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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

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Ozwell Wayfarer

As a merchant who has just decided to re-open his store on a full homestead, I will say its not an easy decision.

I sell landscaping, not fashion so space is needed and people generally want to see things before they buy, but the cost of a full homestead is a burden which in my past experiences has not yielded much fruit.

Demand for landscaping is also naturally lower than for clothing or skin items, so there is pressure for me there too.

generally speaking, you make more sales if you have an in-world presence, but the crippling cost of land means that extra cash is eaten up, and in bad months, some MP takings too. So at least in my experience the net effect of having in-world space in negligible to negative.

Kitty Revlover

yes, i do miss Minnu's Model Skins/Cachet/LeLutka's clothes and skins, Armidi, Last Call (Was going through that folder on my main avatar and found they did stuff that was all over the place in terms of fashion), um, god I am so old in SL (i predate sculpties), was apple may another "department" store?

It is sad that celoe never updates and just generally think this would be a great time to get into the fashion world if there is a lull. I am learning to mesh, but given in the fall I will be busy once again with school and phd applications, don't know if I can give it the proper quality that mesh needs to have.

Kitty Revolver

God! I spelled my name wrong. #finals

Account Deleted

@ Ozwell Wayfarer

Oh my Ozwell, me & my friend was creating a indie game a few months back but had to decide if it was going to be using the Unity Engine or Unreal Engine but in the resource packs of one of the two was a standing statue that looked just like yours!
you should look into it as you do not want a big gaming company using your hard work without your consent.


https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Worlds-End-Silent-Guardian-Fire-Plate-Purple-CMT/6067610

http://unity3d.com/5?gclid=CPyhkvWY4b4CFVQiMgodQBUAkA

https://www.unrealengine.com/blog

Ozwell Wayfarer

@Drift - I am confused....I followed the links you posted, but the statue in the video in the first link doesn't look anything like mine. Do you have a specific link? If my models are being used elsewhere I would like to know for sure and I would be grateful for any info you can give me. Post here or send it over to me inworld. Thanks!

Account Deleted


Iris. i think the ghost town effect has not hit as hard as it will once high fidelity opens.

Copybotters have ruined most of it.why?. why spend weeks working on a skin to have someone clone it then resell it.they will rip your texture off your dress then add to their own dress & in a ocean of content who will notice?
it will wear a seller down having to police the stuff they make while the lab will NOT intervene without a DMCA even if thief has had a 100 cases against them.
Look on MP under newest items copy/transfer.

Pussycat Catnap

Its not practical for most people to have a mega-sized inworld store, but its also cheaper to sell inworld than on marketplace IF you are a successful brand.

The fee LLs charges on each sale on Marketplace adds up very fast. So if you have a LOT of product moving... marketplace can lose you hundreds of RL dollars every month.

But having a sim sized mega store is a waste of space that weakens your brand presence.

Much better to have a tightly controlled small shop. 512m or 2014m of land unless as noted above: landscaping is what you're selling (or selling large homes that need large dimensions to fit, even when displayed in temp-rezzed demos).

I broke down how extreme the costs of MP can get on my blog some time back:

http://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/when-does-it-become-more-costly-to-sell-on-marketplace-than-inworld/

And I've written on the value of a small tightly controlled branding experience before. It should be self-obvious... In a tightly controlled small space, you control more of the shopping experience.

You can set out the things that are 'hot' or 'current' or are your big branding items... and then use Marketplace for the 'off-season' stuff.
- Extracting ideal value from both services.

Marketplace is ideal for a huge catalog of 'stuff'... but you DON'T WANT fast selling items there... due to that fee... But you can put all your older stuff there to maintain that you are a huge established brand.

And your top stuff... contain it inworld where shoppers can demo it together seeing it on each other, or rezzed around each other, and make that experience of shopping social.

Fit your brand into a small shop, and you can style up the building with all the things that communicate "you and your brand" in a way that attracts your ideal customers and builds loyalty on a social level...

And speaking of social... putting images of your product on flickr, used creatively and not just 'screenshots that look like vendor pics'... communicates your brand to your fans, and their followers, and so on...

Pussycat Catnap

The above posted... what I see in SL is that shops are still doing business hand over fist at an amazing pace.

But who is succeeding changes all the time. There are some stable big brands - and they have gotten a LOT more designed in their inworld presences. Very stylized shops.

Overall I think sales are likely better, not worse, than they have been in past. But you can't just plop down a giant hollowed out box, fill the walls with vendor prims, and collect your paycheck anymore...

