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Relm Foxdale

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Everything posted by Relm Foxdale

  1. If you were to ask me, I'd think "sculpted prims creators tools" was something else--tools for people to make these with, not maps. Like in-world sculpt makers or some sort of map import add-on or some other gadget.
  2. I seriously can't believe people thought it was a hack. Hello, it was April 1. At worst, it was someone toying around with the load screen, if not a joke. I know that people are sensitive because of what happened with Emerald, but it was clearly someone playing around.
  3. No pictures, but the jewelry I've bought has mainly been from Celtic Myst, Inca Temple, and Zaara. Funnily, my alt makes jewelry, but it's not very exciting (yeah, I admit it).
  4. Yeesh. Well, in my house, it's a quick eject, ban...whatever. No one should be on my land except me and people I invite. The end. I try to help newbies when they're nice and need help, but as soon as anyone starts in on the girlfriend/sex stuff, I'm gone.
  5. I just glanced at mine, and all the ones I clicked on were for multiple items in an order. And LOL, I keep like over 100 things in a box. Who knows.
  6. I've been to stores with no flying where it wasn't a problem, but then the store was usually small. If it wasn't, I got frustrated. I often walk, even in larger areas, but there are times when I'm in a hurry and not in the mood to walk all around a sim to find something. I'm more inclined to fly when the store is an open area, like with houses and gardens, than when it's a closed-in shop. If I see a waterfall for sale halfway across a sim, odds are, I'll fly over to it. Map-TP is only useful if you know where on the map you want to go. Some newbies won't know how to get around a no-fly rule. For a long time, I was fuzzy on how to get out from under things without flying, like when I TPed in and ended up under the floor. Shockwave wrote: If you make it more difficult for a customer to get somewhere, then you make it more difficult for them to spend money. It's as simple as that. The first rule of business: "Never do anything that gets in the way of the sale."
  7. Well, if US $100/week is a hobby merchant, I'm not a hobby merchant, LOL. I wouldn't even know how to cash out. The best I can do is cover store rent. Just rent, not all the costs.
  8. I thought I could give a good answer because I thought I'd mentioned it in my blog around when it happened, but apparently not. Still, it was like a month ago. I mentioned it to people in IM at the time.
  9. Finding someone who'd be willing to fork over the money outright, even for "something" in return, will be darned hard to do. By the time you've given them enough "something" to make it worth their while, you've lost a fair amount of your sim to them, as it were (It could become "sponsor's sim...also, there's some RP...somewhere around here"). You're unlikely to make tier off merchant rentals--no, scratch that, you won't. You might get a little money from that, but it'd still just be a fraction of your cost. I don't own a full region, even though I technically could buy one, because nothing is worth that cost to me. I don't have any good ideas for one and wouldn't want to manage one. I'd be putting in a ton of money and work on something that may very well not pan out in terms of activity. And there's another thing--the risk that person is taking if your RP falls flat. Plenty of RP sims lose activity or have other issues, like interpersonal drama. I hate suggesting that your group will experience that, but what if it does? And the sponsor's still left with this whole damned sim.
  10. Mystara's a good sim, although it's crazy active. That can be sort of bad as well as good because it can be hard to keep up with anything that's going on or find a group of people to become your regular associates. You can find me in the tavern around 7-12 pm most evenings, if you're on then.
  11. I debated myself whether to go mainland when I decided to open a stand-alone store. I visited some available parcels and saw all the usual privacy walls and junk that I've sadly come to associate with the mainland. Even though I know that that stuff doesn't matter for a store like it does for a house, I still wasn't comfortable with having a store somewhere where no covenant could result in something really horrific or even harassing. Plus, I'd have to go premium, which I've always been reluctant to do. I rent my home land from a major estate, so I rented from them for the store, too. Of course, they could go under, but they're a massive outfit and very good and involved people, so I'm taking what I think is only a small risk there. On the subject in general: I definitely think a stand-alone is an excellent idea, though, if you can swing it (that's the fun part). I always wanted one just because it'd be nice to have my own space, but what helped drive me to act was when someone I knew was going to lose a major store of his because the RP sim it was on was closing. I knew that at any moment, the same could happen to my main store (and lo and behold, that sim's closing now), so I figured it was best to act while the iron was hot and get moved over so a sim closing had no effect on me. And it's my own space, which is the best part, where I can put up whatever building and plants and crap I want. I even built a Halloween skybox thing with freebies and that freaky-cool furniture. Of course, there are never enough prims, ever. Of course, being on your own plot also lets you list in search and all that good stuff. When I rented it, I laughed because I was already not covering costs and was now renting 1/16 of a sim. I thought, "Well, now I know I'll never cover costs!" But oddly, I've been more or less making rent.
