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Marketplace Fraud is Alright


Juliansanderson
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Tamara, inflated listing price is explicitly defined already on the post that you made.

"Inflated listing price, compared to inworld or other e-commerce sites"

I would take that as per merchant, for their own same product.  You can't say a dress by merchant x using template A is L$100 and merchant y using template A is L$10,000 is inflated, different merchant plus this is too specific and assumes that it's the same template item.  For items which are unique there would be no such comparison, thus it has to relate to only that merchants products and where they are sold.

Inworld, other e-commerce sites and MP should be the same price, regardless of the actual price.  Simple being deemed expensive in the opinion of someone looking at it, is absolutely NOT a factor in the question of "is this inflated?", it is merely... expensive at a price that they don't feel like paying.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

So, LL is OK with profiting from fraud? If i buy a $10,000L Horse from the MP (which i did a few years ago) and the box is empty (which it was) and the merchant never responds (which they didn't) and LL takes their 5%(Which I assume they did) how does that not make them an accessory to fraud?

Another example which strictly speaking is a bit off topic for this thread: Failed deliveries are not easy to spot for a merchant. The only message you get aboutt hem are buried in a list of all transcations sorted by date and with onyl ten on each page.

But a few motnhs ago I did happen to spot a failed delivery at my sotre so I contacted the wannabe buyer. Turned out that he ahd been charged, I never received any payment and Linden Lab refused to do anything about it. So essentially LL just took the poor guy's money and delivered nothing. That's petty theft.

The buyer did get the house he wanted btw, I gave him a free copy.

 

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ChinRey wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

So, LL is OK with profiting from fraud? If i buy a $10,000L Horse from the MP (which i did a few years ago) and the box is empty (which it was) and the merchant never responds (which they didn't) and LL takes their 5%(Which I assume they did) how does that not make them an accessory to fraud?

Another example which strictly speaking is a bit off topic for this thread: Failed deliveries are not easy to spot for a merchant. The only message you get aboutt hem are buried in a list of all transcations sorted by date and with onyl ten on each page.

But a few motnhs ago I did happen to spot a failed delivery at my sotre so I contacted the wannabe buyer. Turned out that he ahd been charged, I never received any payment and Linden Lab refused to do anything about it. So essentially LL just took the poor guy's money and delivered nothing. That's petty theft.

The buyer did get the house he wanted btw, I gave him a free copy.

 

It was not a failed delivery. They porposely sold empty breedable boxes to people. I found out later when asking in the horse breedable group that they black listed this merchant for doin this inworld and on the MP. My post was very much on topic for this thread.

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ChinRey wrote:


Sassy Romano wrote:

I still want to know why I had L$27,000,000 taken from me without full explanation.
:)

Were the buyers refunded or did LL keep the money themselves?

No idea but the issue is that it's impossible for a merchant to know if the purchases were with fraudulently obtained funds or not.  There's no follow up and that's an issue.  As far as I was concerned, someone felt like buying 27 x L$1,000,000 poseballs.  

Of course i'm not that naive to believe that there isn't some benevolent person who has nothing better to do than splash the cash but at what point does LL intervene or not and when they do, they should be able to substantiate the reason in full to those affected.

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Having an item cheaper in world carries the benefit of driving traffic to your land and means the shopper is more likely to see your other items so I think its fair to have it cheaper in-world than on the marketplace. And in this case teh merchant even clearly wrote that its cheaper in-world. I think thats fair. 

As for Linden Labs allowing fraudulant transactions and taking a cut, shame on them. They should be reported to local authorities for this. Theyre the ones facilitating the sale. Shame on them. 

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27 people bought a pose ball for 1,000,000L$...? I dont believe that! 

Have I missed something because to me its basically an animated pose ball. Im pretty sure 1,000,0000L$ for a pose ball isnt going to be bought by anyone let alone 27!

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AdamZadig wrote:

27 people bought a pose ball for 1,000,000L$...? I dont believe that! 

 

Have I missed something because to me its basically an animated pose ball. Im pretty sure 1,000,0000L$ for a pose ball isnt going to be bought by anyone let alone 27!

Pretty sure it was one person who bought 27 million Linden balls. Never figured out why anyone might do that.

