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What are your opinions on the new "Land Price Reductions, New Premium Perks, and Pricing Changes "?

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Hi everyone!

I want to thank everyone who has voiced out their opinions about the changes. Im happy to say that our opinions have not gone unheard. Thank you for being respectful and being part of the change.

 

Have a great day everyone!

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For me, this may actually make me have to seriously rethink staying in SL.  I’m not saying that price increases are not typical for a business, but I feel like SL is already getting plenty of cash from me for what I actually get in return from them.  I don’t care about more group slots or offline IMs.  Lower tier for everyone, not just land barons if you want it to be useful to me.

I am a hobby creator because, well, I just don’t have the free time I did when my shop first opened its doors 10 years ago.  I’ve gotten married and now have two small children, but my shop in SL has always been a much needed creative outlet for me.  I guess I am just not the demographic that SL is interested in although I have been a loyal long-time customer since 2008.

Maybe I am an atypical SL user in that I don’t spend hours hanging with friends in clubs, socializing and such.  I spend that time in my studio creating and working on my products.  Even more now, because the learning curve keeps getting higher for creators and now I have to prepare clothing for multiple mesh bodies, plus color options, HUDS, vendors, setting permissions for a million items for just one article of clothing it seems, etc. But that’s ok. I love creating and especially love that others like my products enough to buy them and wear them.

I would rather take my time and make something that I feel is unique and interesting and a reasonable price rather than push out cookie-cutter weekly new releases and join every event (not that it’s bad, I honestly just don’t have that kind of time required to grow a large SL presence so I really can’t compete with those major brands). I’ve been happy enough to create knowing that basically every linden I earn goes straight back into LL’s pocket to pay for my two premium accounts (one for me and for my building alt) plus investing in SL by buying furniture and landscaping for my shop, hair and skins for my vendors, BUT, that doesn’t mean I can afford to lose an ADDITIONAL $54 a year plus the new processing fees for the privilege of trying to create interesting and new content for users.  I already feel like I’m paying a 100% tax to SL for that. I was actually making plans to hire a builder to create a new custom store for my land, but I’m nixing those plans now.

It really makes me sad to say it, but after 10 years, I might just have to close the doors.  I’ve had to slowly scale back over the years, sell land and make do because of the excessive tier pricing.  Part of the fun for me was being able to decorate my shop and make it look unique and fun, but I can hardly do that with a few measly prims and 1024 if I even just keep one premium account.  So why bother anymore?  It seems there is no place here for my kind of small business.  I see a future of only big name brands and BIAB merchandise in club mall stalls.  I’m not looking to make a living by any means, but I don’t want to constantly hemeorrage money to SL either. I guess I’ll finally have time to learn to play my Ukelele.  :P

P.S. So glad they backtracked on removing group slots for basic members.  That was some a**hole decision making there.  We're all integral to SL, basic and premium alike! 

Edited by adriannesuz McMinnar
typo
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18 minutes ago, adriannesuz McMinnar said:

For me, this may actually make me have to seriously rethink staying in SL.  I’m not saying that price increases are not typical for a business, but I feel like SL is already getting plenty of cash from me for what I actually get in return from them.  I don’t care about more group slots or offline IMs.  Lower tier for everyone, not just land barons if you want it to be useful to me.

I am a hobby creator because, well, I just don’t have the free time I did when my shop first opened it’s doors 10 years ago.  I’ve gotten married and now have two small children, but my shop in SL has always been a much needed creative outlet for me.  I guess I am just not the demographic that SL is interested in although I have been a loyal long-time customer since 2008.

Maybe I am an atypical SL user in that I don’t spend hours hanging with friends in clubs, socializing and such.  I spend that time in my studio creating and working on my products.  Even more now, because the learning curve keeps getting higher for creators and now I have to prepare clothing for multiple mesh bodies, plus color options, HUDS, vendors, setting permissions for a million items for just one article of clothing it seems, etc. But that’s ok. I love creating and especially love that others like my products enough to buy them and wear them.

