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Marketplace flagging system is being abuse to remove competition

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souljah Lefevre wrote:

The issue isnt individual products as you seem to be making out the issue is the flagging system being abused.

Now that we have raised this as a legitimate major issue you have deigned to take a look and respond that you will be more vigilant with thousands of objects than you are in answering people with recurring issues.

Some creators are having their objects flagged saying they arent the same as description when the object hasnt even been bought so this is about your flagging system not our individual objects please adress that side of the issue ie the random flagging issue.

 

Hi Souljah,

I think there is confusion with the option for the flagging system.  If a product is flagged for "Not being as advertised" one of the options under that header is Incorrect Category.

If a seller places an item into, as an example, the Apparel category (Top Level/Root), they they are stating that their product is everything that is covered in the Sub-Categories.

If the product is a pair of shorts, clearly it isn't Women's Boots, yet by placing the product into the Top Level Apparel category and completely disregarding the sub-categories they are misrepresenting their items. So yes, that product would be considered "Not as Advertised".

Same as if a seller places a pair of boots into the Creators Tools Sculpted Prims category. While their boots "may" be sculpted, unless their product is specifically designed for other creators to use to create their own boots, then the seller who places the product into that category is lying about their item, since clearly their item is NOT a sculpted product that others can use to create an item, and instead should be in one of the appropriate footwear categories.

Again, that item would be "not as advertised" since clearly they are advertising the product as a creators tool when they place their product into that category.

Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

 

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Anyone who knows me knows that I have no time at all for Linden Lab - none whatsoever - but I have to say again that I honestly can't see a problem with the flagging system. An item isn't automatically delisted and, if the reason for flagging it is incorrect, then nothing will change. That's the system. I do know that we people don't like faults found with us and flagging an item is finding a fault - we put it the wrong place or some other thing. But we sometimes do get it wrong, intentionally or unintentionally, and the flagging system is excellent for putting things right. However...

I can imagine that the LL people who deal with flags will do the same as the AR team, who often don't even examine the facts of an AR, even when the facts are in plain sight, but, to save time, they accept the AR as being true and blindly issue penalties or decisions accordingly. I've had that happen to me. An appeal upheld the decision and it wasn't until I contacted the AR team's boss that truth prevailed and the decision was overturned. Neither the Linden who made the decisions, nor the one who looked at the appeal, bothered to take one minute to actually look at the facts. Their boss did and the decision was overturned. It's the way that LL works, and I can see it happening with the flagging system. The flagging system is excellent but I have serious doubts about it in practise, simply because it's LL.

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Dakota Linden wrote:

 

I think there is confusion with the option for the flagging system.  If a product is flagged for "Not being as advertised" one of the options under that header is Incorrect Category.

If a seller places an item into, as an example, the Apparel category (Top Level/Root), they they are stating that their product is everything that is covered in the Sub-Categories.

If the product is a pair of shorts, clearly it isn't Women's Boots, yet by placing the product into the Top Level Apparel category and completely disregarding the sub-categories they are misrepresenting their items. So yes, that product would be considered "Not as Advertised".

 

Thank you Dakota, people have long wondered why items that haven't been purchased end up being flagged as being not as advertised, thank you for giving a good example of why that can happen.

 

 

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

@Phil - At least with an AR they take the time to email you.

That's true. There is no excuse at all for taking money to list an item and then unlisting it without informing the customer. But it's LL and LL is very good at doing wrong things to customers.

 

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I've just had a look at the marketplace and I'd like to ask a question:-

I selected the Home and Garden category, under which are categories such as Furniture. Tthe Furniture category also has sub-categories such as Living Room Furniture. The top level category, Home and Garden, has 224884 matching items and the matching items numbers decrease as you move down the category levels. I assume that those "matching items" numbers in the main area (not the sidebar) are just bad design and that they don't reflect the number of items that are listed in the displayed categories. E.g. I assume that there are not 224884 items listed in the Home and Garden level category, but there is a total of 224884 items listed in that catgeory AND  all the categories below it.

