Steam Launches Trade Offers For Inventory Items

By William Usher 2013-09-05 15:44:45 discussion comments
It's like we're moving closer and closer and closer to the one thing everyone wants: legitimate game trades on Steam. For now, Valve has announced that they have a new trading feature for inventory items using “Trade Offers”, or a method in which users can choose what they want to trade.

The Maul Squad spotted the post on Steam's official news feed, where Valve announced that the trade offers are now an official part of the digital distribution service.

Without completely butchering the message with my own paraphrasing of the features, here is how it reads on the official Steam page...
“Today we’re shipping a new feature we’re calling Trade Offers that allows you to send a prepackaged trade to a friend. It’s similar to regular trading, except you propose the items for both sides. You select the items you’re willing to give up from your inventory and what you’d like to receive from your friend, and send it off. Your friend will receive a notification in the green drop down and can then choose to accept, decline, or make a counter offer. Unlike regular Steam Trading, you don’t need to both be online at the same time. Plus, trade offers can be sent and received using a web browser. You can create an offer from a few places: from the Trade Offers page in your Inventory, from a friend’s Inventory, and from any of your badge pages you can send a friend a trade offer based on the trading cards you still need collect.

That's actually a really awesome feature. Being able to pick and choose what you want to trade and what you want to trade it for, whether it be trading cards, items or gifts, it's a neat way to inch ever-so-closely toward the golden chalice... segue toward immaterial perfection... the holy grail of digital game culture... the magnum opus of non-physical interactive entertainment commerce: digital game trades.

Unfortunately, we're not there just yet.

The new trade offers are limited to whatever is in your inventory and, for now, you can only trade with friends. You can have trade pendings for up to two weeks and you can trade more than one item at a time. It's as sexy as it sounds and then some.

Digital justice warriors looking to even the landscape of the legal rights to the first sale doctrine will have to hold the mantle of judiciary righteousness just a bit longer, as the fight for digital trades hasn't been won yet. There are some positives on the horizon, though, especially regarding the VZBV, who are scheduled to meet Valve in the German supreme court at an undisclosed date, to deal with the EU ruling mandating the right to resell digital goods.

If the VZBV wins then Valve will be forced to allow for digital game resale, setting a precedent for every other digital distribution portal out there. However, it may not need to get to that point if Valve preemptively unveils a trade option of their own to allow gamers to resell their games or trade with other players from within the Steam service utility.

Hopefully this all works out for the benefit of the consumer, as it could be a huge thing to help some gamers feel a little more relaxed about their digital purchases of video games. In the meantime, enjoy trading your inventory items with friends with the new trade offer option in Steam.
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