Jump to content
Alexxis DeCuir

MP fees raising to 10% per sale. Thoughts?

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 223 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

15 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I don't believe this is the only incarnation of CoffeeDuJour...

If that's the case then I'm happy to hear it from her and learn more about her insights. I don't know her brand, that account's store is all I can go by or do you think I'm clairvoyant? (I don't.)

I haven't even been here for a whole page, and you're already trying to kick me out? I'm literally going out of my way to be as general and non-demeaning as possible but everybody who's quoted me so far (Except ChinRey, even if we disagree on some points) seems really worked up about me talking about statistics, to the point of direct insults at me. What gives? (Edit: I guess I'm on a new page now...)

I feel like all of you are missing the context in which I'm speaking. I'm not talking about any one individual. Anecdotal experiences (such as Coffee's supposed bigger store) are subject to way too many variables. When we take a step back and look at things at the macro-scale (not the furry thing), we'll see more general behavior which we can't see when we focus on the tiniest details -- individuals.

  • How do you explain a drop in sales when nothing has changed in your store?
  • How do you explain an increase in sales when you increase your prices?
  • How do you define the spending culture within Second Life? Do you ask your friends?

You can't answer these questions if you only look at a bubble. There's stuff outside the bubble that still affects it.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I don't believe this is the only incarnation of CoffeeDuJour...

Two months shy of 14 years on my first account .. but it has a poor choice of name because I wasn't aware of how names worked when I joined :/ 

This is far from my first and only rodeo. The only difference now is I'm doing this for fun, not as a primary income.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said this once before - if there was a Landlord Forum, and they were upset about tier increases, and were discussing it among themselves, I wouldn't be going in there to upset them even further with my views on how 'dumb' their opinions are (I'm not calling them dumb, just their opinions, which apparently is not the same thing at all). I know if I did this I would be stirring them up. Their discussion has hardly anything to do with me,  and their situation has no impact on me, but I just don't like how they feel about it and I want them to know. I wouldn't do this, and I don't understand those who feel the need to.

This is the merchant forum, and it is the place for us to discuss how we feel about the fees, and what impact it will have on us, as individuals - we are sharing with each other, we are supporting each other.

Don't come in here just to stir us up - thank you.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Rya Nitely said:

I wouldn't be going in there to upset them even further with my views on how 'dumb' their opinions are (I'm not calling them dumb, just their opinions, which apparently is not the same thing at all).

Okay, clearly there's some kind of barrier between us. I'm not calling anyone or anyone's opinions dumb. Behavior. How you act based on your opinion. I'm sorry I've used the word dumb and you know I'm sorry because I haven't used it since the first time. I don't know of any phrase that could be more light-weight without cycling back to being condescending. This'll be the first time I'll pull my "English is not my first language" card.

 

45 minutes ago, Rya Nitely said:

"Their discussion has hardly anything to do with me"

Are you going to tell Luna the same thing after she barges in and dismissed me for my opinion?

 

45 minutes ago, Rya Nitely said:

and their situation has no impact on me, but I just don't like how they feel about it and I want them to know. I wouldn't do this, and I don't understand those who feel the need to.

This is the merchant forum, and it is the place for us to discuss how we feel about the fees, and what impact it will have on us, as individuals - we are sharing with each other, we are supporting each other.

It's okay to feel upset. I'm not against it. I've never argued about feelings. Be upset and show it. But can I say the same thing Luna did?

1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

Feel free to read along, and even speak!!  ;0   ....Well that depends though on what you have to say, and how you say it ...because nothing triggers me more

I don't like doomsayers or scaremongering. People who act as if the whole world (SL/LL) is ending because of personal experiences or opinions. If somebody comes here with concrete numbers and says "look, the economy is actually in a downward spiral," there's nothing I can say. I might question it, as I did Coffee's anecdote, but I'm actually open-minded even if the discussion in this particular thread doesn't really reflect it.

The increased fee also does affect me. I'm hit just as hard as everybody else, but -- like Coffee, who is a real merchant -- I don't rely on it. I've been here for 10 years too, I'm a merchant making roughly 8500 L$ (30 USD!) per month between my two accounts. My opinion is just "I'm okay with it," but for some reason that's not a valid opinion because "I'm not a real merchant" because either "I don't make enough money" according to @Rya Nitely or "I don't spend enough time" according to @Luna Bliss.

