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Unusual Trading : First experiences and small talk on appeal...


Genuline
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Greetings,

 

I'm nearing being able to afford an unusual and I'm curious about everyone else's first experience with trading 8-20 keys in low tier unusual trading. This post is solely to see what other people have been able to accomplish at said level, it can be from any time in your trading career and as such, these posts shouldn't be taken as a definitive response or guide on how to get good at unusual trading. A full recount and every single detail doesn't need to be added, a brief talk is fine and if you left something out that I'm curious about I'll ask, so:

 

1. Where did you get your first unusual? Quick-sell, classifieds etc.

2. What hat(s) and effect(s) do you recall working with? Any outliers to the standard low tier effects?
3. Were your first few trades easy or difficult? Did you sell for pure or in an unusual exchange?
4. How did you recuperate with a loss? Was your first trade a loss?
5. What was the time frame in which it took you to deal with an unusual? Did it take you hours or days to sell?
 

I ask this as I'm currently doing my homework on the unusual market and have been able to identify some good starting hats + effects which I think are appealing solely based off the backpack.tf classifieds. I wonder if looking for a quick-sell is better, but most of the time from looking at chat during standard middle-tier trading they're usually hats which are either recent and have newer, less concrete effects (Which is why they're probably being quick-sold in the first place) I think looking for some particularly desirable low tiers among everything else will catch people's attentions, sticking to old-school hats and earlier gen effects.

 

Currently I think that newer effects seem too tacky due to being holiday themed or seeming less interesting than other older effects. There's something about Gen 1-3, Robotic Boogaloo, End of the Line and some Halloween effects that just ooze TF2 more than the newer ones, they might seem tacky but not in a way which makes them unappealing, maybe it's their established status as unusuals that makes something like a Circling TF Logo or even Bubbling seem like something special (Some new effects I think are alright, Brain Drain and its variants, Omniscient Orb, Clairvoyance etc. but don't have a dependable track record yet for using commercially) so, what do you think on the five points from above and my thoughts on desirability and effect quality?

 

As well as the point from just a couple sentences ago, what new effects could you see working that fit Gen 1-3, Robotic Boogaloo, End of the Line and some Halloween effects? (Very Scary Halloween, Spectral Halloween and Scream Fortresses V + VI) They can be original or from the workshop, I've looked around and thought these would go well:
 

Quasar Field and Quantum Rift

Heavy Weather

Spell Storm

Phantom Eyes

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1. Classies

2. Vivid Plasma, Searing Plasma, Orbiting Fire, Aces High, Purple Energy, Smoking

3. It depended of the item, some were a lot easier than others. I usually traded for pure. However low tier effects like Aces High were pretty hard to dispose of to my experience

4. My first trade wasn't a loss and the only loss I had was probably only a bit of ref tbh. 

5. Some took a few days to weeks but I have had some Unusuals sit for like a month or two. Just avoid hats where there are lots of bot sellers to prevent competition

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1: Smoking One Man Army (13-14 keys at the time), paid 11 and was happy I got it. Couple days later it got scammed from a steam code scam (was funny because i was offered a Miami Virtual Reality Headset which was 22-23 keys at the time, and i declined that because i was all excited on getting steam codes.) Cried for a day and said that im quitting tf2 trading for good. Here is a nice raffle i made after i got scammed https://scrap.tf/raffles/KI93C7

 

2: I really didnt care, i just sought out to trade whatever is going around. The downsides of not knowing how easy/hard to sell an item is was trading good items for really crap items. An example was when i traded an unusual + sweets for an Overclocked Pom Pom (disgusting ik) but in my tiny feeble mind it felt awesome having a nice 1/1 unusual. Turns out it took me weeks to get an offer and finding traders that wanted it was a real pain, i ended up dumping it to scrap.tf for a loss of a couple keys. To this day i seek out halloweens and miscs, well mainly because those are the ones that have the most demand while having the least amount of supply.

 

3: My first trades were a mix. I always wanted added on sweets when someone wants to trade for a hat i own, to which ill use those sweets for ref and buy those small quicksells. Sometimes i can trade two times a day, sometimes it took me a week to get a successful trade, all depends if you are active and offering, or having good hats to trade with and what not

 

4: Out of my whole trading career I've been scammed three times, and out of those i learn and evolve in order to make sure earn enough to where i am at right now.

 

5: Some take hours, most took days, while on rare occasions ill have hats that i sit on for half a year without an offer.

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I've not been trading for about 6 months now, but I still reckon I've got things worth saying.

