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tilly Kiranov

Sale plummeting!!!!

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Since Hurricane Sandy I have seen my sales falling off the cliff! I'm not sure if this is the cause (and if so, who am I to moan?) But I was wondering if other merchants were seeing this fall off. Usually December is a brilliant month, but so far my figures have shrunk by two thirds, which is really worrying.

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It's down, but December has always been a down month for me, the worst month of the year for the past 4 years. This year the December trend hit us early, or at least I hope things will pick up in January, which is usually the best month of the year. We had a 3 sim inworld shop and now we have 2 sims. Having 3 sims was a luxury we can no longer afford. And really, 90% of our sales are MP, so there was no point.

But yes, one hand up here - sales are down.

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Thankyou for your honest reply! Sometimes it's hard to guage because people (naturally) like to put a bit of a spin on their figures, lol But for me, this past month has been like someone turning off the lights. A rapid decline, with no apparent reason which is worrying.

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It's common for a merchant to become aware of a decline and attach a recent event to it as a cause.  "Since __insert_event____ I have seen my sales falling off the cliff!" 

Usually it's something Linden Labs has done with search, or parcels or something. Sometimes it's seasonal - my sales of things that relate to Christmas decor have climbed, and if I didn't have them, I'd be seeing a drop.

You have a lot of competition for customersn in the "cuddle furniture" market.  I looked at your marketplace, and you are not very diversified. If they don't buy sex beds, there goes your income. Can you make some seasonal decor? Like a snow-globe sex bed?

 

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I make a Christmas item every year... the idea of a globe is a good one, ty! But what I am seeing isn't the gentle up and down you get naturally, it's been really rapid decline for no apparent reason.

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Are you finding that its down for in world sales and marketplace or just one of those. I've  noticed so far my in world sales are kind of just blah but my marketplace sales are doing fantastic. Ive been off having a baby for most of December though, so hardly any marketing except the hunts I am in which I'm sure is the explanation for my low sales.

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Surprisingly, no, my sales haven't dropped. But you'd think they wouldn't since I sell seasonal stuff. That's not actually the stuff that's selling the most though, lol.

My inworld sales have been iffy for a while-I don't put a whole ton of faith into them, I mostly keep that for the people who DO want to shop inworld and the various groups I'm in. My mp went down for a bit, came back up, went down a little again, and seems to be steady now. So far the patterns I see every year seem to be repeating themselves this year though.

That said, if you don't sell seasonal stuff at all, or very little, it's not surprising to see a dip, even a drastic one, as people are stocking up on that sort of stuff. That's exactly why I sell them myself, lol. I don't really think the hurricane had anything to do with sales. Well, I can't think of why it would. Although a lot of people were hit hard and aren't likely spending extra cash, they'd have to be your main source of income for it to have that big of an impact on you. I am guessing the areas, and people, hit hardest aren't the majority of your customers. Of course I could be wrong too, maybe they are.

That all said, I'm not a high volume seller, of anything. My store's pretty small, I still have a bunch of stuff I need to add, list, and finish building. I've just been busy rl, and not had a spare few mins to get it all done. I might see bigger changes(better or worse) if I had a bigger store and product selection. Those who normally sell higher volume are more likely to notice the change than someone like me who is used to dips up and down. As long as my store pays for itself, I'm golden. Anything beyond that, is awesome. Most sellers call people like me hobbyist merchants :)

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My sales went back to "normal" beginning in September and are rising a bit in December but, as others have noted, I do sell some seasonal items as well.

When my sales hit the skids big time was back in May and were all across the board until they became "my normal" again in September.

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tilly Kiranov wrote:

In world sales are pretty steady (about 10% of total sales) it's MP thats taking the hit... will just have to wait it out... congrats on the baby!

I think a previous poster may have hit the nail on the head...seasonal items are what is selling right now. If you don't have much of those items created and for sale, it could be the reason for the lower sales on the marketplace. But with your marketplace making up 90% of your sales you would definitely notice the hit more thn someone like me would.

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Yes, I figured out my sales are down in December because I don't have christmas items. I've started bringing out winter landscaping items, so that should help.

I make landscaping products, old boats and plain, old rustic furniture.... tinselly, shiny things are not my specialty, and I have no inspiration to go there. If other merchants specialise in that type of thing then I'm happy to let them do it and get those sales.

I take advantage of the peace and quiet of December to create new items and get things back in order. I always have so many jobs that never get done....less customers means less interruptions.

As long as I have the usual bumper sales through Jan and Feb I'm not worried.

Most people would be spending their money on RL christmas now, and in SL it would be mainly chrismas things too.

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Rya Nitely wrote:

Yes, I figured out my sales are down in December because I don't have christmas items. I've started bringing out winter landscaping items, so that should help.

I make landscaping products, old boats and plain, old rustic furniture....
 tinselly, shiny things are not my specialty, and I have no inspiration to go there. If other merchants specialise in that type of thing then I'm happy to let them do it and get those sales.

I take advantage of the peace and quiet of December to create new items and get things back in order. I always have so many jobs that never get done....less customers means less interruptions.

As long as I have the usual bumper sales through Jan and Feb I'm not worried.

Most people would be spending their money on RL christmas now, and in SL it would be mainly chrismas things too.

