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How Do You Know When the Inworld Economy is Hurting?


Prokofy Neva
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I was talking to a friend some time back, that I felt that the ever growing weekend sales were going to ultimately hurt designers. Maybe not the well known brands... but smaller fish, like myself. 

I only participate in Wanderlust, and I do it once a month or as a fill in if they are in a pinch.  I decided sometime back to only release a new item for the sale.   I do that mostly for my customers that buy things on the regular and I don't want them to feel cheated that they paid full price not so long ago.  I would rather they feel delighted at a chance to get something new at a special price.  So I now treat the sale as another event I need to have stuff ready for. 

But I still feel uneasy about the sheer amount of sales.  Just like with events, you need to somehow participate or your brand will sink out of existence.  If you participate too much in sales, you spend too much on fees and you lose regular sales from the masses that now only wait for those sales.  Darned if you do.......

My sales are down, so all of this is on my mind a lot. A sign of a bad economy.... I really could not say.  I don't know if this is common for others..or this is my problem.  I am competing in a pretty competitive and over saturated market at the moment.  And there is always the real possibility and realization that I am not good enough to keep up with them.  Also, I am not a business savvy type person.  I am more the spend hours in PS type person...who has to deal with all the rest when I come up for air :P   

 

 

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19 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

 

I'm not in the land selling business, but I occasionally sell land that doesn't rent, or land on sims that have gone south. I noticed that bots NEVER come. I could put a parcel that is adequate but not prime waterfront at 0.2/m -- no bots will come.

That's because the Lindens banned land bots.

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@JUSTUS Palianta You've just flagged a very important expense in the economy -- booth fees. They can be $1500 but more often $3000. And you wonder if someone selling an item for $300 sells the 10 they need to sell to break even. You would think, being in such a high-profile setting, but do they? Yes, sales are supposed to be loss leaders, but whoever buys anything but the sales item? I see people rapidly TPing around and barely entering the stores -- and I'm the same way. 

I wonder if this cartel will ever be broken. It could be if someone with an island and some space puts up an event and charges a low cost and brings in top designers. Long ago there were only two rental script makers. They had a system where they charged $5000 for the rental box, an impossible sum especially if you were a newbie. Or you could pay $250 and let the creator take a percentage of each rental. For the longest time I was seeing my rental income go to Hank Ramos. Then a third scripter made a customized rental box he started selling, undercutting the top two who had the percentage system. Eventually Hank Ramos released his script to open source, and I have had a dozen scripters re-work it over the years, adding features.

I'm all for proprietary scripts -- I prefer them. Open source has a culture around it where people put out stuff, leave the world, won't fix it later, etc. Why did those early scripters do this? Because they could. Because there weren't enough people to justify selling it otherwise. Anshe Chung had her own proprietary system. In fact Anshe Chung had the monopoly on all prime waterfront until a group of smaller land barons banded together and made a virtual stock market as a way to raise capital and break the cartel. It was beneficial for a time but then also ended in tears with many people getting ripped off and the Lindens banning all banks, loans, stock markets, etc. 

Now these "institutions" are thriving in Upland, although not exactly legalized by the platform provider let alone RL governments.

@Vick Forcella land prices are lower than they ever have been, but that doesn't mean land has no value and doesn't count. I still pay $7/m for waterfront land and people still buy land for $3/m for roadside from me. Obviously rentals everywhere on islands and Mainlands mean land indeed has value. It's the main source of revenue for the Lindens and there is no sign they can leave their dependency on this. And it is the largest segment of the economy when you count both sales and rentals. Yes, there is this ideology that wants land merely to be a value-less bracket for content and for content to be king. But human nature and the experience of the millenia override this new-baked tekkie ideology.

Why? Because land is the way that unskilled people who aren't coders or graphic designers can enter the economy. It's the third major way. So whether someone has hundreds of islands and hires scripters and buys prefabs, or whether they have a 4096 they 3/4 rent out to friends, it's a way either to make a profit or offset costs. Offsetting costs is what many, many people seek in the economy, and that has to be provided to make human life viable in the Metaverse. Otherwise people float away. The single most often choice on my survey for "what does the new user experience last" is JOBS. People like to work, they don't want to exist on handouts at a subsistence level or make themselves subserviant to other avatars. They want to buy and sell and have prosperity and economic independence. And they make this happen whether your ideology likes it or not. Game companies can make things illegal to keep themselves supreme and players endlessly go around it.

