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MsShy

Demos that are not free

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I don't understand why there are some merchants that charge for demos? I myself would never pay lindens (even if it is only $1L) since if I need to try multiple demos, that could really add up. I think merchants are losing possible customers by not offering free demos.

Even worse is when there is something I'm thinking of trying and even go to the store in world just to find they don't even have a demo.

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Used to be an excuse that this was because a popular vendor would not track unless it had a value of at least 1. That's not been true for years.

Then it was an excuse that LLs was going to charge people for selling freebies on xstreet - that never even happened...

Now...?

Just silly really.

And yeah it only rarely happens that I stick around when a demo has a cost. I'm not sure about others - but I suspect a LOT of people move to the next item when they hit this.

Do you, anonymous merchant, really need my 1L so badly that you are willing to give up the 500L for your sale to get it? Do you really think 501 people will buy your 1L demo before even 1 buys the 500L item?

 

As for having no demo at all - you've lost my sale unless its a template item someone else is selling and I already have it and now want it in a new color... and how often does happen? More often than I would like sure, but not as often as I'm sure you're hoping.

 

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Worst I've had so far, L$10 for a demo that wasn't even complete and omitted key parts.

 

There is no excuse to charge for demos, nor to charge more on marketplace than Inworld in my opinion. The common reasonfor that is given as "LL takes 5% in commission do it's to make up for that loss."

I've yet to encounter an inworld purchase that is more expensive to cover land rent cost.

 

Both are merely a cost to the merchant of doing business.

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Sassy Romano wrote:

There is no excuse to charge for demos, nor to
charge more on marketplace than Inworld
in my opinion. 

That's actually disallowed in the Marketplace listing guidelines under "Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behavior" defined to include "inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, in comparison to in-world or other e-commerce sites."

Personally I despise the Marketplace in every way, so I neither need nor notice the extra disincentive of a higher price.

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I know, except Pink Linden once said it was allowed thus people do. It's still poor practice in my view. Pay for marketplace commission or pay land rent. Both are business costs for the merchant to bear.

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Inflated prices has its own definition in marketting, which is not simply a 'higher price'. Inflated prices are those which are blown up out of proportion to what might be reasonable. A small increase due to what a seller sees as his/her costs is completely acceptable. To not allow this would be legally challengeable; to simply not allow a seller to have a higher or lower price somewhere besides SLMarketplace might in itself be a violation of anti-trust laws.

Whether or not what anyone else believes a merchant should consider when pricing their items, they are free to determine their own business models. Nobody knows what someone's land costs are for an in-world store - they might have a friend offering some free space, or have other reasons for land which has nothing to do with their store. As long as LL charges for marketplace sales, there is a real cost that any seller can choose to account for in their expenses.

I think allowing for gifting is why some charge for demos; not really sure. I don't see it as necessary either.

 

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Yeah, maybe. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the rule used to be worded much more simply, that you couldn't charge any more for something in Marketplace than in-world. (That may even have been way back in the SLX days, I'm not sure now.) So indeed the wording change to the current "inflated" may have been to convey "do what you want within reason." For that matter, a merchant could probably do completely unreasonable things, too, with no consequence, Marketplace being such a thoroughgoing hell hole and all.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I think the "legally challengable" on antitrust grounds is... unlikely. I'm thinking of the agreements credit card companies impose on merchants (at least in North America) as an example of just how much is permitted.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

Yeah, maybe. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the rule used to be worded much more simply, that you couldn't charge
any
more for something in Marketplace than in-world. (That may even have been way back in the SLX days, I'm not sure now.) So indeed the wording change to the current "inflated" may have been to convey "do what you want within reason." For that matter, a merchant could probably do completely
un
reasonable things, too, with no consequence, Marketplace being such a thoroughgoing hell hole and all.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I think the "legally challengable" on antitrust grounds is... unlikely. I'm thinking of the agreements credit card companies impose on merchants (at least in North America) as an example of just how much is permitted.

Yes, the price difference thing went back to SLX. Back tghen they wre actually OK with small inworld discounts, so that the inworld price would be the same as you would get from SLX after commission. Back then, the purpose was clear, it was to keep SLX from becoming a free advertising medium for inworld products with no commissions coming back in. These days, it's only one LL property "competing" against another, and the rule probably mostly survives only because of the "but we've always done it this way" mentality.

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Well some exuse I've heard is that there trying to save the hassle of you going from buy to the page of objects you get when you buy something free then scrolling all the way down then clicking continue etc, but its a pretty poor exuse.

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Yes, in comparison to making the actual product, very little time at all, plus this has no relevance. The demo is an optional sales tool and the time and cost of making it should be factored into the overall product cost. It's a cost of doing business, just as is the cost of advertising.

 

Would you even consider for one moment, ever paying to watch a product advert by choice?

How about paying to enter a clothes store just to browse on the chance you might buy. Or being asked to pay a fee per item of clothing that you wanted to try on?

