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Deja Letov

My experiment to leave the Marketplace behind

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With all the insanity going on about the Marketplace I thought this might actually be an appropriate time to cough up some word vomit on my attempt to cut back on making the Marketplace such an integral part of my business model. I'm not talking about just the isues with the Marketplace from a functionality standpoint, I'm talking about the Marketplace from the point of view that it is killing the inworld aspect of SL and causes too many problems for merchants who rely on it heavily when it's not working properly. Not too long ago I made a post on my blog about this very matter.  I won't post the entire message because it's really long but in a nutshell, here is how I feel about things:

1. You can't simply call what is going on "growing pains". I think that would be naive for any of us to accept. This is purely ignorance on their part. Their motto as of late seems to be “It’s working as intended or maybe if we ignore it will go away”.

2. As merchants, by continuing to allow the new Marketplace to be our major source of revenue it is only encouraging this monstrosity (the marketplace) to continue to grow and take over our SL.

3. I’m not going to sit here and try and convince you that the Marketplace isn’t a useful tool to keep revenue going strong. What I do believe, however, is that there is no point in having an online Marketplace to shop and buy products for our Second Life if that inworld aspect of Second Life continues to disappear. Soon enough, there will be nobody left to create for.

4. Nobody is going to stop using the Marketplace completely. A shopper finds it much too convenient to locate products via a web browser versus having to hop from parcel to parcel via a teleporting system and then having to walk around the store looking through items to purchase. And on the flip side, merchants are enjoying the added sales that have come from having an online explosion for their store. Who wants to take that away?

So how do we fix it? The answer isn’t simply to stop using the Marketplace. Many of our businesses would go “kerplunk” because we didn’t make up that lost income inworld. THAT my friend is where there answer is! We have to come back INTO Second Life. We have to start shopping inworld again, we have to start marketing inworld again and we have to start supporting our Second Life before our Second Life stops supporting us!

This whole ordeal that is going on reminds me of this quote.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke

If we do nothing, then we are sure to fail. It may be going a little too far to call the Marketplace evil, but it certainly will be the demise of our Second Life businesses if we don’t do something to make it a little less important.

I don't know if this fits everyone but for me personally, in the past I have had sort of antisocial personality in SL. Not because I don't like people, I do! But because I'm always building. I very rarely talked to my customers. And if I needed something, I would go to the Marketplace. My business expenses were close to about 90% purely Marketplace. On any sample random month, my Marketplace sales made up anywhere from 60-70% of my total revenue. Sometimes slightly higher, sometimes slightly lower, so we will call it 65% as an average.

So, what's the point of posting this? Well, when I made this blog post I made two goals for myself:

As a shopper… I will make every effort I can to visit a store I intend to buy from if one exists. I will support inworld stores with my purchases BEFORE I support a creator who is only selling via the Marketplace. If I find an item on the Marketplace, I will make every effort to find it inworld first and will only buy from the Marketplace after all inworld efforts have been exhausted. I will learn patience and wait for things to rez so that I can once again enjoy the actual experience of an item rather than just a picture. I will explore this world, say hello to new people, meet the owners of the stores I shop in and get to know them and I will be more social with others outside my friends list (who are mainly other creators or customers).

As a merchant…I will continue to list my items on the Marketplace and use it for what it should be…a secondary sales method. I will hold more in-store contests and promotions that only inworld shoppers can participate in. I will be better at blogging my events and getting my customers to actually go to my blog. I will contact EVERY person who buys from me on the Marketplace and thank them with a message or notecard and invite them in to come and see me in world. I will give them an incentive to do so as well as an incentive to shop inworld with me in the future instead of my Marketplace store. I will show an extra amount of appreciation to my customer base that has purchased inworld, possibly even set up a shopping rewards system that will only apply to inworld sales. I will come down from my skybox more often, especially when I see green dots on my map, to welcome people and thank them for their purchases. I will network more with other merchants and make more attempts at co-op advertising, satellite locations, supporting RP sims where many of my products are used and will conduct several inworld marketing campaigns on a regular basis. I will continue participating in hunts and make an even larger effort than I already do at creating an out of this world item for the hunt and make a larger attempt at getting them back to the store. I may even host my own hunt to show shoppers the great things that all of Second Life can offer to them. Most importantly, I WILL have higher inworld sales than Marketplace sales no matter what it takes.

