So you’re trying to buy or sell an item OPSkins, and you get an error message that says either that we couldn’t send you a trade offer due to a ban or cooldown, or you can’t accept the offer we sent you? You might ask, Why do I need to be able to trade in order to use OPSkins? Well, simply put, the only way to move an item between Steam accounts is to use Steam trading. Since we can’t move an item between your account and our bots if you can’t trade, you therefore can’t use OPSkins if you’re unable to trade. We don’t have any control over this – these restrictions are imposed by the Steam platform which we use to send and receive items.
There are quite a few reasons why an account can be unable to trade on Steam. Here are a few of them:
This is the most obvious reason. If you’re trade banned on Steam, then you can’t trade. A trade ban is issued by Valve itself, and restricts your account from trading or using the Steam Community Market. Depending on the nature of the infraction which got you banned, trade bans may be temporary or permanent. After a trade ban expires, a banned account is usually placed into “trade probation” for some time. Both of these states are visible as red text on the Steam profile, even if the profile is private.
If you’re trade banned entirely, then of course you can’t use OPSkins since you can’t trade with our bots. We also prevent users who are on trade probation from using OPSkins, for the safety and security of all of our users. If your trade ban/probation has an expiration date, you will be able to use OPSkins after that date.
Whenever a major change is made to a Steam account, Steam automatically sends an email to the email address on file for that account. Most of these emails include a link that allows the account owner to “self-lock” their account. These locks prevent trading, purchases on the Steam store, access to VAC-secured game servers, and more. When an account is locked, it cannot trade and therefore cannot use OPSkins. Note that if you “self-unlock” your account, you may be further restricted from trading for 7 days.
Accounts can also be locked by Steam Support for violations of the Steam Subscriber Agreement. The same restrictions apply: locked accounts cannot use OPSkins since they cannot trade.
This is the big one. You’re required to have a very specific configuration of Steam Guard settings in order to be able to trade. Firstly, if Steam Guard is disabled, you can’t trade at all. Once Steam Guard is enabled, you need to wait 15 days in order to be able to trade. This restriction applies to new Steam accounts (Steam Guard is automatically enabled when you confirm your email address, but that merely begins the 15-day waiting period) and also to accounts which disable and then immediately re-enable Steam Guard.
Steam Guard takes two forms:
- 1. Email authentication
- Under email authentication, every time you login from a new device or browser, you must enter a code that is sent to your email address.
- Every time you authorize a new device, you begin a trade cooldown and are unable to trade on that device only for 7 days. After 7 days pass, you can trade on that device as normal, provided you hit no other restrictions.
- All trades in which you lose items will be held for 72 hours (or 24 hours if you’ve been friends with the other user on Steam for at least a year). During a trade hold, all items in the trade will be removed from both parties’ inventories and be inaccessible. However on March 9th, Valve is extending this trade hold time to 15 days instead of 72 hours
- 2a. Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator (enabled for less than 7 days)
- If you’re using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, but it’s been enabled for less than 7 days, then all of the bullet points under “Email authentication” apply.
- 2b. Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator (enabled for 7 days or more)
- When using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, every time you login, you must enter a code that is generated by the Steam Mobile app on your phone.
- There is no new-device cooldown.
- Trades will only be held if the other party is losing items (you’re receiving items) and they haven’t had the mobile authenticator enabled for 7 days.
It’s possible for a Steam account to enter a “trade cooldown.” These cooldowns are triggered by specific circumstances, and don’t necessarily indicate a ban of any kind.
When you have one or more Steam trades on hold, you are presented with a button that you can click to cancel all of your outstanding trades. If you use this button (and confirm a popup, shown below), all of your pending trades will be canceled (including those on hold) and you will begin a 7-day trade cooldown.
You will also enter a trade cooldown if you do any of the following:
- Change your Steam account’s email address (5 day trade cooldown)
- Reset your Steam account’s password via the help site because you forgot it: 7-day trade cooldown, or 30-day trade cooldown if your account hasn’t been used in 2 months. This does not apply if you merely changed your password from within the Steam client.
All of the above restrictions apply to trading across your entire account. However, if you have a VAC ban for any Valve economy game, you will be unable to trade in that game for as long as you are banned. VAC bans are nearly always permanent, unless there is a sweeping wave of false-positives across the entire community. Consequently, a VAC-banned account can never trade away or receive items for the game in which it is banned.
This means that if you’re VAC banned from CS:GO, you cannot buy or sell CS:GO items on OPSkins. You can still buy and sell items for other games, like TF2 and Dota 2.
That’s a (relatively) brief summary of all of the different ways that you can be restricted from trading on Steam, and consequently, on OPSkins. If you’d like, you can try out this step-by-step wizard which tells you exactly why you can or can’t trade or use the Steam Community Market.