds?


Thanks :)

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Basically, Earbuds died because they were no longer needed as a key substitute.


Initially, Buds got their value from the circumstances of the early days of trading, where players could only trade 8 items at a time, so players needed items to represent X amount of keys. Bills, Buds, and Maxs filled that need because of their limited promotional nature, as players did not need to worry about more of them appearing and flooding the market. As time passed however, with the changes to the trading UI, the increase of backpack space, and the ability to create an alt storage account without dropping another $20, Buds were needed less and less as a Key substitute. After all, why have an item worth between X and Y Keys depending on the time of year, when you can just have the keys instead?


So, with the demand and necessity dropping, Buds slowly declined, dipping with each major Steam sale, but never quite getting back to where they were. However, something happened during one of the declines that changed the decline from a gentle fall like the Bill's Caps, to a massive avalanche: People panicked. For some reason or another, several large end Buds traders decided to dump their stock. Other traders saw that, and tried to undercut those sellers, which in turn led to people undercutting them. And as people saw the value of Buds dropping, they panicked, and dumped their Buds for whatever they could get. And the Unusual traders were similarly affected, either refusing to take Buds in trade, or valuing them at a fraction of their current value. This all made the decline go sharper and sharper, sending the value into freefall.


However, the final nail in the coffin came from Valve themselves. In the middle of all this chaos, Valve made Buds marketable on the SCM. With that, people no longer needed to trade Buds for Keys to cash out on the SCM for a Steam sale, they could just sell the buds themselves. So, of course, people rushed to dump their buds on the SCM, undercutting everyone else so theirs get sold first. And it wasn't just the traders doing this either; There was also a large influx of buds being dumped by people who didn't trade, they just had a pair from when they played way back when, and learned that they could get a few bucks for it, so why not? With all that, Buds fell down to the value they are today (there were a few dead cat bounces, but they didn't last very long). So, nowadays, all they are is what you see, a semi-uncommon All-Class cosmetic, that people have to equip for their loadouts rather than horde for value.

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