Earlier this week, we rolled out a few changes to the Account Management web pages for logged-in users at SecondLife.com, which were aimed at improving these tools for users. One of the changes we made updated the Transaction History page, and we heard lots of feedback that not all of the changes to that page improved our customers' experiences or met their needs. So, we quickly reverted to the old Transaction History page.
We'd like to get some additional user feedback on the new Transaction History page so that when we make the changeover, the functionality best matches what Second Life users want and need. Once we are ready, we will post instructions on how to review the new page and provide feedback. We will not take down the old page until we have had a chance to review feedback and make appropriate changes to the new page. Check back on this blog for more details as they become available.
[Update April 18, 2014] Thanks to those who have provided feedback on our Knowledge Base Article and icons. We have added examples to the documentation and have updated the icons to no longer use copyrighted materials. If you have additional suggestions or corrections for our the article, please add them to BUG-5778.
As Second Life has evolved, so have the avatars that inhabit the virtual world. With the introduction of fitted mesh technology for avatars, it has become more complicated to determine whether or not a piece of clothing will display properly on your own avatar.
In order to make this easier for shoppers, we have worked with Second Life content creators to define a way to clearly communicate this to customers. We have arrived at a scheme that can be used for inworld sales as well as those on the Marketplace and ask that Merchants standardize on this model, and we are providing icons for use in both locations.
This scheme defines and provides icons for three types of avatars:
Classic avatar: original default (non-mesh) Second Life avatars.
Standard mesh avatar: a classic avatar wearing a rigged mesh attachment, created using the standard fitted mesh model.
Custom/branded avatar: an avatar of either type (i.e. that does or does not use mesh) that is a custom size or shape, requiring custom-made clothing to fit it. A brand name for the shape will help users easily identify which clothing fits which custom avatar.
By using these standard terms and icons, both avatar and clothing creators can make it easy for their customers to understand which clothing will work best with their avatars.
For more information on this model and how to use it, as well as downloadable icons, please see the Knowledge Base article.
We’d like to thank the content creators who provided us feedback on this project.
As we’ve blogged about in the posts linked below, US law requires that institutions like Linden Lab collect documentation from Second Life users that meet certain transaction thresholds:
These documentation requests can sometimes be confusing, and so to help the users who receive them better understand what’s needed and why, we’ve created a list of FAQs about these requests here:
As noted in the FAQs, if you receive a request for documentation from Linden Lab and have additional questions, please open the request in your Case History in the Support Portal and reply to the Case.
In addition to required tax documentation (which we blogged about in November 2013), US law separately requires that institutions such as Linden Lab obtain, verify, and record information confirming the identification of account holders who submit a certain volume and/or amount of Process Credit Requests.
We have recently begun emailing users who need to submit this information. If you receive such a notice from us, you will need to follow the instructions and provide the required documentation within thirty (30) days.
These emails are being sent through our Support system. If you are among those individuals who need to provide this information, you can verify the request in your Case History in the Support Portal and reply to the Case if you have any related questions.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires Linden Lab to collect and retain Form W-9 (for U.S. residents) and Form W-8BEN (for non-U.S. residents) at certain transaction volumes. If you reach the transaction threshold and we do not have your completed and signed W-9 or W-8BEN on file, we are required to withhold funds from your account (at the current rate of 28% of your gross amounts received). Additionally, for U.S. residents with 200 or more transactions with a total amount in excess of $20,000 in a calendar year, we are required to file a Form 1099-K with the IRS reporting those transactions for that year.
If you are required to submit a W-9 or W-8BEN form to us, we will email you before the end of the year with instructions on how to do so. Please follow the instructions to complete and submit the required Form W-9 or W-8BEN within thirty (30) days of receipt. You will only need to complete this paperwork once unless your information changes from year-to-year. If you do not receive an email from Linden Lab, we do not need you to complete these forms.
