More than 850,000 users on this site are Level 0. This means they haven't created a single giveaway yet (at least not for a game that wasn't already given away for free). Now, I highly recommend creating giveaways for the warm fuzzies, but even if that's not appealing enough there's another good reason. It provides access to many more giveaways and improves your odds of winning.

It may sound complex or expensive to reach Level 1, but don’t fret. I'm assuming here that you already have some games on Steam but that for whatever reason you can't afford a $1 bundle. All you need to do is this:

  1. Play your Steam games that drop Trading Cards. An easy way to find these games is to use Lorenzo Stanco’s excellent Steam Library Filters, enter your Steam ID, and then use the Trading Cards filter. You can also use Steam Idle Master to get the cards quicker (google it).
  2. Sell your cards. If you use Steam inventory helper extension for Chrome browser you can use the "Instant Sell for..." button to quickly liquidate the cards in your Steam Inventory into dollars in your Steam Wallet. If you're not in a hurry "Quick Sell for..." to get a better price. You may also want to try this script which is recommended for selling all cards.
  3. Go to steamdb.info Sales page, Special Promotion section and click Price to sort the sales, listing the cheapest games at the top. Currently there are games like "The Slaughtering Grounds" going for $0.14 and "Escape Machines" and "Flesh Eaters" for $0.15. If you have enough money in your Steam Wallet, be nice and choose a game with better rating (check the rightmost column). "Star Savior" for example, currently costs $0.79 and has a rating of 81% from hundreds of users.
  4. Once you decide on a game, create a new giveaway for it. If the game is on sale, make sure the giveaway ends while the game is still on sale. To be on the safe side, you may want to pick a game which is cheap even when not on sale. Ok, back to the giveaway creation. Select Gift and continue as normal (see the FAQ for details). Mention in the giveaway description that you'll send a friend invite to the winner over Steam and will deliver the game as a gift. Edit: Because of changes to how gifts from the Steam store work you should also limit the giveaway to regions that are within 10% of the price you're paying. You can look for the game on isthereanydeal.com and use the Compare Regions screen to check pricing in other areas. A safe and easy alternative is to limit the giveaway only to your own country, but then it won't be accessible to most users on this site.
  5. Once the giveaway is finished and you have a winner, add them on Steam and purchase the game. After you add the game to the cart select Purchase as a Gift, then select the winner from your list of friends and complete the purchase.
  6. As soon as the winner checks the Received checkbox here on SG, you'll complete your first giveaway and will become Level 1 and a contributing member of this community. Isn't that nice? :-)

Good Luck!


Mini on-going event

If you're a Level 0 user who can show you don't have market access (and therefore can't use the guide below) and if you never traded, let me know. I'll be happy to send you a spare key to create your first giveaway. Offer is limited to the first 5 users who reply to this post and meet the criteria (and are not rule breakers). Reply to this comment.


Edit: As several people have mentioned below, the guide is only applicable to Steam users who have access to the market (basically anyone who spent $5 or more on Steam). If you don't have access to the market see this excellent post by Nokkenbuer about alternative solutions, such as getting games on TremorGames or using a prepaid card on Steam to get access to the market.


Thread title when not doing key drops or events: "No More Excuses: Getting to Level 1 without spending money (a short & simple guide)"

7 years ago*

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I would like to add: Check the giveaways creation page for the game you plan on giving away BEFORE purchasing the game.
If it turns out that the game you bought can't be given away because it was a free game in the past, that would suck.

Of course, Steam refunds makes this less of a problem than it was in the past... However, it would still save you some time and bother to check first. :P

7 years ago
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Thanks, I added this point to the guide.

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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Yes you can. I have personally requested refunds for two gift copies of a game in the past.

7 years ago
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Not related to the OP, but another interesting information about refunds: you can also refund in-game purchase like Dota 2 items if you bought directly from Dota 2 store (not from market).

6 years ago
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That's actually pretty neat. I'm curious about how this works, though. Games need a minimum of 2 hours played to be eligible for a refund, what about in-game items?

6 years ago
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Not sure about others, but for Dota 2 items, when bought, they come in a "set". You will need to "unpack" them to be able to use them.

I have successfully refunded a compendium and some unopened treasure chests before, since they are clearly "unused" in my inventory.