SL is successful to the extent it is because people can buy, sell, and rent land, and it has value due to location, or maturity level, or name (I have had prospective customers ask me to find a rental of a sim "with a decent name" -- some names are really counterproductive for some people. I mean, Troll Sweat? Really, Lindens? Did somebody build a mining game or colony of dwarves there? No. It also has value as "a bracket of content" that people become attached to, for the reasons of the surroundings, the "Linden protection," the neighbours' builds, the nearness to roads or water, etc.

@Scylla Rhiadra To understand sales only as "those who can't compete" is limited, as some people scramble to compete and others simply don't participate. There is a whole group of designers who aren't on Seraphim because they don't like their policies or had some quarrel with their owners. Seraphim now seems to realize it has its millions of views going to other people's sales so it started all its own events which compete with the people they feature. Apparently you don't pay to be featured on the news feed, but they are picky as to whom they accept, and there are blog posts explaining all the arcane rules and standards, not spelled out. But people do pay for the ads on the side, and I guess they must get clicks? 

@Arielle Popstar I used to think if there was a free gift at an event, I would only take it if I also bought something from that creator. But now more often than not, I say "But I've been steadily buying your sale items every weekend, so I owe myself a gift." That's the mentality. I bet most people don't have the first concept, as they just come and grab the gifts. And the gifts themselves are usually of low-to-terrible quality and are thrown out or forgotten. Hordes of pillows, candles in cages, and signs with "Hello, Fall!" on them. The weekend sales ARE the sales. They rarely lead to other in-store purchases for larger amounts. Some of the merchants put an expensive table out not for sale and the $60 thing in the hopes that you will then find the expensive table. Nope, we'll wait for when you put THAT on sale. If I buy a full-price thing, and see the creator put it on a weekend sale or the Outlet the next week, I punish them with no more purchases for a good long while. And I have become jaded enough not just to wait until the wish goes away, but wait until inevitably that creator will put the thing on sale. They often do.

@ChinRey do you mean their collective figure that they give out to the press? Like "$471 million per year" or whatever. Yes, let's see what it says NOW after the gatcha ban. But just what is that figure? Look at the news articles over the years and you find these very different figures:

In 2011, $100 million for the residents, $75 million for LL. But a second income only in 2020? The SL Wikipedia is very outdated: According to figures published by Linden Lab, about 64,000 users made a profit in Second Life in February 2009, of whom 38,524 made less than US$10, while 233 made more than US$5000. The link no longer works because LL no longer has an economic statistics sections on its web page. The 38,524 is the figure that I would call the "middle class". Maybe it's twice that now? Maybe a lot of them are in Bellisseria? And they offset costs with resales or various kinds of work or creations.

And what is it now? I'm not really sure. Threads like this don't really tell you. That figure of "$450 million" or whatever is the entire size of the economy changing hands among residents; it doesn't tell you the revenue of residents, much less their profit after payment of tier.

@steeljlane42  Look at the map. There are 18,338 islands in total. There are 6806 Mainland regions, only about 21% of which is abandoned. That means all those people paid a set-up fee or an initial purchase price, and pay monthly tier. A good share of them re-rerent the island or homestead in whole or in part as a business or to offset costs. On the Mainland, there are numerous end users and rental companies. Bellisseria has grown fantastically; each house represents someone willing to pay $11.99 per month or $99 annualized. This is what makes up the world.

So your sense is only based on anecdotal impressions of people who hang out and shop or live at other people's houses or sandboxes.

@Stephanie Misfit What's wild is that some merchants put an item in a weekend sell FIRST and WHEN it is released, then after a week put it at the higher regular price. Wonder if they get any sales then!

@animats it has been explained many, many times before, that this large land dealer, who has been doing this long before you were born in SL, is able to do this because his high prices cover his many months of holding land until it makes a sale or rental. And he has long, long been on other continents. I did a rent-to-buy from him like 6 years ago on Heterocera, for example. That's all that is "going on" for this land dealer and many others. Do the math, the tier is low enough to allow this practice; if these dealers have a further bulk discount than those already known, all the more so, And it's in the Lindens' interest and always has been.