  12. As much as I get the idea behind this, like with Amazon and a number of other sites that do deep discounts, the practicalities and SL realities are just an all-around fail. The SL economy doesn't work the same way the RL economy does. It never will. For one, there's no need for repeat purchases in SL. That has its good sides and bad sides, of course. Merchants' costs are greatly minimized when they only have to make an item once and can sell it thousands of times. On the other hand, once it's been bought, it's been bought. Anyone who buys my food can buy a few items and never come back because unlike in RL, the food doesn't go off or get digested and vanish. Because we lack "true" costs, like we'd have if we had to keep making the same thing over and over, our pricing is...bizarre. You can sell an item for L$10 or L$1000, and it works itself out. In RL, if I sold food for 50% off, I'd know that some of those people might be back to buy it again at regular price. A grocery store can charge 99 cents for a bottle of coke and then $1.50 the next week, and it averages out. But with this, because there's no need for a repeat purchase and because so many people make similar items...and because we aren't compelled to shop at a certain store because it's near our house and such...people can just shop these price-cut deals and hardly ever venture out into regularly priced goods. Meanwhile, LL is taking a huge cut for no apparent reason. There are always going to be people like me who know what we want and go and buy it without caring much about the cost and not wasting our time on Midnight Manias and hunts, but there are lots of people who aren't like that. So the merchants in this might get a little sales boost from exposure, but LL is getting all the rest of the reward--a steady stream of "dashed" goods that it can take 50% plus commission (!) on for little work. LL and the consumers make out like bandits. The content creators are left in the dust. And just like all the other promotion methods, it drives down prices across the board, and you get more and more people whining about having to pay a whole US dollar for something that the creator spent many hours to make, and with a decrease in revenue, you have fewer people able to make tier. So in-world stores close, not that is an issue to LL, apparently. The only way this could wind up working out is if the quality of "dashed" goods dropped because of the losses, driving people to spend more, but I'm not sure if the majority of residents operate that way. And I'd love to hear what exactly costs LL 50% of sales. Will the blogs and e-mails be made of solid gold? Somehow, they're able to manage the SLM in general on 5%. This sounds like it'd just be another tool to script in and some promotional write-ups here and there. I could maybe see an additional 5%--maybe--but 50%? Of course, with the price cut, 5% wouldn't go as far as it once would, but isn't the point that a price cut leads to more sales, balancing it out? This is completely mental. Meanwhile, search (in-world and on the SLM) is still a disaster.
  13. But are breeders commercial? I rent a homestead for my horses, but that land in and of itself isn't commercial land. She rents a stall elsewhere for "sales" (in quotes because there are none). Where the horses are is residential, insofar as it's no public access and has a house on it. I debated rent versus buy when I was new and decided I'd rather have a covenant to keep out the ugly, so I rented. My main store is on hybrid residential/commercial land but is almost exclusively commercial because who'd want to live next to stores when they can just get a residential plot from the same people?
  14. As all of my stuff is general, I am unaffected by issues related to whether one is logged in, but I can totally see where this would be an issue for any of us, and I'm often lazy and try to search without signing in if I think what I'm looking for is general content. The problem, of course, is that so many things aren't listed where you'd expect. My sales were blah this past week, but I'm considering it a statistical anomaly, as it varies (I get some benefit from one or two people sweeping through and buying several items in one go--LOL, one person paid my rent in about 10 minutes once). But that example above about a black shirt...I tried that, without quotes, and the first result was a dress. So was the fourth. And there were knee-high boots under that somewhere. You don't have to be a genius to see that something's wrong with that. And I wouldn't think you needed to be a genius to fix it, but apparently... Meanwhile, in-world search is still broken, too. It's a miracle any of us ever sell anything at this rate.
  15. We all have varying degrees of control over what happens to our sales. We can control quality, promotions, and customer service. We have much less control over things like the SLM or whether anyone's buying anything at all (like in a recession or low concurrency). There'salso the issue of competition. We've all heard people complain that their sales are bad, and it turns out they're selling skimpy outfits or some other thing that a million other people make, and they're all pretty similar. In a case like that, you have to try all the harder to get those sales. If you do what I do, well...you may get sales or not, but the competition issue is minimal. IMHO, the most important thing is that you like what you do. In the end of the day, you'll always have that, whatever else happens (good or bad). And while there's an argument that you should find out what your customers want and make it, I'd also argue that it'd suck to be constantly chasing the latest fads and whims. My attitude from day one has been something like, "I'm just going to make whatever the hell I want, and I'll put it out there in case someone else wants it." I started a store for the plain and simple reason that I wanted one, nothing more profound than that. And if what I do makes someone else happy, too, bonus.
  16. My rank remains forever unchanged, but that's because I'm in a niche market with only so many players (and some who "play" don't use the search-optimizing tools). First and foremost, I'm more concerned about things not coming up at all than in what order. Rank is based on some combination of factors (mostly, to quote something, fantasy and crap--fantacrap!). But everyone should come up on search somewhere, even if the rank is wrong. I notice partials don't work. For me, for instance, various combinations of the store name result in...the store (e.g., "foxdale" or "foxdale fine foods"). But "fox" doesn't return "foxdale." And for another store I know with someone's name as a possessive (like if it were "foxdales food"), the name without the S doesn't work. And that is screwed the hell up.
  17. Nice blog posts. The first entry is geared towards fashion, though. Not much love for non-fashion products on blogs. But then I have my own.
