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Marina Ramer

Marketplace shouldn´t allow freebies or dollarbies anymore

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Nefertiti Nefarious wrote:

Let's see ... people pay hard currency
but use no resources
. For LL that is not a problem!


 

That's not strictly true in accounting terms.....a Sim and thereby any plot of land on it, are switched ON 24/7 thus appearing constantly online and visible.

Software loaded onto Server attracts many associated costs (software costs, licenses, electricity, storage costs, maintenance costs, insurance costs, networking costs etc etc)......all of these "DIrect costs" can be apportioned to the number of Sims on World Map loaded onto these Servers, therefore by default every single plot of land on that grid.

Yes, even that tiny 512 sqm plot to keep it online 24/7, most certainly use resources as well as attracting related costs to it.

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Luna Bliss wrote:

 

By a freebie mentality I mean something like this:

 

Anyway, I dropped a scene on someone as a freebie, and she complained because I didn't include all the scenes (like 30 or so scenes, all of this
taking well over a year of full-time work to create
).

 

That's what i'm talking about....when mentioning Consumer expectations has changed over the years due to the influx of Freebies. I hear similar stories all the while from other content providers.....it's laughable that people have the front to moan/ complain about the Freebies they recieved!

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Rene Erlanger wrote:

 

3+ years of quality freebies hitting the grid..be it from Marketplace or in-world Stores, has had an impact on the SL economy. You're kidding yourself if you don't think so...not only does it "eventually" effect pricing (i.e downwards), but changing the perception of SL consumers (especially new ones) that SL products should be cheap or even free!

Can you imagine that sort of scenario playing out in Real life (hypothetically as there are always real costs attached)...even the likes of Walmart or Tesco would have a hard time staying in business if farmers started giving away their products freely!

To a lesser extent due to economies of scale, large stores like Walmart, Tesco and other Superstores have driven small local or family owned businesses out of lot of towns ....as these Superstores are able to offer quality products and quality food at much cheaper prices. (not to mention wider variety too)........so why shouldn't quality freebies & dollarbies eventually have an impact on the virtual marketplace too?

3+ years of flooding the grid with quality Freebies is bound to take it's toll eventually.

I agree, 3 years of quality freebies might have impact somewhere in the market, somewhere way back, at the end of the long tail. It has effected the business-in-a-box kind of merchants, that 5 years ago were able to generate more then their rent for a parcel by putting up such a shop, those didn't survice. And the merchants who build up a shop by repacking and selling freebies did not survive either, those were blown away by high quality freebies as well.

But that is a sector of the market that has never been a threat to you in the past. You sell to people who are willing to spend in a very different price range. You sell to people who don't choose to live their virtual life as a freeloader. You sell to people who are happy to pay you when you make something which is exactly what they want. Or when you make them something that is not exactly what they were looking for but that is so smashing that they just cannot resist to buy.

 

Your problem is not the production of quality freebies that arose last three years. Your problem is the production by other merchants, who have about the same skills as you, who produce a comparable quality and who are in the same segment of the market and reach the same audience with their marketing techniques. The number of customers didn't grow, but the number of people sellings skins did grow, and the number of available skins is growing day by day.

 

In a time there are 100 skins available and there are 1000 people who want to buy a skin, your competitors are less in your way, then in a time where are 1000 skins available while only 100 people want to buy skins. When the golden years were over, and the fight for the favor of the customer became harder, the price dumping started. When you can no longer beat your competition by higher quality or smarter marketing, the only thing that seems be left to make customers spend at your shop in stead in your competitor's is undercutting the price. Anyone can see that is not going to work in the long run for the economy as a whole. But people tend to care more about their indivual income then about the future of the virtual goods market.

 

It is not the freebies that droves the price down, just simply because free can never be beaten by a lower price. It are your competiters who could not win by creating better products of using better marketing techniques. Those are to blame for the current misery. 

I think one of the mains points is that a lot of us are driven by something different than common sense. We keep producing more and more in a world where demand drops. No rl economist will advise you to do so.

But at least now we have a CEO who understands why we are doing so. Because "creating is the best thing there is, except for what you do in the bedroom", we go on with what we are doing: oversaturnating the market due our creative energy.

Now when this same CEO can cause that we don't loose 99% of each subscriber, but let's say just 90%, it would solve each merchants problem for years, and I would be a happy camper :matte-motes-tongue:.

