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Wishnie

Will Any Long-Time Members of SL Be Willing to Answer a Curious Newbie's Questions?

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Hi! Let's just hop right into it, shall we?
    I'm a complete newbie to Second Life, so I was hoping that some experienced, long-time members of SL- like you- would be willing to answer a few of my dumb questions. I'm not very interested in the roleplaying, socializing(uwa, scary) aspect of Second Life, but I've heard that the economy and business of SL is unlike any other game. The idea of building homes and creating clothing to sell is such an attractive thing, I can't help but feel curious! So, I'm sorry to be bothering you guys, but it would be absolutely wonderful if you could share some of your experience with me!
    I have some questions, please feel comfortable to give your thoughts! Think of this as a little Q&A, starring you! Choose any question(s) to answer, please!

- Have you started or built your own store or business with clothing or houses? If so, please tell! It would be so cool to hear your story!
- What are your thoughts on creating clothing? Is it difficult? Time-consuming? Worthwhile? Do you think it would be relatively simple for newbies to begin? Even newbies in their teens?
- Is it expensive to begin creating clothing or building homes with the purpose to sell them? Would I have to purchase a bunch of packs or mods or whatever to be able to sell quality products?
- How complex is the system/program used to create/build clothing and houses? Would a simple-minded teen be able to basically figure it out in an hour or two?
- So, I don't have a lot of money... would that impede me a lot, especially at the beginning of a journey to sell clothes or houses?
- Is it possible to rent houses for long-term passive income? Or must it always be a one-time sale through auction? Also, what's the typical cost of a small, medium-sized, large, and gigantic house?
- What is the competitiveness of clothing/house markets? What kinds of houses or clothes are super saturated and totally not worth making anymore? (Sorry, this is a weird question >_>)
- Do you have any advice for a newbie like me? Anything you wish that you'd known when you were first starting out?

    I think that's it for now! I'll update my questions- if I learn how too, I'm rarely on forums- based on my responses! And don't worry- I promise not to sit around like a potato; I will actively be searching for answers on my own, too!
    Thank you so much for your time and thoughts! I really appreciate it!

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Posted (edited)

A curious mind is a wonderful thing to have. I am not a newbie, but I feel like one, having been absent from Second Life from quite a while.  All I can really say is that there is something for everyone in Second Life, and you have the right type of personality to find what you seek.  

If you want to create clothing or textures or anything, there are video tutorials available, via knowledge base, blogs, answers, tabs at the top of the screen. Things are not necessarily expensive. A long time ago, I used to buy and sell land. That was quite lucrative for me. That was before the Adult-rated continent came into being though.  

There appear to be quite a few landowners who rent out land, with or without houses on them. There are creators of houses, vehicles, HUDs, animations, weapons, breedable animals, clothing, just about anything you can think of.  

I entered Second Life not having any hopes or expectations, happened to meet really interesting people from the get go who taught me many things, but as I do not have a creative bone in my body, I never pursued avenues involving creating anything. However, creators need us SL shopaholics to make a living, and some make quite a good one.

Other answers will follow. Please check out links above, and also Youtube.  If you can find a niche that has not already been explored, there you will find success.

 

Edited by Marigold Devin
too drunk to be typing anything really
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Wishnie said:

Hi! Let's just hop right into it, shall we?
    I'm a complete newbie to Second Life, so I was hoping that some experienced, long-time members of SL- like you- would be willing to answer a few of my dumb questions. I'm not very interested in the roleplaying, socializing(uwa, scary) aspect of Second Life, but I've heard that the economy and business of SL is unlike any other game. The idea of building homes and creating clothing to sell is such an attractive thing, I can't help but feel curious! So, I'm sorry to be bothering you guys, but it would be absolutely wonderful if you could share some of your experience with me!
    I have some questions, please feel comfortable to give your thoughts! Think of this as a little Q&A, starring you! Choose any question(s) to answer, please!

