-REP A harrowing experience to say the least. Initial comment. (to clarify, the abbreviations in the edited part stand for: NTS - Note to self; TO, NA - Traded once, never again)
To sum up/my grievances:
Mentioned below as well, had he clarified that he was going to buy and gift it to me during our trade, given what I know about the matter, I would have asked him to try to purchase and gift it to me first. Either way, had he not complied or had he tried to purchase and gift it to me (in which case he wouldn't have been able and wasted maybe a minute at most trying to), fail and not be able to provide with an alternate acceptable solution, would have called off the deal then only.
TL;DR - I'll try to provide a brief jist, but it's not my strong suit. Still, here it goes (also the entire conversation is provided as screenshots in a link below to verify):
In our very first conversation I asked him about any restrictions on his key. He again pretends to check restrictions on the key on the day of trading. I clarify every detail about my key. Mentions his is gift, with a follow up question about my key. I explain in detail. He informs me of a negative experience involving a similar key. I again clarify. In both these instances, he inquires about and I clarify in detail about my key. I also asked him in both cases what he means by gift, only the second time does he say Steam gift.
After I say that I can understand if he has reservations about my key and he can call off the trade, he immediately says it's fine, followed by "hopefully the gift is row". Some traders have/do refer to HB gift links for Steam simply as "Steam gifts". Certain keys/key links do have region restrictions. A game which you are purchasing as a gift on Steam doesn't have select restrictions. It's locked to that particular region only.
I try twice again to make sure, he provides me with steamdb link. You do this only if you have a key/gift link, not when you are about to purchase and gift directly on Steam. I drop my key on seeing no restrictions.
I'll continue again from the part where I say "Steam gifts are region-locked". The events of the meantime are his attempts to send me his item. After I say Steam gifts are region locked, he says EU has no restrictions. He had asked me about my region in our very first interaction. When he says EU has no restrictions, it's natural to assume EU can send Steam gifts to any location. Before this he provided a screenshot showing his inability to track my name to send the gift; only then do I realize what he means by "Steam gift". I have provided a link to the screenshot further below. I focused on the part where he had entered my name and it's not showing up. Not the rest of it (Payment/Purchase, not that it would have mattered then.
After that I say I can't see Singularity gift in his inventory (I mentioned this below as well. It is my understanding that not very long ago games could be purchased as gift on Steam and kept in inventory. I may be wrong here, but I believe these gifts didn't have any region locks. Nonetheless, now that I understood what gift he has been meaning and given my unfamiliarity with these gifts you could keep in your inventory, I said that these gifts have restrictions). Only then does he say he was going to buy it then and gift me. I still mention the restrictions, knowing that I've already been done for, hoping that he may be right and you can indeed purchase and send gifts from EU to at least my region. (Hard to believe a trader of 5 years and 11 years Steam user is not to privy to region-specific gifting information. And also about the gifts you can keep in your inventory, given that he has one/did so at the moment of my initial writing. Link provided as well below)
Again, only after that does me mention that he no longer had key. After that, it starts to become messy. The rest is there in the screenshots to check (tries to force low value bundled games and eventually, I do have to settle with 4 of such). I have also talked about it in detail below and certain sections I felt were important I've tried to highlight below.
The following will be a breakdown of the entire conversation we had and it's going to be very long. The hyperlinks are to https://imgbb.com. The hyperlinks are set as https://imgbb.com/x1a (unshortened), but will redirect to shortened urls (https://ibb.co/x1a direct view links).
Edit: Couple sections where I've accused him of not mentioning that he didn't have a key once have been striked through. He did mention exactly once that it was not a key (not that the fact that he didn't have a key to begin with, but he did mention it once nonetheless). This is evident as well from the screenshot image, but needs to be stated outright as it's only fair.
