Why do crate keys sell for only $1.50?

Discussion in 'Trade Chat' started by AllenTheBoss, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. AllenTheBoss

    AllenTheBoss Mildly Menacing Medic

    Steam:

    I have only recently gotten into TF2 trading, and I find it weird that keys are so low in value, when they can ONLY be purchased from the Man-Co store for $2.00. Were they a dropped item at one point or something?
  2. Ruelel

    Ruelel Moderator Staff Member Contributor

    Steam:

    nobody goes by Mann Co. Prices. because seriously they're overpriced.
    and well... 1.50 seems reasonable for a key
  3. AllenTheBoss

    AllenTheBoss Mildly Menacing Medic

    Steam:

    That's definitely true with dropped items, but why would the price of a key be so low when you can ONLY get it from the store?
  4. Ruelel

    Ruelel Moderator Staff Member Contributor

    Steam:

    people buy keys from mann co. they then trade it for metal
    the people who buy the keys for metal then sell the keys for money.
  5. Derpingson

    Derpingson Face-Melting F2Per

    Steam:

    It's actually $2.50 USD in Mann Co.. btw, if you haven't noticed, stuff in the TF2-conomy is much cheaper than prices on Steam, and prices in the Mann Co. Store.

    Take the Fast Learner for example. It costs $10 USD in the store, yet is valued for 4 keys (at $1.50 each, it's worth $6) Thats +40% more than it's market price. Basically, once an item is out in the store, if you attempt to sell it at the same price, what's the point of buying it off of a stranger, when you can buy it more securely for the same price? So because of this disadvantage, sellers drop their prices a tad. Then a better offer appears. Prices drop yet again, then again, and again until it finally stabilizes.

    Edit: Also forgot to add Steam games, when someone has at least a solid $10 bucks in their tf2 backpacks, most take advantage of that and use it to buy games for 40/50% its original value. In fact, weeks ago I got a steam for L4D2 for 4 keys + 1 Ref (1.50/key and 0.60/ref; $6.60) even though the game itself is sold for $20 on Steam. **Although I warn you, just like the prices of unusuals and such, these prices are very vague because of the fact that usually people sell games that they bought in a bundle, or while it was on sale** Again, L4D2 often goes on a weekend sale for $2 or so? And several games such as indie games get sold in bundles, such as the Humble Bundle and these bundles offer huge discounts on games. This places a price on games. Games that were originally bought, games that were gifted but unwanted, games on sale, or sold in a bundle for a nice price. Many people take advantages of these discounts and sell them individually for a profit. Of course, thousands if people do this andv thus the price of a game in tf2 item starts dropping. Others normally follow because they doubt they will sell for such high prices. Think of it this way: Just like dirty items, even though its unused, when you buy a game of someone, it sells just like a dirty item. Or you can compare to real life, like how people buy stuff at a really huge discounted price and sell it as a used item. for a bit of profitb of course.

    That's why most people don't buy new (sexy) items such as the FL, the Nine-Pipe, the Aladdin's Reserve, etc when it first comes out. (What.. Why again?) It's because since there are few in exsistance, the price will obviously be pretty damn high. Once more start circulating in the market, the price drops. (Supply and demand)

    So what's this have to do with keys? Well they are the same. Once more keys get poured into the market, the price will eventually start changing, and changing and changing. As of now, there are a lot of people who still buy it at the Mann Co. Store. However, it's not enough to change the price of keys.

    Hope this helped. Quite long, but hopefully worth the read?

    TL;DR.. TF2-Conomy, like many things work based on supply and demand at the beginning, then it's price stabilize and the rest of TF2 follows this price. **However, there are exceptions: Bills, Buds, Max's, basically the expensive promos.**
    • Informative Informative x 4
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  6. AllenTheBoss

    AllenTheBoss Mildly Menacing Medic

    Steam:

    Thanks for posting all that! A bit long, but definitely worth the read, and basically answered what I wanted to know, thanks!
    • Like Like x 1
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  7. Maddo

    Maddo Forum Admin Staff Member Contributor

    Steam:

    As i said in another thread, when more crates start dropping, and/or the price of keys go down in the mann.co store, you know the end of the economy is nigh.
    But have no fear! this could be the run up to TF3 being launched..
    All those hoarders of buds and unusuals etc. will need to cash out quickly.
    Sorta relevent to the thread :S
  8. Xel'Naga

    Xel'Naga Moderator Staff Member Contributor

    Steam:

    The big factor in the aftermarket value of keys is the fact that a lot of people buy keys from the market and sell them to people in-game for metal. These guys who buy the keys for refined will then go and sell it for half of what Mann Co sells the key for. Since the trader spend $0.00 on the key (since the metal can be made by simply idling for items and scrapping them), whatever amount he sells the key for is 100% profit, and $1.50 is about the average price for a key at the moment.

    Doing this also sets a price for other forms of in-game currency, as well. Since a key goes for about 2.33-2.66 refined (some may argue the price, but it's typically within this range), this prices metal at about $0.60 per refined. Because other promo hats like Bill's and Buds have a community-determined value in keys, this also gives them a dollar value, as well. Typically, a Bill's Hat will go for about $14 or so, and a buds for about $30+ (buds prices are currently fluctuating severely, however).

    So, because all of these other currencies also have monetary values, this means that if one of them drops in price, it will also affect the prices of other currencies, as well. For instance, buds dropped from about $37 a few weeks ago down to about $30 and lower, which has had an affect on the prices of Bill's, keys, and ref have also adjusted accordingly.

    Anyway, there's your brief Mannconomics lesson for the day.
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