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Pamela Galli

"Select" merchants

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

...

We also don't know anything about the specific deals that were cut to give these stores the exposure. They may have had to pay through the nose to get these slots, or they may be paying an increased commission on these items.

That's true, however, the added exposure of the ad and emails will probably increase their sales over and above whatever they may or may not have paid.  So they end up making more money than their competitors.

The beef here is that they didn't publish this so that ALL merchants had an equal opportunity to participate if they wished to.  They still could have limited the number of merchants that participated by taking them on a first come first served basis.   Probably LL would have still made the same amount they are making on this promotion, but the process would have been fairer.

My beef goes a bit further than making the list of merchants and choosing transparent.

Aside from picking specific merchants which will muck with the holiday sales of others:

1) Participating merchants must offer a sale. The promotion is "12 days of savings". This screws with the pricing in general of holiday goods. For instance, anyone offering the same item at a higher price is disadvantaged by the sale.

2) Customers finding an item in the sale obviously aren't going to be buying that item from anyone else.

3) Merchants already paying for current advertising are getting a pretty big insult. On the bright side, they're not getting triple billed for advertising that they can't cancel any longer.

4) It's pointless.

By the last I mean what is the goal here? Aside from pumping up the volume of sales commission for LL by trying to boost some volume with cheaper than usual items, that is.

It accomplishes nothing. Is there a discovery problem with finding holiday themed items for customers? No, there isn't. If I want snow, or turkeys or Christmas trees, etc. ... I can find anything i want with absolutely no help from LL or the marketplace team.

It's job security for someone to think this idiocy up. The position itself is a waste of salary given the state of the marketplace and a seemingly obvious need for more developers or a product manager that knows how to build for customers and not whatever geeky goodness the employees want to work on..

Basically if they want to be fair to everyone? Stay out of it.

Or if they want to make a graphical seasonal doohicky, then make something generic on the front page with a bunch of random holiday products to spur the imagination and a reminder not to forget to shop with all of our fine merchants this holiday season.

If I were needing to trim staff at LL, this would be one of the first positions I'd pick for the ax. The market has little need of manipulation. Only solid tools and preventing gaming the system.

At least it isn't another Mad Men promotion that no one cared about or wanted in the first place.

 

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:


anniepany wrote:

I'm not a merchant, just a simple avie and I received the email and I don't know you, but I read your other response and now this, perhaps someone is just a bit jealous because they didn't get picked....just sayin'.....have a great day.

Linden Lab decides to give 'select'  (ie favorite) avatars $10,000L a month, financed by fees paid by you and all the other avatars in SL.  You not only don't get picked this round, you will NEVER be picked because you aren't one of their favorites.  That's fair isn't it? That is essentially what LL has done here.

....just sayin'.....have a great day.

They already do and have been doing so for years. Early accounts have higher stipends, pay lower tier and some have lifetime free land. Large landowners get land at a discount. "Moles" are residents that are paid by the Lab.

None of these examples are examples of exclusive opportunities for favorites.

No one is getting a $L1,000 a month stipend.  And those people that do get higher stipends and free land, invested money via a lifetime membership into LL in the early days and got no equity share in the lab.  The higher stipends and free land is the return they get on their investment.  The more they invested (there was a minimum) the more land they got free.  At the time, ANYONE with the cash could get a lifetime membership, not just a select few.

Large landowners do get a discount.  Nothing wrong with that, it's good business.  Many RL companies give preferred pricing to their best customers.  Here again ANYONE that meets the minimum number of sims owned can get this discount.

Lastly Moles get paid for work they do.  Yes, LL did approach people that already had the skills they needed.  I doubt Moles make a lot of money though compared to the work they do and it is by no means a steady job.  Anyone with the skills needed for the projects they work on can apply to be a mole when there is an opening.

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EDIT: I am hitting reply to general post and unfortunately it is Pamela Galli  who started the thread, merchant who I thought was one of the "picked" designers and is here defending everyone elese who did not get the chance to participate in this sale event. 

I am sorry to see sad people here... I am sorry to see a person thinking they should get some kind of advantage just because they are participating as a merchant in the marketplace, or because they spend some money on ads. Not sure how many stores are on the marketplace... Do you know? If there is information please share it here because I am curious to find out... I am also not sure if LL can or are counting how much each merchant earns on the MP? 