 

1) Classifieds, if I remember right I bought a Vivid Plasma Towering Pillar of Hats for around 30 keys 4 years ago, from which I then broke it down for 40ish in downgrades and stayed in the low tier scene for a while.

 

2) Generally just take deals you can identify as good, TF2 isn't much of a trend-based market. Generation 3 is pretty popular in the low-tiers, but every hat has upside potential. I've made money on things like Bolts and Flies, it can all work if you're willing to learn.

 

3) I mostly approached other people for their items, which generally is less profit per trade but a more consistent increase in your backpack value. Don't settle for garbage, but it's good to always be moving decent stuff in and out of your backpack if you can, stagnating is worse than a loss in my opinion.

 

4) A lot of people see a loss as the end of the world, but it really isn't. I lost 200 keys on a Sunbeams Starboard Crusader the week that it came out but I recovered within a couple weeks. You can normally exceed your standing before your loss in only a handful of trades. Treat every trade with caution and do your research, backpack.tf premium is a godsend for crossreferencing item value, getting into making suggestions helped me out a ton with learning to do this.

 

5) It really just depends on the hat. I spent most of my time flipping on Marketplace (RIP), which was a bit better for passive selling, but unless it's a hot item like a Misc or similar, expect everything to take at least a day or so to get any traction. Decent stuff at a good price should normally be gone within a couple weeks though.

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1) From scrap.tf auctions. It was purple confeti spelled boot for the pyro.

 

2) Smoking, steaming, purple confeti, green confeti, orbiting fire, ect (but not aces high, orbiting planets, nuts n bolts or other trash effects)... I think it's good to trade with these. What about hats - the hat itself should not be ugly. The hat which looks like... a hat sells better than a piece of pipe. Also it depends who can wear it. If it's multi-class/all class then it's usually worth your time as you probably can sell it faster

 

3) Some of my first hats gain me pretty fast 1 key profit, but I were looking for higly discounted items, sooo not so easy honestly.

 

4) I don't really have loses bc I feels like I know what is good and what is bad. The only loses were in my no min scrap.tf auctions. If I feel I will never sell a hat with a profit I can qsell it without any loses.

 

5) It took less than a day, probably bc I was qselling my first ever hat.

 

 

I see you have got some questions about what unusuals are good and basically what worth your attention, so I would recommend to watch this guy ( link ). I personally watched an entire playlist before buying an unusual. Good luck!

 

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1. I unboxed my first unusual. 
2. I worked with Smoking and Kill-a-Watt mostly but I unboxed a lot of stuff during Halloween and Winter events, the problem is that i rarely know what stuff I unboxed is worth. 
3. I prefer never cashing for pure unless I needed cash. I always traded for other unusuals, trying to get more unusuals. I never had any trouble trading everything I got off, only cashing out.

4. Dealing with a loss was fine, I always trade based on looks, so I never had any problems taking a 2-3 key loss, even when I had 13-15 keys. Trading to profit I dealt with losses by getting pure wins off taunts or smaller unusuals. 
5. Bigger stuff seemed to sell faster and smaller stuff sold slower, but recently it’s been the opposite so...that’s changing!

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Good responses! What stuck out to me was:

 

On 2/15/2021 at 10:37 PM, Strange said:

2. Vivid Plasma, Searing Plasma, Orbiting Fire, Aces High, Purple Energy, Smoking

Figured the bolded effects would be worth more than what's next to them, if I grab a couple so be it.

 

On 2/15/2021 at 10:44 PM, Beaser said:

1: Smoking One Man Army (13-14 keys at the time), paid 11 and was happy I got it. Couple days later it got scammed from a steam code scam (was funny because i was offered a Miami Virtual Reality Headset which was 22-23 keys at the time, and i declined that because i was all excited on getting steam codes.) Cried for a day and said that im quitting tf2 trading for good. Here is a nice raffle i made after i got scammed https://scrap.tf/raffles/KI93C7

A sad story, but looking at your inventory now you've seemed to bounce back extremely well. Also, how the hell do you have a 13th Stormy Hour Nuke? I thought those effects were way past retired, specific crates?

 

On 2/16/2021 at 2:58 AM, Norah said:

2) Generally just take deals you can identify as good, TF2 isn't much of a trend-based market. Generation 3 is pretty popular in the low-tiers, but every hat has upside potential. I've made money on things like Bolts and Flies, it can all work if you're willing to learn.

 

3) I mostly approached other people for their items, which generally is less profit per trade but a more consistent increase in your backpack value. Don't settle for garbage, but it's good to always be moving decent stuff in and out of your backpack if you can, stagnating is worse than a loss in my opinion.

