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Viewer-Managed Marketplace Beta

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I feel like the bad person again but i'm going to have to ask this.

As I understand it, this beta differs from the previous beta in that this is now on agni whereas the previous one was on aditi yes?

In order to participate, we request access via the form in the link in the FAQ and then have to used a project viewer.

This beta is going to operate against our LIVE marketplace shop based on the above assumption that this is now on agni?  True?

Basically, i'm confused which beta this is since you've done a beta already on aditi and received lots of feedback.  If this is indeed on agni, then this isn't a beta, it's on the production platform!

Do I trust the management of my business to beta software? :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

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Sassy Romano wrote:

Do I trust the management of my business to beta software? :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

Yes, yes. Nothing can go wrong!  :matte-motes-big-grin:

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May I suggest, before you migrate all of us, you choose 100 or so merchants with decent amounts of products, as test monkeys. Of course, get their permission to be part of it first. Average their daily profits, then migrate them automatically. If there is a problem, then you can just make up the difference between what they average, and what they get after the migration, so that the merchants aren't hurt by the process. Then you can test your migration system, without all of us paying for your miscalculations, or mistakes.

Also, if I were running this operation, I would not migrate everyone at 1 time. I'd migrate them in bunches in the beginning until you are totally positive there will be no issues.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

May I suggest, before you migrate all of us, you choose 100 or so merchants with decent amounts of products, as test monkeys. Of course, get their permission to be part of it first. Average their daily profits, then migrate them automatically. If there is a problem, then you can just make up the difference between what they average, and what they get after the migration, so that the merchants aren't hurt by the process. Then you can test your migration system, without all of us paying for your miscalculations, or mistakes.

Also, if I were running this operation, I would not migrate everyone at 1 time. I'd migrate them in bunches in the beginning until you are totally positive there will be no issues.

Yes PLEASE!  I will not go near this until I hear bugs are out of it, and when I hear "migration" my blood runs cold at the thought of what could happen (based on previous experience).

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CommerceTeam Linden wrote:

 

We're looking forward to hearing your feedback.

and i'm still looking forward to hearing yours in response to my questions in this thread!

(although in fairness, you did say you were looking forward to 'hearing', nothing about 'responding to' so very much BAU.)

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What my concern is is that sometimes we have different listings for different animals, but they have the same name. Take KittyCats for example. Some of them might say 9T Siamese - Lilac or 1T Pandie - Platinum, and you have two that are named that. How would you go about listing BOTH, especially if they have DIFFERENT TRAITS? YOU CAN'T as far as I see it. We'd have to find a different renaming system and then customers wouldn't be able to find our listings, because they'd be going by the old naming systems that we already have in place. Instead of messing with the way people list things, why don't you fix the 10 items only per check out thing? Or the fact that we can't post multiple listings of the same item on the MP to begin with without having our listings removed and having to start ALL OVER AGAIN? (Yes. It's happened to me three times.) Fix those before you start messing with things that WORK.

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Well if the things have different attributes then by definition, they're not identical.  Since they're not identical, they should be different listings and thus as far as I see it, the remainder of the objections are moot.

Just as if I listed a shirt (pink) and a shirt (blue).  The shirt might be the same but the colour attribute is different, thus not the same item.  Notwithstanding the original goal on MP to have different colours under the same listing but this never happened so again...moot!

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Sassy, you are never a bad person :)  From my experience, you always manage to cut through the dross and come up with the most relevant and pointed questions - and, yes, I agree with later posts, listening is one thing, but answering does seem to be another.

I only came across this by accident, I seem to be out of touch.  And I do remember what I had to do for Direct Delivery and how many hours were involved.

Ok, so now it is all changing again and I won't moan, these things happen and we have to go with the flow or else just back out of everything and give up years of business.  So I will be positive since DD was always successful for me.

But now I have a tiny little problem (and you know it isn't tiny).  To keep my inventory down, I regularly box loads of things up and have boxes inside boxes.  This means, I have absolutely nothing in my inventory with folder names that will match those I have on the Marketplace since once I have uploaded to the MP and tested delivery, that's it for me, all safe and sound.

Clearly, with no "associated" objects or folders visible in my inventory, this new system will just not work.  I have today begun the tedious process of unboxing everything in the hope I can sort it all out but that is also going to take many long hours and weeks.

I was wondering, if I took a test delivery of each of my items on the MP and stored those in a folder in my inventory, would that be sufficient for this new system to work since they would then carry the object/folder names and would contain the items that are delivered to customers (oh how glad I am now that I deleted so much old stuff this year).