I would rather take my time and make something that I feel is unique and interesting and a reasonable price rather than push out cookie-cutter weekly new releases and join every event (not that it’s bad, I honestly just don’t have that kind of time required to grow a large SL presence so I really can’t compete with those major brands). I’ve been happy enough to create knowing that basically every linden I earn goes straight back into LL’s pocket to pay for my two premium accounts (one for me and for my building alt) plus investing in SL by buying furniture and landscaping for my shop, hair and skins for my vendors, BUT, that doesn’t mean I can afford to lose an ADDITIONAL $54 a year plus the new processing fees for the privilege of trying to create interesting and new content for users.  I already feel like I’m paying a 100% tax to SL for that. I was actually making plans to hire a builder to create a new custom store for my land, but I’m nixing those plans now.

It really makes me sad to say it, but after 10 years, I might just have to close the doors.  I’ve had to slowly scale back over the years, sell land and make do because of the excessive tier pricing.  Part of the fun for me was being able to decorate my shop and make it look unique and fun, but I can hardly do that with a few measly prims and 1024 if I even just keep one premium account.  So why bother anymore?  It seems there is no place here for my kind of small business.  I see a future of only big name brands and BIAB merchandise in club mall stalls.  I’m not looking to make a living by any means, but I don’t want to constantly hemeorrage money to SL either. I guess I’ll finally have time to learn to play my Ukelele.  :P

P.S. So glad they backtracked on removing group slots for basic members.  That was some a**hole decision making there.  We're all integral to SL, basic and premium alike! 

You took the words right off of my finger tips ❣️

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17 hours ago, adriannesuz McMinnar said:

For me, this may actually make me have to seriously rethink staying in SL.  I’m not saying that price increases are not typical for a business, but I feel like SL is already getting plenty of cash from me for what I actually get in return from them.  I don’t care about more group slots or offline IMs.  Lower tier for everyone, not just land barons if you want it to be useful to me.

Totally fair statement. Though, just like going out to the movies, buying an Espresson every day, and all those other discretional-spending we all make every day, we each must choose the worth and value of what we throw our money at. Second Life is no different. There is no necessity, requirement, or any other kind of need for it. If the budget gets tight, we start cutting back. If Second Life is low on that "not necessary to live" list then it is what it is.

I'm not feeling the "worth" of Premium subscription fees (at the new rate) myself. So my plan is to extend the existing rate for a nother cycle then see what the new higher tier has to offer and (I am expecting) the newer tech (name-changing, Bakes on Mesh) all pan out before deciding to drop the subscription, myself.

I'm happy to see the retraction of cutting group-count for Basic accounts also and to see they are shifting gears to looking closer at the cause, rather than throwing effort at the symptons.

All in all, we each must have to decide for ourselves, right

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44 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Totally fair statement. Though, just like going out to the movies, buying an Espresson every day, and all those other discretional-spending we all make every day, we each must choose the worth and value of what we throw our money at. Second Life is no different. There is no necessity, requirement, or any other kind of need for it. If the budget gets tight, we start cutting back. If Second Life is low on that "not necessary to live" list then it is what it is.

I'm not feeling the "worth" of Premium subscription fees (at the new rate) myself. So my plan is to extend the existing rate for a nother cycle then see what the new higher tier has to offer and (I am expecting) the newer tech (name-changing, Bakes on Mesh) all pan out before deciding to drop the subscription, myself.

I'm happy to see the retraction of cutting group-count for Basic accounts also and to see they are shifting gears to looking closer at the cause, rather than throwing effort at the symptons.