I don't agree with those criteria and in my opinion they are close-minded and dismissive of small creators.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

And I also think it's time for you to leave the thread and let the serious merchants continue to discuss what concerns them.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there, Luna. For a start, this is actually something that concerns everybody in SL whether they are aware of it or not. Right now, the big challenge for the Merchant class is to explain our situation to everybody else and we don't achieve that by locking ourselves into our own little echo chamber.

But Wulfie, the serious merchants do actually have a fairly good idea what price level is "safe". It's a vital part of selling and not only do we spend a lot of time on it, we also discuss it with each other and learn from each others' experience.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

But Wulfie, the serious merchants do actually have a fairly good idea what price level is "safe". It's a vital part of selling and not only do we spend a lot of time on it, we also discuss it with each other and learn from each others' experience.

Sure, I can easily agree with that and I have a good understanding why that discussion is helpful.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

If somebody comes here with concrete numbers and says "look, the economy is actually in a downward spiral," there's nothing I can say.

I've presented some bits of stats about it over the years - I can't find them all right now. But here are the few data points I could dig up right away (much of it is from memory only, sorry). Maybe me or somebody else can come up with more later. It would actually be very interesting to collect all available data and make an overview:

  • All data I remember to have seen, regardless of the year it's from, indicate that the split between LL and independent entrepeneurs is somewhere bteween 40-60 and 50-50. This is also confirmed in a 2011 NWN blogpost. (The owner of the blog is a former Linden and has inside connections even today so we can assume the info there is fairly accurate.)
  • In 2008 or 2009 a post on the NWN blog estimated LL's gross revenue from Second Life to be around $100M a year.
  • In 2011 LL reported a gross income "exceeding $75M".
  • In 2017 NWN estimated LL's gross revenue to be about $50M.
  • Today Crunchbase estimates LL's gross revenue to be about $42.7M a year. Both Crunchbase and Owler estimate LL's net revenue to be about $5M/year.

So LL's part of the economy is definitely dropping and dropping fast - almost 15% the last two years and almost 60% the last decade!

  • Around 2016 Ebbe mentioned in an interview that entrepeneurs were taking out $65M a year from SL.
  • In 2017 the figure had dropped to $60M.
  • In a November 2017 blogpost LL mentions that sales volumes on MP is L$16M a day. That amounts to about $23M a year. Deducting the fees, MP merchants made about $19.5M in total or slightly less than $100 on average. (Considering that much of the L$ merchants make on MP is spent inworld or paid to LL for tier, upload fees etc., this must mean that less than a quarter of the money taken out by entrepeneurs is by merchants/content creators.)

I wish I had more datapoints but I think it's enough to be fairly sure the "private" SL economy is declining as fast as LL's own.

Some more relevant data:

  • I did a quick check of the MP for another thread recently. The number of new stores added to MP is lower now than it used to be. It also seems (although we really need a more thorough look at it to be sure) that there are more stores closing down than new ones added and that on average newer stores have a considerably shorter lifespan than older ones. I think the myth that there is always somebody new to take over when an old merchant gives up is busted.
  • The number of "active users" have dropped by 40% over the last four years.
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ChinRey said:
  • In 2017 the figure had dropped to $60M.
  • In a November 2017 blogpost LL mentions that sales volumes on MP is L$16M a day. That amounts to about $23M a year. Deducting the fees, MP merchants made about $19.5M in total or slightly less than $100 on average. (Considering that much of the L$ merchants make on MP is spent inworld or paid to LL for tier, upload fees etc., this must mean that less than a quarter of the money taken out by entrepeneurs is by merchants/content creators.)

It's probably bad manner to respond to my own post but it didn't occur to me whie I was writing it and I think this needs more than an edit.

Look at those figures again:

  • Users cashed out 60 millions from SL in 2017.
  • Merchants probably cashed out less than 15 millions from MP sales.

Then add:

  • Knowing the margins in the land rental business, the "land barons" probably accounted for about the same. Maybe a little bit more but not much. (It may actually have been a lot less - from what I've been told, many private sim owners do a lot of their transactions outside SL - but I don't knwo anything about that.)

So it seems that half the private revenue came from other places than those two "big ones". Where does that money come from and where does it go? Any thoughts?

 

Edited by ChinRey
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found the stats in this thread really interesting and to see all the perspectives. This thread needs some pie charts :D   ChinRey do you have the number of active users % since 2018 per chance?  Wonder if the trend was different since then or the same.

