Turn Your Steam Trading Cards Into Games With Steam's Holiday Auctions

Turn Your Steam Trading Cards Into Games With Steam's Holiday Auctions

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Learn how to turn all of your unused Steam Community items like Trading Cards, backgrounds, and emoticons from your Inventory into free games with Steam's Auctions event.

Remember when Steam announced it's new trading card feature? Well, now those of you who have been hard at work trading and collecting the things will finally be able to "cash out" for a chance at free games! Steam has just announced it's new Auctions meta-game to co-incide with the winter sale, in which users can turn unused Steam Community items like Trading Cards, backgrounds, and emoticons from their inventories into "gems", which can then be used to "bid" on various games.

Confused? Valve have put together an FAQ with more information, but the basic gist of it is:

  1. Go to your Inventory and choose items to "recycle" into gems
  2. Go to the Auctions page and bid on games you want with your gems
  3. At the end of each 45 minute period, whoever has the highest bid on a game will win it

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It's that simple! There are 100 copies of almost 2,000 titles available in the auction, meaning there are around 200,000 games up for grabs. The first auction round ends on December 16 at 12:45am with a new round ending every 45 minutes until the last auction round ends on December 19 at 3:00am.

Incidentally, Valve also revealed that the Steam Christmas sale will kick off with the next auction round in December 16.

Lastly, don't worry about having too many gems left over at the end of the event, as you'll be able to turn them back into "booster packs" of Steam trading cards.

Source: Valve

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The winter sale already? It's been less than a month! You have to give people time for their wallets to recover, Gaben!

I find it a bit strange that steam is auctioning off a finite amount of digital games. Being that you don't need to manufacture physical disks or the like, there's an unlimited number that can be produced and distributed. Why are people trying to outbid each other on something that cannot actually run out? Unless you can get games for ludicrously cheap, it seems more gimmicky than anything.

Edit: So I just checked out the gem conversion rate. Trading cards go from 4-40 gems, and emoticons and backgrounds go for up to 100, at least the ones I have. Things on the auction page are going for several thousand gems a piece, and the 2014 holiday profile is going for over 250,000 gems. That's insane. I think you can sell your trading cards and such on the market and buy the games for cheaper than farming these gems.

perfect way to declutter my inventory with the clusterfuck of stupid purple/red/blue/pink/green team shit I had from that last big sale (as in BIG sale, not smaller ones) and other random emoticon crap that no one cares about.

I still find it a bit funny about the value of the gems, you get 80-100 trading in crap that has obviously no value...

It would be interesting if someone was able to derive the value of a gem to real currency using all the data given from the market, to figure out how bad you're getting suckered into *recycling* items or not.

Bazaalmon:
I find it a bit strange that steam is auctioning off a finite amount of digital games. Being that you don't need to manufacture physical disks or the like, there's an unlimited number that can be produced and distributed. Why are people trying to outbid each other on something that cannot actually run out? Unless you can get games for ludicrously cheap, it seems more gimmicky than anything.

...did you not read the event? they were donated all those keys by the devs/pubs, as in, there IS a limited amount of free keys for the auction.

There are quite a few though that I feel are going to reach the "auction trap" where people get into a bid war in the last half hour or so and end up spending more than what it is actually worth after you convert the gems into your currency.

bloody wish they had this system earlier. I've sold hundreds of cards for like 10-20 cents on the item trade. I could have had a ton more by now. Now I feel dumb.

gmaverick019:
I still find it a bit funny about the value of the gems, you get 80-100 trading in crap that has obviously no value...

Considering that the absolute cheapest high-bid on the list is 2400, and even a single friggin' booster pack costs 750, it's still not worth bothering with.

JarinArenos:

gmaverick019:
I still find it a bit funny about the value of the gems, you get 80-100 trading in crap that has obviously no value...

Considering that the absolute cheapest high-bid on the list is 2400, and even a single friggin' booster pack costs 750, it's still not worth bothering with.

depends on the game, there are some games I have with booster packs costing 400, but that also could have to do with the number of trading cards to make a badge or worth in real world currency, etc....

I have 5 grand in gems just from selling absolute junk in stuff I never used and never wanted to use, and most of it would've brought me pennies if I had put them on the market...so I consider it "worth bothering with".

gmaverick019:

Bazaalmon:
I find it a bit strange that steam is auctioning off a finite amount of digital games. Being that you don't need to manufacture physical disks or the like, there's an unlimited number that can be produced and distributed. Why are people trying to outbid each other on something that cannot actually run out? Unless you can get games for ludicrously cheap, it seems more gimmicky than anything.

