I love economics. And it’s not because I drilled terms into my brain—nor was it because I have an affinity for reading about other’s successes in a textbook. I love economics because, through a lengthy venture in hat and video-game trading in a virtual economy, I have learned to analyze and evaluate market trends, to trade and barter, and to deal with the psychological aspects that follow gains and losses. These things are invigorating, because a good call based on good research and analysis means an actual gain for me, while a bad one or even inaction will cost me. And by actual sums, I really mean a notable amount. Without any prior experience, this adventure earned me a total of approximately $2,200, and taught me more concepts and life lessons than a university economics class ever could—all stemming from a $0.49 investment.
I met and dealt with all kinds of people from all across the world. There were the dregs of society: these were bad apples whose sole intention was often scam or rip me off; some could hardly articulate their wants and needs, and would solicit an endless amount of information as if I were their personal financial adviser. Sometimes I would begin to lose hope in finding a fair trader with a brain, given all the horrible people I met. And yet, I kept going, because I was holding on to something: that there’s some good in this world, and it’s worth searching for. I was right, and those whom I looked up to, who made it far by trading and dealing with others fairly, as professionals, quickly became my friends.
But things got too big. The stress got to me: the expectation to always be online to conduct trades, the constant soliciting, opening up the client and finding thirty new communication requests to sort through, and even having too many friends to talk to, simply became too much to contend with. It got to the point where I couldn’t log onto Steam, the trading platform, without immediately being messaged by three people at a time and having to deal with psychological discussions, whilst giving price quotes, and all the while discussing the newest Team Fortress 2 update. I couldn’t even get five minutes into a game without a person asking for trading advice. But, I helped them. I gave my assistance and attention so readily because my personality wouldn’t allow me to do otherwise; I was too kind, too willing, and too accepting.
So, I cashed out. I sold it all in bulk, because I was tired; I didn’t want to take the time to sell everything piecemeal, even if it netted me a hundred more dollars. I knew that if I did, I would trade one thing for another, and the other for yet another, and never stop. I would never stop trading up. It really wasn’t a bad thing; I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.
But now I want back in. The market has changed drastically. My research has determined that it is harder than ever to make it big, due to increased automation and a notable capital disparity between those who hold and distribute the majority of the wealth, and the ever-increasing masses trying to score a profit.
I’ve made it before, numerous times. I started over with a clean slate at least twice before. Now commences the true test: humble beginnings in an unfamiliar and unforgiving environment, in which the odds are now stacked against me. In this blog, I will share my progress, my experiences—from both the past and present—, and my knowledge. So, join me in my re-embarkment into the steam trading community. This quest and reminiscence will most definitely contain valuable lessons about economics, as well as entertaining and challenging trade experiences, and perhaps a couple amusing tangents.