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[update] August 17, 2015: Magic Boxes have been shut down. Please use Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) to list items for sale on the Marketplace going forward.
With the launch of Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM), Magic Boxes and Xstreet will be retired. Merchants who are still using Magic Boxes to sell their items will need to manually migrate their listings by August 17, 2015, when Magic Boxes will no longer appear on Marketplace. We will leave Xstreet up until August 27, 2015, so that interested Merchants can pull their data before the site is shut down for good.
- Magic Boxes will stop working on August 17, 2015
- Xstreet will be shut down on August 27, 2015
For more information on VMM and manual migration, please see the VMM Knowledge Base article or check out the VMM video
[update August 3, 2015] All Direct Delivery listings have now been migrated to Viewer-Managed Marketplace(VMM), and the VMM-enabled viewer is now the default Release download.
Thank you everyone for your patience during the migration.
The Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) Viewer is now a release candidate, and automated migrations will begin on July 23, 2015. Migrations will be done weeknights between 9:00 PM and 9:00 AM Pacific. Merchants with large stores (over around 5,000 listings) will be scheduled, and we will send an email (to the email address associated with your store) to provide you with advance notice.
For all Merchants, we will send an email at the beginning of the migration process, and another email once it has completed. Merchants will not be able to modify items in their stores during this time, but purchases will continue for any item that is not in the process of being migrated.
Once your store is migrated, you’ll need to use the Second Life VMM Viewer to manage the inventory in your Marketplace store. The VMM knowledge base article has been translated to all six supported Marketplace languages and will help you get up to speed on VMM.
If you experience any problems after your migration has completed, please file a support ticket under Marketplace Item Listing Issues.
In order to learn about VMM before migration starts, you can watch tutorials on our Official Second Life YouTube Channel. Start with
The Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) Beta is now available to all Marketplace Merchants. Merchants will still need the Second Life Project Viewer to use VMM. Please take this opportunity to try it out and let us know of any issues. We’ll begin automated migration about a week after the Viewer has made it into the release channel.
We’ve added some new questions to the FAQ based upon the beta migrations we have done. Please let us know if you have additional questions about the migration process on this forum or in JIRA. If you’re lucky, some of the Merchants who are already migrated may even chime in.
We have just launched the Beta for the Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM), and now all merchants can begin trying out this new feature. VMM allows Merchants to easily manage their inventory on the Second Life Marketplace using the Second Life Viewer. Items no longer need to be loaded into the Merchant Outbox or a Magic Box and are instead sold directly from inventory.
VMM will allow all Merchants to stop using Magic Boxes while also enabling them to modify listing inventories directly from the Viewer. Merchants will still need to go to the Marketplace web site in order to edit listings, but with VMM, they will be able to create new listings, publish them to the Marketplace, and/or unlist them, all from within the Viewer. To help you learn more about VMM, we have created several
We anticipate this Beta period will last for at least one month, but we’ll keep everyone posted as the timing becomes more definitive. The next steps after Beta will be:
- Release VMM to all Merchants.
- A month after the release, automated migration of Direct Delivery listings will begin. Magic Box listings will need to be manually migrated.
- After migration has completed, Xstreet and Magic Boxes will be shut down.
Merchants may choose to manually migrate Direct Delivery listings before the automated migration occurs. The automated migration will take place during lower traffic times on the Marketplace, and more details will be provided closer to the migration period.
If you’d like to learn more about the new VMM feature and try it out, please view the FAQ on the wiki. We look forward to hearing your feedback on this Merchants’ Forum post or in the VMM JIRA project.
The new Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM), now available* on Aditi, allows you to easily manage your inventory on the Second Life Marketplace using the Second Life Viewer. Items no longer need to be loaded into the Merchant Outbox or a Magic Box, and are instead sold directly from your inventory.
VMM will allow all Merchants to get off of Magic Boxes in addition to supporting modification of listing inventory directly from the Viewer. While Merchants will still need to go to the Marketplace web site in order to edit listings, they will be able to create listings and list or unlist them from the Viewer.
If you’d like to learn more about the new VMM feature and try it out, please view the FAQ on the wiki. We look forward to hearing your feedback and have created a VMM JIRA project to capture bugs and feature suggestions. For more information on how VMM works, see our Beta Knowledge Base article.
*NOTE: Currently, purchases will fail on Aditi. Since the bulk of the functionality for VMM is related to creating and modifying listings, we have made VMM available while we resolve the purchase problems. We will update this blog post when the issue is cleared.
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.
To begin using Direct Delivery for Marketplace items, Merchants will need to transition their listings, which can be done individually or in batches of up to 100 at time.
To assist with this process, we have prepared a number of resources, including Knowledge Base articles (translated into the four Marketplace languages) and video tutorials:
Customers do not need to do anything to transition to Direct Delivery — they just need to know that their purchases are now in the new Received Items folder within their Inventory. To help everyone become better acquainted with Direct Delivery purchases, we’re offering a FREE limited-edition Linden Bear.
We are aware that some Merchants are still having problems with the Merchant Outbox. We are are working with TPVs and our internal development teams to address this issue.
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).
Now we’re offering a new program to help Merchants deliver great deals on Marketplace in a way that’s quicker and easier for shoppers—and who doesn’t love that? The “Dash Deal” test program will enable Merchants to attract new customers and for shoppers to score deep discounts on one selected item from the best virtual goods on the Marketplace.
Scheduled to launch in April, the “Dash Deal” test program aims to make good deals easier to find and boost visibility for our Marketplace Merchants. Marketplace Merchants interested in participating in the program should apply here.
How does the program work?
Starting in April, a single new “Dash Deal” will be selected one day of each week and promoted at a deep discount of at least 50% off and available for only 24 hours. Linden Lab will promote each Dash Deal to the general Resident population, increasing awareness of both the Merchant and Marketplace.
How will Linden Lab promote the Dash Deal program?
Linden Lab will be employing a complete marketing campaign to drive traffic to a single Dash Deal on Marketplace one time each week during the test period, including: direct email to active users, Twitter, and Facebook.
How will giving a discount help Merchants’ business?
By discounting your item for 24 hours, you will attract the attention of deal-minded shoppers who otherwise might never have noticed your store. It’s a great way to build brand recognition with new customers, giving them a chance to experience your high-quality items and encouraging some to come back for future purchases.
What are the benefits of participating in the program?
- Marketing support from Linden Lab
- Boost in sales for the Dash Deal item
- Increased visibility for your Marketplace content
- Enhanced brand recognition for your store among shoppers
More about the criteria, rules, deadlines, and legal fine print can be found here. Keep in mind that this is a test program, so these rules are subject to change—particularly if the test is successful, and we move forward with the program in the future. We will also be soliciting feedback through a survey after the test is complete, so you will have the opportunity to share your ideas with us.
We look forward to promoting our Merchants through this test.
“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.