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Fauxglove Silverweb

Marketing Mesh to Merchants?

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I'm a freelance Mesh builder. Some of my best customers in the past have been merchants looking for new product to sell, and I'm looking to make deals with new clients now that I'm relying on this as a full-time job. As merchants yourselves, I was hoping you'd have some suggestions on how to best approach the topic. Would it be inappropriate to track a name down through a market listing and make a cold call? (If you happen to be interested yourself, you can see the stuff I've already done in mesh on faux-ink.tumblr.com . Plug plug! XD)

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It really depends on the merchant.  Most merchants are content creators themselves and will create their own content or want to buy content that they can heavily customize or use as just part of a whole that  shows them as the creator  Personally i wouldn't be interested in buying a full item from you if it was fully textured or not.  However componants that I could customize and include as part of my own builds I may be interested in.

As far as actual contact, unless I asked to receive it, I would view it as spam and not only not look at it , but be angered that i was spammed. However  if you personally & politely IM and ask to set an appontment up to meet me to show me your work or ask if I'd be interested before sending me something, I may be more receptive. 

The best place to reach the most merchants without annoying them is selling your items through the marketplace or with an inworld store. If you only are going to do custom mesh, then a classified ad is your best bet.

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Send me a message and friend me in game. Though I don't need any mesh work at the moment it is possible I will at some point, and it never hurt to have connections.

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Fauxglove Silverweb wrote:

. As merchants yourselves, I was hoping you'd have some suggestions on how to best approach the topic. Would it be inappropriate to track a name down through a market listing and make a cold call?

I echo much of what Amethyst said.  If you're looking to make this a full time job the you can't afford to be just "great mesh creator", you've also got to turn marketeer and salesperson and that does mean making cold calls and no, it's NOT inappropriate.  Frankly, if someone is going to huff and puff because you've dared to contact them with an opportunity that you've identified for them, then you don't want them as your customer.

What you would do well to do would be a whole lot of groundwork, there's no point selling weapons to weapons merchants (unless you can identify a specific niche that they can't cover).  Look for those for whom you can offer something complimentary to their existing offering, especially where they may be wanting to go down a mesh route but don't want to invest their own time in learning or just don't have the interest to do so.

As to a cold call, sure but make it personal.  Don't just send a generic notecard.  If it's specific and touches sweet spots then you have a good chance, it's all down to the research.  Work on an "elevator pitch" that will engage in the first 30 seconds.  If you haven't explained to me in that first 30 seconds,  something that solves my problem (which you've already researched haven't you?) then you've probably lost the opportunity during that cold call.

I don't get the impression that you want to sell builders packs full perm but rather custom items which is a niche and that's fine so you've got to really work that research and contact.

You can be the greatest mesh creator out there but if you can't sell (yourself) for s**t then don't make this a day job!

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Why are you aiming for the general audience on the marketplace, when you want to sell to merchants? A merchant can not do much with an object that is not transferable. Nor will merchants look in the general catagories on the marketplace when they are looking for items to use as part of their builds.

Sell your meshes with full perms and make a user license in which you formulate the terms of use.
List your items on the marketplace on of the subcatergories of the main category 'building components'.

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Ya I'm with Madeliefste...you aren't going to sell to merchants unless your mesh are full perm and you have them listed on the marketplace as copy/mod. Change that to full perm and you might get some merchants.

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There is so much ripped mesh flooding the MP, and more to come, I would not buy mesh from anyone without an inworld store and other signs of professionalism, unless I was ordering something custom. That is the only way I could verify that what I was buying was made by that creator.

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Even with an in world store you cannot be 100% sure that sellers is selling you legal content. But the change is at least bigger then on the marketplace.

You are so right, Pamela. As a second creator who ads value to a mesh by using it in your builds you can not take the risk of working with illegal content. It's your business that will get in a bad light, when a dmca report causes you to take an object out of your shop or marketplace. Not to speak about the work you added to it...

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Who said anything about no transfer rights? :P Resale contracts are more expensive than personal use contracts, but I include a full-perm copy of the commissioned objects, including the original .DAE files and texture templates so they can alter and change the items later. Each item I build is full custom, and my clients know it because they get progress updates on the model in progress. Classifieds is an option I hadn't thought of. I didn't think anyone used the system or looked at it, but I'll look into it. Thanks. :)

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Madeliefste Oh wrote:

Even with an in world store you cannot be 100% sure that sellers is selling you legal content. But the change is at least bigger then on the marketplace.

