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Interesting Observations of Marketplace Freebies


Chelsea Malibu
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I have long since offered a small throw pillow as a $L 1 item on the marketplace to give my customers a chance to see my work before they buy and to provide a gift to customers who visit my stores, be it online or in world.

I recently changed that item to $L O and have more then tripled the amount that go out on Marketplace however, I did some research and from what I see, the new sales mostly are attributed to people with no payment info on file.

As I know as well as anyone, you don't have to have payment info on file to make lindens but it's rare and moreover, one reason we still have the no payment info restrictions on our land.

As such, doesn't it seem like the marketplace could do better if it had some form of qualifier in place where you had to post some form of payment capacity when you sign up? Some form of credit card information or validation that these people actually have lindens in their account?

Just some ideas that I thought would be good to bring out to discuss and I'd love to hear everyone feedback.  :matte-motes-nerdy:

 

 

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I don't know about buyers having to have PIOF, but it certainly would help if sellers were required to have RL info on file with LL. A lot of the alts selling stolen goods would disappear.

As it is now, the MP is a big fencing operation.

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I strongly oppose the restriction of SL use to people with RL accounts.

I haven't been able to either open new accounts or maintain old ones since I moved from North America to South America, and I would feel rather cheated if I suddenly found my SL account shut and/or found myself unable to open a new SL account because of this situation. 

Moreover, I think SL is classist enough without such a restriction.

Nothing requires anyone to offer freebies, but by bouncing the supposed riff-raff (because you think the'yre noodjing you for the odd $L?), we'd ultimately be reducing the number of people who can potentially pay merchants for something.

In my own case, my money in SL comes from SL, but I'm not just some kind of bloodsucking parasite. People pay me for my products because my products provide value to specific users, and to the SL economy as a whole. 

Without me, merchants might have slightly less competition and could more easily charge 1L for something rather than give it away. But without me, it's unclear what else would be happening to the money currently flowing into my account, and consumers would have a lot fewer choices in terms of products such as those I am selling.

I can't actually speak for LL, but I don't see any advantage for them in discouraging people without RL accounts from maintaining SL accounts, especially since we can't very easily cash out. A few of us are lazy jerks, sure. But the idea that having slightly more money to throw around in RL is somehow more important than SL behavior does not sit well with me.

People with free accounts who bother to stick around and do more than perform naive griefing experiments often contribute very substantially to SL culture and technical resources. For those who find it necessary, there are plenty of private sims where they may go to play croquet and eat cucumber sandwiches with those of similarly suitable breeding. But the gentrification of the whole grid is not a good business prospect for LL, and it is inconsistent with various ideological precedents that LL has set from very early on in the process. It's about 5 years to late to be saying "there goes the neigborhood".

We're here.

We're poor.

Get used to it.

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About the payment info on file: as Josh has standed, is not always easy to have payment info on file, not for every country. If you check in Answers, you'll see alot of people, not only in Southamerica, that had problems when PayPal was blocked for people outside US. But even with PayPal enabled, it doesn't cover all the countries, nor all the possible payment methods people in the different countries is used to or allowed by goverment laws to. There are also Recognized Exchanges, and they exist precisely for this reason, some people uses them to trade L$ for RL money of different currencies, and some sell lindens through phone credits. The people using this exchages won't have payment info in their files, althoe they might still have access to more money than people with payment info. People with no payment info, might be alts of people with info that only bother using one account to buy L$. Also, as Josh also standed, people without access to L$ using RL money might offer in sl services and products as a way to access lindens. Assuming PIOF is the way to know if someone has money and might be a potential customer is quite innacurate, and borderline to discriminatory as Josh pointed out, the same as assuming something just because someone has a certain skin color, or practices a certain religion, or is female, or is male, or has certain sex-preferences, or lives in a certain country.

I don't fully agree with what Josh sais about the elitism in SL, but I line up with his ideas in general, and I'll give you a little to think about if you are starting to tag people just because the payment info on file:

there are several countries around the world, including Europe and US going through economical crisis, this means there is people lossing their job, and having dificulties to finding a job, with their jobs, loosing they are loosing their credit cards that once granted them having payment information on file. Those people, if ever joined sl, or been granted access to the marketplace should be requested newer payment information? should them be also banned from SL because they won't be potential customers anymore and they might become contents thieves in their need of an income? And how about people that made a RL income from SL, they are few but there are some, even some merchants stand that in their profiles, or in their stores policies, they have payment info on file because they use SL as a way to extract funds to their real lives, that means they earn more than what they spend, they are potential customers as long as they are still able to mantain a good balance between what they spend and what they earn, should their incomes be put under the microscope to see if they are true valuable customers or not?

