Hello. I simply don't get it. The only games I gift, are gifted to my best friend. And that has only happened a handful of times. But, suddenly, steam removed my right to gift games while I was trying to gift 2 games to my friend. The reason?! "Unusual gifting activity"! Any ideas what I'm supposed to do now? Has anyone experienced a similar problem? I'm just feeling angry, to be honest. Thank you in advance.

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4 weeks ago

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A brief scan of your own steam profile has shown you once were trading steam tradable gifts in the past so no... the only games you gifted are not 'just' to your best friend nor has it only happened 'a handful of times'.

This is a new recent policy Steam has made yes but I am pretty sure it applies retroactively to accounts that they have flagged before in the past and you probably just found out about it now even if you have quit trading a long time ago.

What you can do now is either deal with it since you can (thankfully) purchase games for your own, just not gifting and stick to buying gifts outside of Steam or give your friend a steam giftcard or tf2 keys or whatever instead to buy it themselves.

4 weeks ago
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"The only games I gift" means "The games I am gifting since a long time ago". I was a trader, but quite a long time ago. And, when it comes to buying and gifting games for commercial purposes, that was a veeeeery long time ago, like plenty of years ago. So, how could something related to gifting for trading purposes, that happened years ago, affect me now? I was never flagged before. This has happened to me recently for the first time. As I said, the only games I have been gifting for quite a long time, are games to my best friend and only a handful of times. Why would I lie to you? If you're talking about a retroactive ban, then I don't know what to say. Hardly makes any sense, but that's steam after all.

4 weeks ago
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How that comes now ?
The made a, new, algorithm that checks for it, retroactively.
As a company they are forced to store as example buy and gift logs for many years, so all that trade now or have done it in the past are "marked" and get this message.

HB do such stuff since a long time with their "don't trade stuff you are bought at our site or your account get closed or at least no support anymore" handling.

And to be honest i think it is a good thing in general because all the massive traders that bought games and gifted them to others cheated/exploited the country price system from steam. And the ones i speak from don't done that for "a handful games" i seen people with thousands of such trades (so thousands $ win for them and on the other side thousands of $ loose for steam)

4 weeks ago*
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But it's not even possible to gift games for profit anymore. So, how's that ban a good thing? There are region restrictions already, you can't store gifts in your inventory, and you can't gift a game if the price difference is more than 10%. Every single rule that has been implemented over the years, has been done in order to hurt trading (not in the name of safety, as steam usually says). Sooo, what else do they need to do? Retroactive bans will help them how exactly? I was rarely gifting games in general anyway. And, for the last few years, I have only gifted games to my best friend and, also, for a few giveaways here (but, as you can see by yourself, I haven't created many giveaways lately, especially giveaways that were for steam gifts and not steam keys). This way, they are going to stop people from creating giveaways or gifting games to their friends. But, ultimately, they are doing this in order to acquire more cash from credit cards and such. Steam's greed will eventually be their downfall.

4 weeks ago
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They aren't targeting game traders with this but sellers. People who use either legit or shady trading to bulk up their steam wallet and then cash out by selling gifts at additional discount.

3 weeks ago
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You tripped an automatic mechanism, contact Steam support. Just explain yourself and you'll be fine.

4 weeks ago
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From the attached screenshot it seems he did contacted Steam support, and they declined his request. So it seems Shamrock is not lucky anymore.

4 weeks ago
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Yeah, as Ryzhehvost said, I have already contacted the support and they told me that they have detected "unusual gifting activity", although I rarely gift games anymore and they're only gifted to my best friend. But I've opened another ticket, just in case.

4 weeks ago
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I don't know if this is related to your issue or not:

(Post #3 at https://steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/1/1643170903498501617/)

"Steam has just added the new rules to the gifting system without any announcement. A Limit has currently been set when you send gifts by using the wallet funds. The limit is calculated by an unconfirmed formula which your total gift purchases must not over your own purchases X 1.8, your activity will be automatically counted as unusual if the limit is exceeded and your account will be regarded as commercial use."

4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
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So if I tend to buy cooperative games for me and for my wife - I'm fucked. Thanks Valve, you're such friendly.

4 weeks ago
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If you buy for yourself and also for your wife then it cant surpass that value as you just buy what you bought it already so it can be equaled only. Additionally, it affects only wallet funds, if you pay with bankcard/paypal no gift restrictions, Valve just doesn't like if you gift with money they have already in their pocket.