Now comes the good part. So far for my own personal goals, I am very happy with myself. And to be honest, with all the bullcrap that seems to be going on in the Marketplace right now, I'm thrilled I made this change!

Since making some of these changes these are the numbers so far.

Sales

Last 6 months consistently has had the Marketplace making up around 65% of my total sales.

Right now, with some of these changes in place, I am sitting at 44% Marketplace and the rest is all INWORLD BABY! I have had ZERO issues with the new DD system. All sales have made it into my account and all orders have delivered to customers. I know, I'm probably just one of the lucky ones.

Expenses

Since the beginning of time (or as long as I can remember) I've been almost exclusively a Marketplace shopper for business expenses. There is only ONE animation store I am required to go to in person because it requires a group approval and a group tag to purchase. But even with those in store purchases, my business expenses still sat at around 90% on the Marketplace.

With my new found requirement of myself to go inworld...I am sitting at 4% of my purchases made in the Marketplace. Did you hear that? Let me say it again....4%...FOUR.

On top of increased inworld sales on my customers end and decreated Marketplace sales on my end, I have met some really awesome people! I have had more of my customers add me to their friends list in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last year. And more and more people are coming back. It's funny because I put the invite out there to stop by just to say hi, and THEY DO. I have people who have just come back to my store to hang out and chat with me. And for me as a shopper, I got to meet some of the creators I buy from and most of them (except one I wished I hadn't met  lol) has been wonderful! I also met other creators while in their store who were buying the same things as I was.

Overall, I'm glad I am doing this. Will one person make a difference on inworld sales? Maybe not, but with the frustration as of late with the Marketplace, no matter what your reason is, I guess I am hoping to encourage others to try and make more inworld sales over Marketplace sales....besides...there is no commission on in world sales. :)

Anyway...that is my experiement so far. I will definitely keep updating every few weeks to see if this is a long term change or a short term fluke.

 

 

 

 

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Deja Letov wrote:

I'm not talking about just the isues with the Marketplace from a functionality standpoint, I'm talking about the Marketplace from the point of view that it is killing the inworld aspect of SL

 

 

 

 

Wish everyone else could see this...

 

Sucking away at the community aspect for mass proffits

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This right ^ here is one of the best ideas EVER!  I just lost my inworld store sim.  My business partner, who the sim belonged to, is in the hospital in a coma.  So I am now looking for a new inworld location to open my store again!  Maybe you can teach me how to do the things you have with yours, Deja!  I've thought, for a long time, that we need to get back to inworld shopping also!

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I'm not leaving, but I'm not going to put in any extra effort at this point other than escalating my prices to meet demand price.

I had kept most of my products at 9L as part of a long-term strategy, but since I can no longer in good faith consider SL to be a long-term user platform at all, I'm just trying to maximize revenues while there are still revenues.

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What a fantastic post, Deja. I sincerely hope that it will start a trend away from the marketplace, for the reasons that you stated.

I can't follow your lead because I've never bought or sold anything on the marketplace, but it's for an entirely different reason. Like most of us, I strongly object to LL competing with their own paying customers. There have been outcries over a number of things - Linden Homes, for instance, and I think the marketplace itself, with LL unscrupulously skimming off the top, also caused such an outcry at the start. Unfortunately, merchants started selling there pretty much en-masse, possibly because of the unscrupulous way that LL promoted it to users/shoppers which I found very disheartening - and I still do.

I can't claim any positives though, because I've been letting my SL store run down for well over two years now, with the intention of closing it when it's not longer worth keeping open. So, unlike, most merchants, I haven't felt any need to compete for sales. If I had, I might well have sold via the marketplace too.

