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Buy Fee Change Discussion


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21 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

@Phil Deakins - what about the "gateways" that attract new users, who start out on Third-Party Viewers? Surely not. Anyway, those users may start with Firestorm (or any gateway viewer) when they join. They aren't "waylaid" into it.
 

Good point. I didn't know about that. But my point is still correct - she got it the wrong way round because Firestorm is the LL viewer with a few mods. She thought that the Firestorm people actually wrote the Firestorm viewer.

The LL viewer is THE viewer, of course. All other full viewers are the LL viewer with some mods. So, if new users need to learn 2 viewers, which is probably unlikely, it's the Firestorms of this world that cause it.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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5 hours ago, Rachel1206 said:

 

Why? Because like me, many will stop buying Linden$ and pay the landlord direct with the different online payment options and Linden Lab looses our fees we normally did paid monthly/quartile/annual. And just by looking around on the number of homestead size rentals around me, it is not small amount, which Linden Lab in the future will lose.

 

But the landlord would still have to pay Linden Lab for the properties they're renting out, and since their income isn't in Lindens any more they'd have to pay actual currency instead of having Lindens converted to a dollar balance. If people paid the landlords direct everyone would come out ahead.

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2 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

If people paid the landlords direct everyone would come out ahead.

I am still not sure if we are allowed to do it.. Even estate company does not know xD But.. i don't see any problem for LL.. It is like purchasing a SL service from a third party provider.

If estate rental includes paypal etc.. in their website I am okay with it. Not sure if it is allowed. Besides it is more secure than paying L$ (charge back if things goes awkward).

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2 hours ago, Mollymews said:

Prices listed on Amazon include all national, state and local taxes that are applicable to the transaction/sale

Amazon charge the tax (VAT in your case) to the sellers account (the entity that sold it you). From a bookkeeping pov the seller is Amazon's customer not you. You are the entity's customer.  In the case of their own product sales to you, Bookkeeper Amazon charges Seller Amazon the VAT. Bookkeeper Amazon then pays the VAT to the respective governments.

a thing about Amazon is that it uses a different pricing schedule for different countries. Like if I buy the same product as you from the Amazon store, the listed price for me is in NZ dollars including GST. In your case is listed in EUR including VAT. We still pay the GST or VAT it just look like we don't as is not listed as $X plus VAT/GST. Is $X including VAT/GST. Same for Californians. The listed price is $X including sales tax

Linden/Tilia could change to the same type of price scheduling

if Linden/Tilia did the same as Amzon an listed Premium to me in NZD then I would see something like $NZ165.00 including GST

once Tilia gets going as it would like, I think it will go this way. One day I will only ever see everything quoted in my local currency. Premium, tier and L$ purchases

Are you sure?

I have checked it with californian postcode and delevery to germany and deliver to California.

Same price!!!!!

(Above 22€ I would have to pay 19% VAT, below not, only LL charge it)

 

Take Amazon as an example:

For same products in USA and Germany they don't charge us 37,5% more, mostly same price or cheaper as 1€=1,20US$

Just check the Amazon Fire Stick

USA: 49,99US$     Germany 39,99€ 

If it would be LindenLab it would cost us 68,73US$

 

These are a fair companies and this is how most other companies are doing it, not Linden Lab!

 

Edited by Rejha Vuckovic
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6 minutes ago, Rejha Vuckovic said:

These are a fair companies and this is how most other companies are doing it, not Linden Lab!

 

Amazon is a multi national company that operates with a tax nexus in the EU. Their requirements to charge VAT is not only significantly more complex but they also do everything they can to try and lower the amount of VAT the end customer pays, which will differ considerably based on your location, the seller location, the product location, and what the product is. 

LL is not ripping you off with VAT. They are charging what they, a California based company, are required to do so to comply with tax law of the EU. 

As someone outside of the US I get that the added fees are worse when you're not buying in USD but LL is not responsible for what the VAT rate they are required to charge is. That's all on the EU.

 

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2 minutes ago, Bitterthorn said:

As someone outside of the US I get that the added fees are worse when you're not buying in USD but LL is not responsible for what the VAT rate they are required to charge is.

exchange rates aren't VAT itself. It's bank costs.

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I suffer from exchange rates also.. This is how Skrill handled exchange rate:

I withdraw money from LL first USD converted to EU and EU converted to my local currency. You are actually lucky if you are in EU :P Lol.. Not sure how they handle it while purchasing L$.

Luckily they are no longer active in my country so LL pull their service and working on a alternative (so far better). They took my USD 80 and gone silent after blocking account.

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16 minutes ago, Bitterthorn said:

LL is not ripping you off with VAT. They are charging what they, a California based company, are required to do so to comply with tax law of the EU. 

That's correct, BUT a U.S. company, that doesn't have a physical presence in another country, does not have to comply with the other country's laws, unless the law in their own country says they have to.