To increase security for Merchants and shoppers alike, all new Second Life Marketplace Merchant accounts will be required to enter payment information on file (PIOF). If you would like to check your account to see if this requirement has been met, please see the Mesh Upload Status page.
Only newly created accounts will be required to meet this requirement at this time, and existing Merchant accounts will not be affected. However, we strongly recommend that all merchants complete the steps necessary to meet this new requirement.
Our credit processing system was recently impacted by an issue that caused longer than usual processing times for some users’ requests. We are happy to report that users should no longer expect delays and process credit requests are now once again being completed within the normal period of 5 business days.
Once again, the following table provides an estimate for when you should receive your USD in your PayPal account based on the day of the week you submit your request. You should expect to see the USD in your PayPal account on or before the date listed. Any US holidays will extend the 5 business day window by 1 day.
We apologize to those inconvenienced during the period when process credit requests were taking longer than usual, and thank you all for your patience.
We’re currently working to resolve an issue with our credit processing system. Unfortunately, until this is fixed, users may experience longer than usual processing times for their requests. We apologize for the inconvenience, and will do our best to both keep any delays minimal and resolve this issue ASAP.
Our goal remains to complete process credit requests within 5 business days. The following table provides an estimate for when you should receive your USD in your PayPal account based on the day of the week you submit your request. You should expect to see the USD in your PayPal account on or before the date listed. Any US holidays will extend the 5 business day window by 1 day.
Again, due to current issues with the system, users may experience longer than usual processing times. We thank you for your patience, and apologize for the inconvenience as we work to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Please keep an eye on this blog for updates.
Today, we’re introducing an exciting new advertising opportunity now available for Second Life business owners. Business owners can now purchase ad space on the SecondLife.com homepage, the Marketplace, or throughout the Second Life web properties.
This is a great new way to promote your business to Second Life users all over the world, and you can tailor the program to fit your needs with any combination of sizes and placements as well as flexible campaign lengths.
For more information, including program terms, ad size options, and pricing, please visit our FAQ.
Starting today, you’ll be able to use your stored Second Life payment methods towards Marketplace purchases.
You may also still choose to pay with Linden dollars or add a new payment method.
Next week the Second Life Marketplace will be changing the way you pay for your Marketplace purchases. The Marketplace will begin using the same payment system as the rest of Second Life. In addition to providing a more consistent experience for our customers, this will allow shoppers to leverage the broader set of payment options.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for this change?
No, you do not. We will be failing any old orders that have not completed in preparation for the switch over, so you may see a refund appear from a stuck order over the next week prior to the release. NOTE: all carts will be emptied during this release, so please save items as favorites if you would like to save links to the items in your cart.
Do I need to do any complicated set-up?
No, if you plan to use Linden dollars as a payment method, the main change will be the layout of the payment submission page. The system will automatically deduct the amount of your purchase from your Linden dollar balance. If you would like to use an alternate payment method, and it is not already stored as billing information on your Second Life account, you will need to enter this information during the purchase process.
What else is different?
For our international users, more international payment options are supported. In addition, payment information will be automatically stored for future purchases by our payment service providers. Residents can easily remove stored payment information by removing it from their billing information on secondlife.com.
Is this a new system?
This system has been in use in Second Life for almost 2 years; we are now introducing it to the Marketplace.
Will anything look different in my transaction history?
Currency Linden will replace Commerce Linden as the escrow account for Linden dollar purchases. Those using a credit card or PayPal will also see a L$ transfer from Dollar Linden. Note that Commerce Linden will still appear on your transaction history for Product Listing Enhancement Subscription payments for the time being.
What if I have a problem?
Please submit a Support ticket. All issues related to billing are fully supported by Customer Support and will be addressed with appropriate priority.
Edited June 21, 2013 to add comment about cart expiration.
Marketplace Beta Testing to Take Place on Aditi
To improve the quality of upcoming releases, we are launching a Beta program for the Marketplace. Starting today, Aditi will be used as the Marketplace Beta testing grid.* All merchants will be able to test new features and bug fixes at least five days before each Marketplace release. In addition to the Marketplace Beta release notes that are posted on the wiki, updates will be posted in the “Technical Announcements” section of the Marketplace Merchant Admin to alert merchants of current beta tests.
