Valve warns Steam Deck buyers not to trust third-party sellers

A new warning from Valve discourages keen buyers from purchasing Steam Decks via third-party sellers.
steam deck 2023 third party sellers

Valve’s popular Steam Deck handheld console is still not available worldwide. In Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, and other global regions, there are no official channels to purchase the device – although third-party sellers are now filling the void, acting as go-betweens for keen buyers.

Australians can purchase the console from Dick Smith, Kogan, Amazon, Catch and other online retailers, with each promising reasonable prices, and offering buyer protection. While prices are slightly above the recommended price for the console, these listings are tempting many keen buyers, who are tired of waiting for official word from Valve.

Despite having no alternatives, and providing no timeline for those awaiting news of local Steam Deck releases, Valve has now spoken out against these third-party sellers, cautioning buyers to be careful about buying the console from third-party websites.

Read: Valve is already talking about a new Steam Deck

‘A quick note that the only official ways to purchase Steam Deck are directly from Steam (in the US, CA, EU, and UK), or from Komodo (JP, KR, TW, and HK),’ Valve said in its New Year Twitter post. ‘Steam Decks sold via any other websites or retailers are unofficial – please be careful.’

While the post is fairly innocent, it’s received a hostile response – with many fans questioning why Valve is not being more transparent about when the console will be available to purchase in regions now dominated by these third-party sellers.

‘Maybe, instead of making these posts, you guys could probably work with some businesses in our country to officially make them available and not let us rely on parallel grey market imports????’ one Twitter user wrote.

‘Don’t you dare tell us Australians and New Zealanders how to purchase a steam deck when you won’t even allow us to “officially” order one. Nor update us on what the schedule is!,’ another said.

Fans responding to the post are demanding options, rather than warnings – with many criticising Valve for ignoring calls to release the console in unserviced regions. Fans have lobbied for a wider console release on social media for nearly a full year, with calls growing louder as international production bottlenecks were finally cleared.

At this stage, it’s unclear when Valve will begin talking about a wider release, and why certain regions have been left in the dark. While third-party sellers exploiting excitement for the Steam Deck is clearly an issue, we’ll have to stay patient to learn whether a solution is on the way.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.