Steam: Very confused by this auction thing

Steam is running a new promo thing, where you can basically trade in steam cards for gems, and then use those gems to bid on games. Pretty simple right? Why not convert a few of your extra cards and see if you can’t get a game or two for them.

One problem; the bids are OUTRAGEOUS already. 30k gems for one game? 250k gems for a profile border? Oh and how many gems do you get per card? Unless I’m missing something, it would seem to be between 10-30 gems. Lets say the average is 20; 30k / 20 = 1500. 1500 cards turned into gems to win the bid on one game? Let’s say you can sell the average card for 10 cents; that would mean you are effectively paying $150 for a $25 game. That can’t be right. The world is full of math-tax failures, but this bad?


About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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9 Responses to Steam: Very confused by this auction thing

  1. Isey says:

    I was at a restaurant and they had a blind auction process for a print – minimum bid $50!

    Turns out, everyone who bids $50 or more gets a copy of the print. People think they “won” but in reality, it is just a sneaky way to sell things.

    This smells like that a little bit.

  2. RohanV says:

    I would expect that the issue is your $0.10 per card valuation. Perhaps before this promotion, the people really only bought and sold the cards needed to complete sets. Which is not the same thing as the average card.

    For example, let’s take Magic where it is explicit. There are “common” cards and “uncommon” cards. Pretty much everyone has the common cards they need, so they buy and sell the uncommons. So the average price of a card on the market is $0.10, but only uncommon cards are on the market.

    Then with this promotion, all those common cards could be turned in for gems as well, leading to the excessively high prices you are seeing.

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea just did a bit more digging into gem values; they aren’t related to the cards market value. So a 40 gem card you can buy for .08, while a different card has a gem value of 20 but is on the market for .12.

      Lot of market activity needed to get a game for close to its sale price though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Also, profile backgrounds and emoticons (from completing sets of trading cards) are basically worthless in the market, but a worth more gems (60-80 each for the ones I had).

  4. tms says:

    I get the idea of it but it was so confusing, it was off-putting and I just ignored the whole concept.

    • Kryss says:

      Same here, why bother with some strange things, then you can simply wait for sale. Or just buy the game you like.

  5. Zubon says:

    For more fun, they reset bids after the first day. (I’m sure there was a good reason, but still.)

  6. sadface says:

    The short version – there was a dupe bug involving the gems. Everything inflated instantly because there were orders of magnitude more gems on the market than were legitimate.

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