 

 

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Good post, Maddie :-)  And this is exactly why the only way I can see to stay competitive is to reduce the number of other merchants you are competing with by staying in the top percentiles of quality. That is very, very difficult and requires constant skills improvement, which not everyone has the time or inclination to do.

Another factor in play is the rise of a new business model over the past few years which I think has been successful, which is the abundance of creator kits and textures.  You don't actually need to have the skills to make these things from scratch, but to put them together attractively and maybe script them. Overall this has allowed more creators to create better-looking merchandise and raised the bar. But that also means fewer 100% unique items. Some people don't want to see their beautiful dress or chair owned by so many others because they were in one of the "X Linden" sales and looked great so everyone got one.

 

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You're always so diplomatic.  Great tool, that I do not have in my tool box.  I think I'll place it there, now.  :)

Thanks.

I'm not actively marketing now.   Several months ago, I went to another marketplace to test some things, and to learn some new skills, and get a back-up plan.  It was a really good education and a really good atmosphere to be a part of.

You'll know it when I'm actively marketing again here :)

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Someone who considers themselves a "farmer" gave me tomatos all summer.  It did not put Wal-Mart out of business.

I don't really care to go into a Wal-Mart discussion, but as simply as possible, if they were not available this year, some families in my area would have had a difficult time surviving - you know, stuff like eating.  It has to do with our economy.  The economy has changed over the last few years.  It was in the news.

I'm still not sure what the freebie problem is.  I was browsing on the marketplace again today, interested in these things:

robot greeter

brown turtleneck

lime green glass

fully functioning shopping cart

Looks like a healthy mix on each page.

I bet that "fully functioning shopping cart" phrase might be popular this week.  Nothing showed up with that phrase, so the market is wide open on that one.

I typed in "shopping cart" instead, and chose #2 position, since the photo looked great, and I was in a hurry for it, did not evaluate each other one after that, just snagged it.  It was 100L  - check out my pic tab below!  It's cool.

On the lime green glass, I needed it for a build, a texture....that page is still wide open, and there is not a texture on that page.  Someone missed the boat on that today.

 

 

 

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150,000 Building Components, and not one is using the phrase lime green glass.

Holy Cow.

 

Vacant Spot wide open on page one for the "Holy Cow" phrase.  Get yourself a Holy Cow made in the next 30 minutes. You don't have to sell even one, just slap the thing up there, and you've got page one billing tomorrow.

No freebies there.  Slap 50L on it, and looks like you've got a winner.

 

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Good post Madeliefste...although i still think freebies, dollarbies do impact the OVERALL market......e.g not every guy wants to own 10 sets of shoes.....2 or 3 quality freebies will do just fine :matte-motes-wink:!

Yes, there are more skin sellers...but that's partly due to that sector changing a lot over the last few years.

In the earlier days, skin artists created Skins from scratch...and there were very few that could do it well! . Nowadays there full perm skins with PSD files being sold that allows you to develop a series of skins relatively quickly. ..by just adding few different coloured lipsticks or eyeliners. Bingo! , you ve become a skin creator and can sell your skins for a 100L a piece.....even though not being responsible for creating the original base skin.

Same can be said of a lot of furniture sellers that no longer build the actual product....as they can buy sculpty packs and simply texture it thereafter and sell it for 50L!!

So the ball game has changed a lot...creators versus assemblers....hence more Merchants in the market than before. If you're an "Assembler" you can churn out more products in quicker time and set at much lower sale price....than a Creator who produces his own sculpty or prim-work and then has to texture it. (maybe create their own textures too)

---------------------------------

This requirement of feeding the monster with  Freebies & Dollarbies in Second Life is a fallacy.......IMVU which has 3-4 times as many monthly logins (3 million Avatars)  doesn't rely on their products being made free....yet  their membership continues to grow, year in and year out!

Look at Catalog (IMVU's version of Marketplace) with 6 million products...no freebies there for the consumer. The Content provider might foresake his own commissions (Credits) to make it as cheap as possible to the Consumer....but it's still not Free. IMVU Consumers have different ways of earning "free Credits"....pretty much like we have Sploders or camping or in-world contests.

