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Knowl Paine

Inactive MP Accounts

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What is your Opinion, about Inactive Accounts at Market Place?

 

What is your definition of an "Active MP Merchant"?

 

What is your opinion, about the maximum length of time, a Seller should be away from his or her store? Is it days, weeks, months, or years?

 

Are there MP products, that do not require any communication, or interaction, between the seller, and the buyer?

 

Would you consider Inworld activity as a factor, in determining if a Merchant is "Active".

 

Should "activity", be a factor, in how products are Listed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The RL friend who introduced me into SL went inactive about 6 years ago. He still has 4 premium accounts that all receive L$500 per week. He buys an annual membership for each. With the 512sqm land allocation that he gets with each account he maintains a 2048 sqm inworld store selling his 6+ year old prefabs and still has all his stuff on the marketplace. He only logs in very occasionally to move L$ about and that is it. He does not support the business in any way. He maybe sells 1 or 2 prefabs a year and that is it, but it does not matter as the whole setup pays for itself. In fact since they lowered the price of an annual subscription he actually earns a profit from having the 4 premium accounts (with the :L$500 stipend) each year.

As long as he can get away with this he will continue to do so as there is absolutely no incentive for him not to.

He is effectively inactive but from LL's point of view he is still a valued paying customer.

Not saying what he is doing is right or wrong, it's just an interesting story. 

 

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For me, this is my RL job and that's how I treat it. I will take time off to travel or whatever but I never take more than a half day off from customer service. Never. 

Other merchants may see their business as a hobby so their definition of "active" is going to be different. Customers need to be aware that there is a continuum, from those whose business is a RL business tothose whose business is just for fun and is not expected to turn any profit. 

What would be helpful is a little ticker that tells how long it has been since a merchant logged inworld or something like that. But that is not going to happen.

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Knowl Paine wrote:

What is your Opinion, about Inactive Accounts at Market Place?

I feel all merchants should be active in SL. Not just slapping a store together and then logging in once in a while to get money.

What is your definition of an "Active MP Merchant"?

Someone who actively uses SL and does more than sit and convert money.

What is your opinion, about the maximum length of time, a Seller should be away from his or her store? Is it days, weeks, months, or years?

unless they are on vacation they should never let their customers wait for a response.

Are there MP products, that do not require any communication, or interaction, between the seller, and the buyer?

That would depend entirely on the customer, if they have a question then they deserve an answer.

Would you consider Inworld activity as a factor, in determining if a Merchant is "Active".

Yes, a merchant should be active in SL and put some of their earnings back into SL. i rent a home and have bought things to furnish it. Plus tipping DJs and various club/sims i visit.

Should "activity", be a factor, in how products are Listed?

No, an inactive merchant should have their store listed as inactive.

 

 

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althought i agree about the whole idea of your post about customer service, i disagree about the difference you make between merchants who makes their sl activity their rl job and the ones who have sl activity as second activity.

First, id be more than glad if i could win enough money with my sl business to make it my main activity. but if i leave my rl job, ill be living in the street for sure soon and i wont have neither internet, neither electricity to make my run my laptop for going on my sl activity.

i have a rl full time job (librarian) and i also deed at least the same ammount of hours for my sl business. nevertheless, my sl business is not my main activity and i get no money from it (since all i earn in sl help to pay tier and investissements but i still have to add rl money every monthes). so we can considerate my business is more a hobby than a job (i mean smth that give me RL incomes) however, i deed the same seriousness to it than in my rl job, i work daily, log daily, give (i think) an excellent support to my customers etc.... even when im on holidays i log almost daily, if i cant with my laptop i log with my phone client. even while im at rl work all along the week, i have my mailbox open on my pc and check what is happening on my mp or in my store inword and even answer from there to the ims sent to me.

So, i agree about the fact mp should consider about the merchants presence inworld or in mp, but i disagree on the dichotomy between creators who are lucky enough for doing their sl activity their main professional activity and the other ones who are forced to work elsewhere on top of their sl activity for having enought income for live. I dont think the problem about customer supports reside in this.

