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Knowl Paine

Inactive MP Accounts

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I think the experience for buyers can be improved, when merchants are available for support. Activity is not necessairy an indicator that a merchant offers support, but the chance to get support is many times bigger when you buy something from an active merchant, then from an inactive merchant.

Now and then you hear buyers that bought something that does not work as aspected. They contact the merchant, who does not reply, they wait a few days, contact again, no answer. They get irritated, send several messages again or are checking to see if they can catch him online. While the conclusion 'I just spoiled xxx L$' is becoming clear, the frustration is high.
The buyer feels treated unfairly, and seeks justice. Often they expect that LL will take measures against such merchant and/or will compensate for the loss. They start to send in tickets and AR's. And the frustration climbs to the top when they hear: We don't step into resident-to-resident issues, you must solve this with the merchant himself.


But there is no merchant to solve anything with. So with more then 100% frustration, the buyer is thrown back upon himself. That is not a healthy situation, nor for the buyer, nor for other merchants, nor for Linden Lab. A customer should be treated with repect, in stead of with indifference.


Since Linden Lab is not prepared to step into these conflicts, they should, when possible, build in measures that help to avoid these conflicts. In the marketplace this can be done by giving unsupported products a lower place in ranking  then supported products.

One way this can be done is by taking the last date of login from the merchant in account when the order is calculated, how further that day in the past, how lower the ranking of the product.


But the idea that Darius brings up is good as well.

Anything that can be done avoid these frustrations that people can get from buying unsupported products should be seized.

 

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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..

When you are a starting merchant who can hardly find the money to pay for the upload costs, you have as much chance to be an active merchant then someone who makes a rl income from his sales. Both have as much chance to be around to support their products.

This is not the case with listings fees. That is a system that disadventage starters and merchants with litte turnover compared to merchants who are selling well.

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

 

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. 

Totally agree, Trinity!  I may not be the best builder, nor have the largest number of products (by a long shot...lol) but excellent customer service is something I am passionate about.  When I receive a customer question or issue, if I'm not in world when it is received I get it via email and log in immediately.  Many of my customers are actually surprised I even responded to them and thank me profusely.  Which really makes me wonder about the level of customer service out there.  (Not referring to anyone in these forums at all, but we all know those of us who post here are just a tiny percentage of all SL merchants.)

On the other hand, I have seen some really impressive items in SL, some I have considered purchasing.  I have a habit of looking at the profile of a merchant, both because I enjoy reading profiles and to see what their policies are.  Some of the larger, big name merchants (again, no one on these forums) who have some amazing builds have policies in their profiles that, boiled down to the basics translate to:  Don't even think of bothering me.  I am much too busy and you are probably too stupid to have not read the directions."  Okkkaaayyy....I back very carefully away from those types.

 

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Porky Gorky wrote:

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.

/raises hand

MB user here :)

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Fees: are part of a later plan, and seperate battle; I believe the Fee, to create a Group, should be raised. The first 3 are Free to create, additional groups are 300L$

 

I have to agree with the others, fee's might knock too many people out, or prevent the Resident who has almost nothing, from getting something.

I think I saw a Linden begin to drool, when they read your comment.

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Very well said, your comment highlights the current duality, and passing of the buck, which is occurring.

One inactive seller, with 1 unhappy customer, can create 10 IM's, 3 Notecards, 2 Tickets for Support, 5 AR's, 3 Forum questions, and a partridge in a pear tree.

 

I would like to add, that Ebay, the largest online merchant in the World, has yet to perfect their own system.

We should avoid following their model.

 

I think 10 factors, would be the minimum, in being able to define "Activity", accurately.

 

Thank you for the excellent summary, of how things really are. :smileyhappy:

 

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Czari Zenovka wrote:


Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

 

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. 

Totally agree, Trinity!  I may not be the best builder, nor have the largest number of products (by a long shot...lol) but excellent customer service is something I am passionate about.  When I receive a customer question or issue, if I'm not in world when it is received I get it via email and log in immediately.  Many of my customers are actually surprised I even responded to them and thank me profusely.  Which really makes me wonder about the level of customer service out there.  (Not referring to anyone in these forums at all, but we all know those of us who post here are just a tiny percentage of all SL merchants.)

On the other hand, I have seen some really impressive items in SL, some I have considered purchasing.  I have a habit of looking at the profile of a merchant, both because I enjoy reading profiles and to see what their policies are.  Some of the larger, big name merchants (again, no one on these forums) who have some amazing builds have policies in their profiles that, boiled down to the basics translate to:  Don't even think of bothering me.  I am much too busy and you are probably too stupid to have not read the directions."  Okkkaaayyy....I back very carefully away from those types.

