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Creators - how much money do you make?


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So I've been considering starting up a small business in SL, selling cosmetics and possibly skins in the future when I've improved my skills, and been contemplating whether it is going to be worth it or not. I imagine the biggest money makers are obviously land owners and people that create sex beds/toys/animations etc. I saw a person within SL say yesterday that they used to make six figures just from selling clothing and cosmetics which I thought was rubbish. I can't imagine even the top clothing makers in the market making anything over 50k a year even back in SL's heyday. I do know people used to make quite a lot of money in SL, but six figures, really? Enlighten me people. x'D

Edited by charlottevics
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15 minutes ago, charlottevics said:

So I've been considering starting up a small business in SL, selling cosmetics and possibly skins in the future when I've improved my skills, and been contemplating whether it is going to be worth it or not.

Don't quit your daytime job. ;)

Look at it this way: Imagine you move to a new town to start a business. You don't know anybody there and nobody knows you, you don't have a customer base to start with, you don't know what people buy, you don't know where the best store locations are or what the best amrketing channels are and you don't have that much experience with what you're selling. Your competitors have all those advantages over you. Oh, and the market is already oversaturated and even the best established and most successful stores are seeing declining sales.

 

23 minutes ago, charlottevics said:

I saw a person within SL say yesterday that they used to make six figures just from selling clothing and cosmetics which I thought was rubbish. I can't imagine even the top clothing makers in the market making anything over 50k a year even back in SL's heyday. I do know people used to make quite a lot of money in SL, but six figures, really? Enlighten me people.

It's all true. But it was many years ago. SL is a very different market now-

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I seriously doubt whether there'll be any creator, successful or otherwise, publicly disclosing their profits here.

I do remember a time when people were willing to pay top L$ for what would now be considered complete and utter sculptie junk. Somehow that abruptly ended around 2008/2009, for some reason. Maybe someone knows what happened around that time that could have caused this? Global financial/housing crisis?

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1 hour ago, charlottevics said:

So I've been considering starting up a small business in SL, selling cosmetics and possibly skins in the future when I've improved my skills, and been contemplating whether it is going to be worth it or not. I imagine the biggest money makers are obviously land owners and people that create sex beds/toys/animations etc. I saw a person within SL say yesterday that they used to make six figures just from selling clothing and cosmetics which I thought was rubbish. I can't imagine even the top clothing makers in the market making anything over 50k a year even back in SL's heyday. I do know people used to make quite a lot of money in SL, but six figures, really? Enlighten me people. x'D

   It's not really a question about how much 'creators' make, but rather how much you make, and where in the world you live.

   It doesn't matter how much big brands like Blueberry or FashionNatic make, or Dictatorshop - you can't really compare their income with your expected income for a business selling a completely different type of product. I'm not sure what the 'biggest' brands are for skins or makeup, but even if you made products as good as theirs, you'd have to build your brand name before expecting any consistent income from it.

   There have been a handful of 'SL-made millionaires' (Anshe Chung), but she made her first million around 2006 - and whether her SL income is still as high as back then we don't really know - but her company moved on to invest earnings made in Second Life in other games and Internet business.

   If you're serious about starting a business in SL, money shouldn't be the incentive, and absolutely not a reason to quit your job. Running your SL business should be something you're passionate about, and if it grows to the point that you can reduce your RL work time to spend more time on your SL business, then that may eventually lead to a full time SL 'job'. By then, you will be the one to know whether it's viable or not.

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2 hours ago, charlottevics said:

I saw a person within SL say yesterday that they used to make six figures just from selling clothing and cosmetics which I thought was rubbish.

 

OK. It is really early for me and I read the OP incorrectly. SORRY.  Leaving the pertinent part; crossing out my faulty early morning thinking. Glad I reread quickly. 

I am sure that was not rubbish.

Six figures" is ONLY 10,000 which is less than 1,000 a month.    Also note, however -- from your quote -- that she ALSO said "used to".   For many of us those days have recently passed. Will they come again?  Not sure. So while I strongly suspect she was telling the truth, that doesn't mean that YOU will make much money -- especially with cosmetics as there are tons of cosmetics makers out there -- that low skill threshold for new creators.  That doesn't mean you should abandon plans to create, just that you should create for enjoyment FIRST and then for the money.  Less likely you will be disappointed.

 

My profits have dropped by about half (in a steady decline) since August 1, 2019.   They seem to be stabilizing now. We'll see. 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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I wasn't around for the heydays of Second Life, so it seemed unrealistic to me to be able to make a 6 figure income just from selling clothing. I've heard of SL millionaires but those are mostly real estate agents. 