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

althought i agree about the whole idea of your post about customer service, i disagree about the difference you make between merchants who makes their sl activity their rl job and the ones who have sl activity as second activity.

First, id be more than glad if i could win enough money with my sl business to make it my main activity. but if i leave my rl job, ill be living in the street for sure soon and i wont have neither internet, neither electricity to make my run my laptop for going on my sl activity.

i have a rl full time job (librarian) and i also deed at least the same ammount of hours for my sl business. nevertheless, my sl business is not my main activity and i get no money from it (since all i earn in sl help to pay tier and investissements but i still have to add rl money every monthes). so we can considerate my business is more a hobby than a job (i mean smth that give me RL incomes) however, i deed the same seriousness to it than in my rl job, i work daily, log daily, give (i think) an excellent support to my customers etc.... even when im on holidays i log almost daily, if i cant with my laptop i log with my phone client. even while im at rl work all along the week, i have my mailbox open on my pc and check what is happening on my mp or in my store inword and even answer from there to the ims sent to me.

So, i agree about the fact mp should consider about the merchants presence inworld or in mp, but i disagree on the dichotomy between creators who are lucky enough for doing their sl activity their main professional activity and the other ones who are forced to work elsewhere on top of their sl activity for having enought income for live. I dont think the problem about customer supports reside in this.

I said it was a continuum, Trinity.  Everyone gets to decide where they fall on it, as far as customer service.  

My point is that customers need to take into consideration that different merchants have set different policies and levels of activity.  Not everyone considers SL serious business. That does not make them better or worse if they do, just different.

 

And as in all things, luck will only get you so far.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


My point is that customers need to take into consideration that different merchants have set different policies and levels of activity.  Not everyone considers SL serious business. That does not make them better or worse if they do, just different.

 

 

well my opinion is that the skills for being a good merchant (i mean from the point of view of having a good custom support) depend more of a mindset and even education than of the fact sl activity is main or secondary. i think we can find merchants that have their main activity in sl with bad custom service and we can also find merchants with a maiin rl activity with excellent custom service. This depend more on human skills than in the level of activity, imho. 

i also answered to your post, bec i read recently similar things about the 'hobby' thing... and i have to tell that, before this, ive never considered my sl activity as a hobby but more as a second activity. Indeed, i dont get rl money from it, but it still help to pay my sl. and i do it with the same serious than my rl job or whatever else i start, and prob even more. So well, reading this recently (not from you, of course) it has been a lil shock for me to realise that all the time i was deeding to my sl business and all the care and attention i put in it, is finally seen by others just like a hobbie.  well, maybe its just a matter about how we define a hobby ... idk

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

i also answered to your post, bec i read recently similar things about the 'hobby' thing... and i have to tell that, before this, ive never considered my sl activity as a hobby but more as a second activity. 

If it is not a hobby for you, then it's not a hobby.  Everyone gets to choose how he views his business, as I say.  And it is not a dichotomy but a continuum, as I have said twice before this.

I am very well aware of the "arguments" that have been going on for years on this subject, and that is why I stated my opinion very carefully to avoid them. Which I will now do.

 

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I think it's a shame that LL never followed up on their plan to introduce listing fees for Xstreet in 2009. That would have had an immediate impact on all listings owned by inactive merchants. DD migration will do a good job of clearing out the MP if they ever turn MB's off. 

I would very much like to know what percentage of MP merchants are still using MB's only.

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"Hobbies cost money, Interests are free."

                                               - George Carlin

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For me, the deciding factor between an Active vs. Inactive Merchant is the level of customer service they provide. Some products are totally devoid of any support needs ... others require sporadic but intense support .. and yet others demand customer support on every sale. But what matters most to me is how quickly a Merchant will respond to a customer request no matter the "usual" level of support needed.

In Porky's tale, his friend seems to be able to get away with providing no support whatsoever ... and that may be acceptable to most of his customers. The true answer there would be obtained by asking his customers how they feel.