@Chic Aeon if you can admit something is wrong and confirm this with your social networks, when you usually support the Linden take, why do the Lindens say that the economy is doing great in their office hour? 

@Tarani Tempest I notice some smaller designers who were in 30L Saturday or 35L Sunday -- the lesser lights not in the 60L Happy Weekend or Wanderlust or whatever -- have dropped out. They have sold and re-sold everything so many hundreds of times they can't sell anything more unless they retreat and spend months generating new content. The economy is not free; it is artificial; the currency value is state-controlled; there is no free press and transparency; and that's why it is failing and will always fail, although the platform providers may be moved to generate some impetus to try to pick it up. After all, some of their Bellisserians are not just end users content to play suburban matron and exchange cookie recipes; some are in business and need to make a living to pay for their Belli houses. People in the Belli houses need furniture to decorate with, and not just last year's and not just from a few top designers who are more expensive.

@Randall Ahren I'm not aware that the Lindens outright banned bots. Maybe they have? But I think some bot wranglers simply went out of business, the prices fell too low to bother. Can you point to any confirmation of this?

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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21 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

@Randall Ahren I'm not aware that the Lindens outright banned bots. Maybe they have? But I think some bot wranglers simply went out of business, the prices fell too low to bother. Can you point to any confirmation of this?

See http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Bot_policy. In particular, this portion of the policy:
 
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.
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5 minutes ago, Randall Ahren said:
See http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Bot_policy. In particular, this portion of the policy:
 
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.

That's very interesting. I guess the Lindens allowed it until it nearly became pointless due to the low prices. When did this go in? Or was it always there and ignored? For years and years -- and I remember distinctly even last year -- bots came to eat land put out at a low price. 

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10 hours ago, Randall Ahren said:
See http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Bot_policy. In particular, this portion of the policy:
 
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.

That link has been given to that person many times over the years. Not much you can do when they choose to completely ignore it or twist it around to mean something else.

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15 hours ago, Randall Ahren said:
Using bots to purchase Mainland parcels is not allowed
The use of bots, autonomous software, scripting (manual or automated), scripted agents, or any systems or software internal or external to the Second Life service that circumvent, automate and/or remove the human interaction required to purchase a Land parcel within Second Life on the Linden Lab owned Mainland is prohibited.

Just because there is a TOS rule against land bots does not mean it can't be circumvented rather easily.  Plus LL is not enforcing their TOS because proving a bot is "too hard".  And, LL collects the land tier, no matter what land baron owns it.

I remember trying to get some decent mainland (Linden sea access) bidding at auctions.  I was never able to get any parcel because the best ones were always scalped at the last minute (actually last second)  by the land barons, whose only intention was to flip it the next day.  The bid winner also held the land for a few hours, before it changed ownership - to the real land flipper.  The asking price was usually double what they paid at auction, when it went back on sale a few days later.  Tracing rapidly changing ownership on land parcels is not something LL has the interest in doing.  

I understand you can no longer see who the auction winner was now.  I would TP to the parcel after the auction, to see some unknown (eg bot) owner, and the next hour or day that would change, sometimes more than once.  The land was never occupied of course.  Just for sale at an inflated price.

 

 

Edited by Jaylinbridges
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I can tell you that 9 out of 10 times when I login on to Marketplace I log back out after 20 minutes of not finding what I am looking for, thus 9 out of 10 times I didn't spend any money. I see outdated, high prim, over priced and generally ugly items and if I get lucky only 3 or 4 items that actually match my search. Try finding a sofa/couch/chesterfield (any other name you can think of) and you will not get the best offerings straight away if at all.

I don't like to go to shops, I suppose in the same way some people prefer to order from Amazon/Lazada/Shopee, etc. I just want to find the item on Marketplace I'm looking for with a bit of ease but instead I get 10 pages of the same item in different colours, something that does not even remotely match the description of what I'm looking for.

I'm at the point where I have become content with what I have and just live with it because I'm not going to waste my time searching for something that should be easy to find. I'm not afraid to spend big on SL but I find myself buying from the same 5 merchants over and over simply because they do make it easy for me. So, maybe it's not the economy but rather the lack of business experience and marketing in this case. On another note, I have a very popular brand of mesh head and the group sends like 50 notices a day and that's a good way to get your group notices shut off or muted. 

