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Pamela Galli

"Select" merchants

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Tamara Artis wrote:

Best is to enjoy our everyday life and don't think about the things we can't influence. 

Seems to be the summary of what you're trying to say. But yes we can and better. We're slowly shrinking and even a discount of setup fees on land couldn't stop losing a dozen more regions since that announcement.

Together we can cure boneheadedness before everyone else votes with their feet over the next few years. We only need management with a clue.

 

 

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OK so should we start with this event, saying its unfrair that LL handpicked several merchants and allowed them to have some sort of promotion on the MP (to be honest I didn't even read about it) or it would be better to start with the fact that LL handpicked a group of residents and invited them into the new world that won't replace SL in a few months? 

Or maybe we should go a bit further in the past and rebel because its some sort of a policy for them to pick a blogger that will represent them or a group of residents that will get the oportunity to participate in the beta testing? 

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DartAgain wrote:

True, this doesn't fly in RL business. And sometimes there are lawsuits.

Nonsense. Linden Lab is a private company, and private companies invite bidders for projects all the time rather than having open bids. As far as Amethyst's advertisement, what do you think would have been the result if it had been between her and Macy's for the same limited fixed-price slot?

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Fair or unfair, right or wrong, we can discuss that forever but in the end Linden Lab is free to do whatever they like.

Apparently, what they like to do is send a message to all the smaller content creators who make a living (or at least has a decent secondary income) from Second Life, and to all those who are still trying to establish themselves here.

The message says:

"We're not interested in you or your business. We're only interested in those we believe are the big names and couldn't care less about the many who've provided the bulk of Second Life's content."

Well, at least there can be no more pretending now. We all should know where we stand and each and everyone has to decide for themselves what to do.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

 

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. 

Merchants who sell a lot of products wouldn't need to drop money on an ad campaign, especially one that would also reduce their income per item. Take a look at the classifieds in web search - they're not generally the prestige names in their fields, and they probably wouldn't make great "clickbait" for a campaign. The stores in this campaign did make me want to find out what the deals would be.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


The stores in this campaign
did
make me want to find out what the deals would be.


Yes, we know. That is what supporters of the free market economy object to: LL is redirecting customers to this "select" group of merchants.  I think we get it, you don't value the free market and prefer to have LL promote certain groups. And if you are not a merchant in what is already an extremely competitive market, there is no reason you should care.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:


The stores in this campaign
did
make me want to find out what the deals would be.


Yes, we know. That is what supporters of the free market economy object to: LL is redirecting customers to this "select" group of merchants.  I think we get it, you don't value the free market and prefer to have LL promote certain groups. And if you are not a merchant in what is already an extremely competitive market, there is no reason you should care.

I have never said that the promotion is good; I've merely said that it's defensible, and if it is to be countered it should not be by factual and logical errors.

And realistically, Second Life's market has never been truly "free", because money can be brought in from outside, search engines can be gamed, etc. Any attempt to make it truly a reflection of only "hard work and talent" would require regulation up the wazoo, which is hardly "free."

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Tamara Artis wrote:

OK so should we start with this event, saying its unfrair that LL handpicked several merchants and allowed them to have some sort of promotion on the MP (to be honest I didn't even read about it) or it would be better to start with the fact that LL handpicked a group of residents and invited them into the new world that won't replace SL in a few months? 

Or maybe we should go a bit further in the past and rebel because its some sort of a policy for them to pick a blogger that will represent them or a group of residents that will get the oportunity to participate in the beta testing? 

Well, I'm not personally calling for a rebellion or boycott, that just isn't going to work, it'd be herding cats. We just need to keep communicating and hoping that they get it. I'd keep Ebbe informed though. And the next CEO after his shift is over. At some point as SL declines, they'll be more inclined to listen to feedback that's beyond a bug report or trivial issues.

I've actually been on the opposite side of this. I was in the Viewer 2 beta and the marketplace beta for the initial rewrite. I didn't take the opportunities in either that were offered that would have given me a competitive edge because I believed then what I believe now that users should be free from economic tampering and favoritism.

Firstly because they do it badly, do more harm than good and because they bill it as something democratic. Your world, your imagination, right?

The biggest one of all is something that they don't get. SL is only on the map because of the economic opportunities available from back in the days when they didn't interfere. While they were overpricing the tier and not printing enough land at the time, users were all about user driven economy. Stock markets, banks, ad agencies everywhere you looked. Those are the things that managed to pay out a total of millions of L$ a day to users for camping, staff, etc. It kept free users buying stuff.

As things evolved LL acquired anything that began to make 7 figures. (Currency was a user product, the marketplace, advertising, land rental for new users, etc.) Rosedale at one point even partnered with a few people on breedables. They just can't leave it alone when it makes 7 figures. And that's just plain greed at our expense.