6 years ago
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This is one that bit me before Steams Refund Policy was updated to its current form.

6 years ago
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after reading that title I was sharpening my pitchfork

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7 years ago
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I just updated the title. Can I get some more gifs? ;-)

7 years ago
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of course! this is my most fav gif!

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7 years ago
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7 years ago
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how do you hide gifs url,so it will simply say :view attacked image: ?

7 years ago
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![hover text](http://www.domain.com/linkto/picture/whatever.jpg) or .gif
7 years ago
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Just found out my fav gifs I saved as giphy links got deleted :(

Have NSFW one that survived on imgur

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1 month ago
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7 years ago
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^_^

7 years ago
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I see the headlines!
Denying enemies is the new sexy? Read for more!

7 years ago
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Well dont you think if they wanted to give a game away they would have already by now!
and of those users most dont have market access so they cant sell and some are dupe accounts also just to get a game

7 years ago
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Among 600,000 users I'd expect that there are at least a few who could execute this suggestion and just weren't aware of it. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. Let's see.

7 years ago
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Among 600,000 users I'd expect the same thing. But I think not even 5% of that amount of users goes to the forums. From that 5% of users that do drop by ocasionally I bet 4.5% have a higher level than 0. Now from the .5% remaining (which is still a lot) those users would not only have to have the market avaible, but also look at this thread and decide to do it. It's just a thought though.

7 years ago
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Well I can understand how you feel but few really bother about such. Very few people bother to check the forum and as the person above said majority of the people who drop by the forums have a level higher than 0.
The 0.5% are those people who come to the forum to beg or rant about something!

7 years ago
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Well, considering that you need $100 of unbundled games to register on Steamgifts, I'll just go out on a limb here and say that yes, most people who will read this guide have access to the market.

7 years ago
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There are retail games you register on Steam, it's still possible.

7 years ago
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Assuming they are capable of turning on Steam Guard…

7 years ago
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Like the last person said you can use retail games and also steam wallet codes. I also didnt have access to steam market when I joined up with steamgifts as I used wallet codes and retail copies.

7 years ago
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Hence why I said "most", not "all". :P

7 years ago
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i know anyways both the OP and you are in my whitelist so I am sure you are awesome!

7 years ago
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Oh, that's a bit sudden, heh. Thanks! ^^

7 years ago
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I wonder if going from level 0 to level 1 turns me into a handsome prince.

7 years ago
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Didn't work for me.

7 years ago
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Don't crush my dream!

7 years ago
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Suck it and see

7 years ago
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Arctic Monkey's reference?

6 years ago
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Not even remotely.

6 years ago
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6 years ago
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That's a very nice guide. I still don't understand very well how the trading cards work and it helps to see it's not that scary ;)

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7 years ago
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Trading cards are super easy:

  1. Play a game who drops cards (you can see which one in the "badge progress" page on Steam)
  2. Select the card in your inventory, then click "Sell"
  3. Sell at the desired price (I usually set my price at $0.01 under the lowest current pricing)
  4. Wait
  5. Enjoy free money
7 years ago
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  1. is already done for most games with cards ;) Now to get some courage to do the 2.-5. steps. Wait, actually 5. looks like a nice one :)

Thank you :)

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7 years ago
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I actually prefer to sell my cards for current lowest then one cent less, and if they don't sell after a week check what is going on.
You might say "it's just one cent". But sell 500 cards losing one cent and suddenly you have $5 :P

7 years ago
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Yeah, well it's so much trouble to remove listings and put them back on the market, I'd rather sell them quickly instead.
Especially with slightly more expensive cards, someone is probably going to undercut you.

7 years ago
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Chrome's Steam Inventory Helper is... big help with that. Can show you overpriced cards on red, allowing to quickly select all overpriced items and return them to inventory.
Bigger problem is with those cards where you put them for 5 cents and there's 1000 of them, those need to be done more manually...

7 years ago
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I once tried using it, but it didn't work. For some reason, it wouldn't put my cards on the market. :x

7 years ago
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Ouch :(

I'd probably wouldn't even think about selling my cards if I didn't had it. 500 cards, one by one, sounds like fun...

