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Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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Ann Otoole InSL

The death knell for malls began with the botched google appliance search deployment which nearly killed the entire SL economy.

However, for me, it was more a function of 99.9% of "malls" in SL were just tossed out and nothing was ever done to promote them or make them visible in search. Plus the advances in search to this day means malls are not so visible in search because the results are diluted by too many varying items set to search on the parcel.

Another survey is sort of needed alongside this. Forgetting about malls/stores for a moment what percentage of sales comes from SLM compared to in world. Most of my sales still come from in world. people find something of mine on SLM and then go in world to look and buy more.

Complicated question.

Arwyn Quandry

I rarely ever make a visit to an in-world store except for sales these days. I can find a lot of what I want on Marketplace. Stores which don't have a Marketplace are likely losing my business, as it's my main means to get new clothes and items anymore. I just can't see putting up with lag, crowds, rude people and frustrating layouts when there's a simple option to search for any item I want online.

Arcadia Codesmith

There was a time when shopping in-world was a voyage of discovery, and you never knew what you might find.

But these days, what you're likely to find are endless retreads of template clothing and sculpties. Anybody with the skills to make something original finds that it's more lucrative to sell templates/sculpts/meshes to aspiring creators than to be a creator (where you're likely to be buried under mountains of mediocracy no matter how talented you are).

Marketplace is no better, but at least it's faster.

Missy Restless

I still use both. Often the inworld shop will have items not listed on that person's Marketplace or (less often) vice versa. Prices can vary between inworld and Marketplace. I can subscribe to an update list or join a group inworld. I can try on the demo version. I can find stuff quickly on the Marketplace then TP to the inworld store. They work hand-in-hand.

It is a LOT of tedious and time consuming work to maintain an inworld store and keep it in sync with a Marketplace shop. I took my inworld vendors down and just maintain a Marketplace store. Others do the opposite and most seem to do both but get out of sync. I wish there were a way to maintain an inworld store and have it automatically sync with the Marketplace.


An option your survey missed: Browsing on the SL Marketplace (SLM) then going to the shop in-world to purchase the item. Visiting the Web first is not only more efficient, but I've been able to find many items that I likely would not have run across in-world. Additionally, goods on the the SLM are sometimes marked up to cover the commission to The Lab. Shopping in-world allows the maker to earn the full price of any item not marked up on the SLM and saves the shopper some money.

A trend I've noticed since the decline of the Mall culture and the rise of the SL Marketplace (and the collapse of other options) is the "Disneyfication" of the shopping experience. More vendors are creating very attractive experience-oriented spaces to showcase their goods. I rather enjoy visiting stores that make my visit fun and I'm more likely to spend money there or drop money in a tip jar to show my appreciation.

Pussycat Catnap

I shop inworld more.


That is a deliberate intentional choice.

Like buying Organic food - I do it because I believe it is better for us all if more of us make the choice to shop inworld.

Doing so, I often find an item on Marketplace, and then go inworld to get it. I will usually refuse to buy an item I can't find inworld.
- THAT CHOICE is more out of 'fear' that the Marketplace listing may be from a no-longer active account, even a suspended account - and that I might spend my money and never get anything.

At least once a week I find a price difference between inworld and marketplace - usually favoring the inworld shopper. Sometimes favoring the MP one.
- I need to check the ToS. This used to be a violation. But if it no longer is, I think I'm going to set my inworld store up as cheaper as well, to reward those who actively use SL as a 'world' rather than just sit in their skyboxes on posestands opening boxes sent to them. ;)

Its kind of a 'moral choice' for me. As I am among those who believe that Marketplace is causing the loss of land in SL - as shops close, sim owners can't pay tier, and then hangout spots end up being shut down as well...

- So I shop more inworld now. But I only clicked slightly because I'm not a big shopper, and I stil have clicked on Marketplace a few times for freebies... (kind of like that guilt over buying Organic, and then getting a milkshake at McDonalds on the way home...)