I don't think that U.S. law requires LL to collect VAT for the EU from EU users. LL chooses to do it. Similarly, I don't think that the U.S. law says that they have to collect it for the UK from UK members. LL chooses to do it.

In other words, WHO requires LL to collect VAT from EU and UK users? It can't be the EU or the UK because they can't compel U.S. companies to obey their laws.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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1 minute ago, Bitterthorn said:

Amazon is a multi national company that operates with a tax nexus in the EU. Their requirements to charge VAT is not only significantly more complex but they also do everything they can to try and lower the amount of VAT the end customer pays, which will differ considerably based on your location, the seller location, the product location, and what the product is. 

LL is not ripping you off with VAT. They are charging what they, a California based company, are required to do so to comply with tax law of the EU. 

As someone outside of the US I get that the added fees are worse when you're not buying in USD but LL is not responsible for what the VAT rate they are required to charge is. That's all on the EU.

 

Ok take 18,5% for currancy exchange is not ripping off?

Maybe my English is not so good so what would you say to that? Fair Play?

 

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On 4/16/2021 at 7:02 AM, Reed Linden said:

On 2017-11-02 the buy fee was raised from $0.60 to $0.99.  On 2018-07-03 it was changed from $0.99 to $1.49.

LL raise buy fee's in 2017 - Next year 2018 LL lay off 12 staff

LL raise buy fee's in 2018 - Next year 2019 LL lay off 20 staff.

LL raise buy fee's in 2021 - ...we wait with baited breath.

Not the best track record to go by with regards to trying to diversify your income streams using the 'buy fee' increase method.

There are so many different options you could have gone with to get additional income. For example, offer a basic premium under the current premium that ONLY offers the Linden Home for say $5/m or offer a creators premium that offers current premium but with no upload fees, no stipend and instead of a linden home you get a shopfront store on a Linden owned and managed commercial precinct (region) like Bellesseria etc. Instead you raise buy fee's yet again hurting the wrong people when history, as shown above shows, does not work.

Looks more like LL just either cant work out how to manage their income streams effectively or are simply looking to milk the cow, especially considering this news comes after a takeover.

Despite reassurances that this money will be invested into Second Life to improve new user retention and simplification of the viewer and increase of performance etc, I dont buy it. To many times have promises been made of the like. Take for instance the move to AWS, I can give quotes from Ebbe where he talks up that LL are looking forward to AWS due to being able to reduce tier and improve connectivity to SL from overseas. I also remember promises from when the viewer 2 was released that it was to improve retention, simplify etc. Same with CHUI viewer or lets not forget premium plus, 2 years later still not around.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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40 minutes ago, Rejha Vuckovic said:

Are you sure?

 

if I go to my local shop (Harvey Norman) then a Firestick Basic Edition cost NZD79 (including GST)

if I buy on Amazon then costs NZD71.73 (including GST)

amazon71.png.0f66d1fbc8a067b784a7ac38bffd4a2e.png

 

15% GST of 71.73 is $9.35

leaves Amazon with 71.73 - 9.35 = NZD62.38

Harvey Norman: 15% of 79 is $10.30. Leaves them with NZD68.70

at today's exchange rate 100:71 then Amazon's NZD62.38 is worth USD44.56

 
from Amazon' pov they take USD44.56 for this product if I buy. USD5.43 less than they charge their typical USA customers

and is not because Amazon swallow part of the GST. They take less profit because Harvey Norman, my local shop is Seller Amazon's retail competitor

i get these kinds of products from my local shops when I can, like Harvey Norman for NZD79. Because if I buy off Amazon then I have to pay another NZD14.36 shipping fee. Whereas I can go into Harvey Norman shop and buy it over the counter, for less altogether

 

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1 hour ago, Phil Deakins said:

TWHO requires LL to collect VAT from EU and UK users? It can't be the EU or the UK because they can't compel U.S. companies to obey their laws.

the punishment is that the Tax department can go to court and get a judgment that the overseas company owes them a civil debt according to local law. Which in this kind of non-complying case the Court would decide in the tax department's favour

i doubt very much that companies like Linden would ever entertain the idea of being listed in any country as a court-decided debtor. As such a listing impacts on their international credit rating, general business standing and their personal standing in the business community as board members and company executives

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9 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

the punishment is that the Tax department can go to court and get a judgment that the overseas company owes them a civil debt according to local law. Which in this kind of non-complying case the Court would decide in the tax department's favour

If that's true, then it's a bit screwed up, imo.

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7 hours ago, JennyD Cloud said:

the old way was farer in that we all paid the same no matter what.

So the old was fairer in that it prevented those of lower incomes from being able to even be in SL?  Because we are poor we are only allowed to work, eat and sleep, not have any entertainment or enjoyment out of life? Are you even thinking what you are saying all the way through? Doesn't look like it to this low to no income person. 

