This article explains the basics of how to get started as a merchant on the Second Life Marketplace. Already a merchant? Check out How to market your products for tips on how to make your business stand out, or learn about Managing your Marketplace store.
Sell things you create to meet your own desires.
For many Residents, selling goods is a byproduct of their creative efforts to enhance their personal Second Life experiences. Create things you would be proud to own: if you won't wear it or use it, odds are no one else will. Quality wins over quantity every time.
Take a walk on the wild side. It's a fact of life — controversial things sell.
If you want to sell a high-volume item, consider creating "Adult" paraphernalia, weapons, or counter-culture items. However, keep the following things in mind:
- You can be successful without venturing down this road — you may just have to work a little harder.
- You still need to focus on quality, or you won't have many repeat customers.
- You are venturing into a highly established market. To stand out from the competition, you will need to develop some strong marketing strategies.
Great! Now you have a product. How much are you going to sell it for? Pricing is an art form, and there are many theories as to the best way to price your merchandise. Here are a couple to consider:
- Using x99 in your pricing. It has been proven time and again that an item selling for $199 will sell more than an identical item priced at $200.
- Premium pricing. Promoting your items at higher price can create a sense of prestige around your product. Of course, this strategy is likely to backfire if you use it to market a shoddy product.
To start selling in the Second Life Marketplace, you need to:
- Create a store - Accept the Marketplace Terms of Service and create your store.
- List items for sale - Upload items to the Marketplace and list your products.
- Preview your store - See your store as your customers will see it.
- Promote your products - Learn how to market your products succesfully.
If you are brand new to selling in Second Life, there are some preparations you should make.
- Make sure your store name is unique! Establishing a brand is important, so search the Marketplace to check if someone is already using the name you have in mind.
- Read the Fee and Listing Policies to be sure your products and listings meet Linden Lab requirements.
- Have your store information and graphics ready (logo, banner, store policies, inworld links, etc.) and make sure they meet the store profile requirements.
To create your store:
- On any Marketplace page, click My Marketplace in the upper-right and click Create a Store.
- Read the Marketplace Terms of Service carefully, then scroll down to the bottom and click Accept.
You can customize your store profile to make it more attractive and easier to find.
|Note: Your account must be at least five days old before you may create a store in the Second Life Marketplace.|
|Warning: After creating your store, you must restart your Second Life Viewer before attempting to upload items to the Marketplace website using the Merchant outbox.|
Make sure to set up permissions on any items you list. You can:
- Sell multiple identical copies of your item.
- Set up your item to be one-of-a-kind.
- Allow or disallow your customer to resell or give away the item.
- Allow or disallow your customer to make further copies.
You add items to your Marketplace listings by using a window called the Merchant outbox, which uploads your items to the Marketplace website. After uploading new items, you may then create item listings for them on the Marketplace website.
- Open the MERCHANT OUTBOX window in the Second Life viewer by choosing Me > Merchant Outbox.
- Drag items you wish to sell from your inventory into the MERCHANT OUTBOX window.
- Organize items into folders in the Merchant outbox if they are meant to be sold together. You do not need to box items in order to sell more than one item in a single listing on the Marketplace.
- Click the Send to Marketplace button to upload all items from your Merchant outbox to the Marketplace website.
- On the Marketplace website, choose My Marketplace > Merchant home in the upper-right.
- Click Manage Inventory on the left side of the page.
- Under Unassociated Marketplace Inventory, click the name of your item to start editing the item listing, then complete the required fields. You can find a description of all the listing fields here.
- Second Life Tutorial - Direct Delivery Essentials
- Second Life Tutorial - Converting item boxes to Direct Delivery folders.wmv
|Important: When you click Create, an automatic filter checks your listing's maturity level and updates it automatically if necessary. An alert at the top of the page appears when the maturity level changes.|
It is not usually necessary to pack items in a box if you wish to sell more than one item in a single Marketplace listing. Instead, you may add the packaged items to a single folder in your Merchant outbox, as described in Adding a new item to your Marketplace listings.
However, due to limitations on the Merchant outbox, you may still need to employ boxes if your listing needs to contain:
- More than 200 objects
- More than 20 folders
- Folders more than 4 levels deep
After you have listed at least one item, you can preview your store:
- Go to My Marketplace > My Store.
- This is how your customers see your store — but it also helps to browse the Marketplace as an alt to really walk in your customers' shoes.
|Important: To see items in your store that you have listed as Moderate or Adult content, make sure you have your Maximum maturity level set to General, Moderate or General, Moderate, Adult or Adult when you search!|
Learn how to customize your store profile to promote your brand.
The Marketplace automatically delivers items for you. Occasionally, the delivery system fails, and a delivery gets lost on its way to the customer. If that happens, you can easily redeliver the item.
In some cases, your inventory may fail to upload to the Second Life Marketplace with the message, "Some folders did not transfer." If this happens to you, you can check your store's Import Failure Log, which is accessible from your Merchant home page. Here are the possible error messages, and what you can try in order to fix them:
|Error Message||Suggested action|
|System error||Try again later.|
|Empty folder||Make sure each folder in your Merchant outbox has an item inside.|
|Unsellable item in folder||Make sure all items in your Merchant outbox have transfer permissions.|
|100 unassociated products already on the marketplace||You cannot have more than 100 unassociated items in your Marketplace inventory; delete any unnecessary unassociated inventory and try again.|
|Item count in top-level folder exceeds 200||In order to sell more than 200 items in one folder, you must box some of them.|
|Subfolder count in top-level folder exceeds 20||Decrease the number of folders to 20 or less; box items if necessary.|
|Depth of nested folders exceeds 3||Decrease the depth of folders-within-folders; box items if necessary.|
|You are not set up for merchant activity||Register as a merchant and try again. See Selling in the Marketplace to get started.|