- Have you started or built your own store or business with clothing or houses? If so, please tell! It would be so cool to hear your story!
- What are your thoughts on creating clothing? Is it difficult? Time-consuming? Worthwhile? Do you think it would be relatively simple for newbies to begin? Even newbies in their teens?
- Is it expensive to begin creating clothing or building homes with the purpose to sell them? Would I have to purchase a bunch of packs or mods or whatever to be able to sell quality products?
- How complex is the system/program used to create/build clothing and houses? Would a simple-minded teen be able to basically figure it out in an hour or two?
- So, I don't have a lot of money... would that impede me a lot, especially at the beginning of a journey to sell clothes or houses?
- Is it possible to rent houses for long-term passive income? Or must it always be a one-time sale through auction? Also, what's the typical cost of a small, medium-sized, large, and gigantic house?
- What is the competitiveness of clothing/house markets? What kinds of houses or clothes are super saturated and totally not worth making anymore? (Sorry, this is a weird question >_>)
- Do you have any advice for a newbie like me? Anything you wish that you'd known when you were first starting out?

    I think that's it for now! I'll update my questions- if I learn how too, I'm rarely on forums- based on my responses! And don't worry- I promise not to sit around like a potato; I will actively be searching for answers on my own, too!
    Thank you so much for your time and thoughts! I really appreciate it!

I have tried to put some of my insights of 15 years into these issues into tutorials in Ross and Iris which are "second tier," i.e. after you master the first line of issues in SL about moving and communicating and building, then you can look at these issues involved in making businesses. In Ross, at the Memory Bazaar, go into the buildings to find various topics like how to make groups function well, how to group land, etc. and also warnings about various scams and such. In Iris, go into the fish plant to follow through the steps there and also look in the "jobs" shack near the temple.

1. Yes, I have a store with houses. I tried first to build my own, they were so terrible, I commissioned other people to build them because they did a better job -- I commissioned at first because there weren't the kind of larger residential homes with tintable windows and lockable doors in earlier SL. Today, I just buy the prefab buildings mainly at events where I can see the demos. No, I haven't made clothes since my first t-shirts as a newbie. It's too hard for me. I have gradually become able to build things and sell them, but mainly furniture and appliances. I have been a very slow learner with this and now do it mainly with pre-fab mesh or sculpty models which I texture and combine because I can't seem to get beyond Paint to Blender which you need to learn to make things in SL.

2. If you want something badly enough, you will learn it. I did not want badly enough to learn how AO Maps and UV Maps work in SL for 14 years -- until I did, in my 15th when I simply couldn't get a model to texture by slapping it on. There are good tutorials on YouTube for this, but again, until you want it badly enough, you won't stick with them.

3. Yes, it gets expensive. It's not uncommon to blow $1000 on the models and texture uploads -- or two or three times that -- $500 or $1000 or more on the fee to be in an event or pay rent or tier to LL  -- and then only make back in sales what you put into the building cost -- if that. Yes, you can put things on the MP but for me, things sell better inworld at events or through my personal connections. Others get more sales from the MP. It depends on a lot of factors, the type of item, whether you are known, how search works (badly), etc.

It gets better over time, but basically, if you are not a RL graphics artist or computer programmer or web designer, have no art training in RL, and aren't hugely motivated, you can't perform magic in SL. I'm completely skill-free and will remain so -- the great thing about SL is that virtually anything sells if you put a price tag on it, and I'm fortunate that my customers will buy a simple table or teapot that I make, but there are better mesh ones or hand-made ones for the same or slightly more cost, and that limits my ability to do anything than offset the cost of tier with this, which is my main goal.

4. Yes, you need capital to start a business as in RL. You don't need a building -- you could work in a free public sandbox even without a premium account -- but you need $10 per texture upload and with clothes that will mount in cost rapidly.

5. There really isn't any such thing as "passive income" in SL, although some giant homestead rental farms with cheap skyboxes and giant domes on the mainland perhaps achieve something like this. You need to do customer service. It is endless. I have "self-service" rentals that keep me busy all day even with all kinds of self-service features built in.

6. Rentals are a way to make money if you can't make stuff, like me. This sustained me for years. It's sad to think that I can make one successful thing that will then "passively" make money for me forever, and more money than I can make scratching the earth in subsistence farming (Mainland Rentals) but that's the truth. The one big piece of advice I give all future rental agents: land is not an investment. Land is a sunk cost, and a recurring sunk cost like a utility, like electricity. If you buy and rent land, the answer is not to go buy more land as an "investment". It's not an investment. It's a loss, a sunk cost. Wait until you have really established a customer base, weathered the hard patches of SL (in the summer in RL, when people don't log on as much and rent less) before you start stocking up on islands. On the other hand, until you buy 100 islands, you will not have anything approaching RL income, assuming you can keep them rented. This is why I have about 14 of them, not 100.

