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Monday, June 25, 2018

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serverrunner

"I for one have already been deciding to pick up my stuff on my parcel and abandon. I don’t own a sim," I almost laughed at this, and was really ready to.

Taylor

I do feel like the transaction fee increase isn't getting nearly enough publicity here -- most of the headlines I see are all positive about the tier going down by 15%, while the transaction fee increase is a whopping 50%! That's huge, and even more so since in the space of one year (starting last June) the fee's gone up three times: from $.40 to $.60, or 30%; then from $.60 to $.99, or about 66%; and now from $.99 to $1.49, or 50%.

Or to put it another way: in one year the fee's gone up **373%**. That's very extreme! I don't think I've ever seen another business increase a single fee by that much over such a short period of time.

I don't pretend to know for sure what effect if any the fee's going to have on SL, but I do know that I used to make a lot of impulse L$ buys at the default L$2000 amount and there's no way I'm gonna keep doing that with an almost 20% transaction fee on that amount.

Chic Aeon

As discussed shortly on the SL Forums, please note the quote from the official blog post:

In addition to dropping prices on land, on July 2, we will also increase the cost to buy Linden Dollars to $1.49 per transaction (compared to the current rate of 99 cents per transaction).

This is simply a PER TRANSACTION fee. All anyone has to do is buy in larger quantities rather than the default. Instead of buying each week, buy each month for a TOTAL increase per month of .49 US.

The land prices already discounted plus this new plan starting in July will likely equalize each other for many folks, others that don't buy lindens but pay their own way, will be better off monetarily. And there is at least one rental company already advertising lower rental rates so that "trickle down" theory might actually work.

Merchants will be hit pretty hard soon, much more than THIS increased fee (this from numerous official statements and loud hints :D ) so the IDEA is that eventually the fees will be more fair overall. I am already saving $65 US a month by moving to group land and downsizing some. I will be hit hard by the upcoming merchant fees, no doubt about it.

And just like many renters will get the benefit of the lower private land tier, they may end up paying a bit more if merchants decide to increase prices to offset some of THEIR new fees. There is a good reason why The Lab is doing this slowly and in small steps. Probably one of their best decisions in a long while.

Clara Seller

In the end, I'm not sure the "good" is good enough to make a huge difference and the "bad" is bad enough to hurt all that much. It's really shifting a little more of the burden of empire on the consumer. It's the American way.

It's cheaper to buy something that most people don't want anymore and still impossible to directly buy what they do want. Yes, I do understand there is talk of better deals ahead, but for now, the little guys are left with a trickle-down hope and change vendor. You deposit your change and get back hope. The Sansar team thanks you for your support.

CronoCloud Creeggan

It is pretty obvious LL is trying to shift some of the costs of running SL from landowners to consumers with the changes. While I do have a Premium acccount I consider myself a member of SL's consumer-class so I'm not gung-ho that they are doing this...some tech-engineer with his own micro-continent has a lot more financial resources to spare than some socializing blue-collar mom.

But....they probably did need to do something like this to reduce reliance on land income so I'm not going to go all pitchforks and torches on LL or even whine about it that much. I can just buy my L$ in bigger bunches. Besides, they doubled the premium tier allocation and dropped the prices for us smaller landowners so I've got a 2048 for less money than 1536 used to cost. And the prim increase they did back in 2016 makes smaller parcels (like my 2048) more viable.

One of the things I'd wish for is for LL to link openspaces between the continents so that we could sail from say Bay City to the Blake.

Granger

I a field where prices have dropped astoundingly over the past 15 years (namely the computer field), Linden Lab's greed shows no limits. That greed has prevented SL-style virtuality from growing, has caused people to shut down wonderful creations, has priced regions way out of the pocketbook range of the average person.

As Taylor pointed out, Linden Lab's increase of 373% in transaction fees is sticking it to both sellers and buyers. So let's consider just how valid this "15% decrease" actually is... and what effect it is likely to have on the market.

Let us imagine a merchant with 1/16th a region for a shop (32m x 32m). If they were paying 1/16 of $295 that would come to $18.44 a month (many pay 1/3 less by selling on grandfathered regions). So wow, regions are dropping from a whopping $295 to a still-whopping $249. That brings the land fee of that merchant down to $15.56 a month-- a savings of a whole $2.88 a month.

Does anyone REALLY believe $2.88 savings is going to bring merchant prices down... especially when Linden Lab has increased transaction rates by 373% over the past year? Honestly?

Whenever Linden Lab offers a "discount" or something "free" on one hand, beware the dagger in the other. This company is, and for years has been all about profit. They have and will stab their customers in the back to earn that profit.

Consider what Linden Lab did when they raised "Homestead" prices from $75 to $125 and lyingly tried to claim it was a "different product" (it wasn't). One only needs check archival charts to see what that decision did to the grid; they lost thousands of regions and tens of thousands of customers and crippled their growth for years thereafter. They drove previously-avid customers to third-party grids such as Inworldz-- which offers regions with 45,000 prims and no link limits for $40 to $75 a month-- and ZERO set-up fee. That grid runs FASTER than Second Life, suffers far less lag, has more powerful building tools, and while the population is tiny in comparison and the activities few, the grid itself has proved that Linden Lab's $200+ (along with a huge "setup" fee) is purely greed-motivated-- and has HARMED the growth of virtual worlds rather than encouraged it.

No, Linden Lab seldom does anything without a profit motive in mind... and hang the welfare of the customer. They are a company without ethics, without morals, and have single-handedly given virtual worlds a bad reputation in the media and general population.

