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Myrylyn

My sales are suddenly in the toilet, again...

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Please accept my apology for misattribution.

It's the result of c/p before pressing the correct respond, and I'll make a point of not doing that from now on.

With that in mind:

@Medhue:

>Let me assure every single person that fears the MP will be permanently shutdown, that It is never going to happen.

It would not need to be be shut down as such.

Legally, it's better for them if they just leave it nominally running but so crippled that practically everyone has to maintain in-world commercial presence in order to stay afloat.

The reason I think they'll finally shut it down on 5 July, though, is that they're just not as smart as me; otherwise, I'd be less able to keep predicting their behavior.

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As others have mentioned ; I have a small store also. It is difficult to track trends with so few sales; however, I can watch my cheapest & best seller sales go up and down as you have indicated. I don't know if it completely dissappears or what is going on; but when you average a few sales of a product every single day and then go a week or two with NO Sales; you know something bad is going on , on a regular basis.

To those making RL Money from sales in SL ; I am extremely jealous; I have never even paid tier from sales; but again, I only have a few items. I have learned a bit; and I think I will take my experience and my effort and start trying to sell stuff on Ebay (RL Stuff, not SL Stuff).... I got to find some way to make RL money; and this 'Game Money' can't even pay for my 'Game Experience' let alone any left over for RL...

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Kampu Oyen wrote:

Please accept my apology for misattribution.

It's the result of c/p before pressing the correct respond, and I'll make a point of not doing that from now on.


Of course....I did not take any offense, thus the smiley. :)

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Dark Larkspur wrote:

 

To those making RL Money from sales in SL ; I am extremely jealous; I have never even paid tier from sales; but again, I only have a few items. I have learned a bit; and I think I will take my experience and my effort and start trying to sell stuff on Ebay (RL Stuff, not SL Stuff).... I got to find some way to make RL money; and this 'Game Money' can't even pay for my 'Game Experience' let alone any left over for RL...

I can relate to your situation.  I'm not jealous of those making good RL money in SL because, from knowing several merchants who do so, I know how hard they have worked to get to that point.  On the old forums one merchant who does extremely well financially in SL used to say to those who would periodically post "How can I make money in SL?" - You'll likely make more money part-time flipping burgers.  Making even that income in SL requires working twice as hard (or twice as many hours) as a part-time job in RL.  Each merchant's experience will differ but overall I think what he says rings true.

When I decided to start selling my creations I made a deliberate decision to have a small shop. My reasons were 1. I prefer the small "Mom & Pop" type stores I have encountered while out exploring SL.  I find them charming, thus chose to go that route.  2.  To put the time into my shop that it would take to make some decent money would turn SL into a job for me and I, thus far, prefer to enjoy SL social aspects as well and not view it totally as "a job."  Having said that, I serve my customers well and make sure they know how to contact me for any issues and encourage them to do so.  My turnaround response is usually a few hours at most, depending on if I'm at the PC or not.

What I *have* been able to do over the past two years or so is completely support my SL activities from my shop income - purchases, tips to instructors, rent for my shop and home parcels, etc.  That was my personal measure of "success."

Since I first began my SL shop with the above philosophy my RL financial circumstances have changed dramatically so I have been re-evaluating how I want to proceed.  Due to the current MP issues and slowing of even my modest sales, I will not be able to pay my home rent next month without adding some RL money, which I really don't want to do; however, I have lived on this sim for the better part of almost 5 years so it is hard to leave.  In the end, however, it is virtual land which is 0's and 1's on a server somewhere in CA.  Others have commented on not being able to make tier so I'm experiencing the same thing just on a smaller scale.

I, too, need to find a way to supplement my current income.  I would be interested to hear how ebay is for you if you go that route.

Not sure what my point is...lol...just a combination of rambling and reminiscing. :)

 

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I use multiple accounts for a variety of legitimate reasons, so you won't see a lot of product in Kampu Oyen's store.

You can make more money on the MP by working hard at it and taking some risks, but the amount you make while you sleep is mostly just dependent on how many products you offer.

Surely making even small amounts of money while you sleep does not suck, am I right?

Flipping burgers pays more, sure. But you can't really do that and sleep at the same time.

The patience you need is the patience to keep adding new product even when you don't feel totally inspired, and the patience to allow any copymod items you produce to circulate in-world to a point where they are drawing additional business to your store with some consistency.

Really, if you just keep your costs down and add new product with some kind of regularity, it should be almost impossible not to develop a steadily escalating amount of monthly business.

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Kampu Oyen wrote:

 

Flipping burgers pays more, sure. But you can't really do that and sleep at the same time.