7. The competition is fierce and growing fiercer always. You can't think about that and have to try to hang on to your newbie enthusiasm and your dream. You have to be willing to work hard and not look around you but build your dream and hope they will come. But you also have to look at customer requirements. People do not want to live in a grunge Japanese futuristic apocalypse tower by JP, as much as I love this look. They just don't. Even for free. So you have to take it down and put the bungalows they want to live in and not be fussy. The customer is always right. Or you can just not earn money. Don't worry about the market; worry about your customers. Please them, the rest will follow. People really value good customer service. I will buy a less pretty thing, or a more expensive thing, if the customer service is there for me.

8. I'm not one to ask about fashion saturation as I don't care about clothing and fashion but in houses, I would say only mesh sells now, and it has to be spacious, the walkability has to be good (no camera bounce), it has to be tintable and lockable, preferably free of mesh bounce, etc. Certain styles of Japanese or Arabic or Rustic seem "in" but then something else comes along that is Modern or Elf and then everyone wants that. Again, it's all about the customers. You find your niche.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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48 minutes ago, Wishnie said:

Hi! Let's just hop right into it, shall we?
    I'm a complete newbie to Second Life, so I was hoping that some experienced, long-time members of SL- like you- would be willing to answer a few of my dumb questions. I'm not very interested in the roleplaying, socializing(uwa, scary) aspect of Second Life, but I've heard that the economy and business of SL is unlike any other game. The idea of building homes and creating clothing to sell is such an attractive thing, I can't help but feel curious! So, I'm sorry to be bothering you guys, but it would be absolutely wonderful if you could share some of your experience with me!
    I have some questions, please feel comfortable to give your thoughts! Think of this as a little Q&A, starring you! Choose any question(s) to answer, please!

- Have you started or built your own store or business with clothing or houses? If so, please tell! It would be so cool to hear your story!
- What are your thoughts on creating clothing? Is it difficult? Time-consuming? Worthwhile? Do you think it would be relatively simple for newbies to begin? Even newbies in their teens?
- Is it expensive to begin creating clothing or building homes with the purpose to sell them? Would I have to purchase a bunch of packs or mods or whatever to be able to sell quality products?
- How complex is the system/program used to create/build clothing and houses? Would a simple-minded teen be able to basically figure it out in an hour or two?
- So, I don't have a lot of money... would that impede me a lot, especially at the beginning of a journey to sell clothes or houses?
- Is it possible to rent houses for long-term passive income? Or must it always be a one-time sale through auction? Also, what's the typical cost of a small, medium-sized, large, and gigantic house?
- What is the competitiveness of clothing/house markets? What kinds of houses or clothes are super saturated and totally not worth making anymore? (Sorry, this is a weird question >_>)
- Do you have any advice for a newbie like me? Anything you wish that you'd known when you were first starting out?

    I think that's it for now! I'll update my questions- if I learn how too, I'm rarely on forums- based on my responses! And don't worry- I promise not to sit around like a potato; I will actively be searching for answers on my own, too!
    Thank you so much for your time and thoughts! I really appreciate it!

I've never created anything for mass consumption, so I'll just give you a consumer's viewpoint - SL clothing shows a distinct lack of creativity, with 10 different people making almost the exact same thing of everything you can find.  Don't bother unless it's for fun (not profit) and you have money to burn on a new hobby, and you need to be truly original to stand out.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome Wishnie & Wb Marigold!

I specifically came to SL to make clothing items and sell them, having made similar items for other games for a long time. (modding).
I chose the easiest thing which was textured swimwear and had 6 shops at one stage and it was very good fun being entirely suitable for my OCD.

I looked into "prims" but had never encountered them before and not knowing much about 3d, thought they were totally yuk, so stuck to textures.
My curiosity got the better of me so I started to play with 3d mesh in RL and became fairly proficient in modelling stuff.
This led to more interest and then came 3d printers. I bought one and just for fun, started to design pendants & earrings.
Now I design and produce my own items in precious metals and own my own tiny little real life startup company.

