Monday, September 3, 2012


Hey guys from Trade Inc!  Welcome to our very first buy-in raffle!  Admission is 1 ref.  The Grand Prize is a Vintage Lugermorph!  The second prize is a pre-wrapped Spine-Cooling Skull!  The third prize will be any extra profits from the entries.  5 free entries will be given away in chat at randomly decided times, so be active!  There will be more specifics below the entrants' list.  Good luck!

1.  [DA] strickman101
2.  Disembodied-Scott Pilgrim
3.  (Freebie!)  Grover112
6.  Rambo's Kitten
11.  (Freebie!)  '; DROP DATABASE; --94m3k1n9
13.  [FkN]cosmonty Winner!
16.  (Freebie!)  EL1_G
18.  mockingod Second Place!
22.  (Freebie!)  mockingod
24.  The_Thang
30.  (Freebie!)

Drawing will be held Sunday, September 9th, at around 5:00 PM EST.  This is subject to change, because I'm in college and busy.  I'll see what I can do about live streaming, but if I can't figure that out, expect a video of the drawing to prove authenticity.  I will not enter into this raffle, so that I am not accused of rigging it should I win.  By Macro's request, no admins or mods can enter.  26 entries are required to negate my spending, but the raffle will take place and prizes awarded regardless of how many enter.  You can enter as many times as you like, but admission remains the same.  The first 35 people get to pick their numbers.  After that, enterers are automatically assigned the next available number.  Add me on steam (☄Sputnik) to enter, or if I'm offline, MacroPower (Macro) or Harry.  Good luck!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

An idea to make profit

So you want a new idea on how to make profit?  I wouldn't recommend the unusual market, but how else can you make keys fast?

I like high-value stranges and promos trading.  Basically, you buy high-value stranges worth a lot for 1-4 keys under their value, depending on their value and on demand.  Then you flip them for full value.  It's criminally easy.  Have an example:

That post made me dozens of keys.  Just buy them for low, and immediately repost them for full value.  It's an easy and great way to profit.

An Update

Well, it's been a while.  I'm sorry I haven't updated this thing in ages.  I found out about this site,, and it just made trading so much busier for me.  It made me trade so much more in so little time.  I'll update you guys on what's happened.

I continued trading my low value items for a while.  I bought an FDU (Fancy Dress Uniform) and flipped it for a refined more a few times.  Then I got into the high-value stranges market.  I bought strange machinas or strange festive weapons for cheap, and then flipped them for full value.  It's a very easy way to make a few keys.

I flipped a strange festive minigun 9 times, each time for a key profit, and at the end, I had made enough off of it to buy one for myself.  I still have it, it's ranked up to "server clearing" now.

I dabbled in low-tier stranges, buying a ton for cheap and flipping them.  I don't recommend this.  The profit margins are way too small.  Stick to the high value stuff if you want to flip things.

I wouldn't recommend trying to flip keys, Bill's Hats, or earbuds for profit.  They are already an established currency, and there is far too little price variation.  This talk about earbuds brings me to the story of my first pair.

When I had made enough keys, I bought my first pair of earbuds.  I made a post looking for unusual offers.  I bought my first unsusual;  a Blizzardy Storm Professional's Panama.  So began my unusual trading career.

The unusual market is an awful market.  Nobody is interested in buying unless they're getting a great deal, and nobody is interested in selling unless they're getting full value +extra.  It makes it extremely hard to do business.  There are some hats that are extremely hard to sell.  I'd recommend not bothering buying a hat if there are more than 5 of them on the market at the time.  It makes it to hard to sell.

For instance, I bought a Stormy Storm Surgeon's Stalhelm for around 4 buds.  It was worth about 6.  I was completely and totally unable to sell it, and barely managed to quicksell it for 3 buds.  Research the market thoroughly before making any purchases.

My second unusual that I ever owned was a Circling Heart Hard Counter, named "Heart Counter".  I loved that hat.  When I had made enough profit, I bought it back for myself.  My heavy still wears it proudly.  You can spoil yourself sometimes, when you trade well enough.

Recently, I cashed out my initial investment of $130.  At its peak, before my cashout, my backpack was worth $600.  It is now worth $470.  That is all profit, from fairly inactive trading.  If you trade well and often, you can make thousands of dollars.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Selling can be extremely irritating.  You generally operate on very small profit margins.  There's no shame in only making a scrap per item.  I've found that one of the most profitable ways to sell low- tier items is to go into public servers, and say something like "Hey, anybody want a festive rocket launcher?  1 refined and 1 reclaimed". 

I bought that rocket launcher for one refined.  The one reclaimed was pure profit.  It was only worth one refined, but the beautiful thing about public servers is that nobody has any idea at all how to trade.  You can sell items for whatever price you want if you're a good enough salesman.  Sometimes, though, you may need some outside stimulus to sell an item.

Tip #2:  Have a friend glorify your product.

I spent about two days trying to sell that festive rocket launcher with no luck.  Then I was playing with my friend, casually chatting about it as usual, chatting my message above.  Then out of the blue, my friend publicly chats:  "Dude why are you selling that for so low?  You could easily get double that.  I'd buy it if I didn't already have one".  I immediately got a trade request.  It sold.