  18. This is one promotion I don't even have to debate joining in or not--basically, any price slashing, I can sit out. Most of my stuff's L$50. I actually did a new year's sale--11 items for L$11 in 2011, heh. It went pretty darned well. I don't recall the revenue compared with normal now, but quite a few people bought things, so at least it got the stuff out there. But yeah, let's see...cut my price by half and I'm at L$25. Give LL half...well, we can't even do linden cents. Who gets the 0.5? I'm guessing LL.
  19. I start my post like I've started others: When the hell are they going to fix the cookies on this stupid forum? Second, I think Brooke said they were going to be dealing with all this one day, like blacklisting abusers. But...has it happened? I'm guessing no. Ha ha, remember when they implemented the new ratings? And didn't tell anyone except via a thread in the old forum that few people saw? And then turned around and allowed ratings to be flagged soon afterwards, even though very few merchants even knew this change was happening and had been able to go in and fix their listings? It's like they're toying with us, like we're their playthings...
  20. I see it fine...I'm using Chrome for Mac. No idea if that's meaningful. But I agree, these forums are...not brilliant.
  21. @Marcus You seem to be in a competitive market, so that might explain why your sales are slow. I don't have advice to give there because I'm not in one, but I figure the principles that usually apply are 1) make good products, 2) make a lot of products ("a lot" is not defined, but basically, keep making), 3) provide good support, 4) start small (usually the SLM first), and 5) use the free tools available in SL and on the SLM (it's interesting how many people don't use "show in search" or related items). Of course, distribute LMs with your products, too. Then you have other areas to look at, like product quality, price, permissions, in-world location, and the big ugly elephant in the prim room, marketing. That one comes in many flavors and is often not free. It includes store groups, freebies (group or in general), blogs (your own or someone else's), paid ads on the SLM, in-world classifieds, and hunts. It takes time to get things moving at a good clip, and even if you're doing decently, you may never make a ton of money. Some people are happy just to cover costs. Definitely, though, enjoy what you do. You may get little return on your business in money, but if it makes you happy (and whatever customers you have happy), that's the best gift of all (OK, that was corny). Re the thread in general... I've found that satellite stores are a wash. I've generally thought of them as large ads, and it's true that simply being visible to people can really help--I've found several good stores because they had in-world satellites. But sales at those satellites have been poor, and in my case, I have no idea if they help sales overall. My group is quite small. Even a freebie doesn't seem to encourage membership much. I have a paid classified ad, and I don't know if that helps. Frankly, I think I'm largely relying on the SLM or SLM-to-in-world traffic (people either seeing it in-world or following the LM from something they bought on the SLM). But I've never asked, so... Automatic subscribos are, IMHO, a bad idea, as I've muted several residents over those things, but I guess they also work, just like any spam. This may be an iffy thing to say, but I think posting to forums (this or "the other" that we can't name) helps. I've come across lots of businesses from their owners posting to threads with the store in their signature or discussed in their post.
  22. I agree with a lot of what's posted here--fixing search (duh), searching categories...maybe a bigger featured area or something, even if it means damaging the "what customers are buying now." I'm not sure anyone cares what anyone's buying now, but only a handful of featured items show up at once, and merchants actually pay for those. The "buying now" stuff isn't paid for. Kind of OT, but... From a merchant's perspective, a way to mass-edit listings that are partly the same and partly not. Like right now, I need to delete a line from most of my listings, which AFAIK, means going through every one individually, and I'm nearing 300. The only possible fix I can think of is to have text fields that are separate from the description of that item. So you know, you could have a field for that item and then a few for fixed text that would appear for all similar listings, like "visit my store in-world for a free ___" or something. Maybe it could even be used for other in-world promotions, which may be anathema to LL's efforts to boost SLM sales, LOL, but you know, you could push your store hunt in it. It'd show up on every listing, and when it was over, you could go back and delete it, and it would disappear from every listing.
  23. Knowingly charging people to be in a store group is a jerk move. Store groups are supposed to be for store promotion. It's one of the costs the merchant is supposed to swallow or work into their system elsewhere, like all their rental costs, texture uploads, whatever. It's like "pay me to shop in my store" or something. Another one that's really lame is in-store donation objects--"Keep the store in business! Donate!" Um, revenue is supposed to come from sales. Sell stuff or go out of business. That's how it works.
  24. I always respond to customers, even to the point of ridiculousness sometimes. Merchants are always within their rights to not provide support, but customers are always within their rights to not support those merchants, too. ;-) I know some of them figure they have a ton of customers and can't help everyone, and some are of the mindset that you just slap some stuff up on the SLM and walk away, but while there are always more customers besides the one you didn't help, it's amazing how much even a little help can do for customer loyalty, sales, and word of mouth.
  25. Claireschen Hesten wrote: forking out a load of money on hippo vendors Maybe it's just me, but I've never considered Hippo expensive for what you get. It was a one-time cost for basically as many vendors and products as I want until the end of time (well, SL). I think it's a good deal. I guess I'd need to read up on the original idea because this affiliate thing doesn't initially make sense to me.
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