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Alexxis DeCuir

MP fees raising to 10% per sale. Thoughts?

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I've rented homesteads (up to 3 at one time) from Fruit Islands since 2008. I've never needed customer support until recently. My tier meter stopped working because they changed management. I was told to rez it again, but it still doesn't work. Then I was told to go to their pay terminal and that will tell me about my rent. And that was it, I deleted the tier meter :(

So, I don't know what they do, sorry. I wish I did but I still don't know.

They do take a huge gamble by buying land and then hoping to get a profit, so I will give them that. It's a huge gamble.

Edit: Trying to resolve conflicts between tenants. I remember that years ago when I rented for Dream Islands. They did help there.

Edited by Rya Nitely

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35 minutes ago, Rya Nitely said:

I've rented homesteads (up to 3 at one time) from Fruit Islands since 2008. I've never needed customer support until recently.

Awww, that's the kind of tenants all landowners dream of!

Unfortunately there is also the kind that rents a small 250 L$ place, tries to haggle on the price, needs an hour of explaining how rental boxes, security orbs, prims and the solar system work (most of the time spent waiting while they've gone afk without telling you), demands that the wallpaper is changed to shocking pink with purple stars, fills up their house with uber laggy breedables and ten times as many prims as their allotment allows and leaves after a week without cancelling and without removing their stuffz.

Edit: You remember your "Merchants are also teachers" thread. This is a scenario landowners know all too well. Much of the "customer support" is about teaching tenants basic SL skills and has nothing to do with the place they rent.

Edited by ChinRey
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3 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Yes but their goal is based on a false premise.

They are not balancing or rebalancing their revenue sources with these changes, they are unbalancing them.

Linden sources of USD are:  1) Tier.  2) Premium Memberships. 3) USD withdrawal fees. 4) L$ purchase and conversion fees

when 1) Tier is reduced then to maintain the level of total revenue then either 2), 3) or 4) have to increase

in my case as a consumer in real dollar (USD) terms.  1) Tier is going up (not down) because  2) Premium Membership is going up. My parcel will cost $US99 rather than $US72.  3) USD transaction fees no recent change. 4) L$ purchases are up

with 3) The merchant(s) gets less of the USD, because fees, that I pay into Linden account to buy L$. I don't pay other residents USD when I buy L$. Linden do by way of a credit

what merchants can do, should they choose, is to increase their product L$ prices.  Which with a number of stores I buy stuff from on a semi-regular basis, is happening with new releases. About from L$200 to L$220-250.  From  L$250 to L$275-L$300. Not every merchant is increasing prices. As a semi-regular customer of stuff that I like then I understand why this is. It also helps that I am in a position to absorb these increases in my own costs

the difference between me and the merchant is that they are in SL to earn an income. To withdraw USD from Linden, not deposit USD as I do. So when as a merchant our nett withdrawals are less for the same amount of work then that can be a burden true.  However,  nowhere in any of the recent changes have my real dollar costs been reduced. My real dollar costs are up

in this sense I am the resident that Linden wants more than any other type of resident, in their revenue stream re-balancing exercise. More residents who deposit more USD into Linden than they have previously. Same with all the merchants as a body, I am their kind of resident also

if Linden pricing forces creative merchants out of SL then yes there will be less new stuff for me to buy. Something I will deal with that when it happens, if it happens

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7 hours ago, ChinRey said:

LL could probably manage to handle what the "generic land" estate owners do today but then they would also have to take over the work. Those places don't run themselves after all. Based on what I know of how estates and LL are run, I'd say LL would need to hire two new people for every estate owner/employee they replace is they want to maintain the same level of service to the tenants. The cruel TCO is definitely not in LL's favour there. ;)

There are also those specialized estates - Caledon, Winterfell, Fruit Islands, Second Norway... you name them. A lot of people appreciate the unique flavour these places offer and they will not be happy to be forced to move to less satisfactory accomodations. LL should be able to duplicate the services these places offer but not before Hell freezes over.

Finally, all experience shows that when a residental sim closes, although some of the tenants will move elsewhere, many - usually most - will leave Second Life.

To be fair, I didn't say they'd do it better than land barons, I just said they'd be able to do it cheaper and make more money that way.

