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What would be a good starting point for trading in 2020?


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I've been curious into getting my feet wet into the trading, given that i want to make some profit (as everybody else with a key in their inventory), get the cosmetics on my wishlist, and gather experience from it. I also have some questions that i'd like to ask and gather input from the community:
1. What should i look/look out for in offerings and selling

2. What should be a good starting point as in currency wise? as of 2020 (keys, metals, etc.)

3. Should i even bother trying to get in, or should i wait til things get better? (Crate Depression 2019)

4. is there any websites i can look/look out for besides backpack.tf, bazaar.tf, and scrap.tf

5.  servers i can depend on for actual trading, none of those minecraft, let me screw around and not do crap servers

6. Honest opinions on trading in general as of 2020

7. Quickbuying/Quickselling: is it worth it?

8. Scams;  what are the signs that i'm being duped


Thanks for reading and answering my questions (hopefully lol) I'd really appreciate it. 

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I can answer a few, but not all as I've sort of moved on from tf2 trading to effectively doing the same thing on ebay with physical goods


@3,  things are fine, go for it

@4,  marketplace.tf and the steam market

@6,  invest some money to get some keys to get into unusual trading or get a bot (or bots) and do high volume small stuff trading, otherwise don't expect to make solid profit (do it for fun and to learn a bit though, as you said)

@7,  of course it is, buy low sell high(er)

@8,  search for "scam" on the bptf forums and take a read through the many threads created by people coming here saying they got scammed and such

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@1, Spells, First gen/older(h'ween) unusual effects. 

@2, Keys. Trading in ref isn't worth it anymore due to it's low returns and overall worthlessness 

@3, Up to you to decide but the effects of crate depression have mostly subsided and the market is relatively stable. (don't go for new effects unless you know what your doing) 

@4, Not really other than marketplace.tf 

@5, Firepowered and vatican are the goto servers also try looking around at discord servers. the tf2 subreddit server has sections for trading 

@6, Trading for me has been relatively chill but i'm currently just taking my time and letting things sell naturally rather than heavily advertising/looking for offers actively. 

@7, As with new effects it's only worth doing if you know that the hat/effect you're getting is going to be possible to resell at a reasonable price. Look for people quick selling due to cashing out rather than people quick selling due to the hat/effect not selling/being outdated. 

@8, If an offer seems too good to be true it most likely is, take your time when trading and remember that your best bet is to view everyone as a possible scammer.  Make sure you use backpack rep and steamrep over profile rep. 


If i left anything out/if anyone disagrees with it feel free to just reply but that's overall my advice. 

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1.) Depends on your budget and patience. Low budget users can make small amounts of profit with little bot competition off buying/selling painted items with popular paints (black/white/TS/lime/pink/purple/gold) and buying/selling stranges with good strange parts that people would want. You can make a few refined profit per item you sell if you buy for the right price. Mid ranged budgets (like 7-10 keys), you can make decent profit off buying and selling spelled items for profit, but it's a huge market with a lot of competition from actual traders, making it more and more difficult to obtain spelled items for cheap, and it takes a while to sell spelled items for a profit most of the time. Higher budgets (15+ keys) you should look to unusual trading. The idea is to buy unusuals with moderately popular low-end effects for a very good deal then selling them for a fairly good deal such that you make a couple keys of profit but don't sit on the unusual that you buy for too long. It's better to buy an unusual and sell it for a 2 key profit in a week and repeat that for a whole month than to buy one and sell it for a 5 key profit after a month.


2.) The standard is "10 keys MINIMUM, 15 keys is better, 20 keys is best." for starting, with anything above that just speeding up the process.


3.) It's up to you, trading today takes more patience and knowledge than ever before to realistically make profits no matter what price range you're shooting for. It's fun for some, but frustrating for others. You just need patience and a willingness to take risks and learn from mistakes.


4.) Marketplace.tf for cash trading, as you can get good deals sometimes on there, and the Steam Community Market for finding potentially amazing deals or cheap spelled items on occasion (though, hardcore spell traders probably scan everything they can on the SCM 12 hours a day every day at this point to snatch all the cheap spelled items.)


5.) Vatican City and Firepowered are really the only ones for actual trading, and those are really for spells/unusuals/etc, not for lower end trading stuff. Low end trading servers are largely devoid of trading since bots have killed the low end market, if you go onto them you'll just find people wanting to mess around with the whacky Minecraft/Gmod maps.


6.) Like I've said, it can be fun, you just really need patience and understanding to have fun with it.


7.) Quickbuying is worth it for getting good deals on hats that you know you can flip for a profit without much competition. It's almost never worth quickbuying a 3rd gen on a mid-range hat that has 7 others for sale for low prices across all the trading websites. Quickselling is only worth it if you either are sick of trying to trade a hat that you've been stuck on forever and just want to cut your losses, or if you need pure immediately to pick something up that's just a ludicrously good deal. The latter is much rarer and more risky though. Also take care not to trust every bp.tf listing that says "QUICKSELL!!!", because 75% of the time they're not even close to a true quicksell price and their "quicksell" price is being matched by several other sellers.


8.) Check user's Steamrep and Backpack.tf profiles before trading with them and that'll help you get an idea of if they're clean or not. Most of the time they'll have downtrust or a site/SR ban if they're scammers. Note that you WILL be banned from backpack.tf for trading with scammers, so don't do it.


Most other scam methods are ones that you really shouldn't fall for unless you're just really gullible, things like "your items are duped so my steam admin friend needs to check them!" or "hey sign up for my competitive team please on this random website!" or etc. Basically, never give out your account info, never log in via Steam to websites that you aren't 100% sure you can trust, and never give any items to anyone for free no matter what they say. No it isn't against Steam TOS to own "duped" items, there is no way to duplicate items anymore unless you somehow hack into Steam's item servers and bypass all the failsafes and checks the system constantly runs. No, people aren't going to randomly add you and tell you to sign up to their tournament because you did good against them in a pub. (Occasionally legitimate people will, but familiarize yourself with legitimate 3rd party competitive websites; ETF2L, UGC, RGL, TF2Center, etc.) - Never believe the idiots that tell you "YOU ARE WINNER FOR STEAM ID RAFFLE", etc etc etc. It's just basic stuff that you shouldn't fall for in the first place.


Also check every item people are putting in trade offers, make sure they aren't trying to add something extra into a sea of keys and refined on your end, if they claim their weapon is "Strange Festive XYZ", check to make sure it's actually the Festive version and not FESTIVIZED, as there's a massive price difference. Don't fall for the Lucky No.42 scam, check craftable vs uncraftable on items, etc.

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  • 9 months later...

All the things that you guys pointed out, are really great, however I would not say that it is a special thing for 2020, those are some generic things for trading in general. Just like mikey boi said, almost everything depends on the budget you are having. Duuuude, that is such a trivial thing about trading in general. I guess in case you really want to aquire some specific information about it, you could easily read this review https://www.knowledgeeager.com/reviews/humbled-trader-community-review and after that you could actually take the courses and trust me, you will get much more useful information.

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