Things are looking good and slowly but surely, (over 3 years), I have perfected my techniques & equipment.
Now I make the most amazing things from precious metals and its all due to playing around in SL! (deadly seriously lol)

Hopefully this year I might give up my day job and make jewellery only which would be a dream come true because e-commerce demands proficiency in graphics,
3d design & production, 3d printing to 16 microns, web & e-commerce coding, video production, music production and creative writing.

It's funny because now I am very good at 3d, I simply don't have the time to do it for SL but "bakes on mesh" means I have been able to re-use ALL my texture designs from 2009 and I might even open a shop again one day. 
 

Thanks LL & SL! ❤️

ps: Oh and my niche? I was the first to make triple transparency swimwear specialising in flora of a particular region in the southern hemisphere.

 

 

 

Edited by Maryanne Solo
Added transparency lol
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Posted (edited)

Along with @Prokofy Neva's excellent answers ---

I have been creating and having stores for 12 years now. Clothing, jewelry, houses, furniture, poses, shapes,  props and probably things I have forgotten making. I have had a great time and eventually (like seven years in) started making a fair amount of money -- this after mesh was introduced and I learned how to use it fairly well.

 

One thing that you should know as an incoming potential creator is RIGHT NOW SL is apparently going through a recession. Prices are being cut by creators who aren't selling as much as they used to. Downloaded items from the web are now "legal" where they were not before and new folks (and some old) are presenting them as original mesh -- which is VERY SAD.    The market is over-saturated with goods. There is probably nothing that you could make that hasn't already been made. Sad but true. 

 

Most events are going downhill in quality of goods offered. There are still some excellent creators out there but many that USED to be excellent seem to have lost their enthusiasm and are just putting out the minimum effort in order to stay in the events.  Lots of old creators have closed their stores or semi-retired.   So it is NOT a seller's market by any means.  

 

There are a ton of folks with little shops that don't break even but they have fun. They create in whatever manner that they can and enjoy the process, but if you actually want to "quit your day job" the people that I know in that arena have moved from both SL and Sansar over to Unity.  Any way you look at creating in a virtual world, it is a LOT of work for the money you earn; you really need to be doing it for enjoyment.  

 

So I suggest learning about Second Life and exploring a lot and see if you are still enthused.   Things can improve certainly and many of us hope that they do, but right now .......

Edited by Chic Aeon
spelling
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1 hour ago, Wishnie said:

......
- What are your thoughts on creating clothing? Is it difficult? Time-consuming? Worthwhile? Do you think it would be relatively simple for newbies to begin? Even newbies in their teens?
- Is it expensive to begin creating clothing or building homes with the purpose to sell them? Would I have to purchase a bunch of packs or mods or whatever to be able to sell quality products?
- How complex is the system/program used to create/build clothing and houses? Would a simple-minded teen be able to basically figure it out in an hour or two?
- So, I don't have a lot of money... would that impede me a lot, especially at the beginning of a journey to sell clothes or houses?
- Is it possible to rent houses for long-term passive income? Or must it always be a one-time sale through auction? Also, what's the typical cost of a small, medium-sized, large, and gigantic house?
- What is the competitiveness of clothing/house markets? What kinds of houses or clothes are super saturated and totally not worth making anymore? (Sorry, this is a weird question >_>)
- Do you have any advice for a newbie like me? Anything you wish that you'd known when you were first starting out?

  ....... 

Welcome to Second Life! 

I once tried being a Land Baron - buying property, improving it, and renting it out or re-selling it. It was a lot of fun but when I toted everything up I found I was not making any money - just losing it very slowly. I think you have to be a very dedicated person, willing to put in long hours, to make money in real estate.  Premium membership, the cost of land, structures, advertising, etc....all factor in. I don't think I could give you any realistic estimates for how much it would cost, but I agree with Prokofy's advice, above.

As for making things to sell, you can download blender for free and there are a ton of tutorials out there. Residents seem to always be buying new clothing and accessories. There seems to be a need for people who can create with bento, animations, and baked-on-mesh (BOM). As for making houses  - I recently did a survey of houses on the Marketplace and I was surprised at the variety and quality that was available. I even picked up a few freebie houses that were quite well made. If you want to make a living making and selling houses you will be facing stiff competition.

BUT - if you learn to work with Blender and animations you will have skills that you can use outside of Second Life. I've read that some people have no trouble learning Blender, while others (like myself) have yet to get beyond making very simple things.

