Charlotte Bartlett

Vendor failures

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

Recently this evening my customers were impacted by an outage on a vendor service I use for delivery, I am not hugely technical but the website showed server overload issue error messages.      The inworld vendors then went down, and some customers  ended up paying multiple times for items (the duplicative control for copy items failed to kick in), for all nothing was delivered, redelivery went down too etc.  I got woken up by a slew of customer IMs asking for help.

It got me to realise how reliant I am on vendors to (a) track and deliver sales (b) manage redeliveries (c) give customers the products they purchase in a timely fashion etc.

I love the vendor service I use and their support is great, but I wonder do any of you have back up plans for outages?    I don't know what my plan b is - tonight has been bad for customers, but also for creators who are now having to wade through refunds, manual deliveries, and try and reassure customers we weren't stealing their lindens.       I don't really know of any other option e.g. using two different vendor systems (would be horrific) or having manual purchase options next to scripted ones (would be confusing for all concerned).   I normally would brush it off but this is the second time I have had issues, so am starting to think I need at least some of back up plan for especially on event days where there is a higher volume/impact.   I can't imagine going back to "LL" sales.   O.o

 

 

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
typo

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*waves* Landlord here. I too woke up to a load of messages from tenants due to making payments to the rental boxes and the tine not being added once again. A few even calling me a rip off. I started to think like you but I dont think there can really be a plan B. Everything requires setup and configuration which requires lots of time. *sigh*. Looking forward to others responses.

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Not happy here either.  I imed the CasperTech Social group (you can't join the support group and it doesn't look like there's any way to join it) and someone responded with this link from Facebook on CasperTech's page:

Also, I noticed Casper himself hasn't logged in in three days.

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There is one other well known vendor system in SL. I've noticed alot of reputable merchants using it. Unfortunately for me they don't offer a rental system. So you may have another option to try @Charlotte Bartlett. You can also think about hiring a custom scriptor that can create your very own vending system maybe one that doesn't rely on external servers. 

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I think that's where my concern lies, what if the service....just stopped.  e.g. the owner left SL etc.  I don't want to over-react (e.g. I can live with something being down less than a day, but beyond that it starts to get into more serious impacts - particularly if this timed with an event open for example e.g. C88 when all the vendors get hit hard). but at the same time my customers are getting the brunt of something outside my control and that's my main concern.

I am pretty clueless on vendors so perhaps a custom method is a plan to look at (though my head hurts to even think about a migration and cost involved).   This is where again I wish LL were a little strategic with what services they purchased / supported directly.

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3 hours ago, Lisa006 Baxton said:

There is one other well known vendor system in SL. I've noticed alot of reputable merchants using it. Unfortunately for me they don't offer a rental system. So you may have another option to try @Charlotte Bartlett. You can also think about hiring a custom scriptor that can create your very own vending system maybe one that doesn't rely on external servers. 

When I was weighing what vendor system to go with when upgrading from basic box sales, the reputation of both spoke for themselves. 

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The vendor system I was thinking about is called EZ, I think. I see a lot of those vendors at the many events that are happening around SL. 

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Posted (edited)

Caspervend etc does not go down often, they had a major problem the other week because they were getting a sustained ddos attack and had to take steps to stop it, that took some days and i do believe there was another problem the other day. If your using their products then do join the group and make sure you update the vendors / rental units etc as recommended.

Edited by Phoebe Avro
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3 hours ago, Lisa006 Baxton said:

The vendor system I was thinking about is called EZ, I think. I see a lot of those vendors at the many events that are happening around SL. 

E2V

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More issues with CasperTech tonight... "Good morning. We're currently experiencing further issues. We are looking into it. Please DO NOT hammer the website or inworld vendors. We don't need everyone to test their stuff and report back. Just be patient and wait for us to diagnose."

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Updated information here: https://wiki.casperdns.com/index.php/Outages Unlike other vendor systems, Casper are open about the outages. I tried a few over the years and this is the best vendor system I encountered.

The statistic and sales information (place, lindens, amounts etc.) are great features for any merchant plus the option to include both inworld and marketplace sales.

Outages will happen to any vendor system, the difference is how they openly share the information about the issues.

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On 16. 03. 2017. at 5:50 PM, Marianne McCann said:

E2V

I use this one and can say everything best about the service and specially the owner who meets you in-world for the purchase, answers every possible question you might have and, after the purchase has been made, is available either on email or in-world, every question I had was answered quickly and in detail. For real, its rare that I see this kind of customer service. I hadn't speak with him for a while now because the system works great lol

 

And now I would like to reply to the topic in general... We can never be sure when relying on digital services. It is the risk we take, maybe we can see which vendor systems are less attacked and have less issues but I think, in general, there can't be just one that is superawesome and others are much worse, they are all somewhere at the same level. 