...did you not read the event? they were donated all those keys by the devs/pubs, as in, there IS a limited amount of free keys for the auction.

There are quite a few though that I feel are going to reach the "auction trap" where people get into a bid war in the last half hour or so and end up spending more than what it is actually worth after you convert the gems into your currency.

I did read the event. It's nice of the devs and pubs to be giving these away, but it's not as if the games are not available on the steam page while this is going on. I'm mostly skeptical of the auction trap as you said, where things will end up selling for far more than they are worth in the store itself because of the amount of cards you have to trade in. It just feels like more hassle than it's worth is all. I'd understand more if it was just "Pay X gems and get this game" but turning it into a bidding war seems to be a bit much.

Edit: Turns out you can buy sacks of 1000 gems off the market for a few cents each, so a game going for 10,000 gems could cost a dollar or less. That's a fairly decent price, so that's my mistake. My perceived gem value was going by getting each trading card being worth a couple cents a piece and going for 40 gems or less, which would drive up the price considerably.

Bazaalmon:

gmaverick019:

Bazaalmon:
I find it a bit strange that steam is auctioning off a finite amount of digital games. Being that you don't need to manufacture physical disks or the like, there's an unlimited number that can be produced and distributed. Why are people trying to outbid each other on something that cannot actually run out? Unless you can get games for ludicrously cheap, it seems more gimmicky than anything.

...did you not read the event? they were donated all those keys by the devs/pubs, as in, there IS a limited amount of free keys for the auction.

There are quite a few though that I feel are going to reach the "auction trap" where people get into a bid war in the last half hour or so and end up spending more than what it is actually worth after you convert the gems into your currency.

I did read the event. It's nice of the devs and pubs to be giving these away, but it's not as if the games are not available on the steam page while this is going on. I'm mostly skeptical of the auction trap as you said, where things will end up selling for far more than they are worth in the store itself because of the amount of cards you have to trade in. It just seems like more hassle than it's worth is all.

I have no idea the worth of some rare/uncommon/etc.. those probably are exponentially higher than any of the items that I sold, and as I mentioned to someone else, I made 5 grand in gems just on junk that I've never used or wanted in my inventory, so it was a win-win for me, even if I don't use them then I'll get some booster packs. (the weird OCD in me hates having all that clutter in my inventory, but for mere pennies I didn't want to sell them.)

gmaverick019:
I have no idea the worth of some rare/uncommon/etc.. those probably are exponentially higher than any of the items that I sold, and as I mentioned to someone else, I made 5 grand in gems just on junk that I've never used or wanted in my inventory, so it was a win-win for me, even if I don't use them then I'll get some booster packs. (the weird OCD in me hates having all that clutter in my inventory, but for mere pennies I didn't want to sell them.)

I have a rare background and uncommon emoticon and they're both the most worthless in their respective categories while also selling for more on the community market than some of the common ones, so I really don't know how Valve assigns a gem value to these things. For the trading cards it apparently depends on how many cards each game gives you.

Can someone please explain to me how the trading card system even works because I have no idea! Like how do you get rare cards and shit like that, how do I even obtain these "cards"?

Quiet Stranger:
Can someone please explain to me how the trading card system even works because I have no idea! Like how do you get rare cards and shit like that, how do I even obtain these "cards"?

You get half the cards from playing the game they associated with. After that you trade different cards for the cards you need for a badge. Or you can do what I do and just purchase the cards off the community market.

So most stuff exchanges for 20-100 gems per go. Cards go for 20, emoticons and backgrounds for 100 and I have a single foil card that will net me 220 gems. Cheapest bid I could find on the first 10 pages of listings at 7800 gems was Stacking, with Civ 4 a little ahead with 8500. So if I get rid of all my cards, all my emoticons and all my backgrounds I couldn't afford Stacking.

Guess I'll be ignoring this then.

Isalan:
So most stuff exchanges for 20-100 gems per go. Cards go for 20, emoticons and backgrounds for 100 and I have a single foil card that will net me 220 gems. Cheapest bid I could find on the first 10 pages of listings at 7800 gems was Stacking, with Civ 4 a little ahead with 8500. So if I get rid of all my cards, all my emoticons and all my backgrounds I couldn't afford Stacking.