Look around inworld and see what people are doing, and look at the Marketplace to see what is selling. Pick up some freebies and see if you can take them apart to see how they are made.

Good luck!

 

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Posted (edited)

Look at this very latest release from a sensational creator. (I will message you the details inworld).
Her shop is packed prior to upcoming releases and like a few select creator geniuses, the groups go
absolutely berko!, (nuts), when she mentions a new item.
This where it pays to be a premium member because a lot of the time you get easier access when the stores are chokkaz.

This level of creativity & precision is what it takes to be adored, famous and a superstar in SL. (not me the creator lol).
https://gyazo.com/d7c286fd24123c35fec6a5737b9cfdd8

 

Edited by Maryanne Solo
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Hi! Welcome to Second Life!

This is a world where everyone can create. Like Real Life, it takes skill and practice to do it well. There are a lot of people in SL who are quite good at this. Browse Marketplace and go to some of the sales events to see what you're competing with. Check out Builder's Brewery for classes. Realistically, if you can make money in SL, you could make more money in RL with the same skills.

SL pricing is interesting. A typical dress and a typical house sell for about the same. Clothing is hard to do. Houses, if they're all flat surfaces, are easy.

I've been moderately successful selling in SL. I have the only escalator that really works, and that's an expensive but popular item. I have a motorcycle, but it doesn't sell well; there are lots of those for sale.

Some niches that are not yet filled:

  • Semi-custom houses for hillsides. Most hillside builds in SL are attempts to jam a design for flat land into a place where it doesn't fit. Visit the southern edge of Sansara continent for bad examples. Look at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater for a classic RL solution to this problem.
  • Curved furniture for the new round towers in the Victorians of south Bellessaria.
  • Liveable futuristic designs. SL has cyberpunk (see Cocoon and Hangars Liquides for some of the best builds) but most houses are standard suburban American. Most of the cyberpunk is the 1980s vision of 2020 Tokyo. Not many new ideas. That's true in RL, too. Easier to try new ideas in SL.

Have fun!

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2 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

There are a ton of folks with little shops that don't break even but they have fun.

This^

I started a shop in 2009 with a group of friends I met in-world, each with their own particular talents. We did all sorts of things - scripted weapons, cosplay, kimono, roleplay accessories, whatever interested us. Mostly we goofed around, decorated the shop and chatted with customers. My contributions were very simple items, and the really old stuff I give away for free. The mesh items are by one of our group and other makers, and I textured them just for my own fun to wear. I wasn't inspired to learn to make mesh clothes myself. It didn't cost me much at all. I'm always rather (pleasantly) surprised when people buy my stuff, as it was made solely for my own fun. 

My 2 cents - Dive in, have fun, see where it leads, and start small so you don't feel pressured to recoup your costs. 

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The clothing market is to saturated, you wont make money unless you are making true original mesh. You can buy the full perm mesh, but so is everyone else.. and they will undercut your prices as well as ignore the full perm conditions. 

 If you are adept at blender and creating mesh items you could very well do good in second life, but if not... try scripting. Otherwise,  just enjoy sl.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Wishnie said:

- Is it possible to rent houses for long-term passive income? Or must it always be a one-time sale through auction? Also, what's the typical cost of a small, medium-sized, large, and gigantic house?

I feel like you have two things mixed up here (or maybe I'm just reading that wrong).

Selling houses and the "real estate" market are two completely seperated things. Houses are objects. They are sold like any other item. Doesn't matter if you build and sell a house or a bed. The process is the same. Its a one-time sale, no auction involved, because you have an endless supply. I personally love to collect houses, as I like to redecorate my parcel. Prices vary in the same way they do for any other object. 

What your question is really refering to is not houses, but the land business in general. Buying, selling and renting parcels. 

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8 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Certain styles of Japanese or Arabic or Rustic seem "in"

That's interesting. Small and cozy rustic cottages used to be my speciality and I have noticed their sales seem to have picked up again recently. Maybe I should make some larger hosues in that style too (I really only have two). But then again, maybe not. This is hardly the right time to spend time and effort on SL commerce.

