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Store Owner - Alt or Main?


Orwar
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So, I started a store - figured it would be fun to finally get around to giving it a shot after all these years. And immediately, my impeccable inventory turns into an absolute mess. I panic if I get more than 6,000 items in there - but, after two clothing articles, fitted for six bodies, in two versions for with/without materials, plus a demo version, plus a scripted fatpack version - that's 192 dresses in my inventory so far. Now I know I should just package them, but, on top of the articles, their blanks, the textures, the HUD/box textures, backup scripts, notecards, promo pictures and so forth - it just feels as if it's going to get really cluttered regardless, and even if I package everything neatly into well organized folders I'll either have to adjust and increase my inventory pain threshold, or get more liberal with purging other stuff.

I'm making a pros-cons list of whether to keep it all on Orwar versus making another alt. Here's what I've got so far, but I'd love to hear your opinions and experiences to help me expand it and make an informed decision.

Pros:
- No more mess in my main's inventory.
- Separating my potential income from my main will add an element of security against impulse purchases.
- I get to re-do the store setup and can apply what I've learned, doing things right from the start.
- All the textures are there, I just have to send those over.

Cons:
- I'll have to purchase the blanks again to properly license the alt to sell them (a DMCA would suck).
- I'll have to re-install the HUD I made.
- I'll most probably make an impulse purchase of a mesh body/head for the alt at some point.
- Potential confusion about whose Marketplace I'm logged in to.

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Pro

- People can IM/Notecard the alt with the support problems and you can deal with those on a daily basis, rather then impatient and rude people harrasing you all day long and getting upset when you don't answer them that very second.

"hello?"
<no immediate answer as you really are busy>
"I can see you areย onlineย andย you are clearly ignoring me by not answering immediately, so I will now punish you and give you a bad review. You are incredibly rude not to drop everything immediately to assist my snowflake needs, soย  rude. I will never buy from you again, and I will make sure my friends all know how rude you are, and my boyfriend is a Linden too, so I will get him to ban you"

(Edit, forgot to add): And I want a full refund!

Edited by Callum Meriman
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Having run stores on both mains and alts, I wouldย say run it on your main.

Running on an alt leaves you too separated from the store, it makes it easier to be doing anything else other than working to build your business if you're having a mediocre day .. "not in the mood to work on the store so will use my disconnected account" is way less productive than .. "not up for much today, but helped some customers, fiddled with some ideas."

SL is a social place, so mixing friends with business helps to keep it from being a soulless grind, being in contact with your customers directly in world is a huge source of information and inspiration, it also helps with resolving problems. Meeting new people directly and being exposed to their SL is invaluable.

Splitting your creative inventory from your main also has drawbacks, makes spontaneous creativity harder and removes lot of SL's capability for rapid prototyping.

Don't keep your creative assets mixed in with your regular inventory, make a folder for your business and keep it tightly organised. One folder with a whole tree in for work, and the rest for play. Don't worry about the numbers of items till you get to 100K, take a little pride in the fact that your own stuff ends up taking up more space than everyone else's.

If you're worried about spending your income, send that to your alt.

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We are all different people so ones person's reasoning may make no sense to another. That being said.

ย 

It isn't any more difficult to keep a neat inventory on your main than on your alt. NEAT is NEAT and takes time, but once you have a system (I do mine by years and then events (or main store releases).ย  Presumably I will always remember what item was in what event :D. So far that is working.ย 

ย 

You certainly can set up a support person as mentioned who would really be YOU (or an actual support person :D).ย  Personally I have almost no support issues and haven't for ten years. I don't understand all the hassles folks have. I test and test and test so I rarely have any items out that are incorrect and since most of my items all have demos available or are out to see at a venue, there is no guesswork. Maybe that's the "secret" I know not.

IF "you are your brand" as many of us are -- then I think it only makes sense to have your store under your own name.ย  If you want to go pole dancing in the Red Light District -- well make an alt THEN - LOL.ย  (and yes he or she would need a nice look, that just comes with the territory -- happily there is a huge amount of great free stuff out there).ย 

ย 

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To eliminate one particular "Con" you have listed: Use a wholly different browser for managing your store IF you decide to use an alt as your Business avatar.

Slightly less confusion then - provided you remember you're doing it that way.

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15 minutes ago, Jordan Whitt said:

Proof you have man parts.ย  Mine would kill you then.ย  I'm battling to get it back under 100,000!!!

My photo alt already has more clothes, hairs and shoes than my main, and that's just from plundering events and stores for freebies, lucky boards and group gifts...

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I run my store on my main.

Don't run a store if you aren't willing to deal with your customers as they come.

If you can't take care of their request right now, tell them!

Treat them like a human being and you will realize that most of your customers will love you for it and are pretty understanding.

You don't have to tell them what you are doing, just aknowledge that you will be with them as soon as you are able to.

If I realize that a store's account is never online I'm usually not going to shop there for very long, since I'd rather give my hard earned money to people who are actively involved in our little "society" rather than people who are here just to plunder it.

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I also run my store on my main - but I suppose it helps in that I sell a very niche product to a very small community, so I don't have a lot of customer service issues to deal with. I've also become friends with some of my customers, so that was a fringe benefit (and gives me warm fuzzies).ย My business is really more of a pet project for the love of it, rather than a way to make heaps of cash - so I'm happy for it to be connected to my main.ย 

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But yes, your inventory will suffer.

