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Sage Waverider

Something should be done about 1L$ items on marketplace.

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Greetings!

It is extremely easy to hide all of those L$1 items when you browse or do a search on the Marketplace.

In the option on the left side of the web page, under the section titled "Price", enter your minimum price into the left (lower price) box, and then hit the enter key on your keyboard.

Poof!  All of those items will be hidden.

Search problem solved. 

Edited by Dakota Linden
Not knowing my Left from Right LOL
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21 minutes ago, Dakota Linden said:

Search problem solved. 

Provided people actually use search refinement options yes. But how many do?

Interestingly, I tried to search Google for info and I couldn't find a single study of how many people actually use advanced search options - or how many even know how to use them. But maybe it's me how don't know how to search for it...

I think it's time to derail this thread by going back to the OP:

On 10/11/2018 at 10:10 PM, Sage Waverider said:

And I feel it's really discouraging for the new artists that potentially would be willing to contribute their content to the marketplace.

I asked how many Residents - that is how many accounts that are 8 years old or less - have managed to make it as merchants/commercial cotnent creators.

I only know of two myself. One is a store alt for an old-timer. The other spent a year just studying the SL market before he even launched his first product and he lvies in a low cost country so what counts as a comfortable income for him would be starvation for somebody from the western world.

I'm sure there are more, and I'm sure people will flock in and list examples. But there aren't many.

I think that says it all. Second Life as a market is firmly closed for new entrepeneurs. I think the reason is that it's so hard to get noticed at all unless you already have a wide, well established network of contacts on the inside. MP search ranking is jsut one part of this problem.

It's all about getting access to the effective marketing channels.  I had a look at the conversion rates at the OPQ Garden and Landscaping store on MP. COnversion rate is how many people who visit the page actually end up buying. 5% is generally considered ok. 10% is good. The conversion rates at OPQ Garden and Landscaping are typically 20-50%. Not jsut a few items - there are more than 1,000 listings in that stores and nearly all show up with that kind of conversion rates. That is nothing short of spectacular. But the bottom line is there aren't many sales because there aren't many visitors. The people who find my store like what they see but they are so few of them.

It sounds like I'm complaining and I suppose I am, but there is more to it. I'm actually doing remarkably well for somebody who has only been in SL for five years. If I had invested all those hours I've wasted on improving my building skills on marketing, if I hadn't wasted my money on tier for those sims and if I had lived in a low cost country, I could have made a decent living from SL. Most newcomers are far worse off than me.

When you arrive in SL, you are a stranger in a strange land. You have no (or only a few at best) friends, you don't know the land or the culture, you don't have a portfolio of old merchandise to provide a small but steady income stream and you're up against a horde of well established competitors who are fighting fiercly to protect their market shares (and you can't blame than for that).

I do not know if it is in SL's and LL's best interest to welcome new content creators. But if it is, something drastic has to be done and changing the MP search ranking is just a drop in the ocean.

And if it isn't, please LL, remove this from the splash page:

267931834_Skjermbilde(1861).png.bbc40dc99ef70e0d14aaebf365d37954.png

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8 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Provided people actually use search refinement options yes. But how many do?

<snipped>

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

 

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16 minutes ago, Dakota Linden said:

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

It's a lot more complex than that of course and if you want an educator and performing artist's view on communication, we can discuss it for ages. ;)

But there is another factor I think is far more important: if we say some merchants deserve higher search ranking, we also say that other merchants deserve lower ranking and then it gets really complicated.

Each merchant is of course independent and has the right to fight for their own interests. But for LL, the challenge to present the whole spectrum of opportunities and possibiities in SL in an attractive and easily understandable way. That's the big one.

Edited by ChinRey
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1L items are great for people who are short in cash, I myself am often hunting the cheapies at mp and finding high quality items. Yes, cheap will always win, what you can do is improve the range of your keywords and maybe advertise your store better.

Edited by Sylvannas Zulaman
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On 10/13/2018 at 2:29 AM, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Use two browsers, one for each account and copy-paste for the item url. Works a treat.

If you use one of the later firefox versions, you can also use multi-account containers to have different accounts in each tab.

Read more here: How to use the Firefox Multi-Account Containers extension

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1 hour ago, Fionalein said:

They used to have that without an extension... just switch profiles... did they drop that?

I think the core of it is still there without the extension but the extension makes switching and creating containers a breeze.

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10 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Provided people actually use search refinement options yes. But how many do?

LOL I believe merchants would be happy to make customers read the product infos and then think about the refinement options. People chose mostly just by looking at photos and we have few moments to catch their attention.

9 hours ago, ChinRey said:

if we say some merchants deserve higher search ranking, we also say that other merchants deserve lower ranking

Do you mean we say this because of how the search functions or is there something else I am missing?