Try to sell your products for more than their worth, and most importantly, more than you bought them for.  If told about the spreadsheet value, save face by pretending not to know about the spreadsheet.  It may take time, but some 10 year old who's daddy just bought him the game and gave him some steam wallet cash will be more than willing to pay double spreadsheet price for your Teddy Roosebelt.  Don't think of it as taking advantage of people's ignorance.  Shame on them for not researching the product before buying and selling.

Chat to all players that you "Have an extra Armored Authority (Soldier Helmet), selling it for 1 refined 2 reclaimed, 2 scrap".  That's my current offer.  If I sell it, which I will, I'll make a .55 profit.  It's a nice hat, my soldier wears one, but I bought it for what it was worth.  When selling hats, make them sound awesome, and sell them for a lot.  And if you're selling an uncraftable hat, don't tell people that it reduces the value.  That will just bring down your profits.

Lastly, be observant.  If you see a player using a Southern Hospitality, and remember that you have one on hand, offer it to him for "the low price of 2 reclaimed and 2 scrap" (it's worth 2 reclaimed).  People not familiar with trading think that strange weapons are extremely rare.  Capitalize on this.  If you see a heavy walking around with a Gibus, offer to sell him your Magnificent Mongolian for 1 refined, 2 reclaimed (1 rec profit).  Slowly but surely, you can make tremendous profits.

So, what's next?

You've invested in the trading business by buying a ton of keys.  You've found a trading server, and have traded those keys for metal, trying your hardest to sell them for their highest.  So now you have an inventory full of metal and no idea what to do. 

Well first, you have to get some product.  Go to trade servers, see what's being sold.  If you see strange weapons and hats going for under what they're worth [side note-  for an idea of an item's worth, consult the spreadsheet:], then buy them.  Stock up on strange weapons, festive weapons, and hats.  I'd stick to the lower end items for now, nothing over three refined unless you're sure you can resell it. 

Once you've got a decent supply of strange weapons, and a few cool hats, begin buying all craftable hats.  And I mean every single one.  Start by offering one refined, but don't go higher than 1.33 refined.  Now that you have an inventory full of items, it's time to start selling.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Starting Out

To start out, I bought $50 worth of keys.  Keys are available through the Mann Co. Store for $2.50 each.  This is not the most economical way to purchase them, however.  Keys can be bought from resellers for around $1.50 each.  This is what I did. 

Once I had my keys, I traded them in a trading server for metal.  I got a decent amount of refined, and a 2010 Spine Chilling Skull hat, worth 8-10 keys, for 9 keys.  This was a huge mistake.

The hat was worth what I paid, there's no question.  The problem was, it's rare, and there's next to no market for it.  It sat in my inventory for weeks.  Finally, I traded it for a Bill's hat (8-10 keys) that was painted Operator's Overalls.  This hat is the most commonly traded hat, and it is significantly more liquid than the Spine Chilling Skull.

This didn't get me anywhere, however.  In every trade server I went to, I was told that my paint was ugly, and worthless.  The best they would offer was 8 keys.  I'm still holding out for 9, but I've yet to find a buyer.

Tip #1:  If offered a non-liquid item, only accept it at under its spreadsheet value.

For example, let's say you're selling something for 12 keys.  Somebody offers you a Bill's hat (worth 8-10 keys) and 2 keys for it.  Tell them that since you are looking to move towards a more liquid inventory, you can only accept the Bill's hat as 7 keys, and they need to throw an extra 3 keys into their offer.  You'll make bigger profits faster using this method.  If they don't accept, who cares?  Somebody will come along and offer the metal or keys you were originally asking for.

Common Terms

For those extremely new to Team Fortress 2, I'll define some common terms:
  • Metal:  Metal is essentially the currency of Team Fortress.  Weapons and hats can be "smelted" to form metal, which can be traded for items in the game's trading system, or crafted to make new items
  • Refined, reclaimed, and scrap:  Scrap metal is the lowest common denominator.  It is the least expensive metal.  Craft three together, and it makes a reclaimed metal.  Craft three of those together, it makes a refined metal.  Refined metal is the basic currency standard.  When citing a price, one will cite it in terms of a refined metal.  For example:  a key goes for 2.33- 2.55 refined.  That is 2 refined 1 reclaimed, or 2 refined 1 reclaimed 2 scrap
  • Strange:  Strange weapons are more valuable, and track the number of kills they make.  They can only be found through trading or opening a Mann Co. Supply Crate
  • Mann Co. Supply Crate:  These items are randomly found in-game.  When opened with a key, they have a chance of yielding a weapon, a hat, or an "exceedingly rare item"
  • Exceedingly rare item:  Every crate has a 1% chance of yielding one of these.  An exceedingly rare item is an unusual hat
  • Unusual Hat:  These hats are very rare, and therefore very expensive; One hat sold for $2500!  The prices fluctuate constantly, and selling them is a tricky business to participate in