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Adams Scarmon

Unfair land advantages

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Hello and ty for reading my post.

 

I'm the co-owner of a gay hangout sim on second life.

We own a homestead sim and made it open to the public so gay men can come and enjoy the scenery or the occasional party.

The competition however within the gay community is fierce. There's a lot of gay sims and hangouts on the grid already. Many of them that still look the same as they did in 2007 but they're still popular and even when they are not popular they still exist.

Me and my partner started wondering why these gay sims continue to exist. Even when they own multiple sims (like 5-10) they are not closing. Either the owner is really, really rich or he's paying a smaller price.

Unfortunately we realized the latter is the case. There are a lot of landholders (especially within the gay community on SL) that own multiple sims and made it public. But since they bought their sims a long time ago they only paid a fraction of what we pay. There are FULL SIMS within the gay community that only cost the owner 40$ a month. For a homestead we pay almost 100$.

So it is basicalyl impossible to compete with that. For the price of 1 full sim (300$) they have 7 full sims and 1 homestead and keep it open at the same cost. This unfair advantage really damages the development and evolvement of SL land ownership. Often these sims havent been touched or updated for years (hence why they look like the noob days of SL).

To us this a serious problem as we'd also have loved to own 7 full sims for less than 300$ so we can continue to grow and create.

 

So what is the story behind that? Are they VIP or just lucky? And why doesnt LL make them pay the regular price? If my RL land lord wants to up the price of rent he has the right to do so, but gives me a notice ahead of time so I can decide to stay or leave. I think LL should do the same here and announce they are gonna pay the regular price but they have 3 months to decide.

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There are FULL SIMS within the gay community that only cost the owner 40$ a month. For a homestead we pay almost 100$.

I am not sure why you may think that some owners are paying only 40.00 a month for a FULL SIM. Linden Lab has never charged that low for a FULL SIM. Anywho......

It's called being "grandfathered" in OR they took advantage of a promotion. If these residents you speak of got their land before their landlord (if they rent from another resident) or linden lab decided to raise tier, then they were able to keep their initial rate at the time as long as they kept the land. Once they lose the land and for example, decides to come back,  they will have to pay the current going rates. If they got in on a promo, the same concept usually applies. Many companies outside of Second Life practice this same concept to keep their loyal customers from leaving and finding a better deal elsewhere. This is usually how companies establish long term relationships with their customers. Many RL landlords don't increase rental rates to match the current market until the tenants lease is up or tenant is going month to month. Maybe your landlord does it differently. A lease does not exist between Linden Lab and an Estate Owner. 

Linden Lab just had a promo at the end of 2016 giving estate owners an option to "buy down" their regions. They were required to pay a one time fee to drop their tier down to $195/$95 a month. Keep a look out for more of these promos (they don't happen often). I am assuming you pay tier for your regions directly to Linden Lab, if not, then you will not be able to take advantage of the promos LL offer to estate owners. 

If you want to keep your community going without having to fund it yourselves, I would recommend starting some cheap rentals or maybe sitting out some tip jars for people to donate towards the tier, their are some generous people out there. You must always be ready for competition in Second Life. Don't let it get you down or frustrated, just try to make your region more unique and different then the rest.

There's info on this page on how being "grandfathered" works and how you can now purchase a grandfathered region from another resident and retain the discounted price.

 

Edited by Lisa006 Baxton
added wiki link
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The more land you own the cheaper it is. LL has Tiers for land owners and discounts apply the more regions you own.

That advantage is a "Bulk Discount" like many businesses offer. It never goes as low as $40 a Region.It has nothing to do with age in world or sexual preference.

At one time, many years ago, I owned multiple regions and enjoyed the discount but it never even lowered to $100 a month for a mainland region, and I had 19 regions. 

Some regions enjoy a Grandfather status as described by the previous poster but IIRC that is a modest discount.

IMHO, anyone claiming to only pay $40 USD a month for a full region is telling you a story.

You're also falling into the Mainland VS. Private Estates debate. Private estates, ie homesteads, cost more because you have more control, more terra-forming power and more land powers. Better isolation, scenery, neighbor control etc. If you don't need those extra powers move to the mainland. You'll pay less.

 

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5 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

There are FULL SIMS within the gay community that only cost the owner 40$ a month. For a homestead we pay almost 100$.

There are no homesteads for $40 a month, let alone full sims, so I expect you are imagining things, or have been told an untruth by someone.

That you are paying US$95 for your homestead means you are on the cheapest price available to most people.

For my gay club I ask for 14K donation, most of the rest is made as profit from my estate, and the last little part I make up the rest from my pocket.

There is no FIC. And the first rule of the FIC is that we don't admit it exists.

