Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where to Begin?

Blogs are everywhere -- not sure we need another blog about Second Life, but here mine is anyway!

I'm starting this one primarily because of the changes going on in Second Life's marketplace, popularly known as the Xchange. Most merchants there or shopkeepers inworld are aware of those, some shoppers may be. It's a long drawn out story having to do with new charges to the merchants causing some reactions among us

Some are outraged and panicked - the cost of doing business has risen from the considerable time we put in to designing and uploading pictures and writing descriptions to a Linden dollar amount.

Freebies are no longer free for the merchants but are now 99L a pop and as of this writing, it is unclear whether demos will be charged likewise.

Whatever we sell now will be charged 10L a month whether or not it sells, plus 3L commission for items 1 - 3 Lindens to customer, 5% of price to those above that.

Many have removed everything from the market -- that was my first reaction though this does not go into effect until January or February 2010.

Others are dancing with joy because lower end items will be removed, taking a lot of competition off the table.

While it is good to freshen up the marketplace, there seems to be much more that's negative about the changes than is positive. There are many things that need improvement in the marketplace before prices get raised .

If you REALLY want to know more about it, you can see it on the SL Commerce forums

But you need a lot of time and energy to slog through that!

After I calmed myself down, I decided I had a lot of dead products on Xchange. I went through the (now) inactive inventory and deleted those.

Next I decided to reactive the bestselling items that would be worthy of the 10L a month charge and to combine some of the inexpensive items into one box items that would cost more.

Not the popular "Fat Packs" -- as a shopper, I really don't "get" those. Not a big fan of four or five of the same item in different colors or - in one case I saw, 4 different widow outfits (was that for the Black Widow who kept murdering her husbands and didn't want to wear the same outfit twice?)

Me, I'd really rather get a collection of 4 or 5 different items - so, for example, I made one that would allow you to completely outfit your child avatar, from undergarments to winter coat and a couple of everyday dresses, a fancy dress and a toy thrown in.

Winter is up now, I'll be adding the other seasons real soon.

Also, I took my best toys and threw them in a toy chest.

Not that I expect your average shopper to buy these collections -- shopping on Xchange for me has always been kind of catalog shopping. I go there first to see what is around, and then go inworld most of the time to shop. Though I do like the convenience of shopping from my computer while my avatars are not inworld, or giving things as gifts, I like to see stuff, too.

So, my more expensive collections (well, cheaper if you add up the items, it's really a bargain to buy them all together) are really an advertisement. And that 10L a month becomes an advertising cost -- if I'm paying 900L a month it compares to renting a shop inworld, though the added commission on top of that is kind of a kick in the pocket book.

I also went exploring and found MetaLife -- nice vendor displays that are so easy to set up and change -- though I'm a bit worried that nothing seems to be selling out of them. Going to send an alt in to make a purchase, just to make sure they are coded right.

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