7 years ago
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I'm affraid some people should read How to get to the forum GUIDE first before that one ;)

7 years ago
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I still need a guide to register to steamgifts :/

7 years ago
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I can help you if you'll give me some games ;)

7 years ago
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Exactly my thoughts. Most of those 600.000 are either new here, or are just here for the giveaway's and don't care about spending time themselves to give away something.

7 years ago
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One thing to remember, you must first spend enough money in Steam to enable using the market. There are people with enough value in their library to join Steamgifts, yet haven't spent any money in the Steam store. Sucks to be them, I guess... :)

7 years ago
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you must first spend enough money in Steam to enable using the market.

^^ This

You need to spend real money on Steam before using the market, so you need a Paypal account or credit card. The best method is creating an account on Tremor Games, get 99 points, buy a cheap game there and create a giveaway here.

7 years ago
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The best method is creating an account on Tremor Games, get 99 points, buy a cheap game there and create a giveaway here.

A lot of countries are banned on Tremor so not everyone can access that website and get free games.

7 years ago
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You're probably right, but are they really banned or you mean there aren't offers to get coins from certain countries?

7 years ago
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Banned as in you can't create an account on Tremor if you're from a certain country. I personally couldn't create an account there because my country is among the banned ones.

But I assume there are also cases of countries that aren't banned but there's almost no offers for them.

7 years ago
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Yes, there are some countries with little to no offers to get coins, and some of them are also banned to play games with achievements to get coins (it is slower but you can still get enough coins to buy one of those 99 coins games).

7 years ago
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For me there are some offers, but most include giving a phone number or spending money. I guess that that site is best if you live in the USA or something.

7 years ago
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Not necessarily. Don't have credit card or use paypal here and did it just fine. Indeed it is the reason I like Steam as it is one of the very, very few willing to ensure people can buy from them without jumping through a hundred hoops. Really sound ridiculous when put that way but it is the way it is, companies are so sure of themselves(or lazy) they can't even be bothered into expanding their customer base.

7 years ago
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You never bought anything from Steam store? Prepaid cards are also accepted, I was trying to say that you always need to spend some real money anytime to enable Steam market.

The actual rules are:

You will need to spend at least $5.00 USD within the Steam store.

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3330-IAGK-7663

7 years ago
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It is not 100% accurate though. I unlocked my alt account by adding in that amount for the wallet. I never bought anything at the store itself, but the market has unlocked after the initial 30-day waiting period.

7 years ago
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Adding money to your account wallet is more or less the same as spending it because is a path of no return: you can't take it back from your wallet to your bank account. I mean, if you don't spend it now, you will do it later.

7 years ago
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You said "so you need a Paypal account or credit card" I was pointing out that is not true as I have neither and do it perfectly well. You seem to know since you brought one of the alternate methods(though not one I use since there are easier and more convenient) so I suppose it doesn't matter to you just to others who might read your post.

7 years ago*
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Not really a good guide considering a lot of people don't have access to steam market. You can only sell things on steam market if you bought something on steam before. So that's still an excuse people can make.

I didn't had access to steam market myself for a long time, and the only reason I have it now is because a friend bought me steam wallet.

Of course people that don't have access to market can trade their cards for games here on SG/Trades and then make giveaways. I think that's something you should add to your guide and then people really wont have any excuse.

7 years ago
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Don't you need to spend $5 to be able to trade now? (I'm quite confused about all those restrictions, specially since they periodically change them ><)

7 years ago
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Damn I forgot about that change.

According to this they can trade but they can't get steam trading cards from games (they simply wont drop for them).

They also can't send friend requests but can accept them from non-limited accounts.

That's pretty harsh.

7 years ago
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Nice guide, but where is the part about leveling up without spending money?

7 years ago
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Where did you see a step that involves spending money?

7 years ago
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Ah, thank you for the Lorenzo Stanco thingy. Very nice. Now I have it bookmarked.