Edited by Callum Meriman

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Truthfully, I never  understood why people opening public venues in the islands use homesteads at all, they are notoriously overpriced for what you get.

See, to OWN a homestead, you have to OWN a full region first if I remember correctly, that is, own as in buy direct from LL and pay tier direct to LL.

Yolu still have that $600 setup fee, and the tier to pay, so they always work out more expensive than renting a 1/4 of a full region from a commercial letting agency.

Just look at rental prices, you can rent a 1/4 of a full region, Adult rated for 4700 L$ a week. A homestead by comparison will cost you more like 7000 L$, and all you get is more area and lower max visitors.

Many of the letting agencies took advantage of the 'grandfathering sa;e' last year, to lower their tier by 100 $ a month for full regions, and that has seriously lowered rental prices for land on full island regions. Perhaps you should consider moving to a cheaper parcel with the same Land-Impact/Prim allowance.
 

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8 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

There are FULL SIMS within the gay community that only cost the owner 40$ a month. For a homestead we pay almost 100$.

40 dollars for a full sim, that sounds incredibly low. Do you have any documentation of is it just a rumour?

You are right though, commercial landownership in SL is not an even playing field. But what on earth made you believe it was?

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I dont mind competition in SL.

I LOVE competition!!!

But when its UNFAIR competition it gets in my way and rubs me the wrong way for sure.

The 40$ sim is owned by a friend of my RL husband. I will ask for some sort of documentation to prove it.

Fact is we don't know what shady deals Linden Lab makes with certain residents. I know that atm a full sims very expensive and I would pay for the SAME service as someone who bought their full sim  years ago but now only pays like half of what I pay.

This system makes it so its very hard for new places to open their doors and continue the legacy of SL. My homestead that I turned into a gay hangout is really nice and the team did a great job landscaping it. These older, cheaper sims that are supposed to be my ''competition'' are pretty much neglected by the owner as they still have all the noob stuff from the early days (prims, poseballs, low res texutures etc.) yet these places continue to be incredibly popular within the gay community. They're able to STAY ALIVE because the owner pays a largely reduced tier. If prices were ALL the same those places would go out of business within a week and NORMAL market/economy systems would apply, meaning my own homestead would see an increase in traffic.

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2 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

Fact is we don't know what shady deals Linden Lab makes with certain residents. I know that atm a full sims very expensive and I would pay for the SAME service as someone who bought their full sim  years ago but now only pays like half of what I pay.

that you don't know about special deals doesn't mean it is shady ... and yes everybody wants a bargain.. but... big but.. LL doesn't need to offer you the same rate as others..it is allowed to have different prices for a product( at least in europe it's allowed) . If you don't like it, pitty.. but deal with it or go to another that offers lower to you too...

There always have been differences in rates; grandfathered, rebates for big landlords, buy down tier ... and more...

In your opinion it would also be wrong how all the tierlevels are calculated... one with 512 sqm  pays 0.0097 per m2,(5/512) the full sim owner 0.0045 (295/65536) or even 0.0029 when grandfathered  (195/65536).. ... thats unfair too?.. no that's a pretty normal businessmodel.

btw.. now you changed it to "half of what i pay" ?... make up your mind... it is the same, half or 40 usd?... ( what i still don't believe, it sounds more like a Open Sim region on a rented server ...)

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6 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

These older, cheaper sims that are supposed to be my ''competition'' are pretty much neglected by the owner as they still have all the noob stuff from the early days (prims, poseballs, low res texutures etc.) yet these places continue to be incredibly popular within the gay community. They're able to STAY ALIVE because the owner pays a largely reduced tier.

That doesn't seem to follow, though. I mean, the thing that makes all the difference is who attends a venue, not the venue itself. Even in RL, it's not only gays who may never find the shiny new place if all their friends are still hanging out at the seedy old dive.

That's not to say it's impossible to start a shiny new place, but social capital is a lot more important than whose specular map is finer.

(Also, like everybody else, I'll be very surprised if that US$40/mo thing doesn't vanish under closer scrutiny.)

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11 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

The 40$ sim is owned by a friend of my RL husband. I will ask for some sort of documentation to prove it.

You speak of one person that you "claim" pays 40.00 a month...that doesn't speak for all the other estate owners. So why do you assume resident's venues are only successful in SL because of their reduced tier? How would you even know what they are paying??? You don't, so just let that bit go. If you feel LL is doing shady business with residents, then why do you stay and continue to pay tier? Obviously you are not happy with the way YOU THINK they do business.

 

11 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

I know that atm a full sims very expensive and I would pay for the SAME service as someone who bought their full sim  years ago but now only pays like half of what I pay.