What I know is that there are merchants who have constant sales, in-world and on marketplace. They have regular releases, their vendors look like they're made by people who have 20 years of real life experience in creating advertisements. The avatars in their ads wear the newest items. Most of them have more than one shop in-world, all of them updated regularly, with newest items. They buy magazine ads, they have at least few other webistes (besides MP) to promote the store, have an army of bloggers and friends who promote their business. 

What I am trying to say is that LL "picked" merchants who are well known, who have enormous sales every month and who, most importantly, will attract customers just because they are popular brands. Sale events are not charity events, its business. This is serious business and LL picked designers who work hard throughout the year, for many years and who will represent SL in the best possible way. Designers who see this as real life business, not someone who is a merchant just for fun or a SL shopping spree here and there. 

You can't blame LL because your shop is not big and popular. You can't say its LL's fault that the items in your marketplace ads are floating in the air (with obviously low graphic settings) or that the models look like they are from 2010. I really don't want to be rude and say bad things but have to ask, have you tried to work hard, day by day, in order to become well known SL merchant? Why do you think these "picked" designers got something for free? Concerning the amount of work and sacrifises these merhcants make, concerning the fact that the MP is slow and buggy, full of copybotted items, demos and spammy items that screw your search results, that the whole SL is full of thieves who will eat you for breakfast just because they can - and LL won't do a thing because its resident to resident dispute!, and concerning the fact that you can't spend 5 mins on internet or in RL without being bombarded by another superawesome Black-Friday-through-Christmas-weekend-sale, these 12 days of MP promotion are not really that big of a deal.

With that being said, I wish you happy holidays and please remember, don't think you are entitled to anything, just be happy for what you have. 

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Edit:  I am deleting most of my post in response to Tamara's because she has clarified that her comments were not directed at me and my business, but to someone else in the thread.

 

Your whole post misses the point, which others have made very well, so I will not repeat what they have said, except to say there are massively successful stores that are just as "worthy" of special treatment as those selected -- although in my opinion NO ONE is worthy of special treatment.

 

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Tamara Artis wrote:

You can't blame LL because your shop is not big and popular. You can't say its LL's fault that the items in your marketplace ads are floating in the air (with obviously low graphic settings) or that the models look like they are from 2010. I really don't want to be rude and say bad things but have to ask, have you tried to work hard, day by day, in order to become well known SL merchant?

I was sooo not going to participate in this thread but this is too much! Did you notice that it was Pamela Galli who started this thread? To accuse her of all people of anything of that is highly offensive. You owe her an apology!

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Of course I missed the point, when my post doesn't agree with the thread theme. I know who you are and am friends with you on Fb. And from the first post, I thought you got the email because you are invited to participate in this?

 

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I replied by hitting the main bottom left button which automatically names the OP. My post was not intended for her directly but for general thread. "You" in english is boh singular and plural.

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Tamara Artis wrote:

I am sorry to see sad people here... I am sorry to see a person thinking they should get some kind of advantage just because they are participating as a merchant in the marketplace, or because they spend some money on ads. Not sure how many stores are on the marketplace... Do you know? If there is information please share it here because I am curious to find out... I am also not sure if LL can or are counting how much each merchant earns on the MP? 

I can guarendamntee that Slnk earns very little on the MP compared to her inworld store. Speaking of.. None of her MP items are on sale. Perhaps she didnt get the memo from LL.

What I know is that there are merchants who have constant sales, in-world and on marketplace. They have regular releases, their vendors look like they're made by people who have 20 years of real life experience in creating advertisements. The avatars in their ads wear the newest items. Most of them have more than one shop in-world, all of them updated regularly, with newest items. They buy magazine ads, they have at least few other webistes (besides MP) to promote the store, have an army of bloggers and friends who promote their business. 

LL has no way of tracking the inworld sales someone has.

What I am trying to say is that LL "picked" merchants who are well known, who have enormous sales every month and who, most importantly, will attract customers just because they are popular brands. Sale events are not charity events, its business. This is serious business and LL picked designers who work hard throughout the year, for many years and who will represent SL in the best possible way. Designers who see this as real life business, not someone who is a merchant just for fun or a SL shopping spree here and there. 