And the more they did this, the more SL declined. And with Sansar, they're going for the last grab ... a bigger chunk of the merchant pie and they'll be grabbing with both hands. Sansar will probably be making a play for 30% or more of merchant gross. And if they add all the monetization that LL has then both will spiral down. Because the big opportunities are gone and the ones left become smaller and smaller.

And that will never equate to the mass numbers that LL wants. Not going to happen because they squeeze too much out of the economy.

We've got years of examples of how this plays out. The magic can't be recreated that draws new users until we're back to that free market that used to be all of SL. Without making this a monstrous post of game design and economics their approach to economy is failing and will continue to fail until altered in some major ways.

This one instance isn't going to kill SL or the marketplace, although it will affect some smaller merchants that might have otherwise seen more sales over the holidays. And those are the ones that go away when all their effort is spent. But the marketplace team will pat themselves on the back for how they boosted overall sales with their holiday promotions. This stuff just adds up and if you don't call attention to it, there's no fixing it for everyone.

 

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TheGator wrote:

Yes, I'm furious as well. I don't know about anyone else but my MP sales have been completely wiped out since these Linden Lab discounts went live.

I'm a very small seller but I have a couple of L$10 items that sell consistently. One of them is a Xmas tree so obviously that has been selling well in the past month.

Then on 26 Nov my sales stopped dead.  I've been selling consistently at a low level. I made two sales on Nov 25 but since then nothing at all. My sales have fallen off a cliff.

At first I didn't realize why. but I'm on my third day now with zero sales. And yesterday I noticed my alt had received an email promoting "sales" on the marketplace from select sellers.

Am I angry with Linden Labs? You bet.

 

 

Thanks for this post, you have just taken the words right out of my mouth, this is also exactly what happened to me.

My store is fairly new to boot, i only started selling clothes and a few other bits & bobs for a couple of months now. i don;t make any huge profits or anything like that, just enough to do my next outfit and a bit to get by to do other things i enjoy in sl. It is something new and fun for me, but I agree, it is also still a huge slap in the face by LL, for pushing out any competition in the MP and for small business.

Even, I have found, with paying to advertise you items, you are still really on an unfair playing field. I started paying for advertising at first and i would be scrolling around looking for my items, for pages and pages, even after tweaking the search fields, I would be thinking, why am I even advertising?? So that stopped.

But yes, I will be a happy camper when this show is over as just like you and probably many other smaller outlets, my sales ground to a complete halt on Nov 26th and the email I received promoting this, went straight to my delete box.

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DartAgain wrote:

This one instance isn't going to kill SL or the marketplace.


You're right of course, this won't have any lasting effect as such and as soon as the sale is over, everything will be back to normal.

But the signal effect is immense. Ignoring the very interesting discussions about fairness and economical models for a moment: if you want to run an successful business, honest or dishonest, you do not visibly favor some customers over others!

That's one of the most basic rules of commerce and has nothing to do with morals or economical theories or anything like that. It's just bad for business no matter how you look at it - especially when it's B2B which is what we're talking about here.

If Linden Lab still haven't learned such a fundamental lesson, they and Second Life and Sansar are all in serious trouble.

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I have customers that have been buying since 2008 and 2009. Do they get special treatment? Of course they do on an individual, ad hoc basis. But what I do not do is publicize it. I would like to have an event where I say, here is a discount or gift just for long time customers, but then I ask myself if I really want newer customers to feel less valued. I don't want anyone to fell less valued.


ChinRey wrote:


DartAgain wrote:

This one instance isn't going to kill SL or the marketplace.


You're right of course, this won't have any lasting effect as such and as soon as the sale is over, everything will be back to normal.

But the signal effect is immense. Ignoring the very interesting discussions about fairness and economical models for a moment: if you want to run an successful business, honest or dishonest, you do not visibly favor some customers over others!

That's one of the most basic rules of commerce and has nothing to do with morals or economical theories or anything like that. It's just bad for business no matter how you look at it - especially when it's B2B which is what we're talking about here.

If Linden Lab still haven't learned such a fundamental lesson, they and Second Life and Sansar are all in serious trouble.



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Pamela Galli wrote:

Of course they do on an individual, ad hoc basis. But what I do not do is publicize it.

 

 

Exactly. Everybody do it for good or less good reasons of course but it can lead to so many misunderstandings and understandings. Better do it discreetly. And you certainly don't publicize it if those perks are a direct disadvantage to your other customers. In those cases discretion is not enough, you need secrecy.

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Blaze Nielsen wrote:

This is the most outrageous example of Linden Lab helping "select" merchants game the system that I can imagine. Clearly a violation of TOS for marketplace! Gaming the search results to an extent we've never seen before, Shame on you Linden Lab.