And heh I don't expect to be able to quit my RL job selling cosmetics in SL. I recently discovered a make up store named Adored and it just inspired me to try making my own and possibly selling them. 

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People lie in SL all the time about anything.

That being said, it is possible. It depends on what you consider successful and profitable. Is not having to pay for anything in SL due to your profits considered successful? Is cashing out 6 figures a year considered successful? Obviously.

Is it possible? Yes. Would I quit my job to attempt it? Hell no. Most creators on SL have a 9-5 and creating content is a hobby. So I would say most people can generate enough to cover SL expenses easily with a modest shop on MP. 

Six figures? I still say it’s possible and here’s why: there are some creators that have multiple stores and sell multiple products across multiple platforms. Whether it’s actually one person pushing out content like that is up for debate, but it’s happening. I know of one creator that makes clothes on SL, IMVU and the Sims. If they have more than one store and average $100 in sales per week (which is doable) for each store, that would add up pretty quickly.

That’s not even counting selling assets on a site like Turbosquid.

Doable yes, I would imagine doing something like that would take up a lot of your day, but it’s possible.

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13 minutes ago, charlottevics said:

I wasn't around for the heydays of Second Life, so it seemed unrealistic to me to be able to make a 6 figure income just from selling clothing. I've heard of SL millionaires but those are mostly real estate agents. 

And heh I don't expect to be able to quit my RL job selling cosmetics in SL. I recently discovered a make up store named Adored and it just inspired me to try making my own and possibly selling them. 

I was in the Heyday of Ebay and it was amazing.  You can always make a lot of money at the beginning of something, so I'm sure SL was more lucrative then it is now as it is a very over-saturated market now just like Ebay.  But, even with Ebay at the beginning in the 1990's there were sellers that were better than others.  The best sellers knew how to write a good title and use keywords that people would search for.  I learned from them.  There are things to read about how to be a better seller on Ebay and I'm sure some of those tips could apply in SL if you use Marketplace.

It seems to me, it's best to start on Marketplace and then move to EVENTS.  Join some events so you know the names of who is running the events.  

Good luck too!

Edit:  And, I've heard about bloggers.  Once you're ready, perhaps some bloggers about your items would be helpful.

Edited by FairreLilette
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3 hours ago, Orwar said:

If you're serious about starting a business in SL, money shouldn't be the incentive, and absolutely not a reason to quit your job. Running your SL business should be something you're passionate about, and if it grows to the point that you can reduce your RL work time to spend more time on your SL business, then that may eventually lead to a full time SL 'job'. By then, you will be the one to know whether it's viable or not.

Absolutely. If you want to open a business to make money, do it in RL. A business in SL is a creative outlet. If it also generates some income, that's great, but don't count on it. 

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2 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

Absolutely. If you want to open a business to make money, do it in RL. A business in SL is a creative outlet. If it also generates some income, that's great, but don't count on it. 

   Yeah, I mean, if someone wants to hire my services for my RL profession, it's $100 per hour + 25% VAT + material costs (and 25% VAT on them, which I've usually already paid for). That'd be what, L$25,000 per hour, give or take? I charge a tenth of that for a profile shoot + editing which can easily take 1-2 hours (if not more because people show up unprepared and have to try on every hair and accessory in their wardrobe on the spot whilst I twiddle my thumbs). 

   And most people think that I'm "too expensive". I'm guessing you're not going to hire me to spend 10-40 hours renovating an object out of your personal collection of antique books, then. 

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3 hours ago, Orwar said:

I'm guessing you're not going to hire me to spend 10-40 hours renovating an object out of your personal collection of antique books, then.

Not even if I ask you to use...

...Comic Sans?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~DUCKS AND RUNS...FAST!~

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While Anshe Chung may have diversified, she has not "moved on" in the sense that she's not in SL any more.  I think that she's split up her holdings among several family members, but between them they still own (if I recall correctly) around 500 regions, maybe more.  I wasn't able to check...gridsurvey.com seems to be down, or has gone away.

