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Pamela Galli

Dear Ebbe Altberg: from Merchants

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Dear Mr. Altberg:

Some time ago we merchants responded to a survey about the marketplace (http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Featured-News/Help-Improve-Marketplace-Search-with-Your-Opinions/ba-p/2384033).  Some merchants posted their responses in a forum thread here: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Merchants/Help-Improve-Market-Place-Search/m-p/2384197/highlight/true#M48011

 We have heard nothing about the results of that survey, or any plans that may have been made based on it. There has been no communication on this or any other issue of very great concern to merchants.  We hope you will encourage the Commerce Team (if there is one, we no longer have any idea) to share their plans with us.

Dear Merchants:

 

This thread might be a good time and place to respectfully share our top concerns. Please give this some consideration and post what you consider the top 3-5 issues with the marketplace.

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I don't care about the quality or the spam that floods the marketplace due to templates and prefabs. I don't care that people are not getting their money in a timely fashion. The only things I care about when it comes to the marketplace is the copyright infringement that is blatanly plaguing the marketplace with ripped content from games, and the fact that scammers are running rampant. Both of those are incredibly terrible things to be having.

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I am not much of a merchant, I do sell things on the marketplace. I drive them. I am a loner, for maybe not so obvious reasons. Sure, I am charming, inteligant, have a sparkle in my smile and wonderous meandering thoughts that I share. Surely I am a picture of success and great mental health. Alas, things are not so and my merchanting and second lifing are low in hours these days, the stalkers are always there and make it not worth my effort. The emotional toll and so on, blh blah blah...I drop the hankerchief and stare blankly at the forum because I can't cry. Besides having an urge for some kind of fruity flavored delight, like a low fat and low crumble peach crumble...well, I find numbness as a hard to use word because it doesn't describe anything.

So, after losing my train of thought and almost forgetting what this thread is about I will compose myself....ah, a dinful single 2 note chord that stops abruptly....hhhm, bad composition but fitting and does sound very me right now.

Yes, as I was saying. I don't merchant much. I DO however have many thoughts and complain very well.

So, I will look to that part of my ability with hope that I can come up with something?

Not much, sadly. But, I think that many things may be wrong, many things may be right but many things are always tied to motives. Merchants want money, they want less competition and many things. I am sure some want smoothies right now, and I don't have any. I really do feel they should and could have them BUT I am not thier Dr. or health pro (dieteticion...that word may be spelled right because whenever I see it I think it is spelled wrong....because it looks like the way I might have spelled it) so....alas, war may break out over issues but at the end of the day people hire smoothies to serve them as slaves. Slaves to battle thirst. With the thought that all products are slaves, I am horrified at the shocking conditions objects live in.

So, I propose objects in SL need to have souls. They should break and wear as people use them, the marketplace has many items and the control of LL is over ALL objects (TOS says recently we have to give them all rights, even though we can't give rights to things already uploaded....we have not rights for those things, we where given no abillity to delete them even....I am actually concerned and may have to contact a mental health professional to call up your offices to ensure your TOS actually claims you have all rights to all things...I am not telling a lie here....not...one word on that, I can NOT beleive the reality that is presented me as being the real one and it is not due solely to the insanity of strange ALL rights speak in the TOS and is related to odd trickery and stalking in RL that has followed me here....no joke!)

Yes, crazy TOS rules are obviously meant to liberate the objects, to protect them and make them real. Like pinoccio (s? I heard it is always wrong to mispell peoples names...gosh, mabe he wil break off his nose and stab me....bad trip if I end up seeing that happen, glad I don't do drugs or hallucinegens! But, imagine that.....Pinoccio in a jail cell, breaking off his nose as and sharpeniing it as he prepares for the jailers...he wants to be free! WAIT!! why am I still using parenthesis? It is one of those writing gimicks? Yeah, the flow and text, the meanings of the words...their roots...does it all have meaning? nah, I just forgot what sentence I was typing) OK, now.....FREE form the parenthesis, just as objects in SL could be free....they would finally make sense!

Yes, they would create sense, experiences via sensors. Sensors that detect the flavors of each one, a virtual reality helmet that allows us to taste would he great. People could order custom made ones, so yes....hardware. LL a hardware company! the occulus rift may be licensing it's chips. Combined with FULL sense and full haptic sense chairs we could all end up being pioneers, pioneers that walk funny and have odd memories and flavors experience as we see objects that are not there from all the VR emersion.....but, visionary pioneers non the less.

