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So I upload a (1) new product after nearly months, this morning at 4am pst, and wake up around noon to find it buried under 300 other products in the same category. Ive seen this trend and unregulated marketplace crap going on now for years here and just shake my head in astonishment that Lindens still, have not acted on this. It should be alarming to them that sales tank, and their Marketplace looses its robustness every week, after week, after week.

I also am a member of the 3D community and have been a top merchant over there for years. Sites like Daz3d and renderosity.com also have 3D marketplaces, and yet they learned years ago that controlling how many submissions can be uploaded to Market per day, what can be uploaded, and by whom, and how often and even for how much helps to maintain a viable, robust and competitive marketplace for all to enjoy.

So some interesting things to see happen would be.

1. Limit uploads per day to like say 5 of any item period. if you cant compete and make any money without doing so perhaps your in the wrong business.

2. Re-structure the marketplace to give gatcha items and resale items (items not actually created by the user) their very own Category. It's a disservice to everyone to not do so. (make people click a option box swearing they created something is how you determine this and if they lie, they get banned)

3. Start charging non creating users (resale merchants) a fee to upload. Like say 10-100l each.

4. Right now as of this post there is a Hair Merchant that has 30 active ads taken out in the Category landing page for accessories for Hats, gloves and scarves.. Kinda friggin ridiculous. How can anyone look at this and think, its even healthy or remotely compettive? Just an example. So lets say you can only buy and or have 5 active ads at any given time..

For a great example of how to run these types of markets Lindens needs to look at other similar sites like Daz and Renderosity. These sites have been around far longer. generate millions also and are still viable, healthy and robust markets today .

Just urgent food for thought. I'd love to see a return to a healthy Secondlife marketplace and in world stores some day. :(

Thanks for letting me complain!

 

 

 

 

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Hello Max,

Thank you for your suggestions about the Second Life Marketplace.

The Marketplace Team does monitor the Merchants forum for issues and suggestions such as yours and they will see your post.

I would like to address the issues you raised.

1. The Marketplace was designed specifically to allow every user the ability to compete on an level playing field.  It is not necessary to be a Premium Account holder in order to list content on the Marketplace.  It is not necessary to own or rent land in world or have a store in world in order to list content on the Marketplace.  Limiting uploads defeats that purpose. 

2. There is a specific category for content that the seller did not create. It is called Used Items.  Banning users from the Marketplace for category selection issues defeats the purpose of having an open platform for users to sell their content, both created and resale/used items. However, it is not required that those items use only that category.  If a user is reselling hair, they may choose to place the item listing in the appropriate hair category instead of the used items category. 

3. The Marketplace team did look into charging for uploads at one point in the past. However, charging more for uploads than the cost of the item would effectively punish users, and again, would serve to defeat the purpose of having an open platform where all user can sell their content.

4. Cross marketing of related items is a valid advertisement resource, and can be very effective.  Just as you might see a company that sells cheese also include ads for cheese platters and knives.    Again, limiting the number of Product Listing Enhancements that a user can purchase defeats the purpose of having an open platform where all users can compete equally.

Linden Lab does understand that there are issues. No platform is perfect. 

This is why the Marketplace has the ability for users to flag listings for us when they find issues with listings.  

It is very unfortunate that some users consider flagging listings as snitching on other users. 

Having been a part of the Marketplace since 2007 when it was still SL Exchange, and then XstreetSL, I see the Marketplace as a cooperative of all users and wish that all users felt the same way as I do.

The Marketplace CAN be an awesome resource for both buyers and sellers, but only if the policies are followed. When they are not, there are issues.  

Specifically there are 3 issues we see on the Marketplace that are reported most often;  Keyword Spam, Incorrect Category Selection, and Maturity Ratings. 

If every seller ensured that their listings complied with those 3 top reported issues, the Marketplace would be a much cleaner, easier to use, resource for everyone. 

There are currently 5.4 million active listings on the Marketplace.  It is not even remotely possible for Linden Lab to review all of those listings to ensure that they all comply with the policies. Linden Lab relies greatly on users such as yourself to let us know when you see an issue so that we can then contact the seller and try to work with them to correct the issues that have been noted.

When users see an issue, and choose not to flag the listing, in my thinking, they are essentially saying that they believe that what the seller has done, regardless of the reason why it was done, that user agrees that it is okay for that issue to be there.

If you are walking through your house, and you see something on the floor that shouldn't be there, even if you didn't put it there, you would most likely pick it up and put it somewhere else, or for those of you who have kids, you might call your children out and tell them to pick up their stuff and put it where it belongs. 