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8 hours ago, charlottevics said:

So I've been considering starting up a small business in SL, selling cosmetics and possibly skins in the future when I've improved my skills, and been contemplating whether it is going to be worth it or not. I imagine the biggest money makers are obviously land owners and people that create sex beds/toys/animations etc. I saw a person within SL say yesterday that they used to make six figures just from selling clothing and cosmetics which I thought was rubbish. I can't imagine even the top clothing makers in the market making anything over 50k a year even back in SL's heyday. I do know people used to make quite a lot of money in SL, but six figures, really? Enlighten me people. x'D

Cosmetics and clothes (decent stuff anyway) seems to go for around 250L a unit - roughly $1USD.  That means you need to sell 100,000 units in a year to hit $100K gross income.  Seems unlikely for a startup.  And, you'll have expenses that will eat into that.  From what I've read SL has around 800,000 "regular users" - so you'll need to average selling 1 item to every 8th person.

I would not doubt the high end furniture manufacturers gross $100K in a year, given the pricing and far smaller number of competitors, as well as the ability to differentiate.

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15 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

While Anshe Chung may have diversified, she has not "moved on" in the sense that she's not in SL any more.  I think that she's split up her holdings among several family members, but between them they still own (if I recall correctly) around 500 regions, maybe more.

More than 4000 regions actually.

 

10 minutes ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

Cosmetics and clothes (decent stuff anyway) seems to go for around 250L a unit - roughly $1USD.

It's quite a bit less than that. With the recent exchange rate and the various and ever increasing fees, you have to make about 350 L$ to be able to take out one US dollar. So to make 100,000 USD, you need to sell 140,000 250 L$ items.

 

17 minutes ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

From what I've read SL has around 800,000 "regular users"

It's a bit lower now and if we exclude the alts, bots, mayflies and Rip van Winkles, the number of actual regular users is almost certainly less than 100,000. Alts and bots do generate a little bit of sales though. (The Rip van Winkles seem to account for most of the land rental market and LL's Premium membership income but hardly add anything to content sales. The mayflies hardly add to the SL economy at all.)

The total sales volume on MP amounts to no more than USD 20M a year and it may be less than 10M. That means the average income from an MP store is considerably less than USD 100 and might be less than 50. Average is a risky word here though since some stores make thousands a month, some only sell an item every leap year and many are empty and abandoned by their owners.

 

5 hours ago, charlottevics said:

And heh I don't expect to be able to quit my RL job selling cosmetics in SL. I recently discovered a make up store named Adored and it just inspired me to try making my own and possibly selling them. 

Then go for it ! It can be a great hobby.

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39 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

More than 4000 regions actually.

 

It's quite a bit less than that. With the recent exchange rate and the various and ever increasing fees, you have to make about 350 L$ to be able to take out one US dollar. So to make 100,000 USD, you need to sell 140,000 250 L$ items.

 

It's a bit lower now and if we exclude the alts, bots, mayflies and Rip van Winkles, the number of actual regular users is almost certainly less than 100,000. Alts and bots do generate a little bit of sales though. (The Rip van Winkles seem to account for most of the land rental market and LL's Premium membership income but hardly add anything to content sales. The mayflies hardly add to the SL economy at all.)

The total sales volume on MP amounts to no more than USD 20M a year and it may be less than 10M. That means the average income from an MP store is considerably less than USD 100 and might be less than 50. Average is a risky word here though since some stores make thousands a month, some only sell an item every leap year and many are empty and abandoned by their owners.

 

Then go for it ! It can be a great hobby.

I had not considered you may get a worse rate when you cash out, but when you buy Lindens, it's about 250L/1 USD.  But, if the cost to pull money out is as bad as you say, then how do any of the people renting land even break even?  The going rate for a homestead would not cover the cost at that exchange rate.

Re. users, granted all that, but I'd rather go by data I can actually source and understand it's probably overstated, than make random guesses.  Similarly, I can find reports that creators cash out about $60MM annually (no info on inworld vs. MP).  I'm not motivated enough to do an exhaustive search, but if you'd like to cite your sources, I'd be happy to look at them.

There are certainly people who make good incomes from SL content sales - but they're a rarity.  To paraphrase someone earlier, if someone wants to get into making and selling content, it would be better to approach it as a hobby than a profession - and hope it will turn into something that can support them.

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1 hour ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

I had not considered you may get a worse rate when you cash out, but when you buy Lindens, it's about 250L/1 USD.  But, if the cost to pull money out is as bad as you say, then how do any of the people renting land even break even?  The going rate for a homestead would not cover the cost at that exchange rate.

I was talking about MP sales there so I took LL's 10% MP fee into account. Land owners don't have to pay that of course.

Even so, you're right, the going rate for homestead rentals barely covers the cost if it covers it at all. But the established sim owners don't pay the regular fee. The have grandfathered sims that are a bit cheaper and the bigger ones probably have other discounts too. Also, apparently some charge directly in US dollars, avoiding the LindeX fees.

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