7 years ago
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Hey , is there a way i can install Steam inventory helper on mozila firefox ? i really want that .. i used to use chrome

7 years ago
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Yes, download it here: http://vplghost.com/Download/InventPriceCheck/SIH.xpi

http://vplghost.com/ is the official website of the developer, link was copied from here

7 years ago
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*IF you want to add this add on and recive "Firefox has prevented this site from asking you to install software on this computer" ...just add an eception to the site from mozila firefox setting ! go to Options > Security > "Warn me when sites try to install add-ons" on the right there is "Exceptions" , click on that and add the site vplghost.com .
Thanks ORONO , thaks for the help

7 years ago*
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In my case I get a Firefox pop-up and then I click on "Allow", probably because I have it configured that way.

7 years ago
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As many probably already know, another excellent source is by completing offers on TremorGames and redeeming the coins for Steam gifts and product keys. This is an easy way to acquire gifts to give away if you don't have any money. I only recommend it for those familiar with "Earn & Redeem" models and those who know which offers to avoid, however, since it requires some shrewd judgment. There are other sites similar to TremorGames, though most of them are untrustworthy or potential scams—this is especially true for sites that use referral links. If you are unfamiliar with "Earn & Redeem" models, such as Swagbucks [Wikipedia], I recommend reading into it and what to avoid before using them, or simply avoid them altogether.

[Remember: It is against SteamGifts' guidelines to share referral links from sites like TremorGames, so please don't!]

For those of you who do have money, but do not have any means of purchasing gifts because you do not have a credit card, I recommend investing in a prepaid card. Prepaid cards operate differently from credit or debit cards, in that they are not provided by the card issuer and are not purchased as part of a credit plan. Prepaid cards are tied to popular credit card issuers, but they could be purchased at your local grocery or convenience store. You store funds on the card, which you can then spend by using the prepaid card like you would any credit card. In other words, you can go to your local store, purchase a prepaid card with cash, and purchase games (or anything) online as if it was a real credit card. This is especially useful if you are too young to own a credit card, or have no interest in getting one, but you do have money. It's also excellent if you live in a developing country, or a country where credit/debit cards are difficult to acquire, since prepaid cards can typically be used globally at any store that accepts the card issuer.

7 years ago
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There are also virtual debit cards like Neteller but you gotta deal with commisions %s. when you charge it.

I'm not charging mine because my currency is at its lowest since over a decade.

7 years ago
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Thanks for sharing. I edited the OP with a link to this post.

7 years ago
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Another option is listia.com you can get points and buy games to give away.

5 years ago
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Guide from Captain Obivous

7 years ago
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What's your suggestion then? Regifting a game you've just won on Steamcompanion? ;)

7 years ago
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hmm without spending money??? no way
best way to make a lot of money is buying cs go, this game brought me about 400$ profit

7 years ago
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Of course there are ways to get games without spending money, you can use Tremor Games or, if your country is banned, you can trade cards for games. It has been already talked in this thread, but is easier to enter here, TL;DR, and insult the OP.

7 years ago
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Ok for example i have not games wich can drop me trading cards or i sold dropped cards a long time ago , your suggestion?

7 years ago
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Wait for indiegala to give out another free game with cards?

7 years ago
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Free games that drops cards:

  • Indiegala gives free games almost every week, and some of them drop cards.
  • Grimm and Relic Hunters Zero are free games that drop cards.
  • Wait for booster packs from your games.
7 years ago
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thats why i called him captain obvious!
because almost everyone here knows about various deals and freebies
just buy cs go and make a profit

7 years ago
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CS:GO costs money then is off topic.

7 years ago
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nope, as u said collect games from various giveaways, sell dropped cards , wait for sale and buy cs go, then make a profit

7 years ago
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You can't sell cards on the market without spending real money on Steam store first. It has been talked here too. And you need to sell a lot of cards to buy CS:GO. Cards from free games are sold for 0.3-0.6. You need like 7€/$ to get CS:GO on sale.

7 years ago
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aha wonder but i can buy cs go right now for 6 dollars
on the last christmas sale i bought it for 1.5 dollars, trading cards cost about 10 cents(on average), i need to sell just 15-20 cards it is ez

7 years ago
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Again:

You can't sell cards on the market without spending real money on Steam store first.

7 years ago
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i know thats why i said no way without spending money at the beginning
plz read attentively first of all what i wrote before

7 years ago
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And my answer, again, is: you're wrong

7 years ago
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im not wrong u just backed up what i talked about
first of all: u cant sell cards without spending money ( i wrote about it before)
2ndly: and anyone who registered here already spent at least 100$, isnt it?