You are so right, Pamela. As a second creator who ads value to a mesh by using it in your builds you can not take the risk of working with illegal content. It's your business that will get in a bad light, when a dmca report causes you to take an object out of your shop or marketplace. Not to speak about the work you added to it...

I have already been burned this way -- and from one of the best known sculpt/mesh creators in SL. So, no, no guarantee of anything. With mesh, all bets are off.

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All my marketplace offerings are items that people requested and gave explicit permission for me to re-sell as a merchant, since they have no interest in selling it themselves. My offering to Merchants is built completely custom, ground up, to your design request. Though I have thought about marketing full mod re-sale packs, that'll come at a later date I think.

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Your question is about marketing mesh to merchants. Offering mesh items with full perms items on the market place is your starting point. The marketplace is where more then 80% of the merchants shop to buy mesh items, and they don't bother to look for limited perms items, so you won't gain any visibility from the merchants audience by listing them this way.

Merchants go to mesh creators for customs builds when they cannot find anything on the marketplace that suits their needs. So if you are not there, on the marketplace in the right category, the change that anybody approaches you to make them something custom is almost zero.

I myself get a lot of request for custom work, while I have never announced anywhere that I do custom work. But sometimes, when people come up with a good idea that I would like to make, and there is no strict deadline, I do make them the object they want, under the condition that I can sell it in my own store as well.

It happens only seldom that people want an item to be unique for them. I don't do them, I would have to charge too much to justify my time investment. The few times I did calculate for someone what the rate would be for an unique item they found it too expensive. However when I can sell an item I made custom later to others as well, I don't have to charge high prices. Actually in most cases I just charge the price that the item will have when it appears in my shop. 

In my opinion the market for custom works in SL is not big enough to make a living from it, people are not willing to pay rl prices for custom work, people want it for SL prices (at least in 99,9% of the cases).


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1. Full-perm.

2. Completely original.

3. Highly documented. By this I mean informing the potential customer of the advantages and disadvantages of mesh in every product description. Doing this likely kills many sales, since the implementation of mesh in SL is not what anyone hoped it would be, but it saves recriminations and refunds after the fact.

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Custom work is all very well, but you'll make more bread-and-butter money if you sold off-the-shelf component packs as well. My main need is for basic components I could make myself, but don't enjoy making. I have a particular hatred of making the multi-face prims used for making plants/fields/tree foliage. These aren't something that need to be custom, as the thing that makes a tree stand out is the texture on it, not the basic multi-face thingy. So I'm not going to pay custom prices for them.

Offering the dae files is good, as that's a criteria I have for mesh purchase. I want to control the uploads and be able to tweak shapes if needed. But for non-custom packs, you can probably simply include a notecard telling the customer how to request the daes if they want them (emailing their transaction ID to X address, or something like that).

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Fauxglove Silverweb wrote:

I'm a freelance Mesh builder. Some of my best customers in the past have been merchants looking for new product to sell, and I'm looking to make deals with new clients now that I'm relying on this as a full-time job. As merchants yourselves, I was hoping you'd have some suggestions on how to best approach the topic. Would it be inappropriate to track a name down through a market listing and make a cold call? (If you happen to be interested yourself, you can see the stuff I've already done in mesh on faux-ink.tumblr.com . Plug plug!
xD
)

I also do custom resell mesh builds for merchants. So far, I've gotten clients through word of mouth.  As for cold calling, that is a tricky subject in a place like SL where people are ready to yell "spam" at any moment. So, you'll probably want to be very careful with that.

 

Concerning the rip off comment made in this thread:

Knowing someone has an inworld store won't protect you from ripped mesh, sculpts or textures. If a client was ever concerned about an item I made, I have generally 20+ files in progress of the model being built, as well as a written building work log for the item. Basically, the person should be able to show mostly all the stages of work progression from cube to finished item if they made it from scratch.

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... i WILL SAY, IN REGARDS TO THE POST ABOUT THERE BEING SO MUCH RIPPED MESH IN sl, That very fact is the primarry reason you wouldn't want to make packs for general consumers... It is best in my oppinion, to creat objects for products that will incorporate some level of scripting and thus are less likely to be targetted by copybots.

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