In Pamela's case, I know from personal experience that she is VERY quick to respond to customer requests. Her communication systems (emails, IMs, etc.) are set up to let people know that she's received their request and gives them basic information that might solve their problems without her having to actually respond. But she responds anyway.

Merchants that place items on the Marketplace then ignore any requests from customers cast a bad light on the rest of us. The old saw about "one bad apple spoils the barrel" certainly applies here. People that have had one bad experience with another Merchant come preloaded, angry and ready for a fight when they feel they need to contact another Merchant. I've had people come at me with guns blazing over simple things, and it's always fun to spend the first 30 minutes calming them down before we can actually resolve their issue.

What I would like to see added to the Marketplace is a simple "Contact Merchant for Support" link on every product. Once you purchase the product, the link is visible to you. Click the link, enter your message and click "Send". The Merchant would then get an email or IM (merchant's choice) with the customer's name, purchase details and message.

AND a timer would be started...

Prospective customers could view the number of outstanding support requests filed and the average length of time to response by the Merchant. All the Merchant would have to do is send one response to stop the timer.

Granted, it's not a perfect system, but it does provide a lot of information that's missing now. It would not only give customers an easy method of contacting the Merchant directly, but it would give the Merchant all sorts of necessary info (such as customer name, purchase date, product name, etc.) that people often forget to put in their initial messages. (Yes, I get messages from people that read "It doesn't work. Fix it!" ... and that's all. LOL)

My personal opinon is that "Converting Money" isn't really a bad thing. After all, if a Merchant makes the decision that their method of doing business is just that, it's their choice. But those that refuse to support what they sell should have their habits displayed in some fashion .. if only to protect future customers from a frustrating experience. If it means dinging a few absentee merchants that just collect the money but produce angry customers .. I'm okay with that.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

In Porky's tale, his friend seems to be able to get away with providing no support whatsoever ... and that may be acceptable to most of his customers. The true answer there would be obtained by asking his customers how they feel.

 

In regards to my friends story he really doesn't have any customers left to ask, just a random sale here and there. Yet he is still taking up space in world with a store and still oversaturatiing the marketplace with listings for products that hardly ever sell. 

So by your definition of inactive, he definitely is inactive as he offers zero support to customers.

However from LL's perspective he pays his bills on time every month and has done so for 10 years without fail. So he is as much a valued customer as anyone else in that regard. So based on this, doesn't he have a right to keep his listings on the marketplace? 

Personally I am not sure. 100% undecided.

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Anytime you see a "Use it now" in the sidebar it is Direct Delivery.. i think. i think it would be awesome if it said whether or not it was a MB or DD. as far as i have noticed there are far fewer mistakes with DD than with MB purchases.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

Anytime you see a "Use it now" in the sidebar it is Direct Delivery.. i think. i think it would be awesome if it said whether or not it was a MB or DD. as far as i have noticed there are far fewer mistakes with DD than with MB purchases.

Unfortunately, when they added the "Usage Requirements" field to the Product Listings, they forced all of them to "Use it now". So if someone on Magic Boxes hasn't been through their listings and changed them all, they'll all say "Use it now" as well. Basically anyone that isn't paying close attention and hasn't realized they need to convert .. also has listings that look like they might be Direct Delivery.

Ooopsie!

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Porky Gorky wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

In Porky's tale, his friend seems to be able to get away with providing no support whatsoever ... and that may be acceptable to most of his customers. The true answer there would be obtained by asking his customers how they feel.

 

In regards to my friends story he really doesn't have any customers left to ask, just a random sale here and there. Yet he is still taking up space in world with a store and still oversaturatiing the marketplace with listings for products that hardly ever sell. 

So by your definition of inactive, he definitely is inactive as he offers zero support to customers.

However from LL's perspective he pays his bills on time every month and has done so for 10 years without fail. So he is as much a valued customer as anyone else in that regard. So based on this, doesn't he have a right to keep his listings on the marketplace? 

