Valve has debuted its Steam Community Market, a new feature added to Steam where users can buy or sell items they acquire in game. The Steam Community Market is still in beta and is currently limited to Team Fortress 2, but more games are expected to be added in the new year.
The market works the same way as the Diablo III real money auction house. Users can buy and sell items with other users for Steam Wallet funds, which can then be used to purchase games on Steam or other in-game items.
For every successful sale, Steam takes a 5% cut from the seller. There is also a game-specific fee for various games. In the case of Team Fortress 2, Valve takes an additional 10% cut, meaning the company takes a 15% cut each time you sell a Team Fortress 2 item.
Currently, the Market for TF2 is limited to keys, crates, and paints. But once Valve allows hats to be listed, you can expect them to start making lots of money (again). It all boils down to hats.
In other news, I have a name tag going on the Market for a steal. A mere US$0.60! Grab it while stocks last!