7 years ago
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No, you can have a library value of >100$ if any of your friends/parents gifted you enough games. You don't need to spend real money with your account to get games. Think about a 12 years old boy without a credit card/Paypal.

In short: you don't need CS:GO or spend a cent to give a game here.

7 years ago
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War of the roses and an FPS-MMO (in sci-fi setting, I don't remember the name) also drops cards, if I'm not mistaken.

7 years ago
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War of the Roses not anymore, but if you remember the name of that FPS please answer to my post. Thanks.

7 years ago
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I think it was Defiance. Though my little note about these are like a year old, and never actually tried them, so it's not sure at all - maybe you know more about that.

7 years ago
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Initially there was a bug where anyone who installed Defiance as a F2P game got 4 free card drops, but this has since been fixed.

http://steamtradingcards.wikia.com/wiki/Defiance

Thanks anyway!

7 years ago
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So… the best way for people who have no money is to buy a game for money they don't have? :)

7 years ago
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I always forget that SG has its sales pages too, but randomly accidentally clicked on it while looking at this thread -- and that's another great option in addition to the SteamDB already linked...
http://www.steamgifts.com/sales/highest-savings

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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Another way is turn them into addicts. I'm not looking to anyone here, I promise.

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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Not in this thread of course, but there are rumours of some member(s) became addicts and they are giving too much games as result. So it is a good strategy :P

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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Suggestion for an avatar :P

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7 years ago
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7 years ago
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Me neither, in this case I should write: "spread by well informed people and willing to help" :D

7 years ago
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Lol are you a Barbie addict?

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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actually is kinda complicated for other locations of the world, for example if i want to buy a steam game in offer is blocked only to use in Latin-america

7 years ago
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that is why you can restrict your game for your area in the ga. i gifted a RU+CIS thief collection i obtained a got CV however ;)

7 years ago
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sure, i know it sounds odd but i feel weird giving the game only to selected countries.... i think it should make a difference how many ppl get in in your giveaway, maybe im using too much giveaway sites xD

7 years ago
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It could sound like racism XD just kidding, it's steam's greedy policy and you can do nothing about it

However if i'm not wrong you can buy ROW games from sites at the same price of steam (GMG or indiegala?)

7 years ago
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actually not, those kind of sites are mostly global,except some reselles of g2a

7 years ago
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no amount of guides will encourage true leeches from giving away something to the community.

some of those 600k probably have a real hard time and can't give away anything but i'm sure more than half of them are just lazy/selfish/don't care.

7 years ago
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+1

7 years ago
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I'm more sure that up to 90% of them registered and used the site maybe once and never again.
A statistic on the number of unused/abandoned account here would be interesting.

7 years ago
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Still i'm pretty sure that people having 0 GA created and 50 won in 2 years, wish only to get as much games for free as possible
if you want to convince them to be more generous, you should appeal to their greed, saying that starting from level 2 they will find daily 10 GTA V giveawys :D

7 years ago
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nah maybe if they think a bit they would realize that just leveling up to level 1 increases your chance a lot to win

7 years ago
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Since i've got to lvl 4 I discovered a whole new way of using this site... I can have almost every game I want by being a little generous
People should be more smart (or kind hearthed :P) than greedy and they would recieve more :)

7 years ago
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wow I'm jealous level 4 how much games did you needed? approximately price in games?

7 years ago
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7 years ago
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You have to come to 100$ value of given games. If you give only bundled games I think you might need more than 50 (so you spend 15-30$ in bundles and give away stuff you don't like).
It happens often that you buy a 1$ bundle and get a 6$(40 on steam) CV game, it's not that expensive after all. Especially considering that you will start winning really neat stuff (I won Valkirya chronicles and Gothic+Arcania pack which are worth more or less the money I spend in bundles last months).

7 years ago
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I applaud the initiative and willingness to get us all be better gifters, a better person, yes, giving away feels nice but it only works if everybody does it, think about it, if only one gives and the other one only takes, the giver eventually wears off, gets tired, annoyed and maybe angry.