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The sl marketplace generates enough benefits thanks to the product ads that are voluntary accepted by the merchants, and there is no need to fees from many sources that are becoming too high for them.

Considering only the marketplace we have a 10% fee for each sale, 5% for process credit, premium merbership and the amount expended in ads, all together its a very high tax, giving more than a 30% of the benefits of most merchants, so LL its charging a high amount to creators.

 

Edited by Atlante Guerrero

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15 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

To be fair, I didn't say they'd do it better than land barons, I just said they'd be able to do it cheaper and make more money that way.

LL could probably get away with neglecting some of the work the land barons and their staffs do today but not all of it. If they are taking direct responsibility for three times as many regions as they do today, they need need to hire more staff.

That's where the cruel TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) comes in. Even though they seem to have improved a lot the last few years, it's obvious that LL still struggles with inefficient, time wasting internal solutions. The estates can't afford that. Their profit margins are so narrow they have to streamline their organisations and save work everywhere they can. I don't think I was exaggerating when I suggested it would take a Linden two hours to do do the work an estate can do in one. As if that wasn't enough even the lowliest Linden is of course paid far more per hour than anybody working in the rental business (except possibly the owners of the top ten estates).

Edited by ChinRey

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6 hours ago, ChinRey said:

LL could probably get away with neglecting some of the work the land barons and their staffs do today but not all of it. If they are taking direct responsibility for three times as many regions as they do today, they need need to hire more staff.

That's where the cruel TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) comes in. Even though they seem to have improved a lot the last few years, it's obvious that LL still struggles with inefficient, time wasting internal solutions. The estates can't afford that. Their profit margins are so narrow they have to streamline their organisations and save work everywhere they can. I don't think I was exaggerating whenI suggested it would take a Linden two hours to do do the work an estate can do in one. As if that wasn't enough even the lowliest Linden is of course paid far more per hour than anybody working in the rental business (except possibly the owners of the top ten estates).

It'd be like so many other things, we'd see a huge influx of forum posts asking how to do things with land, and residents would wind up doing most of the customer support anyway.

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38 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

It'd be like so many other things, we'd see a huge influx of forum posts asking how to do things with land, and residents would wind up doing most of the customer support anyway.

Oh i bet we would. LL still wouldn't get away with it though, they'd have to put some work into it themselves. ;)

In any case, private estates offer several things LL simply can't no matter how much they try. If all the private estates closed, at least half the people there would probably leave SL for good. That can't be good for LL's economy.

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Until recently I owned a parcel on mainland. I needed them to get rid of the floating pen!s thingies that were all over my land, griefing my customers. Someone didn't like me for some unknown reason. They did it quite promptly. At one time I wanted to buy the abandoned land next to mine and the next day it was for sale for me. But there are no rules like if someone puts up a horrible privacy screen or has glaring bright light, and I guess private landlords would help because there would be rules.

But LL could just sell isolated homesteads, like the one I have, with no need to own a full sim. That would give me a reason to continue my premium membership, which I drop next month.

Edited by Rya Nitely
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50 minutes ago, Rya Nitely said:

But LL could just sell isolated homesteads,

they would kill the landlords with Estates .. homesteads are their business. And LL would step into the real landholdings, imagine all support they have to organise for the people who get homesteads. I guess they'l think not once or twice, but ten times before they want that on their plate.

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I'm a little late to the thread, but I've been giving this a lot of thought. I went through my sales data and looked at how much maintenance we have, specially the unscheduled kind, and those months and weeks my entire store performs far worse than when SL is running smoothly.

If SL ran smoothly more often, more people would be buying things, and everyone, including LL and merchants, would be making more money. There are several outlier months in my history where I've made less than half of what I normally would year over year.

Look at all this billing maintenance last month: https://secondlife-status.statuspage.io/

My fiscal month starts on the 9th. This month my sales have been well below normal year over year. This isn't the first time I've noticed this coincidence and looking back through history, if you have a large store that has some good evergreen products that continue to sell steadily and constantly, you will see it too.

Which is why I am disappointed in the rate change. If SL could get things to be more stable, and get the billing system issues massively reduced, we would all be making more money, even if LL kept the commission fee at 5%. Much more income at the same rate is better than less or the same income at a higher rate. And looking at my personal sales data, SL grid problems cause massive fluctuations to the point that there's no way LL could ever reasonably expect to depend on SLMP income in SLMP's and the grid's current state.