And people who do so and then fail... have all kinds of things they blame other than their own lack of design and branding, or their own falling out of style as a new fad takes their place...

Imagin Illyar

What "rising cost of land"? The prices of land have steadily gone down in the 6 years I've been in SL. LL still charges the same but the prices that people pay to rent lots - the prices that estate owners charge - has most definitely gone down.

Ziki Questi

I was going to post the same question, but Imagin beat me to it: What "rising cost of land"?

irihapeti

i think the MP has had a huge influence. I also think is the number of people with quality skills has also increased, which has had a major effect as well. Lots more small business/hobby ists in the game now with very good skills. Many who dont have the overhead of expectation that customer loyal/fan following built up over many months/years incurs

I think as well that mesh has had a damping effect in the clothing business at this time. Is transition again to fitted mesh. A new set of production flows/rules/skills needed

some of the big brands havent yet made the transition well. Is a retooling cost for them this. Same as in any RL business. Is it worth it to retool?

The boutique approach is best I think for them and everyone else at this time. Is not much point to having a megastore with oldschool legacy sale items and only a few (comparatively) fitted mesh items for sale

is actual accepted/expected by customers in a boutique that there is actual few items for sale. But that each is a high quality item. This is also expected in a boutique offering

when is not then is a $2 shop. Lots of stuff packed in of varying quality. This expected by $2 shop customer. Get what you pay for and happy with it

+

about big brand transition management

I think Jane is a brand that has managed this well. Join with other creator/sellers to make a new brand. Can then fill the new brand store with product created by the pool. Leave the legacy (old school) stuff inworld for some long months for those who still come/came inworld to find it. Then when the legacy stuff starts selling even less as customers transition to mesh then at some time remove it all entirely from the inworld and put to MP

+

if I did have one niggle it be: Alphas

i dont mind if use a mesh template. Is always about the fit and the texturing. always. What I mind is when the alpha you got off the mesh template maker is chit. Was made by somebody wielding a chainsaw seems like sometimes. Rough edges. Seams that dont line up, etc. ugggly!!! So please put as much care into creating your alphas as you do into texturing the dress ok. thanks (:

ps. Maybe the alphas are intended to not be seen. But they are. By me every time I change my outfit. If I am going to be cut then I rather it be done neatly and cleanly by a seamstress. Better than by a lumberjack with a chainsaw and a shredder anyways (:

Vanadis Falconer

Large stores with little merchandise makes me turn in the door. It will be a long time to find anything.
Marketing in Second Life is a problem. It's hard to reach out with their message . Especially for the little merchant. In addition, try to change customers' buying patterns from real life. The normal buying pattern in Second Life is that shops are scattered on each sim.
The buying patterns we are accustomed to in real life is to either go to a major shopping center with all kinds of goods, like just outside my home town where you can buy everything from hairpins to cars in the same shopping center. The other option is to walk along a pedestrian street with a lot of small shops. Both of these variants create impulse purchases. It would be of more merchants with variety in the same place at the same time it takes other activities. It is no coincidence that in Sweden the small fishing villages will be flooded by pleasure boats and small shops summer. Some of them are owned by large chains .

Tesla Miles

I think big brands are just generally going out of fashion - Nobody wants to wear the same thing that everyone else is wearing on release day. The majority of residents are wearing template meshes, and I think, just like with Gatchas, more and more people are discovering the joy of finding unique and rare items; there are growing groups of people who actively seek out undiscovered creators' work just so they aren't following the mainstream residents.

Dymoon aka Q

I blog Virtual Art & Lifestyles -very interesting read, I would like to add that yes many of the big fashion houses are gone, in their place I note more and more Designer discount places, where designers come together and sell at a discounted price to bring the customers in. Not only have we lost a special component in the "Fashionista world" We've lost out on quality and originality. 1 mesh template sold to many- retextured - resold - the ART of "style" is gone- I won't go into my tirade suffice to say.. I was glad to read this writer's opinion/thoughts.

Cube Republic

I can testify to how much work it all is. I work seven days a week at the moment content creating. I really enjoy it though. I'm trying to fill my sim up but have a long way to go. My view is to make a nice environment for folk to explore while at the same time being able to shop if they wish.

I've been discussing the MP this last week. It's a shame how it destroyed in-world shopping. I remember a time when you used to meet a lot of people just out at stores. It was in itself a social experience.

I have to disagree with pussycat though. The MP subs don't really 'eat up profit'. They're negligible, and I don't mind paying for the service it provides.

