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Does it matter?


iCade
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After my hiatus, I'm creating more things for my market place, and would soon like to have an in client shop. Now I have thought about this, but without actually having the experience it's nearly impossible to tell.

For setting up a shop does it matter where?

Does it matter if it's on mainland where rent is cheap, or on a private estate? Would purchasing a parcel in an expensive (rent wise) business district pay off? Is there actually a lot of foot customers? What about a stall in a shopping mall? Would that be the best option?

I found places that rent for as low as 1L per Prim, though business districts rent at about 1.8L-2L per prim, which is twice the amount so I'd rather ask here before making the investment when it might not even pay off.

Any helpful tips and discussions about this would be very much appreciated, thanks!

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iCade wrote:

After my hiatus, I'm creating more things for my market place, and would soon like to have an in client shop. Now I have thought about this, but without actually having the experience it's nearly impossible to tell.

For setting up a shop does it matter
where
?

Does it matter if it's on mainland where rent is cheap, or on a private estate? Would purchasing a parcel in an expensive (rent wise) business district pay off? Is there actually a lot of foot customers? What about a stall in a shopping mall? Would that be the best option?

I found places that rent for as low as 1L per Prim, though business districts rent at about 1.8L-2L per prim, which is twice the amount so I'd rather ask here before making the investment when it might not even pay off.

Any helpful tips and discussions about this would be very much appreciated, thanks!

personally I don't think it matters where, as far as mainland vs private. i was on private for years but just switched this year to mainland. My sales haven't decreased at all and business is wonderful as usual, no difference. I think it's a personal preference on if you can stand operating in mainland. A lot of people don't like it because you never know who your neighbor is. I was very careful about where I moved and then bought up most of the sim (even though I didn't really need all that land). I bought it simply for a piece of mind and I'm at the max $195 anyway so until I own the entire sim, i will keep buying as people leave. the reason I left private was for money. If you are paying a land baron tier of 20KL per week for a full sim, that is roughly $80 real dollars per week, depending on the exchange rate at the time. In other words, around $11.43 per day or $342.90 for a 30 day window of tier. Mainland however, saves quite a bit at only $195 per 30 day window. That’s almost an extra $150 extra each month that I can cash out as profit by not spending it. Of course if you are going after a smaller parcel, maybe it won't make that much difference to you.

I've owned secondary shops in satelite stores and business districts and usually didn't get much out of them at all. I'm not saying they are bad places to setup, but not if traffic is the reason you are doing it. Do it cause it looks cool and is a good envrionment to enhance what you are selling. No matter where you move, it will ultimately be you who brings the traffic in, which is why personally I'd stick to your own land cause you will always own it as long as you keep paying your fees, where if they don't pay...you lose.

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Thank you kindly for the response. It underlines the gut feeling I have and which led me to making this thread in the first place.

I did find rather nice lots on mainland with a wonderful neighbourhood. Now I am aware that this can change drastically, but so can I :) No need to be tied down to a place, and I will have a group set up to inform customers of any moving. While that isn't optimal, it surely beats paying twice the price, which is a lot when one is just starting out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not sure if it matters (in reference to where one rents land) but it may be worth using ctrl+shift+1 keys to show you some stats. You can learn on the wiki (I think) what these things are. Basically, I can't remember but just know what to look for. Yeah, weird.

One thing that matters is maybe the community, if they shop there and you live there and chat and have events in that community. If you do then it might somehow pay off because if they know you they might trust you or find some charm in knowing the owner that helps them with a conversation peice sort of approach. They can tell their friend or a curious onlooker they have met the owner and so on. I have heard this is good for RL business, it breeds trust. Then, when you have a large cult of customers you can use them to take control of a tower and let all hell go loose as you hold the tower and wait for the end of times while forcefully repelling police that wish to evict you. It's always good to have devoted customers! lol.

I alwasy think of private land as being more for residents avoiding all the script time gobbling that stores have, plus the traffic and unwanted loud gestures and so on that accompanies clubs, stores and hang outs. They want quite and also want a community, maybe? Not sure because I never got into this aspect, I am a loner by partial choice and partially forced into it...so, yeah....lonely and wandering around by myself a lot in SL means I am not a expert at this resident stuff...or anything for that matter!