Please be aware that if there is an urgent bug fix or operational issue that needs to be addressed, there may not be time to perform Beta testing on Aditi.
Direct Delivery Beta Testing
In December, all merchants will have the opportunity to purchase and list items using Direct Delivery on Aditi. We will be allowing a limited number of merchants to Beta test Direct Delivery in production before the official launch, which will not occur until after the New Year. If you would like to learn more about Direct Delivery, please see the updated Direct Delivery FAQ.
We’d like to thank those of you who are willing and able to help out with Beta testing. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Feedback on features is much appreciated on the Merchants Forum!
*Note that this is for general Beta testing, which will include Direct Delivery, but is different from the Direct Delivery Beta Program. Please see the wiki for instructions on how to use Marketplace on Aditi (including where to get Magic Boxes from).
“Spring Break” is the theme for our Marketplace promotions in March. If you would like to boost traffic to your Spring Break-related items for sale on the Marketplace, please add the keyword “beachbonanza” to your relevant listings. We will be using embedded search on that keyword in links in our outbound promotional channels—starting in the first week of March. Please be sure to use the keyword with your relevant wares.
You all may have seen that, in preparation for the new Community Platform, Forums, Blogs and Answers will be in read-only mode starting Feb. 21, at 12:01 am PDT. During this time period, communication out for any urgent Marketplace updates will be occurring on my user page on the wiki, and tweeted from the @slmerchants twitter account.
Please continuet to use the following communication channels for communication to us about Marketplace:
- JIRA: for defects and feature requests
- Customer Service: for help with refunds, maturity and flagging questions/issues, other Marketplace issues that may not be defects
Thank you for your patience while we work to improve our communication tools!
I just wanted to let people know that the gifting updates have been released. Here is a summary of the changes:
- We have a new button: "Add To Cart As Gift"
- New Residents are giftable right away
- Giftee now visible in the order history
There is also a link to the Merchant's store in the order and order history now. For more information, please see the wiki page on this update.
Please let us know what you think of these changes. Happy gifting!
In order to try accomodating different schedules, I'm having this week's user group (formerly called office hours) at 9am PST on Thursday, 2/3. Apologies for not getting this out be EOW last week. Friday was a bit of a busy day parsing feedback and identifying issues with the Maturity roll out.
Please submit agenda items for this week's meeting. I plan to discuss the following:
- Maturity: I will be asking for pro-active feedback on what we can do in the future to make transitions like this a better experience for us all. I'll be starting with a list that those of us involved in the project on the Linden Lab side have come up with. We'll add suggestions/comments from you all and help that shape the practices of the Marketplace team going forward. I'd like to limit conversation on Maturity to 30 minutes maximum.
- User Group Update: Plans for user groups.
- Other topics?
I'll be updating the wiki shortly. I'll also be sending out an update on the Maturity thread at EOD today--just haven't had time to write it up yet.
Please try to submit agenda items by EOD Wednesday, 2/2.
Adding link to invitation: http://bit.ly/g2nPaj
Message was edited by: Brooke Linden
As many of you know, the teen grid was shut down on Friday. This week, we will be rolling out some changes in Marketplace to ensure Residents under 18 will not be exposed to adult content. Here is a quick summary of what changes will be occurring.
Phase 1: 1/27 Release
On Thursday, the Marketplace will move to the General, Moderate, and Adult content levels already in use in the Viewer. Just prior to this release (starting on Wednesday), we will be running a process that will add a content level to existing items. Once the release has been completed, you will be able to review the ratings set on your Marketplace listings by viewing your inventory: there will be a new column “Maturity” showing what level the item falls into. Search will now support viewing general or moderate/adult content. Please view the updated listing guidelines (link points to the current guidelines) on Thursday for more details.