Two hair stores, neither one with mens hair, a mens clothing store with mostly things that fit the Niramyth Aestetic body, a furniture store, a jewlery store, a landscape store, a womens clothing store and a male and female clothing store. Oh yes, and a mesh body parts store that has nothing on sale.

Of those stores, i have heard of 3.. Why not L&B for mens clothing? You can't tell me that Belleza and Maitreya aren't pissed Slink got chosen. Even if they aren't on the MP.

You can't blame LL because your shop is not big and popular. You can't say its LL's fault that the items in your marketplace ads are floating in the air (with obviously low graphic settings) or that the models look like they are from 2010. I really don't want to be rude and say bad things but have to ask, have you tried to work hard, day by day, in order to become well known SL merchant?
Why do you think these "picked" designers got something for free?
Concerning the amount of work and sacrifises these merhcants make, concerning the fact that the MP is slow and buggy, full of copybotted items, demos and spammy items that screw your search results, that the whole SL is full of thieves who will eat you for breakfast just because they can - and LL won't do a thing because its resident to resident dispute!, and concerning the fact that you can't spend 5 mins on internet or in RL without being bombarded by another superawesome Black-Friday-through-Christmas-weekend-sale, these 12 days of MP promotion are not really that big of a deal.

Because they are part of the super sekrit klub.

With that being said, I wish you happy holidays and please remember, don't think you are entitled to anything, just be happy for what you have. 

We should be entitled to a level playing field.

 

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


We should be entitled to a level playing field.

 

That is the bottom line. This is supposed to be a free market economy, and that means the only thing we are entitled to is a level playing field. It is not LL's business to intervene in any way to subvert the free market.

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Pamela Galli this is a public apology to you, for anyone who thinks I have lived under the rock the last 100 SL years and don't know what you create here. All that I wrote was for general public who thinks they are entitled to anything just because they participate. 

I remember one poster who wrote somehing like I play SL for fun, not for profit and I have zero sales for few days. Post was more for that person but I didn't want to scroll to find it and reply directly to this person. 

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I edited my post but don't think you should change yours. Let it be, as a reminder to readers to always read the whole thread and check who they are replying to. And to politely apologize if they miss to do so lol

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Tamara Artis wrote:

There is no fairness, specially not in business. And I mean this as a general reply. 

The existence of unfairness does not mean that fairness should not be a goal. This is the definition of a free market economy:

free market is a market economy system in which the prices for goods and services are set freely by consent between vendors and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority. 

LL is not a government but a platform for selling (among other things). LL has no business intervening in the free market. They are free to, say, inform buyers of best selling items and to publish reviews, as Amazon does. They are free to sell advertising, at the same rate available to all.

Anything beyond these kinds of things subverts the free market. 

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Sounds nice but in my opinion, free market is just an idea, an ideal that certain students can imagine. In reality we can see some parts of it, but never the system as a whole. 

Prices are set freely, yes, but this happens after the government sets the requirements that only a selected few can meet. 

This is why I said that, since we don't know the numbers, since its been ages that LL put any infos about earnings out in public, we don't have the proof that certain actions are made fair or unfair. Informations that we have are that "the government" choses individuals whose outer appearance, be it a brand or individual (insert fav blogger name here) is complimening the world as a whole. Its a big game of popularity and we are free to play it or leave yourself out of it.

 

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Democracy, too, is "just an idea". So is fairness. Everything human beings do and make starts as "just an idea". 

If LL will stay out of it, the SL free market is about as perfect a model as you can find anywhere.

I spent years as a school teacher. I was good, I got recognition, thanks, pats on the head -- but no matter how hard I worked or how successful I was, what I did not get was more money (and this in a very low-paying state). I could never have retired on the pitiful pension I would receive.

Then I started making things in SL, and found that when I worked hard and made nice things -- people gave me money!  The harder I worked, the more money they gave me. After a year and I half it was clear I could quit my job and make more money in SL (and work from home to help care for the two disabled family members I had then). So although I loved teaching (in spite of the testing mania that wrung out much of the joy) the free market seemed to me a miracle. It still does, every day. I started in SL with nothing, with no skills, no help from LL (or Xstreet), nothing but the help I found in the Xstreet forum, no advantages above anyone else, on the same level playing field as anyone else. 

So it grates on me to see this mechanism -- this mere idea -- subverted. 

