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Will Linden Labs ever regulate land flippers or the big real estate barons who control most of the prime parcels on mainland? I understand there's big money in SL real estate; I get it. But at the same time, I feel like many users are at a disadvantage when it comes to the mainland auctions. For example, there was an auction for a half-sim waterfront parcel in the Jeogeot Gulf, which is highly coveted by those in the SL combat community, because the Jeogeot Gulf is one of the few places on SL that allow for open rezzing, thus open combat. It is home to WW2 Central in Tulagi, and countless little strongholds and military group bases. The person who won it has put it back on the auction block for almost twice the amount they won it for. They're not even using it! Waterfront land in this area in particular, as well as the Blake Sea, is obviously high in demand. So when a parcel like this pops up in the auctions, obviously they're going to attract attention. Unfortunately, those of us who actually want to win and acquire the land in order to use it are at a disadvantage to those who only want to resell it for a higher price. What's the point of even bidding in an auction when you're going up against people who have the Lindens to spare? Especially after the new auction system where you have to have the Lindens in your account before you even bid? You could have people entering into partnerships with comrades and friends just to combine Lindens in order to acquire a coveted parcel, and still get outbid by people who don't even want to use the land themselves. Is there ever going to be a way to level out the playing field?
I have noticed that the lab has changed the payment process for land auctions and it makes it a little discouraging to participate in auctions. In the past, when you bid on the land, you did not need to pay your bid amount unless you won the auction. If you won, you would pay the winning bid amount in full in order to take possession of the parcel. Which seemed pretty straightforward. Now you have to front the entire amount of your bid in your account in order to participate in an auction. As I was planning to bid on several large lots, it would have entailed me bringing in and converting $1000.00 USD into lindens. If I win, no problem. But, if my bids do not win, I am not about to leave $1000.00 USD in my account. I would then have to pay a transaction fee and 3.5% conversion rate to take the money back into the real world. This would amount to having to pay out $40 just to have had the privilege to bid in an auction. Not a very enticing proposition. I can understand why the Lab may have changed it. I am guessing many people would win an auction and never pay, making some auction wins bogus. But, unless I am misreading it, the above mentioned new auction procedure acts as a deterrent to bidding on large mainland parcels. (unless you are filthy rich of course). Maybe buying a private sim is a better bet for me? Has anyone else been discouraged from the land auctions for the same reason?
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Harter%20Fell/226/231/21 ACROSS FROM SECONDLIFE SPACE STATION , BEAUTIFUL AREA LAND AUCTION SAILABLE WATER MORE THAN 5 NEED TO ATTEND TO START THE AUCTION TODAY AT 2. PM SL TIME