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Thursday, August 21, 2008

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Harper Ganesvoort

It's uncertain if my business is in a downturn, because I haven't really experienced an upturn (grin). I decided to get into selling art, and so far I've had maybe six transactions since I started up back in about May or June. (If anyone is decorating their house, please come my way!)

Boudicca Amat

Like a previous poster, being new to selling in SL I never really experienced an 'upturn' either. As a furniture and homes builder I was prepared for not being an overnight success! but had hoped the pretty shopping village created on the sim would provide some sort of back-up income. But my business partner and I had great difficulty in finding and keeping renters for our shop units, despite them being well below the going rates for rentals of similar size and prim allowance. We ran Events and Hunts etc.advertized in the Forums, made our own Blog, but still units fell empty, we were also very disappointed in the lack of participation for Events by most of our tenants. Now we have given notice, and will vacate the sim on the 24th Aug, poorer and wiser!
( but NOT defeated!- my friend has another shop already and I shall rebrand and enter the fray in the next month or so! W are both nothing if not tenacious!)

Ann Otoole

All that is happening is a ground shift away from the old school economy domination to new businesses that put the effort into learning how to market effectively in the new search and other modes of advertising. The old " !!!AAAAFREESEXSTOLENSKINS" advertisement models are an epic fail now.

Eris

It's not just about marketing, it's about original content now. The free/cheap marketplace is pretty much saturated with content and if you want people to spend money on your products then you'd better give them a damn good reason to. IOW, do something better or do something different to everyone else - or at least try to.

There's going to be an increasing divide between top-level content, from those people either dedicated or talented enough to produce it, and the more everyday content that most of us can produce within SL. The everyday stuff is great fun to make but who's going to buy it when its equivalent is widely available free?

The rental model is similarly changed - in an economy where land is cheap why should anyone rent from you? If you can create something extraordinary, a fully realised themed sim for example, then they might come and stay. Otherwise all you're really offering is blank space and that's 10m a penny right now.

We're stumbling half-blind into a more mature economy, the best creators will continue to make money but the also-rans will fall by the wayside. This doesn't mean that there will be no reason to build and create in SL anymore - hopefully that will always be a large part of the fun of SL - but it does mean that doing it to make money will become increasingly difficult. The standard of work you'll have to achieve just be taken seriously will climb ever higher. It's going to flatten a lot of lemonade-stands...but it's also going to produce even more extraordinary content.

Nimbus Rau

It's hard to say whether or not my business has experienced "a significant drop-off in sales" over the "last few months" due to lack of specificity in those terms. I started my business a year ago. Sales started moderately but ok, and I experienced a significant upturn in sales from March onward due to release of a very popular new product line which basically trebled my profit. Using March sales as a baseline, my subsequent sales profits have gone like this:
April: up by approx 20%
May: up 10%
June: down 15%
July: down 21%
August: no final figures yet, but so far it looks to be up a bit from last month, maybe.

So while there has been a bit of a downturn over the last two months, that was preceded by a very dramatic upturn, and it's hard to say whether or not the difference is just due to normal random variation, or indicative of some shift in the economy. Personally I'm not too concerned, since I'm still selling lots of stuff and doing quite reasonably.

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Wagner James Au
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