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How to make a Profit with STN Trading – a TF2 Trading Guide

By 3 February, 2018TF2 Trading guides

stn trading profit guide

In this guide I’ll show you a few simple ways to profit on the trading site STN-Trading, we’ll be take advantage of the huge supply of hats and items this trading site has. It’s a TF2 trading guide best suited for new traders or for anyone that doesn’t have a huge supply of keys and metal to trade with, but anyone can get starting doing this really, you just need a few metal and be prepared to put some time & effort into this guide.

stn-trading logo

If you’re not familiar with STN-Trading it’s one of the biggest TF2 trading sites that let’s buy & sell TF2 items easily using their trading bots. Their prices are usually pretty updated so you can expect to get a decent deal for your items, especially compare to other trading bots. They’re always well stocked with plenty of items in their inventory. Enough about the site itself, you’re here because you want to make a profit with STN trading, so let’s begin!

#1 Resell Painted items

Buying and selling painted items for a profit

One thing you can easily find on STN’s trading bots is painted items, getting a overview of all the current items and then buying available painted items is easy thanks to the site’s layout and how you can see what all their trading bots have in stock. You won’t be charged more for painted items which is a huge plus. After you bought it the painted items it’s then possible to sell them ells where for a small profit, what the profit could be is hard to say, it all depends on the kind of paint it is, the hat and the if there’s any demand for that item at the moment.

painted hats

You’re going to have to have plenty of patience if you’re planing on doing this, let’s get started.

First head over to STN trading and go to banking section, you can check for painted items either in the Unique hats section or among the Strange items, what category you’re going to look at is up to you, but if you got a lot of metal to spend I’d suggest you check out both banking categories and then just buy the “best” pained items you’ll find.

What Paints to look for?

TF2 paint cans

In my experience these paints are the most in demand, but that doesn’t mean that other paints isn’t, I would keep my eyes open for all painted items really, there’s profit to be made from most colors.

  • A Distinctive Lack of Hue (Black)
  • Pink as Hell (Pink)
  • An Extraordinary Abundance of Tinge (White)
  • Australium Gold (Yellow)
  • The Bitter Taste of Defeat and Lime (Green)

Keep in mind that what kind of hat you’re buying is just as important as what paint it has, a ugly hat will still be ugly, you can’t paint a turd pretty.

Selling our Painted items

Once we bought some painted hats we have a few options if we want to resell them. I suggest you don’t aim for any crazy profit per trade, aim for a few scrap profit for each trade, otherwise you’re going have to wait a very long time before you’ll get your items sold.

Here’s just a few options you can use to sell your painted items.

refined metal

  • Make a listing to sell your painted items on and TF2Outpost ( is also a option but it’s not the most active place nowadays.)
  • auction. Over at you can create a auction for your items and other people can bid on them. I would only accept currencies (metal and keys) when creating auctions, because people tend to bid with overpriced garbage otherwise.
  • Sell on for real money, you can try and ask for a higher price if your item is painted, just check what other painted items are being sold and try and undercut their price. (just remember the 10% sales fee)
  • Steam Community market, not all items can be sold on the market, most Strange quality items can be sold on the market though. Before listing it check what the current listings are being listed for and try to match their price (keep in mind there’s a 15% sales fee)

If you’re planing on selling your hats for money you can use to easily calculate and convert between different currencies.

Buying & Selling Painted Bill’s hats

Bill's hat STN trading

The STN-Trading bot are almost always stocked up with a bunch of Bill’s hat. And painted Bill’s hats are usually a great item to resell, the price difference between different paints are usually quite big when it comes to this hat. I would especially look for Black and White painted Bill’s Hat, those are the most in demand in my experience.

Head over to STN Trading and see if there’s any painted Bill’s Hats to buy for metal and keys, if you found and bought any painted ones you can then head over to the Steam Community market to sell them. (you can of course try to sell them ells where, but I found plenty of profit by selling Bill’s hats on the community market)

Here a example, If I would sell a Bill’s Hat painted white I would first check to see what other people have listed white painted Bill’s Hat for on the market and then I would try and undercut their price. You can get up to $1-1.5 more for a painted Bill’s then a regular one, but then you have to have plenty of patience (and some luck).


#2 Trading with Craft hats


Buying & selling craft hats and how to make a profit with them

Craft hats is a term used for the cheapest hats (that can be used in crafting), these hat isn’t the most exciting hats in the game but there’s still profit to be made from them. What we’re going to do is buy these craft hats from the STN trading bots then sell these hats on for a small profit for each hat, then we’ll just repeat it all and do it all over again.

The end goal is to sell these hats for money (on so in order to know that we’re making a profit we need to convert the metal that we’re buying the hats for into cash, might sound complicated but it’s not, and I’ll walk you though it all.

sell key

First we need at least one key, head over and exchange that key into metal over at the key banking section, at the moment I’ll get 36.66 ref for one key.

Next we’ll calculate how much we’re going to be buying our craft hats for, and that all depends on how much we bought our key for (in cash) and how much metal we can get for our key. I bought my key for $1.90 and I can get 36.66 ref for it, that means 1 ref cost me $0.052 ( $1.90 / 36.66 = 0.053) (key buy price / key metal value)


Next we’ll see what craft hats are being sold for over at STN trading, head over to any of the trading bots and then Sort by value (asc) to get the cheapest to show up first. We do NOT want Halloween items or uncraftable items, those won’t work. I could find a handful of items being sold for 1.22 ref.

We’ll then take our refined price that we calculated in the previous step and multiply it with the buy price of the craft hats, and in this case 1.22 ref. So that would be 1.22 x 0.053=$0.063, and this is what we’re paying for our hat (converted to money).

Next we’re going to head over to to sell our hats for money. The first step is to deposit our hat into, after you deposit your hats you can head over to your dashboard, here you’ll price your hat, you can either set a custom price or you can click the button “Sell as crafthat“, after you market your hats you can set the price you’d like to sell your craft hats for.

At the moment Craft hats are being sold for 0.08 over at, that means if we sell at the price we’ll get $0.07 for each hats (after the 10% sales). It’s not a lot of profit but it adds up if you keep doing it over and over again.

What you can do to increase your profit

Here’s a few options that can increase your profit when buying and selling craft hats.

Cheap keys = More profit

Buying your keys for as cheap as possible will increase your profit. I regularity buy keys for as low as $1.75-1.80. There’s a few ways of getting a hold of cheap TF2 keys, one of the easiest ways is using the coupon code “Uncle” at checkout over at, this will give you 1 key for free when buying 11 keys, but then you’ll need around $20 to spend. If you need more options on getting cheap TF2 keys you can check out my other guide (link to the right)

Sell the hats one by one

This option will take a lot more time to do but the profit is potentially greater for each sale. Instead of selling each hat as a craft hat over at we’ll sell them one by one, the prices are usually higher this way but the downside is that you won’t sell your hat as fast.

Every day up to a thousand craft hats gets sold on and the demand is pretty steady, the sales for individual hats on the other hand is much lower (especially these cheap hats), we’re talking at most a handful sold per day, so expect your hats to be sold much slower if you decide doing it this way. If you’re planning to sell them one by one I also suggest you try focusing on resell hats that look good, it’s a pretty vague advice and what looks good is very subjective, but chances are pretty good that if you like the look of a hat other people might do so as well, so trust your taste.

Before pricing each hat have a look and see what other people are selling their hats for, either match the lowest price or under cut the cheapest seller with 1 cent. Always make sure you’re making a profit for each sale, and don’t forget the sales fee of 10% on every sale.

#3 Coming soon..

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