The same thing applies to the Marketplace.  Unless the seller is taught that their item is in the wrong category, or contains keyword spam, or has nudity in the image and should be listed as Adult instead of General, they do not learn, and we lose the opportunity to help them and by extension, lose the opportunity to help you, the buyer, as well. 

The Marketplace truly is a community effort, I just wish more of the community would be involved in helping out. 

 

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34 minutes ago, Dakota Linden said:

Specifically there are 3 issues we see on the Marketplace that are reported most often;  Keyword Spam, Incorrect Category Selection, and Maturity Ratings. 

...

There are currently 5.4 million active listings on the Marketplace.

Dakota, you forgot the other TOP issue, that being that DEMO products are returned in search.  They should not be.  They should be reachable only from the main listing.  Same for colour variants.  Colour variants within the same listing were an intended feature that Pink Linden wanted to introduce though it never came but, address those and the second of your sentences above automatically gets reduced.

Right now, for a single mesh item that has say ten colour choices and a demo, that item REQUIRES ELEVEN marketplace listings.  This clutters search hugely and is not efficient for merchants or customers.

Otherwise, I agree with the rest of your post which disappointingly, means no naughty step for you today :P

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1 hour ago, Sassy Romano said:

Dakota, you forgot the other TOP issue, that being that DEMO products are returned in search.  They should not be.  They should be reachable only from the main listing.  Same for colour variants.  Colour variants within the same listing were an intended feature that Pink Linden wanted to introduce though it never came but, address those and the second of your sentences above automatically gets reduced.

Right now, for a single mesh item that has say ten colour choices and a demo, that item REQUIRES ELEVEN marketplace listings.  This clutters search hugely and is not efficient for merchants or customers.

Otherwise, I agree with the rest of your post which disappointingly, means no naughty step for you today :P

Hi Sassy!

The demo's and variants issues that you raised are not a Policy issue, but a design issue. 

The demo's originally were only intended to be purchasable through the link on the main items product listing, but unfortunately, the code base for the Marketplace didn't allow that unless the listing for the demo was also active. 

Unfortunately, color variants are also limited by the same issue with the demo's.  It is not possible with the code base to have variants purchasable through the primary listing.  They too must have their own listing.

Cheers~

 

 

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Yep, I know, wrong platform chosen for the task in hand.  We can blame Pink and/or Brodesky (because they're not around anymore anyway!)

Time for a new platform (or someone to be allocated some project love time so that they can fix up the search such that it doesn't return demo's at least.)  The chosen platform has created an exponentially growing problem though.

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"Code base" explanations sound quite silly.  If you own the code, you can change it. Unless you don't want to, or it is "too expensive" to do so.

- Programmer

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39 minutes ago, Sassy Romano said:

Time for a new platform

It definitely is. The current MP software has so many serious issues, I don't know where to start listing them - and I certainly wouldn't know where to stop.

But...

2 hours ago, Dakota Linden said:

There are currently 5.4 million active listings on the Marketplace.

It is easy to understand why Linden Lab is reluctant to do that job. Imagine how much work it will be just to migrate all that data!

Also keep in mind that the SL users are a very conservative bunch. They do like new shinies but anything that will force them to change the way they've always done things in SL is bound to raise a chorus of protests, even if it's an undeniable change for the better.

However, it has to be done sooner or later and the longer we wait, the harder it gets. The MP software simply isn't up to the task and hasn't been for a long, long time. Patching it up is obviously not cost effective. Think of the VMM and the search upgrade. there were some very good programmers assigned to those projects and it still took them ages and the results are not satisfactory at all.

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2 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

"Code base" explanations sound quite silly.  If you own the code, you can change it. Unless you don't want to, or it is "too expensive" to do so.

- Programmer

Dakota knows this very well.

Specifically:-

"At this point, there is only so much updating that can be done to the existing Second Life Marketplace because of the integration of the old XstreetSL system.  The only way to address some of the issues would be with an entire rewrite of the code.  This would mean 3+ years of new development, along with a loss of ALL of the current listings, sales history, ratings, etc"

We are where we are since the lab chose spree shopping card on Ruby on Rails.

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We all know there are issues :D.   

And being at the bottom of the pile automatically on new stuff is depressing I know.

For example. I made some new Cargo Crats for LEA12. They were similar (but much better with baked textures and three styles etc) than some "when mesh was new" ones. I listed them on the Marketplace and even linked to the old version with a note that there was a new version.

But we know people don't read.  I listed them in August of 2017. It has taken until October for them to move towards the top of the listings and they now are much better sellers than the old ones.  I have seen this over and over again with new products. So it IS hard.  And I still sell some pretty old (still usable but certainly not up to today's standards) stuff on the MP simply because the items have been around a long while and have sold over time. 