When I look in the Home and Garden level, I see a very large number of items listed that belong in lower level categories (I don't mean the Featured Items). For instance, there are two beds on the first page, plus several items of seating, all of which belong in categories below the Home and Garden one. And there are pages and pages and pages of them. I would say that none of them belong in the Home and Garden category according to Dakota's posts in this thread, and that all of them are guilty of not being as advertised.

Now the question. Have I understood those listings correctly or does the marketplace show some listings from categories below when there are none in the category itself?

If all those listings have been placed IN those categories, then the marketplace is in a hell of a mess and I couldn't criticise anyone for placing their stuff much higher up the category tree than it belongs, although, if I were shopping there, I'd drill down the sidebar categories to the things I'm looking for, such as Living Room Furniture or Bathroom Furniture, so the design of the marketplace doesn't really suit placing stuff in higher levels, unless it's displayed on the first page.

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@Phil - My understanding is that when they migrated items from XStreet to the Marketplace, they basically did a one-for-one copy. Thus if a product was in a top-level category on XStreet, it landed in a top-level category in Marketplace. They could have simply delisted those items at that time, but instead they chose to put them in the wrong place. Well .. at least now they claim it's the wrong place. A lot of people figured that if LL put it there then it must be okay.

The numbers you are seeing represent the total items in that category and all sub-categories. If you add the number of items in all the sub-categories then subtract that sum from the category total, that tells you how many items are in the root category.

I do not know of a root category that is devoid of items, so I do not know how they handle the display when they encounter a root category with no items listed in it. My expectation is they would only show the enhancements placed at that level. But .. *shrug*

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Yes, I realised that the "matching items" numbers in the main area (not in the sidebar) is a piece of bad design - wrong numbers for the category being displayed.

So it was LL who created the marketplace in a "hell of a mess" condition when they migrated stuff from xsl. It's just too shoddy for words. But it's Linden Lab so it's only to be expected.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Yes, I realised that the "matching items" numbers in the main area (not in the sidebar) is a piece of bad design - wrong numbers for the category being displayed.

So it was LL who created the marketplace in a "hell of a mess" condition when they migrated stuff from xsl. It's just too shoddy for words. But it's Linden Lab so it's only to be expected.

 

I'm gonna toss the original Marketplace Devs a bone here .. just cuz I had a good dinner and I'm in a good mood.

The "hell of a mess" state was precipitated by one very crucial factor .. the Devs were given a time schedule that was inflexible, idiotically short, and with no concern for what could actually be done (or should be done) prior to making that schedule.

Granted, it was and still is a half-assed design, leaving most of the intelligence and experience of XStreet (and quite a few other e-commerce sites they claimed to have studied) out, but there was no lack of feedback, dire warnings and panicked shouts from the Merchant Community et al to wise them up.

Somewhere in the chain of command and the process of implementation, the true purpose got lost and the only goal they served was that dictated by the calendar. I may be an old fuddy-duddy sometimes, and a nay-sayer a lot too. But I've never met a calendar that could write a complex system ... and Marketplace just adds another checkmark in the "True Dat!" column.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Yes, I realized that the "matching items" numbers in the main area (not in the sidebar) is a piece of bad design - wrong numbers for the category being displayed.

 

Hi Phil!

The "Home & Garden" is a legitimate category on the Marketplace, so the numbers that are displayed (depending upon your set Maturity Rating) show the number of all of the products that are under the Home & Garden category.

Each Sub Category then has its number displayed.

In my case I show the following on the Home & Garden page:

 

208922 matching items found.

You may be able to see more items if you increase your chosen maturity level and search again.

The number isn't wrong because all sub-category items will be displayed when anyone browses through the Top Level Home & Garden category.

Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

 

 

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Hi Dakota.

Yes, I know that "Home & Garden" is a legitimate category. Being a top level cat doesn't mean that it isn't a category.

