So you probably have some money left on your Steam wallet and are now wondering how you can move it out of Steam and into your bank account or wallet.
Unfortunately, Steam doesn’t allow transferring Wallet funds back to a PayPal or bank account. However, you can recover Steam money by gifting someone a game and have that person pay you back privately, or by using Steam trading sites where you trade games or skins for real money.
Once you put in money into your Steam Wallet account it’s there to stay, and the only way you can get it back is either through a refund (but only within 14 days) or by doing trades and have someone else forward you the money through bank accounts or PayPal.
Finally, with the exception of the refund method, it is very difficult to convert 100% of your Steam Wallet money into real cash, so don’t be surprised if you can only recover 70-80% of your money.
Refund money within 14 days
The only situation in which Steam will directly refund money from your Steam Wallet to your PayPal or bank account is if you request a refund within 14 days of topping up your account and if you haven’t bought anything with those funds.
This is what Steam’s Terms of Service says about refunding funds in your Steam Wallet:
You may request a refund for Steam Wallet funds within fourteen days of purchase if they were purchased on Steam and if you have not used any of those funds.
Some potential examples of how this policy works:
- If you’ve funded $100 dollars, bought a game for $30 then immediately refunded, then you can only refund $70. The $30 used to buy a game will stay in your wallet, even if you refunded the game.
- If you’ve funded $100 on Day 1, and another $100 on Day 10, and on Day 15 you want to do a refund, you can only do so for $100, since the refund window for the funds on Day 1 is now closed.
The refund method above is the only direct way to have Steam convert Wallet funds into real money on your PayPal or bank account.
Outside of this method, the only way to recover your steam funds is through trades, where you use the funds in your Wallet to buy stuff for people, and have them pay you back in actual money.
Gift Steam games to friends, and have them pay you back on PayPal
The safest, most straightforward way to convert funds in your Steam Wallet to actual cash is to buy games as gifts for your friends, and then ask them to pay you back the money through PayPal, cash, bank transfer etc.
However, if you gift too many games too quickly, Steam could suspend your ability to send gifts or even ban your account.
When this happens, you might get a message in Steam that looks something like this:
We have detected unusual gifting activity on this account.
Using your Steam account for commercial purposes violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in the account being locked.
Valve can do this because throughout Steam’s Terms of Service it prohibits users to sell games on Steam using their Steam account.
Use Steam trading sites to buy, sell, or swap games and skins
If you don’t have gamer friends who use Steam, then another option is to use one or more trading sites where you can find buyers/sellers for Steam skins and games.
The disadvantage of these trading sites is that they aren’t endorsed by Steam (meaning you can still get banned) and you run the risk of being scammed.
Here are some examples of these sites:
- https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamGameSwap/ if you happen to be a Redditor
How does Steam trading works?
Using Steamtrades.com as an example, you create an account and then post or reply to trading requests such as the ones below:
The one above is just an example, there are tons of trading requests steamtrades.com you can reply to.
Once you find a trade you like, you simply contact the trader and begin chatting in private to see how you can give them the product, game, skin they want and how you can receive payment for that.
Trades that involve money are almost always done through PayPal.
Unfortunately, this is a trust-based honor system, so you’ll either have to gift the game or skin first to the other person and wait for payment, or you might be lucky and receive payment first and then have to complete your end of the bargain.
What this means is that it’s very possible to get scammed, where you gift someone a gift or a skin but they don’t pay you back.
Fortunately, most such trading platforms have “trust scores” attached to users, so you can at least get an idea of how trustworthy a trader is before doing business.
Buy skins on Steam Marketplace, then sell them for money on Skinport.com
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on trading platforms, then another option is to buy skins on the Steam Marketplace and then sell those skins for real money through a site called Skinport.com.
The image above only mentions CSGO skins, but the site can buy and sell skins for lots of games, so you’re not limited to just CSGO skins.
However, it’s best if you stick to CSGO and Dota 2 skins since those games have huge userbases with lots of buyers and sellers, so trades happen pretty quickly.
Of course, you might ask yourself is Skinport legit?
Yes, Skinport is a legitimate site that is run from Germany and abides by all the strict rules and regulations from that country that are meant to punish and prevent fraud and scamming.
Overall, the Skinport selling method works pretty well but it does have a few disadvantages you should be aware of:
- Most skins you buy on the Steam Marketplace won’t be tradeable for 7 days. This means you’ll have to wait for this period to expire before Skinport can sell your skins and transfer you the money.
- Skinport does not support PayPal. Apparently, PayPal heavily dislikes people selling and buying Steam skins so it doesn’t do business with sites that do this.
- Skinport charges a 12% service fee, so if you sell a skin for $100, you’ll only get $88 transferred to your bank account or payment service of choice.
- Skins on Skinport rarely sell at the full value of those on Steam Marketplace. For example, if you buy a skin for $30 on Steam Marketplace, you can reasonably expect to sell it for $27-28 on Skinport.
- You will have to pay all of the payment provider transfer fees yourself. This refers to Apple Pay commissions, bank account fees etc.
Overall, it’s very difficult to get a 1:1 conversion of the funds in your Steam Wallet into actual money and can reasonably expect to get closer to 80% of it.
Still though, it’s better than nothing.
Sell your Steam account
If you don’t particularly care much about your Steam account, then another option is to just sell it altogether.
You can use the SteamDB.info/calculator to get an idea of how much your Steam account is worth, at least on paper.
Actually finding a buyer your trust is pretty complicated and not very safe, but you try doing so on communities such as https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamAccountsForSale/
Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get a price that equals your account 1:1, chances are it will be closer to 50% depending on how old your account is, what games you have on it, Steam Wallet funds, skins etc.
Whichever method you choose to you, be careful and cautious, both for scammers and to prevent a ban by Steam’s automated systems.
Don’t go into deals you don’t feel comfortable about just because you’re in a rush. Take your time, read about the person you’re trading it whenever possible.
Spread out your gifting and trading over a longer period of time, instead of doing it all at once.
Cast out a wider net across your social circle, and see if there’s anybody who is interested in you gifting them a game, and them paying you back, etc.
Good luck, and hopefully you can get all your money back!
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