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6 hours ago, Wishnie said:

Hi! Let's just hop right into it, shall we?
    I'm a complete newbie to Second Life, so I was hoping that some experienced, long-time members of SL- like you- would be willing to answer a few of my dumb questions. I'm not very interested in the roleplaying, socializing(uwa, scary) aspect of Second Life, but I've heard that the economy and business of SL is unlike any other game. The idea of building homes and creating clothing to sell is such an attractive thing, I can't help but feel curious! So, I'm sorry to be bothering you guys, but it would be absolutely wonderful if you could share some of your experience with me!
    I have some questions, please feel comfortable to give your thoughts! Think of this as a little Q&A, starring you! Choose any question(s) to answer, please!

- Have you started or built your own store or business with clothing or houses? If so, please tell! It would be so cool to hear your story!
- What are your thoughts on creating clothing? Is it difficult? Time-consuming? Worthwhile? Do you think it would be relatively simple for newbies to begin? Even newbies in their teens?
- Is it expensive to begin creating clothing or building homes with the purpose to sell them? Would I have to purchase a bunch of packs or mods or whatever to be able to sell quality products?
- How complex is the system/program used to create/build clothing and houses? Would a simple-minded teen be able to basically figure it out in an hour or two?
- So, I don't have a lot of money... would that impede me a lot, especially at the beginning of a journey to sell clothes or houses?
- Is it possible to rent houses for long-term passive income? Or must it always be a one-time sale through auction? Also, what's the typical cost of a small, medium-sized, large, and gigantic house?
- What is the competitiveness of clothing/house markets? What kinds of houses or clothes are super saturated and totally not worth making anymore? (Sorry, this is a weird question >_>)
- Do you have any advice for a newbie like me? Anything you wish that you'd known when you were first starting out?

    I think that's it for now! I'll update my questions- if I learn how too, I'm rarely on forums- based on my responses! And don't worry- I promise not to sit around like a potato; I will actively be searching for answers on my own, too!
    Thank you so much for your time and thoughts! I really appreciate it!

1: As a shopper, landowner and creator on a hobby level (not seller) I dare to reply.

2: The Marketplace has a section called "Building and Object Components". These are not mandatory to buy. You can create your own models in mesh and your own textures and upload them. Many can't make mesh, they buy the model, apply the texture and sell it. The price on components vary a lot. No matter what you want to buy, you get similar products for free or very low cost, as the expensive products.

3: Complexity: Without previous experience in Blender and Photoshop or Gimp, you need to learn this first. The most easy way is to buy a component pack of, let us say boots, and retexture them. This is easier than Blender, because you work with a image and not a model. But then you must compete with all the others who have bought the same component pack. Customers are more willing to pay well for custom made items.

3: You can use the test grid, The Secondlife Beta. Uploads of models and textures are free there. You will have to pay for uploads to Secondlife itself when you are ready to sell it. But the test grid saves you a lot of money when you learn. You must have payment info on file, to use the test grid.

4: You can rent without beeing a Premium member of SL. Here, as in everything else, prices vary a lot. It is a subforum here for buying and renting land. Many find the cost is too high and only use the marketplace. As a customer, I will not dare to spend money on things I can't see or demo before I buy. Unless it is free or very cheap. You will have to make demos too. Try to buy free demos on the Marketplace so you see how it works. A hair demo will have a big demo sign that can't be removed. This to make people buy the item itself...

5: Again, see the Marketplace, various categories: Apparel for clothes, Avatar Accessories for hair and jewelry, and other things you think you can make/have an interest in making. Established sellers have years of experience and make tempting ads. Those who make a lot of money, also have a well oiled advertising practice inworld: They can create a group for their store where messages are sent out, example: "Hello, all xyz friends: This week we have a new set of gorgeous clothes! A set of boots, jeans, tops and jackets in a lot of colors! This week, group members can buy the fatpack for half the price! See the attached picture! Like this product on Facebook or Flickr, we give away 10 sets"" This marketing builds Customer Loyalty. Original content, like mesh models they create, attract people because you don't see the same model in different textures everywhere, in every store. Why should I pay 250 for a dress, when it is free dresses to get? Because: I am vain, I have money, I want something original, I think it looks better than the free stuff.

 

The advice is to learn how Secondlife works. Example: Before you can sell clothes, you must learn how to dress yourself. It is inworld classes like Builders Brewery and also inworld Blender classes. Total basic for newbies to advanced. Plus tutorials on youtube and in blog posts.

You are not going to make a lot of money when you start. You will have to learn how to use tools like I said in #3. If you already can use Blender or other programs, you have a great, great advantage. Then comes the style. Can you make things that look better that others already sell? Can you advertise them so customers know about your awesome things?

