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Juliansanderson

Marketplace Fraud is Alright

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Tamara Artis wrote:

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. 

 

Hello Tamara,

The Marketplace Fee is %5 for sales over L10, with a minimum fee of 1L.

When the Marketplace was first created by Apotheus back when it was SLExchange, the system charged a fee to help him cover the cost of the Marketplace and Forums on the site. 

When Linden Lab acquired the Marketplace in 2009, the fee remained, although there were various discussions on whether or not to change it to something like a flat monthly rate based on the number of listings a merchant has, and there was even a discussion around charging user to list free items.

In the end, the decision was made to keep the %5 fee for products over L10.

Just as with any other fees that are paid, both in the Second Life world and in the real world, these fees help "keep the lights on".

Starbucks, Kmart, Sears, Pier 1, and any, and every, other store pays fees.  They pay rent to the owners of the building, or if they themselves own the land and building, they pay taxes to the city they are in.

This does not make the city, or the land-owner, a party to anything that the business sells.

Linden Lab provides Second Life, and the Second Life Marketplace as a service to the users.  Use of the service is outlined in the Terms of Service, and the related policies that are publically posted and available to all users.

The users themselves, however, are solely responsible for what they do within the service.  This includes any items that they create, or sell to others.

If a purchase is made from another Second Life user, only the user who sold the item can address any issues that the buyer has with that item.

If you purchase an item from Macy's at your local shopping mall, and there is an issue, the owner of the Mall where the store is located will be unable to help you, even though Macy's pays rent to the Mall owner.

 

 

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Hello Dakota, 

I don't know what to say. I have reported the item few weeks ago so I am not able to do it again. I have said it in my first post and included a screenshot to show it. 

After the item was reported I hoped the merchant will change the price or the wording. Nothing happened, no change. 

 

I am now sorry that I tried to ask, because only answer I got from you was that my post wasn't even read.

Have a nice day.

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Hi Dakota, it has been a long time, trust you're doing well?

For me, the issue is the inconsistency from LL.  Take Tamara's example, flagged, already flagged, nothing done yet the listing cited was in clear violation of the rules.

Then there was my L$1,000,000 poseball, compliant in every respect yet delisted by LL erroneously, more than once!

Then also throw in the other actions that occurred around that product which are described in this thread but lets not go back over that, it's not appropriate.

I'm sure that the number of flagged items is huge and takes time to get through but when one does come across a listing which is in clear violation, attempts to flag it yet sees it up there for an extended period, in that already flagged state, one loses hope and confidence in the process.

Where LL throws its hands up and says "don't contact us" around the listings which appear fraudulent, that's when it grates, you have to understand that but then when the fraud affects LL, the lab is on it like a rat up a drainpipe.  Example, my poseball incident. 

Anyway, I know you're on the right side and are one of the few staff who (is allowed to?) post here and any comment from a staff member is appreciated.  Pity there's not more.

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AdamZadig wrote:

So why do you charge 1,000,000L$ for a pose? Im so curious about this. 

Well to be pedantic, I don't charge L$1,000,000 for a pose.  I offer under invitation to treat, in return for valuable consideration, a product as listed on MP in accordance with all the MP terms ;)

The long answer I already explained this in the post a few before your question.

Here to be exact https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Merchants/Marketplace-Fraud-is-Alright/m-p/3038426#M56024

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Sassy Romano wrote:

I'm sure that the number of flagged items is huge and takes time to get through but when one does come across a listing which is in clear violation, attempts to flag it yet sees it up there for an extended period, in that already flagged state, one loses hope and confidence in the process.

That's a crucial point of course.

Earlier this year there was quite a stir when a number of well known merchant were suddenly banned from Second Life. Eventually it turned out the reason was that they had posted images of people having sex with animals on some of their MP listings. Those pictures had been there for years before LL noticed and when they eventually found out, they went full tilt and banned the merchants. When asked about it, Ebbe Linden said that the fact that something had gone under LL's radar for a long time didn't mean it was ok. Fair enough but it's not ok that such things go under the radar at all! When the s''t eventually hit the fan, LL overreacted. I suppose they felt they had to to state an example but it had some very negative effects: people got mad at LL because they never learned why those merchants were banned, people got mad because they felt the merchants were to harshly treated, people got mad because LL had let this go on for so long... This whole mess seriously hurt Second Life's and Linden Lab's reputation and the ultimate reason why it went so bad was the lack of efficient policing of the Marketplace.

Let me do a thought experiment here: Let's say a large group of residents finally get so tired of it all they get together and flag all the dubious looking listings on MP. Let's say they flag 1 million listings. Linden Lab of course wants to do a proper job so they investigate each and every one of them properly. On average they spend ten minutes reviewing a flagged listing. Does that sound about right? If it does, one person would have to work 24/7/365 for 20 years to check them all.

There have to be better ways to do this, Dakota, and there are and you better find them because right now the system simply doesn't work.

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ChinRey wrote:

On average they spend ten minutes reviewing a flagged listing. Does that sound about right?