For this status, we would swear allegeance to LL. Be knights maybe, sirs and...uh...sirettes? Madames? Yikes, in the US that sounds like a brothel running person to right? Uh....Ma'ams? Whatever. Sirettes will do...this is a new world, a new era and we can all do as we please.

So, in infinite wisdom we really do see the reason why the objects had to be inailiably liberationable. Yeah, I can use big words to, aside from having amazing taste in virtual worlds, right guys? Ah, OK.

Along with the odd TOS I wonder if the name Altberg is also part of the sureal fake reality that stalkers have possibly presented as a true one?

In SL and Alt is a persons alternate, I see you really did learn that already because you see the advice to make one lol.

You have an instant avatar to build....if an Ice berg is made of ice...yeah, youget the picture.

So, my advice is to find the mesh or sculptie noobs and people statues and build a HUGE avatar out of the. Being the big Kahuna...I bet I speled that rong agayn....Ok, yeah...you have to have a HUGE alt and be a giant berg of alts. This will not be apparent to 90% of Slers you meet, because 100% of those 905 will suspect ME of being that avatar AND most of the rest will not even know you name or remember it because they dont' read forums? either way, alts are always suspect and so much so that everyone already will think you are someone else. Only Elite IP adress watchers that have bots at every n00b log in location and help area and scattered everywhere will know it is an LL employee. Unless you go some place, like build an ice cream van with a generator and get a stallite internet dish thingy and go around in disguise and parking and logging in. YOu need toi live a normal SL life, maybe be a giant altn00bberg that is married to a giant furry that sells machine guns that fire chain saws that cut things into flowers and then break down and cry at the site of them...weepiing chainsaws I mean, but yeah.....anything can cry at pretty flowers...right guys? Yeah....?...no....ok

wow. I don't remember what I was getting to, but do remember the topic!

I think merchants are possibly really interested in making money and more or less are not likely to make bad decisions with the marketplace IF given the right info and guidance. I also think that we, or at least I, feel rather disposable and understand that Block World may be fun and a new generation of SLers may come along that really don't like merchanting in SL and detest mesh. IN fact, mesh in 10 years may not be around and voxels may have taken over. VR tech will be making people sick all over....well, at least all over youtube videos! I have seen people falling over and being sick, which is partially a past time related to alcohol that teenagers and young adults like to play. So, needless to say they may enjoy a different world than we have now and merchants become less significant as build tools advance and I understand that the next digital Lego like product has more potential than ANOTHER pair of shoes that are copied very closely from a pair of shoes that copy another real pair of shoes that where a modification of a past favorite pair of shoes design. Yes, blockworld will inherit the labs love and we will die a slow painful death (actually I may mak emonster trucks with Bloxels...surely you have invented Bloxels yet, right? If not I may make them myself...

 

OK, who forgot to make Bloxels? Ah, I am sort of worried here. Anyway, why am I still typing in bold text?


Ok, better. Ah, I can't remember what I was going to say.

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MIstahMoose wrote:

I don't care about the quality or the spam that floods the marketplace due to templates and prefabs. I don't care that people are not getting their money in a timely fashion. The only things I care about when it comes to the marketplace is the copyright infringement that is blatanly plaguing the marketplace with ripped content from games, and the fact that scammers are running rampant. Both of those are incredibly terrible things to be having.

Stuff from games, oh I have seen this. I always wonder why games dont' simply export and make an account? SL usually doesn't compete with thier game at all in anyway other than it keeps it alive and spreads it a bit.....I mean, it depends on which game I guess...right?

BUT, having said that....well, yeah they may have image issues! I am sure the people who made GTA would be upset if furries and hermaphodite gaint car tire irons decided to bread on thier cars...right? Seriously, random objects there and never read to much double meaning or code into that line. It was purely unintended.

But, seriously.....they just wait for these guys to promote thier stuff and basically they only take attention away from SL in some ways. I mean, lag is non existant in an adjusted game on my HDD and I have ancient hardware with ruins for keys...funny enough, I had a keyboard with a socket that no computer takes these days. I think it is from like the early 1990's. First "real" keyboard, I am a light and fast typer and seem to go easy enough on the keys. I wear them down on top though, which means my keys may appear to have ruins on them...ruined letters, but I was trying to say runes....the symbols....ah, once again....what am I saying or trying to say.

 

Yes, sadly I do wonder is SL will switch to a block world sort of thing, prims with code abillities. No need for scipting for basic operations, easy for all to build. No need for merchants, no need for to much code or time consuming stuff like all this copyright related stuff. No worries, all items created are auto shared with all. No ownership means no fighting, sort of like what parents do with children.