 

Czari let me explain something about CS in SL. The longer you are in business the more content you have out there in the world and in people's inventories. The more content, the more opportunities for CS -- but still only one you to actually do the CS -- until one day you realize that unless you make some adjustments, you will spend all your time doing CS, and most of it will have nothing to do with your content.

 

No need to be rude about it, I agree -- but I do understand the need to set parameters and limits.

 

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

....I enjoy reading profiles and to see what their policies are.  Some of the larger, big name merchants (again, no one on these forums) who have some amazing builds have policies in their profiles that, boiled down to the basics translate to:  Don't even think of bothering me.  I am much too busy and you are probably too stupid to have not read the directions."  Okkkaaayyy....I back very carefully away from those types.


 

 

 

 

 

I've read Profiles like the ones you have described.

Some of the Residents I know of, have every check in balance, except for their profile.

In trying to understand why, I suspect that the message is really not written for the customer.  The instruction in the message, is definitely for the customer, but the message itself of, "I can play hard ball like LL", is written to LL.

 

 

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Your comment, strikes at a root problem in SL. Lack of teamwork, due to ... well, there are many reasons for that, which will lead us well off topic.

A manageable facet, and relevant interconnection, is that some Residents have had zer-0- help, in getting where they are. Some struggles, are just struggles, they don't make you better, and you could have learnt that lesson, in other ways.

 

Selling in the MP, is as easy as 1, 2 , 25

conceptualize, draft, design, build, texture, script, decorate, furnish, landscape, lighting. Photos, uploads, listings, descriptions, sales, CS, won't load, item not found, none found, redeliver object, redeliver object hit wrong button, how do I open it, I can't find it, Wher u at? HELP!

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I agree activity level should be taken into account in showing listings and possible even as information available to customers on the listing.  However, it needs to be fair.

As pointed out many don't have the luxury of being in SL all day or even every day due to RL. What is considered High activity should take this into account.

Even those of us who are in SL full time have things come up in RL that prevents daily activity sometimes. Things such as vacations in places without internet service, serious illness, natural disasters or family emergencies  In my six + years all this has happened to me,  However there is always someone appointed to provide CS as much as possible. There are also merchants with paid CSR's available even if  they aren't.  So if activity is factored into things there should be away to let LL and your customers know that you will be absent but have someone working CS for you or if you have CSR staff. You appointed reps activity can then be substituted for yours.

I am totally against a fee for listing charge for items that cost money.  LL takes a commission already,  Why should we have to pay more?  Instead, I would agree to a listing going inactive if it has been on MP but had no sales say in a year as an  example.

I would also agree to a fee for listing free items,other than demos, not because they are free but because they aren't paying a fair share of the cost of running the MP now and the products that cost money and pay commission are subsidizing them.  The fee should be reasonable though..

As far as your other possible factors, I agree with SL and MP logins and listing activity but not the other things.  As long as a merchant has a clear way for customers to contact them , they should not be forced into using feeds, web profile private messages,and the like just to get a higher listing.  Not every business needs a group and a merchant should be able to choose the way they market their products and not be forced into buying classifieds or maintaining an unworldly store that doesn't get enough sales to support its tiers.  I can't even begin to think of how logging into your dashboard is relevant at all.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

[snip] ... When I receive a customer question or issue, if I'm not in world when it is received I get it via email and log in immediately. ...[snip] 

Apologies for the off-topic post, but this might help a few folks handle Customer Service easier:

When you have set the option to "Send Offline IMs to Email" and someone does IM while you're offline, it should arrive via email with almost 100% reliability. (I realize some folks have much worse experience with this feature, but the majority can reliably depend on it working properly.)

You can then click the "Reply" button on the email message received, delete all the text contents of the message (which might include their message marked as what you are replying to) ... THEN you can type in your response. Once sent, your reply will be delivered to the original sender as an IM Reply .. identical to a reply you would send while logged in.

However, it really is important that you delete all the initial contents in your reply email message. If you don't, chances are very good that you will accidentally reveal your email address .. and for a lot of people that's a big no-no. Wiping out the initial contents of the reply will ensure this does not happen.

In my case, I always start the reply with "[sent from offline]" so the Customer realizes that I'm not hiding and their Viewer isn't lying to them; I really am offline. I will also generally include some basic information that might help .. after I look up which product they purchased and might be asking about.

The final "Goodie" with this feature is that when someone sends you a Notecard, which of course you can't read until you log in, you can hit Reply on that message as well and respond as if they'd sent you an IM. I will typically say "I'm sorry but I can't read your Notecard and I won't be able to log in for quite some time. Would you please either IM your question to me or send it to my email at dgothly@theabsolutesmartestguyeverbornontheplanet.com" (Except I use my other real email address of course.)

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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..