 

No, that's not even remotely right, nor does it even sound remotely right. It wouldn't take anywhere near ten minutes, likely not even five, to check a listing for violation, and quickly disable it. In many cases, it's near instant when you read a listing, and the flag one uses to report a listing can help tremendously reduce the overall time.

Not that moderating MP is an easy job, or that it should be, of course, but come on now. Ten minutes is a ridiculously long period of time. It's not hard to have a checklist of things that violate the mp, check a listing for those things, and boom, remove, or not remove. The system automatically tells a merchant if a listing has been removed, via a message on-screen when they go to their merchant page, the system also sends a message(though, truth be told, I wouldn't put much faith in a message being sent via email, we all know LL is hardly reliable in that front).

Maintaining MP is hard work, of course, but it doesn't *have* to be this damn hard. Moderating listings wouldn't be that difficult either. They could easily have the manpower, and we know they already have the funds(if more payment would be necessary, although I honestly doubt it would, if they knew how to properly spread out the work force, which they clearly do not, lol)

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Tari Landar wrote: Not that moderating MP is an easy job, or that it should be, of course, but come on now. Ten minutes is a ridiculously long period of time. It's not hard to have a checklist of things that violate the mp, check a listing for those things, and boom, remove, or not remove.

Yes but that's my whole point, they don't seem to have those routines in place.

Keyword spamming? Which keyword? The flag report doesn't say so you'll have to check each and every keyword in the listing to see if you can spot it.

Inflated Listing Price? Where inworld is it for sale cheaper? Wouldn't it be nice if the person flagging the item could include the SLURL?

And so on.

 

(Edit: Adam, if you happen to read this, these are examples of the "low hanging fruits" Pamela and Sassy were talking about: very simple changes that would improve the quality of MP and also make the Commerce Team's job easier.)

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Perhaps vet and recruit some Moles to look after this on a mostly volunteer basis? Must set some ground rules of impartiality of course

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 From what you're saying, I could sell an item creatd by another designer and Linden Lab wouldnt take it down?

you just facilitate the ability to sell, so you wouldnt mind if I sell an item by ABISS, and I call it "THIS IS AN ABISS ITEM" and i sell it for half the price of ABISS. And i use a logo by ABISS which is not copyrighted. Thats all ok?

 

 

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AdamZadig wrote:

 From what you're saying, I could sell an item creatd by another designer and Linden Lab wouldnt take it down?

 

you just facilitate the ability to sell, so you wouldnt mind if I sell an item by ABISS, and I call it "THIS IS AN ABISS ITEM" and i sell it for half the price of ABISS. And i use a logo by ABISS which is not copyrighted. Thats all ok?

It's not ok of course. Question is, will you get caught or will you manage to hide among all the other shady listings on MP?

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We had a really good chat about this in world so for anyone else reading this, the concern I had was that Linden Lab accoring to Dakota's response appears to not get involved with marketplace dealings meaning that people could scam and cheat on the marketplace and linden lab wont do anything about it. 

Thats the impression i got from Dakota's response which was initlaly really shocking to me. 

But as we discussed, second life is built by the users and we all have a responsibility to know what we're selling and buying. 

Check everything, in world store, reviews, demo's, groups, blogs. If a merchant doesnt have any of those, there is a risk youre not going to get what you expect. 

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AdamZadig wrote:

We had a really good chat about this in world so for anyone else reading this, the concern I had was that Linden Lab accoring to Dakota's response appears to not get involved with marketplace dealings meaning that people could scam and cheat on the marketplace and linden lab wont do anything about it. 

 

Thats the impression i got from Dakota's response which was initlaly really shocking to me. 

 

But as we discussed, second life is built by the users and we all have a responsibility to know what we're selling and buying. 

 

Check everything, in world store, reviews, demo's, groups, blogs. If a merchant doesnt have any of those, there is a risk youre not going to get what you expect. 

Yes, everyone is well advised to double check these things and a number of others* when spending a lot. The OP called it blaming the victim but it is just reality. The good news is that while you will most likely get burned once or twice**, you can pretty much avoid it by heeding the advice. 

* such as whether or not the things all look like they were made by the same person, whether the prices seem about right for the work involved, whether there is obvious infringing content, etc. 

** people who come here terribly upset over being scammed don't understand how common if not frequent an experience it is, and often it's over something like a dollar. 

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So if Linden Labs hired 50 more policemen to police the joint much better at $30,000 salaries, that would only cost us 1.5 million additional dollars yearly. I think that could be a very doable investment, and would pay for itself, (and probably alot more), with more happy consumers in SL spending more money.

Of course since LL is not interested in making more money.... :matte-motes-crying:

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I believe LL has all but abandoned any policing of marketplace content, most likely due to rampant corruption of all sorts, the complaints probably outweight the manpower able to deal with them.

 

My biggest gripe right now is keyword spam. Many are using keywords they should not for many products, and are severely muddying up the search results because of it.

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Can't always just assume someone that doesn't have an inworld store is likely fraud. I know many many sellers that do not have an inworld store anymore and are great creators, not fraud.

 

You miss out if you assume everyone has an inworld store.. not everyone wants to manage both lol 

I've yet to run into this issue of an empty box, but can imagine it could happen.

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