These acquired free "Credits" can then be used to buy IMVU products...but again, those IMVU products themselves are not Free.....and they have members as young as 13 playing IMVU. That's why I think,  this equivilant of an EU mountain size of Freebies in SL is a nonsense.......it's become a bad "habit" over the years, and kind of expected by both Consumers & Merchants alike!

 

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"So yes I ask to that people that “for fun” gives away all what they make, at leats give to their friends or relatives, or if you really need the feel to give away make it ingame on your own space, but do not put into marketplace, hurting other people who really needs to get an income to live!"

How about you quit telling people how to run their business? The marketplace is for everybody, not just you, and if people want to give their stuff away or for cheap, so what?

I'm one of the "for fun" merchants and I really get tired of hearing "You're killing my business, stealing food from my babies, I can't afford my meds this month because you sell too cheap!!!".

You don't know how much my RL income or life situation is. I price the way I do because I know what it's like not be able to afford nice things and I target that consumer spectrum. Don't like it? Tough! How I price my stuff or give it away is none of your business.

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

Someone who considers themselves a "farmer" gave me tomatos all summer.  It did not put Wal-Mart out of business.

_________________

Come one Mickey, I think you know what i meant....of course an isolated case is not going to close down your local Walmart....but if all the Farmers in that area decided to feed the local population of that town (realistically never going to happen) then surely all the shops including Walmart selling food items in that particular Town are going to feel it on their bottom lines.

It's an analogy...maybe a non-realistic one at that! :matte-motes-wink:

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

150,000 Building Components, and not one is using the phrase lime green glass.

Holy Cow.

 

Vacant Spot wide open on page one for the "Holy Cow" phrase.  Get yourself a Holy Cow made in the next 30 minutes. You don't have to sell even one, just slap the thing up there, and you've got page one billing tomorrow.

No freebies there.  Slap 50L on it, and looks like you've got a winner.

 

That's because not every product in-world will be listed on Marketplace....e.g we have about 500/ 600 items in our Furniture store that are not listed on Marketplace....and we have a lot of stuff which are either unique or at least niche,(Renaissance period furniture, Tibetan and Old European Empires as examples)

 

Not every In-world Merchant lists their products on Marketplace

Moving forward...there's still space for unusual items, Games and innovative products....as well as top quality items.

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No, Rene, I really don't get what you meant.  Perhaps it is because your demographics are different.

I don't remember where you're from, but in the US....there is a huge crisis with the economy right now.  I can't even begin to explain how drastic it is for some sections of the country.  I am not talking east or west coast. 

Lots of adjustments have been made, and the store that sells at the absolute rock bottom price is going to do well, unless it makes them go bankrupt.  But if they don't sell at rock bottom price they are going to go bankrupt anyway.  The market is no longer there for that price - not a big enough market.

I don't know "who" you think is logging in here, everyday, but they come from all different environments.  They ain't robots.  (most aren't)....I generally cater to the market that I have something in common with, and right now, that consists of wanting a pretty dang good price on ANYTHING - ANY WORLD.

I'm acknowledging what Snow said just above. 

I'm not going to pay out the azz for some item in a virtual world, that is secondary to the physical world (generally) so I can have some Fancy Smancy High Prim Item (which requires extra land, btw)   to slap down and impress some Pretentious Snotty Friends, with a White Glove Test and Quality Evaluation.  Pretty sure I don't have any friends like that,  Sure never noticed it.

Not to mention, it's a hell of a lot more pleasant to sell to people who are not Pretentious.

oooops....that clunk on the floor that you just heard is that new tool falling out of my tool box.  Will try to slide that tool back into the tool box next time around.

 

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Well, there you go, a working example that a free world can work without the goods having to be free. IMVU having far more products than SL says to me that there's a healthy market for non free goods in a free world.

It says to me that if you were able to get people a relatively ( free) way to get L$, that this still allows some people to get "free items", even though they aren't free to buy.

I agree with the bad habit of entitlement being bred by LL. Can't fault people for taking advantage of what they're given for free, but this is the part that I still don't get.

Why as a freebie creator would someone think that they're entitled to distribute that on a Marketplace? If that item really had value to the community in some way, and I mean "real" community value, I could understand. If you're talking about a free couch, for instance, it has no community value. It has enjoyment value if someone really likes the couch, but no community value, just like my RL furrnture does nothing to contribute to my local community.