I have no answers. It is a huge job.

**** I WOULD LIKE TO PUT IN A SUGGESTION THOUGH***

In the revamp it would be GREAT to be able to have obvious categories up top (like a menu in a webpage) for creators that make a variety of things.   Since you now need a credit card to make an alternate Marketplace site (with an alt) it is very problematic. A few of us (probably very few) ONLY have one credit card. (Oh my how could that be?) 

 

So that is my personal wish :D. 

 

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Hi Guys!!

Firstly, Thank you for responding. I wasn't sure if it was going to be even read. This is great!

I didn't know there was a listing area called "Used"  and I have flagged stuff before. But to be honest after 21 hours straight.. and then uploading, packaging, marketing, uploading again, and all to get to that spot where we are filling out our information and uploading our Promos, Ill see sometimes 50 items in a place that shouldn't be there and just go, yanno, I'm too dang tired...

The level playing field idea sounds great on paper. And we can toss it back and forth all we want. But the numbers will eventually speak for themselves. And people will eventually see it. There has been a serious long term degradation in the amount of produced sales and quality over time. Its happened to every other similar market where caps were not put in place to protect such market. Ive been involved with 3d since 1998. I saw the birth of Poser. And watched certain sites take their first breaths. Ive also watch most of them fail and fall. Of those only 2 stand today.

If were not going to love our little plant here, and water it each and every day, and make sure we groom it and care for it, it will simply wither and die. Sometimes you got to pluck a few weeds for the whole yards sake...

I love this little plant we got here.

But I don't see it growing and getting healthier. Just my input.

 

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3 hours ago, Dakota Linden said:

Hi Sassy!

The demo's and variants issues that you raised are not a Policy issue, but a design issue. 

The demo's originally were only intended to be purchasable through the link on the main items product listing, but unfortunately, the code base for the Marketplace didn't allow that unless the listing for the demo was also active. 

Unfortunately, color variants are also limited by the same issue with the demo's.  It is not possible with the code base to have variants purchasable through the primary listing.  They too must have their own listing.

Cheers~

 

 

The code might not allow you to do exactly what you/we want, with variants/demos but there I'm sure there are other things that can be done to make things better.

For example a check box similar to the permissions one to indicate if a listing is a demo or not , users could then filter on this in a similar way to how they are already able to filter for specific permissions.

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Hi All!

Thank you for all of your replies, noted issues, and suggestions.  While things do not change over night, they are put on the table, so to speak, with the Marketplace team to research more.

In some cases, the code base just will not allow something to be done, unfortunately, without a major re-write, like with the demo's and variants. 

Content ages. It is a fact of life, even more so, when it pertains to digital content that is updated.  

Second Life does not make major updates often, like with Mesh, so most content remains usable, unlike updating something like an Operating System that requires software to be updated as well to run on the new OS.

This means that it is solely up to the sellers to determine if, and when, they will choose to retire any older content that they have created.  Linden Lab really cannot say "this item has been on the Marketplace for 4 years, so we are going to removed it" and not run the risk of removing content that is usable, and that may still sell well for the Merchant User. 

There are some suggestions that could benefit everyone, like Niall's suggestion for having a tag/check option like permissions for Demo's, and Mesh, and I truly hope that users are submitting those suggestions through the Jira Tracker!

Chic, there is a menu option for the Marketplace categories, and while it isn't fancy like something you would see on Amazon, you can dig down into the sub-categories on the Marketplace.

If you visit the Marketplace homepage, you will see these options on the left:

Categories

These are what we refer to as the Top Level, or Root, categories on the Marketplace.  With the exception of the Used Items and Everything else categories, each one as additional, and multiple, sub-categories. 

Could the Marketplace have a menu system similar to Amazon, sure!  If we were owned by Jeff Bezos. :)

Any search on the Marketplace can be limited to the specific Top Level category by clicking on the Category before doing the search.  Alternately, you can limit the Categories you want to search in by choosing the Top Level Category from the drop down option at the top before entering your search term. 

The search on the Marketplace will even provide you with numbers when you search.  By looking at the menu on the left after your search, each category, and subsequently sub-categories, have a number next to them.  This is the number of items in that category that matches your search term. 

Once your search has run, and you have returns, unless you are looking for free items, you can eliminate seeing 90% of the demo items by choosing to view items 1L and above by putting the number 1 into the first field under the Price options on the left and up to 99% of the demo's by making that number 2 instead of 1.  

Unfortunately, as I have stated in the past, and Sassy was awesome enough to link to and quote, there are issues because of migrating the original SLExchange/Xstreet system onto the new system. 