This also reminds me of those smarty pants guys who come up with oddball solutions that people swear would work. LIke, one guy or guys think tanked up a solution to jail...something like just putting a person in an area and letting people have at them. the mob decides, or at least that is what I figured he might as well have said and it stuck with me....sadly, I don't remember so can't find a link to it. :(

 

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I think I will list the concerns we see most often here, and I hear about most often from other merchants. Whether or not they are the "most concerning" is debatable. As what matters most to some, won't matter most to all.

Search-It's royally screwed up. It does not even remotely function as we believe it should. Relevance, in particular, makes no sense. Of course we don't need to know the exact backend workings of things, but it would be nice to know roughly how relevance is determined. I do know that the most sold, is broken. As when I use that term on my own things, I get an extremely varied result, at different times. None of the results are ever correct. I do actually know which of my products are sold most frequently. I can't tell whether or not the "most searched" is valid, because there is no real way for me to know this. But I suspect that's not accurate either.

The Review System-Either trash it, or give it a total overhaul. It's absolutely horrific and nothing is solved with it. It can be gamed way too easily-which actually isn't something I believe to be a bad thing. As that's a tactic a lot of businesses use to their advanatge, at times. So I don't believe removing the ability to game it, would solve anything, nor do I find that unfair. However I do believe that consumers need to be given a bit more "push" towards reviews. One of the wonderful things about the old review system was the stars. We didn't need to leave a text review to click on those stars. Of course the stars may or may not mean anything to anyone who looks at them. But I strongly believe those who chose to leave a text review, along with the stars, held a bit more meaning than just a star. That may or may not make any amount of sense. It does in my head. I believe there is another issue that goes hand in hand with this one. Some merchants have been using the "relisting" ability to supercede any negative reviews. Of course this goes against the guidelines, but it's not even remotely monitored, even when reported. I know, personally, of a merchant who has been removing and relisting a particular product for at least a few years. Making absolutely NO changes to the product, it only happens when too many negative reviews get left. It's been reported, the commerce team does nothing. Which leads me to my next complaint...

Commerce Team-GET ONE!!! Yes we have Dakota, possibly others as well, but they are either way overworked, or unable/unwilling to do what needs to be done. You either need to give them more ability to fix problems, or have a much bigger, and better team than you've already got. I do suspect what team is there, is so small, that most issues cannot be looked into, much less fixed. We need a better team of people who can look into reports, fix problems, answer questions and point people(merchant ans consumer alike) in the proper directions. Stop using the canned responses we always see with tickets. I know sometimes they're necessary, when an issue may warrant it, but, gah, they're just so....cold, institutional and drive people away from wanting to even BE a merchant. It drives customers away too, which benefits no one.

The naughty words list-Dear god you need to tell us what it is already. We have found so many random words, phrases and even numbers that toss a listing into the adult category that should NOT be there. I get it, there is a list of words, and there are plenty of things that need to be in that category(and plenty that aren't, but should be too of course) but things like our own names, numbers, sizes, random words...none of which are remotely adult should NOT be part of that filter list. If you're going to have a list-and you need one-then tell us what it is. DOn't make merchants jump through hoops, recreating listings line by line, or worse word by word, to try and figure out what in the world your filter is doing. Forget the why, we'll never figure that part out and we don't care why, we just need a list of these words. This is a complaint that pops up ALL the time.

Update your instructions. I do know the instructions are pretty clear, at least for some on how to go about having a store on the mp. But we get an awful lot of questions here that need clarified and I believe a more detailed wiki with more FAQs may assist with that.

Communication-We need it. You can do it. This also goes hand in hand with the Commerce Team concerns. If they can do more, are given the ability and resouces to do better, the communication will probably improve. Linden Lab is notoriously terrible at communication. There is no hiding that fact. You can change that, and fix it. I think this should be a top priority. Hiding won't solve problems, it just creates discontent. How exactly can anyone support a company they dislike? Merchantsm may not bring in the big bucks at all times, and the commission fees may be a drop in the bucket compared to other aspects, but we're still important. So make every effort to help merchants feel that way. Less merchants is not ideal for ANYONE. I don't care what other merchants say about oversaturation or competition. We thrive on it, plain and simple. Someone with little to no competition isn't exactly going to be motivated to do better, go bigger, and be mroe successful. They'll peak at whatever success they think they've reached, at some point. Then what? We allow everything to grow stagnate? That sounds absurd.

I had other ideas and now they're gone, figures. I shall add to this post when I think of more.