Yes and these residents that purchased their regions YEARS AGO deserve to be grandfathered in. You were given a chance to buy your regions down at the end of last year to have the same monthly tier as resident that purchased their regions years ago, if you did not take advantage of the promotion then that is your fault. Contact a large estate owner about renting, they will ensure you are paying lower just to get and keep your business. 

 

11 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

If prices were ALL the same those places would go out of business within a week and NORMAL market/economy systems would apply, meaning my own homestead would see an increase in traffic.

Even if prices were the same for everybody, you do not know what one's PERSONAL finances are like, they could continue to have their "outdated" venues and continue to pay their tier with no problem at all. These residents could have a side gig that bring in enough L's to cover their tier even if it was raised to be the same tier as newcomers. They could have a great RL that allows them to keep their regions in SL going no matter the cost. You can not assume they would shut down if prices were all the same. Also, The system does not make it hard for new places to keep doors open but when you open a region to the public for FREE then of course that is going to make things hard. Even when your traffic increase, wouldn't you still be paying tier out of pocket??? Apparently you are just mad cause you spent money on having your homestead landscaped to make it nice and pretty and nobody will come and visit cause they are too busy at the "outdated" venues. Instead of complaining about other venues and trying to figure out who pays what tier, work on your marketing skills to bring traffic into your region. 

Edited by Lisa006 Baxton

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12 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

They're able to STAY ALIVE because the owner pays a largely reduced tier. If prices were ALL the same those places would go out of business within a week and NORMAL market/economy systems would apply, meaning my own homestead would see an increase in traffic.

Public hangouts don't stay 'alive' because they have the latest greatest mesh buildings and flora, and 'hella-kewl' landscaping.

They stay 'alive' because the people who go there enjoy going there, this may be a result of the parcel owner working hard, or can simple be because the regular visitors work hard to make the place fun. I visit a 'hangout' area thats run by an absentee landlord with dreadful building skills, we enjoy the place in spite of it's owner not because of them.

More importantly, NEVER assume that social hangouts conform to the Mythical 'Law of supply and Demand' proposed all to often in SL by devout believers in the 'Free Market Fallacy', especially not the SL version ofthis nonsense usually seen where it's believed that FMF will somehow drive all your competitors to the wall with low profits and turnover, but leave you rolling in lindens and able to charge 'whatever the market will bear'.

This FMF rubbish simply doesn't work, you find people in SL who are willing to subsidise 9 full regions for 9 years to 'build a community' the way they think it should be, despite the place being a quasi abandoned money pit (yes a real example).

Your 'outdated ' rivals may well be subsidising their places heavily, and the regulars go there because they LIKE the place, not becausethe owner has some mythical 'unfair advantage'.

You want YOUR place to be popular, you need to do all the usual popularising things places do in SL, advertise where your target audience will see it, hold events, give away money in contests (and no not rigged contests where all the prizes go to staff and friends, as the punters will catch on and decide you are a crook), have free or cheap stuff themed to your target audience and venue. 

So for example, you might buy full perm template 'chaps' texture them up in leather, and offer official "Club Clone Leather Chaps - special price for VIP group members" and a weekly "Best in Leather Bear" contest with a 1000 L$ prize, and advertise this in some Gay group that isn't affiliated with just one plac e, a Leather Bear Lifestyle group or something, just as a hypothetical example.
 

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15 hours ago, Lisa006 Baxton said:

Yes and these residents that purchased their regions YEARS AGO deserve to be grandfathered in.

Can you explain that? I can't see any possible reason why anybody deserve better pruices jsut ebcasue they happened to be here at a specific time.

Fair or unfair, pricing schemes like the grandfathered sim system is definitely not a recommended long term strategy for any business of any kind, and especially not for a company trying to do B2B. It may help retain old customers but it is also a very effective way to keep new ones away.

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There was never any price like $40 for a full prim or even a homestead sim, grandfathered or not.

However, there is a bulk discount given to some large sim owners -- it is not advertised, you can't just pay for it, and I don't know how you get it. But THAT some have it is a fact that has leaked out for years. Those island owners with, say, 100 sims or more (or whatever the number is) get a discount for owning so many sims.

Yes, it means you can't compete. A lot of people in the rentals business came to this realization. But in Silicon Valley or in other lines of business, bulk discounts for major customers is a fact of life.

So you can either go out of business or try to offer something different. Believe me, I know how hard this is being in the Mainland rentals business.

I find it odd that some very popular clubs have not evolved above the primitives they put out in 2007 which indeed look primitive now in the mesh era. And you wonder why they don't bother but maybe they don't have the budget or maybe they don't care, people come not because of the decor but each other.