One thing that can help, specifically with search, is to be as specific as possible.

Excuse me here, gentlemen.  If you are looking for ladies jeans, instead of searching for "jeans" from the Homepage, try first going to the women's apparel, bottoms, jeans, category before entering your search term.  Now you do not have to use the word "jeans" in your search, but now you can search black, or red, or pink, if you are looking for a specific color.  Or even classic, low rise, or bell bottom, if you are looking for a particular style of jeans.

This is where the keywords on the marketplace can really shine for sellers, but ONLY if the sellers use appropriate keywords on their listings. 

You can then use the pricing option, as above, to eliminate most demo's from the returned items.

Is this a little more work for the buyer, yes, but it is also more powerful for them by reducing all of the chaff and narrowing their search to very specific items they are looking for.

Keep the questions and observations coming, though.  I am happy to help where I can, and Marketplace team can hopefully add some of the suggestions to their list. 

 

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I can only say that while a full rewrite is painful and costly and it might not allow for migration of 'everything', it will only get worse - more painful, more costly, etc... 

I say this as while staring at a work project scope to finally rewrite a very old and very heavily used application that is currently written in COBOL - and yet it looks like management will delay it again because of cost and time.  Does anyone really think that it will magically take less time or money somewhere down the road? At some point it will just flat break and then we will all be royally screwed.

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Once your search has run, and you have returns, unless you are looking for free items, you can eliminate seeing 90% of the demo items by choosing to view items 1L and above by putting the number 1 into the first field under the Price options on the left and up to 99% of the demo's by making that number 2 instead of 1.

 

Thats a great idea.!! Never thought of doing that.

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1 hour ago, Dakota Linden said:

In some cases, the code base just will not allow something to be done, unfortunately, without a major re-write, like with the demo's and variants. 

Content ages. It is a fact of life, even more so, when it pertains to digital content that is updated.  

This means that it is solely up to the sellers to determine if, and when, they will choose to retire any older content that they have created.  Linden Lab really cannot say "this item has been on the Marketplace for 4 years, so we are going to removed it" and not run the risk of removing content that is usable, and that may still sell well for the Merchant User. 

 

Regarding the above, demos can easily be removed at source by the query.  Every demo has a parent product thus it's easily identifiable as a demo to code.  There's no need for an additional attribute like "IsMesh" or "Permissions", the fact that it has a parent product means that the database field is not null!

Therefore, just as people can do a search on attributes such as permissions and mesh, the search merely has to exclude demos.  There's never a reason to show demos, ever.

Aged content, this IS a problem and it's exacerbated by Marketplace and inventory based selling.  Now, merchants can drop off SL and never return and their old, stale content isn't even removed by any cleanup process.  Long long ago, I proposed two things:-

  • Last logon date of the merchant against each listing (below their name for example).  This lets people see that a merchant is still active (within reason).  This isn't a privacy issue, that information is already readily available via various methods.
  • A requirement to include a refresh against each listing.  It could be as simple as a function where the merchant just had to visit the Marketplace website or require a little more but i'm not in favour of seeing an ever increasing amount of completely stale content as there's often no way to determine what's fresh and what's not.  Display the creation date of the listing perhaps?  This fails though with the migrations that have taken place to a certain extent.

I can understand why the second bullet above wouldn't be implemented but there's no reason that the first shouldn't.  Trivial effort involved and has value for customers.

Dakota, as for creating JIRA's, I believe that I may have already created those but to be honest, i'm not going to check.  I have completely lost faith in the JIRA process as far as Marketplace is concerned as there are still so many high value, low hanging fruit items that remain utterly ignored...

Customer self redelivery of copy permission items for example - again, absolutely trivial effort for this one really, a button that instigates the same delivery process that was used to deliver the item in the first place to the same person who was the initial recipient.  Massive benefit to customers and merchants alike and definitely JIRA'd.

I know you're not responsible for setting priority and your input here is always super welcome but we can only say the same stuff over and over so many times in so many ways.

 

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15 hours ago, Sassy Romano said:

"At this point, there is only so much updating that can be done to the existing Second Life Marketplace because of the integration of the old XstreetSL system.  The only way to address some of the issues would be with an entire rewrite of the code.  This would mean 3+ years of new development, along with a loss of ALL of the current listings, sales history, ratings, etc"

Short-sighted LL is short-sighted.

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13 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I say this as while staring at a work project scope to finally rewrite a very old and very heavily used application that is currently written in COBOL - and yet it looks like management will delay it again because of cost and time.  Does anyone really think that it will magically take less time or money somewhere down the road? At some point it will just flat break and then we will all be royally screwed.