All in all, we each must have to decide for ourselves, right

I totally get that it is a luxury item, but I feel like SL is making things harder and harder for at least the small business creator to stay in SL.  If instead of drinking that espresso at the coffee shop, I spent my time there creating pretty, different cups that customers could buy and use for their coffee experience and then I turn around and give that earned money right back to the coffee shop after also paying a premium fee to be able to do so and then the shop suddenly decides I need to pay even more on top of that....well, it's just not much incentive for me to stay.  Maybe it is a bad analogy, and I know that it is my choice to do it and I enjoy it, but still, after upload fees, processing fees, cash out fees, high tier costs, and premium memberships, at what point are  creators like me getting nickel and dimed to the point where we are completely shut out?

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23 minutes ago, adriannesuz McMinnar said:

Maybe it is a bad analogy, and I know that it is my choice to do it and I enjoy it, but still, after upload fees, processing fees, cash out fees, high tier costs, and premium memberships, at what point are  creators like me getting nickel and dimed to the point where we are completely shut out?

The average retail profit margin is 1%-3%. 

What's your profit margin after paying all those fees and tier, and premium (which you don't need to be a creator)?

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3 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

The average retail profit margin is 1%-3%. 

What's your profit margin after paying all those fees and tier, and premium (which you don't need to be a creator)?

You are comparing apples and oranges when you try to compare RL retail with SL retail -- they are not the same at all and have very different considerations.

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6 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

You are comparing apples and oranges when you try to compare RL retail with SL retail -- they are not the same at all and have very different considerations.

Yes, SL retail has far less overhead. 

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4 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

You are comparing apples and oranges when you try to compare RL retail with SL retail -- they are not the same at all and have very different considerations.

so true... a RL seller would have high returning costs for rent, materials/commodities.. all things a sl seller doesn't have.
 

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6 minutes ago, Fox Wijaya said:

so true... a RL seller would have high returning costs for rent, materials/commodities.. all things a sl seller doesn't have.

Yes, that's one difference, but more importantly the cost of materials in RL helps create a floor (price controls) that can't be undermined.
Here, there are no price controls -- merchants will lose money, selling for next to nothing to become popular, hoping one day their business will reach a profit. The cheap stuff is too enticing for customers, and it was even voiced here on this forum by one person I expected to be supportive of merchants, that they don't care if it's stolen -- if they like it they buy it and don't won't to go to the trouble of finding out where it came from.
Stolen content is procured on the web (laggy and unoptimized) and shoveled into SL, sold at cheap prices and causing despair in the content creator who tries to create original and optimized content.

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8 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Stolen content is procured on the web (laggy and unoptimized) and shoveled into SL, sold at cheap prices and causing despair in the content creator who tries to create original and optimized content.

Shrink in RL retail is a massively huge deal, and is a large reason for price increases over the years. Not only the cost of the stolen merchandise, but surveillance cameras, security and loss prevention employees, lawyers... millions and millions of dollars are spent on stolen content and one only has to look as far as Craig's List to buy things that have fallen off the back of the truck. 

Missed a part about SL merchants selling cheap. Why do you think big RL retailers are killing small businesses? They sell things below cost because they can afford to, and small business suffers, just like SL. 

The two aren't so different. 

Edited by Beth Macbain
Added more stuff.

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1 minute ago, Beth Macbain said:

Shrink in RL retail is a massively huge deal, and is a large reason for price increases over the years. Not only the cost of the stolen merchandise, but surveillance cameras, security and loss prevention employees, lawyers... millions and millions of dollars are spent on stolen content and one only has to look as far as Craig's List to buy things that have fallen off the back of the truck. 

If only something could be 'built in' to SL to force price increases due to the theft.... :(

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11 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Yes, that's one difference, but more importantly the cost of materials in RL helps create a floor (price controls) that can't be undermined.
Here, there are no price controls -- merchants will lose money, selling for next to nothing to become popular, hoping one day their business will reach a profit. The cheap stuff is too enticing for customers, and it was even voiced here on this forum by one person I expected to be supportive of merchants, that they don't care if it's stolen -- if they like it they buy it and don't won't to go to the trouble of finding out where it came from.
Stolen content is procured on the web (laggy and unoptimized) and shoveled into SL, sold at cheap prices and causing despair in the content creator who tries to create original and optimized content.

no difference to what rl stores have to deal with .. see how alibaba sells it's stuff at prices that are half or less the locals can offer.
Real original content will survive, no matter if prizes have to be raised a bit. But problem is, there's nearly no original content at many stores; when at one event a sunflower appears, next week there are 100 sunflowers on other events, thát is not original. Have a look at the zillion sneakers, jogging pants, bra's, dresses  without fantasie or a single stitch that's not copied fomr another...
Forget the big market, gét really original, and you ll survive.

