Studying supply and demand with Steam trading cards

Playing on Steam (platform where you can buy PC games), you get “trading cards”, which can be exchanged with friends, sell on the market, or forge a complete set in a “medal”.

Everything is technically useless, have a medal or a complete set does not unlock new game levels, is purely aesthetic. That said, there are thousands of players who buy cards on the market to forge medals and thousands are also selling them and then use the profits as a credit on the purchase of other games.

So this market is quite similar to stock trading, we see that there are thousands of sell and buy orders: supply and demand for each card they decide its value.

Every year, during sales, each player gets up to three free cards every day. Those are “temporary” cards, which will automatically disappear at the end of promotion. The high supply (everyone get them free) and low demand (everyone will want to get rid of before the end of the promotion) means that the price collapses a few days after the start. Not right away, because in the beginning there are many who buy them to have a complete set (high demand) and yet not everyone have had them for free (lowest bid)

You can see how the price falls from 12 cents to 6 cents (minus a 2 cents commission)

But this year there’s an interesting twist: from January 2 is no longer possible to earn cards, but you can still swap and combine them until February 2nd; I am curious to see what will happen.

In fact, every time someone forges a medal, 9 cards are destroyed. There are 5 levels of medals, so collectors could destroy up to 45 cards each!

There will be more demand while supply will be zero.

We will see in the coming weeks how this “alternative” market will work 😂

What do you think will happen?