Our story of what actually happened #Geel’s contradiction....
Alright, where do we start… This is going to be a long, long story.
However, we think it is needed because we’ve kept our mouth shut for way too long about this.
I’ve always told our team to not get in discussion with anyone about what they’re saying about us, but instead use that time to invest in helping the people in our community.
We might make some people upset by telling you this, however, we don't want to keep our story for ourselves anymore, we think everybody deserves to know the truth.
Our little Trading Journey
This story starts way back in time, back in late 2012, where I, Sexysparta, was playing TF2 with friends of my class. I liked the game very much however, everytime I was playing TF2, there were players who had nice unusual hats and looked cool. I liked those hats, but nobody was willing to trade me for it. I had literally no items and besides, I didn’t have Premium. So that was when I first bought my 5$ credit towards a premium TF2 Account and with it the ability to trade.
I started trading, and by trading I mean, I started trading a lot. Trading actually more than I even played the game, I’m sure some can relate. One day I had enough items to trade up for an unusual hat. I remember it was the Stout Shako with Orbiting Planets. It was ugly, but I was like, Yes! I have an unusual!
I kept trading because I liked it and at some point I found out about backpack.tf, the site where you can find all the community suggested prices of items. I found other profiles with big backpacks who were using self-made automated bots which were trading day in, day out.
That's when my brother came in, I asked him to make some automated bot who would trade for me, just like the other big guys in the trading community. At that time Steam Community Market launched buy orders as well, which we found very useful as we were already checking for deals on the Steam Market. Since then, everyday, I launched the computer and made buy orders on every profitable item I could find.
#1 TF2 Backpack
This was going on for years until we had actually made a big backpack which at some point got us on #1 TF2 backpacks with a worth around $130,000. We were cashing out through marketplace.tf and/or reinvesting it in more items. How much did we spend of our own money on TF2? Just 5$ of Premium and a shitload of time. Would we be better off working for a job with all those hours? Probably in terms of money, however, it was very fun and I’ve always liked it.
Oh, about the #1, there was actually someone else, however, he had his backpack private that time which turned out that we were showing on the #1 spot of backpack.tf.
At that time, somewhere late 2016 / early 2017 we were contacted by this guy called Peanuthero. He told us he was working on a site and was searching for a co-owner/investor of the site. I discussed this with my brother as we didn’t know the guy at all and had to invest quite a lot of items into the site. We were looking at the designs and development of the site and were like, yeah, we can take this risk. If we don’t, we might regret it.
Launching Mannco.trade but….
This led to Mannco.trade launching somewhere half/late 2017 and us investing a lot of items into the site. It was at that point that we were also having 10.000+ backpack.tf automated listings which gave us a lot of backpack growth everyday. However, since Mannco.trade was growing just a little we were kind of attacked by the competitor Geel, or more so Peanuthero was.
Geel tried to get us out of Mannco.trade by telling us how bad Peanuthero was.
First thing Geel said: Peanuthero is running a gambling site as well which was called Mannco.jackpot, and that we shouldn't work with him.
Agreeing in our reply that gambling sites shouldn’t be there, especially not with all these kids playing. We told Peanuthero to stop the gambling site if we wanted to go on with Mannco.trade.
Not much later the gambling site was gone and we were continuing with Mannco.trade, helping people get the items they want instantly 24 hours a day.
However, our competitor didn't like our growth and wanted us to fail. Peanuthero got SteamRep and Backpacktf banned for being linked to an alt-account which was linked to a scammer.
Even SR and BP.tf admin admitted…
We made a report to SteamRep that Peanuthero wasn’t the scammer, however, they didn’t lift the ban. Even Backpack.tf moderator and SteamRep Admin Teeny Tiny Cat admitted that Peanuthero wasn’t a scammer, however, the SteamRep ban wasn’t being lifted. This is to say the least, the weirdest and most contradicting thing I’ve seen. This caused some people to not want to use Mannco.trade because it was “ran by a scammer” totally out of context. A great way for the already well established competitor to use connections against competition.