Personally I am not sure. 100% undecided.

And I'm leaning toward "okay with that" in your friend's case. He isn't causing a whole slew of pissed off customers, and he isn't generating tons of forum posts complaining about his actions .. so he's not really damaging things near as I can tell.

It's the ones that sell at a steady rate, ignore customer requests, and then get used as examples of "Why all merchants are crooks" that I think are the problem kids.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

And I'm leaning toward "okay with that" in your friend's case. He isn't causing a whole slew of pissed off customers, and he isn't generating tons of forum posts complaining about his actions .. so he's not really damaging things near as I can tell.

It's the ones that sell at a steady rate, ignore customer requests, and then get used as examples of "Why all merchants are crooks" that I think are the problem kids.

My friend was a good builder in his day and a successful merchant. When his interest in SL started to decline he was still logging in but basically adopted an ignore all customers approach because he could not be bothered. After a few months of doing this we were amazed that it really hadn't affected his business at all, in fact his revenue grew allot as SL entered the boom years. It got to the point where was not using SL at all and was still cashing out $1000 usd per month. Gradually his content started to look dated and sculpts took over and his standard prim builds became obsolete relics. 

As far as he is concerned it was the lack of adding new content that killed his business and not the lack of customer service.  I think at the time the growth of SL was massive so there was a continuous line of new customers allways pouring in through the doors.

I think SL is a different world now and there is far too much competition to ignore customer service. A good reputation for customer service and support can really help drive a business forward in today's over-saturated markets.

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I believe that a multiple quality factors, can be defined, and that in use, the statistical averages will favor Residents who are genuinely active, and of a reasonable demeanor, Or, the will be active, but not nice to you. Either way, they would still be active.

 

Possible factors:

 

  • MP logins
  • MP message systems interaction
  • Dashboard activity
  • Listing activity
  • SL logins
  • Inworld store activity
  • Groups
  • Feed
  • Classifieds
  • AR activity (none is best)

 

 

 

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If your friend added new content, that would be "Activity"  :matte-motes-nerdy:

 

I was just thinking that Activity, could be displayed to Customers, as a percentage, based on various factors.

The tool would be there for Customers who choose to look, privacy would not be effected. Answer's people would have an answer for Q's about (inactive seller complaint).

Really old existing MP items, should be in a dedicated Vintage Items Category. (if they not, idk) Items with really old creation dates, could be consider for inclusion by creator owners. (Can somebody define old?)

If I was a Tree, I would hold onto my roots.

 

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I have to agree, Customer Service is a major factor. It can be provided from a variety of IT sources, and ignoring the most basic business fundamental, will ruin a business. 

MP has a collective Image, and an exceptionally diverse group of Merchants, both need to be protected.

No system is perfect, your plan would be difficult to game, that is good. If an aspect can be gamed, that idea won't work.

 

Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. :matte-motes-smile:

 

 

 

 

 

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VonGklugelstein Alter wrote:

Easy solution: Monthly listing fees.. if merchants do not want to pay listing fees they can sell their products in world for no extra charges or commissions..

This idea has been around for a long time (no surprise there) and has also just as often been shouted down by the majority. One of the benefits to the Marketplace IMO is the ability for people to try their hand at selling without a major investment. It really is free to try, and that gets a lot of people into selling that couldn't afford to otherwise. Sure, a lot of them "die off" rapidly, but the ones with real promise and a good future can hang on and add good things to the SL World.

The "no extra charges" for selling in-world is actually not true. Those that are not Premium members don't have access to an in-world location from which to sell. So in order to set up land and a store, they have to invest in a rental parcel. That's not cheap.

Those that are premium do have at least the minimum 512 sqm from which to sell, but they may also be using it for their "Home" so may not be able to afford the Prims for a store also.

I do believe that some method of highlighting or indicating which sellers are no longer participating in the Marketplace should be developed, but Listing Fees just has too many negatives and only the one positive. Thus why I will challenge such actions now and in the future .. in whatever way I can.

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