 

4) A lot of people see a loss as the end of the world, but it really isn't. I lost 200 keys on a Sunbeams Starboard Crusader the week that it came out but I recovered within a couple weeks. You can normally exceed your standing before your loss in only a handful of trades. Treat every trade with caution and do your research, backpack.tf premium is a godsend for crossreferencing item value, getting into making suggestions helped me out a ton with learning to do this.

My view was to stray away from specifically those two effects plus some other less desirable lows, but if you can make them work I'll see what I can do. As well as that I'm extremely iffy about losses, particularly around this time since it's the equivalent of starting with refined again, if it's in my first few trades I'll be conscious about losses while once I've doubled my starting capital I can be more free-form.

 

On 2/16/2021 at 3:24 AM, Not_a_good_sniper said:

I see you have got some questions about what unusuals are good and basically what worth your attention, so I would recommend to watch this guy ( link ). I personally watched an entire playlist before buying an unusual. Good luck!

Absolutely, I've been snooping around classifieds and have noticed hats which seem good initially, but looking at their buy margins and their appeal is a different story. I've been able to spot a few appealing unusuals for my first deal, but I'll elaborate on this further below.

 

On 2/16/2021 at 11:03 AM, 0093 said:

4. Dealing with a loss was fine, I always trade based on looks, so I never had any problems taking a 2-3 key loss, even when I had 13-15 keys. Trading to profit I dealt with losses by getting pure wins off taunts or smaller unusuals. 
5. Bigger stuff seemed to sell faster and smaller stuff sold slower, but recently it’s been the opposite so...that’s changing!

If its going the opposite for whatever reason that's promising to hear, I'll try not to depend on 'the numbers' or prices too much but evaluate the item at face value too, which is how they get their price obviously. (Still being conscious about it, not rushing in for whatever looks cool and going down a few keys)

Some more talk, I've finally traded my refined up to 14 keys which I'll be using to buy an unusual soon enough. I'm still being extremely cautious about this since I don't want to make a loss on my first trade, which Norah has made me loosen up about. I've been able to recognise bad price margins, un-appealing hats and effects which seem good, but are actually pitfalls (IE Graded hats) etc. In particular I think a themed unusual around the lower-end will help a ton since you might be able to find something tricky which entices a buyer more-so than whatever else comes by around that level. Any margins I should be looking out for more so? I think people might get hung up on buy orders being low even though they're usually bots.

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3 hours ago, Genuline said:

Good responses! What stuck out to me was:

 

Figured the bolded effects would be worth more than what's next to them, if I grab a couple so be it.

 

A sad story, but looking at your inventory now you've seemed to bounce back extremely well. Also, how the hell do you have a 13th Stormy Hour Nuke? I thought those effects were way past retired, specific crates?

 

My view was to stray away from specifically those two effects plus some other less desirable lows, but if you can make them work I'll see what I can do. As well as that I'm extremely iffy about losses, particularly around this time since it's the equivalent of starting with refined again, if it's in my first few trades I'll be conscious about losses while once I've doubled my starting capital I can be more free-form.

 

Absolutely, I've been snooping around classifieds and have noticed hats which seem good initially, but looking at their buy margins and their appeal is a different story. I've been able to spot a few appealing unusuals for my first deal, but I'll elaborate on this further below.

 

If its going the opposite for whatever reason that's promising to hear, I'll try not to depend on 'the numbers' or prices too much but evaluate the item at face value too, which is how they get their price obviously. (Still being conscious about it, not rushing in for whatever looks cool and going down a few keys)

Some more talk, I've finally traded my refined up to 14 keys which I'll be using to buy an unusual soon enough. I'm still being extremely cautious about this since I don't want to make a loss on my first trade, which Norah has made me loosen up about. I've been able to recognise bad price margins, un-appealing hats and effects which seem good, but are actually pitfalls (IE Graded hats) etc. In particular I think a themed unusual around the lower-end will help a ton since you might be able to find something tricky which entices a buyer more-so than whatever else comes by around that level. Any margins I should be looking out for more so? I think people might get hung up on buy orders being low even though they're usually bots.

Yeah do avoid Aces High, to my experience it's pretty crap

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9 hours ago, Genuline said:

Also, how the hell do you have a 13th Stormy Hour Nuke? I thought those effects were way past retired, specific crates?

First time these effects came out, they were available in any crate during the halloween event.

In 2017, they just released the Jungle Inferno update a few weeks prior to halloween so instead of going to the effort of creating a new set of unusual effects, they made the old halloween effects unboxable from all cases (ie any with graded cosmetics) for the duration of the event. So there's old halloween effects on lots of graded hats up to the Jungle Inferno cases.

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