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Recycle trash into treasure on Steam

2 min read

Steam holiday auction

I’m one of those strange people who enjoys collecting Steam trading cards for my favorite games, later crafting them into badges and bragging rights. However, my Steam inventory can also get cluttered with weird, worthless junk. But it’s time to clean it out and get some fun games in the process.

The Steam Holiday Auction runs 15 December to 18 December when the Holiday Sale begins. How does it work? Well, you recycle your community items like trading cards, backgrounds and emoticons into gems. You then use those gems to bid on games up for auction. There are up to 200k games up for auction, and gems will apparently be more valuable than those cards, backgrounds or emoticons – also, backgrounds and emoticons will yield higher gem values than cards, so it’s still worthwhile to craft badges when you can. So, clean out your inventory to make room for the start of the Steam Sale, and pick up some games for free… unless you need to buy gems to get to the auction price.

Here’s a cute comic from Valve explaining why and how this is happening.

Holiday auction comic

Sounds like a very cool idea, but I might just sell off those extra things in my inventory so that I have the cold hard cash for when the Steam Sale starts. Unless I see a cheap auction for This War of Mine, or those new TellTale games. So maybe I’ll convert everything into gems and then sell the gems? I’m not really too sure what I’m going to do, but it’s a cool promotion and will extend my Steam addiction – there’s more than just the holiday sale now. This is certainly a nice build up to the main event.

Unfortunately, it is currently broken. There was an issue with gem duplication leading to crazy inflation and other issues. Valve has shut things down until further notice with the following explanation.

Sorry, but there have been some issues with Gems and the Steam Holiday Auction has been temporarily closed. The elves are working frantically to get the issues sorted out, and the auction will start again as soon as they’re done.

Ooops! Here’s hoping the normal Holiday Sale doesn’t have the same troubles.

Last Updated: December 12, 2014

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