When they are getting money from land owners, they will get the same income every month whether SL is up 100% of the time or there's problems 90% of the time. But as they shift to depending more on merchants and L$ transactions, they stand to lose a lot of money when SL is down. And SL's stability leaves so much to be desired. I view what happens in a bad SL month and how it affects me, and think how that would affect a company. Depending on SLMP income when SLMP and the billing systems aren't stable and always need maintenance will absolutely mess up LL's quarterly reports.

SL being down is costing us all a lot of income. Merchants and LL. Billing system maintenance always results in bad sales for me, I usually sell at least a few things a day (not trying to brag).

But LL's web infrastructure is not good. It took me a good 30 seconds for the server to log me into the forums, and when I was I wasn't redirected to this thread. I had to go back through history. And SL's economy depends on this stuff. I am not one to be rude but looking at how Sansar makes progress and comparing it to the web side of LL I think the web stuff would be much better in Boston. Web stuff has been getting better, but it always seems to go through a cycle of getting better, then getting absolutely broken for a while.

Just my two cents but LL is causing me a lot of lost income with all this maintenance, billing issues, and now raising their commission. They are free to compare themselves and their commission to Google Play or Apple App Store, but if they want to do that I will compare the uptimes and reliability of Google and Apple's billing systems and marketplaces to LL's and that is not a very good comparison for LL.

I would be happy with 15% commission if it meant we would get a stable grid, marketplace loaded with the speed of a serious e-commerce site. Go test marketplace.secondlife.com in a web front end performance tool like gtmetrix. Just to visit the marketplace page you get redirected from

  1. marketplace.secondlife.com
  2. id.secondlife.com
  3. marketplace.secondlife.com?openid_identifier
  4. marketplace.secondlife.com

I think I mentioned this a long time ago and things are getting better. Fully loaded was only 2.6 seconds, and there's some massively low hanging fruit like no optimization on storefront images, JS and CSS aren't minimized server side, etc. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this, I remember it was not very good at all a while ago.

I don't mean to be rude to anyone or anything. But I've been dealing with the coincidence of lots of maintenance and billing maintenance meaning a bad month of sales for years. And I feel like no one has ever made a big deal out of losing income from that. I have another friend who has noticed the same thing after I pointed it out to him. At first he thought I was just being crazy, but now he will ask me if there was a lot of billing maintenance because his sales are slow. And there almost always is.

I just want to see this stuff fixed. Taking more commission is just a band aide on a larger problem. And I am legit concerned that a shift to depending more on the economy, when I see issues with stability negatively affecting the economy, from a system that provides the same income per customer every month, will cause a lot of problems for SL. And I really like this place and what LL has done. I want it to do well.

If LL wants to compare themselves to Google, Apple, etc they need to start treating the reliability and stability of the grid and related websites like they do. Look at how people are freaking out about Discord being down and having problems. Now look how much SL has problems. Marketplace would pull in so much more revenue if SL was stable like other services.

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59 minutes ago, Flea Yatsenko said:

Marketplace would pull in so much more revenue if SL was stable like other services.

That was an interesting read for sure.  Judging from the folks that I talk to and "share" sales info with income is down even for December which is traditionally DOWN anyway - LOL.    I  raised some prices on the Marketplace on newer stuff, kept some the same and even lowered a few prices on older things.   That doesn't solve the problem of course -- just, in my mind, made it a bit more fair. 

 

IF the often touted idea is to shift the revenue stream from land to "other sources" (with the creators of this world seemingly at the top of that list)  --- well that is fine. 

But there is of course a "but".   Mainland is worse off now than it was when LL changed the free tier allotment a year and a half or more ago. It is actually the worst I have EVER seen it. More empty land in maintenance and sales prices plummeting (not ASKING prices - sales prices).  For only the second time in twelve years I lost money on a mainland sale -- and it took two weeks to complete besides. This is not good. 

NOW not only do we have the very nicely made Victorians in Bellisseria coming out, we also have a seemingly HUGE release of all four types of plots in the near future. Thousands of new abodes  aimed in part so that people will opt into the Premium discount (still $18 more than our previous charges). In some ways this is good. More money in the coffers to offset the sink that will likely occur when all the folks that signed up last Spring (or before - some long time) go back to basic membership in 2020.   In one sense this is a very smart move by The Lab, but in another -- not so much.  