Edited by Fox Wijaya
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2 minutes ago, Fox Wijaya said:

Forget the big market, gét really original, and you ll survive.

For some maybe, but in times past there was a thriving middle class here who did okay financially...but they are getting hollowed out. For the future I think we'll see a very few doing exceptionally well while most people struggle, even if they are good creators.

* I have seen these 'middle class' stores fall by the wayside, year after year....and as we see from the few who dare to speak up on the forum, more feel the need to leave.

Edited by Luna Bliss
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SL retail and RL retail are not comparable. Yes, they both involve stores and shoppers, but that is it.

An RL store buys things in from a dedicated manufacturer, provides them with location near to customers, shelf space, staff to set the product out and sell it to you. RL retail is a man in the middle business connecting customers to producers and taking a cut.

An SL business is a dedicated creator making the things from whole cloth. They're product research, design, development, branding and marketing all rolled into one. Their middle man that connects them to they customers is their in world store, the SLM or an Event.

An RL store's consideration is 'cost price + store overheads + profit = final', rinse repeat.

An SL creators consideration (Lets just pretend there isn't a 20% loss to fees between L$ and spendable cash in the bank, and you get zero employee benefits .. like health care) is 'hours spend on the product', 'projected life span', 'sale price'. If you spend 3 days making the thing (30 hours) at a livable wage ($15) .. you need to sell 450  of the things at L$250 each to make those 30 hours equivalent to a regular job. How long will that take .. 1 year ? 2 years ? The reality is the final price needs to be more like L$500 (2US) or $1000 (4US), but no one will pay that because it sounds like a lot.

An SL creators biggest bill is themselves and their need to eat, keep warm and stay online with the tools they need to work.

Asset flippers are more like RL stores, acquire the thing, clean up, present, charge same price as dedicated creator with almost none of the over heads. Even iof they have to do some work, it's still only a fraction of the dedicated creator.

 

Edited by CoffeeDujour
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4 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

SL retail and RL retail are not comparable. Yes, they both involve stores and shoppers, but that is it.

Very good, all that you listed.

And don't forget all the time you spent learning your craft!  Sometimes decades..

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There are plenty of retail stores that are not chains that do, in fact, do all their own product research, design, development, branding and marketing. That is the nature of small business. Even SL creators have their blog rolls to help them. It costs far more for a small business owner to send actual products to the Instagram influencers to get a little help, not to mention paying them cash. 

The real difference between SL and RL retail are the prices. SL retailers expect to make real world size profits on SL merchandise. I don't see that as being realistic except in a few very exceptional cases, and I don't think those are sustainable. 

It might be different if SL had zillions of active members actively spending thousands and thousands of lindens but... hell, I don't know how anyone could expect to make a living wage selling things in SL. That's a terrifying thought as LL could pull the plugs on the servers anytime. Do they have backup plans or are they just going to crash and burn?
 

 

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Sure, big stores sometimes sell at a loss in order to draw in more business, but they don't have EVERYthing priced at a loss, and not everyone would go to or be aware of the cheaper price at a big store. RL is huge, with many stores/locations.
But with the Marketplace everything is centralized. Very easy to find the lowest price and buy pretty much anything you desire -- this keeps merchants lowering and lowering their prices to compete with the one highly visible merchant selling so cheaply.

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I think an important issue is, when lots of merchants leave will this cause any decline in SL? How many are dependent on earning some cash, even just enough to cover their expenses here.  Would even those people who earn very little leave without the ability to earn some money?