The matching items numbers displayed in the main area (not the sidebar) are mostly wrong though - bad design. When a category is displayed in the main area, the "matching items" number should be the number of matching items in the category that's being displayed, and not the number in that category plus all the categories below it. The way that it's been designed, the only categories that display the right numbers are bottom level ones. Apart from bottom level cats, wrong information is provided because there aren't that number of items in the category being displayed.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Hi Dakota.

Yes, I know that "Home & Garden" is a legitimate category. Being a top level cat doesn't mean that it isn't a category.

The matching items numbers displayed in the main area (not the sidebar) are mostly wrong though - bad design. When a category is displayed in the main area, the "matching items" number should be the number of matching items in the category that's being displayed, and not the number in that category plus all the categories below it. The way that it's been designed, the only categories that display the right numbers are bottom level ones. Apart from bottom level cats, wrong information is provided because there aren't that number of items in the category being displayed.

 

Hi Phil,

Since no products are supposed to be placed into Top Level categories, then by your calculation, the only numbers that should be displayed for the Top Level category are for those products that are in violation of the Listing Guidelines?

And keep in mind that when you browse the Home & Garden top level category you see all of the products that in each of the sub-categories.

So by your calculation the Marketplace should only show report the number of products that are in violation of the Listing Guidelines, but at the same time show all of the 20K+ products that are there?

Wouldn't you think that the Marketplace was run by a bunch of idiots if the Home & Garden category said it only had 75 products in it, but you can clearly see that there are more than 20K+?

Or what happens when there are no products placed into the Top Level Home & Garden category so the number shows ZERO, as it would under the way you believe it should work and all products in that area are in compliance with the rules?

Why would you want to go to the Home & Garden top level category and be told that there are zero product listings in that section, especially when you can see that there are in fact products there?

If you really believe that the cartegories should only report actually products that are in that category, and not in the sub-categories, then all of the Top Level Categories would report that there are ZERO products in those areas, assuming that all merchants are actually following the rules in the Listing Guidelines.

Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

 

 

 

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Dakota Linden wrote:

Hi Phil,

Since no products are supposed to be placed into Top Level categories, then by your calculation, the only numbers that should be displayed for the Top Level category are for those products that are in violation of the Listing Guidelines?

And keep in mind that when you browse the Home & Garden top level category you see all of the products that in each of the sub-categories.

So by your calculation the Marketplace should only show report the number of products that are in violation of the Listing Guidelines, but at the same time show all of the 20K+ products that are there?

Wouldn't you think that the Marketplace was run by a bunch of idiots if the Home & Garden category said it only had 75 products in it, but you can clearly see that there are more than 20K+?

Or what happens when there are no products placed into the Top Level Home & Garden category so the number shows ZERO, as it would under the way you believe it should work and all products in that area are in compliance with the rules?

Why would you want to go to the Home & Garden top level category and be told that there are zero product listings in that section, especially when you can see that there are in fact products there?

If you really believe that the cartegories should only report actually products that are in that category, and not in the sub-categories, then all of the Top Level Categories would report that there are ZERO products in those areas, assuming that all merchants are actually following the rules in the Listing Guidelines.

Regards,


Dakota Linden

--

Linden Lab

SL Marketplace Customer Support


 

 

Hi Dakota. If there are not supposed to be any products in a category that has sub-categories, I would think it would not show any number at all. If there are products there, shouldn't the Commerce Team just go thru and delist them all?

If however there are exceptions and sometimes products can be in a category with sub-categories then perhaps it would make more sense to display a "Local Count" that shows how many are in the category itself ... and a "Total Count" that adds the Local Count and the Local Counts of every sub-category.

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Hi Dakota.

The marketplace is designed as a directory - with a directory catgegories structure. The 'standard' way of showing the number of items in the main area (not the sidebar) correctly is to show the correct number of items in the category that's being displayed. The way that the marketplace does is to provide incorrect information for all but the lowest level categories. The fact that LL placed a lot of items in the top level categories during the switchover is irrelevant. If the number isn't the actual number of items in the catgeory being displayed, then it's wrong.