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So, question for next Lab Chat then:

"I''ve noticed that Linden Lab has started sending advertising emails on behalf of selected Marketplace sellers to all registered SL users. What are the requirements for joining this program and how do we apply?"

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". Not sure how many stores are on the marketplace... Do you know? If there is information please share it here because I am curious to find out... I am also not sure if LL can or are counting how much each merchant earns on the MP? "

You can look at the store ID numbers. The marketplace tends to use incremental ID's. Find the newest store, note the number, this is a broad guess on the number of stores. Same with products. Find the transaction number at the beginning and end of a 24 hour period and you have rough idea of daily volume.

I'm still failing to see how this has any benefit at all to merchants across the board other than the chosen merchants. I see some apologetics without a corresponding rationale. When LL manipulates economy, they're doing it for their own reasons and the sink bottom line, not the merchants.

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I understand your point, not even close to your level but I also have made few items, and they sell enough to let me rent quarter of a sim and buy tons of useless stuff, without any direct advertising. So in a way I know what you want to say and yes its nice to see that every person has the opportunity to enter the game. But... I would never have the courage to invest my future in this because on paper, the rules we accepted give us almost no security. You can work hard and have all the best cards and still not make it. You can have the crazy ramonzita attack your sim day after day after day just because your first neighbour is a model (happened to me) and LL will do nothing. You can have jelaous people camping in your shop while you sleep, represent themselves as your alt manager and do really really bad things to you, just because you don't give them money... as a nice way to eliminate the competition there are tons of bad things happening in this free market. 

And since you mention advantages you didn't have I want to say that a talent and willing to work hard is a huge advantage. 

We can't mix everything together, can't speak about the people who feel entitled just because they are inside the system and ones who work days and nights to climb up. 

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Tamara Artis wrote:

And since you mention advantages you didn't have I want to say that a talent and willing to work hard is a huge advantage. 

 

Talent and hard work are the main if not the only things a free market is designed to reward. In the RL this is not always the case -- connections and family money play a big part -- but in SL, it is -- or would be if LL stayed out of it. Connections should not play any part in the SL free market.

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Connections play a huge part. For example, main reason while there are countless numbers of events is because organizers only allow their friends to enter, and we can see empty booths despite the fact that there are tons of applications sent. A designer whose shop can't enter a certain event no matter how much they try can only organize their own. 

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Tamara Artis wrote:

Connections play a huge part. For example, main reason while there are countless numbers of events is because organizers only allow their friends to enter, and we can see empty booths despite the fact that there are tons of applications sent. A designer whose shop can't enter a certain event no matter how much they try can only organize their own. 

Can you give an example? The Stuff hunts are open to any designer in their group. The Twisted hunt has  a limited number of slots but there is plenty of variety each time. I have yet to come across a hunt that restricted its merchants to a group of friends.

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Your argument is flawed.

I owned a successful antique restoration business in RL for several years.  If I wished to, I could contact my local paper/TV station/Radio station/ web sites that sell ads, and take out a large ad featuring my business and no one would turn me away because I wasn't Macy's or Walmart.  If I had the money to pay for it, I could take out the advertising. 

If LL offered this opportunity to ALL merchants, most likely only those merchants that sell a lot of products could afford such an ad campaign.  So LL wouldn't be out anything.  In fact they may have been better off because someone they didn't pick may have sold more than the ones that did get picked plus they  would have generated more good will among merchants.  It is the unfairness of playing favorites that stinks here, and is the latest in a long line of such moves. 

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I don't know about the hunts because I was participating in only one and after that never ever applied or went to any other. Its about fairs and sale events, organized monthly, quarterly or whenever. I don't want to post names but I am sure you know at least one of them, also there is a blog starting with the letter S where you can find a full list of sales and fairs.

For a long time now they were "the thing" and often I see designers complaining how its impossible to enter certain events. Many are by invitation only and if you can't get in you make your own event. Sad thing is that it seems how there are always same designers in most of them and often you can see empty booths many days after the event has opened. We all understand that things happen and a designer might not be ready in time for the opening, or few days after, but what is the reason behind leaving an empty booth while you have tons of application notecards waiting?

There is no event that will openly restrict their limited number of spots to only a specific group of friends and their partners or alts, you can't prove that. Best is to enjoy our everyday life and don't think about the things we can't influence. 

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