 

I didn't say that, a well-known successful merchant who posted prolifically on the old forums and I have seen here occasionally did and, as I noted, it was said in response to people who had just joined SL having heard "You can get rich in SL" thus their first post inevitably was, "Ok, I'm here.  How do I get rich?"  ;) 

I agree with your response, it basically boils down to how each person wishes to approach being a SL merchant which is why I said I'm not jealous of those who make good money from their stores. 

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There's no reason to be jealous unless they're somehow influencing the grade of the playing field.

Probably very few of them have any such influence, and they wouldn't necessarily even be the most successful ones.

In fact, people who really know how to make money here legitimately should probably be the last ones to want to tamper with anything and produce weird new variables.

A thing that some lesser merchants are probably right to resent, though, is being characterized (pejortively) as "hobbyists" or "amateurs".

It seems to me like there are plenty of other places in the world for "professionals" to make money with the skills being applied here, and that SL is one of the few venues truly open to the creative efforts of less established designers and developers. Why some "professionals" choose to come here and complain about the "inferior" work of their "incompetent" competitors kicking their asses in terms of meeting consumer demand doesn't make all that much sense to me.

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They clearly did something with the search functions, which I appreciate.

I'm just sorry they can't say that they did, since that would be admitting that there was some kind of problem to begin with.

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Kampu Oyen wrote:

 

...SL is one of the few venues truly open to the creative efforts of less established designers and developers.


Agreed and everyone has to start somewhere.  When I look at some of the first items I made compared to what I know I'm capable of now by investing time in more classes/training where needed plus experience over time, I realize I have made progress and expect in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year from now to be more proficient.

 

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

Lately I've taken taken this approach to explaining how SL as not a game.

No, it's not a game. It's work.

In the time it takes you raid a town, you may have produced an item.

In the time it takes you to complete a dungeon, you may be able to package your product.

By the time you've earned 10,000 gold, you may have earned 100 linden donuts.

By the time you've earned that epic gear, you may have gathered a few linden bears.

By the time you've gotten a GM to answer your question and fix your problem, you got someone from LL to tell you to file a ticket.

An expansion pack in LL costs $300 ... every month.

SL is NOT a game. It's serious, buggy, costly and condescending business requiring far more patience than a game. You people out for entertainment value and relieving frustration from RL need to get a clue.

______________________________

Here. Here.

I've worn many hats in life, have been a business manager for medical practices, a published novelist... and with those jobs, my efforts were rewarded. Here, in SL, I work 10 hour days, it seems working more and more for freebee groups and hunts (free), spinning wheels non-stop, and getting very little in return. Good for those making enough to call it income!

I have an active blog, Over 300 Twitter followers, belong to blogging groups who blog my items. I do well at events, such as Fashion for Life (when they don't manipulate the landing points), and always try to be part of events because that's where I sell like hotcakes...

It's very costly for us to run our businesses and I'm embarrassed to say how much time and money I put into this. I can't figure out Market Place and I've given up  trying. I honestly think my store is invisble there.

The tools offtered to run a business aren't very good. We rely on groups, and our own fuel to market, usually that fuel is making our designs and we have not time to do anything else. 

I have business and marketing experience but it's of no avail here. If you make breedables, sex things, animations or full perm items, you might have a shot, but the rest of us...
not for the faint of heart.

 

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I have watched sales drop from tens of thousands a day to almost nothing and the last few days have been really bad. Of coarse it does not help My 9 sims were down all day yesterday. They have overloaded the grid with bad programing and low band width.

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Zero MP sales since the 29th of April. Zero. Not even my dollarbies that normally sell 25+ every day. This is really worrying me. Prior to this past week, my average number of sales per day is closer to 10 - 15, not counting the dollarbies. I've never had a zero day, ever. And now 2+ in a row.

Oh how I wish I could trust that the MP transaction reporting is working...

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I think one thing people neglect tracking is how many times your items appear in search results (Reports->Top Searched Items) and, on a more granular level, how many times those items are clicked on and viewed (Reports->Top Selling Items).

Do note that the "Top Selling Items" also lists the number of times that someone has viewed the items, not just the number of times it was purchase. This is hugely importantant, because it indicates that you've made an "impression" on a customer. If your impression-to-purchase conversion ratio is really low, that probably means your item is attractive to them, but perhaps too expensive... or the images or text are misleading or uninformative. Good "copy" and images are critical at this point.

Unfortunately, pulling these figures into a database for analysis is still rather hard-- I don't actually do it yet. But I can imagine writing a web page scrubber that pulls this wonderful information out, tags it all by date, and allows you to do item-by-item analysis. Running the scrubber once a day should be sufficient to get great data.

For those that are not so technically adept, you could always do a screenshot of the first page of your Top Selling screen and compare it to yesterday's snapshot.... and do the comparisons by eye.

I will try to whip a system up that does as I've described above, but it sure would be easier if the Marketplace compiled and displayed that data in a more useful form. After all, it would help their constituency to move more product, thereby increasing Linden Lab's commission.