One way of doing what you want, and be accurate as well, is to also show the categories below the one being displayed, together with their numbers. Have a look at the  DMOZ directory - http://www.dmoz.org/. If you haven't heard of it, it's the biggest there is by a long way. It's not pretty but it's huge. They do what you do - put the numbers including sub-catgeories against the categories. But it's obvious where the items are so it's not wrong information.

Another, much simpler, way is to add some brief text along with the number, stating that the number displayed is the total if this category and those below it.

As it is now, those numbers are wrong - they give wrong information.

 

"Wouldn't you think that the Marketplace was run by a bunch of idiots if the Home & Garden category said it only had 75 products in it, but you can clearly see that there are more than 20K+?"

Thare are *not* more than 20k items in the Home & Garden category, and that's the point. (There are a lot more than there should be because LL put them there themselves). My opinion of those who run the marketplace is irrelevent, but I would certainly have an opinion if the Home & Garden category *has* only 75 items in it, and yet the number says it has a lot more. And that's the way it is at the moment. I'm sorry, Dakota, but it's a piece of bad design.

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Hi Phil,

The way Dmoz shows the numbers is very similar to the way the Marketplace shows them. Just in a slightly different way.

When you view the main Home & Garden Top Level Category, you can see the number at the top for the total amount of products that are listed.

The sidebar then shows the total number of items in each sub-category.

The big difference is that on Dmoz you have extra clicks to actually see all of the listings and on the Marketplace, they are shown by default.

Again, the numbers are reported correctly. You are just not used to seeing them that way because you are basing your views of how things "should" look based on someone elses design structure.

If you believe that the way the numbers are shown on the Marketplace web site should be changed then you should submit a Jira Ticket and it will be reviewed by the Dev Team to see if they believe that the design system should be changed and if they agree, it will be set up to be implemented in a future update to the web site.

Regards,

Dakota Linden
--
Linden Lab
SL Marketplace Customer Support
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/
http://www.secondlife.com

 

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No, Dakota. The marketplace's display of the number of matches in the displayed category is nothing like the DMOZ displays. Remember, I am not talking about the sidebar - I keep stating "not the sidebar".

Contrary to what you say, when you view the main Home & Garden Top Level Category, you cannot see the number at the top for the total amount of products that are listed in the displayed category. Instead, the number displayed is the total for that category AND the sub-categories below it, as you well know, and yet is sits up there pretending to be the number for the category on display. The Home & Garden category is not any of the ctageories below it. It is the Home & Garden category. Except for the lowest level cats, all the sub-categories below it have the same fault - they all report the wrong numbers. It's just a piece of bad design. DMOZ is nothing like it - DMOZ displays the correct numbers (except their displayed number of editors, which has been totally wrong for a very long time, but that's different).

If the bad design actually bothered me, I might well create a jira for it, but I've never used the marketplace for buying or selling, and I never will, so it doesn't bother me at all. Besides, the staff's efforts would be far better spent in fixing the non-deliveries that I read about so much than in even looking at a jira.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

If the bad design actually bothered me, I might well create a jira for it, but I've never used the marketplace for buying or selling, and I never will, so it doesn't bother me at all. Besides, the staff's efforts would be far better spent in fixing the non-deliveries that I read about so much than in even looking at a jira.

I think it's pretty intuitive as-is, and not unlike many other shopping carts that tally up the grand total at the level you're currently viewing. Pretty easy to see what's going when you add up those numbers, if in doubt.

Might want to preface this last bit in your posts that you're uninterested, unaffected, don't use it, just waiting for your inworld store to die before you bail and going by what you hear from others. Spare some people a few brain cells and time?

Assuming you don't really care about the delivery issues personally either, but the fix for that is also underway in the form of AIS delivery (to be renamed in the future), which addresses the root problem, in that scripted inworld objects aren't the best delivery mechanism in the world, compared to direct asset writes. That happens to be very good thinking, design-wise, eliminating the bits that aren't necessary when it's not a 3rd party system. This is something that's been getting worked on for a while now, and due to be rolled out as an option at first for people that want to try it out and compare it to the existing delivery system. The people that do test this system will be able to share their firsthand knowledge of that system when there are actual facts and experiences to report on.

