Offer to give him the hat. Delete hat.
That hat's whack.
I had pretty much the same thing happen. Since I haven't played TF2 in a long time, I traded a bunch of cosmetic stuff for a ridiculous pile of actual equipment that I may still never use. The item addon economy stuff is one of the reasons I stopped playing. I liked the game they made and hated that they kept diluting it with a lot of junk that undermined the purity of the gameplay.
Though I never played TF2 online, I had someone do this same thing last week. "She" was allegedly a college student with an alluring profile pic. Once I told her I didn't play, she defriended me. Weird.
That name, it's just too silly to take seriously.
I'd delete the hat before I give it to him. People who make trades like this to random strangers usually have a tool that scans non-private Steam profiles for people with valuable hats and low play time in TF2. They then either try to trade worthless items (like weapons) for it or play the pity card (PLZ PLZ PLZ.) If you trade it to him you'll just be encouraging him to pester other people.
Usually around Steam sales there'll be people who are willing to buy Steam games for you in exchange for hats. You can probably get around ten steambucks in exchange for a bill's to support worthwhile, underlooked games with. Like 4 copies of Alpha Protocol.
These folks generally aren't that nice once they get the sense you aren't going to give them what they want or let them rip you off. I'd ask him how he found you and if he can tell you how to remove yourself from public view. If he's the nice guy you're envisioning he'll help you - give him the hat. If he turns into an asshole then you know you're right not to give it up.
Consign it to the pit of Mount Doom. ie craft it and no one will bother you.
tf2 is pretty much two very different things right now: a great multiplayer game in the verge of being borked and a autoregulated barter/market simulator. Sometimes this two things mix, but if someone is adding you at random it's not likely he's desperate or anything. Most likely, as previously said is scanning public profiles (your steam inventory for different games is public too unless you set your profile to private/private to friends). It does not mean of course he has to be a scammer but it weapons that aren't "strange" (and very specific for that at least); he's probably trying to rip you off (there are sites like steamrep, sourceop that track the honesty of people trading!).
I particularly don't care that much about hats and stuff, I prefer to play than to trade, I rather give a hat to a friend as a gift than undersell it to a greedy random, but that's just me.
And since the tf2 economy is kind of complicated the only real advice I could add is refer to the tf2 spreadsheet
the other sites linked are also good, but the spreadsheet is the default price accepted by most people and it's kept updated pretty much all the time, you just look up for the item you want and it'll give you the average price in metal, keys, buds or whatever.
gl hf tom
Thanks so much for all the suggestions, particularly from those of you familiar with the whole hat trade business. I find that stuff fascinating.
So I told him he could have the hat if he would gift me a copy of Terraria, which is a $10 game. He immediately declined. :)
I had the exact same experience with my 3 piece Sam and Max kit. I tried to get rid of the person by just asking fo rsomething expensive: the £30 preorder for batman ac that was on the front page of Steam at the time. I was going to buy itregardless. He agreed and had steam email me the code. It was too good to be true. I assumed it was some kind of credit card scam and the game would be revoked in a week and my valve account banned. (this was before games could be traded on steam, but you could still gift.)
turns out it WAS a scam: each piece of the kit could have gotten me a copy each! :) so I lost out, overall.
I imagine you have a journalist account so you get all the games on steam anyway?get some games off him and trade them away on the forums as some kind of prize.
This is my concern as well, pod. I don't mind giving a kid a hat, but I do mind being taken advantage of. I figured a $10 game would have been a fair trade if he really wanted the hat. Which it seemed he did given how frequently he was messaging me.
And, no, I don't have a journalist account on Steam. I've heard tell of these mythical "hey, you get EVERYTHING!" accounts, but I just have a regular ol' Steam account.
Are those keys usable in Dota2, too?
So he only wanted it if it was virtually free. You can acquire a copy of Terraria via trading for about 3 keys, bills hat is 8 keys, each key is $1.25. ~$6 for 5 minutes of effort, it's not bad for some high school kid.
(You can usually get games that have previously been on sale for a lower than current price, as there's usually a number of them in circulation where people are trying to trade them for hat currency, which can be converted to paypal.)
I wouldn't get rid of the hat, its part of history in TF2 land, and Bill would be disappoint!
I recall a few years back there was a 2 month fight between 2 online TF2 friends, because one painted Bill's hat gold, and the other hated it, glorious lulz worthy times back then. I don't think TF2 had a store or trading yet, those were the days...
I actually had a guy ask me for my Bill's Hat. We danced around it for a month or so before deciding to.
Funny thing: guy told me my asking price was _too low_ and suggested I raise it to a game worth... about US$15.
On the one hand I want the hat because I think it would look good on my TF2 character. On the other hand, I don't want messages from random strangers because I have it. In that way, it's sort of like one of those cursed amulets, but not one of the really bad curses where the owner dies violently. More like the cursed amulet of Internet badgering. And really, I have just enough virtual hats to satisfy my fashionista cravings. After all, it doesn't matter how many hats you own if you only ever wear one of them.
"I’m still utterly boggled that people are selling undead chicken pets in Guild Wars 2 for a hundred dollars."
As a Guild Wars player that runs around with an undead chicken pet, this is news to me. I would never part with my pet chicken, however.
So THAT's why I keep getting random friend requests from people I never played a game with lol. How do they know what's in my inventory anyway? I also wish I never opened my WoW Collectors Edition. I would be a few thousand dollars richer, and wouldn't have wasted all that time on WoW.
Alternatively, you could always give me the hat. I donate part of my income to World Vision every month even though I've been unemployed for a year, because my beloved cousin died of AIDS and unexpectedly left me money, and I wanted to do something to remember him by. World Vision has a thing where you can specifically support a child in an environment with high rates of HIV infection. So that is what I did; I swear on my Grandmother's grave. Or you could give it a to a kid in France. The choice is entirely yours. I would probably wear it for a while, then give it to my 9-year old to wear or trade as he saw fit. Regardless, damn interesting post. My TF2 name is Mister Picklefluff; pretty sure it's the only one out there.