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Recently I tried to purchase a steam gift for my friends using a $50 wallet fund my father gave me for Christmas. Unfortunately, every time I attempt to make such a purchase with wallet funds, I am given a nondescript error.

Nondescript Steam Error

I believe the error may be related to a recent refund I got on Steam - I purchased a game believing my friends would be playing it, but was told later they were not and requested a refund. However, the steam store shows the funds fully refunded to me with no pending amount.

No Pending Amount

And I don't believe this is from a server overload, because I tested buying a game with my own credit card for a friend, and it worked without issue.

Is this a known bug when trying to purchase a game with refunded steam wallet funds?

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    It says to contact steam support. Have you done that?
    – Nelson
    Dec 24, 2020 at 4:46
  • @Nelson I have - no response yet, and I was hoping to get some gifts out before or on Christmas.
    – Zibbobz
    Dec 24, 2020 at 14:23

1 Answer 1

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Related Steam Community Discussion post.

Reddit post with Steam Support email screenshot saying why they're restricted:

Hello,

We have detected unusual gifting activity on this account.

Using your Steam account for commercial purposes violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in the account being locked.

Please note you will not receive further replies regarding this issue.


Steam automatically restricts users from purchasing Steam Gifts using Steam Wallet funds if they've gifted more than they've bought for themselves. This is because it is behavior indicative of trading Steam Wallet funds for non-Steam funds, obviously especially "real money".

Of course this most likely applies to a period of time rather than the entire account history, but the rule doesn't seem to be publicly defined. It is not explicitly mentioned in the SSA (Steam Subscriber Agreement), and all the official Steam Support article about Steam Gifts says is:

May I sell gift subscriptions?

Steam Gift Purchases cannot be sold. Attempting to sell a gift subscription is a violation of the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in your account being permanently disabled.

You should still be able to make gift purchases using other funds, e.g. credit/debit card.

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