Advice needed: Team Fortress 2 and the Bill's hat conundrum

Title Advice needed: Team Fortress 2 and the Bill's hat conundrum
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Games
When October 18, 2012

So I'm letting Steam do it's thing (i.e. download updates) when I notice the little envelope icon is green. A message. It's a friend request. It's a name from Breaking Bad, with some sort of clan taggery around the name, and an accompanying Bryan Cranston icon..

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Just give it to him; you don't care about the game, and you'll probably make him happy. Even if he intends to flip it, it doesn't really make a difference to you.

I'm also wondering myself what are all those TF2 trinkets that come with pre-orders and sales on Steam.

And yes, it was foolish not to sell that parrot, Tom :)

He sounds like a decent sort and has been extremely upfront with you. Just give him the hat. Think of it as good karma.

I had a similar situation with another TF2 hat. I was about to just give it up, when they asked me for the name of a $15 game that I wanted.

I traded away a hat I've never worn in a game I don't really play anymore for Ys: Oath in Felghana, which I'm interested in, but probably won't ever get around to playing. The cycle continues!

I've had so many requests based on my TF2 collectibles that I pretty much only friend people I know at this point.

I had Orange Box day one... as a result, I have some random items like
this too. Every time I play TF2, I get a popup trade request for one of
them. I had to turn off auto-trade popup from random people or
something. Oh well.

If the hat has no value to you - and clearly it doesn't - my suggestion is to give to him. Though maybe make him do a real-life good deed, like find a homeless guy (do they have the homeless in Europe?) and give him money for lunch. Take a picture of the guy, and the lunch, send it over on Steam and the hat is his.

Who cares about hats? That original shrinkwrap WoW collectors edition on the other hand....

I got way too much of this type of nonsense because I had Max's Severed Head. Then I found out how to hide my Steam inventory and things have been much more peaceful since.

Give it to him - always best to be kind when one has the opportunity to do so.

I used to care about this whole TF2 economy thing, so I've got some experience with this. What he told you is right; Bill's hat is worth about 8 keys, which can each be purchased from Valve for about $2, so it's real world value is about $15. It can be traded for keys, but keys sell for less than $2 each, and their only purpose is to open crates, which usually give you a crap item, but occasionally give a hat, or extremely rarely reward you with a random hat with a glowing particle effect that's worth a whole ton of keys. In the TF2 economy, weapons are worth an order of magnitude less than hats, it'd take hundreds of weapons to be worth one good hat.

He either is actually just desparate for a Bill's hat, or he's going through accounts that haven't played in a long time to try to trade for them for really cheap. He probably found the hat in your pack using You can do the same to him, to see if he really is just a poor kid wanting a hat, or is a TF2 hat hoarder looking to increase his stash. Some people have hundreds of Bill's hats by now, it's a common hat to use to trade for other, more expensive hats.

As to what you should do, beats me. I quit all this once I realized I was spending an hour a day looking for good deals on videogame cosmetics.

"Some people have hundreds of Bill's hats by now, it's a common hat to use to trade for other, more expensive hats."

That hat trading is such a big deal that a de facto hat currency has evolved is the best thing I've read on the internet in about a month.

Hattori Hanzo sword wielded by the Hand of Vecna? I'd pay money for that. Also that WoW collector's edition... And how much for the account with the parrot?

Give it away so people stop bothering you. It will honestly only get worse.

Are you aware Valve hired an economist to deal with all this?
The economist has a blog:

This sounds like the best way to go forward. Ask him for a game you want Tom, although I suppose you don't go short of games in any case.

Play Ys this instant scoundrel!

tl;dr: Search at for what other people are offering for Bill's hat and try to find someone trustworthy who gives you something you really want in return, like games.

Something similar happened to me last christmas. During the Steam Sale I crafted my pieces of coal, which I got through achievement grinding, and no coupons or games showed up, but TF2 hats.
I was pissed and complained about that in the forum, and as it turned out, I seemed to have gotten one of the most valuable hats, the Holiday Headcase (
For almost 4 days I was searching the internet to get into this TF2 economy and was so scared I could to anything wrong. I didn't want other hats, but I wanted games, and I found some offers on this site:
At some point I didn't care if I was going to be ripped off, I just wanted to get rid of this hat so I could think about other stuff again. Someone approached me, his steam profile looked okay (enough games, no new account) and he offered some other hats, a scarf, stuff I really had no use for ... AND Skyrim.
So I took the offer. After a few days he messages me because he saw that I still had the TF2 items he gave me. He said since I had no use for it, he wanted to trade another game for it. So I have him back his TF2 stuff, and after some negotiation ("You're breaking my balls here, man!") I got Batman: Arkham City + 2 DLCs.
I still think that I could've gotten even more games out of it (people in the forum claimed that hat was worth 4 to 5 games), but I just wasn't ready to waste so much time on figuring out the real market value of that hat.
And even though still haven't played those games, yet, (damn work and social life ... and too much other games on my account) I didn't regret it. 2 games is more than I've ever expected to get during a Steam Sale for completing achievements.
Oh, and by the way, the currency in TF2 supposedly is Earbuds, because they are also limited. And I've just found a trading request where one Holiday Headcase wants to be traded for 4 earbuds and 2 Bill's hats.

Eh, just give it to him. That's my advice. You are out nothing, you'll make his entire month (sounds like), and you'll feel good about yourself after.