From what I have seen in the last 2 years - the key goals have been:

(a) Land - stop decline in land (initial goal) and reverse it gradually back to a growth situation (stretch goal) by reducing tier, reducing internal costs with virtual hosting etc;  
(b) Merchant -  hedge (slightly) the above by increasing revenue from the merchant community; and 
(c) Resident - invest into more premium features to attract/retain more subscribers    
(d) Legal/Regulatory - be compliant with increasing regulation and serve potential wider markets- e.g. Tilia.
(e) Market Position - Sansar product (note I think this is where LL went wrong sorry, the market is not there at the moment but hindsight is a wonderful thing).

I do believe Ebbe's overarching goal with SL was to first "stop the bleeding".

On the land side thanks to Tyche Shepherd's stats we can track:

  • As of December 2018, private region ownership finally stopped shrinking after 7 years of decline.  There was 2.1% growth in private regions from 2017.  
    16120 private estates & 7691 Linden owned sims.
  • As of June 2019
    16099 private estates & 8035 Linden owned.  So the small amount of growth stopped but remained stable on the private region side and certainly didn't revert back to shrinkage.  Linden  increased their owned ones slightly.
  • As of 1 November 2019
    16145 private estates & 8371 Linden owned.   So the small growth had virtually stopped for private estates but didn't revert to shrinkage. LL sim's however continued to grow perhaps in line with their Resident goals e.g. premium benefits.

I hope they now feel it's time to invest into growth - the decline has been held at bay for now 12 months so they stopped the bleeding.  I hope they can be somewhat more open on the goals with us.  
 

My holiday list is below of what I would wish LL to do in 2020.      In essence, give me more residents who stay so I have the opportunity to make them customers. Win/Win.

  • increasing visibility of SL to new users who use other platforms with user cases that appeal to them.
    (e.g. the instagramer who loves creating decor or fashion scenes, who may enjoy creating virtual scenes - plus influencers are key).
     
  • Target external connectivity so we push more out from SL to RL versus having to leave SL to share SL (if that makes sense)
    e.g third party APIs from social media so we can cross populate product listings to social media posts (i.e.2020 is time to really sort out Marketplace as a new gen platform with proper investment - don't keep patching).  
     
  • Perform KYR (know your resident) with surveys to capture in-depth data on how/why/what/when etc residents use SL and other data like their RL hobbies.  You can capture all sorts of things like how many hours they spend, are they steam users, do they like crafting, do they influence on social media, do they ever fly in SL, how many people do they talk to, how did they make their first friend in SL, what events do they enjoy, how do they find new friends, how sociable are they etc etc.   It can then help define user groups linked to user cases etc.   Data can be used to focus the strategy to target similar residents to sign up and stick to the platform also whether enhancements really are on point for the way current users use the platform or future users may want to.  

No doubt the fees will continue to increase - let's hope growth and investment back into SL now increase so we can see a wider benefit in 2020.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

ChinRey do you have the number of active users % since 2018 per chance?  Wonder if the trend was different since then or the same.

I may have to adjust that figure. We know the active users number was about 1,000,000 in 2015 - that's a tip right from the horse's mouth. Recently I've seen 600,000 mentioned several places. That figure seems to originate in a 2017 article in the Atlantic. But what that article actually says is "only an estimated 600,000 people still regularly use the platform". It seems this number doesn't include the "mayflies", so it's not really comparable. Wikipedia says "at the end of 2017 active user count totals 'between 800,000 and 900,000'" and even the Atlantic article actually mentions 800,000 elsewhere.

I don't have any more recent data unfortunately but my impression is that the decline has been slower recently. A while ago I predicted we would see a bump in the usage stats as old-timers who left long ago grow up and find time to return to the hobbies of their youth. There may also be a little bit of spillover effect from all the new virtual reality projects boosting the numbers. Neither of those two factors is likely to have any significant long term effect though.

I have to add my usual disclaimer when we're discussing the active users count (with some special economy related notes). "Active users" is the number of accounts that have been logged on the last 30 days. This includes:

  • "Mayflies" - Accounts that log on once or twice and never again. They may be newcomers who decide they don't like what they see or new alts the owner never get to put into use. They account for slightly more than 30% of the active users and don't add anything to SL's economy of course.
  • "Rip van Winkles" - Old-timers who have left but still like to keep in touch and/or keep their old SL home for sentimental reasons. Judging by the activity in the old Linden Home regions it seems more than half of the Premium members are Rip van Winkles and they are also a considerable part of the rental companies' customer base. That means they add a lot to LL's and the old established land owners' income but little or nothing to the rest of SL's economy. (They are also very significant to the L$ "cash flow" btw since so much of the premium stipends end up on accoutns that are never ever going to spend any of it.)
  • Bots - nobody knows how many they are but they clearly add significantly both to the active user and concurrency numbers. They add a little bit to the economy (some of them are fitted up with commercial avatar parts and accessories and many are rented from bot suppliers and paid for in L$) but probably not very much.
  • Alts - I log on all my alts at least once a month so I am six "active users". That's hardly unique. Alts contribute a bit to the economy since many want to kit them up a little bit beyond starter avatar level.