COBOL will never die!

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Short-sighted LL is short-sighted.

Are they? (Reality check coming up)

In the other thread that Sassy quoted, @Dakota Linden wrote (about rewriting the entire code):

Quote

This would mean 3+ years of new development

It took LL 3+ years to develop VMM and the search update. Those two projects combined only gave marginal improvements to the users - if they gave any improvements at all. Imagine if that time had been spent developing brand new code.

That is not hindsight. This was all very clear to see for anybody who really looked even before the work on VMM started. Nor is it too late now - with the current speed of development it'll take 30+ years to whip the existing code into something resembling decent shape. Yet there is still no evidence that LL is taking the countless MP software issues seriously.

So yes, I suppose you are right, LL is short-sighted, at least when ti comes to this particular issue.

Edited by ChinRey

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59 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

So yes, I suppose you are right, LL is short-sighted, at least when ti comes to this particular issue.

Hey, so long as they get their cut of MP sales..

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On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:19 PM, Sassy Romano said:

Dakota knows this very well.

Specifically:-

"At this point, there is only so much updating that can be done to the existing Second Life Marketplace because of the integration of the old XstreetSL system.  The only way to address some of the issues would be with an entire rewrite of the code.  This would mean 3+ years of new development, along with a loss of ALL of the current listings, sales history, ratings, etc"

We are where we are since the lab chose spree shopping card on Ruby on Rails.

"loss of ALL of the current listings, sales history, ratings, etc"

So... This might not be a bad thing. 

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6 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

"loss of ALL of the current listings, sales history, ratings, etc"

So... This might not be a bad thing. 

I will cheerfully and enthusiastically bear whatever agonies the marketplace causes rather than have to relist and lose rankings and reviews.

(Yes, I know that is selfish.)

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I would love to see when a merchant last visited the MP or was actually online. Also a place to show when each item was listed. 

I bought an item a few days ago that ended up being a caspervend "giftcard" that i had to click to get the item. The item was never delivered as the caspervend dropbox is no longer inworld, according to the caspervend site. I sent the merchant a NC and now i wait.. 

ETA, just looked in my received items folder and they resent it 3 times.. Would have been nice for them to say they resent it, but hey.. 

 

Edited by Drake1 Nightfire

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When LL have a clean slate like in Sansar, then they act on some of these issues.

For example, you can't list over 50 items without incurring a monthly fee of $10, so this helps because most people won't pay $10 if they don't care about their listings or if it's not selling and dead. No need for them to log in if they're paying for it. So, do we want that? Not sure :/

Also, in Sansar they have customer self-redelivery :D.

 

Edited by Nina Jashan

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Max, the marketplace was not created specifically for content creators. It was designed as a platform to buy and sell goods; so charging a fee solely for resale merchants to sell those goods would make no sense. If anything, those increased costs might then be passed on to consumers. No thanks!

If a vendor feels that investing into 30 advertisements is worthwhile for their business, then that is their choice to make. I'd wager that many would argue that is probably overkill from a ROI perspective, but more importantly that marketing isn't coming without a cost. Is it fair? I think so. A larger business is going to have more profits to invest with; giving them an outlet to invest those profits and grow their business is healthy.

Limiting the number of items I can upload daily accomplishes what? If I'm a vendor that is releasing one or more products with unique colors; now I'd be forced into having to upload it over one, two or even three days? All that does is creates a hassle for some vendors as well as consumers.

 

 

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On 12 October 2017 at 12:52 AM, Marx Alvord said:

For a great example of how to run these types of markets Lindens needs to look at other similar sites like Daz and Renderosity. These sites have been around far longer. generate millions also and are still viable, healthy and robust markets today .

Perhaps it's worth remembering that the 'markets' you are referring to areor were (been a while since I used either of them much) in fact "brokerage sites". Daz for example generally limited content sales to official 'brokered artists', some of whome used to be good friends.

Typically, the brokerage agreement was a 50/50 split, and specified that if the market site decided to host a 'sale promotion' the sale discount came out of the artists end of the deal.

So, when you saw a $10 item reduced to $8 in a sale, that meant $5 for the site and $3 for the artist.

It's also worth pointing out that the market for poser content used to be considerably smaller than the market for SL content, the best estimate of the number of poser/daz studio users when Smith Micro bought the rights for Poser, was about 500,000 users world wide, not all of whom were content purchasers, thats why Smith Micro were able to snap up the rights for a comparatively small sum.

Could the SL MP be subjected to the same kind of regulation as poser content brokerage sites? Sure, but expect to see a massive increase in the 'cut' that LL would take from merchants, to pay for the extra work.
 

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