The problem with SL land is price. It's been discussed a zillion times before and they're never going to reduce it.

zzpearlbottom

I don't sell any so i can't speak for Myself, still my soul mate started to sold her works, 1st on marketplace but knowing that a well advised customer wants to look at least once for the item before buying it, she started also a small shop in world, then spreading vendors and finally buying more land till we can have a marina that not only shows her builds but can also be used to try some of them.
Even if 90 pct of her sales are from MP, the pleasure of having a few shops in world where any can see and or try her products cant be replaced.

2014

I'm going to disagree with most of you, the marketplace has only opened a new door and better sales for me.

The big mega stores where just that, "Big" and ugly, and hard to shop at. Their products for the most part where subpar, and when mesh hit the grid, they got left behind, failed to keep up with the consumer wants and demands.

Those will argue, "there is no need to have a inworld store (land) with the way the marketplace is set up". I'll counter and say if you buy from a unknown brand, with no in-world store, you're a fool waiting to loose your linden to some scammer. They riddle the marketplace with their empty boxes or botted crap.

Pussycat Catnap

"I think as well that mesh has had a damping effect in the clothing business at this time. Is transition again to fitted mesh. A new set of production flows/rules/skills needed"

I'd say the opposite. Mesh has been a MASSIVE BOON to the SL fashion and clothing scene. Outfits not previously possible are popping up all over SL, and new brands having taken the scene by storm.

But they pushed out some old brands.

And again... the new brands are more savvy, and know that your store is a showroom, not a mall.

Repeat that:

YOUR STORE IS A SHOWROOM, NOT A MALL.

Thus the smaller inworld stores exist to highlight a brand and to escape the 'seller fee' for high volume products. You WANT a small shop for that so you can control the experience.

In real life...
Look at the places the upper middle class and upper class shop in. They don't go to malls, they go to boutiques. Malls are where the lower middle class shop. The middle class shops online, the middle and lower middle both shop in outlets, and the lower class shops in second hand...

So if you want to make your customer feel valued and feel branded to you, give them a boutique. In SL you can give even your lower income customers a boutique to feel special and valued in. Treat everyone glamorous - a bit of an equalizing exclusivity, an oxymoron that actually can come together here.

Marketplace can also give you exposure - but you never want them hitting the checkout button there if you can avoid it... because if they do, that fee is paid by you.

But you can 'handle' lower volume stuff selling there, if you can convince them to buy your hot stuff inworld.

Smaller presence is smarter, more designed and branded presence.

Pussycat Catnap

I quoted something, and then only partly responded to it...

So:

"Is transition again to fitted mesh. A new set of production flows/rules/skills needed"

- This is not turning out the way people hoped it would. I predicted what has ensued.

If you ever worked with Poser's Wardrobe Wizard, you would be among those who knew fitted mesh would largely fail.

Fitted mesh is among the hardest stuff to fit.

It invariably deforms wrong somewhere - and if it does, you can't get out of that by changing your shape... it will deform to your new shape in a similar way. Only if you happen to find the EXACT shape dials the maker used will it deform the same way it did on their screen. Maybe.

That, is basically, a fiasco.

Where it DOES have value is in prim attachments for a few select body parts that people like to have jiggle and bounce on...

Basically, the only use for fitted mesh is to produce better T&A for SL...

/face...palm...

But if you read the official forums you will see I've posted about the fitted mesh T&A products a lot. I've been demoing and buying them on a faun alt to see how they came out. Deforming ALSO fails in many of these... but if you make one that is meant to poke through the body 'at the seams' - it works great... and this means fitted can work for body parts where it can't for clothes...

Hint: piercings and things like sci-fi cyborg limbs would also benefit from fitted mesh...

For clothing though... it looks like a number of brands have already decided to just stick with the Standard Sizing system.

Ciaran Laval

The tier is too damn high for merchants when the Marketplace offers merchants a no risk, no upfront fee option.

So as older merchants have moved on, new merchants scratch their heads why older merchants needed so much space, there's no need for a big store inworld in most cases.

The Marketplace also hit the Satellite stores, which aided big brands because you saw their brand all over the grid. There's no need for that anymore.

There are good use cases for a large store, such as buildings, furniture etc. when people may want to see those items in 3D, but for fashion, the Marketplace offers better options to display your wares.

Vivienne Daguerre

My shop, Black Rose, has been in business since 2005. I no longer sell the original products of course. They were great in their day, but not good enough for today.

It used to be that most of my sales were at my main store, with some at satellite market stalls, and then some on XStreet. Today I would say that 75% of my sales are on the marketplace with 20% at my main store, and a smattering at satellite market stalls.

