Go Pro! Pro is now free and gives you unlimited Bot Trading, access to Good Deals and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Good/Fair deals work?

We have robots that are scraping trades from popular trade websites. For each trade:
  • We decompose it into sub-trades if the trade has multiple items and the trade has some text describing the prices of each item
  • We attempt to read the trade text to correct the asking price. For example someone could have created a trade selling 1 bud for 1 key since outpost can only take 8 items. However if in the text message, we can see "27 keys" then we correct the number of keys to be 27.
  • We annotate the trade items with backpack.tf prices
  • A trade for which the item being traded has a higher value than the asking price is marked as a good deal
Heads up! We will hook up our new spreadsheet later (it's released more recently than the deal parts). The idea is to present both backpack.tf prices and our spreadsheet prices to help you make more informed decision.

Some trade have wrong item count or type ?

This could be due to 2 different situations:
  1. The creator of the trade entered incorrect values himself
  2. The artificial intelligence (a.i.) that reads the text misunderstood it and corrected the amount with wrong numbers. The a.i. is not perfect since it's extremely hard to read human written text, we try to improve it every day but it's never ending battle, so if you have suggestions about trades you find with incorrect amounts, by all means contacts us through Help -> Bug report, and give as many details as you can.

When I click on some trades they are already closed?

Yes, we don't systematically monitor when trades get closed. That would add too much traffic to the websites we crawl. So that's a minor annoyance that unfortunately has to be accepted for now.

However we monitor when an item leaves a user's inventory, so trades can be closed automatically without adding traffic to trading websites and are shown as closed even if the user forgot to close his trade. One situation we don't detect is if a user changes his mind and decides to close his trade and keep his item, in this case the trade will still show as open.

How does the spreadsheet work?

It all starts with a robot that polls user inventory changes from over 150,000 users.
  • First we determine what items were removed and what items were added
  • Second we clean the trade: in the added items, we check where they came from (drop, purchase, etc...) and eliminate the ones we know for sure are not coming from a trade
  • Third, we store the trade to be processed by the mathematical model
Every hour, the mathematical model is run on:
  • The trades from the last 24 hours
  • If there are not enough trades for a particular item in the last 24 hours, we use trades including this item for last 48 hours, or 72 hours and so on until there are a statistically high enough number of trades.

How many trades are recorded daily (from users' inventory polling)?

A typical week day, when there's no special steam event, the number of trades captured in a day is currently around 30,000
There are obviously more during week-ends, school vacations and special steam events.

How does the spreadsheet mathematical model work?

If you love maths and want the hard stuff, all the detailed principles are explained in this article.
For the sake of simplicity, let's just look at a basic example:

Simple example

        a, b, c = 3 different tf2 items for which we want to know the refined value.
        r = refined = 1, that's our base currency
Let's say we found the following trades
        2*a + b     was exchanged for c + r
        b + c       was exchanged for 5*a
        a + c + 2*r was exchanged for b + 4*r
Since r = 1, we can find the equilibrium by rewriting the trades in the following equation:
         2*a + b - c = 1
        -5*a + b + c = 0
           a - b + c = 2
Solving this linear system of equations, we find that:
        a = 1
        b = 2
        c = 3
This example was simple since we had as many trades as items, so we could find a perfect equilibrium.
Important Note that buying/selling has no meaning, we could change all the signs (by multiplying each line by -1) and the solution would be exactly the same. This holds true in the more advanced example.

A more advanced example

Now let's get to the realistic case were there are more trades than items.
Important Note that in reality there's a factor of 200 times (or more) trades than items for statistical significance.
For the sake of simplicity, we'll solve this problem on L2 (e.g. not using L1 median mathematics, for that refer to the article linked above).
        2*a + b     was exchanged for c + r
        b + c       was exchanged for 5*a
        a + c + 2*r was exchanged for b + 4*r
        a + b + c   was exchanged for 6.33*r
We have an overdetermined system, and since we're solving on L2, the goal now is to find the solution to:
Solve a, b, c that minimizes e0 + e1 + e2 + e3 for:
      (2*a + b - c - 1)2    = e0
     (-5*a + b + c - 0)2    = e1
        (a - b + c - 2)2    = e2
        (a + b + c - 6.33)2 = e3
Solving this system produces the values:
        a = 1.0440
        b = 2.1155
        c = 3.1375
Important This example demonstrates overdetermined solving on L2 for the sake of simplicity. In reality we use L1, refer to this article for full details.