10 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Second Life as a market is firmly closed for new entrepeneurs. I think the reason is that it's so hard to get noticed at all unless you already have a wide, well established network of contacts on the inside. MP search ranking is jsut one part of this problem.

I think SL is not much different from other markets but I don't work hard to make my business successful so I really have no idea is the search fair or not (I mean MP search). 

For example in my country it's really hard to start a business because of the corruption. There are several ways and channels funded by EU through which people can start a business but once they do, the bureaucracy kills their desire to live because there are sooooo many documents to collect. Often it happens that a person started their own business, worked few years and then they received a court order to pay some kind of a debt with giant interests, because some official gave them the wrong info when they were just starting out. 

For someone who comes from that kind of mess, SL market seems like heaven 😁

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1 hour ago, Tamara Artis said:

People chose mostly just by looking at photos and we have few moments to catch their attention.

That's the important point. And no matter how many advanced search options there are, people aren't generally going to bother using them. They do a quick search for a keyword and look at the first page of search results, they probably won't even bother browsing through that entire page. If they find something resembling what they  were looking for  there, they may buy, if not, they won't.

It doesn't matter how many times we say people should use the advanced options to refine their search or use boolean search to filter out demos and/or gacha listings. Most eople are still not going to use them.

The  rault is that the Marketplace is only a relevant marketing channel for items that happen to be ranked top ten for a certain search word (jsut a single word too, multiple words are too complicated) with the default "relevance" sorting, no search refinement - not even caegories - and no boolean NOTs. All other items only sell to people who are looking for that specific product or that specific brand. It doesn't matter if your listing is ranked as no. 30 or 10,000. If it's not top twelve, it doesn't exist in MP search.

I'm running a test now. I have a series of palm trees. 15 fairly similar ones, similar enough that there's no reason why any one of them should sell more than the others. They are new enough the ranking between them are still random. So I reduced the price of the lowest ranked one to 0 L$ so seee what happened. It still doesn't sell aprticularly well because it doesn't even show up on the first page when people search in my store. None of them are visible in a general MP search of course and with all the old long selling sculpt palms on the market there's not a chance they'll ever be.

(I'm also running a different test with another palm to see how well front page lsiting enhancment ads work. So far the click-through ratio is very good, although it's not enough data to say anything for sure. But there are hardly any impression. I can get those click-throughs much cheaper from AdSense.)

 

2 hours ago, Tamara Artis said:

Do you mean we say this because of how the search functions or is there something else I am missing?

No, I'm just stating the obvious fact that if some listing are to go up in the search ranking, others have to go down. I wasn't actually trying to do anything but state that obvious fact .

 

2 hours ago, Tamara Artis said:

I think SL is not much different from other markets but I don't work hard to make my business successful so I really have no idea is the search fair or not (I mean MP search).

Honestly, I don't think it's that important whether MP search ranking is fair or not  because it's usually not that relevant. If you are top twelve for a reasonably common search word, you want to try to stay there. If you're top fifty, you may want to try to reach top 12. Sales volumes isn't the only factor that matters for search results and you may be able to tweak your ad and your keywords enough to climb a little bit  higher. And you may be able to generate enough sales to the few who do more advanced searches to make it worth the effort.

But for most MP listings, forget about search ranking. Focus on other marketing channels instead.

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9 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Honestly, I don't think it's that important whether MP search ranking is fair or not  because it's usually not that relevant.

Okay I lost you  here 😂

I was thinking you are complaining about Marketplace and the way it works. MP in general is not that relevant, actually if you try to chose 1 single venue or medium through which we can market and sell, it would probably be Facebook and few of the most popular in-world events. Everything else is relevant only as part of the whole marketing strategy that a merchant has. 

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39 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

So I reduced the price of the lowest ranked one to 0 L$ so seee what happened. It still doesn't sell aprticularly well because it doesn't even show up on the first page when people search in my store.

I wonder of you see a significant sales boost after ruining the experiment by announcing there's a free tree available ... :ph34r:

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Just now, Fionalein said:

I wonder of you see a significant sales boost after ruining the experiment by announcing there's a free tree available ... :ph34r:

Probably not. There aren't actually that many people who read this thread.  And if it happens, I get to test another factor instead: do freebie "sales" count for much in search ranking at all? There may be a lot of top ranked cheapos on MP but there are surprisingly few freebies.

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30 minutes ago, Tamara Artis said:

I was thinking you are complaining about Marketplace and the way it works.

Oh no, I do that in another thread, and that's not about search ranking at all. ;)

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5 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Probably not. There aren't actually that many people who read this thread.  And if it happens, I get to test another factor instead: do freebie "sales" count for much in search ranking at all? There may be a lot of top ranked cheapos on MP but there are surprisingly few freebies.