Those wishing to buy my building component kits (roofing, windows, doors) and buildings want to see them in in world before buying. Those sales pretty much all come through my main store. The marketplace stalls are not really profitable, and I maintain a handful in high traffic areas. To me they are advertising. The occasional sale at them lets me know that people are looking, and as advertising it is effective. The bulk of my sales are through the marketplace, and the 5% commission is cheap and affordable. I like the marketplace. It makes it easier for people to find my stuff.

It all works for me and business is good. I'll probably be here til they turn out the lights.

Pussycat Catnap

The 5% fee costs more than land after you have sold about L$49,600 per 512m you could have owned.

Or put another way, every L$49,600 of sales pays for one monthly paid base-tier premium account.

If you pay for your land through any cheaper method (and a monthly paid base premium is one of the most expensive forms of land you can get), then it takes less marketplace sales until MP is costing you more than land would.

BUT there is an obvious point where for some items inworld will not attract the sale, and MP will, and for another item, MP will not attract it, while inworld will.

- But either way, if you can get them to click buy inworld rather than on the website, you earn more...

But a giant mega-store can, as many note, actually drive them AWAY from buying it there. It just doesn't create a positive vibe.

Ciaran Laval

The Marketplace will never cost more than the price of an inworld store because Marketplace sales take place on The Marketplace, if you're not on it, you won't make that sale anyway.

The 5% fee costs the merchant nothing because The Marketplace is a no upfront fee option, it would be a different matter were there a listing fee.

Tesla Miles

Fitted mesh is great, I have created a beautiful fitted mesh peplum dress that fits ALL the standard sizes and MORE. If anything, fitted mesh should have been the logical choice right from the start. The only reason that most of the popular brands aren't implementing it is because they've been working with an outdated system for three years, and it's hard to change your workflow when you've been doing the same thing for so long.
As long as the template mesh creators have their grip on the majority of stuff being sold in SL, then they're going to keep dictating the standard, and the standard is Standard Sizing. The more creators that migrate to fitted mesh, especially the more technically skilled, we're going to see much better fitting Fitted mesh.
I've been away from SL for 3 years, and as the owner of a previously big brand in SL, I can see that the dynamic of SL commerce is definitely moving towards the smaller boutique type stores, which are better suited towards improved customer service and uniqueness. Overall, there is a better distribution of wealth, new brands will come and go - we'll rarely see anymore 'superstar' brands that we had in the early days of SL.

tankgirl

Looking at the 50 most searched marketplace stores according to Google. I think about 49 of these have at least 1 sim, some more even. Obviously, the big stores with the big sims are not gone. And this is only part of the picture, it does not say anything about the big sellers in world.

coldlogic
humanoid
wasabi pills
catwa
gos
truth
maitreya
what next
exile
utilizator
ducknipple
slink
magica
cheeky pea
vista
dela
redgrave
argrace
r3volt
barnesworth anubis
blueberry
trompe loel
meli imako
atui
lola
mia
scarlet creative
fanatik
alli&ali
apple may
dutchie
fashionatic
drift
fatewear
emo-tions
maxi gossamer
studio skye
inverse
dirty princess
crazy kitty
lapointe & bastchild
noya
kal rau
lelutka
exxess
fateeyes
erratic
tutys
deetalez
pink fuel

Account Deleted


@ tankgirl

Don't forget AngelRed Culture by Lexy Zeplin
or the (GOD)Garden of Dreams store.

Is your list mostly homesteads? because many downgraded from a full region. while some might not think that matters. well its a 2/3 cost price difference
(Luxury car payment vs Compact car payment)

Pussycat Catnap

@Ciaran Laval

Every sale you make on MP earns you 5% less than every sale inworld.

That is a very significant cost of doing business on Marketplace for which anyone who makes enough money out of SL to 'pay Rl bills' should sit down and think over. Its very valuable to consider ways to drive your viewers of your goods on marketplace over to become shoppers at your venue inworld.

If you can manage to turn MP into an advertisement, and seal the deal inworld as often as possible - you make a lot more revenue.

Enough so that, after only $49,000L in sales, you have paid for that inworld boutique.

As to the shops in the list above that are on full sims - a number of them have small shops on a full sim that is mostly closed off.

That's an interesting trend that could have a couple of different explanations. Everything from "want to tightly brand this now and still have my old sim because I'm afraid to move and have my customers LMs be useless" to "90% of this is my play space, and that 10% is for the shoppers." to... reasons...

Several do exist in large megastores though.

Sears still exists. So does Macys. But that doesn't invalidate the trend seen in online shopping.