You don't need fees, you just need to force people to relist items, that will deal with inactivity, although it will probably annoy the active.

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With Direct Delivery, the issue of "inactive" merchant is taking a whole different course.  That is because now a person can open a store and not have to have a "Magic Box" rezzed in-world.  This can actually create the ultimate inactive merchant.  There would be no reason at all for them to ever go in-world.  Even to cash out they would not have to.  It also creates the perfect situation for copybotters.  Solution?  Require land ownership/renting to have a store on Marketplace.  For those that are new to building, that can be a challenge.  Solution would be sims marketed as Marketplace sims.  A person would be able to buy/rent the smallest possible plot of land and have it qualify as land ownership (4Mx4M?).  You can get alot of plots on a sim if the lots are that size.  This would also help keep the copybotters down a little.  These ones with the minimum amount of land possible would pay an extra 3% transaction fee over the present 5%.  For those with inworld stores, they would pay the present rate of 5%.  The 3% extra fee could quickly become cost prohibitive for those that begin to selling alot.  It might be less expensive to actually open an in-world store rather incur the 3% extra fee.  That is good for LL and private estates.  For those that have premium accounts, and a marketplace store, but never come inworld?  Fine, they have the land since that is the determining factor.

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Madeliefste Oh wrote:

When you are a starting merchant who can hardly find the money to pay for the upload costs, you have as much chance to be an active merchant then someone who makes a rl income from his sales. Both have as much chance to be around to support their products.

This is not the case with listings fees. That is a system that disadventage starters and merchants with litte turnover compared to merchants who are selling well.

This is where the breakdown of the concept of reality originates. Who in their right mind could possibly insist that anyone is entitled to anything for free? I was one of those disadvantaged people who had to budget my upload costs and load up with some L bucks that I purchased with real Dollars before sales covered the upload fees. 

When SL was popular and cool it was mostly patronized by people who could invest a few bucks a month to play an online game. What I am hearing over and over is that people who are not contributing anything should be allowed to reap the same benefit that people who invest heavily.

The downward spiral of the value of this game is direct proof that this concept does not work, yet people do not realize it.

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Knowl Paine wrote:

Fees: are part of a later plan, and seperate battle; I believe the Fee, to create a Group, should be raised. The first 3 are Free to create, additional groups are 300L$

 

I have to agree with the others, fee's might knock too many people out, or prevent the Resident who has almost nothing, from getting something.

I think I saw a Linden begin to drool, when they read your comment.

Some would argue "How dare you suggest that they raise the price.. groups should be free so new players will not quit because they have to pay for something"

 

and... They drool no matter what except its for a different reason...

 

 

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Czari Zenovka wrote:


Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

 

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. 

Totally agree, Trinity!  I may not be the best builder, nor have the largest number of products (by a long shot...lol) but excellent customer service is something I am passionate about.  When I receive a customer question or issue, if I'm not in world when it is received I get it via email and log in immediately.  Many of my customers are actually surprised I even responded to them and thank me profusely.  Which really makes me wonder about the level of customer service out there.  (Not referring to anyone in these forums at all, but we all know those of us who post here are just a tiny percentage of all SL merchants.)

On the other hand, I have seen some really impressive items in SL, some I have considered purchasing.  I have a habit of looking at the profile of a merchant, both because I enjoy reading profiles and to see what their policies are.  Some of the larger, big name merchants (again, no one on these forums) who have some amazing builds have policies in their profiles that, boiled down to the basics translate to:  Don't even think of bothering me.  I am much too busy and you are probably too stupid to have not read the directions."  Okkkaaayyy....I back very carefully away from those types.

 

Czari let me explain something about CS in SL. The longer you are in business the more content you have out there in the world and in people's inventories. The more content, the more opportunities for CS -- but still only one you to actually do the CS -- until one day you realize that unless you make some adjustments, you will spend all your time doing CS,
and most of it will have nothing to do with your content.

 

No need to be rude about it, I agree -- but I do understand the need to set parameters and limits.

 

I do understand merchants with large inventories will naturally have more customers thus more customer inquiries than a smaller merchant.  I'm not disputing profiles that have instructions on what to do first prior to contacting the merchant.  I'm also aware that merchants with a lot of content, in general, have an assistant who could be the CS rep.

What I *do* have an issue with are "instructions" in a profile that literally say "I'm too busy to handle individual issues.  Read what has been provided."  That is a fairly close paraphrase to an actual profile listing for a very well-known merchant.  I don't care how "busy" a merchant is - that attitude never has an excuse and I'm fairly certain you do not treat your customers in that manner. ;)

ETA: There are some merchants who, for whatever reason, *choose* to have a smaller business, thus it is not always the case that the longer one is in business the more products they will offer.  I certainly offer more items today than I did in 2008, but I still have a small store.  I made this decision from my early days of exploring SL.  I loved finding small, quaint "boutique" type stores that seemed more like a home than a store.  When I decided to open a business, that is the "feel" I wanted to provide. 