 

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@ChinRey Estate owners that were here prior to the price increase had an impact on what Second Life has become. They created venues/rentals/shopping malls/etc to attract new comers and keep residents logging in. I am not claiming all estate owners prior to the price increase did this and yes, shopping malls/rentals were only created to turn a profit but it allowed content creators to display their products in-world and residents to have an in-world home. Residents built this world and I believe who ever came along prior to the price increase deserve to keep their grandfathered price. This is just my opinion of course. 

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8 minutes ago, Lisa006 Baxton said:

This is just my opinion of course. 

That's right. ^_^

But don't misunderstand me, as I said in my first reply here:

On 14.6.2017 at 2:26 AM, ChinRey said:

commercial landownership in SL is not an even playing field. But what on earth made you believe it was?

 

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Okay y'all need to clam down lol.

Ever heard of the small businesses going out of business when a big Wall Mart store settles near them? It is kinda like that. The big Wall Mart can negotiate deals and buy in bulk and at much cheaper rates. The small business is then just unable to stay open because of costs.

Just to be clear, my hangout does get poplular and has a steady traffic. Its not a ''complaining topic'' because Im upset about. Its really only about the prices for the SAME service. We do throw events, hold giveaways, have parties and do contests. Its super fun.

These places that I am referring to as my competition not only pay far less tier than we do. They never hold events, throw parties or update their builds. They are just ''there''. The're only ABLE to be just there because of the low costs to keep them open. If the owner had to pay the normal price for them maybe he'd care more about his place.

As for the reason these places are so popular.. its called bots. They generate traffic and it gets up high in search. People go there, hang around a bit and go away but the next one already has arrived.

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But I very much doubt these competitors "pay far less than" you do. They may pay somewhat less, due to grandfathered rates and/or the "Atlas program" discounts (or whatever the volume discounts are called these days). This can make a significant difference to very price-sensitive markets such as bare parcel rental, and less difference to land use with greater value-added by the owner. Anyway, again, I'm pretty confident the difference is not remotely as great as you've been led to believe.

On the other hand, if you missed the opportunity to "buy down" a private sim to the grandfathered rates, that's pretty unfortunate, and may be worth shopping for deals from Estates that took advantage of that offer. I'm a bit more sympathetic with this situation because I was pretty surprised that offer wasn't extended indefinitely.

Also, traffic doesn't contribute significantly to normal Search ranking anymore, and hasn't for years. Bots are required to be registered as "scripted agents" to exclude them from traffic counts (assuming the owner complies with that requirement). That said, a bot-running scofflaw can boost Traffic-specific Search ranking, and folks searching for venues may well hunt specifically for traffic-heavy sites. But accusing a competitor of running traffic bots is accusing them of violating the ToS -- and if you're sure about it, you can file an Abuse Report.

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3 hours ago, Adams Scarmon said:

 

As for the reason these places are so popular.. its called bots. They generate traffic and it gets up high in search. People go there, hang around a bit and go away but the next one already has arrived.

I've started to cam around when I hit a new place that looks busy. If there's 20 avatars jammed into a tiny room at 3000m I leave, and i never go back.

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It has nothing to do with unfair land pricing advantages. One must own a heck of a lot of sims in order to get any sort of discounts ... I remember years ago, someone who owned upwards of 40 sims (most homesteads with a few full regions) complaining bitterly that he was not a big enough land owner to get discounts.

Some places have a good vibe to them that takes years to establish, regardless of how pretty (or ugly) the sim is. Other places open and become popular sooner, once again, because of the vibe ... lots of parties, lots of shops, and things to do. A homestead simply does not have either the prims or the resources to support that sort of thing. Hanging out at a pretty place and the occasional party is not enough to make a gay hang out popular. Parties with popular DJs all week long, places to shop, snuggle areas and residential rentals, and a positive attitude and sense of genuine fun, rather than worrying about traffic or how to make tier, will usually generate traffic.

I know several sim owners for whom rentals and donations are not enough to break even on the tier.  Many do not aim to do so, but when they do, it is a plus. For some, making a bit back on the tier is enough, and the rest is chalked up to monthly entertainment budget. It seems to me that if one struggles to pay tier, and must rely on others in SL to supplement it, one may be living beyond one's virtual means.

Your sim has not been open very long ... I recall the notices on Facebook. If you are not getting popular DJs for several parties a week, if it is just a nice place to hang out ... well, people can stay home for a nice place to hang out. I will also point out that your sim bears the same name as an iconic SL gay club that closed in 2010, due to the owner's ill health. He passed away in 2013 and was much beloved in the gay community. When I saw the Facebook post for your place, I thought ... but that is the name of Marcus' club! That might be a bit off putting to some. I know it was to me.

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Rhetoric and drama never help anyone. A simple sl wiki search would have disproved all the claims others have maid.  No one is out to get you or give anyone unfair advantages over you in a transparent system.

 

  

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