Pussycat Catnap

There's something worth considering in the 'malls' at the new Adult Hub.

- Half the spaces are just signs to click for a landmark.

The sims hope to support themselves by having people rent those sign boards, and hoping visitors will click them.

In theory, you could rent space for a -lot- more boards if each shop was just renting a 1-prim (or couple prim) sign to link in their mainstore and maybe even MP-shop.

Visitors -want- to go to hangout spots like RP sims and chat/info Hubs. So you have traffic assured. The question is will those visitors click the signs to gather up the landmarks.

- A smart (if this is a viable strategy) RP venue would stop handing out landmarks to shops for RP-gear for free, and start charging the shops to give out their landmarks.

In almost any RP-sim, new guests land in some skybox where they grab up a rules card, some huds, some website links to genre info, some contact notecards for info on moderators, maybe view a gallery of images of past events / featured players, and of course... amble through a mall to get to the 'TP me to the RP' spot.

- Pull out the mall, with say, 6 shops, and put in a gallery of landmark billboards, for say 36 mainstore shops / marketplace URLs.
Let each sign show a logo, and 2 images (cycling through "products you can buy if you go here").

Kitty Revolver

marketplace for building components or a way to start looking for items that I don't have much knowledge of the stores. Otherwise i shop in world

Hamlet Au

"An option your survey missed: Browsing on the SL Marketplace (SLM) then going to the shop in-world to purchase the item."

I did consider that was an option. In this case, you'd probably want to choose "Yes: I shop in-world much more", or "Yes: I shop in-world much more." Or "No", if you think browsing the Marketplace doesn't change your in-world shopping habits.


I will not say what I make and sell via marketplace and in world, but I will say that marketplace is very lucrative.

I sell everything on marketplace typically 100L more than I do in world. Now this seems like a dishonest practice, however, the goods are sitting in world marked at the lower price. It's not my fault if shoppers can't be bothered to check . ;)

sirhc desantis

Coo, tough one really. If its a throwaway piece of clothing for a rush theme then yes I'll grab something cheap and 'close enough' from MP and then dump it afterwards, and unless its a special find probably won't even remember where it came from. From a building (or clobber I would want to wear) point of view...sure, I hit MP first to see whats out there but if its a serious piece of kit I buy in world. As mentioned, partly to see if the vendor is still around.
One thing though, if MP has a link to an inworld location thats not there..well won't bother checking that vendor again, wasted too much time that way. So yes a synch mechanism would really be a bonus for people running both.
As for malls in general - hey in RL I try to avoid them anyway:)

Saffia Widdershins

I think the result of my research was that people tend to look on the marketplace and then go to the store, as people do like that inworld shopping experience. But they bypass the malls - and when those malls are the revenue that support a sim's tier, the knock-on effect is disastrous.

Prok raised an interesting point - that malls in music sims seem to be suffering less; I suggested that might be because when people go to a music sim, they have time to cam around and look at the Mall as they listen, but with a roleplay sim, you are likely to be too immersed to shop.

I'm with Ucello in thinking the survey does need the browse in market place/shop main store option spelled out - if only to bear out my findings!

Saffia Widdershins

And SLMerchant - what you're doing is, I think, a TOS violation and if you were reported, you could be in trouble.

Arcadia Codesmith

I thought that was the stupidest thing I've heard since the last GOP debate. So I read the TOS.

Lo and behold, the stupidest thing I've heard since the last GOP debate is an official rule. You can't charge more on the Marketplace than you do in world.


So there will be a new sport now ...
checking whether someone sells cheaper inworld than on the marketplace ... and then reporting them
Grrrrreat !!!!


Slex, ONREZ There has been a version of marketplace available for many years now. Its not like Marketplace just suddenly popped up and the malls started to die. Between changes in search, traffic calculations, the RL economy, and the management in LL itself business in SL has nosedived.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

While I tend to agree with Pussycat about the reasons for shopping in-world, there's another not mentioned: looking at demos is superior in-world, and it's easier.

