Steam’s community market and trade possibilities are huge. I bet most members don’t even notice how many trades and purchases are going on constantly. Moreover, it’s not just about trading cards and emoticons; there are other more notorious trade items including Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 keys and even games.
Now, taking into account there’s always people trying to take advantage of naive users, there have been many scams and unfair trades in the past. No math genius is needed to understand there’s no way to track and verify so many transactions in order to protect users.
As of today, Valve has taken a different turn. A new announcement in the Steam Trading Cards Group clarifies the new policy: “All new games purchased as a gift and placed in the purchaser’s inventory will be untradeable for 30 days”. This restriction aims to prevent scams in which games are bought using credit cards, traded and then charged back, leaving the victim empty handed as soon as Valve revokes the game.
Nonetheless, this measure won’t affect purchases sent directly to another user, which means we’ll still be able to send gifts to our friends.
I do respect Valve’s way of dealing with this kind of problem. This may not be as effective as we’d like, but it’s still in the line of rather non-aggressive and user-focused tactics. Quite benign when compared to the ones used by other companies when trying to keep their business free from shady practices.