 

 

The way I look at it, this is good. It means the TOS doesn't really matter anymore. I can finally have some real fun.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

I have customers that have been buying since 2008 and 2009. Do they get special treatment? Of course they do on an individual, ad hoc basis. But what I do not do is publicize it. I would like to have an event where I say, here is a discount or gift just for long time customers, but then I ask myself if I really want newer customers to feel less valued. I don't want anyone to fell less valued.

ChinRey wrote:


DartAgain wrote:

This one instance isn't going to kill SL or the marketplace.


You're right of course, this won't have any lasting effect as such and as soon as the sale is over, everything will be back to normal.

But the signal effect is immense. Ignoring the very interesting discussions about fairness and economical models for a moment: if you want to run an successful business, honest or dishonest, you do not visibly favor some customers over others!

That's one of the most basic rules of commerce and has nothing to do with morals or economical theories or anything like that. It's just bad for business no matter how you look at it - especially when it's B2B which is what we're talking about here.

If Linden Lab still haven't learned such a fundamental lesson, they and Second Life and Sansar are all in serious trouble.

 

 

 

True, the most important bit is the messaging you send. As an individual merchant you can make those kind of calls. If you wanted to you could even be blunt about it with concepts like customer loyalty points and giving them L$5 toward a discount for every L$100 they spend and no one would get offended.

The scenario is different for the B2B thing. But marketplace I think doesn't view themselves as a B2B service, they act more like a meta-merchant and take too much credit to themselves for being the point of sale to the customers.

I know I keep going historical on some of these posts, but everything has a context with this world of ours.

When SL Marketplace (pre XStreet) was around I reported a few bugs over the course of a few months. Going back over my transactions (and sales history and charts. Yes charts!) I discovered that I had some thousands of extra L$ unaccounted for. Upon digging I found that Apotheus (the owner of the marketplace) paid me for reporting those bugs without ever saying a word. I was suprised and thankful and made sure to tell that old coot as much. Did it bother me that he might or might not do that all the time for everyone? Not a bit.

But independently owned marketplaces (and SL merchants) can do that and not offend to some extent, where LL being the owner of the entire SL world and services can't. unless they paid everyone. And they should know better.

 

 

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire 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.

Wow.. Just.. Really?

When merchants pay LL tens if not hundreds of thousands of $L for advertising and only to have LL turn around and send an advertising email out for free for some merchants, that is a huge slap in the face.

Perhaps you shouldn't comment if you dont' understand simple economics.

How is this different from Wal-Mart or Best Buy offering (and advertising) Samsung televisions in a Black Friday flyer as opposed to Sony or Lucky-Goldstar? Retailers pick who to feature based on the foot traffic they think it will generate. In bricks-and-mortar grocery stores suppliers often have to pay "slotting fees" for their things to be in prime locations or to be carried at all.

 

I may be a bit late to this conversation, but that's not how the sales work at any retail location I have ever worked in. Manufacturers bid for those positions and set the price for Walmart and other retailers. They allow a bit of wiggle room for sales as such, like black friday, door busters, grand openings, etc.. But, Walmart, Best Buy, probably most merchants, don't choose which manufacturers to promote over others for big sales. The manufacturers all have equal chance, hence why you'll often also find other deals on items from less well-known manufacturers, products that might not sell all that great the rest of the year, etc..

If you've never had to speak with manufacturers about this kind of thing, it would make sense that you believe the retailer actually chooses them. It's not true, though. I've had to set up black friday salesand other sales events for a larger retailer before, multiple actually(not singularly, it was a team effort, but I understand the process). We *never* hand picked who to feature based on foot traffic. The foot traffic and overall sales only come into play when deciding *where to display the products(within their own department, or not, depending on retailer). Manufacturers were all sent information on how to "be featured" or take part in, all sales events, all had equal opportunity. Few ever respond or choose to pay the extra to BE featured(it was never a free service) for larger sales, but other sales promotions throughout the year, most respond to at one point or another. At any rate, the opportunity is still always open and available to all, not cherry picked manufacturers or brands. 

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Welcome to the weekly Marketplace staff meeting. 

First on the agenda, how do we increase marketplace purchases to boost income from our 5% cut? Have a big sale! the marketing hipster suggests. But we don’t sell anything :(  No problem, we’ll select a few popular merchants and announce marketplace sales for them. Won't that piss off the other merchants? Naaaa, all merchants will benefit by increased marketplace shopping. So, won’t this shifting purchase pattern mean more merchants getting rid of their inworld stores and reduce rental overall income for the Lab? 

Look, don’t think about the big picture, get with the program, all we care about here in the Marketplace is Marketplace income.

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@Tari: Hey thanks for that info, interesting. I knew it wasn't so free-form with major retailers but that makes more sense.

 


Blaze Nielsen wrote:

Welcome to the weekly Marketplace staff meeting. 