 

Or what about paying to enter a cinema foyer just to see what films you might want to watch, or not?

 

No, regardless of time and effort, a demo is just that. An enticement to buy the actual product.

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BarcodeBrian wrote:

Inflated prices
has its own definition in marketting, which is not simply a 'higher price'. Inflated prices are those which are blown up out of proportion to what might be reasonable. A small increase due to what a seller sees as his/her costs is completely acceptable. To not allow this would be legally challengeable; to simply not allow a seller to have a higher or lower price somewhere besides SLMarketplace might in itself be a violation of anti-trust laws.

Whether or not what anyone else believes a merchant should consider when pricing their items, they are free to determine their own business models. Nobody knows what someone's land costs are for an in-world store - they might have a friend offering some free space, or have other reasons for land which has nothing to do with their store. As long as LL charges for marketplace sales, there is a real cost that any seller can choose to account for in their expenses.

I think allowing for gifting is why some charge for demos; not really sure. I don't see it as necessary either.

 

It does not say "inflated" it says "inflating" meaning any price higher than the inworld price is not acceptable.

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if i do it's usually a demo i want to try on..that and usually on the marketplace..

it saved having to go to that extra screen..

 

1 demo at $L1

and  9 others that don't cost anything..if you have to pay anything it saves from going to that extra screen..

that is about the only reason i like them..especially  when the market is laggy

as far as any other reason?

it's just something i've gotten used to over the years as well and never really bothered me..

 

 

 

 

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Inflated or inflating is irrelevant here - a higher price doesn't mean it is inflated, and raising prices doesn't mean inflating them. The SLMP does not allow inflating them, and that is normal marketing practice and terminology. Without this rule the MP would be ripe with high priced items and sales being directed away from MP (in-world store, personal website, third party sales outlets of any kind). They can't survive as a free advertising service.

I believe most merchants will likely have less costs with MP than an in-world store, but that still doesn't mean there is anything wrong with factoring prices according to perceived costs. The MP rules do not forbid this - they forbid inflating them; blowing up beyond a normal fit.

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BarcodeBrian wrote:

Inflated or inflating is irrelevant here - a higher price doesn't mean it is inflated, and raising prices doesn't mean inflating them. The SLMP does not allow inflating them, and that is normal marketing practice and terminology. Without this rule the MP would be ripe with high priced items and sales being directed away from MP (in-world store, personal website, third party sales outlets of any kind). They can't survive as a free advertising service.

I believe most merchants will likely have less costs with MP than an in-world store, but that still doesn't mean there is anything wrong with factoring prices according to perceived costs. The MP rules do not forbid this - they forbid inflating them; blowing up beyond a normal fit.

an inflated price is one that is higher than inworld.. Therefore any price must be the same as your inworld store. You can not inflate them at all, not even 1L.

ETA. What perceived costs? There is no cost to post things on the SLMP. So where is the need to inflate your costs?

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There really is no sense in a back and forth "this means this" / "this means that".

inflated price

Inflating a price does not mean simply "raising" it. You can have your MP prices higher than anywhere, including an inworld store, as long as there is rational reason for it.

Posting on the MP doesn't have a cost, nor does it have a profit. Selling on the MP however, has a cost. Raising a price if you see a need to compensate is perfectly fine. Again, inflating prices is not a synonym for raising prices (nor is inflating a synonym for raising).

 

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BarcodeBrian wrote:

Inflated or inflating is irrelevant here - a higher price doesn't mean it is inflated, and raising prices doesn't mean inflating them. The SLMP does not allow inflating them, and that is normal marketing practice and terminology. Without this rule the MP would be ripe with high priced items and sales being directed away from MP (in-world store, personal website, third party sales outlets of any kind). They can't survive as a free advertising service.

I believe most merchants will likely have less costs with MP than an in-world store, but that still doesn't mean there is anything wrong with factoring prices according to perceived costs. The MP rules do not forbid this - they forbid inflating them; blowing up beyond a normal fit.

Whether it's "normal marketing practice" or not, try "factoring prices according to perceived costs" to recover RL credit card transaction fees and see how long that lasts.

I do agree, however, that the Marketplace -- toxic waste dump of virtual commerce that it is -- has less strict standards about such things. Basically, anything goes. I doubt any amount of "inflating" could bestir a Linden to do anything about it at this point.

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I agree; accounting for credit card commissions is tricky for merchants. Still you can find discounts for cash and minimum purchase requirements to do the same thing. You can't single out the cards (most of the time) for a different rate and still be allowed to accept them, but you can still price your goods and services according to costs.

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BarcodeBrian wrote:

I agree; accounting for credit card commissions is tricky for merchants. Still you can find discounts for cash and minimum purchase requirements to do the same thing. You can't single out the cards (most of the time) for a different rate and still be allowed to accept them, but you can still price your goods and services according to costs.

It was stated back when they started the commission thing that you could not raise your prices to cover the commission cost unless the inworld price was raised as well.

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