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated since the articles I have read and videos I have watched certainly pre-suppose that we all keep exact replica folders in our inventories.

 

EDIT

I have now answered this myself.  No, I cannot do test downloads and then use those for sale.  But at least I have a copy of all the folder names now, I just have to find the content.

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You misunderstood my point, Sassy. Both of the listings would say 9T Siamese - Lilac, but in the description they would be different. How would I go about selling two of those without having the same exact listing? You can't as far as I see it. I'll have to change how I label my stuff, as others will have to. I'll try the beta, but if it doesn't work, then I'll just sell in world. It sucks, but what else can I do?

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I would like to know if we will be advised in advance of our automated migrations.  I enter in MP nearly everyday and have over 5500  listings.   I really need to know what day it happens so I can be prepared.  It would not be feasible for me to manually migrate this many products, thus I would like the opportunity to coordinate with LL on this.   :matte-motes-big-grin-squint:

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You will not be alone in this problem.  Many merchants have little to no RL experience in manufacturing or retail inventory control, thus unprepared for a change like this.  I wish you much success and ease in this transition. Namaste

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Well, this defeats the idea of getting your inventory numbers down to cut down on teleport failures and lag and the time to load your inventory if you're going to have to keep the folders in your inventory now...sighs...

There's an old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It doesn't say, If it ain't broke, let's play with it until it is broken.

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Thank you, Kate.

Test deliveries have worked and given me a way forward.  I now have a complete set of folders with associated objects, and have the exact file name they are stored under for DD.

Thankfully, although I box everythng up to keep my inventory numbers low, I do have everything and so need only to take my time and re-create sales folders.  One advantage of downloading every again as test delivery means I can do the work through my inventory without needing to refer constantly to web pages.

If I have understood the Wiki and blog correctly, the month of "beta" (and, yes, I take Sassy's point on this) has started.  That gives me a good 2 weeks at least to create these folders.  Then we have a month where the viewer is, allegedly, to be out of beta and Merchants can use (although I have downloaded the beta, just in case).  Having the best part of 6 weeks to complete this work means it won't be such a huge hassle, for me, at least.

I do see how many items you have in your MP store and I agree, it would be an impossible task for you to manually migrate all of those in the time frame and I can only hope that the LL migration will be successful for you. 

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Bobbie Faulds wrote:

Well, this defeats the idea of getting your inventory numbers down to cut down on teleport failures and lag and the time to load your inventory if you're going to have to keep the folders in your inventory now...sighs...

There's an old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It doesn't say, If it ain't broke, let's play with it until it is broken.

Keeping Marketplace items in inventory seems like the WORST idea ever - unless I box everything up, it's just going to be very hard to manage.

I'd been keeping quiet, hoping this will pass like a bad dream. Should have known it wouldn't...

Just who do the Lab talk to to develop a system that actually works for merchants?

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The reasoning behind moving marketplace inventory to SL inventory servers is to get rid of the redundency of having to store items in both the SL inventory server and the SLMP inventory server. It also reduced an entire hop with a transation which reduces the amount of possible areas things can go wrong.

With Direct Delivery, it goes a bit like this:

  1. Merchant uploads item to SL to sell
  2. Merchant places it in merchant outbox, which transfers inventory to the SLMP servers (you now have a copy in SLMP server and SL server
  3. User goes to buy your product
  4. SLMP website looks up item on SLMP inventory server and then communicates with SL inventory and delivers the product

The new way with VMM is a little more efficient

  1. Merchant uploads item to SL to sell
  2. Merchant places in special folder inside of their inventory, item to sell stays on SL inventory servers
  3. User goes to buy your product
  4. SLMP tells SL inventory servers directly to give the user

There's a lot less to go wrong with the new system. In a way it's the best of magic boxes and direct delivery, where you can sell limited quantity items as well as there's no additional hop between another server like with Magic Boxes, but it has the perks of DD like not having to depend on an LSL script on a simulator.

However, the real reason I dropped by this thread, was I was hoping we could see the migration to VMM used to clean up the marketplace from older listings from merchants that have abandoned SL. There could simply be an email that says you have to opt in to move to VMM and if you don't, your listings will be unlisted and not automatically migrated after a certain timeframe, say a few months. Basically, just use this as a chance to see which users are still active and which are gone, and to reduce the amount of items clogging up search for users and clogging up servers for LL. If someone misses it, they could manually migrate and list again laster manually.