If you aren't in a similar position you have no room to talk. Many of us have already cut things to the bone. You (general) already got all our flesh, now you want the bones, too. What are you going to do when there's no one left to grovel at your feet for table scraps?

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7 hours ago, JennyD Cloud said:

you're possibly right but at the time ( less so lately) Sl was here for me and saved me from a lot of things and it was nice to build things for others, ive never been good at saving :)) but maybe this is the time to  stop spending all this money ( i know people who do spend more , a LOT more)

I am sure there are many who do spend more and there are stories of those who have spent recklessly whether it was Las Vegas or Second Life.  I am glad SL was here for you because it can be a positive outlet but it's only positives are not in how much we spend.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to start some kind of savings for your rl self in case of emergencies.  I always had a budget for SL that worked within my rl budget.  Even if you get 30K lindens out once a month for awhile while you start a savings, you could have a very nice SL on 30K lindens a month.  

I have had to re-adjust things in SL due to Covid.  It hurt to loose something that meant something to me.  I lost two clubs and my tea house.  Things happen is all I am saying.  I had to scale down because of Covid.  Now, I have a bit of stimulus I could blow a little bit on but even with my stimulus real life comes first.

One thing I always did with SL is I always treated myself on my rez days and rl birthdays and Christmas.  It is a good thing to treat ourselves but when it gets into access and could affect our rl we better take a look at the bigger picture.  

Edited by FairreLilette
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11 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I want to see reduced fees and costs for the following classes of people (none of which, btw, would likely include me):

  • People who are socio-economically disadvantaged
  • People who, for reasons of disability or any other issue, are especially dependent upon SL for socialization and connection
  • People who contribute in really quantifiable ways to the community and culture of SL as a whole -- e.g., they run a non-profit like Virtual Ability that helps people, or a mentoring / teaching area for new residents, or a region, art gallery, or whatever that benefits everyone.
  • People who create cheap, accessible, and useful content for residents, not as a for-profit business, but in order to help others.

Thanks Scylla for bringing this up because I had a similar thought.

But, what's even worse is our state sales tax in California that is almost 10%.  10% of a sometimes below the poverty line income (if you can even call it that) for our disabled California's is an absurd amount of tax to take from those who live below the poverty line.  What needs to be fought, in real life, is for people of low incomes, especially in California where state tax is ridiculous, is for low income people to pay NO state tax.  With low income people, I don't even think half of 10% is fair...I think no state tax for our disabled and low income residents.  I don't know what people are thinking sometimes in this world to not have realized what I am saying here and done something about it.

Edited by FairreLilette
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4 hours ago, Rejha Vuckovic said:

Ok take 18,5% for currancy exchange is not ripping off?

Maybe my English is not so good so what would you say to that? Fair Play?

 

I looked into how much it cost me last year April to buy premium ($99 US) and then a few weeks later to buy $100 US of Lindens. The Premium went through my Paypal and the L$ went through my credit card. The credit card purchase cost me an additional $16 Ca because of Tilla's higher exchange rate. So I removed the credit card I had filed with LL and now payments will be through Paypal as its exchange rate is better than Tilla's at least. YMMV but worth checking out.

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On 4/16/2021 at 5:29 PM, Skylar Littlepaws said:

By the way, @Reed Linden  Why were we informed last minute?  

On 4/16/2021 at 5:43 PM, Reed Linden said:

Good question! The answer is that this fee change was a lot harder to implement than we expected (so true of pretty much everything we do here) because the lindex is so intrinsically connected to so many pieces of the overall Second Life product. Pretty much every system needed to be touched in some way or another, including (to our surprise), the Viewer itself. Wrangling the expertise and manpower to get all of those pieces in motion and in the correct state without also breaking things over in, say, Profiles or Groups at the same time was a rather more monumental effort than we anticipated. We didn't want to make the announcement until we had a solid date we could pin to for go-live (none of us like missing announced dates, either), and by the time we had that, we had less flexibility with the rollout timing than we'd have liked. 

The parts I highlighted in red and green make this response interesting. First, if the viewer "needed to be touched", will we need to install a brand new viewer this week in order to buy from the viewer's L$ balance widget? (and how about third party viewers?)

Second, apparently the rollout timing is dictated by something external to the development schedule. Now what could that be? Somebody's bonus depending on meeting some target, presumably, but what target?

To wit:

On 4/16/2021 at 9:55 PM, AnthonyJoanne said:

As I've read this thread I've found myself wondering ... have the new owners split Tilia off and are now charging LL for access?

Not spun off, exactly, but it may well be that TIlia isn't quite the cash cow the new owners thought they were buying, and it falls to Second Life to find fees to backfill the shortfall. (Or maybe it was always the plan to jack up SL fees to make Tilia look better, as@Rowan Amoresuggested.)