For the items we don't wear, like houses and things we put out (we call it rez) in Second Life, there are 2 added things: First: You have to make them low Li, that is short for Land Impact. The land we buy or rent does not have unlimited Land Impact. The bigger, the more Land Impact do I get. I must also pay more. It is a sizeable amount of money for the big land. Most people buy or rent smaller plots because they can not pay a lot of money per month. A common size is 1024 m, and the land Impact with that size is 351 Li. I always look at the Li for every thing. If I buy a house that is 150 Li, I have only 201 Li left for all the things I want to add in that house and garden. If I have several houses that I like, I buy the lowest Land Impact house. Second: A lot of furniture is sold with animations. You have to buy animations with full permissions or make your own.

 

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Unless there's something special to you about residential architecture and fashion, I'd say that houses and clothing are about the most difficult categories to do in Second Life now. Not technically difficult particularly, but more competitively difficult: the standards are high and the market is generally very well served already. (There are niche exceptions, but building even a hobby "business" on niche markets would take both effort and luck. But more on "niche luck" below.)

Also, however, there's a whole host of stuff other than clothing and houses that are very popular. Decor. Landscaping. Actually, just slope around the Marketplace for a while to find what goes in which categories, and whether any of it triggers a vision of something you really want to make. If nobody else has made it the way you'd make it, there may very well be a market for it.

But I have to say: there's still a stupid amount of luck involved. I script mostly for fun but a friend splits some revenue with me on some items, so I get to see what's currently selling. I'd love it if the slickest, trickiest scripts helped her sell more -- you know, the ones where I really put in the effort and made the product substantially better than anybody else's -- but what really sells? A texture-changing shower shelf! Not the shower fixture itself, nor the clever sink, nor the intricately scripted toilet, but a barely visible shelf with the simplest script of all.

Somebody who actually sells the kind of stuff you decide to make can help you learn how to get that stuff in front of buyers. A big share of new-item sales are from in-world shopping events. There seems to be a ridiculous proliferation of such events now, so many that they have a hard time finding sellers to stock the stalls with quality items, but I know nothing about selling.

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As you can tell from the general tone of other responses above mine, the best advice is: "Don't plan on coming to SL to earn a lot of money."  Come here to experiment, to learn, and to have fun.  If you want to be creative, make things that you and your friends would like.  If they are also things that other people might like, and might be willing to pay for, that's great.  But don't count on it.  Make things because you want to, not because you want to earn money from it.

The same is true of being a landowner/landlord, a performer, or anything else that might provide income.  Do whatever it is because you enjoy it.

I have been a landlord and a creator for 13 years.  On average, I have made enough to pay for my own expenses (land fees, materials, personal items ...) so I have rarely had to bring more than a few dollars in world to buy L$.  I have also never taken money out of SL.  This is a hobby, a vacation world, and I am enjoying myself.  The last thing I want to do is ruin it by making SL feel like coming to work.

Creating and selling things is indeed a competitive life, just as it is in RL.  There are plenty of really good creators, so it's not easy to establish yourself as yet another one.  There's also a lot of junk out there, so it's easy to get lost in the crowd. If you are truly good and are interested in earning money with your talent, sell your work outside of SL and then buy L$ to enjoy SL with.  You will be paid more for your time than if you sell only in SL, and you will have more of your SL time to relax.  If you want to create for fun, though, this is a great place to do it. 

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Yay ! Yes you can have a blast ! But, just like RL, the big money goes to the top half dozen, dont expect more than a bit of pocket money, at first anyway !

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13 hours ago, ChinRey said:

That's interesting. Small and cozy rustic cottages used to be my speciality and I have noticed their sales seem to have picked up again recently. Maybe I should make some larger hosues in that style too (I really only have two). But then again, maybe not. This is hardly the right time to spend time and effort on SL commerce.

I have no idea if I have a large enough sample to really make a definitive comment, but I just note that certain houses seem to work and others fade in popularity. I think you can never go wrong with cottages. TOO rustic and they don't work. Hive, ionic, May, Wayfarer Wishbringer, Post, LAQ tend to work.  I'm mystified why Artisan Fantasy's gatcha cabin set doesn't work, but maybe because people don't like to see a bed in an open first floor and want that sequestered or in a skybox. A cabin that has witch/herbalist themes built into it works, the Dragon Magick Wares houses work, but not all. Who knows. I put out something and if it doesn't rent, I am forced to change it, even if it doesn't work. I think you should make larger places because I think that is desirable. If you can't swing a cat in them, people won't move in.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I think you should make larger places because I think that is desirable.

