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How do people sell Steam keys for so cheap?

Hey friend! As an avid gamer and streaming enthusiast myself, I totally get how exciting it is to grab hot new game keys for dirt cheap prices. The main secret behind these rock-bottom deals is that key resellers work as marketplaces connecting bulk key buyers with regular customers like us. They don‘t actually make or generate the keys themselves. Developers and publishers provide authorized keys at wholesale rates to resellers, who then sell them on at hugely discounted retail prices while still turning a profit. It‘s a win-win!

Legality of Cheap Steam Keys

I know it seems sketchy how cheap some sites sell Steam keys for, but have no fear – as long as you stick to reputable sellers, it‘s 100% above board! According to, there are many trustworthy sites that sell legitimate Steam keys at great prices by acting as a marketplace between developers and gamers. The keys are genuine because they originate directly from the publishers.

User Reviews Are Your Friend

The best way to ensure a site is legit is to search for user reviews online. If a site has been operating successfully for a while, you‘ll find plenty of feedback from real customers verifying they got working keys and had no issues. I always check reviews on seller rating sites before buying from any new retailer.

How to Spot Dodgy Sites

Be wary of any sites lacking reviews, offering prices that seem too good to be true, or asking you to complete sketchy offers for free keys. Only buy from well-established sellers with a strong reputation for providing legitimate keys. A few warning signs include:

  • No or very few online reviews
  • Keys being sold for pennies
  • Asking you to complete sponsor offers for free keys
  • No seller rating system

The Business of Reselling Keys

Now let‘s get into the money side! Here‘s the lowdown on how resellers manage to sell keys so cheaply:

Bulk Buy Discounts

Resellers acquire game keys in seriously massive bulk volumes directly from publishers and platforms like Steam. We‘re talking tens or hundreds of thousands of keys for the hottest new releases. They leverage this bulk buying power to get keys at an absolute fraction of the cost.

No Overhead Costs

Unlike Steam, resellers don‘t have to maintain game download servers or provide bandwidth for updates and patches. This eliminates a chunk of operating costs, allowing bigger discounts.

Just a Marketplace

Since marketplaces like G2A don‘t actually create or generate the keys, they have minimal overhead expenses compared to official stores. They just connect sellers and buyers in return for a small commission.

Win-Win Situation

The discounts benefit both developers and resellers. Devs get a big upfront payout selling keys in bulk, while resellers profit on volume at low margins. Gamers also win with super cheap keys! Everyone comes out ahead.

Player Benefit
Developers Large upfront sales selling keys in bulk
Resellers Profit through volume and low overhead costs
Gamers Access to cheap game keys for new releases

Reselling Steam Keys Yourself

If like me you‘re tempted to try reselling yourself, here are some quick facts:

  • Steam doesn‘t directly sell keys, only games through their client
  • You can‘t use Steam to advertise key resales, but you can sell them elsewhere
  • There‘s no rule against reselling keys bought on Steam
  • But! Steam recommends against using keys for trading purposes

So in summary, you won‘t get banned just for reselling keys – but Steam officially frowns on it. Your best bet is selling through reputable marketplaces rather than independently.

Is G2A Legit?

Now for the million dollar question – is using sites like G2A above board? The short answer is yes – G2A and similar large marketplaces operate entirely legally. However, there are some ethical concerns around potentially fraudulent keys ending up on sale.

How Can Keys be Fraudulent?

While the resellers themselves are legit, some keys on their marketplaces may come from fraudulent sources, such as:

  • Purchases made with stolen payment info
  • Keys bought with stolen accounts
  • Keys obtained through regional price abuse

This is why developers are often against third party reselling – there‘s a risk of dirty money.

Minimizing Your Risk

The chances of buying a bad key are very low, but here are some tips:

  • Only buy from highly reputable sellers with recent positive feedback
  • Check reviews carefully before purchasing
  • Pay a little extra for buyer protection through services like G2A Shield

Why So Cheap?

Wondering why marketplaces often beat official stores on pricing? There are a few key money-saving factors:

No Hosting Costs

Platforms like Steam host game files and provide bandwidth for downloading and updates. Resellers save big by not having these expenses.

No Storefront Overheads

Maintaining a digital storefront like Steam isn‘t cheap! Again, just acting as a marketplace keeps costs down.

High Volume Sales

By selling tons of keys, resellers can operate on low margins and still turn a healthy profit. Volume is everything.

Direct From Publishers

Eliminating the storefront middleman means resellers can buy keys at even better bulk rates directly from publishers and developers.

Should You Use G2A?

So should you use G2A? I‘d say yes – it‘s a legitimate marketplace with some great deals. But a few words of caution:

  • Stick to highly reputable sellers only
  • Pay a little extra for buyer protection
  • Avoid if you‘re concerned about developers not getting a fair share
  • Check reviews carefully before buying
  • Know there‘s a small risk of getting locked or region-restricted keys

If you do your homework, you can snag awesome bargains safely. But it pays to be careful!

Alright my friend, let me know if you have any other questions! Happy cheap gaming!