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To Merchants who refuse to use the marketplace


Dorian Meredith
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I've heard a few people say that they choose not to use the marketplace website to sell their items because they do not wish to give a portion of their profits to LL.  However, I will tell you that by doing so you may actually be losing more profit than you think you are saving because I for one absolutely hate going to shop in "brick and mortar" stores, and I am pretty positive that there are many others out there who feel the same.

For me, shopping in world is a tedious, frustrating, extremely annoying chore.  I hate the wasted time of standing for 10 minutes or longer waiting for an entire store to rez just to find a single scarf, I hate dealing with the horrid lag in most shopping venues, I hate having to scrounge and search through complicated, inefficient shop layouts to find the one thing I am looking for, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.

I hope that the vendors boycotting the marketplace will reconsider.  After my shopping experience today I think I am finally throwing in the towel and refusing to shop in world for anything ever again.

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I tend to agree with you. It's a lot like RL where on-line shopping is easier. I can even shop the Marketplace while meeting with friends; order something, have it delivered, and try it on for them; all without leaving the room.

Although the Marketplace's search leaves a bit to be desired, it's simpler than solving the maze many stores contain. It's particularly frustrating to go to a "store" and see nothing but Marketplace images used as posters. What's up with that? There's often more information in the blurb on the Marketplace than in the store. How about some manikins, so I can walk around and see the hair from the back? For vendors in a 3D world, many seem to put as little effort into their stores as possible.


I do understand the technical limitations, but maybe with the coming server-side baking we can have stores that aren't just hard to use catalogs.

 

 

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I'm the exact opposite.  I absolutely hate "shopping" at Marketplace (actually, I've never been to Marketplace but I did try SL Exchange years ago).  I tend to follow my RL habits when it comes to shopping........I want to see the item in person, feel the item (though that's not possible in SL, but I can get a demo and try it immediately which is, in my opinion, the "feel" the item equivalant), and purchase it right there if I choose and know within seconds if there is a problem with the purchase.

But, the main reason is really even simpler than that.  I joined SL because it is a virtual world.  Read that as a make believe world that sort of mimicks real life........to be honest every single second I'm in-world I'm "role playing" myself in a make believe world.  I don't want to do what I sometimes do in real life...........search websites and web pages to find something I want, read all the sales pitches the maker creates to sell me the item, then read reviews (wondering whether those reviews are genuine) to take the chance and actually purchase the item (return policies and the hassle involved are a major deterant for me). I want my SL to be my make believe life that is as trouble free as possible.  It's always an adventure when purchasing anything in SL (you never know what you get until you get it).  But why add the extro adventure by putting, yet another, potential for issues by shopping for a virtual existance on a real life website?  Keep it entirely virtual........that way my SL is not my RL just a little less.

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I agree Peggy, i remember many years ago when i joined SL, all i did was shop, shop ,shop, i loved telporting to all the different shops, looking at all the wonderful things that we now take for granted.

I shopped for clothes, skins, shapes, my first venture was to make myself beautiful, then i looked for land to rent with a house.

I bought jets skis, helecoptesr and on and on.

There was xstreet at that time but i never went near it, i was in SL and thats where i wanted to shop.

Now many years later i have huge shop on my homestead,

Lets face it, LL pulled off a really good money making situation, they can't "tax" inworld sales, and that is what it is, a tax on every sale, and they make millions.

I suppose it's good for some merchants, well many i guess, they don' t have to pay rent for a shop , just 5% on every sale, they don t have to buy or rent land.

And all the merchants flocked to MP, now LL makes millions off it while inworld shopping dwindles down, .

A friend of mine came on SL for the first time since a year ago last Dec, one of the first things she said was " whats happened to SL" many of the shops she had LM s for were gone.

Also. i see LL put a "shop" button linking the SL viewer right to MP, how nice of them, its screw the inworld merchant, every new person joining SL gets indoctrinated to MP right away.

But i also know new people to SL do like to shop in SL,because we get a lot of new avys to our shops.

Anyway i guess it all does'nt matter, LL will do what they want.

I have my shop inworld and i will always have one, its my hobby, i love puttering around in it, i think i have changed it dozens of times.

 

 

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I do shop both......especially clothes I prefer to see in world before I buy.  I often find ther eis a disconnect between how clothes looks in a Marketplace Add and how it appears In World.

And while these Merchants may be losing sales, that is there choice.  If they are happy with what they are doing,I say all the more power to them!

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Same as you say you wont buy inworld some merchants say they wont sell on MP,its a choice and eweryone is intitled to it! It is freedom,dont try to change it!!!"I wont buy from you if you dont sell on MP!" Dont,its your choice!  Othervise it sounds like extorsion and a threat....

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What it sounds like to me is someone who isn't in SL for fun.  They are in SL to get others (who are in SL for fun) to make money for them.......without having to even put a thing back into the virtual world that makes it all possible.  If every "merchant" only had a Marketplace shop and paid nothing but the 5% on each sale then all that SL would wind up being is a money machine for Linden Lab.  Every year it gets closer and closer to that.......one day it will happen.  Then your Marketplace shop closes down because one is left in SL.......they all are trying to make a killing in Marketplace from non-existant in-world residents.

There's a point that will be reached when all those sales stop.......no one is in-world to use what it is that you are selling.  Marketplace along with an in-world shop seems to be the best way to go.  I mean Wal-Mart, Sears, Kohl's, Macy's, even Nieman Marcus and Saks have "brick and mortar" stores......that go hand in hand with their online stores.  They a killing too.  :)

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I mostly shop on MP myself for all the reasons you state.  However it is up to the merchant if they want ot do business on MP or not.  I would never presume to tell them otherwise.

There are times though that I go to inworld stores when i want to see the item before i buy.  Not really with clothing, as most stores just use the same picture to sell and you don't see the actual item unless its mesh and they have a demo available.  But there again those that sell mesh on MP usually have a demo you can get.

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Fortunatly not everyone is thinking like you....

Some pp still do consider that waiting some seconds or even some minutes for everything to rezz while THEY ARE COMFORTABLY SIT ON A SEAT IN RL IN FRONT OF THEIR COMP is not something really annoying... its not like if they were in rl stand up in a shop with legs and feet in pain..

Some pp still do consider that while they are in a virtual world they can stop running and wanting everything goes fast like in RL and enjoy time for what it is and yes take their time....

some pp still do consider that when they want to buy something one important thing for them, is to feel the soul of the store... not only watching the product itself on a virtual catalogue.. but enjoy the way the merchants has settled his/her store... the deco of the store... etc.. a lot of factor that are useful to estimate the creator's skills and so can give an idea about the quality of the product. Im sorry, some pp have something against vendors pics photoshoped.. but here, i wont never buy smth if the vendor is a simple screenshot... if the creator is not able to make a great presentation of the product on a pic and give me some clue about his/her skills with gimp or pshops, i wont buy...Of course, if you talk about this merchants who only sell things already made, that they bought already finished and just had to add a template on a layer... i wont buy ... i can do same, i can do my owns and i probably even can do better... im talking here about merchants who create smth from nothing and not only assembly things.

except for some tools for creators or script i almost always buy inworld.

fortunately my customers prefer to buy inworld... they like to enjoy the atmosphere of my shop and of the garden in the surround. of course, this requires i send advertising everyday in smth like 32 groups but really, its something that pay. and the pleasure i get everytime sm1 comes for the first time in my store and said amazed that its great and that they like my place, this pleasure has never decreased.

in the mp, my items are lost in the middle of tons of others..i sell freebies or dollarbies several time a days.. but rarely the other ones who are at normal price.

i have never reviews. In world, i see pp who bought in my inworld shop coming back wearing my stuffs.. they give comments, they give new ideas for future creation, they give feedback.. This is not anonymous like in the Mp. This is human contacts... this is not machine contacts..

Of course, you have freedom to prefer cold contacts, machine contacts.. 

But others have also freedom to prefer personal contacts, real human contacts.

SL is done for everyone find a shoe for one's foot... 

If i delete my MP store, i loose 20 % of my sales... If i delete my inworld store i loose 80 % of my sales..

bet what i would choose if i have to make a choice :smileywink:

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Hi, merchants where kinda forced to a MP store.

But like others said, alot closed their ingame store stopped renting mall places and ....

Clubs pay their tier with malls, builders sold houses and decoration for stores.

Like in RL, online stores are easy for the shopper but the real reason companies have them is, little cost big win, no bloody workers to pay no rent no decoration just cash.

The influenence in both worlds are bad but you cannot stop the future (what a stuipd line) ;-)

Try to contact a MP merchant that left SL years ago and didn´t bother to delete the stuff just taking the money out of SL.

Monti

Monti

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Yes, we have an old fashioned saying  in England to describe this thinking; Cutting your nose off to spite your face" 

Apart from anything else, it's not different than eBay or indeed any RL bricks and mortar business, you have to pay interest and bank charges, rent for the RL store, utility bills, you have to pay TAX and VAT and buy the stock to sell.

I can only assume people who STILL feel this way are not serious about business because everyone knows a huge majority of shopping is done on the Marketplace now.

New SL'ers are kind of taken by surprise when I mention "In world store" its almost alien to them they think its "quirky" lol :)

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

What it sounds like to me is someone who isn't in SL for fun.  They are in SL to get others (who are in SL for fun) to make money for them.......without having to even put a thing back into the virtual world that makes it all possible.  If every "merchant" only had a Marketplace shop and paid nothing but the 5% on each sale then all that SL would wind up being is a money machine for Linden Lab.  Every year it gets closer and closer to that.......one day it will happen.  Then your Marketplace shop closes down because one is left in SL.......they all are trying to make a killing in Marketplace from non-existant in-world residents.

There's a point that will be reached when all those sales stop.......no one is in-world to use what it is that you are selling.  Marketplace along with an in-world shop seems to be the best way to go.  I mean Wal-Mart, Sears, Kohl's, Macy's, even Nieman Marcus and Saks have "brick and mortar" stores......that go hand in hand with their online stores.  They a killing too. 
:)

I don't consider shopping 'fun' in RL or SL, just a necessary chore.  For me, there are a lot more fun things to do in SL and RL than shop.  If shopping is entertaining to you, then have fun.  But don't think someone is not having fun in SL unless they shop inworld.

The theory that MP will lead to no more inworld shops and that SL will die if there are no inworld shops, is baloney.  There are many merchants that refuse to us MP so there will always be inworld shops.  Even if it did lead to this, Virtual Worlds exist that only have shopping on a web site, not in world, and they are doing just fine.  Online shopping is becoming more and more the norm and the preference of many both in SL and RL.  Unless shopping is the only thing that you do, people aren't going to leave SL just because they have limited in world shopping.

In world merchants pay a "tax" to LL too in the form of high tiers.  This can actually be more burdensome as the tier is due in full every month regardless of their sales.  This is exactly why more merchants are going to MP only.  If LL lowered tiers there probably would be more inworld shops.  Unless you create as a hobby only and don't care about making any money and are willing to use your RL money for tier, it makes no sense to lose money on tiers every month if your sales can't support your land.  With the RL economy the way it is, only a small percentage of inworld merchants can cover their tiers any more with sales alone.

A merchant's only obligation is to give good value for the money they charge for their products. Even so, there are many ways a merchant can put something back into the community without losing money having a shop and paying expensive tiers.  If merchants have an obligation to support the virtual world, residents have an obligation also.  Unfortunately more and more of them feel entitled to have it all for free or feel that the responsibility is solely on the merchants and venue owners..

People that have sims that depend on merchants to pay their tier but can't attract or keep them need a reality check and a different business model.  No one is entitled to have someone else pay their tiers and no one is entitled to free entertainment.  Residents who want to be entertained at these venues may eventually have to shoulder some of the costs if they want entertainment venues to continue. 

If you think SL is anything more to LL than a money machine you have your head in the clouds.  LL is a for profit business.  Just like any other business of this kind, the bottom line is making money.

 

 

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Since I in 2007 discovered Xstreet and OnRez, the chance that I will become your customer when you had no presence there, or currently on the SL Marketplace is almost nihil.

But the chance to have me as a customer is also very small when your shop has no in world presence. I used Xstreet and OnRez mainly to orientate on the available merchandise, but bought in world. I still like to go the in world shop to buy what I have spotted on the marketplace, because I like to see what kind of atmosphere the designer creates in his shop. I might as well buy something else when I come across items that catch me. 

Also I prefer to give 100% of the items price to the merchant above 95. It helps to pay tier or rent. LL gets enough from me already for land, account and fees.

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Dorian Meredith wrote:

 

For me, shopping in world is a tedious, frustrating, extremely annoying chore.  I hate the wasted time of standing for 10 minutes or longer waiting for an entire store to rez just to find a single scarf, I hate dealing with the horrid lag in most shopping venues, I hate having to scrounge and search through complicated, inefficient shop layouts to find the one thing I am looking for, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.

 

This sort of mentality from consumers is going to be the death of SL. Sounds over dramatic but I believe to be true.

Less demand for inworld stores results in less demand for private sims and mainland and rentals and commercially associated entertainment venues. This lack of demand has already cost LL millions of USD in lost tier revenue in the last 2 years and the rate at which private regions are being abandoned was increasing as of the end of 2012, so the problem looks set to worsen. Anyone who thinks the commission that LL takes on MP sales will make up this deficit is wrong imo

Inworld commerce was the backbone of SL and vital to LL's revenue stream and it is being ripped out to the detriment of the entire platform. 

If we want to reverse this trend then It's not merchants that need to boycott the MP, it the consumers.

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I really have to laugh my arse off at people that think inworld shopping is the way to go, especially merchants. I'm not saying don't have an inworld store. I'm saying don't rely on it. Has any1 taken the time to look at who the TOP people advertising on the inworld search classifieds are now? I'll save you some time and tell you. They are all gaming sims. Merchants relying on the inworld search engine for customers, are just asking to be hurt by LL's willie nillie changes to it. LL doesn't care about you and they never have. The MP is for shopping, and inworld is for playing, that's how LL wants it, at least from my observations.

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Medhue

what is working for you doesnt work for other pp like me.

you can laugh all the time you want.

i dont rely neither the mp neither the inworld research at all...

but the fact is that i do 80 % of my sales inworld. And indeed not thanks to the inworld search ranking at all but thanks to my daily work with advertising, to some blogs that features my work, and to the fact my customers are faithfull bec they get satisfied with the quality of my items so they come back and purchase again.

Im not likely to trust anyone neither anything but myself, my work, my regularity and my perseverance...

Mp ranking and inword search ranking are bull**bleep** for me, ,nothing more than cheated things and im not expecting anything from them...

Nevertheless, even the pp who purchased one time for me on the MP, comes in my shop inword then and purchase then only from there.... I guess, its bec they enjoy the soul of my store :smileyhappy:

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I think using both options, if you can, is ideal for getting the most bang for your buck.

However, not everyone can, or at least not everyone chooses.

Neither way is right or wrong. There is no right or wrong.

I don't much care for shopping inworld myself, but then I never did. Tons of reasons as to why, but they're really irrelevant as none is an all-inclusive issue.

I really like MP, just as much as I loved Slex, Xstreet, Onrez, etc... They provide(d) a service many desire. That's why they exist. They will not kill off all inworld commerce. It just won't happen. They may help cut it down in size here and there, yes, but that happens in all markets in rl as well. It is inevitable. There will still always be a "physical" presence of commerce(in rl that would be brick and mortar, in sl inworld locations). People once said Slex and then subsequently Xstreet would kill off inworld commerce too. Oddly, or not, not many said it about Onrez lol. Some people still have this opinion. I don't agree with it, but there's not much one could say or do to convince them otherwise. It is what it is.

I don't find shopping on MP to be some cold, empty, experience. Just as much as I don't find shopping inworld to be this happy, fully of life, feeling filled experience. It depends entirely on the merchant. I don't just shop on MP for convenience sake, though it's pretty high up there on my list. I like being able to compare what it is I am looking for. MP makes this so much easier than inworld. People don't often pay much attention to where they save LMs at, for their location. This is a huge issue, coupled with how badly search can perform, and you've created the beginnings of a recipe for "I hate shopping inworld". Then you have how poorly some locations are placed, or built. You have in the added annoyances(little as they may seem) of some upon-landing scripted things going on(greeters, lm giver, blue menus out the wazoo) If the shopping inworld is made to be nearly as, if not fully as, convenient as shopping on MP, you won't have a problem getting both inworld and MP sales. If you make one more or less, though, you will likely find your sales come from that one more than the other. If that makes any sense. But it is entirely possible to make both enjoyable and cater to those who would prefer one option over the other.

I had both at one time. There were times when Slex/Xstreet/MP sales flourished while inworld diminished. Then there were times it did the opposite. Sometimes there wasn't much I could do to prevent it. Sometimes there was though. I took critiques from shoppers and even just discussions on the matter from various forums into consideration. Whether or not I agreed with them, I listened, I read, I watched. Sometimes, as a shop owner, you can't, or don't, feel the experience if your own place the same way someone with no vested interest does. It helps to at least consider feedback from others, especially shoppers. Merchants can, often, be the worst kind of shopper. That's not me putting them down, of course. Our critiques are just different than that of someone who doesn't, never has and may never own a business in sl. Sometimes merchants are a little more forgiving on the "how to make this an ideal experience for my customers" front. Sometimes we're more aggressive towards those who don't do things our way. But in most, we're not very objective, even when we try to be. We have a level of experience others do not and it often lends to our opinion. Not saying it is right or wrong, though.

 

TL;DR...

I like both options, and I think the merchants who are able to utilize both and take full advantage of all they offer, are often in a much better position than those who cannot. Neither option is right, wrong, or even indifferent. It's an individual experience, depending on both customer and merchant. No way around that. Neither option will kill off the other anytime soon.

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I guess I should have clarified. I really only meant those that refuse to use the MP. Very bad wording on my part.

Of course, there are businesses that can only function inworld, or that better function inworld. You'd think animation would be 1 of those, but in my case, obviously not.

There are just some people in SL that want to blame everything on the MP, and I just think it is laughable.

I really have no idea what you make, but I've never considered inworld marketing to be all that affective. Obviously, this is just my experience. I see it as alot of work for very little affect. Plus, as a creator, I feel my time is better spent creating than marketing. Every1 has the own way that works for them. If you are doing something that you feel is affective, I would urge you to share it. Maybe we all could learn something.

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I'll start by saying that I love to shop. No matter if it is in SL or RL. I shop on MP almost as much as I will inworld. There are differences between the two. One is that there are sales inworld that are not on MP as the store owner doesn't want to have to make changes on MP. Same as there maybe sales on MP that are not inworld.


A nice thing about shopping inworld is that stores may have a MM board as well as the slap and dash boards, or the Letter Chairs. I tend to so a search for what I want inworld and start TP'ing to different locations. Some are places that a friend may have given me an LM to or the directed me to MP to a shop that has some items on MP, but the majority of their store inworld.

It doesn't bother me that a store is or is not on MP. Friend recommendations carry more weight then where a store is at. And even if they are on MP, I am more likely to visit an inworld store if they provide a link to the store on MP.

In store I am more likely to pick up a few demos to see how they look on me rather then ordering them off of MP. It is easier to hit mulitple boards in a row to buy a demo inworld than to add something to your shopping cart and maybe holding on to the demo while you look through MP for more items.

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As someone that has created a very limited number of items, I've gotta say that I prefer marketplace over in-world shops any day! For someone, like myself, that has not created enough items to make an investment in purchasing land for a shop in- world, marketplace is a wonderful alternative. Not only do I appreciate marketplace as a merchant, but I also love the unbeatable convenience of searching through thousands of products without ever leaving the sim I'm on. I really wish more creators would join marketplace!

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Melissaa Sirnah wrote:

As someone that has created a very limited number of items, I've gotta say that I prefer marketplace over in-world shops any day! For someone, like myself, that has not created enough items to make an investment in purchasing land for a shop in- world, marketplace is a wonderful alternative. Not only do I appreciate marketplace as a merchant, but I also love the unbeatable convenience of searching through thousands of products without ever leaving the sim I'm on. I really wish more creators would join marketplace!

 

People who are so against MP would do well to consider this.  Very few merchants make enough money to provide any RL income.  Instead a majority of them use the money they earn selling a few items to pay rent for their home and buy stuff from other merchants. 

If all MP merchants were required to have an in world store too, then these people wouldn't have this money to spend. It would all go to tier for their store, or they would simply stop selling anything. Some may still shop using their RL money but would probably buy a lot less, while others would rarely shop at all anymore.

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I make 90% of my income in MP sales. The other 10% comes from my 2 homesteads where I pay 16K per week in tier. I'm usually alone in this large inworld shop. A customer drifts in now and then, the occasional sale here and there. It does not make economic, business, financial or any type of monetary sense to be paying this amount of tier for 10% income.

Last year I had 3 homesteads, I let one go in November, and it's just time before I downsize again.

At the beginning it was a hobby, After 5 years the hobby is starting to wear thin. Now it's starting to lean towards being purely business, and  the purpose of a business is to maximise profit.

 

Edit not really replying to anyone here - just having a say :)

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

 

I really have no idea what you make, but I've never considered inworld marketing to be all that affective. Obviously, this is just my experience. I see it as alot of work for very little affect. Plus, as a creator, I feel my time is better spent creating than marketing. Every1 has the own way that works for them. If you are doing something that you feel is affective, I would urge you to share it. Maybe we all could learn something.

i have no secret potion but work, regularity and availablitly for my customers. 

I send notices for new releases, bargains, MM board, group gift, or special gift almost everyday. This in 3 languages and thru notices and group chats. 

This is at least 1 hour of work per day, but its often more.. since while im doing this, im also in my shop to welcome pp and help if they need or answer their questions.

Everytime someone new buy smth from me inworld or from the mp, i im the person and gift an aproximatively equivalent ammount of what they purchased to me in gift card.. or if the ammount is not really important, i send one of my latest releases as gift.

The more hard have been to find the good groups.. the ones who bring pp that are looking for free items but will also buy... after 2 years im doing this, i still have some groups who are not really helping, So im still trying some others. But i have already some great ones...who bring me pp who will buy.

on another side, my shop is really comfy, something really pleasant. outside pp can enjoy aswell a beautifful garden with some activities to do.

So i guess, its a whole thing. You can add to this im really easy available for everyone who need help or have questions and even for chating. I guess some pp doesnt like anonymous place and prefer some where they feel they are existing for themselves.

I rem one day i came to your store, i was looking for winter animations for my garden. i saw you with your alt, i imed you and asked to you about my request. You only answered me 2 days later :( . in the meantime i had already found what i was looking for .

 

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It is not "evil LL" that makes people shop in the Marketplace. In fact, the Lab has never tried to force users to shop via Marketplace. The users overwhelmingly selected Marketplace shopping for their own reasons, one of which is convenience, so the users voted with their feet. A merchant should listen to customers not vice versa, so merchants not having a Marketplace store simply don't care of their sales volume and are merchants as a hobby.

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