Entire conversation on Steam mobile app: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yY1qFPqjZkgzUqhp9. (Note: Replaced a screenshot with my e-mail for one where it's been redacted. The redacted image is now at the end of the album. The message I sent him after the "Cheers!" one is the
"Bye-bye, birdie" "Anonymity" one. Since the "birdie" "Anonymity" message has no trace of any previous text before it, would like to clarify. It's a peeve of mine to delete messages( on Steam) after a particular conversation is over. More so in this case as I didn't want to see his profile at the top of my 'Chat' section after what went down. Also, after my "birdie" message he added two more: "Cool" "Glad it helped" to which I replied "Sure it did". Was a little too carried away at the moment to remember to screenshot. Briefly after that he unfriended me)
In retrospect, should have caught on early how this would have gone down. The repeated "we'll discuss" texts. The initial wee bit too polite demeanor (repeated "thanks"s and "hello"s; not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but as mentioned, in retrospect) compared to and based on my experience conversing with other traders, not that they were unpleasant or anything.
Now coming to the "good" part. Note how he slyly mentions he wanted to check his "key" followed by "gift" ("mine is gift", "... it's a Steam gift"). I was dumb to assume initially that he meant a key as a Humble Bundle gift link. I had seen traders (either unknowingly or intentionally) refer to HB gift links as Steam gifts (gift link for Steam, so "Steam gifts*). My biggest mistake here. The latter mention of "Steam gift" should have done it. I definitely should have clarified further if he meant a Humble gift link or a gift on Steam.
Me assuming (a little too much) and not clarifying did me in here. To portray my state of mind: from the get go, I was extremely keen on getting Singularity. As it is a decade+ old unbundled game and a rare tradable, I jumped the moment I saw it on his list. Which is why I offered a game, the lowest price of which was more than twice the lowest price of the one I wanted from him. Seeing as I personally valued Singularity more than X4 as a game, I ignored the price difference and went for it. Extreme foolishness on my part.
He says he "hopes the gift is row" followed by "i can't see any limitation". He has been trading for "5 years" and been on Steam for 11(+). It's hard to believe he didn't know you can only "purchase and send as a gift" in only your region (unless it's a brand new thing, which I'm pretty sure it isn't).
He gives me the steamdb sub asking if I see any restrictions. You only do this if you've got a key (or a key as a Humble link) which may or may not have region restrictions. Not a game you are "purchasing and sending as a gift". Naturally, as there were none I dropped my key.
After being unable to send me on Steam, he asks for my e-mail. The red bit is my e-mail. I am not really sure if you can "purchase and send as a gift" to someone's e-mail, but apparently according to him you can. Even until that point, I'm under the notion he is trying to send me a gift link, so while I'm bamboozled why he can't send me directly in chat, I still give him my e-mail. The exact link to the screenshot he shared right after: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/1844795862631510662/501F3727352C3DEA0E944937DA97D9BBFB0FD7E2/ (another link to it if it's not accessible). I was steadily losing hope already, but that screenshot pretty much did it. I hadn't notice the "Payment info" part yet (coming to that in a bit), just the fact that he couldn't find my profile when he searched for it.
Took me a couple more seconds before I told him that "Steam gifts are supposed to be region-locked". With whatever crumb of hope was left, my stupid little brain thought it may be a gift he had beforehand (I am quite unfamiliar with this, but I know that not very long ago, one had the option to buy games as gifts and keep it in their Inventory. Since, it can't be done anymore, these Steam gifts are valuable in the trade scene. I may be wrong here, but I don't think these Steam gifts had restrictions on them, but as I was not completely sure, I mentioned that gifts have region restrictions). After this he says, EU region doesn't have any such restrictions. In the meantime I check his inventory, to find no Singularity gift. And only after mentioning this does he say he was going to buy it right then.
Earlier he mentioned he had a Steam key and he was going to check that for restrictions. Even though it wasn't completely necessary, I mentioned that my key may activate as "... for Beta Testing" but would be the full game. This is because I've found traders who refused Beta keys of any kind, even ones like mine which provide unrestricted access to the full game.