I just wanted to say what a knockout post it is, and I that I do hope it has an effect because, as we all know, the marketplace has largely killed SL stores and shopping, and it's due to LL's unscrupulous practises to gain more money from their paying customers.

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I have this post bookmarked and totally agree with you.  99% of my sales are from the MP but I assume it is at least partially because I got lazy and quit doing any type of in-world publicity.

I know of two merchants who basically live in their stores, personally greet each arriving customer and, at least in the case of one of the two, the customers became some of her best friends.  Both merchants make an excellent income from their stores.

Maybe this MP fiasco has actually helped us in the long run.  Thank you, Deja, for posting!

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

My business partner, who the sim belonged to, is in the hospital in a coma.  So I am now looking for a new inworld location to open my store again! 

I am so very sorry to hear about your business partner, Marcus.

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I think that point is past, although it might be a good business strategy short-term.

As an ex-Linden employee stated (not going to dig up the reference, LL isn't worth the effort these days), his job was to recapture the viewer market with the official viewer. As the official viewer gains domination 3rd party viewers must of neccessity decline in popularity, however that needs to happen. This was clearly stated as a goal.

It seems a long term strategy to also capture sales of goods, sales of land and first dibs on destinations and user hours (expect more official LL destinations and activities in the future) in order to more completely control SL, the product and the venues.

While this is understandable in the face of decline (those numbers indicating decline also magically lessened as of the last 3 weeks, and that in the face of the Marketplace fiasco), it's too late to "take back and control the experience" without sacrificing the earnings of the people who control the creation of content.

Expect your in-world strategy over 2012 to be shot full of holes with merchant programs, in-world official vendors, and more control in general over where users go and how they find product and where and when they shop.

I believe DD is a necessary precursor to these.

As LL revenue declines they get more desperate to capture and control more of the experience.

Meanwhile, incompetence and strategies incompatible with users opportunity continues to be attributed to communication problems.

The best strategy for being a merchant in SL is something I posted way back in on SLX roughly 4 years ago. Supplement your income with other things and don't ever neglect your RL, your contacts, your family and friends and don't burn any bridges.

Even WoW will tell you not to neglect your first life (although their disclaimer relates to their responsibility with minors) in their tips of the day at the login screen (although this applies in SL to not only life but personal income).

Until such time as normal business and consumer law applies to virtual sales in SL, you need to take your own protection upon yourself.

Wishing you merchants the best of luck with your endeavors, may you never lose the entrepreneur spirit and the love of creating product, these things are valuable in their own right anywhere in the world.

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Well let me give you some of the things I've started doing:

1. I've redesigned my sim to make it more than just another stop. It's a fun place to hang out, we even have a teacup carousel ride, a fishing area and am installing a combat arena this week in fact. My main goal is things that could generate traffic. Not for the sake of a traffic number but ACTUAL people who would normally shop for my products.

2. If you came to my sim, you would see it has a very dark gothic feel to it. A lot of my customers are people RPing as vampires, werewolves, dom and sub, etc. So one of the other things I'm doing, is contacting RP sims to see if I can sponsor them with more than just another booth in their market area.  I haven't had success with this yet, I just sent out inquiries this week, so I will update on this later.

3. I hired a "shop assistant". She is awesome and is available during times I'm not. She also took over the creation of my vendor posters which frees up my time, But if a customer has an issue with something and see I'mnot online, they can contact her. This is just a customer service on my end that I think would be helpful.

4. When I get a Marketplace sale, I now contact every person. No, I DO NOT put them on a list, I don't believe in that practice, but in the notecard I introduce myself and thank them for their purchase. I include a LM to my store plus invite them to come by sometime toon and see what we have. I am also sure to mention that we have sales and other events  happening on the sim that as a Marketplace shopper, they aren't aware of, but if they touch a kiosk in my store they can be added to my update listed to receive notices when I send them out. This saves them money and who doesn't like to save money? I also make sure to mention to them that if they had any delivery issues to please contact me directly.

