1. There is no such thing as a "pending" ban or Steam admin. Anyone threatening your account is a scammer trying to scare you. Read more.

Why putting 1 random item into a trade won't protect you

Discussion in 'Discussion Archive' started by Trunk, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Trunk

    Trunk New User

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    TL;DR If your account is flagged for buying stolen/duped items, you will still be banned even if you put a weapon/crate into the trade because Valve also takes item value into account.

    I'm making this thread to combat the seemingly popular notion that if you put any item (aka a weapon or a crate) into an otherwise completely 1-sided trade, you are protecting yourself from being trade banned by Valve. I can understand how this idea started, but I can assure you that it is completely wrong. Why? read on.

    First off, Valve does not care about 1-sided trades as long as any of the items being traded have not been obtained by fraudulent means. I have completed hundreds and thousands of 1-sided trades with hundreds of different people and even with my 330 idle accounts; none of which have had any consequences because the items were not stolen/duped.

    I have, however, been trade banned. Twice. Both of these bans were the result of me buying some items that were stolen/duped previously before I bought them. Since I paid with paypal, the trades were 1-sided and my account was flagged and trade banned. This happened, because to Valve, it looks as though the stolen items are being transferred to other account and not traded fairly to an unsuspecting trader.

    So now you may be thinking "If you had put an item into the trade you wouldn't have gotten banned". Well guess what, I did. My first trade ban was the result of buying 16 buds, and during the trade I put in 3 refined metal. This obviously disproves the fact that even though a trade is 2-sided you can still get banned if the trade is not equal in value (and one or more of the items you are trading for is stolen).

    So to summarize the process of how Valve's system works:
    1. Valve finds out an item is stolen or duped.
    2. They track that items trade history and look at all the trades.
    3. If the trade is 1-sided, they flag that account that bought it.
    4. If the trade is 2-sided (in value) they will not flag the account because they see that the player has traded equally for it.

    As in my case, my account was flagged when I bought the buds even though I had gave 3 refined to the seller. They saw the trade and determined it was 1-sided in value (16 buds for 3 ref, kinda obvious) and trade banned me.

    So now you're asking how does Valve determine if a trade has equal value? Well I can't give an exact answer here so my best assumption is that they simply just have employees who know the approximate market value of the items and determine for themselves. Or maybe they use Mann.Co store prices to compare, who knows. But what I can say for sure is that putting a weapon or crate into a trade does not protect you at all.

    If you still think I'm talking out of my ass then I've attached a screenshot with some of the support tickets that Valve left for me regarding the trade bans. I've put red boxes over the parts that clearly show they take item value into account when looking at trades.

    [​IMG]

    So please stop asking people to put a weapon or crate into the trade, it is utterly pointless.
  2. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    they simply can take statistics about what ppl traded for them, cutting out the lower region (the 1-3 crate/ref filler crap) and they know the average value at that point, that it might be slightly less, thats fine.

    Any with lower then the rough upper 20 % is just indeed "filler", and doesn't give any protection.
  3. [SIBW] rage [ bed ]

    [SIBW] rage [ bed ] New User

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    Valve should have their own system for item tracking.
  4. Chaos

    Chaos Retired Staff

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    They do. Only they use it.
  5. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    Indeed they do, and they also log all text conducted via trade window also, which put a nail in the coffin of many scammers who believe their words disappear into the ether once the window closes :0

    As for putting a weapon in on a big trade, it has been common knowledge for the longest time that this is utterly irrelevant. It comes down to a myriad of factors as has been mentioned above, and the most important of these is that Valve actually put a certain account under scrutiny in the first place, because once you are on their radar, if there is anything untoward there, you won't escape.

    Moral here is be ethical and deal fairly and you will never need worry yourself about anything.
  6. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    Source on that?
    Chaos likes this.
  7. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

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    If Valve is now doing things such as this then they may as well change it to "Buy/Sell" rather than use Trade anymore. Trading means you trade from one item to another not following any set guide and just making it so each person gets what they want out of the trade.

    Its really getting out of hand how things have now become with the whole economy they've created that it can never be stopped in fear of a ex-TF2 player riot on their headquarters.
  8. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    I have friends who have tickets submitted who have shown me excerpts (without identifying info) which came from trade chat which was shown to them via Valve responses.
  9. Chaos

    Chaos Retired Staff

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    Feel free to PM myself or DataStorm with that information. That's a huge claim and would change a lot of things. If not, please be careful about the claims you make here.
  10. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    if only.... to make them actually do some with money trading to make it safer.
  11. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    I told Helen ages ago, feel free to check things out for yourself.
  12. Horse

    Horse Administrator SteamRep Admin

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    No more safe than what ebay has set up and that is use of paypal - pay for it then you get the item, or how you purchase a car - hand me cash and you can have the keys.
    If you really want to be safe about it then do it the old fashioned way thru the land mail system with certified checks or money orders :)
  13. fxu

    fxu New User

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    I went through this back in 2011.