I recently picked up a top-notch vehicle from a talented designer. I've been looking for this particular car for at least four years. I found the shop by an in-world search and went there.

The item was expensive, so I wanted to see the thing and cam around it, checking scale and detail before buying.

The merchant uses rezzers for most vehicles; a temporary version can pop up and get the once-over by a prospective merchant.

No way Marketplace can simulate that. Of course, even in my dream-ride the SL roads and sim-crossings still reek for drivers...I wish LL would put some of their Marketplace commissions toward fixing that issue.

Ciaran Laval

@Thompson "Slex, ONREZ There has been a version of marketplace available for many years now. Its not like Marketplace just suddenly popped up and the malls started to die."

Onrez and SLex did not have the reach the marketplace has today, Linden Lab email out promotions, have links from their website and merged balances so people didn't have to create new accounts to shop on the marketplace, all of these changes undoubtedly caused less people to shop inworld.

FlipperPA Peregrine

It probably didn't affect me as much as SLBoutique did. ;) Maybe I shoulda hung on to that thing.

Ann Otoole InSL

@Carol - Good luck reporting SLM tos violators since there is no means to do so. Some boldly bragged on LL's own forums they were undercutting in world and LL did nothing.

One technique in use is rebates for in world purchases or credits towards in world purchases (the vendors do not work on SLM after all). In addition the price difference has to be significant as I recall from discussions on this topic ages ago. I.e.; you could not have sales in world if the rule was hard and fast. But they give some leeway. I.e.; each case is judged on it's own merits were LL to actually bother looking.


@ Ann
maybe just no dramalama yet reported anyone ... so LL never was forced to enforce their TOS yet.

shockwave yareach

When I need something immediately, I use marketplace. When I'm relaxing and exploring, I try (emphasis: TRY) to find a store using Search and poke around. BOTH are necessary to the world.

What is needed is a limit on the marketplace based on how much land the magic box sits on. Simply count the prims permitted on that parcel, divide by 50 and add 10. Someone new with NO land could have 10 items on the marketplace while someone having a 8K storefront could have 103.

foneco zuzu

Marketplace is easy to look for, mod or full perm itens.
I tend to get all that is 0 L frrm there!
Marketplace is terrible cause you can easy buy a stolen item (reported several cars copy booted from genuine builders, which i IM in world and made them report those better then Me, as the options on Marketplace regarding repeating stolen goods are nearly non existent!
Still, lag is the most terrible way to make ppl go to marketplace, as well as poor design and marketing (It can be a nightmare to go to a shop and found something in the middle of thousands of products).
But if i buy, i do it In world, after watching it on Market street!

Pussycat Catnap

"While I tend to agree with Pussycat about the reasons for shopping in-world, there's another not mentioned: looking at demos is superior in-world, and it's easier."

Did I forget mentioning that reason? :)
- Yes, its one reason to always buy inworld. If there's a demo, its easier to see it there.

Another reason, if go to see your item X, and Y and Z are nearby, they might interest me more.
- On MP, I might not notice them as much from within grid, and so be less inclined to click in to their individual pages.
- But for me as a shopper, I simply prefer seeing them all that way. 9 times out of 10 what I buy in an inworld store is not what I came there to buy, but something I noticed on exploring.

On Slurls to inworld shops on your MP listings... I think I need to go update mine... /grrr... Especially given how I harp on this point, I'm thinking mine might be out of date...

Pussycat Catnap

What we should do is start petitioning to get that rule overturned.

By now, they've killed the other web-based market shops, and one could hope they too see these inworld spots closing and realize its not good for the grid...

