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Charlotte Bartlett

The new Marketplace Features coming - Merchant Survey Requirement

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4 minutes ago, Elvina Ewing said:

ability to ban certain people from MP stores

This has been mentioned several times in this thread, and I'm curious about what these customers are doing -- are they buying things to leave bad reviews?  I guess I should be happy that there's at least some form of griefing I haven't experienced personally :)

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3 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

This has been mentioned several times in this thread, and I'm curious about what these customers are doing -- are they buying things to leave bad reviews?  I guess I should be happy that there's at least some form of griefing I haven't experienced personally :)

Sometimes it's simpler than that. People just can try to harm you, steal your stuff (ask to skins store owners) or simply buy every single demo to leave a bad review for whatever weird reasson. The thing is that if you can ban someone from your SIM and groups, you should be able to do the same from your MP store. Maybe simply because they have been griefing in other ways around you so you just dont want to let them buy your stuff. Having the option there isn't harmful even if most people wont use it.

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9 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

This has been mentioned several times in this thread, and I'm curious about what these customers are doing -- are they buying things to leave bad reviews?  I guess I should be happy that there's at least some form of griefing I haven't experienced personally :)

I was wondering this also, its not like you can really stop anyone from getting anything they just make an alt and gift it to the person your banning from buying your stuff.

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7 hours ago, Gunner Grun said:

I was wondering this also, its not like you can really stop anyone from getting anything they just make an alt and gift it to the person your banning from buying your stuff.

That's where the MP web designer should be smarter than that: the ban should be applied on recipient name. Match that against the ban list and show a "can't proceed with this transaction" message.

I didn't read all the posts here, but among all those i could read, the manager option to grant access to someone else to do the dirty work for us is my fave.

I would add my idea too, but as i said i didn't go through all the previous posts and this may have been said already: create a co-workers list, with preset percentage, allowed to load their content on the main store's MP from their own inventory. This would really decrease the fuss of handing stuff over to the MP's account.

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22 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Pamela, can you think of say, the top 3 new features to the Marketplace that could compensate for a 25% reduction in our income? (I do believe the plan is to inch it up as far as possible, to the 30% Sansar takes).

Umm, I'm not Pamela - is ot ok if I post a reply anyway?

  • Time is money and the listing process is horrendously awkward and time consuming, at least if you want to present your work properly. Anything that can simplify and streamline that process is definitely worth a little bit.
  • Replacing the horrendous "related products" function with a proper cross-listing promotion system increases the chances buyers will shop more than a single item in your store.
  • A good, efficient redelivery system would also save time and make the customers a little bit happeir and more likely to shop again.
  • Getting rid of the dodgy listings (outdated, non-functional products sold by people who have left SL and can't offer support and downright scams) will shift focus more towards the active and serious merchants and also make the customers happeir and more likely to buy more on MP.
  • Cleaning up all those almost-but-not-quite-duplicate demo and color variant listings and moving the gacha items to their own category will make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for which again makes it more likely they will shop on MP.
  • A stricter enforcement of the listing rules and a simplified flagging process would icnrease the overall quality of MP and make it more likely that people will shop there. It would also save time for many merchants, time they waste flagging the ToS violating listings their own serious works are buried in.
  • Bulk editing to add time limited special offers and such across an entire store or product group would make marketing much more efficient.
  • Being able to highlight specific products in your store would improve MP's quality as a marketing channel.
  • Better statistics = better planning

Those are just a few examples. But I have to agree, 30% is way too much in any case. 10-15% perhaps but not more.

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27 minutes ago, ChinRey said:
23 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Pamela, can you think of say, the top 3 new features to the Marketplace that could compensate for a 25% reduction in our income? (I do believe the plan is to inch it up as far as possible, to the 30% Sansar takes).

Umm, I'm not Pamela - is ot ok if I post a reply anyway?