So why the opinion that not only should it be free to create, free to give away in-world, free to market on your own blog, that distribution to the masses should also be free?

I think that kind of entitlement is a bit selfish in some regards, because it must be paid for by those who pay tier and/or those who do sell and must pay 5% commission. These people are paying for you to have a free distribution point. And those people are somehow wrong for to expect you to distribute under the same conditions of commerce.

Not that this even happens in RL either as an example, but if a mall were to allow free space for free goods, of course retail stores sales would suffer, it's a given. And those retail stores would be very resentful that they're paying leases while those who don't pay anything at all dilute their value.

Actually like that model where it's possible to create for personal use and limited distribution, where L$ are able to be earned for "free", but distribution is not.

Don't resent the people, but LL has created a model that those who pay must support those who do not, and that's not fair.

[Edited for typo]

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Rene Erlanger wrote:


Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

150,000 Building Components, and not one is using the phrase lime green glass.

Holy Cow.

 

Vacant Spot wide open on page one for the "Holy Cow" phrase.  Get yourself a Holy Cow made in the next 30 minutes. You don't have to sell even one, just slap the thing up there, and you've got page one billing tomorrow.

No freebies there.  Slap 50L on it, and looks like you've got a winner.

 

That's because not every product in-world will be listed on Marketplace....e.g we have about 500/ 600 items in our Furniture store that are not listed on Marketplace....and we have a lot of stuff which are either unique or at least niche,(Renaissance period furniture, Tibetan and Old European Empires as examples)

 

Not every In-world Merchant lists their products on Marketplace

Moving forward...there's still space for unusual items, Games and innovative products....as well as top quality items.

I've got about 3000 combinations of product that are not listed on marketplace.  I'm not really sure what your number has to do with anything.  If I have some time tomorrow, I might just make some lime green glass stuff and get that stuff up.  Or a Holy Cow Sofa.  Maybe someone will beat me to the punch.  If so, High Fives.

I'm luvin' that Holy Cow Catsuit.  I didn't want one of those yesterday, but I sure want one now.  Not sure if I can wear it in the store, though.

There's still place for ANY ITEM IMAGINEABLE. 

Please stop telling all of these merchants that the market is saturated and untouchable.  That is simply not true.  Not even close.  Where the heck is the lime green glass?

"Not every In-world Merchant lists their products on Marketplace"

If they want to make some money, why the heck don't they have stuff listed?   Huh?

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 

So why the opinion that not only should it be free to create, free to give away in-world, free to market on your own blog, that distribution to the masses should also be free?


What makes you think "freebie creators" don't pay? Everytime I upload a texture, promo, bvh file, sound file, etc. etc. I pay. Purchasing a building/creator tool, template, or texture, I pay. Renting the parcel my shop is on, I pay.

It's money out my own pocket, not yours.

Why do certain merchants think they are entitled to dictate how or what other merchants do?

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Mickey Vandeverre wrote:

No, Rene, I really don't get what you meant.  Perhaps it is because your demographics are different.

I don't remember where you're from, but in the US....there is a huge crisis with the economy right now.  I can't even begin to explain how drastic it is for some sections of the country.  I am not talking east or west coast. 
 

The EU countries have just as big a problem as US...and some of it's member countries are in an even worst position. Have you not seen the prosperity riots in Spain, Greece, France and Italy.? Even UK and Germany are feeling it.

That aside....1.7 millions products listed on Second Life's Marketplace ...versus IMVU's Catalog 6 million products without any Freebies.

Since 2008, Second Life concurrency and peak-login figures has not grown...despite Land being made cheaper to buy and supplemented by a mountain of freebies for any potential new resident. During that same period, IMVU has grown 4-fold with 3 million unique avatars logging in monthly (SL only 850k)....with Peak logins of 150k (SL only 60-70k) ......under the same "Real Life" economic conditions!! 

Second Life is free to join as is IMVU....with the latter being the inferior product!

So 1 platform continues to grow in a recession, its equivalent Shopping site continues to grow....and it doesn't offer Freebies, whilst the other platform (SL) remains stagnant.  There lies the root of the problem and hence why freebies have become prevalent. More competing Merchants in SL with no growth in concurrency (or Consumer pool)....so Merchants are having to undercut each other to be seen or make sales......it's not done for the goodness of mankind ...or because of the RL economic conditions! Had Second Life continued to grow like it did up to 2007.....you'd see a different type of Marketplace.