 

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So someone spent $108000 on a pose ball?

That must have been some kind of error with Linden Labs. I must have miussed something here. Why would anyone spend so much money? You can buy a house in RL for that.

I remember once I withdrew my Lindens (379USD) and they (LL) gave it to me 11 times!

10 times extra by mistake! 

 

 

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Just googled it and despite only looking at the first page of results, im convinced youre right, :) 

 

Whoops! THat was meant for the Linden Labs thread. 

Im going to look at other items now to see what else I can find. 

So im not crazy, the 1,000,000L$ asking price is rediculous right? Im just curious to know if the pose ball does somethign Im not aware of to make it worth that much. 

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AdamZadig wrote:

So im not crazy, the 1,000,000L$ asking price is rediculous right?

Oh, I can tell you that. Sassy was doing an experiment to see if sales price affected search ranking - which it did - and probably as a joke too. I don't think she expected anybody to actually buy it.

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AdamZadig wrote:

Having an item cheaper in world carries the benefit of driving traffic to your land and means the shopper is more likely to see your other items so I think its fair to have it cheaper in-world than on the marketplace. And in this case teh merchant even clearly wrote that its cheaper in-world. I think thats fair.

That's not the point of the inflated price policy. It's meant to be fair against Linden Lab. They provide the web shop with a search engine where we can list our creations, host advertising images, descriptions etc. pp for free. If everybody would point to their in-world store, or even other e-commerce sites, with a lower prices than on the SL MP, they wont get the 5% cut on sales. That whole marketplace would be a losing bargain for them.

So I think it's only fair to not use cheaper prices in-world, especially not with pointing it out in the MP listing, with even a slurl to the item.

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AdamZadig wrote:

So im not crazy, the 1,000,000L$ asking price is rediculous right? Im just curious to know if the pose ball does somethign Im not aware of to make it worth that much. 

It was created by me, what else would justify the price?! :matte-motes-sunglasses-1:

While i've never particularly been fussed over search rankings, there was a time when my best selling item was easily on the first page of results when using the keyword RLV.

Then LL changed the search algorithm and there was a marked change with the first couple of pages listing things almost universally above L$1000 to L$3000.  Then about 10 pages of L$0 and then finally my best selling item.

It was blatantly obvious that search at that time ranked on price and then freebies, that's the only way that I could explain it, it made no other sense, especially as the "high priced" two pages would have netted LL a sensible commission.

Thus was born the L$1,000,000 poseball as an experiment, the keywords chosen were just RLV, pose ball and the wording very carefully chosen along with a corresponding inworld product for equal entertainment, there being no actual requirement to match a MP listing with an inworld one but if they are, they should be the same price per the rules.

Nobody was expected to buy it and but it sat there on MP until one day, I looked at my vending system dashboard first thing in the morning as I always would, before going to work and I was somewhat shocked to see my balance up there in the region of L$26,000,000 (LL having taken it's commission).  However, I first thought the vending system had faulted and logged the sale too many times so I quickly checked with MP log and thought "Errr...".

At that point it was clear that it was the subject of a fraudulent transaction with a likelihood of laundering, I was concerned about a targetted attack on this account so shunted the funds to an alt and went to work.

Upon return from work, no surprise to find that the alt and this account were now suspended on admin hold.  Being known to certain Lindens in the MP team helped a little, Brooke Linden did pop me an email explaining this and although I undertstood the reasons what this actually exposed were a number of system and personnel failures at LL.

 

  1. MP uses an intermediary in the form of Commerce Linden through which all transactions pass.  At THAT POINT there should exist the business logic that validates the transaction and heurisitcs should be incorporated to trap fraud, just as banks have done it here successfully for years.  Brooke acknowledged this and said it would be changed, I don't know if that ever happened.
  2. The innocent recipient (the merchant) of fraudulently obtained funds should not have their account suspended just because someone dumped L$ on them.  This was an inconveniece to the running of my business at the time.
  3. LL took back ALL the funds from my alt, which also happened to be some of MY funds.  Basic assumption and mistake on LL's part.
  4. LL took the funds back but never actually said that these were fraudulent and why.  While I agree it's implausible, it is also possible that someone for whatever reason could have decided to spend their L$ in such a manner. e.g. Lottery winner with absolutely nothing better to do than have a laugh, more amazing things have happened.
  5. LL did not remove the inventory of 27 poseballs from the purchasing account, until I created a support ticket.  Ok at this point, I was being equally beligerant but there was a principle here.  LL had now been complicit in giving someone else 27 of my amazing poseballs while snatching the funds right back from me.
  6. "Best Selling" on MP results is not by quantity but  just L$ raised.
  7. Finally, during the life of the poseball, it has exposed that both MP users and also LL have do not understand their own rules in terms of what "inflated listing price" actually means.