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My issue is likely not shared by many other merchants but there was at least one other merchant (I think Couldbe Yue, iirc) - or at least one other merchant who has posted on these forums - that are still experiencing the "Mixed Listings Bug" that happened...what...almost two years ago now.  It was supposed to be fixed according to the information in this thread from almost a year ago and indeed some merchants' stores were fixed.  Mine still looks like this:

Continued Mixed Listings - 021914.jpg

The jira I was instructed by CTL to file back on May 15, 2013 re: this unresolved issue has been languishing as Status: "Unassigned" but, interestingly, on January 30 I received an email with a link to my jira (designated as #BUG-2598) which shows the jira status is now listed as "Been Triaged."  I have no idea what that means but I was surprised, to say the least, to receive info on this issue about which I had pretty much given up.  I'm hoping the updated communication is a good sign.

 

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Well while we are at it, about the MP, i would suggest a thesaurus for the keywords.

First it will make the list limited, and secondly, it will be really easier to use for the customers if after they type their word, they are redirected to a list of existing occurency (close the the word they typed).

I manage a public library, and we use keywords everyday for cataloging books or other documents, i cant imagine what big mess it would be without a thesaurus.... ah, no.. i can do more than imagine, i can remember since the library i manage wasnt using any thesaurus when i came there first. and it took me 10 years to fix and catch up with all the books.

A catalogue without a thesaurus can't work fine. Provide us one and explain it will be a bit of work for each of us to catch up our listings, but the effort is worth.

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Some people actually think things are going to get any better around here? When we have given them concrete proof that they can almost do what they want and we suck it all up like good little puppies, or if we don't, they can ignore it and keep us waiting? Wow, someone has taken too many happy pills. Good luck with the next attempt. Only real way to make change here is to leave. Othwewise they just walk over you, because they know they can.

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Magnet Homewood wrote:

Some people actually think things are going to get any better around here? When we have given them concrete proof that they can almost do what they want and we suck it all up like good little puppies, or if we don't, they can ignore it and keep us waiting? Wow, someone has taken too many happy pills. Good luck with the next attempt. Only real way to make change here is to leave. Othwewise they just walk over you, because they know they can.

They?  He has only been here a few days.

 

Despite my normal state of extreme jadedness, I have hope. Yes, those hopes may at some point be dashed as they have before, but sometimes good things do happen.

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I'm with you on this Pam...and not only have hope but i do have good feelings about this new CEO, and that's a first (and now i start to keep my fingers cross too). He and his team will obviously need some time to positively change SL and the MP, but with all that  "MS Office" and "Yahoo" background i think the focus will be moved from SL's gaming edge to the mature usage. I do hope he will get in contact with merchants ASAP and implement some improvements. I do hope it won't be SL-business-killer over night TOS changes, and maybe some former mistakes can be corrected.

And now i put my happy pills away, go back to my RL skepticism, but in SL ill keep my hope in this case till the contrary.

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I will post again about a different topic later, but I wanted to suggest something about the Marketplace first, as my other topic is not about the MP. Many others can easily talk about the problems with the MP, so I won't go there. I just want to make a suggestion to Ebbe. First, please, fellow merchants, keep an open mind.

Of course, I'm not 1 for asking to pay more for something, but here, I think it is warranted. I suggest charging 10% commission instead of 5%. I say this because LL has little economic incentive to prioritize the MP. This will give them more of a reason, and more income to hire more coder or whatever is needed. We might want some guarantee that the extra money goes toward the MP. All other 3D marketplaces charge much more than 10%, and it's still a good deal for merchants. This will also encourage more inworld sales, and probably make LL address the freebie issue.

On Xstreet, the top sellers also got a break on commission, and it was nice because that gave those merchants a decent idea of where they factored into the total economy and a gauge as to how the economy was doing. I had always thought I was a small fish, until I was regularly only paying 3% on Xstreet, and occasionally only 2%. This told me, and my placement in the rankings of the inworld search, that my stats were a decent reflection of the SL economy. This is the only reason that I comment on other people's theories about the economy. I likely don't command that kind of presence anymore, but I still know that my data is likely more valid that others. Really tho, we had many economic markers for us. Our ranking in the inworld search was another marker, that LL destroyed. It would be nice to get some of these markers back.

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Of course you've heard nothing from the surveys. They where just implemented to make you believe that L.L. cares about what you think. And how dare you not be indoctrinated! :smileytongue:

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"I suggest charging 10% commission instead of 5%. I say this because LL has little economic incentive to prioritize the MP".

 

As they creep the 'tax' up on SL Marketplace, at the same time they need to creep the inworld land tier costs down so that far more peeps will have an 'incentive' to come hang out on S.L. in the first place. IMHO.

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