TF2 Trading

How to make a Profit on Marketplace.tf & Scrap.tf – A traders Guide

Marketplace.tf

Marketplace.tf is the biggest and pretty much only TF2 marketplace where you can buy & sell your TF2 hats, in this guide I’ll be talking about how you can make a profit with Marketplace.tf and also Scrap.tf. Marketplace.tf have a nice built-in feature were it displays how much of a discount a item is. They grab backpack.tf prices as a comparison, and those prices are not always accurate, so take the discount % number with a grain of salt and always double check the price on backpack.tf and see what other people are buying/selling that item for and if the price suggestion is up to date.

We’ll be looking into two main areas of making a profit, using Buy orders and how to find cheap deals.

Buy orders

Recently they added a feature to place buy orders on items, what that means is you’re able to set a buy price for a item and when someone list a item for that price you’ll buy it. A simple feature that has a lot of potential for profit to be made.

One way you can use buy orders is to help bring the price down on items you’re interested in. You can either just place buy orders on items you want and hope the seller see that there’s a buy order on it and hopefully they think it’s a good one. Or you can target specific traders or items to help your success rate with your orders, here are some things that I try to target.

  • If you spot items with multiple/many items listed the sellers might get tired of never getting their items sold because the competition is to tough. If they see that there’s a buy order on a item that they waited a long time to get sold they might get tempted to accept it to get rid of their item for some fast cash.
  • People with “cashing out”, “quickselling” or anything similar in their name. They’re looking to get rid of their items and might want to do so quickly, a buy order at a decent price might be a easy solution for them.

I can’t stress this enough, but don’t lowball in your orders, you’re wasting everyone’s time by placing buy orders that are too low, instead aim on making fair buy orders that are benefiting both parties, sure you’re out to make profit, but don’t be greedy. (also a shitty buy order will never go through anyway)

Deals page – finding discounted items

Another thing I do on Marketplace.tf to make some profit is that I buy items for cash on the site and then I trade them for keys & metal. When dealing with items under a key in value I use calculator.tf just to make it easier to convert the real money price into metal and keys.

The site has a deals page where they display all the discounted items, What I have done is I bookmark some searches that I found the most profitable on the site, then I can easily revisit them and check if there’s any new good deals up. Here are some of my favourites.

Discounted Strange quality items, sorted by lowest price first. Strange weapons and cosmetics have a great demand and they tend to sell really well, with this search I find some great deals from time to time. And the great thing about Strange items is that the price suggestion is usually accurate and people tend to pay what the price suggestion says it is, this let’s me trust the built-in discount % mark on marketplace.tf. Even as low as a 10% discount can make me some profit in the Strange cosmetics category, but your ideally looking for more then 10% of a discount.

I use my own trading bot to sell my items, so that selling these items are hassle free, if you don’t have a bot I suggest you just sell your new items to trading bots, the profit will be a tiny bit lower but you’ll save so much time, head over to Backpack.tf and find the seller that pays the best.

Deals sorted by lowest price first. I would stay away from buying weapons and uncraftable items just because they doesn’t sell that well and the price suggestion isn’t always that accurate. Apart from that this search has some nice gold nuggets from time to time, people tend to just want to get rid of their cheap items so bargains are quite regular.

It’s a mixture of persistence and luck when finding those great deals, but trust me, they’re out there..

Unusual searches

I also regular check for discounted unusuals with effect that have a high demand, Purple Energy and Burning Flames to name two. I have a love for cheap unusuals and I got a search for that too, cheap ones tend to sell really well and from time to time I find cheap ones on the marketplace.

“The Craft hat gamble”

ellis cap

Awhile ago I made a guide how you can buy Craft hats on marketplace.tf with the hopes of getting hats worth more then you paid for, it’s not a solid method but sometimes it work, and that’s why I call it the craft hat gamble, best suited for new traders that feel like trying their luck.

 

Grab some cheap TF2 keys

Getting some cheap TF2 keys with the buy order function can be hard, most of the time there will be a lot of orders for prices that isn’t even that cheap, great for sellers but not that great if you’re looking to buy. You’re best alternative is to use the “uncle” code at checkout, it will give you a 1 key discount when buying 11 keys. The code can only be used once every 24 hours. It’s a convenient way to get a small discount on some keys.

 

Scrap.tf

Making some profit on Scrap.tf is much harder, and the profit you’ll make is much smaller, but there’s still a few things you can do to squeeze some profit out of this site.

Buying and selling games

I made a guide about buying and selling game using Scrap.tf and Dispenser.tf awhile ago. Keep in mind that this is both time consuming AND the profit is not great. With that in mind, there is profit to be made. You can find the guide over here.

(the guide is about a year old by now so I’m not sure how profitable this is now when the new Steam game gift changes has been implemented)

Entering raffles

This is a no brainer. Enter the raffles and maybe you win. I would personally not recommend this, the chances to win are very slim and the prices aren’t fantastic. But if TF2 raffles & giveaways are your thing you can check out my collection of sites with giveaways over here.

Auctions

There’s a lot of shit auctions going on with people asking for silly amounts for their items, but if you’re lucky you can find a good deal here, just be prepared to look through a lot of overpriced auctions. When looking through the auctions I suggest you open up a tab in your browser with Backpack.tf up and one with the auction page on Scrap.tf, that way you can easily do price check on the items and see if it’s worth bidding on.

If you’re planning to sell using auctions I suggest you advertise the trade on other platforms to bring in more potential buyers, here’s a few,

In my experience I had some pretty good luck with buying cheap Unusuals for around the 8 key mark, these Unusuals then sell for 9-10 keys, but you need some basic understanding of what unusuals sell and which don’t if you’re going to do that.

 

Buying Quicksells Unusuals from Scrap.tf

For this one I’ll recommend check out the Virtual Econnomist’s Youtube video about buying Unusual hats. This is nothing for novice traders though, you better have some experience in Unusual trading, so you know what a good deal looks like. And you also need a minimum of 9 keys to get your hands on some of the cheapest unusuals, but of course the more keys you have the better.

I like to add a twist to above method when browsing for unusual on the scrap.tf, I would go to the profile of the scrap bot on backpack (like in the video) I would then check the cheapest unusuals and their stats page on backpack.tf, here you’ll also get a link to their listing on Steam community market, sometimes when checking here you’ll see buy orders that’s quite high for that specific hat, and sometimes you can sell your hat for a profit instantly. The only downside would be that you’re getting Steam wallet funds, and that’s nothing everyone is interested in. Also there’s a 15% fee that easily can eat up your profit.

Banking items & Scrap.tf alternatives

As for the sites banking section I have a hard time seeing any profit being made here, the prices on Scrap.tf are usually really really bad. These kinds of trading bots should only be used if you want to get rid of a item fast and don’t really care about losing some value, they offer speed and convenience, and there usually not much room for profit.

If you still want to use a trading bots to sell your items I suggest you check out alternatives to Scrap.tf first to see if they would offer more for your items. Here are a few alternatives worth checking out.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    The Guy
    18 June, 2017 at 13:43

    Jonas, sfuminator .tf doesn’t give any profit at all and tge prices are always waaaay below bp.tf price.
    Note: tf2swap.com hardly has anything except hats and weapons, and tf2wh.com has a very small inventory range when kt cones to selling. However, stn.eu is the best alternative, but it keeps logging you out. Apart from that, stn.eu is the best alternative.

    • Reply
      Jonas
      18 June, 2017 at 14:00

      That’s not what the guide is about, but thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    The Guy
    18 June, 2017 at 13:43

    Sorry for all the typos

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