The best estimate I have managed to come up with by using reasonable numbers for those four groups is that there are 70,000-120,000 actual active users, that is RL human beings who spend at least an hour or two in SL every month. Others who have used different methods (don't ask me for details, I don't know) have ended up with numbers towards the lower end of that range.

In one way it is worrying that the user base doesn't seem to shrink faster. Or to be more specific, it's worrying that the user base seems to decline slower than the economy. It can only mean that users are less willing to spend money in SL than they used to.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

it's worrying that the user base seems to decline slower than the economy. It can only mean that users are less willing to spend money in SL than they used to.

Or that content costs less overall. Merchants have continued, over the years, to lower their prices in order to be competitive. This does not bode well for LL's plan to obtain more revenue from content sales.
LL also has responsibility in promoting the value of content. For me, the fact that they pay the Moles only 10 dollars an hour demonstrates how much they value our skills.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just received a request for a custom job which would take about a week of full-time work, from a woman who asked if I charge anything...lol.   Oh yes, I have nothing to do but spend a week of my life working on your project, especially before Christmas. 
This, and a previous customer who felt it was fine to work on her project earning 20 cents an hour for three weeks full-time work, has caused me to decide this is a sign from Cthulhu and follow both of you, ChinRey and Rya, and not list anything new in my store or even respond to custom requests.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got this request from a nice person who doesn’t seem to be a customer but evidently would like me to make a very complicated tutorial for her. This kind of interaction, not my products, is what I spend most of my support time on. 

“hi Pamela, I noticed a wardrobe at one of the houses I was looking at https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/NEW-Armoire-Distressed-w-Menus-Mesh/7751907. As much as I would like to buy this because it has the CTS Wardrobe organizer built in, it isn't my style, neither is the closet provided by CTS. Could you explain how you made this so I can create one I like for my house, if not I understand.“

  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ChinRey said:

 

In one way it is worrying that the user base doesn't seem to shrink faster. Or to be more specific, it's worrying that the user base seems to decline slower than the economy. It can only mean that users are less willing to spend money in SL than they used to.

I think that's a really good point, and I wonder why?    

Merchants as residents really have quite a challenging environment to operate in, we have from day one.   I ask myself why do I still create (it's not for the income after 13 years) and for me my brain still likes the "building".

 I don't like doing it in Mesh  (although I like creating renders for 3d as the workflow is vastly different) and I miss the old SL.  However, I continue (as I actually enjoy the challenge of learning the tools) despite all the annoying steps included in SL creation from using the appalling marketplace interface, through to all the surrounding and copious levels of administration with a release in SL.       I am one type of user case who falls into "exploration, crafting (and that includes taking pictures/posting of the crafting), avatar customisation".      

I am keen to know why other merchants here still create?   Personal circumstances, love of SL, love of creating, profit etc?   From what I understand, there a few commercial entities using SL in content creation who make serious US$.  The rest of the merchant community probably falls into a small tier of what 200 odd creators (just going by those I see active in events, or selling etc) who make RL salaries (even if that may be minimum wage at one end), then it slides quickly into hobby money/supportive income and just to purchase things in world so never cashing out. Out of those 200 making the better profits, I suspect a higher percentage create fashion for avatar customisation, then moving into home/decor for scene customisation and so forth from full perm creators to service based merchants like Caspervend, Blogotex etc.

I personally wish LL had not gone with Sansar with the hindsight we now have.  Instead I wished they had created a Gen 2 world of SL so patching stops, and it gives LL a more viable baseline to operate from that didn't have mesh import as a feature.

I would have preferred (selfishly) a SL 2.0 platform that takes inspiration from Unity, Mindcraft, and the SL avatar customization capabilities without mesh import but using a bridge format to have the capabilities inworld without having to develop them directly.