I can't imagine I'll ever make anything at all specifically for SL again and houses need special adaptations because SL uses a different physics engine and also have its own way of calculating land impact. And then there's the hazzle with MP's hare brained merchant UI. It's just not worth the time in terms of money and there are no challenges to it anymore so it isn't rewarding in other ways either. Still, if it's popular in SL it may be on other more interesting platforms too so it's a good tip, thank you!

1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

If you can't swing a cat in them, people won't move in.

But I love cats and I know they hate it when people swing them!

Edited by ChinRey
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On 1/6/2020 at 1:21 AM, Wishnie said:

- Do you have any advice for a newbie like me?

Yes, dont rush.
 

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On 1/6/2020 at 1:21 AM, Wishnie said:


- What are your thoughts on creating clothing? Is it difficult? Time-consuming? Worthwhile? Do you think it would be relatively simple for newbies to begin? Even newbies in their teens?
- Is it expensive to begin creating clothing or building homes with the purpose to sell them? Would I have to purchase a bunch of packs or mods or whatever to be able to sell quality products?
- How complex is the system/program used to create/build clothing and houses? Would a simple-minded teen be able to basically figure it out in an hour or two?
- So, I don't have a lot of money... would that impede me a lot, especially at the beginning of a journey to sell clothes or houses?

I picked these questions because when I used to give out classes for complete beginers at Builders Brewery, at least 90% of the students came in to make clothing. And it's not how it works. 

- it's not simple. Aside from taste of the design, you first have to master polygonal modeling in order to move to a design application specifically made for cloth simulation with stitching. Even though one could, it's an entire set of different new skills, like learning how to tailor clothing and then, bring the design to a polygonal modeling application to make it game friendly, if you want to make it enjoyable and not cause strain on anyone wearing or displaying your garments. This is most overlooked because it makes production longer and time consuming, with all the procedures involved, plus texture mapping and baking. This latter needs to be also done for the lighting, because of how SL works and performs, materials can't just be used as in other platforms "as is" , they need a least amount of work to bake in lighting so that all users, from low end to higher end of hardware spectrum, can see something reasonably pleasant. With all the limitations that this work flow entails. 

- as in any venture, you need some initial funds to begin with, specifically to import models and textures. As often it is seen both inworld and on this forum, the perception of "quality" introduces the question "which end of the spectrum of quality? Optimized or high resolution?" and the market in its ignorance tends to go for bloated high resolutions in terms of objects geometry and texture memory, then blaming SL to be laggy and / or underperformant. The marketplace is full of examples of items not intended for an environment like SL with inherent technical issues due to how the system was tricked to let such content in. And consequent spreading of worst practices intended "to view the item at its best" (the lod factor pumping). 

- leaving aside the built in modeling system in SL that uses prims because it can't be used to create clothing that deforms along with the avatars, 3d modeling packages are not easy to pick up, let alone in one or two hours... They require training along a time span of at the very least 2 or 3 years to achieve decent results. This because content creation spans across diverse disciplines such as modeling, mapping, texturing aside from artistic taste and style. 

- you not having a lot of money implies that you have a minimum though. That can slow you down while you wait for the first sales in order to recoop what you spent and have enough to invest in more uploading, but it won't hinder you. I myself started with a wallet if 1000L$ and never put any more from my pocket. It's just a matter of choosing the right projects in order to have the highest number  of quality products at the smallest cost possible so to have a bigger wallet of products to begin with. As your business grows, you can then decide to burn more on upload costs for more complex projects. 

- marketing. This wasn't included in your questions, but it's worth mentioning. First of all, it doesn't end with your product being complete and finished. At that point you also have to come up with an ad poster to show it off on marketplace and vendors. Also, it needs a demo version as customers don't blindly purchase stuff they can't actually view, inspect and test. Moreover, you may also need to move and connect in world in order to gain access to events and fairs if your intent is to make profit that goes beyond the MP revenue, that is very small in comparison. 

My 2 cents 😁

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