Other merchants, like you, make their living in SL so naturally how you your business is different than mine.  I think it is wonderful that there is room for all different types of merchants, store sizes, products in SL. :)

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Czari Zenovka wrote:


but I still have a small store.  I made this decision from my early days of exploring SL.  I loved finding small, quaint "boutique" type stores that seemed more like a home than a store.  When I decided to open a business, that is the "feel" I wanted to provide. 

 

awww... exactely same here.... and i also shop almost only in these kind of shops for apparel or avatar accessories. :smileywink:

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VonGklugelstein Alter wrote:

 

This is where the breakdown of the concept of reality originates. Who in their right mind could possibly insist that anyone is entitled to anything for free?
I was one of those disadvantaged people who had to budget my upload costs and load up with some L bucks that I purchased with real Dollars before sales covered the upload fees. 

When SL was popular and cool it was mostly patronized by people who could invest a few bucks a month to play an online game. What I am hearing over and over is that people who are not contributing anything should be allowed to reap the same benefit that people who invest heavily.

The downward spiral of the value of this game is direct proof that this concept does not work, yet people do not realize it.

I'm not saying that anyone is entitled to anything for free.

 

I think that putting listing fees on marketplace items, not only will take out the fun for a lot of small merchants, but also will hurt your business. There is only a small percentage from all merchants who are cashing out money from SL. The vast majority of merchants makes less then 10 usd a month and is never cashing out that money. This money is used to cover their own needs in SL. The money can be spent on owning land, or on buying virtual goods.

 

The more LL takes from the amount that people have to spend, the less is left to buy virtual goods. You are at risk of loosing a lot of customers who now can afford to buy some of your builders' packages, when they have to choose between paying for your builders supplies or paying for their listing fees.

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Why LL would charge fees to merchants that do not cash out and instead put every penny they make back into SL is beyond me. A merchant that never leaves ther land, never buys anything and cashes out hundreds of $L every month should be charged fees. I personally don't feel merchants should be allowed to cash out.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

 A merchant that never leaves ther land, never buys anything and cashes out hundreds of $L every month should be charged fees.

That is taken care of already, the fee for transfering L$ into USD is 3,5%

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I was being general and not referring to you directly. But I was not really thinking about my own sales. I have ways of getting my product to people who do not have a lot to spend so that is covered as well.

 

The root of our problems are as always, old stale products that sometimes find their way to the top of search relevance and of course the people who have no land, no expenses and in some cases not even their profile filled out while dumping product for dirt cheap while sitting on top of most searches...

 

If this were a real economy with real people there would already have been bloody wars started over what some people get away with on here.

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A result of fairness, is the purpose of this thread.

A minimum, and maximum threshold, could be established, in determining activity. For example, (1) relatively recent comment in Feed, would be equal to 100 comments. Spamming Feed with bologna, would not improve a Merchant's Activity Rating.

I support using multiple Factors to determine Activity, only because I wish to include as many variables, as is reasonably possible. Some Residents never use Feed, and that is why we should consider any and all activity, as Activity.


Dashboard Activity, is a secondary check and balance. If there was an issue with an Account; does this person recognize the issue, as a result of visiting the dashboard for a reason, or, as a result of receiving a Notification from LL via the email address connected to the Account.

It is my opinion, that if Linden Labs cannot communicate with a Resident, because of a Non-response from that Resident, that Resident should be consider as Inactive.

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namssab1nad Piers wrote:

With Direct Delivery, the issue of "inactive" merchant is taking a whole different course.  That is because now a person can open a store and not have to have a "Magic Box" rezzed in-world.  This can actually create the ultimate inactive merchant. 

 

 

 

Yeah, the wrong course.

 

No Auto-reply to Linden Labs, because they don't like talking to robots, and neither do I.

I like automation, when it serves me. I do have some conflict, in balancing how much technology I want, in replacement of Humanity.

There should be life, in Second Life.

 

 

Second Life can be a Party. We have Residents who enjoy the party, and Residents who supply the party.

It is my opinion, that a completely automated store, assigned to an Inactive Resident for the past 5 years, is completely OK. There is nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong, is in giving that account any recognition, beyond that of their actual Sales.

And, continuing to allow uninformed Residents, to encounter difficulty, in completing satisfactory Retail Sales Transactions; when the root cause is known by the Service Provider. Give Due Diligence. 

 

The Solution is extremely simple,

A. Give consumer the tools, and if the consumer believes activity is important, the consumer can decide to look.

 

 

And of course, LL is King, so...

 

 

 

 

 

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