Some of those might scale back to boost their profits. Some might just decide they're fine as they are.

Some are in a half-state like coldlogic. Its got a sim, but its megashop is about 40% of the sim, and its been through a redesign of the layout recently - which suggests they are trying to find ways to more creatively control the shopping experience. While it is big, it looks different in there than what you see inside of a lot of the older megastores.

Pussycat Catnap

@Tesla: I'll try out one of your demos. I hope you can get around the flawed deformation issues.

I've bought some fitted before and suddenly found that, no matter what I did that shirt was skinnier than my belly, or those boots where thinner than my legs at the top...

I've extremely skeptical. But hoping to be convinced.

Tesla Miles

@Pussycat: I've sent you a copy, go easy on me :P

Ciaran Laval

@Pussycat Catnap "Every sale you make on MP earns you 5% less than every sale inworld."

Any sensible merchant would build that 5% into their pricing model. There is no upfront fee on The Marketplace (unless you pay for advertising, which is a different matter). The 5% fee really does not cost the merchant anything, as I said before, it would be a different issue were there a listing fee.

Contrary to popular belief you do not have to price your Marketplace items exactly the same as your inworld items, the key term in the rules is "Inflated".

irihapeti

@pussycat

by damping effect I mean that customers tend to hold off more while a transition is going on. They/we might end up buy as much or more even overall but we way more careful and take more time over every individual purchase bc quality issues

back in the day before mesh we soon worked out who made stuff we liked for the price and standard we expected and just buy off the photo on the vendor. Click click weekly stipend and extra CC allowance all gone in less than 15 minutes (:

The same will happen with fitted mesh as well I think. Just will take time for the larger body of designer/creators to come up to speed I think

+

as Tesla says fitted mesh is really doable. Is a new process tho for many of the older school to learn

what I have found personally is that fitted mesh works best when is made the same way Standard Sizing is made for rigged mesh as Tesla said

I got one fitted mesh mini dress that is perfect. On my default S avatar it fits like a glove. bare arms and tight in to the thighs and shoulders. It dont matter how much a Ao or dance animation moves. It dont leak anywhere. I dont have to wear any alpha with it. Is fabulous made

+

am hoping that the Standard Sizing can be extended further. The Slink people and others like them have done really good work in this area. Like they include breast size for example in their info where some others dont. I would like to see these kinds of Standards extended further for Fitted Mesh

maybe Fitted Mesh Standards or similar name. The idea being that the Standard for each of the basic XL, L, M, S, XS include the home position of each and every slider.

every designer/creator can then use the home slider positions to weight their stuff off. As a customer then I know that what I buy is going to fit me like a glove regardless of were I come in the size range. And I know that if I do tweak my avatar shape within that range all my stuff still going to fit like a glove everywhere. And more important I know that I can buy pieces from different shops knowing that I can mix and match without conflicts

the best example of this customer-oriented standards setting approach are Slink and their co-operative nature toward other designer/creators. I got both feet and hands

i have noticed recently that if I have to take off my feet to wear your shoes then I dont. I now get shoes that fit my feet. If your top dont conform to the way my slink hands bend at the wrists I dont get your top. I am not anymore going to take off my hands so that your top dont leak. If your skin dont let me apply to my hands and feet I dont buy your skin. If your hair dont conform to S breast size of 50. I dont buy your hair. If the breast on your top dont conform to same then I dont buy your top anymore and on and on and on

i would really like to say thanks to the Slink people and ColdLogic and all those others who put up with a lot of chit when SS came out. I would encourage them to formalise it even more. I mean as a Standards body org. I dont mean a LL-sanction or anything like that. Nobody have to be a Member of it or nothing either. Dont have to be a elected body either. Just do it bc you are merchants who must have happy customers

come out with a guide for every single slider for each of the 5 Fitted Mesh basics to start with then bc standards body can look at XXL XXS and then onto A top and D bottom and viceversa options as well and every other combo as well

why would this be good? bc customers arent all standard size. We all shapes. We do not expect every designer/creator to make every combination. What we all individually as customers want is somebody to make stuff that fits us. And if a creator/designer specialises in our chosen shape/size fitted mesh range we are going to love them. But for that to happen we and they need to know that is some certainty about what it is that the customers will get and accept

as Pussycat says and I know as well bc shopping. One size dont fit all. And am not much interested in one size even if the mesh do fit all. Why? bc the textures dont look good when stretched and squished at the extremes of the sliders. We been down that road with system layer clothes and as customers we didnt like it then and we like it even less now

anyways bossyboots rant over (:

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