Stay tuned.

 

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Myrylyn wrote:

Unfortunately, pulling these figures into a database for analysis is still rather hard-- I don't actually do it yet. But I can imagine writing a web page scrubber that pulls this wonderful information out, tags it all by date, and allows you to do item-by-item analysis. Running the scrubber once a day should be sufficient to get great data.

I will try to whip a system up that does as I've described above, but it sure would be easier if the Marketplace compiled and displayed that data in a more useful form. After all, it would help their constituency to move more product, thereby increasing Linden Lab's commission.

 

I'm sure it would be interesting to study the data, but in the end, what would you actually know? Do these data say anything that help you as a creator, when you are making new items?

Okay, some things can be useful, you can for example see that in fashion red sells better then green and black sells better then white. But why thís dress became your best seller and not another one, depends on many factors, factors you won't find your data.

And even when you could find out what it is that makes a specific item a top seller, there is no garantee that you can replicate the succes with the next item you make. Each creation has its own creative process and outcome. You can do your best to make something that has also this top selling 'wow factor', but there you only find out if you succeeded after the item starts selling. (And even if your item doesn't start selling, does not necessairy mean that it doesn't have a wow factor, there might simply be too many other items in the way to gain any visibility for you 'potential top seller'.)

 

 

 

 

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I think it might help people set priorities between multiple projects.

If someone makes shoes and guns, but the shoes sell faster, maybe they might want to focus a little more on the shoes.

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I am looking closely at the difference between my "Orders" page and my "Transactions" page.

An item just appeared in my "Orders" page on May 2nd. In my "Transactions" page, the order was placed on April 28th.

That's just sort of terrifying.... Maybe I did have a lot of sales and they're only just now being cataloged...

 

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Found an even "better" example:

Someone ordered something on April 8th and it was delivered on May 2nd.

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This means he has put your item in his shoppingcard on April 8th, but did not check out the order in his shopping card until May 2nd.

Some people use their shoppingcard simply to collect what they like, and once they have the money available buy all at once.

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Madeliefste Oh wrote:

This means he has put your item in his shoppingcard on April 8th, but did not check out the order in his shopping card until May 2nd.

Some people use their shoppingcard simply to collect what they like, and once they have the money available buy all at once.

This

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It's scary  how many of my items were never searched this year. But 2 years ago, I see everything searched, and good numbers. How does a gown that I made 2 years ago have over 5000 searches (on the site for 3 months) per one newer gown on the site 6 months with ZERO. For me this all started when they started fooling with MP. I think they maniupulate the data for (fill the blanks, because I don't wish to specultate too much).  I did add some enhancements but if that fails to deliver, then.. I don't know, other than fashion is gutted.

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Faye Feldragonne wrote:

...I think they maniupulate the data for (fill the blanks, because I don't wish to specultate too much)....

You bet they do! Sure can't talk about it on here though. There is other issues going on at the lab right now I think too, but it can be hard to guess the inner workings of a company like Linden Lab which is backed by venture capitalists, especially when the company ceases to communicate their direction publicly & begins to do everything possible to undermine transparency.

By the way, on a perhaps completely unrelated note I found this site interesting as a window into venture capitalist thinking:

 

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MP has cycled back to no sales for me again.  It seems like forever but when I check my transaction logs the last sale was April 30.  But having absolutely no sales for a day, or 3, for me is off the "norm."

BTW, was just checking my orders as mentioned above and I see one order in February and one on March 18 that states "Delivery Partially Failed."  When I continue checking the order in this category it does state that the status is "Delivered."  It shows up as delivered and I received the funds in my transaction history.

What would "Partially Failed" mean?  The customer had other items in her basket and they failed but my item didn't?  The item "almost failed" but finally made it there.  (I hear a George Carlin bit in my head on "Airport Security" where he talks about "near misses" that should accurately be called "near hits.")

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Hi Czari :),

"Partially Failed" means that something else in the cart failed (if yours was delivered and funds credited to you).

As for April and early May being uneven in terms of sales trends, it could be that overall (in the US) retail sales were weak or below expections. What happens in RL often is reflected in SL. And then of course, we have the DD implemetation, grid outages, etc.

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Arwen Serpente wrote:

Hi Czari
:)
,

"Partially Failed" means that something else in the cart failed (if yours was delivered and funds credited to you).

As for April and early May being uneven in terms of sales trends, it could be that overall (in the US) retail sales were weak or below expections. What happens in RL often is reflected in SL. And then of course, we have the DD implemetation, grid outages, etc.

Thanks Arwen. :)  That's what I pretty much figured - the customer had other merchants' items in the cart, but never quite sure anymore...lol.

True...sales could be weird for all kinds of reasons.  I think with everything that has transpired I'm more vigilent than I used to be.

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