 

I am guessing that part of the giant release (this time including the much maligned   cloning of  regions) will be to also give those in the old Linden Homes a better chance to relocate.  Then (or actually any time The Lab decides) those huge number of sims can go back into the mist. That saves some money.   But in this whole project of making the  gorgeous area of Belli for "almost free"  they have sacrificed the history of mainland. The number of people opting into to mainland citizenship MUST be down.  So many of them are now living in Belli.    When that continues, naturally the incoming proceeds from tier will keep dropping --- leaving once again a "sink" that will need to be filled. 

 

And then will they once again turn to the creators that MAKE THE WORLD to supply the needed funds?  I feel a little victimized these days -- even as I see the short term reasoning. 

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1 hour ago, Chic Aeon said:

But there is of course a "but".   Mainland is worse off now than it was when LL changed the free tier allotment a year and a half or more ago. It is actually the worst I have EVER seen it. More empty land in maintenance and sales prices plummeting (not ASKING prices - sales prices).

Asking prices have dropped too.

 

1 hour ago, Chic Aeon said:

But in this whole project of making the  gorgeous area of Belli for "almost free"  they have sacrificed the history of mainland. The number of people opting into to mainland citizenship MUST be down.  So many of them are now living in Belli.

Not only mainland, if they're really going to fill up as many new Linden Homes as they seem to be planning to, they'll also have to capture a significant part of the people who are renting on private estates now.

If they can that is. Bellisseria is just one single theme after all. I know it's a surprisingly popular theme but it's still only one and diversity has always been one of SL's strongest selling points. It'll be interesting to see if there really is that much market for it.

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6 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

they would kill the landlords with Estates .. homesteads are their business. And LL would step into the real landholdings, imagine all support they have to organise for the people who get homesteads. I guess they'l think not once or twice, but ten times before they want that on their plate.

yes, we don't want to kill anybody, landlords or merchants alike.

I still don't get what support a homestead owner would need. What support?

As I said before I have owned homesteads, up to 3, and never ever needed support until one time with my tier meter and they did nothing for me anyway. Have to live without one.

Edited by Rya Nitely
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Nothing happens except every tuesday you get booted off for a bit with sim restarts or whatever they do, and that's it. The rest of the time everything is stable.

Edited by Rya Nitely
took out bad grammar/spelling

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I often get things bought for me from my Marketplace wishlist. It happens often with reasonably priced items.

The other day I noticed two wishlist items were no longer available.

I searched Marketplace and found the demos, but not the full items.

I sent a notecard to the seller asking where the items had gone and could they be re-instated. 

She said due to the increase in MP fees they are now only available from her main shop in-world and no longer listed on Marketplace.

I removed the residue from my wishlist as nobody can buy those items for me now.

Arguably she has lost sales, but I understand why she did it. What I don't understand is why not increase the prices on Marketplace to cover the fee increases, but state in the advert that the items are available at a discounted price from the in-world store and provide a teleport link.

Why don't I just buy it from the store myself? ~ Because I don't have much money, but would like the item, should someone choose to gift it to me.

It's a shame.

 

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54 minutes ago, CandyCole said:

I often get things bought for me from my Marketplace wishlist. It happens often with reasonably priced items.

The other day I noticed two wishlist items were no longer available.

I searched Marketplace and found the demos, but not the full items.

I sent a notecard to the seller asking where the items had gone and could they be re-instated. 

She said due to the increase in MP fees they are now only available from her main shop in-world and no longer listed on Marketplace.

I removed the residue from my wishlist as nobody can buy those items for me now.

Arguably she has lost sales, but I understand why she did it. What I don't understand is why not increase the prices on Marketplace to cover the fee increases, but state in the advert that the items are available at a discounted price from the in-world store and provide a teleport link.

Why don't I just buy it from the store myself? ~ Because I don't have much money, but would like the item, should someone choose to gift it to me.

It's a shame.

 

Many stores use vendors that let people GIFT ITEMS.  So it is very likely someone could still buy it for you.  For years (many many years) many of the top creators have not had items on the Marketplace -- not even demos.    LL most likely assumed that there wouldn't be all that many creators doing this. If that was their point of view I guess we will know fairly soon. Thanks for posting this. 