Selling it as 0L$ won't get your item upranked. I think It does not affect listing rank at all. Unless they changed it.

Most important factor is  number  of sales that is somehow multiplied by price. So if you multiply it by 0 you'll get 0.

That's my main problem with the way ranking works, for some reason 10 sales at 1L$ is greater( >) than 5 sale at 100L$. Rankings gets updated every twelve or 24 hours.

So items that are bought by the users that maybe don't have a lot of lindens (possibly new players) are more valuable  than these items that are bought by players that can afford items that actually took days or even weeks to make. At least it looks this way by seeing  that top ranking items are 1L$.

At the end of the day, I've spend at least a year (probably more) modelling for SL as a full time job, trying to get a successful store (have couple of them) running. But I can't really compete with 10 pages of 1L$ items, my builds and assets are just not seen by customers... 

I did similar epreriment myself I had at least 5 buildings that I've sold for 1L$ and managed to get 3 of them to top 12. It kind of boosted my overall sales, because I got more exposure, some items with normal price tag became  more popular, but the same time it was a financial suicide... So if I want to run a successful store I should probably "sell"(give away?) 50 % of my content at 1L$ just to boost remaining half of my store. Which not really ideal...

Edited by Sage Waverider
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7 minutes ago, Sage Waverider said:

 

I did similar epreriment myself I had at least 5 buildings that I've sold for 1L$ and managed to get 3 of them to top 12. It kind of boosted my overall sales, because I got more exposure, some items with normal price tag became  more popular, but the same time it was a financial suicide... So if I want to run a successful store I should probably "sell"(give away?) 50 % of my content at 1L$ just to boost remaining half of my store. Which not really ideal...

Hi Sage!

What you are describing is called Loss Leader, and it is a big part of Brick and Mortar retail as well. Even huge, well established, well known companies use Loss Leaders, including Microsoft, as noted in the article on the following link:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lossleader.asp

Instead of taking the hit on your primary content, I would encourage you to create items that can be used in place of using Loss Leaders.  Create and offer some slightly lower quality, less expensive, items at lower costs as a way to get your items out there so that those items will drive the views and advertising for your store and generate more exposure for your primary content. 

 

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On 10/15/2018 at 11:08 PM, ChinRey said:

I asked how many Residents - that is how many accounts that are 8 years old or less - have managed to make it as merchants/commercial cotnent creators.

I only know of two myself. One is a store alt for an old-timer. The other spent a year just studying the SL market before he even launched his first product and he lvies in a low cost country so what counts as a comfortable income for him would be starvation for somebody from the western world.

I'm sure there are more, and I'm sure people will flock in and list examples. But there aren't many.

If you define success as earning enough that you never need another job, then most people aren't successful. That includes most people with old accounts, rather than being something that's only true for new accounts. But I'd argue that replacing the day job isn't the goal of most people with businesses in Second Life. I pay for my premium account and have money left over to spend, which is successful for me.

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On 10/12/2018 at 6:10 AM, Sage Waverider said:

It's really annoying that the marketplace is littered with top ranking 1L$ items. Something should finally be done about that, it's absolutely unfair how default item listing works. Been a merchant for a while and I've experiment with 1L$, so for example you'll be able to sell 20-50 copies of 1L$ and it gets a better ranking compared to an item that sells 4-5 copies at 200L$...

What I get from this whole situation it that LL favours poorly made models that was made in 10-30 minutes instead of the ones that took days or weeks to make. If you feel similar, please let yourself be heard. And let's get this mess  sorted finally.

I don't think I'll waste more of my time creating content for SL, because it's nearly impossible to get through the garbage on marketplace. And I feel it's really discouraging for the new artists that potentially would be willing to contribute their content to the marketplace.

If anyone is in favour of the way that marketplace currently operates it would be interesting to hear your opinion as well...

I don't think you need to worry about 1L$ items if your item is better in quality. 

I don't sell 1L$ items. There is actually a bit of consumer psychology in it, people will not simply buy something because it is 1$; the price needs to match the quality, I recommend "The Myth of Fair Value" if you would like to look into why $1 is a terrible idea. 

From my analysis a good product priced right will have a conversation rate of 10-15% (IE every 100 views I project 10-15 sales) . If the conversion rate is lower I know maybe the product is bad, or market is saturated or he product is simply not priced correctly. I do knock off other people's ideas. I improve on their products too, even when I charge more people will buy willingly.

The amount of work put in, quality relative to competition, availability in category etc will play into what customer will pay. I do not think products in general can simply be filtered by price alone. 

This alone can allow me to retire in low living cost countries, I would not even bother with researching considering I have near zero overhead except product upload fees. 

1539924583314.thumb.jpg.29f9cfaa2b27cc6b392611ff57945885.jpg

Edited by iamyourneighbour

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