Trading online can be risky and this risk can increase depending on the type of trade you're looking to complete. Some trades can be very stressful, especially when trading high-value rocket league items. The Rocket League trading community on Reddit and other forums have opted to make trading safer by encouraging the use of a “middleman”.
What is a Middleman?
Middlemen are used to help keep a trade safe when both traders need to do some kind of exchange outside of Rocket League. The designated middleman will normally hold onto the trade items from person 1 while person 2 completes their part of the trade. For example, if the trade involves real money then the second person would send the money to the first person. Once that is complete, the middleman then sends the items to the other person.
In short, the middleman reduces the risk of scams by holding onto the items while the other exchange outside of Rocket League is completed before sending the items to the right person. If the trade cannot be completed, the middleman will send the items back to the original owner.
When do people use a Middleman?
This added level of security is only used for certain types of trades. They're mostly used for trades including an exchange outside of Rocket League. However, trades using more items than the trade window can fit can also be made safer using a middleman.
Here are some common exchange examples outside of Rocket League that use middlemen:
- PayPal or other money exchanges
- Gift Card trades
- Video game and DLC trades
- Valuable certification or other items
- Transferring items between accounts
- Item trades from other games
- If there's a timezone difference or if it's difficult for both parties to be online at the same time
How Does a Trade with a Middleman Work?
Once you've selected a middleman for your trade and reconfirmed it with your trading partner, you're ready to begin the trade. The items or credits being traded are sent to the middleman who needs to confirm they've received the correct items. Afterwards, the second person will send the payment to the first person in the trade and once they've confirmed receiving it, the middleman will send the items to the right place.
Evidence can be important in these trades and are necessary if something goes wrong somehow. Taking screenshots of the chat discussions arranging the trade can be used as proof confirming what the trade was supposed to be and some middlemen may ask to see this first.
Why are Middlemen considered Safe?
Most verified or trusted middlemen are well-known in that community and established traders themselves. They have a very positive reputation in the places they act as a middleman. Some communities also place strict requirements for who can become a middleman and post lists for all verified middlemen.
Becoming one is difficult and requires the community leaders to consider that person to be safe and trusted enough for them to advertise as a middleman. Due to this, middlemen are considered to be a safe trading option.
The level of safety can vary depending on the community since each one has different requirements in place. Taking a close look at the community requirements is a good idea.
How to Become a Middleman
Technically, anyone who plays Rocket League could become a middleman for an online forum or community. The requirements for each community will vary with some being much stricter than others. However, there are several things you can do to improve your chance of being used as a middleman:
- Complete a large number of trades inside and outside of Rocket League
- Play Rocket League a lot
- Be a high Tier Trader
- Have a good trading reputation page
- Building a name for yourself with that community
The Rocket League Exchange subreddit explains how to become a middleman for their community. They require you to be a Platinum Tier trader on their sign-up forum and have various questions for hopeful middlemen to answer (not to be cofounded with the platinum 1 rank in rocket league). However, the general community consensus is that completing enough trades to become a middleman could take several years.
If you can become a middleman for a Rocket League community then you also need to keep track of all the trades you've helped with.
This means you also need your own middleman reputation page for users to confirm you were involved with the trade and successfully completed it with them. However, it's also good to include failed trades that had to be returned to the original user as well.
What is a “High Tier Trader?”
Trading communities often use the “High Tier Trader” term for people who have completed a lot of trades. The Rocket League Exchange subreddit explains the trading flairs they use along with the requirements for each. Being a Platinum Trader would mean that the user has completed over 50 confirmed trades worth $1500+ combined.
The definition of what a high tier trader is can change between communities. Multiple trader tiers or levels can also change across the different trading communities. It's best to look into this when looking to join any community just so you can confirm someone's past trade history and trust level.
How can I Find a Middleman?
Finding a middleman isn't too complicated, however, it can depend on the trading platform you want to use. Reddit and Discord are the most popular for player-to-player trades which also makes them popular for middlemen trades. Trading communities will have sections where you can ask if someone is available to assist you with a trade.
There's no requirement for a middleman to agree to help you with a trade so always be polite and respectful when putting in the request. Middlemen are experienced traders and can also tell you if a deal is bad or a potential scam. However, only look for verified middlemen or 'official' middlemen from that community to reduce the risk of being scammed by a fake middleman.
Do I need to Pay a Middleman?
Payment isn't usually required for using a middleman service. Most trading communities won't demand any kind of payment for trades and legitimate middlemen won't ask you for payment for their time. A small number of websites may demand payment for different reasons. Tips are always appreciated by middlemen after completing the trade. (Picture below from Reddit)
Always make sure the middleman's Gamertag is the exact same one listed on the trading platform before starting the trade. Scammers will often use names and Gamertags similar to established and verified middlemen active in the community. They may also use the name or Gamertags or recently retired middlemen as well so make sure to look for any “Active scammer” list your trading platform may have.