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6 hours ago, Flea Yatsenko said:

If LL wants to compare themselves to Google, Apple, etc they need to start treating the reliability and stability of the grid and related websites like they do......

Reliability is not the issue, especially not in this comparison.

If the SL marketplace had the same market reach as Apple /Google platforms then sure, let's compare. As things stand it's laughable to put them in the same sentence, let alone use one pricing model as a basis for the other. 

 

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12 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

Reliability is not the issue, especially not in this comparison.

If the SL marketplace had the same market reach as Apple /Google platforms then sure, let's compare. As things stand it's laughable to put them in the same sentence, let alone use one pricing model as a basis for the other. 

 

Is it really though? I just got this error browsing search results. And marketplace.secondlife.com is currently not loading for me, throwing an internal server error after it tries to load for about 30 seconds. I'm just trying to shed light on a situation, you're free to ignore what's going on but when SLMP is down it doesn't matter if LL is taking 5% or 10%, 5% or 10% of zero is still zero. And none of us are making any money either.

 

Screenshot_20191208_145023.png

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i sometimes wonder if Linden would be better off if they charged tier on Marketplace rather than sales commission

tier meaning where listings count like parcel LI. Some minimum tier amount for some base number of listings. Want more listings then buy more tier.  And like parcel tier, Marketplace tier is a monthly recurring fee

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8 hours ago, Flea Yatsenko said:

Is it really though? I just got this error browsing search results. And marketplace.secondlife.com is currently not loading for me, throwing an internal server error after it tries to load for about 30 seconds.

Oh yes, it's that too. :(

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On 12/8/2019 at 9:56 PM, Flea Yatsenko said:

Is it really though? I just got this error browsing search results. And marketplace.secondlife.com is currently not loading for me, throwing an internal server error after it tries to load for about 30 seconds. I'm just trying to shed light on a situation, you're free to ignore what's going on but when SLMP is down it doesn't matter if LL is taking 5% or 10%, 5% or 10% of zero is still zero. And none of us are making any money either.

 

Screenshot_20191208_145023.png

I get the same error all the time. Really annoying :/ And it's been for at least 3 weeks now.

Edited by Pavon2

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On 12/8/2019 at 9:01 AM, CoffeeDujour said:

Reliability is not the issue, especially not in this comparison.

 

On 12/8/2019 at 9:56 PM, Flea Yatsenko said:

Is it really though? I just got this error browsing search results.

Reliability is one of the many issues merchants have to struggle with, and the one that our customers also see right away. We haven't talked much about it in this thread but maybe we should.

It hits merchants in more than one way, we loose sales and when an outage happens while we are working on listings, we loose the work we had already done and have to start over again (and of course, we'll have to try to find time later to do it).

I was actually busy adding new items to one of my stores when this outage happened, I managed to finish two but when I clicked the submit button for the third, I got the Internal Server Error. Fortunately for me, I had uploaded the images and associated the related products ealrier and stored as a draft (those two parts of the listing work are the really big time drains) and I had long learned the lesson not to type anything directly into the form but copy-paste from a text document instead. So I didn't loose that much. Other were not as lucky and there was quite a livid discussion in BB chat for a while. I tried to distract them by posting links to this thread and Rya's spin-off  but for some reason that only made them angrier. I have no idea why - I just wanted to give them somethhing nice to read to pass the time.

The outages are just the tip of the iceberg too. Even when the MP server is online, it's horrendously slow and unpredictable. This too is painfully obvious to buyers and sellers alike but imagine what it means when you're uploading pictures for a listing. Depending on the server's mood it can take anything from a minute to five to upload an image and then it takes anything from a minute to five before it shows up on the page so you know it's there. There is no progress bas or anything like that so you have no idea what is happening. Is the upload still going on? Is it finished so its safe to move on to next step? Has it timed out? Has it crashed? All you can do is wait and see.

Edited by ChinRey
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I remember saw in this forum, the marketplace inflation in comparison  to the inworld store,  is no longer an issue.

If it is true, is it still possible to give 5% discount for customers who buy from the inworld store?

ie: Mention in the marketplace listing that even though the Marketplace price 99L$, if you buy this from my inworld store its only 94L$

That way we can save the increased 5%.

 

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