5. I am working on a custom script of my own to handle a rewards system. I was going to use one of the popular ones available in the Marketplace, and I still may if this scripting gets under my skin. But I need a system that will track both Marketplace and Inworld sales but only reward the sales based on inworld sales. And I'd like it to also have an option of "you've spent 000L on the Marketplace, if you would have bought that in world, you would have 00L more store credit!" That sort of th ing. This is in the works and I hope to have it done in the next few weeks. I think this will be a HUGE marketing advantage for me to get out of Marketplace sales so much.

6. I hang out in my store A LOT more. Sometimes I'm riding my teacups, sometimes I'm just hanging out on a couch and sometimes I'm lying dead in a grave. Either way, I'm there and my customers happen upon me all the time and almost always say hi to me. If they don't, then I say hi to them. Either way, I talk to them as much as I can and talk about new products.

7. I'm being a bit more selective on the hunts I participate in. I used to sign up for everything and ended up just giving away the farm but now I stick to themes that will bring people who would actually buy my products. I once did one last year that was some garden type hunt and was all bright and cheery. I can't imagine anyone bought anything from that. But doing other hunts that are more themed to my product line is a lot more fun and a lot more successful.

8. I joined in on the Colab kit projects. I am a firm believer to join in on shopper programs where people spend money. I've done 60L weekends almost every single weekend since forever ago and I love it. Not only do I get sales but many of them sign up at my kiosk when they come. The CoLab group is similiar except it's new creations based on a theme but it's still a group of shoppers that go around and buy things up at a discount but then they can always come back for more later...and I've compared to my shoppers and those who came to my from colab and many have bought beyond the Colab. This has mainly been useful for my gothic texture shop of course, but I just started on it for main gothic furniture shop last week so I will let you know how it goes.

9. My assistant and I are working to complete an instore HUD based catalog of all of my products. This is quite the project but in the end you will be able to pick up a catalog, wear it and flip through pages to find products you like. Once you find one you like, voila you TP directly to that item. It's coming along and should be done by end of spring.

10. We also have a quarterly newsletter we are working on that we will use to show off some of our new products, customer submitted pictures, customer highlights, hunts, etc. Thsi will be a hud based newsletter as well.

As you can see, some of it is still a work in progress, this is all new for me since I've always just let the Marketplace do my selling but I am really hoping some of this will start to turn things around.

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A agree a 100 percent and I never disagreed, let us bring back the trade inworld.
I never understood why anyone would buy an animation, a skin or a house without seeing it or testing it first, like we do inworld

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Great post!

Love the idea of finding the shop keeper in a grave :D - only to rise when customers arrive - how very symbolic!! 

Got me thinking - I just started making demos of my bigger builds (too big to fit my current tiny shop): maybe I'll use Marketplace just for the free demos of stuff that people can buy only at my inworld store...

And if Marketplace continues to be the mess it currently is, at least I am not losing out on things being delivered without getting paid for it.

 

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>>>>And if Marketplace continues to be the mess it currently is, at least I am not losing out on things being delivered without getting paid for it.

 

This is exactly what I'm thinking. The Marketplace sucks right now, right? You've got tons of people complaining about it, some saying to migrate back to magic boxes, etc. Why bother? Stop fudging (edited for my sailor mouth) with it and making it all so important and move it back to inworld. I bet 99.9% of the time if you are selling in world with a "buy now" box set for sale, you will get paid!

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And by the way if anyone really wants to see how my expenses have changed, in the last 10 days, I've spent 12,936L on creator type things like texture, sculpts, animations IN WORLD and only 659L on the Marketplace and the 659L was only because they didn't have it in world for me to buy. If we as shoppers start supporting merchants in this way and buying in world, it will really help those of us who are trying to make the switch back to inworld a little easier. Why does it matter if you buy it in world? Think of the last time you ran to Walmart to grab a gallon of milk? Did you REALLY just leave with a gallon of milk? lol  Come on admit it! The last time I went to Walmart was last night. My husband and I wanted to grab a BluRay of a new release movie. Had I just got that I would have saved myself $189 on the rest of the stuff I had no intentions of getting but did because it was there and in my face! It's the same thing here. You may go to my store looking for a bed...but when you see it on display along side a rug, a side table, matching curtains and a loveseat...you might buy it all. In the Marketplace, that isn't quite as easily accomplished. I don't know about you...but I rarely look at related products. And you can't see related products in browse view when you are searching, only when you are looking at an individual product. You are missing out on other products that might appeal to you as a shopper and missing out on possible sales as a merchant.