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@Mr. Shepherd:

I will agree that the promise of AIS is .. well .. promising. I just really hope they don't turn it into a tightly closed locked-off system with no possibility of extending, expanding and utilizing. There are many 3rd party solutions available now for the Magic Boxes that let Merchants capture sales, record transactions, auto-register customers, etc. By them moving everything "inside the walls" .. I am very fearful we will get a solid chunk of rock that is too small, too limited and too restrictive to be of benefit. (Very much like the SLM has become.)

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@Darrius:

Sorry, I can't spend my time fretting about what's going to go wrong tomorrow.

We wouldn't have an SL or any other technology of note if we did that. It's a delivery system, not a nuclear reactor. It seems to be a natural progression from 3rd party to an integrated LL property.

If you're worried about losing ANS type functionality then maybe bring that up in the User Group meeting or a Jira or something, or perhaps you'll get an answer about that here. I don't have those answers.

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Hey guys. I just received a notice to day that my listing for a tongue stud piercing was flagged as spam. I have no idea how an item can be flagged as spam. I mean the item description contained everything that was necessary in order to manage and adjust the piercing. What shocks me is that LL flagged my listing as spam yet they seem to do nothing about the obvious spam and hacking done on sl inworld. All I can say is "WTF???!!!!". How can an item be flagged as spam??? Seriously??? Maybe it was some jealous jerk who was pissed that I was able to actually have a piercing for the tongue since I don't see many tongue piercings listed on the marketplace idk.  I know this is abuse of flagging because none of my items are spam! X-(

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Hi. i want to ask about unlisting Marketplace items due to item or keyword spam.


Guidelines are quite short: Keyword spam is the use of words (such as brand names, item names, or other terms) that have nothing to do with the item listed so that the listing will appear in search results.

I understand (and i hope everyone does), there could be thight keyword associations (lets say, dress is long and silver), unrelated associations (shoes don't relate to dress), and loose associations (particular dress can be used in various circumstances and for various purposes).

 

My question is about loose associations. Can someone at Linden Lab give more exact guidelines on loose associations, including examples (based on flagging team everyday decisions) of what is allowed and what is not? If guidelines and examples can not be given, then how can anyone decide on keywords, when even search context (search phrase that related to problem) isn't known.

 

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Edit: Without naming the name of the merchant, this post showed an example of a product with unrelated keyword that screw up the search result on the marketplace, which is a reason for flagging.

 
On request of the merchant I deleted this example.
 

 

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Well, i didn't expected nor wanted anyone to pull my listing keywords and publicly discuss it here... Besides, how did you pull it out? I cant see keywords on Marketplace page and even in page source... I only see it while editing the listing.

 

Better, please could you remove this complete list from the discussion.

 

In fact, these keywords of course are not ideal and have to be corrected, that is why i posted this general question.

 

To answer to your question, for example, someone might search for naked body firework performance, or medieval firework performance, girl firework performance, and so on. And i would like my items be searchable with these phrases, anything wrong with that? This is loose association.

I did small research, and discover, lets say, when you search for single word "gor" (you want all related to this alternative medieval fantasy world), you see all top of listing full of Xcite items. Can these items be used in gor sims? Yes. Are these items specially designed to be used for gor sims (unique gor style, features). No. This is an example of loose association too.

That is what my question about.

 

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and these "loose associations" are why when I (or anyone else) go searching for stuff on the mp the returns are full of crap.  I really need to get that plugin.

If I find something that comes up like that, no matter how much I like it I make a note to avoid that store in future as I don't agree with gaming.  Interestingly these days I've also noticed than when I shop inworld if I see *ahem* instore models that aren't identified as bots I won't buy anything either.  I reason it can't be that good if the owner has to game the system.


I need to get my hands on that plugin again Madeliefste but I can't remember where it came from.  Do you remember?

 

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