Hey now, not all us make tinselly, shiny things for Christmas. I prefer the darker, bloodier and murderous side to Christmas. Lol

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Deja Letov wrote:


Hey now, not all us make tinselly, shiny things for Christmas. I prefer the darker, bloodier and murderous side to Christmas. Lol

hahaha... just had a peak at your first page items. I Love it! :P

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Rya Nitely wrote:


Deja Letov wrote:


Hey now, not all us make tinselly, shiny things for Christmas. I prefer the darker, bloodier and murderous side to Christmas. Lol

hahaha... just had a peak at your first page items. I Love it!

 

Yep! Deja's stuff has a lot of red. Very Christmassy.
:P

 

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Problem may be identified.... List Enhancements, grrrrrr

In transaction history, does anyone know how  I cross reference LL's order number against my actual product listings (eg: MKT2 Subscription Description: Order #1311001598 )
With over 50 items stuck in 'Charging cannot edit' limbo I have completely lost track of what is going on!!!!

I have a suspicion that I am being charged for ads that are not appearing....

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tilly Kiranov wrote:

[snip] ... In transaction history, does anyone know how  I cross reference LL's order number against my actual product listings (eg: MKT2 Subscription Description: Order #1311001598 ) ... [snip].

Yes, and it's actually fairly easy. First things first, you need to get familiar with which reports show what data. The two primary reports that matter to you are:

  • Orders > Transaction history, and
  • Reports > Orders

You may also want to consult the Reports > Listing enhancements report as well, but I'll explain that later.

Orders > Transaction history

The first report, Orders > Transaction history, can be accessed from the Merchant Home Page under the Orders menu heading. The only option there will be the one for the Transaction history report. That report shows a single-line-per-order report that details every purchase made by your customers.

It is provided in descreasing Order Number sequence, and often the date shown for an order is not the date the merchandise was actually delivered. That's because the date shown is the date when the customer placed the first item in their cart. So if they put an item in their cart last year (2011) then didn't "check out" until today, the order will be listed among other Orders from last year. (Meaning it will be many pages past the first page.)

The major advantage to this report is that you can copy and paste in the Order Number shown on the SL Transaction History report (accessible from your main SL Dashboard) then click the Search button. This will result in a list that contains only the single order you entered.

View order

After you've found the specific order desired, you can click the "View order" link on the far right. That will display a single-page summary of the specific order. The summary page shows you all the items purchased from you that were included in that one Order as well as information about how many items total were purchased with that one order. Of course you can't see any detail for items purchased from someone else, but you can at least get specific detail about what was purchased from you. The View order summary also shows you who received the items purchased, just in case one or more of them was purchased as a gift for someone else.

Reports > Orders

The second type of report you will need to use from time to time is the full Order report. It can be accessed from the Merchant Home Page under the Reports menu heading. The last option shown, Orders, will display the Orders report.

This report shows one detail block for each item purchased from you. If a specific order includes more than one item from your store then each one will have its own detail block. The date shown in the first column of each detail block will be the date the items were delivered, NOT the same date shown in the Transaction history report. This can make it confusing to locate a specific order using this report, especially since you can't search for a specific order number. But at least you can use the Start Date and End Date selectors to specify a delivery date range. Just remember that the date shown is the date the items were actually delivered.

Each detail block also includes the price paid by the customer, the names of the purchaser and recipient, the commission fee charged and the net amount you received. If some of the proceeds were distributed to others (for example when splitting sales with a partner or co-creator) then the amount will be listed under the "Distributions" column header. It also offers a "Redeliver" button and a link to display the Order summary. The Order summary is the same single-page summary report you'll see when you click the "View order" link from the Transaction history report.

Cross-Referencing Orders and Transactions

When you find a specific transaction in the main SL Transaction History report (from https://secondlife.com/my/account/transactions.php), you can copy the Order number from the transaction detail then use it in the Transaction history report to find the specific order. Just paste the copied Order number into the "Order #" field then click the "Search" button.

To find the Line Item detail in the Reports > Orders report, use the date from the SL Transaction record to narrow the date range. Just enter the same date in both the Start Date and End Date selectors then click the "Go" button. Depending on the amount of sales made on that date, the order may be on a second or subsequent page. I generally use the "Find Text on Page" function of my web browser (Chrome in my case) to search for the order number on the page.

Listing Enhancements

Listing Enhancements are a bit different. The first column in the Listing Enhancements report (Reports > Listing enhancements) shows the Product .. somehow. To be honest, I haven't used Listing Enhancements in such a long time that I don't know eactly what is shown there. But if it's a number then it's most likely the Product ID number. You can find out which specific product is being charged by using the Product ID number in a hand-assembled URL.

For example, if the number shown is 1276697, then the URL you would create would be:

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/x/1276697

Notice that the Product ID number is the last part of the URL; everything before it simply tells the Marketplace that you are retrieving a Product Listing page.

However, since I'm really not sure exactly what IS shown in that first column, it may be a bit more convoluted to find out which listing enhancement and product is being charged. (If anyone has better info, please add it to this thread.)

 

Hopefully this info will help you navigate your way through the various debits and credits that "mysteriously" appear on your SL Transaction History report. After all, it's always a nice thing when you understand not only where your money is going ... but WHY!

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Thankyou so much for your thorough reply Darrius, it is much appreciated... I need to spend half a day investigating this, and with your advice it will stop me from head butting the screen :-)

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You are most welcome tilly. With any luck, the small amount of time invested in answering thoroughly will carry over to more than just one .. more than just two .. maybe even more than two handfuls. And that would be an incredible ROI in my book.

(pssst... head-butting the screen is somewhat satisfying, but has a tendency to really muss up the hairdo. *grin*)

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