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Great post Deja! It would be a great day if customers would treat the marketplace as a secondary tool for purchases. I remember the day where we'd gather a few friends and TP from place to place going shopping. It was a ton of fun and I really felt like we were actually shopping (like we would if we were together in RL).

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I am mostly a shopper, and have to say I agree. I do use MP as the quickest way to find items, but will more often than not look for an in-world store. I do have a hard time understanding why so few merchants add the fees onto the MP price, or is that something already experimented with? Getting around those fees is a great motivator for me, and it feels like a reward for shopping inworld. In the past, I have also turned up inworld to check out an item and seen so much more, or just enjoyed the ambience so much that I go on a spree, something much rarer just looking at a page of listings.

I will say that MP listings can carry a lot more product info than you get inworld, so there are times I'll be standing in a store checking out the MP, and on occasion I even bought the item from MP as it was cheaper there! I know, doesn't really make sense but hey. I do hope your post sets something rolling, inworld is the place to be

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Brummund Thorkveld wrote:

I am mostly a shopper, and have to say I agree. I do use MP as the quickest way to find items, but will more often than not look for an in-world store. I do have a hard time understanding why so few merchants add the fees onto the MP price, or is that something already experimented with? Getting around those fees is a great motivator for me, and it feels like a reward for shopping inworld. In the past, I have also turned up inworld to check out an item and seen so much more, or just enjoyed the ambience so much that I go on a spree, something much rarer just looking at a page of listings.

I think the reason you don't see merchants adding fees to the listings is because of their policy on listing. From their policy page where it lists things NOT to do it states "inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, in comparison to in-world or other e-commerce sites,"  My take on this is that you can't offer the same item on the Marketplace as you do in world but offer it cheaper in world.

Does anyone know for sure if this is allowed? I would love to promote that my prices are 5% cheaper in world due to no Marketplace fees. In fact Id list that right in my product listings if that's the case. Anyone definite on that policy?

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Deja Letov wrote:


Does anyone know for sure if this is allowed? I would love to promote that my prices are 5% cheaper in world due to no Marketplace fees. In fact Id list that right in my product listings if that's the case. Anyone definite on that policy?

On the old market we had a specific limit, the difference could go no higher than 10 percent if I remember correctly.

I had some items removed from the market and inworld for violating this:(

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Wow so they actually monitored people on it? Ok, I'm going to try and research this for sure and I will post what I find out.

 

And by the way, I don't want anyone to think I'm hating on the Marketplace. I think the Marketplace is important and it has a place in every SL business, you'd be stupid not to use it. All I'm really after here is to make the inworld part of our business stronger because if that gets stronger than the community as a whole INSIDE second life will be better for it!

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I couldn't agree more!

Purchasing clothing is one thing, but almost anything else, one would first want to see it, test it, use it in-world before making a purchase.

It's too bad LL is now phasing out the Magic Boxes as yet another step to choke merchants to death;
i have a tracking system in my magic boxes so i can easily save sales data in my database server for sales analysis, but that seems to be over once we are all forced to start using this DD system. On top of that, i have to install Viewer 2 now, or else i cannot "upload" my items. And i can forget about any other automated system of sending notecards or other items when a purchase is made.

And then i didn't even mention the traffic loss because of the marketplace. During the Xstreet-time, it wasn't so bad, but nowadays people don't even run their viewer if they only want to purchase some things - where's the time gone when avatars would just roam around the shops and malls, trying out gestures, dances and sounds, or walking through a potential house to purchase, and how can you buy an entire babyroom, without even having looked around it, but just seen only 2 still images on a website?