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

I enjoy windowshopping the Marketplace on a tablet. I'll do that for a few hours instead of logging in to SL, and if I don't log in, there's no point to actually buying the stuff I'm browsing, so I don't buy anything. I have a big folder of bookmarks of stuff I saw that I liked, but instead of going inworld to see it in a shop or actually buy it, I just windowshop the Marketplace again until I'm enertained enough. Saves me big bucks, but it isn't generating any money for anyone else and it really has little to do with SL itself. It's like curling up by the fire in winter to peruse seed catalogs and thinking about what I might plant someday.

Stephen Venkman

I go to MP to find what creators are making what I'm looking for and then go inworld to buy if possible. If there is no inworld store, I don't buy. I will buy on the marketplace for gifts as it's much easier. Well if the items actually get delivered.

foneco zuzu

Im lucky with that, only a few itens (and i got thousands of them) where never returned to me on marketplace.
But there is nothing like finding a good item and check it in world, just sometimes the rezzing time and the place where the item is hidden, makes it a pain"

Iris Ophelia

I like being able to skim hundreds of items from new or small scale designers when I can so I don't have to rely on the same old faces for everything. I guess I use the marketplace more like a shopping search engine than an actual browser based store, since In world search is so hopeless in terms of searching for things. If I need something specific, I always search the marketplace first.

Connie Arida

I buy in both. What drives me to marketplace is that it is easier to search for things than the client "search". Why not be able to bring up marketplace as well as the traditional search within the client?
What keeps me shopping inworld is finding things not listed on marketplace and the occasional bumping into the good stuff inworld while shopping..the "thrill of the hunt" :)

Moggs Oceanlane

I have always used SLX, XStreet, Marketplace to some extent, however, since search has become such a pain in the butt, I tend to use it more. That's not to say I won't start on the marketplace and end up in world. I do like to see come builds phyically before buying - and some of the ads are clearer in world and give you a better idea of what you are getting. Both. I'm not sure my habits have changed that much though as I've always used both - search has just made it harder to start in-world.

Cajsa Lilliehook

I shop in-world. I don't care for Marketplace. I use it when I don't have a clue where to find a specific item, but then I still buy it in-world. There's far more delivery failures on marketplace and it seems customer service is less responsive as though the merchants think LL needs to resolve it rather than them. In-world there's no such shifting of responsibility and shirking on customer service. I only use marketplace for gift shopping - but even for that it sucks. Two of six recent gifts were not delivered and the seller did not respond to queries.

Moggs Oceanlane

After reading comments:
Likes the idea of limiting number of items on the marketplace based on land - because it may increase the number of people who own land and therefore reduce costs of land for everyone. And as much as I like it, it's so against how the world works in general that it's probably not at all practical. It'd also create a lot of outrage and screaming - trying to close floodgates after they've been opened is rarely effective and seldom wins you any brownie points.

I think my life has changed the way I use SL - too busy, not enough time in world - and that increases marketplace time as I have less time to get the bits I need. I have kept all of my land though, in the hope that I'll eventually find more time to get back in and spend time with people and explore again. I miss that stuff

Ada Radius

if Search worked better inworld, I'd shop more inworld.

DMC Jurassic

I use both. The marketplace is faster for sorting through large quantities of items. In terms of quality, in-world is helps when you actually want to see the product you are prospectively thinking about buying.

Not that all products on the SL Marketplace have an in-world viewable counterpart...


I love people who say they dont buy on marketplace they buy inworld. Thats the exact problem you dotn walk around, you dont buy in satellite stores, the satellite stores get closed, the malls get closed, the users have no more money to spend in new outfits and then the rest closed down to. then the land seller need to close also no longer buy anything, thats the beginning of a end but i know i have told this few years ago, no one believe me, and this will happen here again but i dont stop saying this

Lorelei Mission

Marketplace isn't what drove me to use Marketplace. It was when LL broke inworld Search. They made a number of changes to how Search worked, and how stores/parcels were listed, and it simply got to the point that I couldn't find what I wanted via land Search or classified ads. At that point I began shopping via website instead. Sigh :(

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