First on the agenda, how do we increase marketplace purchases to boost income from our 5% cut? Have a big sale! the marketing hipster suggests. But we don’t sell anything
:(
  No problem, we’ll select a few popular merchants and announce marketplace sales for them. Won't that piss off the other merchants? Naaaa, all merchants will benefit by increased marketplace shopping. So, won’t this shifting purchase pattern mean more merchants getting rid of their inworld stores and reduce rental overall income for the Lab? 

Look, don’t think about the big picture, get with the program, all we care about here in the Marketplace is Marketplace income.

Heheh. Sounds about right, throw in some breakfast burritos and they're masters of the merchant universe selling others stuff.

Could you imagine if it "was" LL's own products that they were dealing with?

12 Days of LL Savings. Tier reduced 50%! No commission during the holidays! No upload fees in SL and marketplace advertising 40% off.

Umm Hmm.

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Sassy Romano wrote:


 I did see the advert for Blueberry in the other thread, that's nice, since they're one of the select 24 with the Maitreya Lara body creators kits.  A different competitive advantage but nice to be super pimped too by LL.


So THAT's why things fit so perfectly. I am not in the fashing making game so had no clue. Thanks for the insights. There are some "noticably better fitting" garments. Happily these folks also know how to weight properly. My mesh body thanks them. :D

 

Going to continue reading this thread now ----

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One thing that I am surprised at with this thread is that so far nobody has mentioned the great BunnyGate scandal when LL pulled a stunt like this before.

I forget now, was that one of Pink Linden's clangers? 

Refresher:-

https://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussions/Spammed-by-Ozimals-via-a-secondlife-com-email/td-p/393233

http://blog.ozimals.com/2010/10/ozimals-is-delighted-to-announce.html

https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Commerce-Forums-General/Since-when-does-Linden-Lab-promote-brands/td-p/390936

(Not wishing to derail the thread but LL has form in this area)

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Thanks Sassy. No this is by no means the first time they have done something like this, tho I would not have been able to remember who it was they showcased.

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I have been quiet so far! LL like the 'gloss' now days, many years ago LL had a 'Halloween Spotlight' on the MP or it may have been Xstreet then (BTW LL bought SLX and renamed it to Xstreet, then rebuilt it to the current LL MP)

LL sent out emails asking for merchants to submit an item to be considered for their Halloween Spotlight!

I looked at the application form, It had the general things like stating your RL ID etc and stated they waned certain sized photos that had no additional graphics and text etc.

At the time I was working on my Christmas region/shop and thought my time was better spent working on that since i had a few Halloween items that were selling very well on Xstreet/MP at the time one of them being one of the top selling items on the whole of the website (on the first page of best sellers of the whole of the website)!

A week later i received an IM from a Linden saying If i wanted to have my best seller in the Halloween Spotlight with LL I didn't have to fill out the form etc just reply saying 'yes' ^^

I thought about it for 30 seconds and decided no, why should I its selling very well and I am busy working on other things, also it bugged me a bit that LL asked me only because it was one of the top selling items on Xstreet/MP at the time!

So i can see why LL want to be associated with merchants that are high profile but at the same time its very poorly thought out! Its typical LL!

How many of he the chosen have given feedback on the Search Beta? err NON!

Are any Lindens from the Commerce Team gonna comment here i see tumbleweeds!

 

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"Rosedale at one point even partnered with a few people on breedables"

Yes i read years ago on another forum an Ex Linden stated that LL make more from the MP and Breedables than they do from tier

And LL have said time and time again they don't compete with residents!

So they have been lying all along!

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Sassy Romano wrote:

One thing that I am surprised at with this thread is that so far nobody has mentioned the great BunnyGate scandal when LL pulled a stunt like this before.

I forget now, was that one of Pink Linden's clangers? 

Refresher:-

(Not wishing to derail the thread but LL has form in this area)

Bunnygate ... right. That was a piece of work, no one was exempt from that particular push. Other breedable creators were not too happy about that one either, trust me. Our breedable fairies survived that one and Petable turtles who we were working loosely with at the time ... but yes, pitchforks at the ready on that one. We eventually gave up development due to bugs and early mesh/land impact and unreliable HTTP communications. 

I'm not sure if that was a Pink-ism or not.

ETA: Actually the main reason we quit was because LL gave my wife the runaround with upping our cashout limit. When you earn money and LL refuses to let you get at it ... not cool in anyones book.

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Phoebe Avro wrote:

"Rosedale at one point even partnered with a few people on breedables"

Yes i read years ago on another forum an Ex Linden stated that LL make more from the MP and Breedables than they do from tier

And LL have said time and time again they don't compete with residents!

So they have been lying all along!

I think most people don't understand exactly how much monetization there is or exactly how it equates to real money. That's true that land and tier make up only a portion of LL revenue. And then there are Lindens and ex-Lindens with SL businesses, which is something that should never happen. Yes, LL does compete with their own customers in various ways directly or indirectly.

 

 

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