Guess I'll be ignoring this then.

the scary thought is this, the holiday profile is up to over 1 million gems right now, and just using what you said (a foil card netting 220 gems) you'd have to recycle 4,546 of those foil cards just to reach a million, not to mention even more to keep winning the bid.

...and we still have days until the auction even begins.

Seems a bag of 1000 gems is going for next to nothing, hell less then the cards that are used to craft them. That might change but for now I'm holding up hole that I'll get a few games out of all this.

Zontar:
Seems a bag of 1000 gems is going for next to nothing, hell less then the cards that are used to craft them. That might change but for now I'm holding up hole that I'll get a few games out of all this.

hmm didn't even see that was a thing on the market...

jeesh 3 cents for 1000 gems?

so if a "good" game is going for 200,000 gems, you multiple 3 cents time 200 and get a whopping 6 dollars in cost of gems...someone honestly might be getting a good deal here for said game.

I gotta say that with other digital platforms popping up and challenging Steam's dominance, turning the platform itself into a F2P game is pretty ingenious.

didn't take long for this to break the fragile steam economy.
I was able to get some gems so I might be able to get a couple less sought after games.

EDIT: And it's gone

now it is a matter of seeing how valve tries to fix it; if they even can

i took one look at this and said moving on

Doesn't sound like it will be worth the hassle. It just sounds like it will result in a whole lot of effort and still "cost" more than people expect because of the disassociation of the cards and their monetary value. I am also concerned about the gambling component of the whole thing.

But I'm sure it'll be a good time to sell those stupid cards to people who spend far too much money of them.

SomebodyNowhere:
EDIT: And it's gone

[Insert South-Park Meme]

Didn't take Valve long that time... Don't worry, I'm sure they'll come up with something new and equally ridiculous.

Seems like the event is gone now. From the hearsay in the Steam discussion forums it seems like people are exploiting the system (as expected in a free market) and drove the gem price down.

EDIT: Damn, ninja'd

VanQ:
I gotta say that with other digital platforms popping up and challenging Steam's dominance, turning the platform itself into a F2P game is pretty ingenious.

To be fair, I found trying to maximize returns from selling cards last sale a more engrossing game than most games I ended up buying. Like Racettear or something

That sucks that it is gone. Hopefully Valve refunds everyone who bid gems.

dragongit:
bloody wish they had this system earlier. I've sold hundreds of cards for like 10-20 cents on the item trade. I could have had a ton more by now. Now I feel dumb.

lol yeh i either sold or just gave away random stuff..............BUT now its gone :( the the hell happend ?

Would it be more profitable to wait until after the auction ends?

If a bunch of cards are taken out of the market, it might increase the value of the other cards cause the market won't be so saturated.

.....

Hhhmmmmmmm

dragongit:
bloody wish they had this system earlier. I've sold hundreds of cards for like 10-20 cents on the item trade. I could have had a ton more by now. Now I feel dumb.

Last night, 1000 gems were going for $0.03. If you sold cards for $0.10 each, you made a profit.

I'm just happy I was able to clean up my inventory.

It's difficult not to be suspicious of this system. Even if cards are only worth a few cents a piece, that still seems like a more certain prospect than turning those cards into gems whose value is measured against everyone else who's turning their cards into gems for bidding purposes, and then possibly devaluing them further by turning them back into random cards when your bid fails.

I think I would be far more likely to secure the value of a game by just selling my cards.

a few things to note:
1) I completely question the dates in this article. considering that the start date, and end date of the auction on the webpage (even link given state the 15th for the start, and 18th for the end. I didn't see any reference to the Sale start date.

2) why the F*** hell are we using Gems. I mean really why did they decide to go with the most lazy Freemium super currancey they could see. why could they not just call it Steam points at least at that I could see a uniqueness to it.

esserin:
Would it be more profitable to wait until after the auction ends?

If a bunch of cards are taken out of the market, it might increase the value of the other cards cause the market won't be so saturated.

.....

Hhhmmmmmmm

Shhh! XD

Did they take all the gem bags off the market or something? I can't seem to find them any more...

I has 2014 holiday foil card.When is the best time to sell this card because right now it is really cheap and before the holiday sale(Holiday Auctions) the price for the card foil card is more than a dollar.

 

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