What Is The Steam Market & Should I Use It To Buy CS2/CSGO Skins?

Skins are one of the primary attractions of Counter-Strike, as it allows players to customize their loadouts and express themselves. Naturally, every CSGO player would want to own some skins under their name. However, many new players struggle to understand where the best place to buy CSGO skins is. 

In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about the Steam Market and whether you should use it to buy skins.

What is the Steam Market?

The Steam Community Market is an additional feature on the Steam platform that allows users to buy and sell in-game items. The Steam Market operates sales for any game on the platform that has tradable items, such as CSGO. Hence, an entire section is specifically made for buying and selling CSGO skins.

The only payment method on the Steam CSGO Market is the Steam Wallet. All transactions revolve around this wallet. Players can top up their wallet balance through real-money methods such as credit cards or gift cards and purchase skins using the funds. If a player sells a skin on the Steam Market, the money will flow to the Steam Wallet. 

Is the Steam Market Safe?

Yes, the Steam Market is 100% safe to use! The service is provided by Valve, the creators of Counter-Strike and the owners of the Steam platform. 

In the Steam Market, players engage in peer-to-peer trading, where one user lists an item and another buys it. Valve oversees these transactions, and the platform acts as the middleman, ensuring both parties get their end of the deal safely.

All weapon skins and their wear are clearly stated in the listing’s name. Just ensure you are looking at the right item, and there should be no way to get scammed. 

However, the images of skins displayed in the Steam Market often do not reflect how the skin will look in the game. It is important to use the “Inspect in game” button to see how the skin will appear in the actual game. Some weapon skins have different patterns that the Steam Market cannot detect. 

All things considered, there is no way to get scammed when transacting on the Steam Market as long as you don’t accidentally make a silly mistake. 

How to buy skins on the Steam Market

Fortunately, the Steam platform has made it easy for users to buy and sell skins on the Steam Market. The procedures are incredibly straightforward.

Before buying a skin, ensure you have enough Steam Wallet funds. You can fill up Steam Wallet balance using an abundance of payment methods, such as Visa, MasterCard, Steam Gift Cards, and others, depending on what methods your country offers. Once you have funds in your wallet, you’re good to go! 

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to how to buy your first skin on the Steam CSGO Market:

  1. Open the Steam desktop client or the official Steam website on your browser.
  2. Next, hover over the “Community” section in the top-left corner. It is right next to “Library”.
  3. A handful of options will appear, in which you will click “Market,” which will take you to the official Steam Community Market.
  4. Search for your desired skin. You can search it by name or use the Steam Market’s useful filters to make browsing items easier. 
  5. Once you have selected a skin, click the “Buy Now” button. 
  6. Steam will review the transaction and ask you to confirm the purchase.
  7. After agreeing to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, click the “Purchase” button.

Right after the purchasing process is complete, the item will immediately appear in your Steam Inventory and can be used in the game. Skins you have just purchased will be trade-locked for one week. However, they are instantly marketable, so you can sell them on the Steam CSGO Market again any time you’d like. 

The purchasing process for weapon cases is slightly different but follows the same idea. 

Steam Market vs. Third-party Websites

Now that we’ve understood what the Steam Market is, is it the best place to buy CSGO skins? Or is it better to purchase from third-party websites?

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of buying skins on the Steam CSGO Market or using marketplace websites instead.

Benefits of the Steam Market

  • Since Valve oversees the entire Steam Market, transactions within the platform are guaranteed to be 100% safe.
  • Users can easily access the Steam Market through the client and utilize its straightforward interface.
  • Skins are instantly delivered to a player’s inventory upon purchase; there are zero waiting times for skins to arrive.
  • The Steam Wallet allows for quick Steam Market transactions.
  • The Steam Market provides users complete information on market trends, such as price history and graphs. 

Drawbacks of the Steam Market

  • Items on the Steam Marketplace have higher prices than third-party sites, as Steam imposes a 15% service fee for sellers, forcing them to increase prices for buyers.
  • Users cannot withdraw Steam Wallet funds as cash, so they can only use it to buy more skins.
  • Steam has limited payment options compared to third-party websites, as users cannot deposit funds through methods such as cryptocurrency.
  • The Steam Market does not offer users a feature to bargain with sellers to negotiate prices.
  • Lack of information regarding float values and rare patterns.

Benefits of Third-party Websites

  • Skins listed on third-party websites generally have lower prices. These websites impose fees ranging from 5-8%, significantly lower than the Steam Market’s fees.
  • Users can withdraw website balances as cash, using bank transfers or cryptocurrency. 
  • Many websites allow users to bargain or send offers to sellers, giving the feeling of a real marketplace.
  • Most websites have implemented tools to show the float values, rare patterns, and any other important information related to the specific skin that is listed.
  • Third-party websites generally accept more payment methods, such as cryptocurrency or international methods.

Drawbacks of Third-party Websites

  • There is an increased risk of potentially getting scammed. Users must carefully select which platforms to transact in and ensure they are reputable.
  • Buying skins from a website may result in slow deliveries, as the seller must be online to send the skin. 
  • Since almost all third-party websites integrate a P2P system, users must follow additional steps to complete a transaction, making the process more complex.
  • Customer support may be less reliable. In a situation where a player gets scammed, Steam Support will not be able to help since the transaction did not happen on their platform.


In conclusion, we highly recommend using the Steam Market if you are a new Counter-Strike player. The Steam Market offers users a seamless and straightforward experience, with instant deliveries and protection from scams. Though the prices of weapon skins on the market are slightly higher, it is better than getting scammed due to inexperience in trading CSGO skins. 

However, intermediate to advanced Steam users should look to transact on third-party websites instead, especially users looking to trade, buy, or sell skins frequently. The high fees on Steam can hurt anyone’s wallet in the long run, as percentage-based fees scale infinitely. 

Additionally, experienced skin traders understand the importance of float values, wear, and, most importantly, rare patterns or phases. This information is not accessible on the Steam Market, while most third-party websites transparently provide players with it. 

So, if you are still a beginner or won’t find yourself buying skins regularly, it is best to use the Steam Market. However, if you are looking to start trading or want to make expensive purchases, then using third-party websites is the way to go. Make sure to choose the correct websites and not fall for any impersonation scams! 

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