Why using L1 (median) rather L2 (average) ?

What are the effects of norms:
  • L2 norm is very easy to solve, however it's very sensitive to outliers (e.g. trades where the difference of value is huge whatever the reason, be it due to scamming, alt-account transfer, giving to friends, or any other reason).
  • The best norm of all be would L0, maximizing the number of 0-equations (equilibriums), however L0 is not computable in polynomial time (NP-complete problem).
  • L1 is the next best norm, it can be computed efficiently with recent advances in mathematics and it's much much less sensitive to outliers than L2.
So effectively, solving an overdetermined system (with more trades than items) on L1 retrieves the median prices of items.
         median(2, 3, 10, 4, 3, 3.5, 2.5) = 3
        average(2, 3, 10, 4, 3, 3.5, 2.5) = 4
It's easy to see that the big outlier value (10 in this example) has no impact on the median, if we were to replace it by 100, the median value would still 3 while the average would be 16.85 !

Why no unusuals spreadsheet?

I looked into unusuals, however I hit a dead-end. Unusuals trades are so rare and vary so much in value that establishing statistical prices for them is not reliable. In that aspect they differ from rare collectibles that trade rarely but don't vary so much in value. So that's why I left out unusuals for now, but who knows one day may be an idea could pop that makes pricing them reliably a reality, I just haven't had that idea yet.
My current thinking is unusual pricing might be better suited for voting based systems like backpack.tf for the previous reasons. But even voting is difficult for unusuals since someone who really wants a hat for in-game play could pay a lot more than what people voted for while pure traders will always want to pay less to resell at a profit.

How is the from web sellers price computed?

We select the trades where the item is sold appearing on trading websites and take the median price.
Typically people sell for higher on trading websites than on trading game servers, so this shows you roughly what markup to expect.

How does the craft tracker work?

First we monitor changes in the steam database and report them as they occur. Some items shown may not yet be released to the public and can't be found in the store, typically such items will be uncraftable, untradable and ungiftable.

All trades found on the websites being tracked in the search engine are also monitored for craft numbers. Item latest craft numbers get updated when a new crafted item gets put for sale on a trading website.

Uncraftable but has craft numbers?

In the schema from steam for Team Fortress 2, craftability and craft numbers are 2 separate properties. So it can be the case that some items are not craftable but have craft numbers.

Don't get confused These items are not craftable and the craft numbers have most likely been enabled for a future update in which the item will actually be made craftable.

What is MyBot?

MyBot is a robot for everyone, just tell it what you want to sell and buy and it'll do it for you while you play or sleep or do whatever you want.

Is it compatible with Outpost and other major trading sites?

Yes just put a trade on such a website with your trading url link and create a sell order or bank order in mybot.

If I close the mybot page or my browser is the bot still running?

No, the bot only runs while the mybot page is open. Also as a safety measure, the bot has to be turned on manually by clicking the Start Bot button in the Bot Config.

Is it safe?

We have put a lot of testing to make sure the bot is safe, however if you encounter any problem contact us a let us know about it, you'll be rewarded.

What are sell orders?

Sell orders are basically items in your inventory you want to sell for a given price. Just select an inventory item and set a price for it, then click Sell it to create the sell order.

Does the item stay in my inventory?

Yes as long as the item is not traded, it's in your inventory, you can trade manually on a trade server for example while the bot is running.

If I have 20 strange eyelanders, will the bot sell them all?

You can tell the bot how many you want to keep for yourself by setting the amount in Quantity you want to keep.
For banking you can also tell the bot when to stop buying to avoid overstocking by setting the amount in Don't overstock more than. The bot will just buy and sell trying to never exceed the overstock amount.

What are bank orders?

It's automatic profit without lifting a finger, sound great doesn't it?
Bank orders are for item banking, basically allowing you to automatically buy and sell for given prices. Just click on an item in the banking section and set which price you want to buy at and which price you want to sell at. Obviously the idea is to buy low and sell high to make profit.