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I run my shop on my main as well.ย  I am busy working most of the time, so it's just easier to be on my main for everything.ย  Customers can easily reach me and I can deal with any thing that pops up right away.ย  My inventory is big no matter what I do.ย  I try to keep it organized best I can and keep all my shop related stuff neatly in it's own place.ย  Works for me :)

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Echoing the most recent posts, I always ran my store on my main, and it was never a problem, even though, in its heyday, it was a busy store. Of course, I've never been one for getting out and about and into things like dancing, events, exploring, and such, so I was almost always available to deal with customers on the odd occasion when assistance was needed.

I do like Kyrah's message (3 posts above this one). It's spot on, imo.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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I have a store on my alt/second main (just kinda happened) and I think I prefer it that way. I get the occasional question/request but I'm a little reclusive when it comes to strangers so I would rather not be bothered at all times.

I have to ask from @Orwarย though. Why two versions for materials instead of a script, especially if you're going to have a "scripted fatpack version" anyway? If you end up with 100+ versions of the same dress as a single product (I don't understand how since 6*4+6=30), you really need some reorganizing even if just for your customers' sake. Heck, IM me inworld and I'll help you.ย 

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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Dealing with customers is not a con, I don't mind that at all - so no, it's not for the purpose of hiding from people.

1 minute ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Why two versions for materials instead of a script, especially if you're going to have a "scripted fatpack version" anyway?

Scripting is not my forte, I've seen HUDs come with materials scripts and even sliders, but I feel most materials come way over the top - I shoved mine down far, and changed the tint to make it a more subtle effect. Is there a script that allows for it to simply be toggled on and off with the settings it has been assigned?

ย 

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46 minutes ago, Orwar said:

Dealing with customers is not a con, I don't mind that at all - so no, it's not for the purpose of hiding from people.

Scripting is not my forte, I've seen HUDs come with materials scripts and even sliders, but I feel most materials come way over the top - I shoved mine down far, and changed the tint to make it a more subtle effect. Is there a script that allows for it to simply be toggled on and off with the settings it has been assigned?

ย 

You can absolutely do that. I can help you with that soon when I get home.ย 

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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1 minute ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

You can absolutely do that. I csn help you with that soon when I get home.ย 

Thank you, that would be much appreciated!ย 

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I am essentially the "store owner" and "builder" account. I don't have many clothes or even a mesh body. I'm the account where I learned how to make things in SL and as a consequence amassed a large amount of building resources. I created other alts to buy clothes and be social in SL.

In my experience, keep all merchant duties and inventory on one account. Don't try to make things on one account to sell under the other. What a headache.

The merchant account should be less social. Less distractions and you end up communicating with customers and collaborators anyways. Try to keep accounts separate so customers can't interrupt your personal space.

If you are selling products outside of your lifestyle that you might not want associated as being "your thing" then make another alt to create and sell those products.

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I think Kyrah has right about customer service i have seen on profiles and product listings creators that have a very arrogant attitude towards customer service one that really sticks out was someone who was a self proclaimed very important busy person and that any IM's and notecard's needing CS would not be responded to as you were deemed to be wasting their timeย 

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1 hour ago, TatianaNikolay said:

We will be expecting a grand opening invitation.....^_^

I'm doing it sneaky.

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Running a store takes a lot of time and dedication so I run mine on my main avatar.ย  Hailee here is for when I want to sit down & discuss things with other adults without having to worry about childish person attacking my store (has happened) because my views don't match theirs, etc..

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  • 2 months later...

Not sure if you're even still looking at this as it's such a late reply but I run a shop on both my main and an alt. You can actually talk to creators about the license. Some have an option of you buying a license with them so that you can trade it between your alt and your main others just want to know the name of your alt and you're good to go. Most full perm creators are actually pretty nice when you're open an polite to them.

I keep an eye on my email for any messages and sales that are done on my alt so that I stay in the know. And in all honesty, if you want to avoid your shop you'll do that on your main account anyways. I found that having stuff on my alt makes things a lot easier for me plus they don't get lost in the hecticness that is the marketplace of my main account (which is a mix of a few different stores that I had open inworld. When I had gotten rid of the land, I had combined it all on the MP. haha).ย 

Whatever you decide is up to you, I wish you the best of luck!

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I have a business on my main..then started an alt to get away from it when I wanted. The trouble is, I then started a business on the alt...and so created a third alt to get away from them. You know what happened then..I started another business on that alt...

Don't do as JJ - it's addicting!

Humour aside, stick it all on your main account- as ppl have said tidy is tidy. Keep one account tidy and not 2, or 3 or...It's a lot easy to have all in one place from theย point of view of textures, vendors, 3rd party perms etc.

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5 minutes ago, JJ Hoobinoo said:

I have a business on my main..then started an alt to get away from it when I wanted. The trouble is, I then started a business on the alt...and so created a third alt to get away from them. You know what happened then..I started another business on that alt...

Don't do as JJ - it's addicting!

Humour aside, stick it all on your main account- as ppl have said tidy is tidy. Keep one account tidy and not 2, or 3 or...It's a lot easy to have all in one place from theย point of view of textures, vendors, 3rd party perms etc.

there might be reasons not to use your main as store owner... let'sย say if you for example picked a rather kinky login name for your main...ย 

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