Look I don't rely on Marketplace for income...all I'm trying to highlight is that Freebies weren't really necessary in SL....but rather it was forced upon  (as a kind of marketing tool) due Second Life's lack of growth ...and lack of effective in-game marketing tools. The same can be said with price dumping..

The people that can still afford to pay their ISP connection & Electricity bills....are still playing WOW, Second Life or IMVU or whatever ...and spending money on them.

 

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Fair enough, good old sinks in action. Talking about the overall model still though, please don't take it personally.

I pay those as well as tier, premium, etc. That doesn't make me better in any way, it just makes me contribute more to the free model.

But if I sell on the Marketplace, I have to pay those as well as the 5% commission. Another good old sink.

Why the "right" to distribute there? Why the right to distribute at all if you're not concerned with sales? I get that it feels good to share all the content for free, and the company loves nothing more than when you do that, you pay them in one way or another for the priviledge of them making money off of your content.

But where is the justification that it's a god given right to distribute it to as many people as possible?

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Yes, I know Rene, sorry, just couldn't remember where you were from.  The way some people talk around here, it's like they don't have a clue what's going on with any economy.  Have to assume they are sheltered -  not really sure where that is, though.

I don't care about IMVU.  I did not set up there.  No reason to.  I've got an etsy, ebay, and brick and mortar biz going on, and you know which one shows the most promise?  Second Life.  Even with all of it's current issues.

If you're so enamored with IMVU, then get your azz over there.  I don't see what the issue is.  And if you can't handle a smidgin' of competition, then you better do it now.

Merchants are undercutting each other in every other venue I'm selling in.  Big Time.  Not sure what you're trying to get at there.

Freebies are an excellent marketing tool.

You will probably do best if you take your marketing outside of world.  Plenty of experimentation and observation to determine that.

Did you ever come up with some straighforward examples of some freebies killing some businesses?  on marketplace?  I sure can't find one searching random keywords.

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Do you have an example of how a freebie is killing your fairy business?

I can understand if you don't want to be specific.  But as I spelled out to you very clearly, earlier....dude, you ain't doin' any marketing.

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Rene Erlanger wrote:

 

Yes, there are more skin sellers...but that's partly due to that sector changing a lot over the last few years.

In the earlier days, skin artists created Skins from scratch...and there were very few that could do it well! . Nowadays there full perm skins with PSD files being sold that allows you to develop a series of skins relatively quickly. ..by just adding few different coloured lipsticks or eyeliners. Bingo! , you ve become a skin creator and can sell your skins for a 100L a piece.....even though not being responsible for creating the original base skin.

---------------------------------

This also came up when the demand started to declined. The full perms skin sellers are competitors who did choose not to beat you by lowering their prices, but by introducing a different  business model that allowed them to ask even higher prices for their work. They became business to business suppliers. They focussed on a smaller targetgroup (creators and wannabe creators) then other sellers who focus on the general shopping public. 

 

These business models caused that people who don't have the skills to make a complete skin on their own, can 'play the make-up artist' and sell the results of their creative add to the skin at low prices.

Since there is also no need for an inworld shop since we have the market place, these make up artists don't have to make their pricing so that they can pay their rent out of it. The only costs that they have is the investment in the skin kit. (And since they enjoy to do make-ups they're probably safing to buy the next kit as well.) 

 

Of course this is hurting businesses of original creators. Though there are customers that buy goods for status, and are proud to wear or own only the highest quality products, the majority won't pay 2000 linden for a skin, when they can get about the same quality for 100 linden. These 'clone products' are spoiling the market for a lot of original creators. One man's death is another man's bread. I guess the full perms merchant is doing fine (as long as that market is not oversaturnated).


---------------------------------

This requirement of feeding the monster with  Freebies & Dollarbies in Second Life is a fallacy.......IMVU which has 3-4 times as many monthly logins (3 million Avatars)  doesn't rely on their products being made free....yet  their membership continues to grow, year in and year out!