  • Time is money and the listing process is horrendously awkward and time consuming, at least if you want to present your work properly. Anything that can simplify and streamline that process is definitely worth a little bit.
  • Replacing the horrendous "related products" function with a proper cross-listing promotion system increases the chances buyers will shop more than a single item in your store.
  • A good, efficient redelivery system would also save time and make the customers a little bit happeir and more likely to shop again.
  • Getting rid of the dodgy listings (outdated, non-functional products sold by people who have left SL and can't offer support and downright scams) will shift focus more towards the active and serious merchants and also make the customers happeir and more likely to buy more on MP.
  • Cleaning up all those almost-but-not-quite-duplicate demo and color variant listings and moving the gacha items to their own category will make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for which again makes it more likely they will shop on MP.
  • A stricter enforcement of the listing rules and a simplified flagging process would icnrease the overall quality of MP and make it more likely that people will shop there. It would also save time for many merchants, time they waste flagging the ToS violating listings their own serious works are buried in.
  • Bulk editing to add time limited special offers and such across an entire store or product group would make marketing much more efficient.
  • Being able to highlight specific products in your store would improve MP's quality as a marketing channel.
  • Better statistics = better planning

Those are just a few examples. But I have to agree, 30% is way too much in any case. 10-15% perhaps but not more.

Well, I think Pamela knew my post was a bit tongue in cheek, and replied accordingly.

But actually I think we do need to focus on the top priorities, because realistically LL can't do all of it, and I like your list.

I would agree to a 5% increase in our fees bringing the commission fees up to 10% for each sale, along with a 5% sales tax for purchasers -- we sell our stuff way too cheap, and our race to the bottom with prices has not served us well. So I think LL could remedy this by adding a sales tax for purchasers too.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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34 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Time is money and the listing process is horrendously awkward and time consuming, at least if you want to present your work properly. Anything that can simplify and streamline that process is definitely worth a little bit.

How important do you think the ability for multiple avatars to access a MP account is -- either store managers or partners in business?

  I may be wrong, but I think very few need that ability, and so time would be better spent working on other features we need.

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While I do agree that "time is money", when I crunch the numbers, any increase in costs needs to be offset by an increase in sales.  Take it down to the number of transactions that would be needed each day, day after day, to offset those costs for your own business and see if you think it is realistic. Without LL investing in new ways to market SL externally, not just internally to the current residents with improvements in the grid (be it to the overall grid features or operation or some individual aspect like the MP), I just don't see where the growth comes from.  Have they replaced the PR exec (Peter Gray)? Are there investments planned for new advertising or PR or social networking? I don't see that in the SL15 list of new shinies. There's only so much that current residents have as available spending power - perhaps these improvements will wring out a bit more, but I really think people are already spending at a max now.

Edited by Arwen Serpente
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The birthday gift is a ruse.

Land sales are down due to numerous mistakes they made over the years, from the sudden increase in fees for educational institutions to the homestead fiasco and beyond, and their income is down because of it. Simply not listening to what the residents of SL wanted, for the most part.

And now they are expecting merchants to pay for their mistakes.

I'm understanding of the mistakes, and I doubt anybody else could have done better. But when I make a mistake with my customers, even one I had no control of at the time, I don't charge my customer more for it.

Edited by Luna Bliss
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This was really just a thread asking Linden Lab to have the survey with some suggestion of things they could include I think any discussion on the fees as mentioned above will really warrant it's own thread as that is going to be I am sure a hot topic :$

I tried to summarize the things people put above into 5 buckets - anybody have any refinements/thoughts on these (I kept it a bit generic and probably missed some things?)....

1 - Improve efficiency for merchants:  e.g. including multiple storefront, manager access accounts, bulk uploads, bulk changes, store organization of listings  etc
2 - Improve usability for purchasers: e.g. remove dormant listings, remove non-active merchant stores, group demo colors collection listings, have wish list and store favorites (borrowing from Etsy and Amazon vibes there), better intuitive filtering for search, gacha bloat reduction, question and answers on products etc
3 - Improve trust and quality by reducing fraud/mis-selling: e.g merchant accounts with licenses for Indie through to Professional accounts for selling , ability to block access to purchasers etc
4 - Improve the MP Front End design: e.g. opening up API to allow custom front end design from TPVs , reverse linkage from in-world vendors etc
5 - Create and improve ability to drive sales to purchasers: e.g. loyalty cards, discount capabilities, cross store promotions, cross store events on MP etc

Again, we really want a wide spread survey we can promote to all creators as this forum is a tiny subset of creators.   One person's idea of what is a priority will not match another, so a survey would allow Linden Lab to get a specific majority viewpoint on priorities versus who shouts loudest on a forum or a Jira listing.

