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Recently I've been looking for a particular set of crates series so that I can try and get a few particular strange weapons for my wife and I. The interesting steam community market opened recently, but there doesn't appear to be a way to search for a particular crate series. When one searches for a particular crate series results will show, but the next page lists the set of all crates rather than the particular crate one is searching for. Pretty much ruining the crate search.

I've tried asking people on trade servers but no one seems to be very interested in crate trading. I've seen a few search engines and scripts but I'm not sure if there are any that will lead to finding someone to trade with.

How does one go about finding a particular crate series without being that annoying player always asking everyone to trade?

Is there a quick and easy way to find someone willing to trade a particular crate series?

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reddit.com/r/tf2trade might be a good place to search for what you're looking for. –  Decency Jan 10 '13 at 15:15
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Out of dumb curiosity, what series are you looking for? I have some scattered from various series and could throw one up for you and directly link to it. :P –  Rilgon Arcsinh Jan 10 '13 at 16:21
    
@RilgonArcsinh - Right now, I'm looking for crates 27,39,31,34,40 and 52. Feel free to trade with me, I can post my id or something. –  Mark Rogers Jan 10 '13 at 23:42
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Alas, nothing that I have. Sorry! –  Rilgon Arcsinh Jan 10 '13 at 23:54
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Ok, cool then. :-) –  Wok Jan 13 '13 at 18:15
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3 Answers

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Update: Searching for individual crate series has been added to the steam marketplace. You can now search for any crate series by selecting crates and then entering # and the crate series number. On the downside, you won't find any deals for unboxing stranges, most of the desirable crates are very expensive (Check out #30). You might as well trade for them frankly, unless you like high-stakes gambling.


Searching for individual crates series is often futile because a majority of items in crates are worth less than the price of a key (which is worth at the the time of writing about 3.33 ref). While I have no direct evidence to support the claim, I believe that most valuable crates are snatched up quickly by savvy traders.

The Naughty Winter Crate 2012s with the festive items are a good example of this. Strange festive weapons are all worth more than the value of a key, and thus opening such a crate is a no-brainer. A trader will almost certainly profit from opening such a crate.

To look for individual strange weapons, I first go to backpack.tf - Price List, to find the value of an item. Then I use TF2Outpost or TF2Bazaar to search for sellers of a particular item. I then look through the listing in order of newest first, and look for people who are selling individual items rather than whole sets. Then I usually add them as a friend and wait to see if they respond correctly to the friend request. If they don't respond in 30 seconds, I move on to the next seller. I have about a 40% success rate of getting what I want after a friend request.

If one wishes to bargain one can usually get a better price on something, but many high-volume traders will refuse to bargain. One can often search the whole listings for a deal, but one may have to wait for that trader to come on line. Because I want to trade quickly, I occasionally pay slightly more than listed value.

If one is totally out of metal, then one can buy a key and trade that for metal using the same sites. Certain rare weapons and hats can be traded for keys, metal, or ear-buds.

Strange Festive Rocket launcher, strange Kritzkrieg, and strange gunslinger are some of the most valuable items at the time of this writing. The 2011 Halloween hats crafted from the weird metal of that event are worth a lot.

Also note, some items are not very valuable but they sell quickly so they can still be difficult to obtain. Consider paying more if you are having trouble getting the item at the listed price.

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There are a variety of sites I have used personally when looking for specific traders, but a couple that comes to mind (SteamRep also included :D).

I know for a fact that you can search for people looking for exact crates on TF2Bazaar. As for TF2 Warehouse, it runs on a credit system that allows users to find items and buy them with credits earned by selling items.

As for other solutions, join some groups, that is, TF2 groups. Some major groups will have forums that usually including trading forums, and that's also a great place to find specific crates.

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I couldn't figure out how to search for specific crate series in TF2Bazaar, just the themed series of crates and the large group of common crates. –  Mark Rogers Jan 11 '13 at 4:35
    
Hit the search button at the top, add the specific crate number you're looking for, and all relevant trades involving that numbered crate should appear. Make sure you put what you're looking for on the right hand side of the search trade box –  DISREGARD MODS ACQUIRE REP Jan 11 '13 at 6:12
    
I tried typing a crate series number in the search box, like '27' and '29', but I was never able to see or select a specific series of generic crates. What am I missing? For example, I know crate series 45 is available for trade, but if I type '45' into the search box, nothing comes back. –  Mark Rogers Jan 12 '13 at 17:02
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Ah I figured it out, you have to select a generic crate and then hover and click the 'advanced' button where you can then enter a specific crate series #. –  Mark Rogers Jan 12 '13 at 17:21
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Your best bet would be to ask at TF2Outpost. Just post an offer on it asking for a specific crate series or whatever you want. It might take a while for someone to accept your offer, but this is a great way to get items.

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I don't see how to search for individual crate series in tf2outpost? is that possible? –  Mark Rogers Jan 10 '13 at 14:40
    
No, but just look through the offers and you will find the crate in a minute or two. –  Meraj99 Jan 10 '13 at 15:14
    
TF2Outpost can be somewhat misleading. Sometimes, an offer will come up, looking like 1 item, for one key. You then check the desc., and realize the seller is trading for 8 of those keys. Read the desc. it may help clear up confusion. –  DISREGARD MODS ACQUIRE REP Jan 11 '13 at 1:34
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