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This may be true, but it still doesn't negate the problem with inventory size. Right now, as a merchant, I can load into my vendor boxes, load up to the MP then box it up in my inventory and just have the one box for various clothing parts so one box with pants outfits rather than all the seperate boxes. Creator inventory explosion, here we come.

Now, if there was a way that the MP could be hooked up to the vendor system, that would make be very happy since everything would be listed there.  But that would be dreaming, of course.

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Bobbie and others, there is NO inventory explosion, you don't keep things in your avatar inventory.  Just as with Direct Delivery, you manage the items in the Marketplace inventory floater just that whereas with DD, they got copied and poofed from the floater, now they stay there and you manage that view.

As for coupling to an inworld vending system, well that project did start long long ago but would have worked the other way around.  Inworld vending systems were to be able to access the MP system via an API so you'd manage the stock on MP and an inworld vending system would have pulled from that.  Project seems to have died shortly after starting as this was about 2 year ago now?  I've really lost track of time.

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I am not concerned about the VMM and after I have given it a test try with a few new items, it seems to work quite nicely, although the varying folders are a little confusing, but I am sure I will get used to that over time.

What I am searching for, is a little more technical detail on how the automated transfer from DD to VMM will work.

With nearly 2000 listings, I am wondering if it will be safer to do them manually or leaving them to the automated system?

I saw that Medehue made the suggestion of some test guinea pigs for the automated transfer, maybe not a bad idea.

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Brooke Linden appeared at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday April 24th to provide a brief status update to TPV devs. As her comments are likely to be of wider interest, I've summarised them as a blog post, with timestamps to the the video where they can be heard.

If interested, please refer to:

 

Viewer-Managed Marketplace: brief update

 

 

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Bobbie Faulds wrote:

Well, this defeats the idea of getting your inventory numbers down to cut down on teleport failures and lag and the time to load your inventory if you're going to have to keep the folders in your inventory now...sighs...

There's an old saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It doesn't say, If it ain't broke, let's play with it until it is broken.

Just as a point of reference, large inventories have an almost zero performance hit on teleports or on general "lag".

The major impact on teleports is running a large number of scripts on your avatar (attachments, HUDs, etc). This is because all said scripts have to be halted, serialised, sent to the receiving simulator, unserialised and resumed, which can cause a lot of issues.

Where large inventories do have an impact, it is when logging-in to SL - and then then the impact only tends to occur for those with large "flat" inventories (e.g. tens of thousands of items all existing under a single folder level, rather than being split into sub-folders). 

This is because the system will attempt to load a folder with tens of thousands of items within it all at the same level in a single pass. As this almost always takes time, it slows the log-in process to the point where it times out, and the viewer is disconnected from the viewer, leaving the user unable to log-in.

To prevent this, the Lab is in the process of deploying an inventory transform to their support team. This can be run against accounts reporting log-in issues which can be traced to the user having a large "flast" inventory structure, and it will automatically sub-divide the items within that "flat" structure by age, and place them in sub-folders - see the TPVD meeting 

for April 24th, commening at the 35:04 mark).

So, assuming you do use a folder hierarchy within your inventory, VMM should actually make your experience with teleporting no worse than it already is.

 

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Thought I'd give my two cents after using it for a few days:

I work with primarily no-copy items (gacha/breedables), with 1000+ listings. I also have creations of my own that could be listed using the merchant box system, so I've used both that and magic boxes for a very long time.

I... absolutely adore this new system. I went in hesitant, but I've been 100% pleasantly surprised with it.

I find that it's very easy to load things, and associate particular listings (the copy-able ones) with their existing listings. I'm still manually switching over the no-copy ones, little by little. I've noticed a marked improvement in sales - I would go as far to say they doubled, at least with the no-copy items. Magic Boxes have been nothing but a headache since September for me and many others, with a ton of "partial delivery failure" notices that would rack up every time maintenance was done, or rolling restarts happened. Since I started to switch all the no-copy items, I haven't had a single delivery error, even during high stress times, restarts, and anything else that's been thrown at me. I've had three regular customers comment that for the first time in months, LL hasn't auto-refunded their money, or experienced some sort of delivery error, and they wanted to know how I fixed it. Simple: The VMM system. All the unconverted items still have the frequent errors, and I do hope to have them transferred over quickly.

The only bug I've been able to find so far (something I need to document and submit), is that sometimes the names of the listings show up as blank when you first load them into marketplace. A simple "view contents", an edit, and a copy-paste of the name to the listing fixes it, but when there's four or five of them at a time it can get annoying.

Other than that, it's been great.

 

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