Otherwise, if this weren't about Tilia, this would be a superb opportunity to up-sell Premium subscriptions, given that these transaction fees don't apply to L$s earned by stipend, so a fee increase makes Premium (even) less expensive. But we don't see that bit of marketing happening here. Premium subscription-bought stipends are a great way for the Lab to monetize the L$... but maybe not so great for Tilia, huh?

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5 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

That's correct, BUT a U.S. company, that doesn't have a physical presence in another country, does not have to comply with the other country's laws, unless the law in their own country says they have to.

I don't think that U.S. law requires LL to collect VAT for the EU from EU users. LL chooses to do it. Similarly, I don't think that the U.S. law says that they have to collect it for the UK from UK members. LL chooses to do it.

In other words, WHO requires LL to collect VAT from EU and UK users? It can't be the EU or the UK because they can't compel U.S. companies to obey their laws.

Sort of.  The EU requires the VAT from LL because LL is selling digital goods to the EU customer.  LL can choose not to comply, but that then gets into bad relations with the EU and they can possibly be taken to court or even be banned from selling their products to EU customers.  

You can Google "EU VAT digital goods" for many very complex articles on it.

 

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This will have a major impact on impulse spending, shopping, and content creators. Those who casually spend $30, $50, $100 or more on linden purchases will do less of it cause of this fee. Not because they can't afford it, they certainly can! It is just that now the usual amount of money they dedicated for SL doesn't go as far as it use to. The L$ itself has lost value and it is represented with an actual lower L$ gain per purchase.

So less L$ per purchase, means less L$ to content creators. Some might not think this is a big deal but for each time someone hits that $9.99 cap that is about L$2000 that could've gone to a content creator, friend, rent, etc. just vanishing into the ether of fees.

Now for someone to hit that they say you need to spend around $139 which is about L$35,000 lindens. So L$2000 less per purchase is a disappointment and will stack with each purchase and it is sad and annoying to see happen. You want that person who likes dropping $100 or more on impulse buying to keep doing that and you want their money to go far so everyone enjoys it.

So because of that slight tightening of the L$ wallet they will impulse buy less. Maybe they don't need those few pairs of shoes they saw that one time. Maybe they don't buy a fatpack when 2 or 3 single colors is just fine. Creators will have to bring their prices down to compensate and encourage similar levels of spending. You tell me what creator will actually think that is a good idea.

This is just a bad move all around. Now I get that LL needs to make money but there has to be other ways to encourage that. Here are some ideas off the top of my head so this post doesn't sound so whiny:

 

-Reduce fees for those on premium accounts. This way you encourage more to get one and encourage more impulse linden purchases.

-Push the fees towards land sales. Land Barons are more capable of absorbing the brunt of this fee. Sure, for the average person who buys land in the future will deal with a price hike but that is a one-time price hike. Versus it following you with every purchase.

-Invest in larger pre-built premium homes. I didn't get a premium account for that tiny parcel house. I got it for the tech support. Private sandboxes are meh,

-Introduce a subscription service to support content creators. It works for youtube, twitch and the like. Content creators can decide what they want offer on a monthly basis. This gives them new ways to monetize their business and will make it easier for others as well.

-Introduce a new premium feature that connects the inventories of your alts. Add a fee to increase the number of alts with connected inventories. You might think this will reduce purchases but it will infact do the inverse as you now don't need to worry about what alt gets what or which alt had what.

 

I am sure I could come up with others and with some work I bet LL could introduce new features and systems they can monetize in some way. However, tapping into someone's spending is a sure fire way to hurt the economy and discourage more spending.

 

 

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On 4/17/2021 at 12:21 PM, Syane Jewell said:

Thats why I just bought before the change has happened.  I dont mind the 9.99 so much ill just byuy 4 x a year instead of 12 x a year thereby eliminating 8 9.99 payments.

Good for you that you have enough money to do that but not everyone can afford that luxury. SL is not a need to have for the vast majority of people and most will now have less L$ to spend in world on virtual items because they only have so much discretionary income in a given month to spend on a game like SL.

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4 hours ago, Angelina Sinclair said:

-Introduce a new premium feature that connects the inventories of your alts. Add a fee to increase the number of alts with connected inventories. You might think this will reduce purchases but it will infact do the inverse as you now don't need to worry about what alt gets what or which alt had what.

May be time to have a serious heart-to-heart with those alts. They seem to be running amok.

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12 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

After reading more of this thread, apparently L$ purchases should include a box of tissues to dry those bitter, privileged, tears. 

Some would say it should include an industrial sized tube of KY jelly too. 😆

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6 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Second, apparently the rollout timing is dictated by something external to the development schedule. Now what could that be? Somebody's bonus depending on meeting some target, presumably, but what target?

Maybe it's Ebbe's golden parachute. 🙄

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