Through all that, Mannco.trade was still growing. However, we weren’t satisfied with the way things were going. We were cashing out the profits from Mannco.trade on Marketplace.tf which was funny enough as we were not being blocked by Geel, even though Peanuthero was banned on SteamRep.
Probably because I, SexySparta, had several thousands of buy orders on both backpack.tf and Marketplace.tf which is still business for Geel. Not to mention we were actively advertising Marketplace.tf by selling our stuff there and making video(s) about it. I Also mentioned bugs now and then, and with the start of buy orders on Marketplace.tf, Geel contacted me personally to ask if everything was fine with the buy order system. At that point I had over 10.000 buy orders which were all manually made. Yes I know, I had no life at that time ;-). Business was good for $12,000 of sales per month which we re-invested in unusuals meaning that Geel was earning $2,400 per month just from me alone. Not mentioning the Mannco.trade sales and all the advertising. We, at this point, had no other choice but to move on from the service.
More false bans followed...
It felt like Geel was stepping on our growth as a competitor and yet on the other hand allowing us to give him a percentage of our profits.
Once I was banned on MarketplaceTF for buying an unusual from a scammer, which showed up in the BackpackTF History. But, that unusual was bought from MarketplaceTF itself using a buy order. The false ban was lifted, but Geel said he couldn't bring back all the buy orders (10.000+) I had made and on top of that he said that he didn’t think I made them by hand. While I had actually spent two weeks of vacation to create those buy orders… I could do the exact same thing again which would be worth it, but having been treated like this I chose not to. Not to mention that ScrapTF, another one of Geel's websites, was buying hundreds of thousands of items from scammers automatically. We, of course, have video proof of those histories. It shows how contradictionary Geel can be. Banning people for something he does himself at a much larger scale. Scammers were selling their items through MarketplaceTF and ScrapTF at a large scale. Geel himself had several gambling sites running earlier on.
At some point we were apparently growing to much though, our Mannco.trade cashout account on MarketplaceTF was being banned for the reason of: ‘’To much risk for MarketplaceTF to have you as a seller’’ or something like that. Not much later SexySparta's account was also banned on MarketplaceTF ‘’for helping a scammer liquidate goods through MarketplaceTF’’.
Totally bold move from Geel, because he knew Peanuthero wasn’t a scammer and he knew that we’ve been very good for the growth of MarketplaceTF.
The only thing he wanted is to block Mannco.trade from existance.
At that point we had no place to cashout anymore and anything we tried to tell them to fix this situation was being swiped away.
In discord servers there was a common rumour that Mannco.trade was run by scammers, which was totally not true and totally out of context. The only thing that’s true is that the bans applied on us were false bans, bans to try and wipe out any competition.
We kept focussing on our own Community <3...
This wasn’t just a small thing, because of the reputation of BackpackTF and MarketplaceTF, people were instantly believing anything they said about us. I kept telling my team: "don’t get into discussions, let's focus on ourselves and our site and people will eventually see, that we are reputated and are willing to do anything to help our Community".
Peanuthero had to move aside to bring back our reputation and that's when Alex came in.
It was at that time, somewhere in early 2018, that we decided to create our own Marketplace; we called it Mannco.store. We made the commissions 5%. Geel was instantly talking bad about it on Discord and Reddit, saying the fees are higher as there are buyer fees. Also totally not true, if you are a re-investor, every single transaction you make is 5%, even with re-investings, where no buyer fees are taken. The 10% of MarketplaceTF was on every single transaction, which is even though no buyer fees, always more expensive. Not to mention that Mannco.store had way cheaper items, because the fees were lower.
However, as Geel is a reputable man in the TF2 community, the majority was still believing in him and his magic words, which kept the bad talks going on about Mannco.store and Mannco.trade, even though our percentage’s were better.
Because of the bad talks in the discord servers about Mannco.trade and its owners, same thing happened for Mannco.store. Funny enough, some people that were talking bad about Mannco.store were also using it, because they noticed Mannco.store was actually cheaper.
However, some people heard these conversations and spread the word around, without even checking the facts. The bans applied with their reasons were enough for some people to believe everything. But, what they didn't know, is that it's the complete opposite.