 

As far as land goes, I had a 1/4 region of lovely mainland until someone bought a 1024 next to me and dropped a skybox on the ground, I dumped the land an got 1/4 of a private region owned by one of the land barron's who went off on me when I told her that one of the neighbours there was not following the covenant (ya know 64 meter untextured prim walls) and she told me to just derender them, again I left and moved on to Bellisseria where I have been content for the past 3 years. As for the "aggressively obedient majority", they make me sick, fanboys and fangirls, drooling all over the Lindens and kissing a$$ forgetting we are all customers, paying the same amount for a premium service and deserve the same customer care. While I think a chance random encounter with a Linden or a Mole is cool, I think them getting involved in the community is a business mistake and it makes a lot of us (customers) feel alienated as in we don't matter only the people in the fan groups do. 

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I think the weekend sales are positive for SL.   Mainly as it allows many on restricted income to get (some) great products if they like to shop.
As a long time merchant (hobbyist only) the income on those is equivalent to a full price item when you take 12 month revenue on a product into account - it makes no impact (to me) but I appreciate others may have different experiences.  Price low for the sale, then release at full price works very well.

Gacha well no comment there, just glad we stopped doing those in 2020 as it was a cluster due to the duplicative bug and questionable event practices by some.

Lindex, volume is consistent over 2021 and did not shrink too much after the 2020 boom.    At times we would see up to 120,000,000 parked at the top 3 rates, so the current rates/volume and thru put are healthy.    A fast cash out will remain at 241 (same day) at the moment. Lindex always slow down Sat - Monday due to "weekend" sellers...

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7 hours ago, Jaylinbridges said:

Just because there is a TOS rule against land bots does not mean it can't be circumvented rather easily.

Set a parcel of land for sale at 1L$ and see how many seconds it takes for someone to appear out of nowhere, buy it, sell it to another random account seconds later, and another, and another and finally get set to the going rate.

If you can get a Linden to intervene in the first 5 minutes, you stand a small chance of getting it all reverted.

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On 12/9/2021 at 8:03 PM, animats said:

Here's what bothers me.

For Rent boxes, out to the horizon. Eastern Zindra.

We have a major landlord buying up property and raising the price. Nobody rents or buys it, and it remains vacant. A sizable fraction of Zindra is now tied up this way. I'm seeing those boxes on other continents now.

There's something going on here. But what?

Anyone doubting this needs only to go explore Zindra. One land owner has the lot (even owning all the empty plots in Linden mini malls), and just ... holds it .. year after year after year.

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On 12/9/2021 at 6:29 AM, Prokofy Neva said:

Of course land is a metric, both as to price and amount. The number of people who are going to pay ahead for a year or even three months for land and not use it really is small. My rentals or anybody's rentals are a microcosm.

Land is not a metric when outside speculators are involved, and they are, heavily.

They own huge swathes of land, don't conduct any business with or on it, many don't even list their holdings for sale. There isn't a Linden factory printing out new regular mainland, occupancy has been crashing for years and somehow .. land prices on what is for sale keeps going up. Mainland is a few years away from decentraland, land, owners, and no actual people anywhere.

Belli clearly demonstrates people are interested in having a place to call home, the demand is most certainly there, but the market has been gamed.

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Interesting.

For many years, land was THE metric of the health of SL, and land tier was the main income stream for LL. They tried to get more directly into the act with the original Linden Homes, but they didn't prove to be very popular. Their main impact was at the lower end of the mainland rental market...people who would previously have rented an apartment or a small home wound up going Premium and taking a Linden Home instead.

But along came Bellisseria, and LL finally got the small home market right. Tons of people, including many who'd been living on Mainland or on private estates, went Premium. The demand seriously changed the world map of SL. LL's main income stream may now be Premium dues.

It's no longer clear that SL will live or die based on original Mainland or Private Estates. It may become a world owned only by LL, consisting mainly of Linden Homes, with goods sold primarily on the Marketplace.

At which point, it will be so boring that no one will want to be here anymore.

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32 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

At which point, it will be so boring that no one will want to be here anymore.

Except those who have bought the homes, houses, mesh clothes, bodies...