So this new "discount" move? Only the naive would believe this is going to benefit merchants and thereby their customers. If one is already paying $295 for a region and merchanting isn't involved, of course they will benefit by about $45 a month. They will still however, be paying $249 a month for what in reality should cost $95 MAX. And we can all thank Linden Lab's corporate "gotta please the shareholders" attitude for that-- and the resultant lack of growth in the virtual world field.

Granger

As a follow-up: not that Linden Lab cares much about stunting virtual growth, because they're still cashing $millions a month in the bank-- because customers are still goofy enough to pay them these kinds of fees. I mean seriously... a $349 "setup fee"... for what? An automatic digital transaction on an automatic server. Banks charge about 30 cents for the same amount of effort. One would think to get someone to pay them $3,000 a year Linden Lab would cancel the setup fee entirely. That people still pay this kind of money to this company is astoundingly gullible.

Reader's Digest once listed Second Life customers as a special class of citizen because they were willing to pay $300 a month for virtual ground. The title of the article: "The Dumbest People on Earth".

Chic Aeon

@ Granger

Let us imagine a merchant with 1/16th a region for a shop (32m x 32m).


Actually a 16th of a region is 64 x 64. This from the land manager.

USD 22.00/ month 4,096 1/16 Region (that is the current price).

*************************
I am not seeing why you have your example as a MERCHANT -- thinking that they will be hit harder. HOPEFULLY if someone has a shop of any size they are not buying lindens. Most folks selling would certainly like to have some sort of profit and according to The Lab there are plenty of people making money (or a living) from sales.

The changes won't affect me at all. I don't by lindens and I don't pay for land (well $4 a month for a 4096). Let's remember that no one forces folks to buy land. It is a CHOICE. So is a choice to buy lindens. There are plenty of folks in SL that live totally free and are very happy.

I have no problem paying some fees to help support the grid so that the grid STAYS.

Clara Seller

I think that Chic Aeon is right about the merchant class. They won't be affected much at all, unless sales drop. Sales are only going to be affected if the consumer class is awake to what is really happening to them and I'd never bet on that.

Granger is right about the economic hocus-pocus in presenting an extraction wrapped up with a stimulus bow.

Hamlet was right when he cautioned about a straw that breaks the camel's back.

Second Life is supposed to be fun and there is nothing fun about insisting your customers be more budget-conscious in their buying habits and writing them off as "stupid" if they're not. Add this to the list of drudgery the average user needs to endure to maintain some kind of status quo. Downsize, compact, HUDS, relays, third parties, resource-conscious, impact-conscious, scam-dodging, and budget-savvy.

Want to excel in this game? Take some classes at community college and learn how to use advanced graphic programs. What's not fun about that? Like to try your hand in virtual gaming real estate and community building? Sell your car and you can be up and running in no time. It's a fun-filled world of dreams.

LL, merchants, and land owners should be passing out Sominex for free and never ever ever ever be so arrogant as to berate or punish their consumers for not paying attention to their monetary harvesting habits. That cavalier flapping of the hand and instructional "buy larger, less often" smugness deserves a middle finger the size of the Empire State Building.

Clara Seller

After I wrote the last paragraph of my last posting, I signed out and went inworld. I abandoned my mainland and canceled my premium account as my way of complying with the call to be more budget-conscious. Problem solved. I will also never "waste" another Linden on any vendor who publicly advises me that I need to be a little more conscientious on how often I fill my coffers. Thanks for sharing your "smartness".

After I "woke up" a little, it just seemed insane that LL is imposing ANY service charges on my Linden purchases, no matter if I charge five bucks a day. It's making you five bucks richer than you were the day before. It's the cost of doing business. Up the cost for cash out. That's where you lose money.

Eyes open, I'm keeping my private sim because I want it and I'll pay the vampire tax because I can afford it. I can afford it all, but you made me not want it all.

So to any peddler, big or small, who has allowed themselves to become so arrogant and delusional in this lopsided system of buy and sell... don't ever tell me how I need to consume your crap more effectively. My credit card is nobody's bitch.

Angelina Sinclair

This transaction fee increase is insane. I am one of those impulse buyers of Lindens usually doing $10 or $20 a pop. For me, SL is my fun. It is like I spent that money at a bar getting a few drinks. However, in that same scenario it is like I am getting a drink or two less because of a sudden, poorly explained price increase. Why? It doesn't make sense.

Now consider this. If I were to make sure my purchases were still exactly $10 or $20 and using $20 as an example I would get (4627L). If it was the old 30 cent fee then that would be (4925L). A different of 302L! Even if you consider the previous fee of 99 cents that's (4752L) or 125L difference. Whether 125L or 302L that's enough to buy something simple from the marketplace.

Add that up over a number of $20 transactions and that can quickly be thousands of lindens you aren't getting to spend. Just ten little $20 transactions over 2 months would be a net loss of 1,250L or 3020L if you consider the original 30cent fee.

Now sure you could counter this buy combining all those little $20 fees into one large one and to mimic the old 30cent fee and get the same amount of lindens I am accustom to receiving I would have to 5x ($1.50/30 cents = 5 times) my linden purchase to $100 a pop.

I don't know about you but if I am going to drop $100 at once in SL. I might hesitate and really wonder if I want those shoes or that sexy outfit I saw. Sure I can keep buy afterward and go on impulse buying but once my $100 runs out. It'll be a while before I make a large cash dump like that.

Let's not kid ourselves. It is large for what we are getting, virtual goodies. Drinks at a bar are real. Food is real. Virtual goodies come at the bottom of my list especially when the price point of entry is $100 at minimum to get the most out of my cash.

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