So an ENTIRE thing that totally frames this whole thing differently:
KEYS that OPENED those crates, that you can buy for $2.50 USD from steam, were selling for roughly $10 dollars on the marketplace for the exact same length of time that those desperado crate items held such high value. The reason for this is that items from opened crates are only immediately sell-able if the key has been sitting in an inventory for at least a week, which is the same length of time it takes for the key itself to become an item you can sell.
So people who had keys sitting around from Gamescom could sell those for sooo much, and people who opened items of any rarity with those keys could sell them with the price-setting power that kind of exclusivity brings, besides the rarity of Desperado crates themselves, given it was the first week they were available.
That’s why the price dropped, most people who’d obtained one of these items in this way couldn’t flip it until then.
So now we’re on week three of Desperado/Biker crates. The Desperado crates have fallen in value consistently with each successive week, previously selling for as much as eight dollars is now closer to a dollar-fifty.
Anyway, my point isn’t that the steam marketplace is in any way predictable, it’s just that it’s really interesting how these prices are determined by a mix of systemic and human factors. The prices were wild when the desire for that new hotness coincided with legitimate scarcity.
I like reading these human-interest stories. They really highlight WP’s interest in understanding games and games culture through a humanistic lens.