tl;dr: From December 15th 2020, it will no longer be possible to sell items on Marketplace.tf. Marketplace will still exist, but will only sell items from a small list of hand-selected sellers.
In 2017, we opened the Seller Program to provide the TF2 community with a safe, risk-free environment to trade their items. Our goal was simple, but the task was not. Since that time, we have experienced ever-increasing levels of fraudulent payments, account hijacking attempts, elaborate schemes to scam us via our support system, DDoS attacks, and more. We have witnessed groups of people attempt to manipulate the market by bullying and harassing others into changing their prices. We have seen users' Steam accounts be hijacked at increasing rates in attempts to steal items that they have deposited to Marketplace. In recent months, the TF2 Inventory APIs have also become increasingly unstable and unavailable.
These issues are not necessarily new, and we have done our best to tackle them for some time. Individually, they are not particularly cataclysmic; they are, in many ways, simply "the cost of doing business." However, their combined effect is becoming overwhelming, and we no longer feel that we can continue to operate in the same way. The net gain from the Seller Program is, unfortunately, not sufficient for the toll that having it extracts. To put it simply, it is too much. For these reasons and more, effective immediately, we will no longer be allowing new sellers to sign up. Although there is no immediate impact on existing sellers, we will be removing the ability to sell items on Marketplace on December 15th, save for a (quite small) whitelist of people.
We have not come to this decision lightly, and there are a great number of factors going into it. Ultimately, we feel this is the most responsible and reasonable decision, but we also recognize the issues with a sudden, unannounced closure of the program. In light of that, we will be leaving the Seller Program open (to those who have already signed up) until December 15th, which we hope gives you ample time to prepare and not feel as if this is too sudden or without warning.
Neither Valve nor any other entity is "forcing" this upon us; it is entirely our own decision. Although Marketplace is certainly the largest website on which TF2 items may be bought and sold, it is not the only one; and we see no reason that a new, high-quality platform could not take its place.
We are not instituting this change all at once; rather, we will be progressively shutting down the seller program over the next 4 months, to ease the transition and give the community time to adjust.
No, but there is nothing stopping you. We have set a date of December 15th to provide a structured shutdown plan that provides everyone -- including our staff -- time to prepare and adjust. Marketplace will be largely available (as described in the timeline) until that time. We encourage you to make full use of Marketplace until that point.
After December 15th, we will begin the process of contacting those who have not withdrawn their items or funds. We will utilize every communication channel available to us in order to contact users and inform them that they must withdraw. We will attempt to make reasonable accomodations where necessary, but at a certain point (at minimum, months after the final date of December 15th), we will be forced to take measures for those who refuse. We can initiate payouts without a user's action, but we cannot force them to withdraw their items. After a certain point, for users who refuse to withdraw their items, we will have no choice but to figure out what to do with those items. Our hope is that there are no items left uncollected which we are forced to deal with.
To reiterate, we will not be "confiscating" items left on Marketplace immediately after December 15th. As long as you make a reasonable effort to withdraw your items, you will have plenty of time after the final closing date to collect them. The only users who need worry about their items are those who refuse to withdraw them for some time after the closure of the seller program.
The largest change you'll notice is that after December 15th, there will be a more limited selection of items on Marketplace.
We recommend that you make use of any Wallet Funds or Gift Cards, if you have any, before December 15th. After that date, you may find that there are fewer items you want to purchase.
We will make available a tool to download and export your data, regardless of where you live. We will update you when this is fully ready. We hope to have this available by September 1st at the latest.
If you would like to delete your data, we already can do this; please contact support. Please note that we obviously cannot delete every piece of data; for example, when you make a payment online, the merchant is required to store data about that payment (including billing information), and not delete it. By design, we do not store (or ever receive) your full credit card number or CVV. Also, for obvious reasons, if you delete your data, we won't be able to offer the ability to download it afterwards.
We have never sold anyone's data and never will.
Wallet Funds and Gift Cards may still be used before, and after, December 15th. However, we recommend you use them before that time.
We will offer refunds for any unused Wallet Funds, Gift Cards, Shelf Space, or Sponsored Listings.
Please contact support to request a refund for these items.
If for some reason you are unable to access your account by December 15th, and still have items/funds to withdraw, we will make efforts to contact you and work out a solution. If you are unable to access your account due to lost two-factor or other account security issues, please email
lockedout [at] marketplace.tf and we will work with you to verify that you are the owner of the account and restore access.