 

There's a gambling term pot-committed, where the player has put in so much they cannot bring themselves to get up and leave the table, even though they may end up losing it all

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Speaking of land --- the person who bought my club was selling a small parcel in one of the original regions that was there when SL opened to the public and some land baron tried to talk her down.  She refused and a few days later the same baron bought it and put it back up for sale for almost twice the cost.

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18 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Land is not a metric when outside speculators are involved, and they are, heavily.

They own huge swathes of land, don't conduct any business with or on it, many don't even list their holdings for sale. There isn't a Linden factory printing out new regular mainland, occupancy has been crashing for years and somehow .. land prices on what is for sale keeps going up. Mainland is a few years away from decentraland, land, owners, and no actual people anywhere.

Belli clearly demonstrates people are interested in having a place to call home, the demand is most certainly there, but the market has been gamed.

The problem with your theory is that these "speculators" aren't "outsiders," they are residents. They are just as much a member of Second Life as you or me, like it or not. There are lots of people in SL whose morality you can question but you can't question their right to exist when the Lindens allow the buying and reselling and renting of land themselves -- it's legal. There's also not a way to define "speculation" when for some people "Blake Sea" is speculation and for others, some inland field worth nothing flipped for 0.2/m is "speculation." Land dealers hold land without sale so they don't glut their own market; they can afford to do so. Linden Lab does this with Bellisseria, holding back thousands of houses from release. Land barons can afford to put land for sale at a high price and keep it that way for months -- and people buy it, or they wouldn't be in business. 

Some people apparently have the disposable cash to pay ahead a year, and never log in. Or perhaps they log in once a year, with that faint memory of a RL law in some states that says if you don't visit or use your land, it can fall into the public domain. I see strange cases of people missing from the people list but their land with an ugly build and a spinning top on it defacing an entire sim's view remains -- when we put trees around it to block the view, the owner shows up once every year -- or even every two years! -- to return the trees. They can safely go back again the next day.

People have a place they call "home" on islands, which produce a far greater chunk of LL's revenue than anything. And they have "home" on Mainland even in a 25L skybox rental. PS yesterday I saw once again a Belli home with vendors and objects out on the lawn for sale and even the business sign on the roof, it's hard to control. 

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4 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Interesting.

For many years, land was THE metric of the health of SL, and land tier was the main income stream for LL. They tried to get more directly into the act with the original Linden Homes, but they didn't prove to be very popular. Their main impact was at the lower end of the mainland rental market...people who would previously have rented an apartment or a small home wound up going Premium and taking a Linden Home instead.

But along came Bellisseria, and LL finally got the small home market right. Tons of people, including many who'd been living on Mainland or on private estates, went Premium. The demand seriously changed the world map of SL. LL's main income stream may now be Premium dues.

It's no longer clear that SL will live or die based on original Mainland or Private Estates. It may become a world owned only by LL, consisting mainly of Linden Homes, with goods sold primarily on the Marketplace.

At which point, it will be so boring that no one will want to be here anymore.

I don't see how you can say LL's main revenue is from premium accounts, deployed on Belli or not.

Island tier is $229 a month unless grandfathered for $195/mo. Bellisserian tier is $11.99 a month for a house. There are 18,000 islands plus. So $3 million per month in tier is the grid survey estimate, calculating percentages of full prim islands, homesteads and open spaces --  versus perhaps 150,000 premiums = $1.8 million per month. And I'm not sure we can say that premiums have in fact gone so far above 100,000, which they reached in 2010, then the Lindens stopped reporting on them as they plummeted. With Belli, yes, they have gone up rapidly, but concurrency indicates there can't be like 200,000, I don't think. Yes, there are grandfathered sims, but not that many in circulation. Maybe there are only 500. I happen to have one. How many people are as old as me? They came and went quickly in like 2008 or something. It may be close but I still think the islands are still much more.

SL will live or die based on islands, as those are the highest price product and produce the most revenue. Their hope isn't a nation of shopkeepers, so to speak, in Belli homes, but businesses, shops, and universities on islands.

There is nothing to guarantee that Belli will keep growing. In 2006-2007 in SL's boom period, it seemed that claiming "a million" or "three million" sign-ups was the norm and there were "all these companies" like IBM, Sears, etc. and things like the real-life Estonia's embassy (E-stonia). All of that is gone now. The islands shrank for years, then began some uptick which Tyche has recorded. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/9/2021 at 8:03 PM, animats said:

Here's what bothers me.

rentboxestothehorizon.thumb.jpg.48273f902111404e775b807be9146acc.jpgFor Rent boxes, out to the horizon. Eastern Zindra.