I mean, uh....yeah....helpers....yes, helpers who are helping to...uh...preserve the tower! Yeah....preserve. Uh, anyway. Yeah, I dont' know if this works in SL (it is far easier to get a army of people to shoot stuff in SL I bet!) because it seems people like to shop in peace. Which brings me to the next thought.

You can always make a skyboxish store. A sort of sealed off place way up in the air, it is lower lag than sometimes a ground based store can be. I mean, it depends on what is up there compared to on the ground.

But, I see no traffic from wonderers on mainland, if that makes any difference to you. This was in the past, I don't run a store in world at this present time.

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HI iCade. :)  Years ago on the old forums a woman began a thread in the Resident Answers section asking for "Advice on Sales."  Thus began a thread that ran for approximately two years and ended only when LL closed down those forums to usher in this new format.  I was just starting out with a SL business at the time and read/posted on that thread regularly.  Many people who had fledgling businesses back then and now have thriving businesses posted there, as well as others who had been successful and helped those of us beginning.  The thread can be found archived here:

http://forums-archive.secondlife.com/327/ac/274749/1.html

The reason I mention this is that through that thread I met a woman named Jojogirl Bailey who, at that time, had owned a SL business for 4+ years and was pulling in approximately $500 USD/mo, after all in world expenses including shoes. (She always made note of that...lol.)  Her genius was in marketing.  Based on the questions she received from posters in the thread, Jojo began holding informal discussions/classes on SL marketing, based on what she had learned by trial and error over the years.  When I follow her tips, I always make sales.

On the subject of location she said that it made absolutely no difference where the store was located.  If one didn't market/promote the store it didn't matter how fabulous the merchandise was - it had to be found.  As far as I know she did not list on any online markets such as OnRez or the original Xstreet; her info/success was based on in world sales.  (Things have changed over the years with LL pushing the Marketplace so heavily, but her marketing tips are still relevant.)  I went to her marketing discussions each time she offered them.  Inevitably many people would comment that they felt being located in a good "traffic" area was the most important thing to selling in world.  Jojo always responded that if one gets a random "walk in" then consider that a gift but depending on "traffic" alone for sales didn't work.

Jojo's store was located on mainland, in the sky.  Arranging inventory in a clever manner and using snazzy business "tools" was not her forte - she was successful because of her skill in marketing.  She also spent a great deal of time in her store, greeting people when they arrived, offering to help, thus many customers became her friends - and not just "friends" as in being on her "friends" list.  When I would hang out with her she was invariably in her store so I went there and chatted with her while observing customers arriving regularly and being warmly greeted by Jojo.

Over the years I've had my store in several mall-type locations, some on mainland, others on estate sims.  My current free standing store is located on an estate sim that is a combination of residential/retail with no theme.  I just received notice from my long time store landlord that she will be selling her sim in the next 2-3 weeks so I will be moving my store to the mainland parcel I rent as my home and workshop.  I have lived on this sim most of my 5+ years in SL and on this particular parcel, which I adore (it is a corner parcel bordered on two sides by Linden oceans), for a great part of that time. 

I enjoy going to stores that are located in the sky as Jojo's was; many businesses that I visit currently, even very large well-known ones, are as well.  For me, I think lag is less higher up, and why I have always lived and had my workshop as high up as possible. On mainland, it is a way to distance the store from possible neighboring builds that are eyesores; however even in that situation I have seen mainland ground level stores that are surrounded by very clever landscaping that one would have no idea what is just beyond the borders. I am interested in how stores are set up and always cam around to see what is beyond the store parcel and am sometimes amazed at how well a store owner has created a sense of "separateness" and serenity on their parcel.  I've also seen some lovely store builds in the sky, including entire towns, that if you didn't know otherwise by looking at the altitude on the viewer, you would swear was located on an estate.

The short answer to your question, from my experience and that of my mentor in marketing - it absolutely makes no difference where your store is located; making sure people can find it by marketing does!

If you skim through the URL of the "Advice on Sales" thread you will eventually come to Jojo's posts where she starts sharing her marketing tips.  She also gave permission to those of us who attended her classes to share the notes with anyone so if you, or anyone, would like those, please send an IM to me in world and I would be happy to share. :)

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