I never did find out if the search was skewed though, I think I bust the price point where the search may have been looking for items with RLV keywords between a range of which I was well beyond.  It did sit at top place in sales though for a day or two (see point 6 above) which clearly indicated that "best selling" actually means "raised most L$" because 27 unit sales would in no way be the best seller in terms of quantity.

That's the story of the L$1,000,000 poseball and in a one day event, it highlighted a bunch of things about MP.  It hasn't been flagged for a while though, maybe people have learned to read the description?

(I did also entertain myself at work that day, working out how long it would take me (with the caps in place) to actually cash that out)

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I thoguht best selling was based on number of unites sold in the past 30 days?

I created a free product, and if you search "CDJ" im pretty sure it still comes out on top. But its only been on the marketplace for about 4 weeks. 

 

 

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I can only give the empircal evidence that existed at the time.  Whether they have since changed it, that's always possible but there's absolutely no way that 27 unit sales would constitute best selling at the time.  Other items will have sold far more in terms of quantity and certainly over a 30 day period.

Is this still the case?  Who knows?!

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arton Rotaru wrote:

That's not the point of the inflated price policy. It's meant to be fair against Linden Lab. They provide the web shop with a search engine where we can list our creations, host advertising images, descriptions etc. pp
for free
. If everybody would point to their in-world store, or even other e-commerce sites, with a lower prices than on the SL MP, they wont get the
5% cut on sales
. That whole marketplace would be a losing bargain for them.

So I think it's only fair to
not
use cheaper prices in-world, especially not with pointing it out in the MP listing, with even a slurl to the item.

They don't provide the service for free, they charge it with the 5% of each sale we have. 

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:

I never did find out if the search was skewed though, I think I bust the price point...

Price was still a significant search ranking factor half a year ago when somebody who shall remain unnamed posted a fairly detailed description how the search ranking worked here on this forum. I didn't even know about Sassy's poseball at that time and was using much more recent info from a different source for that post.

With hindisght that post may have been a mistake but fotunately, by sheer coincidence LL announced shortly afterwards that they were working on a brand new ranking algorithm and although they are still working on it, there are indications they have already implemented a few changes.

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Tamara Artis wrote:

They don't provide the service for free, they charge it with the 5% of each sale we have. 

Have you even read what I wrote?

If you use inflated prices on the MP,  you encourage people to buy your stuff elsewhere, where LL doesn't get the 5% cut.

So you are using the MP as an advertising platform for free, because there is no listing fee.

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AdamZadig wrote:

I thoguht best selling was based on number of unites sold in the past 30 days?

 

The search ranking they used until recently was based on two factors, sales figures and customer ratings.

Sales figures were weighed against time (the more recent a sale the more it counted) and price (the higher the more a sale counted). It wasn't a set cutoff time though but a gradual decrease in significance as a sale got older. And the price weighing wasn't just a question of how much money the item had brought in, freebies still added "ranking points" and two 50 L$ sales counted for more than one 100 L$ sale.

Ranking points for ratings were simply calculated according to how many four and five star ratings the listing had accumulated over time.

Listings with the same number of "ranking points" were listed chronologically with the oldest first.

Fairly simple and child's play to manipulate for anybody with a little bit of search engine optimisation experience.

Last autumn somebody was foolish enough to post the complete recipe here and shortly afterwards LL launched a disastrously rushed attempt at a more sophisticated algorithm. They've been struggling ever since to get that new search into shape but although they've made considerable progress, it's still very much in beta.

I think they have made some minor changes as a stopgap solution though. Customer ratings don't seem to count nearly as much as they sued to and they seem to be timed the same way sales figures are now. There may well have been other tweaks too.

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