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I have recently noticed that there are many gifted unusuals, and I was wondering if people purposely put gift wraps on unusuals. I believe that if you uncrate an unusual, it should be tradable.

However, I do not understand why people gift unusuals, which considerably lowers the price of an unusual. So I am wondering if people can use a gift wrap on a tradable item and why. (I have never used gift wraps, so I don't really know how they work besides being able to trade untradable items).

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You are correct in that every unusual unboxed is tradeable. There are two main reasons why a certain individual would gift wrap a tradeable item, such as an unusual:

  • To publicly announce that item was gifted from you: One of my colleagues REALLY likes using the blutsauger, so one day I got a strange one and gifted it to him. Yes, it's tradeable, but I wanted to put on the item 'hey this item was a gift from gigazelle and therefore has sentimental value'. Close friends/family will gift items that are tradeable all the time; in fact, I would consider this the designed/intended use of gift wrap.
  • To exploit a glitch duplicating items: There was a period of time where you could duplicate items using gift wrap. Though you should always do a background check when buying unusuals, gift text on unusuals or buds is a red flag that the item is potentially a dupe.
  • To have an item signed: I am heavily involved with the TF2 workshop, and many of my favorite hats have been 'signed' by their creator. I traded the hat + gift wrap to them, they wrap it up, send it back to me, and I unwrap the gift.

Traders may deem items with gift text less valuable, however traders are not the only people who play TF2. You also have husbands/wives, colleagues, and friends who place sentimental value on items as opposed to assigning value based on a spreadsheet.

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The main purpose of gift wrapping is to give another player an item that would not normally be tradable, yes. But most, if not all, unusual items can be traded. (Usually for refined metal, since that is how you see those prices listed on third party websites.) However, some items are by default untradable, and cannot [source] be traded even with gift wrap.

So, tradable items can be gift wrapped, but the main purpose of gift wrapping is to make untradable items tradable.

Sources:

http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Trade#Non-Tradeable_Items

http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Gift_wrap

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