I have been using Steam Market for some years. Several times in the past, I have been surprised by:
- the priority seemingly given to some buy orders which were lower than the bid,
- even though the item in question was a commodity.
For reference, this is how "commodity" items are described on the page of a market listing:
This item is a commodity, where all the individual items are effectively identical. Individual listings aren't accessible; you can instead issue orders to buy at a specific price, with the cheapest listing getting automatically matched to the highest buy order.
Earlier today, I was able to get a screenshot of this seemingly inconsistent behavior for sacks of gems, which are commodity items. In the screenshot below:
- the ask is at 0.31 €,
- the bid is at 0.30 €,
- there are more than 5 thousand buy orders at 0.29 €,
- the user jmakela4228 buys an item for 0.28 €,
For reference, jmakela4228 happens to be one bot of one of the largest networks of bots (if not the largest network) operating on Steam Market. If you often buy or sell trading cards and booster packs for the less popular games, you are bound to encounter one of these bots.
If you check clees42's profile, there are 640 similarly named bots in his list of Steam contacts, and the main account has 158 thousand market transactions by itself.
I wonder whether it is:
- an exploit,
- a display bug, and the buy order was not actually fulfilled for the displayed price,
- the result of rounding in a currency stronger than the euro (EUR €), maybe the pound sterling (GBP £).
The fact that the buyer is a bot could be a coincidence, as it is expected that one of the biggest botnet in the gem/card arbitrage business should also be expected to purchase large volumes of gems at regular intervals.
Potentially relevant threads: