Jump to content

No demo, no buy is the best protection against fraud


Marianne Little
 Share

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 3625 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

It has happened again. A new store on the Marketplace, offering nice looking skins with full permissions... Sadly no demos, but who can resist it?

You should. The ads were images stolen from other merchants advertisements, and what you get is empty boxes. 

No demo, and several ads posted in a short time with pictures in different styles? Tsk. If you clicked on the sellers profile from the Marketplace, you could have seen my warning posted on the profile. I admit, I thought it was copybotted skins at first, but it isn't even that. Why bother about copybotting, packing and taking pictures for an ad when all you need is to find an image you like, crop it to get rid of the original store name, and go ahead.

Thirteen skins was up in the store, two was bought, and then the ad was pulled when the angry reviews was posted. Who will buy the eleven that are left? I submitted a ticket, but since I don't own the images used for false advertising, what can I do? The store owners whose images are abused this way have also alerted LL. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem though is there are people who just will not put anything out until it is as perfect as they can make it. One thing none of us can know is what skill set a newbie enters SL with. For all we know they do 3D in RL and doing mesh for SL is kicks and giggles time. Their stuff would by definition be a cut above what is expected.


I am an old avatar but I was never a creator until recently. I won't put anything out for sale until I am satified it is as perfect as I can make it. Attitudes that say if you are not known I won't buy or if its too perfect I won't buy just are a slap in the face.

The no demo = no buy however is entirely fair I think

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Syo Emerald wrote:

Also buying from known stores is some kind of protection, when it comes to expensive items.

Question... I'm a returning player, so what kind of action can a new/returning player take to insure it's authentic?

I'm guessing - you'll want to buy from a player with a longer play time to help insure this and not a '1 month old' account? Because... whatever stores I frequented 6 years ago - if they still exist; I'm sure I have forgotten most of the names... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How to tell if something is ripped?

 

Fact is you might not be able to. I follow some forums and blogs that are SL fashion oriented and that helps me see patterns of who the established creators are. New creators it IS a risk. I still think new creators should be given a shot however. THe more you window shop the more you will start recognizing what is and isn't ripped.

 

I am in much the same boat having only returned a few months ago. Not going to find Lash hair on the grid these days unless it is on an oldbie like me. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How to tell if something is ripped.. let's see...

I would automatically distrust a new account who has a marketplace shop selling a wide range of apparently high quality goods, particularly if the goods represent an eclectic product range.   A blank, or almost blank, profile doesn't fill me with confidence, either.   I mean, how likely is it that someone who started a couple of weeks ago has, since then, made dozens of good quality skins, and some mesh shoes and some hairs and some furniture.... ?   

Browsing third party forums, like SLU, where we don't have to be so careful about not naming names, can be helpful, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It can be hard, no question. A few tells:

When you go through a store, the items should look pretty consistent. Similar quality, similar poses, similar avatar wearing clothing, similar texturing style, similar colors for clothing, similar skin-tones for skins.

Skins, shapes, and rigged mesh clothing should ALWAYS have demos. No try, no buy. Full perm items, unless they are templates, are usually ripped. (Not always true, but very often.) Usually you will pay WAY more for a full-perm item than you would for the item regularly.

An account that was just formed, but already has several items available on the marketplace, is often suspect. It's not necessarily fair to new creators, but I simply don't trust stores that claim to offer high quality products where the owner is only a few days old.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The scam seller in this case is from December 2012. All the items on the MP is posted within hours, and the images is totally different. Some show the whole face, but the picture is cropped just millimeters from the ear on one side, so they should get rid of the original creators text. Interesting fact is that this original skin is sold for 400§L, the empty box this scammer sells, he will have 1300 §L for!  :catlol:

Other images show half of the face, the background and how the avatar is styled is different. Some images have red, black or grey backgrounds. This is not logical when it's posted the same day. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if you sort by date, newest first, and see a development. 

The text with the ad can also be an indication. If it says "Skin xx full perms" as the only description, that is alarming. Thiefs are lazy, illiterate and don't bother to put an effort in. 

If it on the other hand says: Complete skin, use it to create your own look. Only allowed to distribute as no transfer or no copy. Skins can not be sold or given away with full permissions. 

This pack contains full PSD files of porcelain skintone, with 4 lipsticks and 8 eyeshadows, freckles and 3 hairbases (blond, dark and red) on separate layers.

Please try a demo before purchase, all sales are final. Demo skin contains no copy, no modify, no transfer samples with watermarked skins. No PSD files in the demo pack. (This text, I just made up, but it's more than most scammers bother with)   A good description, along with a demo, is sure signs that this merchant at least have something to sell.

Natural items to have a demo is skins, shapes, hair and mesh clothing. No demo of these is a huge warning. Of course it can say "demo available in my store inworld" and then you should go and try a demo.

Look up sellers profile if you are in doubt. Scammers most often don't bother with text or images in their profiles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Tina Teplicki wrote:

The problem though is there are people who just will not put anything out until it is as perfect as they can make it. One thing none of us can know is what skill set a newbie enters SL with. For all we know they do 3D in RL and doing mesh for SL is kicks and giggles time. Their stuff would by definition be a cut above what is expected.

 

I am an old avatar but I was never a creator until recently. I won't put anything out for sale until I am satified it is as perfect as I can make it. Attitudes that say if you are not known I won't buy or if its too perfect I won't buy just are a slap in the face.

The no demo = no buy however is entirely fair I think

I don't agree to your thoughts, that you must sell "perfect" stuff at first try. The creators usually develop as their skills and technique grows. It  would be normal to post teasers at an introduction price or promotion, along with demos of course, where that is natural. We should not get paranoid either. But the non exsistent control of what's posted on the MP, is making people more and more suspicous.

If you really will make your goods perfect, you will have several products to post at a short period of time, but you will post ads in the same style, use clear descriptions and have your profile filled out. A totally fresh and honest creator might lack some of this, but not all of it - and no demos on top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thieves are usually lazy and bad at graphic design. If you see professional quality work with an ad that looks like your 3 year old niece made it with MS Paint - very bad sign.

If things smell fishy, google the seller's avatar name and / or store name, to see their reputation in the wider internet. Have they been called out for ripping meshes, on other SL forums that allow naming?

New creator? I would suggest getting a blog as soon as you can, and posting not only your new releases, but also one or two work in progress pics or some inspirational sketches or heck, just write about how your favorite kitten video was the biggest inspiration ever - after the new release, if you fear someone would copy your idea. Yes, someone selling ripped meshes *could* possibly fake all that, but I've never seen any go to that much trouble. (Also, it's a good way to drum up interest in your new venture!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marianne I do thank you for your ideas but I also think I need to clarify.

"As perfect as I can make it" is what I mean. I won't release crap to the wild if I can do better. Which in the end means I bang my head on the wall and take a long time to make anything.  Just part of my nature I guess to always do the very best I am capable of. :)

Real perfection is not possible imho but I can keep trying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't 100% agree with the No Demo, No buy as the best protection, there is several other ways to know if the seller is legit. After all not all items require a demo. 

 

Bad Signs:  Empty Profile, Full Perm Items with no TOS. Brand new account.

Good Signs: Payment Info on File, Profile of the seller has pic, info, groups and Picks, Has a Blog or Website, Inworld Store. Store Policy, Store Profile, Detailed or longer then 1 sentence Description on the Item. 

The list can go on, There is no 100% guarantee, Common sense always helps.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the case of skins for sale, no demo is a huge warning flag. I was pointed to another store who sell skins who don't bother to hide the original store name. I think this is a new case of empty boxes beeing sold.

Why bother to install a copybot viewer, go around and look for interesting avatars, copybot them, sort out the skin, take a picture of you in it and then pack the skin? When they can skip the copybot thing and just steal an image they like and sell an empty box. :matte-motes-frown:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Skins should always have a Demo.

Linden should just Make it so only people with Payment Info on File (or RL ID) are allowed to sell on the marketplace. No Scammer would actually give their RL information. But before doing that, perhaps actually Ban these people instead of simply removing the item, And refund the users. It seems like there is really no consequenses to these Fake Merchants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While it may or may not be a good idea to require PIOF of marketplace sellers, it is patently absurd to assume that such a requirement will necessarily deter copybotters and scammers.

PIOF is, after all, required to upload mesh, but that does not prevent large quantities of mesh items being sold on the Marketplace by people who don't seem to own the IP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Fabiano Viper wrote:

I don't 100% agree with the No Demo, No buy as the best protection, there is several other ways to know if the seller is legit. 
After all not all items require a demo. 

 

Bad Signs:  Empty Profile, Full Perm Items with no TOS. Brand new account.

Good Signs: 
Payment Info on File, 
Profile of the seller has pic, info, groups and Picks, 
Has a Blog or Website, 
Inworld Store. 
Store Policy, 
Store Profile, 
Detailed or longer then 1 sentence Description on the Item. 

The list can go on, There is no 100% guarantee, Common sense always helps.

 

 

 

All good hints, Thanks. It does depend on the price of course too - it's one thing to risk $25 on something, it's another to risk $2000.

I didn't even think of this upon coming back right away, I do recall this being a problem years ago as well. I know what kind of time goes into developing items (I was a newb scripter when I was playing) - and I'm glad to pay for good quality stuff - to the *original* designer.. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a difference between selling Mesh items from other games in SL without owning the full IP rights then Straight up Scamming people with empty boxes. Not saying that I agree with it, Im very much against both these cases. I've had people steal my work before forcing me to file several DMCA's. The main issue would be with the punishment LL does. The only thing they do is Remove the item. 

 

In my opinion the punishment for such things should be much more severe, Obviously requiring PIOF to sell on the marketplace would not 100% prevent scammers. But think about it this way, Person is required PIOF or RL ID, Person scams, He gets Banned from SL, Now he can't use that same PIOF or ID on an alt account to sell again and repeat the process. It at least makes it a little more difficult for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 3625 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...