Look at Catalog (IMVU's version of Marketplace) with 6 million products...no freebies there for the consumer. The Content provider might foresake his own commissions (Credits) to make it as cheap as possible to the Consumer....but it's still not Free. IMVU Consumers have different ways of earning "free Credits"....pretty much like we have Sploders or camping or in-world contests.

These acquired free "Credits" can then be used to buy IMVU products...but again, those IMVU products themselves are not Free.....and they have members as young as 13 playing IMVU. That's why I think,  this equivilant of an EU mountain size of Freebies in SL is a nonsense.......it's become a bad "habit" over the years, and kind of expected by both Consumers & Merchants alike!

 

As soon as you become a paying member in IMVU you get freebies thrown at you all the time. Not directly by merchants, but by IMVU.

LL could use the head of marketing from IMVU. IMVU didn't grow because the have a better or more easy product then SL, IMVU is far behind SL. They just know better how to attrack people and have better strategies to make people return and stay.

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Rene Erlanger wrote:


Second Life is free to join as is IMVU....with the latter being the inferior product!

So 1 platform continues to grow in a recession, its equivalent Shopping site continues to grow....and it doesn't offer Freebies, whilst the other platform (SL) remains stagnant.  There lies the root of the problem and hence why freebies have become prevalent. More competing Merchants in SL with no growth in concurrency (or Consumer pool)....so Merchants are having to undercut each other to be seen or make sales......it's not done for the goodness of mankind ...or because of the RL economic conditions! Had Second Life continued to grow like it did up to 2007.....you'd see a different type of Marketplace.

Look I don't rely on Marketplace for income...all I'm trying to highlight is that Freebies weren't really necessary in SL....but rather it was forced upon  (as a kind of marketing tool) due Second Life's lack of growth ...and lack of effective in-game marketing tools. The same can be said with price dumping..

 

To all of it, but especially this ... bingo.

They're still misfiring on startup mentality and overly complex models when in any other industry but tech, it would be an amateur mistake to apply overly complex business models to customers with a lemon-aid stand model.

I learned this literally at 16 years old.

Had they kept it simple with land and scaled around that, and focused on the core product, we'd still be growing like IMVU.

But no, give it to a bunch of employees and tell them to be creative. It's creative, all right.

And declining.

 

 

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 

But where is the justification that it's a god given right to distribute it to as many people as possible?

You mean like it's your god given right to sell to as many people as possible?

For the record,  that 5% commission I pay as well and I feel that $L loss more because of my low prices than someone who sells higher but I don't care, I'm not in it for the money. My stuff doesn't appeal to everyone & I like choices, I don't like restrictions on people's choices. It's stupid & **bleep**.

Asking other merchants why the "right"? Well, you're talking to the wrong people. It's LL you should be hollering at. It's their marketplace & they set the rules.

You have a right to sell because of LL, I have a right to give away because of LL.

Now, if "merchant mafia" want to create their own marketplace and set their own rules banning all freebies and anything under $100L, go for it.

Til then the marketplace is (and I hate to repeat) for EVERYONE and not owned by SL merchants (Thank god).

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"I think that kind of entitlement is a bit selfish in some regards, because it must be paid for by those who pay tier and/or those who do sell and must pay 5% commission. These people are paying for you to have a free distribution point. And those people are somehow wrong for to expect you to distribute under the same conditions of commerce."

I'll tell you what....you go trying to list 500 auctions on ebay tomorrow, and you come back here and report in with your end tally on listing fees there, then you check in again with us next week when you have to run those auctions again, or decide to list them for 30 days at best shot, then report at end of month.

You apply those same fees to what you've got going on in Second Life right now, and you will see that you are basically getting "free" listings as it is.  Plus - the item sells over and over again.

Holy Cow, there would be some "entitlement" squawkers in this forum if that ever happened.

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 

Don't resent the people, but LL has created a model that those who pay must support those who do not, and that's not fair.

[Edited for typo]

 

I recently wrote some numbers down in a General Discussions thread ....and through some rough calculations provided from LL data which was publically available until Sept 2010......that about 25% of the monthly logins support (financially or creatively) the rest of the grid  who play for free and not contribute towards the SL economy.

Without SL growth during the last 3 years.....one can see the obvious strains it's having, particularly on In-world commerical lands.........yet IMVU has proved that one can grow it's membership in a worldwide recessionary period. They didn't just grow by a small percentage....but a massive 300- 400% !!!

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