Note that, in addition to automated process to migrate listings, it will continue to be possible to flag listings. Please take some time after the new guidelines are posted to review your listings and make sure they comply. People will be able to start flagging listings based upon the new guidelines on Thursday (though I do not expect that we will see much of this right away), so the sooner you can do this, the better!
Phase 2: by 2/28/2011
Before the end of February, Marketplace will be updated to allow setting maturity level preferences at a more granular level than is currently supported, such as allowing Residents to view moderate content without adult content included.
Why was this done in 2 steps? Timing, pure and simple. We wanted to ensure we had the proper controls in place as soon as possible for the teens entering the main grid. Phase 2 will provide further refinement.
The Marketplace team is happy to announce a new function today that should help SL merchants with two important tasks:
- ensuring the proper data is migrated from XStreetSL to the new Marketplace
- releasing new versions of their products via a faster and easier process
Introducing the Edit Associated Object Function
The new Edit Associated Object function allows merchants to change the underlying Marketplace inventory item associated with a product listing. This was previously accomplished via a clunky workaround. The new function will help us with our final migration of product reviews and historical sales data from XStreetSL to the new Marketplace. Going forward, it provides an easier way for merchants to update existing products and release new versions of a product.
Some merchants will need to use this to be sure their data gets migrated correctly. Most Marketplace items have already had their data migrated. However, some merchants will have to manually verify that their Marketplace products are associated with the correct XStreetSL items. This applies to you if you have either:
- manually created any products on the new Marketplace that correspond to XStreetSL products, or
- renamed Marketplace inventory items in order to release new versions.
If so, please verify that your Marketplace products have the correct XStreetSL ID specified before Tuesday, January 4. That date will be the final migration of data from XStreetSL. After migration is complete, we will remove the XStreetSL Product ID field from each product’s Edit Item Listing page.
To use the new function, log into the Marketplace, and follow the steps below:
- 1. Navigate to My Marketplace > Merchant Home
- 2. Click Manage Inventory
- 3. Click Edit for an active product listing
- 4. Under SL Object Name, click, Edit Associated Object
- 5. In the Change Related Inventory pop-up, search for the Marketplace inventory item you'd like to associate with the product listing, and click on it to select
- 6. On the main Edit Item Listing page, scroll to the bottom and click Update
For more information, see our wiki:
The L$ exchange at XStreetSL will close on Wednesday, December 15th. All other account management and transaction history services will remain available on the XStreetSL site through at least the first quarter of 2011.
When trading is halted on the XStreetSL exchange, any unfilled orders will be canceled, and all balances being reserved (both L$ and US$) will be returned to Second Life accounts within 24 hours. You can view both your L$ and US$ account balances by logging in to the LindeX.
As part of our continued efforts to provide Residents with new ways to promote and discover products, services, and inworld businesses, we have recently launched the SL Advertising Beta at advertise.secondlife.com and we invite you to join the program.
Second Life Advertising is a self-service advertising system allowing advertisers to purchase targeted display ads on multiple Linden Lab web properties such as the SL Marketplace and SL Land Auction sites. If this test is successful, then we hope to extend advertising offerings to additional Second Life web properties. To learn more, check out Torley’s video tutorial on the wiki, where there’s also more information about the program.
Among other things, SL Advertising features include the following:
- Display banner ads evenly over the time period you select
- Target ads to specific SL Marketplace product categories
To join the program, just go to the SL Advertising Beta site and click on the “Get Started Now” button. Please send us all of your feedback, requests, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're on Twitter, please use the #slmarketplace hashtag.
Update on the Transactio
n History Page
- Help Customers Buy Clothing that Fits their Avatar...
New Resource: Tax & Account Documentat
Required Account Documentat
Required Tax Documentat
New Merchant Requiremen
- Process Credit System Delays Have Been Resolved
- Process Credit Requests May Experience Delays
g Options on SecondLife .com
e Now Uses Second Life Payment System