The decent thing he could have done was reciprocate and come clean, telling me he didn't have the key and was going to purchase it then and there and gift it to me. If he would have only done this, given my unfamiliarity, I would have asked him to try and purchase and gift it to me. This would have taken us to the 'direct linked screenshot of his' section of the convo, and pretty much that would've been it. Would have called off the trade right there if he couldn't provide me with any acceptable alternate solution.
After he said he was going to buy it, I pretty much lost it all. But as pissed as I was, I tried to maintain composure as best I could. I told him he said he had a key, to which he says he "thought he had one but had traded it long ago and wanted to be fair". "To be fair". A truly "fair" person would have notified me at the very beginning about not having the key, which I immediately say to him. He says he was willing ("willing" as if he was doing me a favor) to buy it to trade for X4. Where was this information before? The "buying" then part? Even after I mentioned the little details about my key (which by the way activated without the mention of any "Beta testing". Checked this using steamdb browser extension).
After that, my composure began to collapse. He mentions the part where I checked for region restrictions on steamdb to which I reply (as aforementioned) that I checked the region restrictions assuming it was key or a key link. He says he never mentioned gift link (true, but again, did he mention he was going to try to purchase then and gift me?) and offers me another game. The direct link to his trade he provided: https://www.steamtrades.com/trade/Y3W0H/h-bundle-leftovers-w-offers. Note that this is not the trade list where I commented. But hey, it surely could've been an honest mistake because later he mentions he has "2 threads".
But I didn't want another game. I stated again (what I have mentioned here above, and what I should have clarified before dropping my key) that he never mentioned he didn't have a key. And classic deflection right after, "are you trying to mock me?". He quotes the part where I ask him if he visited the X4 store page and it showed that it was in his library. As I mentioned, the key could have activated as "... for Beta Testing" and he showed a brief reservation about it. Me genuinely asking him to check the store page was simply to establish (and confirm) that he indeed got the full game.
After that he tries to deflect further, saying I was talking about HB gift links in inventory. By then I was already mighty pissed and couldn't/didn't bother to tell him the Steam gifts (the ones you can keep in inventory) I was talking about. (Note that he has a Minion Masters gift in his inventory)
After his "don't try to be smart", the winks and smileys, "meditate", "see it your way", I momentarily snapped ("You are one piece of work ... "). And he rightly dismisses my remark. On mentioning that the link to the thread he provided was not the one I commented on, he says he has 2 from where I could choose. Before this he demands me to pick a game from that leftover list of his ("pick a game now", "now", the gall) from that leftover list of his. But hey, honest mistake.
I tried to recompose myself, knowing that I had to be polite enough until I can salvage something from this mess. I mention three relatively "big games": Detroit: Become Human ("a bit too much for him"), LA Noire & Postal 4 ("LA is EU and can't do Postal"), as expected. These games individually cost less than X4, but price isn't the only value at play so yeah, "alright", plus he is in a position to dictate the way he wants it as he has already gotten his). After saying Detroit's too much, he leaves for lunch at work and messages after about an hour.
I had also shortlisted some other games knowing full well, he wouldn't trade the big ones (sans Postal, all of the shortlisted ones combined would still have amounted to less than X4), and from those, he "generously allows" me to pick 4 (Linelight costs a dollar or so, but that was too much). I "happily" settled with the 4 I picked. Left him a +rep (albeit one hinting that it wasn't a perfect trade) and asked him to do the same. He'd surely been online in the meanwhile and as much as I wanted to let it all slide, I appropriately chose not to. I sent him this: https://imgbb.com/qJK287B . His reply: https://imgbb.com/DbCMcJg
Had he admitted (typed it out, not reading between the lines) that he made a mistake and was at fault too, perhaps I would have been more understanding and adjusted my attitude accordingly.
Instead he brushes past it and tries to pin it on me. He doesn't say he was wrong to not have told me he didn't have the key, nor the fact he was going to buy as a gift for my then. Nothing. No mention of either.