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Thanks all.  The outages updates weren't up when I looked, and they are written really well.  That gives me a level of comfort.  It still doesn't remove the risk the service may stop without notice but I am going to start looking at a custom back up plan albeit the minute I start thinking about vendor migration I glaze over!

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Although I have paid for two copies of CasperVend (for two different alts) I've found that I don't actually use it very much. A simple scriptless vendor is just so much faster and easier to set up. Most of the time I don't even make posters, the display copy of the item for sale does double duty as vendor. Accounting is not an issue. I check my transaction history every day anyway and it's easy enough to save a copy of the list before the 32 day limit hits it. The disadvantages are no redelivery and no affiliate vendors but to me the extra time it takes to configure the vendors, the thousands of poster textures I'd have to make and upload, the thousands of texture posters and vendor scripts adding lag to the sim, that one more thing that can go wrong that Charlotte mentioned ... it's just not worth it. I don't think it would even be possible for me to use scripted vendors throughout. I once calculated how much time it would take me to list everything I have for sale on MP and found out it would require somewhere between six and nine months of full time work. CasperVend isn't nearly as clumsy as MP of course but even so, we're definitely talking at least three months full time work there.

It's probably different for others though and everybody should consider what's best for their needs.

And I still can't imagine how I could manage my rentals without CasperLet.

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With Casper, the 2 outages in the last few weeks weren't his fault and were beyond his control. The first one was a DDOS. The second was a problem with his server company. They had a bank of servers go down and had to migrate them to another set and that took some time. 

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Hi, 

I've been trying to set up one of the big vendors, it was simple and looks awesome, but keeps crashing and I can't get an invite to tech support group.  

 

So my original plan was just the sales script but i wanted an email notification and split profit included.  It would work for me as MP does, I keep track by email there.  I expect these scripts are everywhere, but I can't find one, so am wondering do they exist?  Because I would rather just do that for now.  

 

Also I am curious why people don't just do this simple method?  Is it that is is safer from copybotters or all the extra conveniences with the big vendor companies?  

 

Thanks 

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6 hours ago, Sunny Hui said:

Hi, 

I've been trying to set up one of the big vendors, it was simple and looks awesome, but keeps crashing and I can't get an invite to tech support group.  

 

So my original plan was just the sales script but i wanted an email notification and split profit included.  It would work for me as MP does, I keep track by email there.  I expect these scripts are everywhere, but I can't find one, so am wondering do they exist?  Because I would rather just do that for now.  

 

Also I am curious why people don't just do this simple method?  Is it that is is safer from copybotters or all the extra conveniences with the big vendor companies?  

 

Thanks 

Not sure which vendor system you use, if it is Casper there is a helpful information page you could check: https://wiki.casperdns.com/index.php/CasperVend_2/Quick_Start

Casper Vend and profite sharing: https://wiki.casperdns.com/index.php/CasperVend_2/Profit_Sharing

There are many reasons people prefer vendor systems instead of a simple sales script, mine are these:

  • Gifting option
  • Demo option without extra prims
  • Gives landmark and/or information notecards
  • Records of sales history with great statistics over regions, sales (L, amount, best sellers etc.)
  • Efficient, you set up one item once and can later on just copy the vendor and rez at a new place
  • Option to easily merge marketplace sales in to the sales records
  • Redelivery option, including marketplace sales

I guess there are more but those are the main reasons for me.

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The only sure way to avoid a web site shutdown (either temporary or permanent) is to use in-world vendors that don't connect to any website. I've been offering a line of full-featured in-world vendors for a long time. Called MPV (for Multi-Product Vendor). Reduces lag too.

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Thanks very much for your responses, Lutricia and Ela.  For now I am MP and am only starting off in world and don't have a lot of stuff for sale yet, no traffic in world yet either, so I am going to put the SL script in to just sell.  And will test and check out vendors separately & privately in my skybox.  

I have scoured the (huge & pretty well detailed) wiki to the vendor I am trying and found the area-  constant runstack errors, yet neither of their suggestions seems to be cause, no response at all on the ticket I filed, no invite to group.  A real shame as it looked like a good vendor.  E2V, mentioned above, sounds really good support wise, which matters heaps to me, especially in the novice era of using something, but is substantially more cost wise than others and currently beyond me.

t's weird about the groups, as I mentioned I can't get into this vendor support group, also there was no group provided for a really nice HUD system I invested in. I don't get why they don't give group access, makes most thing so quick & easy to solve support wise.  

I found this SL wiki page with a few big vendor systems compared, cost & features etc.  It might be interesting or helpful for people.   

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Vendor_systems_comparison 

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