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
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49 minutes ago, Arwen Serpente said:

While I do agree that "time is money", when I crunch the numbers, any increase in costs needs to be offset by an increase in sales.  Take it down to the number of transactions that would be needed each day, day after day, to offset those costs for your own business and see if you think it is realistic. Without LL investing in new ways to market SL externally, not just internally to the current residents with improvements in the grid (be it to the overall grid features or operation or some individual aspect like the MP), I just don't see where the growth comes from.  Have they replaced the PR exec (Peter Gray)? Are there investments planned for new advertising or PR or social networking? I don't see that in the SL15 list of new shinies. There's only so much that current residents have as available spending power - perhaps these improvements will wring out a bit more, but I really think people are already spending at a max now.

This was my earlier point in this or another thread. It is LLs job to grow the pie, a pie which is steadily shrinking while the number of pieces it is cut into steadily grows. Because supply in SL never wears out, but only grows over time — as prices plummet. It’s great for buyers but ultimately fatal for merchants. Merchants who handle most first line support issues in SL, unlike Sellers on Turbosquid.

Edited by Pamela Galli
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27 minutes ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

I tried to summarize the things people put above into 5 buckets - anybody have any refinements/thoughts on these (I kept it a bit generic and probably missed some things?)....

1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -

Again, we really want a wide spread survey we can promote to all creators as this forum is a tiny subset of creators.   One person's idea of what is a priority will not match another, so a survey would allow Linden Lab to get a specific majority viewpoint on priorities versus who shouts loudest on a forum or a Jira listing.

6. How much more would you willing to pay in commission fees over the 5% currently set for each sale? And do you think it's a good idea to charge purchasers an additional sales tax, and if so, what should the amount be?

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1 hour ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

This was really just a thread asking Linden Lab to have the survey with some suggestion of things they could include

Charlotte, I think your initiation of this survey is great, and I would welcome many MP changes, but I don't understand why you don't believe we have any power of negotiation on the proposed commission increase. Grumpity said we are partners, and partners hash things out in an attempt to approach a measure of fairness. So I would very much like the #6 I stated to be included in the survey you are proposing.

I think Arwen's, Pamela's, and ChinRey's analysis is spot on -- that changes in the MP features will bring us none or very little increase in income. I think you are imagining you can increase your income, or make up for at least some of the loss, through MP changes, but I feel our income would only be increased via an attempted negotiation on our commission increase.

Edited by Luna Bliss
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1 minute ago, Luna Bliss said:

Grumpity said we are partners,

o.O That’s not what it feels like to me.

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2 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Cleaning up all those almost-but-not-quite-duplicate demo and color variant listings and moving the gacha items to their own category will make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for which again makes it more likely they will shop on MP.

I will say that as a shopper, this problem is the biggest one that keeps me from doing hardly any MP shopping.

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2 hours ago, Arwen Serpente said:

While I do agree that "time is money", when I crunch the numbers, any increase in costs needs to be offset by an increase in sales.

Yes but my point was that the time you spend fighting MP's merchants' UI is time you spend not creating or promoting so time is quite literally moeny here.

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I thought about that ChinRey. And yes, I agree, less time with administrative work means more time being able to do other things, including creating. From my own situation, I spend a ridiculous amount of time creating at the expense of other parts of my life, so maybe, less administrative work will translate to an incremental walk around the block, or time with family or friends. In the end, even if I do spend more time creating, it doesn't mean my creations will be higher quality than I can currently make, or appeal to a wider audience. So for me at least, time saved may not necessarily mean an increase in sales - or an increase in sales that would offset the cost of the upgrade to the system. I can only speak for myself and my own situation.