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6 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

 when lots of merchants leave will this cause any decline in SL?

not.. or barely.. others will take their place, said that before and will keep repeating that.
 

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22 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

hell, I don't know how anyone could expect to make a living wage selling things in SL. That's a terrifying thought as LL could pull the plugs on the servers anytime. Do they have backup plans or are they just going to crash and burn?

I haven't worked another job in 15 years, and I have a little $ saved...so not such a crisis for me as for those who are living absolutely paycheck to paycheck....and there are quite a few merchants on the edge like that..

* even jobs in RL aren't so secure these days...

Edited by Luna Bliss

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7 minutes ago, Fox Wijaya said:
17 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

 when lots of merchants leave will this cause any decline in SL?

not.. or barely.. others will take their place, said that before and will keep repeating that.

You can keep repeating that...I like directness and a bit of reality testing...like when you were chatting with Elvira.

But please be sensitive...these people are having to give up their dreams...sometimes dreams years in the making...and dreams they thought would continue. For me it has been an experience of much depth and meaning, you could say 'spiritual'. Developing artistically, increasing 'the flow' in creating that translates to RL, learning to know and appreciate nature more.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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33 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

 

1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

The average retail profit margin is 1%-3%. 

What's your profit margin after paying all those fees and tier, and premium (which you don't need to be a creator)?

0.  My profit margin for the past 3 years has been 0, and I'm ok with that.  As I said, I don't expect to make real money here, but I'm also not trying to lose money either.   Like any decent brand, unless you are quite successful, most profit has to go right back into growing the brand.  I used to pay $47/month tier additional to my premium to have a nice inworld presence and that was fine because sales covered the cost.  Once my youngest daughter was born, I just didn't have as much time anymore and competition at the mid-level to get people in the door is ridiculously competitive (as is in RL, I realize).  If you're not constantly out there promoting your brand with designer events, social media and advertising, traffic drops away like an anvil.  All of that does cost and add to overhead, btw.  Not to mention creators that are having a hard time keeping up with the 3D quality demands themselves so have to invest in mesh templates as well. Unless you are a creator, I think you don't realize the actual overhead costs involved, particularly considering a typical item in my shop sells for... roughly 35 cents (Because ya know...gotta compete with 50L Fridays, 40L Thursdays...etc). Hoping soon that I can come back with even better new content when I have a little more free time as my girls start school.  Not trying to be a martyr here, just giving my two cents respectfully.  

 

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44 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

You can keep repeating that...I like directness and a bit of reality testing...like when you were chatting with Elvira.

But please be sensitive...these people are having to give up their dreams...sometimes dreams years in the making...and dreams they thought would continue. For me it has been an experience of much depth and meaning, you could say 'spiritual'. Developing artistically, increasing 'the flow' in creating that translates to RL, learning to know and appreciate nature more.

I completely agree.  My shop may be small, but it has been a sense of peace and creative outlet for me for 10 years.  We develop, evolve and adapt, and the real joy of creating here in SL for me is putting real heart and effort into something, even knowing that at the end of the day it will most likely be drowned out by everything else overflowing the market. 

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I would be more sensitive if I saw any discussion about finding solutions - product improvements, store improvements, group benefit improvements, social media and marketing improvements, advertising improvements, education campaigns about prices and fees, etc., etc., etc. - thinking outside the box and being creative about ways to work with what you have in order to offset the new fee.

Big changes require big ideas. No one is making anyone give up their dreams. I see people choosing to by not coming up with, or accepting any, ideas for ways to overcome an obstacle that absolutely can be overcome. I see wallowing, which is fine for a minute, but then there is a choice to make. Throw in the towel, or pull yourselves up by your bootstraps? Adversity is part of life. It's up to you to choose how you deal with it. 

I know I'm going on a lot of lists by speaking out about what I see, but I'm the one with the pocketful of lindens I'm itching to spend. You guys don't even want to give me a chance to spend them.

shrugs

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