And back to the freebies issue: for what I seen you sell decor and items for houses, to have a house you need a land to rezz it, to have land you requiere a place that is mostly given in exchange of lindens, or you have a friend with a house that pays the lindens, and that allows you to rezz the items. In either case, the most probable is this person has an income, or friends with an income, that will see the object that you given away. So the purpose of advertising your store with your item, if you are labeled as creator of the item, is reached anyways.

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To me at least, asking that RL info be on file  has nothing to do with whether or not someone would be a good customer, especially if you are asking for it in order to sell on the marketplace, for example. It's not about being elite, it's about being accountable.

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You do realise that people who buy Linden dollars from third party exchanges because Linden Lab can't service them don't have payment info on file?

You do realise that alts will often get money passed to them from a main who is PIOF.

If you want to restrict yourself to PIOF fill your boots, you restrict your reach.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

To me at least, asking that RL info be on file  has nothing to do with whether or not someone would be a good customer, especially if you are asking for it in order to sell on the marketplace, for example. It's not about being elite, it's about being accountable.

People become accountable when they cash in or cash out, there's a money trail right back to the person cashing out, you can't cash out without being accountable.

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Pamela:

I read your post about you ARing someone. What you mention about merchants is a different issue than what Chelsea mentions about customers. I agree that for different reasons, specially when it comes to arguments about content theft, there should be a chance to reach a real person. Althoe, I don't know how that works with international regulations, and I always suspected that LL tries to avoid at all costs falling in those situations. And actually, I wonder if what it is necessary is that you are able to identify a real person behind a merchant or what would be necesary is that LL acts in some matters as more actively against common frauds, like content theft, land lords that suddenly re-sell land, and some other activities where they actually could take action but look somewhere else and leave the people standing in the void and not knowing where to go or what to do, or who to trust. There are people in SL that scammed and kept scamming without LL taking an action until it was too late, or until voluntarily deleted their accounts and are probably repeating same or different practices.

If you remember the banks, there had to be many frauds, and LL doing nothing about until they definitly closed the non-recognized ones. And at all costs they avoided to intervene in the fraud claims of different people. Or they are too soft and look somewhere else, or they ban the activity and avoid the situation, but they rarely offer a sanction to an avatar commiting fraud, name it merchant, landlord, bank, etc.

That lack of LL intervention is the major cause for people tagging certain groups of "suspicios" when they shouldn't.

Now limiting the access to the marketplace to people that has the ability to buy lindens inside SL, like Chelsea sugested is acompletle different matter.

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Thanks and yes, I did just change that to $L1 and in fact, the freebies have declined while at the same time, I am seeing a better conversion rate from those sales.

I believe though many may disagree that there are many shoppers who buy nothing but free items and though I understand all the great reasons for this, it still does not help support my business in a way I want it or what I believe any merchant wants.  Personally, my reason for taking the time to list in Marketplace/Xstreet/SLExchange is to generate revenues.  :matte-motes-big-grin-squint:

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  • 2 weeks later...

When i joined Secondlife. i had no money.

We in the Netherlands dont have things like "creditcards'

 

Only people who do international transactions in the netherlands have those.

 

I had earned some money in secondlife.. by standing on poseballs like any newb..


I didnt trust this  'online money' thing one bit. and waited it out.

I have been on Secondlife 2 years before i lowered my suspicions, and put some  money in the game.

I now put money in Secondlife regularly.
I dont have "payment info on file"

Moral of this story.
You can shoo away somebody who can be a valuable asset to the economy by those Rules.

Just cause they dont have money 'at that time'  

 

The freedom of Secondlife was what attracted me. not being forced into paying.
I never liked "World of warcraft' cause of its payment models forced on you.

 

If its Free, i get to decide whether i think it adds something to the value of my own experience in SecondLife. 

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