Edited to add ~ Just thinking about it a little more, even if my administrative time managing my MP store and listings improves, how much really will I gain? A couple of hours every few weeks when there's something new to list, or, when I want to make an update or clarification to a listing? The UI isn't fun, and it certainly needs the improvements we all agree, but in the end, another few hours of creative time won't result in sales gains enough to offset an additional 5 or 10% in commissions, or an increased Premium membership, or increased cash out fees.

Edited by Arwen Serpente
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2 hours ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

I tried to summarize the things people put above into 5 buckets - anybody have any refinements/thoughts on these (I kept it a bit generic and probably missed some things?)....

While summarizing would make everything more clear, you should still include every feature details. Believe me, we are talking about LL, if you make it so simple we will get half implemented features if any. So dividing them into groups it's nice as long as you add later every single feature and a brief explanation. LL needs everything detailed. You did an awesome job tho ;). 

Edited by Kitsune Shan

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1 hour ago, Pamela Galli said:

o.O That’s not what it feels like to me.

True but to be fair, it is getting better all the time.

They better make sure they mean it and show they mean it though because too many merchants are already close enough to the edge.

Any increased fees on MP or on LindeX has to be covered by increased sales income. If it cuts into the existing revenue, it's bye, bye, MP. That's how it is to me at least but I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees it that way.

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55 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

True but to be fair, it is getting better all the time.

 

55 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

True but to be fair, it is getting better all the time.

Not really. Not long ago you could send $10k to PAYPAL for $15. Then it went to $25.  Now it is $250.  That’s from just a couple of months ago. 

 

Edited by Pamela Galli
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31 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

Not really. Not long ago you could send $10k to PAYPAL for $15. Then it went to $25.  Now it is $250.  That’s from just a couple of months ago.

Oh but I was talking about LL's attitude towards their customers, not the situation in general.

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6 hours ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

This was really just a thread asking Linden Lab to have the survey with some suggestion of things they could include I think any discussion on the fees as mentioned above will really warrant it's own thread as that is going to be I am sure a hot topic :$

I tried to summarize the things people put above into 5 buckets - anybody have any refinements/thoughts on these (I kept it a bit generic and probably missed some things?)....

1 - Improve efficiency for merchants:  e.g. including multiple storefront, manager access accounts, bulk uploads, bulk changes, store organization of listings  etc
2 - Improve usability for purchasers: e.g. remove dormant listings, remove non-active merchant stores, group demo colors collection listings, have wish list and store favorites (borrowing from Etsy and Amazon vibes there), better intuitive filtering for search, gacha bloat reduction, question and answers on products etc
3 - Improve trust and quality by reducing fraud/mis-selling: e.g merchant accounts with licenses for Indie through to Professional accounts for selling , ability to block access to purchasers etc
4 - Improve the MP Front End design: e.g. opening up API to allow custom front end design from TPVs , reverse linkage from in-world vendors etc
5 - Create and improve ability to drive sales to purchasers: e.g. loyalty cards, discount capabilities, cross store promotions, cross store events on MP etc

Again, we really want a wide spread survey we can promote to all creators as this forum is a tiny subset of creators.   One person's idea of what is a priority will not match another, so a survey would allow Linden Lab to get a specific majority viewpoint on priorities versus who shouts loudest on a forum or a Jira listing.

I know we aren't voting but I am also pretty darn sure that "those folks that never come to the forums" are watching us hash this out LOL.

So that being said --  here is my no doubt unpopular take on the situation.  Note again -- NOT an Linden alt. I just try to look at things from both sides of the problem.

Of the list above I would personally put number 2 at the top. It is harder to buy on the Marketplace than it is at Amazon and Amazon ain't easy these days. It is way too difficult to find what you are looking for in the SL Market with all the demos and OMG horrible antique junk that clutters up the choices. I would definitely like to see goods from inactive accounts disappear. There must be hundreds if not thousands of "creators" that left long ago, never log in and never answer any IMs or preform customer service. That hurts us all. I would not be in favor of getting rid of things over a certain age in mass however. Some things never go out of style (like poses and textures) and some things are still very viable for new folks and those that preferred our world in prim-based mode.