Especially in BackpackTF Discord it became some sort of witch-hunt, totally out of context. I have a conversation stored between me and a BackpackTF moderator called Zeus Junior, a former moderator of Mannco.trade discord, but who was told by BackpackTF he should stop working for Mannco.trade or else he can’t be BackpackTF moderator anymore. He told me that he actually wasn’t against Mannco.trade or Mannco.store, but that he was amazed how fast Mannco.trade was growing and he got a little jealous about that, such as many others who were talking bad about Mannco.trade or Mannco.store in discord.
We paid back all the users in real cash...
Not much later after Mannco.store was live some individual found a way to exploit it and had taken a lot of items, not just from us, but also from our users. We have talked about it in an earlier blog post you can find here: https://mannco.store/articles/9
We have updated our security to the maximum since then and have paid back all the people that lost their items in real cash.
We found the accounts the items were going to and I messaged Geel to watch out for exploits and possibilities to ban these accounts. He asked for proof while it was obvious, as these accounts were filled with 10.000$+ of dollars in items, all from Mannco.store. Besides, he asked me to take off an copywritten asset which was on Mannco.trade, that I wasn’t aware of. We of course took it down as he was right on that part.
He told me he assumed someone hijacked an admin’s steam account (which wasn’t the case), however, then on their discord, people were talking that an admin of Mannco.store had taken all the items and so Mannco.store site shouldn’t be trusted. Totally out of context and not true at all. As well, we’ve paid back all the users that had lost their items; so there were no trust issues at all.
Since then we’ve tried to make Mannco.store bigger and bigger. It made no profit because we were only having 5% fees which were just enough to cover its costs of being online, advertising and chargebacks. However, we believed that if we keep up and make our community bigger and bigger, it will have a good potential in the future and eventually make profit.
More false accusations followed...
We kept focussing on our own community and were trying to keep the trash that was being spread about us out of our minds such as:
Geel saying we DDoS his sites, such as BackpackTF and MarketplaceTF
We are actually using BackpackTF, which we need for the pricing, so why would we? Besides, we've got DDoSed at the same times.
Geel banning Alex for being a scammer on BackpackTF, without stating any proof.
Geel banning SexySparta on BackpackTF eventually for the most stupid reason of: ‘’ This user has repeatedly deceived our staff about the identity of another user; an individual who was previously banned for actively circumventing our API terms of service and launching DDoS attacks on backpackTF.’’
I say eventually because it was changed several times in a day from: ‘’engaging in fraud’’ to ‘’engaging in fraud and attacks in the site’’ to what it is to this point of time.
Besides, all Mannco.store and Mannco.trade containing names are hidden on BackpackTF and the discords.
I tried to appeal the ban, but the bottom line of the conversation between me and their staff was, that I know that I’m wrong and that they don’t have to send me proof because they already know that I know.
Do you get it….??
The way they work...
So… We decided we just have to live with it and make the best out of it. We think that investing in our own community will eventually get us ahead.
Another thing we think is worth mentioning is that recently came out that Jesse, co-owner of ScrapTF and MarketplaceTF has asked minors for sexual material of themselves. The ins and outs about it you can find explained in this video:
Why is this worth mentioning? Because the way they’re trying to get these news out of publicity is the way they're working. Talking bad about others and trying their best to ban out the competition, while they have plenty of things to fix for themselves to become better them.
Now that MarketplaceTF quits for the majority of people and Geel is saying that he may needs to warn people about other sites that are out there, we think it's time to share our opinion as we have kept our mouth shut for a long, long time.
If you are one of those that are like; ‘’Mannco.store is a sketchy site with scammers as owners’’, we hope that you can reconsider and actually check the facts.
This is our story!
We could bring out our story much earlier, but who would've believed us? What would it help? Would we be banned even more? Given that we now think that it doesn't even matter anymore, because we cannot be banned anymore, than we are already on the competitor sites.
It’s time to bring out our story and for once an for all clear out any misconceptions about what actually happened.
~Do we all make mistakes sometimes? Yes we do. The more important thing is, what do you do next?