Each year, Steam holds an annual summer sale around the end of June that spans for about two weeks. The summer sale takes on a different theme each year and provides Steam users a chance to earn limited edition items such as badges, emoticons, and profile backgrounds — as well as the chance to pick up their favorite games for great prices. If you are unfamiliar with how the sale works, this guide will help you prepare for the upcoming event!
Earning Limited Edition Items
Each day during the summer sale, you can earn a maximum of three trading cards a day by simply going through your discovery queue three times.
You have to collect at least one of each unique card from the set to craft a badge that will grant you 100 experience points to contribute to your Steam level. Trading duplicate cards with your friends can help you craft your badges faster. If you don't mind spending a bit of cash, you can even purchase your missing trading cards directly off of the market.
These badges can be crafted an infinite number of times, adding a level to the badge and 100 experience points to your account each time. Be informed, however, that these badges have no real monetary value and only serve as mementos or a method to level up your Steam account. Found below is a screenshot of the highest badge level attained during the 2018 Intergalactic Summer Sale:
In addition to rewarding you experience points, crafting a badge will also reward you with a themed emoticon and profile background. These items, along with the trading cards, can be sold on the market or exchanged for gems along if you desire to make a profit. You are also free to use them for your own personal purposes. Keep in mind that the trading cards will expire about a month after the sale ends, so it is best to get rid of them before that happens.
One of a Kind Deals
Now comes the most awaited part of each Steam Summer Sale — the discounted games. During this time of year, you might even find prices of popular titles going as low as 90% below their original price! During the 2018 Summer Sale, Portal 2 was 90% off and only cost $1.99. During the same sale, Rust was at its historical low at a little under $9 at 75% off. Adding games to your wish list can also help you keep track of their price changes.
Wise spenders usually put away some Steam credit to purchase games during big sales like these, since the cheapest prices can be found at this time. Those who do not have enough credit to buy the games that they want often resort to selling items on the market to earn the money that they need to cover the costs of their games. This leads us to the final portion of this article.
A Little Secret: Investing During the Summer Sale
Looking to spend some of your leftover money instead of having it sit idly in your Steam wallet until the next sale? Maybe it would interest you to invest in some items to grow your Steam balance for future purchases.
If you are a well-experienced investor, you would know that Steam sales are one of the most significant factors that directly affect the Steam market. At the start of the sale, there is an evident crash in the market. This can easily be observed by taking a close look at the graphs of different items on the market — particularly, in-game items such as CS:GO skins, TF2 keys, and the like. Below is a market graph of a normal TF2 crate key during last year's summer sale:
As mentioned earlier on, people who do not put money aside for the sale often resort to selling their items on the market for a cheaper price than usual in order to generate quick cash. Investors take advantage of this opportunity by grabbing these items at a low price. After a couple months, the market eventually recovers and the prices revert to normal. This is when investors resell the items that they bought during the market crash to make some profit now that the market values have increased.
Even with the information in mind, investing should be done with caution. It still is very important to do a research on the items you plan on investing in just to make sure that you don't end up losing money instead of gaining it. Learn to read the market graphs well to figure out the best time to sell and buy items, and be patient enough to wait months before seeing your returns.
With all that being said, there are about 2 weeks left before the Summer Stale starts, so it's best to start saving some money. I hope everyone enjoys this year's sale!