While I don't love putting things up on the Marketplace I don't seem to have as many issues with it as many of you -- even those of you that build the same type of things that I do.  I like the viewer managed marketplace better than the older versions once I got the hang of it. Thank goodness for Torley and the videos. Watched them many times. 

Knowing (and living with in the past) some folks that work on the giant back-end systems like the Marketplace I can tell you that many of the things you are asking for would be tremendously expensive in time and wages so I don't see them happening. 

And from someone who has been in a Linden supported Marketplace event, I can tell you that while I put forth  a lot of work to do the event, I didn't see any change in sales at all AND took a cut on the items that I would have probably sold anyway judging from long time historical sales. The INWORLD event went just fine and I sold a fair amount there and enjoyed the experience. 

And to Pam ^^.   I hear what you are saying but honestly? Let me have $10,000 to cash out and I will GLADLY pay $250.   

One thing that no one has mentioned is that a lot of similar online markets take more than we now pay -- Kitely  at 20% for example --  where there is even trickier support (multiple grids) and where they also make you wait 45 days to cash out and if you don't make $10 in that 45 days it automatically turns to Kitely credits. 

I do agree that content creators are working harder for less money these days. I do agree that some are already pretty angry. 

ONE thing that the lab needs to think about is that if creators start leaving the Marketplace (note that very few mesh body folks are on the Marketplace and I am sure that hurts The Lab's bottom line a lot) we will be back to where we were in the good old days. Honestly? I wouldn't be too upset about that. 

I make most of my money these days at the gacha events and I am not making anything close to Pamela's number and don't expect to, so personally I don't see how getting upset about things that haven't happened yet is a good thing. We all have a choice. We can leave the Marketplace; we can leave SL.  We are not slaves here -- except perhaps to our own creativity needs. 

:SwingingFriends:

Edited by Chic Aeon
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You make some great points.    I think if we are going to be charged in the ballpark of 30% commission (let's face it, that's where they are heading plus a major increase in cash out fees) we need a professional platform to operate within for MP.       

Legacy technology creates a huge headache when migration is involved, but sometimes perhaps users would rather re-list everything from scratch with 80% of the functionality/new databases versus a complicated migration with 2% of the functionality (and still massive fee increases).   

Amazon, I find quite easy generally especially the one click to buy, the fact products support Q&A,  fantastic customer service etc.
 Whereas we merchants (who Pam put better than I can, who front a ton of customer support for LL) get next to zero ourselves.  This I experienced recently, with a total lack of help on a ticket, despite expecting to pay to LL over 4,000 USD a year in fees/sim costs.   I average one ticket request per year with them over the past 12 years.

There are a wealth of e-commerce solutions out there including open source which do answer a significant portion our user requirements if implemented with grace, foresight and intelligence. 

Whether LL believe the cost is worth the benefits we are asking for (which will peg to their reliance on us merchants for those fees), time will tell as I have no clue and am waiting here patiently to see whether a survey gets announced (or not).

 

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39 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

personally I don't see how getting upset about things that haven't happened yet is a good thing. We all have a choice. We can leave the Marketplace; we can leave SL.  We are not slaves here

Chic, the time to get upset is now...before we're suddenly getting 30% taken from our income.

I've been ill with a chronic disease for quite some time, but I work a bit here and there when I can, and would have trouble dealing with other jobs at this point.  I don't suddenly want 30% taken away from what I need to live on each month. I want to do what I have been doing for over a decade and sell new things when I'm able, or sell from my large inventory that is still useful to many residents.

Plus...my daughter has brain cancer....and I want to send her Amazon care packages and visit her in San Francisco as much as possible before she dies -- I can't do that with such a severe reduction in income.

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40 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

While I don't love putting things up on the Marketplace I don't seem to have as many issues with it as many of you -- even those of you that build the same type of things that I do.

I don't have many issues with listing on the MP either, and yes the change people are wanting (most of them) would be VERY expensive.

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