Mindcraft from memory had over 90 odd Million monthly users in 2018 as a guide.    It has the same spirit of early SL to me.    So there is a proven user type out there that people like that type of thing and there is also proven user cases that link.   Using those KYR survey's I mentioned would help LL understand if I am just a weirdo, or if there are more of me out there now in SL, and with some targeted research if those instagram "creators" I mention would be potential candidates to become new residents.  

Steve Jobs is no longer with us, creating something new that people didn't know they wanted until they found it is a rare skill.   SL achieved that when it started , that need still exists in my opinion and there is scale to it if it allowed itself to evolve towards it. 

I may go crazy and just add SL 2.0 to my 2021 wish list 🤣

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

I just got this request from a nice person who doesn’t seem to be a customer but evidently would like me to make a very complicated tutorial for her. This kind of interaction, not my products, is what I spend most of my support time on. 

“hi Pamela, I noticed a wardrobe at one of the houses I was looking at https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/NEW-Armoire-Distressed-w-Menus-Mesh/7751907. As much as I would like to buy this because it has the CTS Wardrobe organizer built in, it isn't my style, neither is the closet provided by CTS. Could you explain how you made this so I can create one I like for my house, if not I understand.“

I can only have sympathies with those types of requests.

I have in my picks a little note that says due to time I can't help with customization or modification but each week the odd request slips through.  I have my standard copy and paste ready ha and this seems to stop any further follow up bar a thank you.

"I am so sorry I can't help on modifications, tutorials, or customization requests.   If you are keen to learn though, you can!   Please see https://strawberrysingh.com/2017/09/04/become-content-creator-second-life/ to get started and if you have any follow up questions you will need to ask your fellow residents.   There is a community on the forums - please see https://community.secondlife.com/forums/forum/220-creation/ you can search for any question you have and if not already asked you can post one yourself.      Best of luck!"

I paste this about once a week- I used to put it in my picks but as they don't read it hah was pointless.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

Mindcraft from memory had over 90 odd Million monthly users in 2018 as a guide.    It has the same spirit of early SL to me.    So there is a proven user type out there that people like that type of thing

Yes re Minecraft, and to some extent also Roblox. SL could have been one of those. It had the magic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Charlotte Bartlett said:

I can only have sympathies with those types of requests.

I have in my picks a little note that says due to time I can't help with customization or modification but each week the odd request slips through.  I have my standard copy and paste ready ha and this seems to stop any further follow up bar a thank you.

"I am so sorry I can't help on modifications, tutorials, or customization requests.   If you are keen to learn though, you can!   Please see https://strawberrysingh.com/2017/09/04/become-content-creator-second-life/ to get started and if you have any follow up questions you will need to ask your fellow residents.   There is a community on the forums - please see https://community.secondlife.com/forums/forum/220-creation/ you can search for any question you have and if not already asked you can post one yourself.      Best of luck!"

I paste this about once a week- I used to put it in my picks but as they don't read it hah was pointless.

Most people think we are selling pixels. But pixels cost us nothing. What we are selling is our time spent designing and creating. So to them it is reasonable to buy something that costs fifty cents or even two whole dollars, and expect unlimited amounts of our time. There has to be a certain amount of support time built into the price of anything but not including a crash course in Blender or a primer on how SL works. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally try not participate in discussions because I dont find my English sufficient. However, I have a bad feeling about this increase. It reflects only need for CEO and ppl who "run" LL to show positive balance (better then previous quarter) to shareholders. Every step in last 5 years or more was on expense of creators why break their backs making new stuff... fees increase all the time... till when... till there is nothing to "milk". Then simply close a shop (second life) and lets to next job interview with fat CV. Without creators who really push limits on what is possible with obsolete engine you have what.... 10 % plus withdraw ripoff.... come on LL, wake up ppl... then we go for 15%.. then 30... etc... and graphs will still go down... Sorry if I was not very comprehensive but... its best to my abilities. If someone from LL accidentally  reads this.... bring it up to ppl who actually own SL

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Isilmeriel said:

A bit off topic but can everyone chill out and stop pushing the linden sell cost please? -_-

I don't know whether you noticed it, but that's something already happening since before the first fee raise and has been an ongoing trend. At least, discussing it would let LL know that we're not dumb enough to have not noticed that it is an intentional move from them. Nobody is taking this factor into accounting the general monetary loss we're undergoing as creators, I was the first to address it in this thread, because this currency inflation adds up over the fees in a significant manner. Stack these roughly 3% (or more by now) on top of the commissions raise and the final result is that the raise wasn't just a double-up from the previous rate, it is more. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 223 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...