There's one thing not mentioned, region locks, it's not that huge but it is still important as one can't activate games from another region, in my case I used to giveaway more when there wasn't such restriction. Sure, we can still give away and those in the same region can still benefit from it, so in appearance it's better for our odds, right?

Now the second point, bundles and games that even tho are long gone of the cheap or free price, once in the SG bundle list, will never leave it. I understand that it may be due to the fact nobody knows if someone around there got say 100 copies and then comes here and creates ga's with them, no restrictions, no "punishment" as it may be an exploit for self benefit. So I guess it's okay the way it is, for better or worse :P

The last point is, actually, about the Star Saviors example, yes, it's cheap now, yes it has 81% good ratings, BUT it's also bundled, meaning it wont give full or even much CV value to level up... Yes, you can still do some good to others and giveaway a cheap good game, but you won't reach lv1 or 2 with bundled games. That list increases fast, like the emptiness in The Never-ending Story what? you haven't seen it? you had no childhood? don't you have a heart? XD

Anyways, see this?
http://www.steamgifts.com/bundle-games/search?q=savior

You can use this link to know which games are branded bundled by SG, before making a purchase with giveaway intents.

FREE BUMP - no HiDEn gIveAWay!

View attached image.
7 years ago
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Those are a different kind of users. They're are addicted to trading but that kind of addiction don't lead them to create giveaways. As a student, you should research about how many games are needed to give here to become a real addict.

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Why not? One variable for the study could be: Is it necessary to give Barbie to become an addict? If yes, how many times? :P

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There's at least one guy, made some trades, made 0 giveaways and won nearly 200 games.

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WTF!

Well, I should have said: "addicted to trading AND hoarding/leeching" :)

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They are different though. SG is the most convenient way to keep track of non-CS/TF2 Steam trade reputation instead of seeing the user's account messages (where the user can delete as many negative reps as they want anyway) or look up everyone on SteamRep. I wouldn't be surprised if many traders would just randomly click on a few giveaways they happen to see on the front page when they log in, nothing more.

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You can add Tremor Games website too, I started from there,giving away games that I've earned by playing funny mini-games xP

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What's the difference between creating a giveaway as a gift or as a key? I always mark the "key" option, because it's less of a hassle for me, but I see that "gift" is recommended... why?

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Gift=steam gift on your inventory, but you can also mark "gift" when giving a key and add the key after the GA has ended.

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hahaha ok, that makes sense. Thank you very much, to both!

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if you mark key, you can write the game keys so they are ready to be sent when the ga is over.

from the GA page

Keys should be separated by new lines. Please enter Steam redeemable keys, or gift URLs from Steam or Humble Bundle. Key giveaways for 50 copies or greater will be automatically distributed to the winners, while giveaways with less than 50 keys will allow you to review the winners before the keys are sent.

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Thanks, I think I'll keep marking them as keys then. I'm too much of a lazy f*ck x)

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I'll just add that only difference is that you can automate distribution of cd-key when you use KEY option.

When you click KEY, you can put key there and winner can take it, without contact between you.

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So when a Steamgifts user make 1 giveaway only they will reach Level 1? Am I right?

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Yes.

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Thanks for your answer. I've tried to make a giveaway before but it will be only a region restricted one. But now I have a key and luckily I will give it away. It won't be like a gift on Steam. But I'm also afraid of accused as re-gifting. I won 2 of the same game. One from Steam group's discussion page ( My comment was one of the winners) and one from Steamgifts giveaway it was 50 games giveaway I think. So you can go to my Steam account to see that I've activated the Steamgifts one, and still have the other key. If I give it away here it won't be a problem I hope. Can you answer this question too? Thanks for your concern.

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You can make a giveaway of the same title you won previously, yes.
For example, you won it, then a week later it is in a bundle you buy. Same situation.

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Please make sure every game you won here is activated to your Steam account.

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Thank you people. I will read how to make a giveaway and give that game.to the community. :)

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Exactly, but hopefully with more people entering the giveaway. I forgot to mention a giveaway needs at least 5 entries to count for one's Level. I'm sure that a public (not invite-only) giveaway of the same game would have dozens of entries by now.

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Wow!!
Thank you so much for this awesome guide, especially the Steam inventory helper chrome extension !!
Never knew it was existed.
Thanks again, Yirg !!

7 years ago
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