When it comes to starting out with trading there’s a lot of things that can be confusing, there’s a lot of terms you don’t know and there’s to many bad guides out there, so you don’t really know who to listen to when getting started with trading. This is one of the main reasons I started Tradeplz, just because there’s to many shitty guides that talk about things that doesn’t even work.
When I first got started in trading I read and followed many of these shitty guides, I didn’t know better at the beginning, and I wasted a bunch of time doing boring stuff that gave me very little profit, I wish I knew what I know now back then. In this guide I will try and talk about methods of TF2 trading that you should avoid, things that doesn’t work or work really really badly.
We start off with the queen of shitty trading methods, Scrap Banking. If you search for TF2 trading guides on google or Youtube a bunch of guides for Weapon/scrap banking pops up, there’s basically nothing wrong with scrap banking but the problem is that it’s just so slow and the profit is super tiny. If you don’t know what scrap banking is, it’s a method of buying TF2 weapons for 0,5 scrap metal each then sell them to other players for 1 scrap metal. The first problem is that people can get whatever weapon they want easily over at scrap.tf and other sites, and also the biggest problem is that the profit is so so so tiny, for each sold weapon you earn 0,5 scrap.
So to get one refined metal you need to sell 18 weapons, and if you aim to earn a key you need to sell 356 weapon (or more depending on the current price for keys, that goes up constantly) It is not worth the time.
Gambling isn’t a trading method and it should really goes without saying but I am going to say it anyway, don’t gamble! This include jackpot sites, spy crabbing, betting on e-sport matches and anything that have luck involved. Gambling is not a good or stable method of getting some profit, and eventually you will lose. And now that Valve banned sites that deals with betting in-game, there’s really no point doing that stuff.
I know it can be tempting to unbox some crates when you get your hands on a key, and I know we all heard of this friend’s friend that got a unusual hat on their first crate, but it’s not going to happen, you will most likely regret it. And if you don’t trust my word on it you can head over to Trade.tf to check out some numbers & statistics on unboxing crates, here you can find numbers and what the chances are for getting certain items from all of the crates, trust me, the odds are not in your favour.
Dealing with Painted hats
There’s nothing wrong with buying painted hats, but what you need to consider is that it’s not always a good idea to pay more for painted hats. Some traders like to argue that painted hats or weapons with parts should be valued at the items value + the part/paints value, it seems a logical way of valuing an item, but in practise trading doesn’t work like that, instead trading is all about supply and demand, if nobody is looking for a certain hat with a certain colour then nobody will pay extra for something they don’t want.
I’m not saying that painted hats can’t be valued higher then non-painted it’s just that you will have a really really hard time finding a buyer that will pay for the item and the paint, so be cautious when dealing with painted items. (and there is exceptions, for example black or white Bill’s Hats usually sell for more)
If you head over to TF2outpost or any other similar trading site for TF2 you’ll see the sites being flooded with people just putting up listings to buy items for much much less then the item is worth, prices that just aren’t reasonable. You won’t get any trades doing this, it’s still possible to make a profit without trying to lowball people and being a dick about, lowballing is just annoying for everyone.
General advice – is it worth your time?
I like to come up with new ways of making a profit while trading, but it’s not always my methods are worth doing even though I am making a profit doing them. It’s important to reflect on what your doing and decide if it’s worth your time, there’s plenty of of time consuming ways of making a profit (even some of my guides is) and sometimes it’s worth abandoning a way of making profit just because it takes to much time.
What works then?
A general advice I like to give when talking about TF2 trading is to invest in some keys when getting started, it’s so much easier to make a profit if you have something to trade and invest with, a couple of keys isn’t that much for most people and it really helps you get started. This way you can buy & sell stuff with a higher profit margin. A part from that this site is a great place start if you want to find working TF2 trading guides, you can find the Team Fortress 2 section over here,