Yes, the marketplace is slowly killing SL. Even if for lots of us, merchants, it's a necessary evil: me too have about 70% of my revenue from the marketplace.

True: in-world shops can do much more; besides giving your prospective buyer the chance to actually see the item they want to buy, they can try it, use it, hear it and basically interact with it. All the things a static picture cannot provide. On top of that: i have more than once convinced a prospective buyer by answering questions they had - also something a website cannot do .. not unless the buyer comes in-world.
As far i can see, the only advantage the marketplace offers over a shop or mall, is that you don't have to roam around to find the item you're looking for.

 

Let's bring back the LIFE within Second Life, before it becomes Second-UsedToBeAlive.

 

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hello :)

saw this post accidently. since im already a full time inworld shopper i like that idea very much.  But i use marketplace for product search. In the past i have seen a few merchants offering that 5% when you buy the product inworld but only when you join their group you get it cheaper but thats no problem cuz you can leave whenever you want. i think this is a workaround for that policy cuz the product has the same price inworld and you only get it cheaper as group member.

 

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Nice post!  Very well thought out.  Sounds like you have a good strategy for your needs.  Unfortunately, I don't believe it is one that will meet my needs at this point in time.  I may relook at this in the future, but for now, I will need to continue to sell on MP.

I recently re-opened an In-World store in January (had several others over the last 4 years) and since opening again,  I have sold exactly 1 item In-World.  When  matching visitor logs In-World to sales on MP, most who visit In-world seem to purchase from me off MP.  I firmly believe they purchase via MP because if a product sucks, they can rate it and sort of have recourse via public opinion.  Not something you can do In-World.

Also, we all know "search" is accurate and works well In-World. I am a small Mom & Pop operation, I cannot compete with those merchants that have a healthy advertising budget or traffic bots their venues to have a better position in search. At least on MP, the search is a bit more accurate and I can compete a bit better. I am not out to make a million, but breaking even once in a while really would  be nice.

I don't know about others, but MP is just too damn convenient for me.  I can browse it while not being In-World and purchase what I need so when I am In-World, I don't have to waste my limited time searching for stuff, which I may not find anyway due to search being borked.    And, there is NO LAG on MP compared to In-World shopping!  I don't have bots in my face wanting me to change my windlight settings, join such and such a group, post my pic etc.  Doesn't take forever to rezz the items.  I don't have to fight with the MM, Lucky Chair, Freebies only crowd.  I can be in my sim and be creative, relax, and enjoy my SL more.

So for now, I will have to continue to use MP as my PRIMARY sales method since it does work for me. 

 

 

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I really love the idea to shop & sell inworld. And this is how I started in Second Life a few years ago.

But from business view I dont miss my inworld business.

I always felt like I had a hard time to find land where people actualy wander in stores (or where real person wander and not bots lol). Only one time I met a person who had a club full of real people arriving each day. She did put some of my vendors directly near the floor and this was indeed a good time for me then. I had a lot of sales. But I never had this luck again. My friend the mentioned club owner did leave SL...

This was the beginning of the end of my SL inworld business. I started to look around and did try differend locations, rented own land and satelite shops here and there. But I couldn´t find the self-affirmation for the things I create in SL.

I did simply have the feeling that there are ten billions of land barons and each of them rent out 200 or 300 storefronts.. and all those stores have to share customers which did result in my experience to zero sales a month. In a lucky month I had 10 sales wow. I started to think that you need connections in SL to get better sales but...

Then I started differend marketing strategys as I am not that bad in marketing. I also found special SL marketing strategys you know.. hunts, freebies, luckychairs, luckyboards and so on.. things started to sell again and I did create my own mall..

Sure it helped me much. There was again a good time and I collected experience.. maybe not that good like before but at least I had now way more sales then just 10 sales a month. Also a lot of socializing now which is the sense of SL in my opinion. But apart from the socializing with people which was fun.. all other things related to my business was a HELL of work.

But then I checked out xstreet in the past and that was a blast. I now had quadrupled my sales and that without much work or advertising like I had to do inworld. I simply did put new things up and whoops sales here and there. And when I was boring and did advertise and marketing my xstreet stuff I even did doubled those sales again.

