Steam Community Market: What It Is And How To Use It

Steam lets you make real money when playing games

A woman sells an item on the Steam Community Market.

Igor Ustynskyy / Getty

The Steam Community Market is an extension of the Steam Community that allows you to buy and sell in-game items, Steam trading cards, and more. Transactions go through your Steam wallet, so you can use the money you make from selling in-game items to buy different in-game items, or even brand new Steam games.

The Steam Community Market is only available to Steam users with non-limited accounts that have been protected by Steam Guard for at least 15 days. If your Steam account is limited, you will have to add at least $5 to your Steam wallet or purchase a Steam game that costs at least $5.

How Does the Steam Community Market Work?

The Steam Community Market is a digital marketplace that allows users to buy and sell certain in-game items, in addition to digital trading cards, emotes, profile wallpapers, and other things that are designed for use with Steam.

Not all games support the Steam Community Market, and not all in-game items are marketable. If something isn't marketable, that means you can't buy or sell it in the Steam Community Market. These items are tagged as unmarketable in your Steam inventory, and they don't have a sell button.

All sales in the Steam Community Market go through your Steam wallet, which is a one-way digital wallet that you can use to make purchases on Steam. You can add funds to your wallet through methods like PayPal and credit cards. Since the wallet is one-way, you cannot remove funds from it and transfer them elsewhere.

The only way to spend the money in your Steam wallet is to buy items on the Steam Community Marketplace or games from the regular Steam store.

What Are Steam Community Market Buy and Sell Orders?

The Steam Community Market treats items as commodities and uses buy and sell orders for all transactions. Instead of choosing a specific item that you want to buy from a particular person, you tell the system the price that you are willing to pay, or how much you are willing to accept, and it attempts to match you with another party to complete the transaction.

Buy and sell orders on the Steam Community Market.

When you look at an item listing on the Steam Community Market, you see big green buy and sell buttons, along with some pricing information. On the left, the system shows you how many people are trying to sell the item, and how much money they want. On the right, you see how many people are trying to buy the item, and how much they are willing to pay.

If you want to purchase or sell an item immediately, match your desired purchase or selling price to the numbers you see on this list.

If you're willing to wait for a slightly better deal, you can enter a buy order for less than the current price, or a sell order for more than the current price. If the price trends up, or down, to match your order, the transaction will take place automatically.

How to Buy Items on the Steam Community Market

Before you can buy an item on the Steam Community Market, you need to have a non-limited Steam account, your account has to be protected by Steam Guard, and you also have to have funds available in your steam wallet.

If you meet those requirements, then you're ready to buy an item on the Steam Community Market.

If you've never used a credit card to add funds to your Steam wallet, you'll also have to go through a verification process or wait several days for your funds to be available.

  1. Open Steam.

    Steam gaming platform.
  2. Navigate to Community > Market.

    Steam home page.
  3. Scroll down.

    Steam Community Market.
  4. Click an item in the popular item list, a game in the list on the right, or use the search box.

    Steam Community Market.
  5. Click Buy.

    Steam Community Market item listing.
  6. Enter the price you are willing to pay, click the box to indicate you agree to the Steam Subscriber Agreement and click Place Order.

    Steam Community Market order page.

    If you don't have sufficient funds in your Steam Wallet, you'll see an option to Add Funds instead of place your order.

  7. If your purchase is successful, you will see a message to that effect, and have the option to click View item in inventory.

    Steam Community Market purchase confirmation.
  8. If the item you're trying to buy is not available for the amount you offered, Steam will store your buy order. If and when an item is available for that amount or less, the system will automatically purchase the item and send you an email.

How to Sell Items on the Steam Community Market

Before you can sell items on the Steam Community Market, you need a non-limited Steam account that has been protected by Steam Guard for at least 15 days, and at least one marketable item. Most qualified items are in-game items from games like Team Fortress 2, DOTA 2, and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds that you're allowed to sell to other players.

The other category of marketable items includes trading cards, emotes for Steam Chat, and profile wallpapers that you get for free just by playing compatible games.

If you have a qualifying in-game item, or an item like a trading card or emote, you can sell it on the Steam Community Marketplace. You can then use the money you earn to buy different in-game items, trading cards, or even entire Steam games.

  1. Open Steam.

    Steam gaming platform.
  2. Navigate to Community > Market.

    Steam.
  3. Click Sell an Item.

    Steam Community market.
  4. Click the item you want to sell, and click Sell.

    Steam inventory.
  5. Enter the price you're willing to accept, click the box to indicate that you agree to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, and then click OK, put it up for sale.

    Steam Community Market listing page.

    You can use the price chart on this screen to see how much the item has sold for in the past and decide how much you want to ask for yours.

  6. Verify that you entered the correct amount, and click OK.

    Steam Community Market price confirmation page.
  7. Your item is ready to sell, but you need to confirm through Steam Guard. Click OK, and then open your email or your Steam Guard app.

    Steam Community Market confirmation request.
  8. Look for an email from Steam Guard and click the provided link, or open your Steam Guard app. If you have the Steam Guard app, open Confirmations, tap the box next to your item and tap Confirm Selected.

    Steam Guard mobile confirmation.
  9. Your item will list on the Steam Community Market place. When it sells, you'll get an email, and the money from the sale will appear in your Steam Wallet.