So if you like to buy your games from bundles or on humble, Indiegala, etc, because much cheaper than overpriced EU region steam then you decide something like "ahh, I got some money from the cards and friend got birthday so lets gift something" just like many of us then you doomed. Yes.

4 weeks ago
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If you buy for yourself and also for your wife then it cant surpass

Then probably this formula isn't right, because I have those issues twice already. Each time steam support solved my issue so far, but I don't think it will be always like that...

4 weeks ago
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But is this surely legit? I just want to confirm it, that's all. :/

4 weeks ago
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just contact valve support, they'll fix it.

4 weeks ago
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I have done this already, as I previously said, but I tried contacting them again.

4 weeks ago
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"unusual trading activity"

4 weeks ago
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Valves system for this so bad that it affect a lot of regular users too. This system was simply implemented to avoid gifting with existing wallet, just like the recent no token for wallet purchase events. Valve has that money already, they want players to not use that if they want to gift to someone. Paypal or bank card payments still should work. I know that EU customer protection found this unlawful already, but it will be 5 years until something happens. As usually.

4 weeks ago
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No, they explicitly said "gifting", not "trading". ;) And I haven't traded for quite a long time. The last times that I've traded something, were steam keys, and that was a long time ago.

4 weeks ago
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it's not trading, it's exchanging mechanics

🙋

3 weeks ago
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Yeah, it seems that many people have the same issue. :(

4 weeks ago
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Yiu can always buy a wallet code through the steam store for the price of the game and give it to your friend

4 weeks ago
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Not really. In order to gift a steam wallet card, you need to use real funds, not your steam wallet. Even if I buy marketable items and give them to my friend, we'll lose so much money to taxes. :/

4 weeks ago
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Simply put, GabeN isn't rich enough and now Valve is trying to stop people from buying stuff with Wallet funds etc, earned through trading or other means. Other people have reported suddenly having to declare all kinds of personal information when wanting to buy games. The official reason is apparently for determining which local taxes apply. Yeah, sure.
Short-term answer is see if the games are available on another platform and buy there.

4 weeks ago
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It seems that they're losing so much ground against Epic. Even in order to participate in their sale promotions, you need to use real funds, not your steam wallet. And yeah, I always prefer buying on other sites, but mostly when it comes to indie games, I'm trying to buy them on steam. Additionally, yep, they've asked for my personal information too in the past. They are doing the same thing right now too, if I try to buy a game, but this is probably because I've cleared the steam cache, so scratch that last comment.

4 weeks ago
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There is nothing sudden about asking for that tax information. It has always happened at $100 or so for as long as I've been using Steam market.

3 weeks ago
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I am having the same issue right now as well and I can't buy my friend a birthday gift because of it... I am still waiting for the answer from Steam support (I am expecting to get the same one even tho I never traded games) but I guess shame on me for rather giving games to my friends than buying them for myself...

4 weeks ago
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Yeah, I mean, it seems that the ban was triggered by merely gifting games to the same person (my best friend) a handful of times. And it's not like he's giving me anything back, so why did they think I did it for commercial purposes? xD My game libraries on Epic, GOG, Origin, etc., keep growing, while I always double-think before buying anything from steam. This is only going to get worse. They'll make restrictions for steam keys eventually. I always predict correctly their upcoming new rules.

4 weeks ago
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I just got the same answer as you did as well now. I am opening a new ticked and demanding someone actually looks into it, because there is absolutely nothing unusual about my gifting activity...

And it's not like he's giving me anything back, so why did they think I did it for commercial purposes?

Maybe because he is not gifting anything back they assume it was commercial? But for me people actual gave me stuff back so shrug

They'll make restrictions for steam keys eventually.

I am seriously surprised they haven't yet to be honest.

3 weeks ago
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Yeah, just like Adam said, maybe they think I'm getting paypal money from him. But that's still stupid. xD They have made a restriction for steam keys in the past, by limiting the amount of keys they hand out to developers with minimal sales.

3 weeks ago
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Another update: I sent in another ticket as I said and I actually had someone from support actually taking a look into things (and not just sending me a copy pasted answer) and they lifted the restriction for me and told me that if I ever happen to run into it again that to just contact them again and they will resolve it again (or so they say). I am updating you on this because you might wanna try your luck in making another ticket and explaining your situation again as it is possible you will get a completely different answer.

3 weeks ago
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Yeah, they also told me that, but, if I had to guess, I'd expect another restriction the next time I'd try to gift a game.

3 weeks ago
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And it's not like he's giving me anything back, so why did they think I did it for commercial purposes?