He says we agreed. Before mentioning it's a Steam gift, he brilliantly deflects by saying he had a curator key which was revoked. I try to clarify about my key. Could he not have done the same and tell it was a Steam gift which he was going to buy then? Granted, I was wrong to assume it was a HB gift link (even though as mentioned I've found a handful of folks refer to it as Steam gift). But more so, in not checking his inventory beforehand.
As mentioned, my assuming was my undoing. As he's a 100+ rep trader of 5 years on ST and 11+ years Steam user, I thought he knew about the purchasing and gifting situation at the very least (that it's region specific only and that you don't need to check for region restrictions on steamdb for that). Not to mention, the courtesy of being honest from the get go. He was already getting a brilliant deal so why not squeeze a bit more out of it.
The original agreement was a particular unbundled game for another one. Instead he receives a pretty pricey unbundled one and "generously" provides me with 4 low-priced bundled ones. Given how he made me drop a game worth a dollar and the three "big ones", it was clear enough what his reaction would have been had I wasted more time cherry picking. I knew I had to seal the deal right then and rightfully so. I even asked him to purchase it from a keyshop "to be fair" as he had said. But no acknowledgment of that whatsoever. He neither acknowledges when I tell him why he didn't tell me he didn't have a key. Instead he tries to deflect and dismissively keeps on quoting and mentioning how I thought of his Steam gift as a HB gift link.
But not once does he say he was wrong to not have told about not having a key.
Is this unfair trade completely on him? Of course not, I am equally to blame. But his rude, dismissive behavior coupled with the fact he willingly withheld details pertaining to the initial agreement makes it more than justifiable for me to leave this negative feedback. But I'm in part grateful for this lesson, and the fact that the trade was carried over the weekend. A good bit of downtime lost, but at least it was downtime.
Edit: In response to reply below. It may be "trying so hard" for you, not for me. Dealt with wonderful people such as yourself in almost walk of life and have acquired a good bit of experience from that. Again, I've cleared everything out in the above "wall of text". You never once said you were going to buy it,
never once said you didn't have a key explicitly. The main part: you never said you were going to buy one during the trade as you are claiming here now. And you were adamant that EU has no region-restrictions, knowing full well I'm in a different region. I never wanted you to try. Not once did I say I was unsure of my key. It would be (as it turned out be) the full game only, just the activation message may include the words "for Beta Testing" (my mistake: I never said I wanted to try for you send me the gift. It's all there in the images. Unwilling to repeat this time. According to you, I agreed to try the Steam gift you were going to send me. This has been cleared, but let's forget that for just a moment. A "fair" trader would have offered to try to purchase and send as gift first, knowing full well the attempt would cost him a couple minutes at best, but nothing more). I left you a positive review right after the trade and asked you to do the same. Directly linked my rep page for convenience after everything. You were online in the meanwhile, I checked twice before sending my "Anonymity .." message. It takes at most a couple minutes to give a rep. Deleted my rep after you asked me to remove. Good that I'm used to tedium and monotony. Never blocked you, you unfriended me. Wouldn't have tried to trade my game if I wanted it back. I will not return your games. Again, going the price route (either current lowest or lowest ever), you owe stuff more than 5 USD minimum. And the wink with both eyes is essentially blinking.
I don't understand why you are trying so hard!? You knew that I'm willing to buy you the game, but did not knew if were restrictions or not to INDIA (for EU aren't). You wanted to give a try and sent me your key. In the end you left me a positive rep, but you changed based on WHAT? That I did not said 'Bye!' and because I unfriended you after we trade !?!? Add me and I'll give you your game back...of course, I want my 4 games back also! ;;)
+rep, Excellent and kind trader, exchanged games successfully, for which thank you to him, I advise!
+Rep, this friend is an icon of patience, friendliness and most importantly, communicative. We traded an Nvidia Bundle (you can imagine the hassle involved) and it went super smoothly.
Thank you for the excellent trade!
+rep great trader and very patient it took me some time to find my keys and he was very nice about it highly recommend trading with him!
Fast, Friendly and Fair trader with a great collection of games. Looking forward future trades.