Deja Letov.. I really really agree to many of your points but I think there are also some people out there who have a very ugly experience with inworld business. I remember times when landowner did rip you off with traffic fakes and so on. I have a pretty great experience with xstreet and today SLM.

When I compare the work I had inworld with my business compared to the work and sales I have now.. I really really wont stop using SLM anymore unless LL shuts this catalogstore off. (Which doesn´t mean I have thousands of sales a month now.. but it is simply better then anytime in the past inworld)

But again I dont disagree to you. SLM, Mesh and DD is killing the sozializing aspect of SL. At the moment I cant remember when I logged in to SL last time.. oh right.. it was when I had to update my stuff to DD last week...

I must admit I lost the wants to login to SL and socialize.. simply because I do not have to do often.

Really since Mesh and so is arrived I usualy only log in to import new stuff I created in a 3d application and not in Second Life anymore... and make it ready for SLM. Or I did only log in to extand the rent of my land because the Magic Box and my little sandbox in the sky was so importend to hold.

Now I could also sell my land.. I dont need a magicbox anymore.. in theory. But I love my little skybox-sandbox :D

And maybe I login more often someday.

So the direction SL has changes is indeed highly questionable.

I bet I am not the only creator who stoped log in often because all of these new features which make people manage things offline.

But otherwise I am happy with my sales now and I wasn´t when I had inworld business.

So for me this topic is sadly a two-edged sword.

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I do love the idea of this back to shopping in World but with broken search and broken classifieds... it makes it difficult

and the increased use of scripts to make popup notes and announcements and group join and the lag makes it just an annoying experience most times for me

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Morgaine Christensen wrote:

Nice post!  Very well thought out.  Sounds like you have a good strategy for your needs.  Unfortunately, I don't believe it is one that will meet my needs at this point in time.  I may relook at this in the future, but for now, I will need to continue to sell on MP.

I recently re-opened an In-World store in January (had several others over the last 4 years) and since opening again,  I have sold exactly 1 item In-World.  When  matching visitor logs In-World to sales on MP, most who visit In-world seem to purchase from me off MP.  I firmly believe they purchase via MP because if a product sucks, they can rate it and sort of have recourse via public opinion.  Not something you can do In-World.

Also, we all know "search" is accurate and works well In-World. I am a small Mom & Pop operation, I cannot compete with those merchants that have a healthy advertising budget or traffic bots their venues to have a better position in search. At least on MP, the search is a bit more accurate and I can compete a bit better. I am not out to make a million, but breaking even once in a while really would  be nice.

I don't know about others, but MP is just too damn convenient for me.  I can browse it while not being In-World and purchase what I need so when I am In-World, I don't have to waste my limited time searching for stuff, which I may not find anyway due to search being borked.    And, there is NO LAG on MP compared to In-World shopping!  I don't have bots in my face wanting me to change my windlight settings, join such and such a group, post my pic etc.  Doesn't take forever to rezz the items.  I don't have to fight with the MM, Lucky Chair, Freebies only crowd.  I can be in my sim and be creative, relax, and enjoy my SL more.

So for now, I will have to continue to use MP as my PRIMARY sales method since it does work for me. 

 

I wouldn't recommend to anyone to quit doing what works for them. Not at all. But let me be clear about something because I see it mentioned here and a few posts down...yes I know the in world search is terrible. It's hard to find anything useful there. But here's the thing...not once did I mention going to in world and using the search for marketing. I know it sucks...it's God awful! This whole idea I am talking about is about marketing, not relying on a search and frankly the search isn't marketing at all...it's way to random and not measureable.

You said you sold 1 single item in world when you opened back up. The question to ask is why? I would put money on it that it isn't only because you didn't come up high in search or because your competitors are paying for ads or traffic to get high in search. It's because you probably didn't do anything to market your business...aside from hoping to get found in a search. That's only ONE way you should be getting people to your store. If that's all you are relying on, then you've missed out on what it means to market in world.

 

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