    [​IMG]


    I'd like to say that Tech Derrick is a boob. He acted harshly before thoroughly reviewing the incident. After realizing his mistake, he returned the items. But he never apologized for giving me a heart attack after removing my items.
  14. fxu

    fxu New User

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    As you can see, that conversation "ended" on Thursday. He forgot to unlock my account and I didn't get access 'til Monday. Bastard.

    It is not worth risking it. It's just a damn weapon/crate. The person can always give it back or replace it for another weapon/crate.
  15. [SIBW] rage [ bed ]

    [SIBW] rage [ bed ] New User

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    I mean so we can see it cause they'll have every trade record of that item and maybe has a little star saying this item is copied in another backpack some times tf2items is buggy with those hard to tell if a hat is truely clean.
  16. Mr. Pablo

    Mr. Pablo New User

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    My input on this would have to be, what about unusuals? They determine an unusual as a "Exceedingly Rare Special Item". Sure, but how are you supposed to determine a fair trade? The unusuals vary in price so much its nearly impossible to say if the trade was one-sided or not. They could see someone trade a machina for a earbud, and flag an account, but then someone might trade an earbud for a burning flames team captain. HOW are they going to deal with that?
  17. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    Valve do not have the bucks to go on fishing trips, they react more often than not to submitted tickets and have the experience and tools to determine what activities fall outside T&C.

    Certainly if an account comes under scrutiny, I am sure Valve will look closely at what trades are associated with it, but normal users who do the right thing should have little to fear. Steamrep and Valve had a face to face meeting in Seattle not long ago, and one thing that was brought up was policy on one sided trades (especially as it pertains to middle man transactions), this was spoken about because there was a scare in the community some time back which caused many MM to cease helping others for a time. Helen spoke to me shortly after they met with Drunken Fool and others and said that in general we have nothing to fear in terms of one sided trades or normal MM using buds/unusuals. This was very much welcome news to me, since I am often called upon to MM.

    I will see if Helen of someone can comment here, since I would like to know a little more about Valve's views on trading and the community in general.
  18. WarNev3rChanges

    WarNev3rChanges New User

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    2011? Doesn't the Mannconomy move faster than this?

    I recently made a transaction with Suttles as the MM, and he said that Helen was the one who heard first hand that Valve doesn't care about one sided trading. Yeah, hear-say, but that's what was said.
  19. DataStorm

    DataStorm Retired Staff

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    Indeed, valve doesn't care bout one-side trading. Its a different story when these items are hijacked or scammed tho, for valve sees then one-sided more often then not as a alt of the scammer/hijacker. The "crate" / weapon / scrap in return doesn't help at this, for they know the prices of items.

    So:
    - MM can trade safely, they will refuse in certain cases tho.
    - One-sided trading is fine, any collateral isn't helping anyways.
    - Watch out for hijacked/scammed items.

    In case you end up with a hijacked item:
    - This does NOT apply when you rightfully did a normal trade (items vs items).
    - Do not trade it.
    - Make a steam support ticket, and relay the problem to them (tell how you paid for it, and to whom).
    - Make a SR report about from who you recieved this item and from whom it was hijacked.
    - Once you have a reply from steam support, you can follow their instructions regarding the tradability. The SR report is just to establish that the item is back in normal trading and who was laundering the scammed items.
    Sjru likes this.
  20. VenGanZa

    VenGanZa User

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    DataStorm sums things up nicely.

    Really it isn't rocket science, with any high value trade we should always be checking the bona fides of those we trade with, and it is prudent to check the history of items to ensure we are not accepting tainted goods. This can be tedious but if someone wants to make a sale they can bloody well wait until you the buyer are satisfied.

    Valve do not spend fortunes on Support, and while they have good staff and resources to look into tickets that cross their desk, they get a lot of the damn things and as users it is prudent to ensure we take steps to ensure our accounts do not require their scrutiny, and being careful about who we trade with goes a long way to making sure our accounts do not become part of a Valve investigation even peripherally.

    The vast majority of what Valve and SR for that matter do when it comes to untoward trading practices is common sense. Doing what is right and dealing with others in an honest and ethical manner is something everyone with parents should be familiar with in a general sense, the rest is mere detail: rules, protocols and procedures.