Gift for PP payment. The real question is why they are bothered by you gifting someone multiple times? Kind of that is the point of the gift to a friend option.

3 weeks ago
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I have sent him a gift only 7 times in total. 1 in 2019, 2 in 2018, and 4 in 2017. As I said, it's weird that they'd block my ability to gift for something like that.

3 weeks ago
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You can always just buy specific TF2/CSGO item from your friend at marketplace (for example: $0.05 weapon for $70), it will cost you extra $ because of the fee, but it definetely will get the job done.

PS: I had the same issue but it was solved in 10 minutes by contacting support.

3 weeks ago*
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Yeah, but I'll lose so much money. It's hardly worth it. :/

3 weeks ago
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Then there is no other way to do it except trying to convince support manager that you are not trying to sell games for profit. Good luck with that.

3 weeks ago
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Talking about luck, you would need plenty of it, lol. The brief look at your profile says 'GIMMI UR DIGITOL MONY, AMA TRADOR, U GO FIRST'. Like wtf is this:
'My Trading Rules
1) ...
2) When I say that a game's price is not negotiable, it means that THE PRICE IS NOT NEGOTIABLE!'

I mean, people who dont even have access to your logs can get it, no wonder support denied your ticket

3 weeks ago
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Well, firstly, I haven't traded since a long time, except some spare keys, but quite rarely. Also, we're talking about gifting games, not TRADING games, correct? I have literally gifted only a handful of games the last years. -_-

3 weeks ago
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Everyone has different time perception tho.
https://www.steamtrades.com/user/76561198057786313

3 weeks ago
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Does this prove something else other than what I just said? I haven't traded since a long time, except on rare occasions, when I traded some spare keys or bought some keys. I haven't traded any gift since around 3 years ago, if I remember correctly. If 3 years isn't a long time for you, then ok, you're probably lacking a sense of time. Most of my trades happened over 3 years ago anyway. But, still, we're talking about gifting games, not trading steam keys, so the last few +rep don't count, since they were related to spare steam keys.

3 weeks ago
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''so the last few +rep don't count'' 😆 lol good luck

3 weeks ago
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"Don't count" as in "they're not related to steam gifts". Over the course of the last 3 years, the only gifts I have sent, are related to my best friend and a handful of giveaways I've done here. Do you understand what I mean now?

3 weeks ago
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yea sorry thought you meant it didn't count because they were old keys :P

3 weeks ago
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Heh, no. xD Also, 3 years ago, I actually TRADED those gifts (so, got them from a trade and sent them through a trade offer to another person). I didn't even gift them straight out of the store. The last time I gifted something straight out of the store for trading purposes, was probably in the beginning of 2016.

3 weeks ago
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Hi, the problem is only when you buy games with your wallet.

If you use paypal/credit card, you can buy all gifts you want.

3 weeks ago
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Hello! Yeah, I've noticed that, but I don't intend to do that. I need my real money for food. xD

3 weeks ago
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"What do you mean I can't pay for groceries with my steam wallet? I spent real money on this digital money."
"Sir, we've been over this, please leave the store now."

3 weeks ago
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Ok, you probably didn't understand what I just said. I mean that I can't afford using any real money currently. I already have money in my steam wallet, so I definitely have to spend that money instead.

3 weeks ago
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No, I understood, I guess those lines sounded funnier in my head or something. With how steam continues to devalue wallet credit by limiting what people can even use it for (or, making it less attractive for events such as this one). Even if you weren't the one buying wallet funds, someone did. Real money was spent on it. Steam essentially has a 0-interest credit on every wallet topper's expense, until said wallet money gets used. But they want more money instead. I mean of course they do but that doesn't make it look any less shady in terms of how they treat steam wallet customers over paypal/credit card ones.

3 weeks ago
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Well, yeah, they prefer "real money". It's funny how everyone accuses Epic of lacking a wallet, but, on the other hand, Steam will end up making steam wallet money useless. :B

3 weeks ago
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Probably because selling steam gifts is a method to turn wallet back into real money, a necessary step for the money laundering.
I guess without ppl exploiting the system wherever they can we'd still have a free steam store and cool sale events as well

3 weeks ago
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Its not because people sell gifts to get their wallet back. nobody cares, it's so insignificant that it doesn't matter
There is a big difference between "cashing out" your Steamwallet and... instead of doing things with the single thought of making profits in RL.

Valve could have solved the "problem/exploiting" over 9 years ago right from the start of the gift or trading system with very simple restrictions, and they still could... but they don't do it, they try to keep it alive as long as possible

3 weeks ago*
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