We have a major landlord buying up property and raising the price. Nobody rents or buys it, and it remains vacant. A sizable fraction of Zindra is now tied up this way. I'm seeing those boxes on other continents now.

There's something going on here. But what?

This is not a new phenomenon and has been around for more than a decade and from certain landlords for as long. You're just noticing it now. You have to do the math. That's what is "going on". You can sell land for a hugely high price and keep tiering it endlessly because you will still make money.

Calculate the cost to tier that land for a year at a discount rate, just after one sim (not even the putative bulk discount many suspect big land barons get from LL, which would certainly be a common business practice from LL and not some sort of secret horror). 

Calculate what remains after that year of tier (it often sits for a year, but often less), given the high sale price. And you will still see a profit. That's why it is done. 

The presence of the ugly Abnor Mole "Good Neighbour" kiosk here deployed as in many, many, many places in SL to help "buy the view" is the interesting piece of this picture. Is there any kind of deal between these land barons? Does one come in and uglify the land to get the others sales? Or does the one sell microparcels to the other? or does the one invade the others nice row of land for sale by obtaining a microparcel somehow?

 

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I have been making and selling products in SL for 15 years,
What I run into is the only way I can make this worth my time invested is I have to do shopping events and many of them. 
MP is a sea of gacha resellers and 12-year-old products. 
No matter what I offer on my land (hunts, live music, DJ events), I gain no solid sales at my shop to constitute renting land and hosting an in-world location.
I am going shop free for the first time in 15 years soon; why shell out cost? I build things under 15 prims max, so I do not need much land to build. My free SL home (I have an annual account) is fine for my building needs.
What would solve all this? I doubt anything; this platform is 20 years old and has stability issues that drive off new players.
I keep my eye on the classified ads; there is a prominent vendor that removed her 30k a week ad, which she had for years. However, her shop is still there, so I can only think it is not paying off anymore. That was a big sign for me; my sales have struggled to maintain consistency since 2017. So now I  track my hours and cost and hope I have a good month and get into the significant shopping events. I am a script developer, so I am lucky I can collaborate with others and get % commissions on shopping event sales as many are not taking new designers, and I'm limited on what I can sign up for. 

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10 hours ago, TheDarkhand said:

I have been making and selling products in SL for 15 years,
What I run into is the only way I can make this worth my time invested is I have to do shopping events and many of them. 
MP is a sea of gacha resellers and 12-year-old products. 
No matter what I offer on my land (hunts, live music, DJ events), I gain no solid sales at my shop to constitute renting land and hosting an in-world location.
I am going shop free for the first time in 15 years soon; why shell out cost? I build things under 15 prims max, so I do not need much land to build. My free SL home (I have an annual account) is fine for my building needs.
What would solve all this? I doubt anything; this platform is 20 years old and has stability issues that drive off new players.
I keep my eye on the classified ads; there is a prominent vendor that removed her 30k a week ad, which she had for years. However, her shop is still there, so I can only think it is not paying off anymore. That was a big sign for me; my sales have struggled to maintain consistency since 2017. So now I  track my hours and cost and hope I have a good month and get into the significant shopping events. I am a script developer, so I am lucky I can collaborate with others and get % commissions on shopping event sales as many are not taking new designers, and I'm limited on what I can sign up for. 

Whew, 30,000L for the classifieds, and I feel stressed putting up one or two for 1000 a week. I sometimes wonder if I spent 10,000 if it would make a difference. I don't think so.

It's interesting what you say about the "12 year old products". There are ancient things on the MP which I actually enjoy finding, like spelunking. But I'm also aware that I uploaded gatchas *five years ago* and have consistently put my prices lower than others and they don't sell. Yes, it's a huge, heavy weight. But if there were also a listing fee on top of the 10% fee, to prune the MP, lots of people would howl.

I can only re-iterate what I tell people over and over, that scorn of the Mainland and refusal to get abandoned or cheap land there for shops is hobbling you. The sims are wide open. It's a buyer's market. The Mainland isn't the blighted wasteland you imagine. You could actually be next to a road and even get serendipitous drive-by customers. 

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