Yet another boldly stupid idea LL. :high five:

In the state the SL economy is in, you’d think a good course of action would be to help residents out by figuring out ways to ya know… help them. Not stick us with yet more fees.
Today in an act of absolute stupidity, LL announced the following:

Monthly Listing Fee for Freebies of L$99:
• Listings for free items will now be treated as a marketing/promotional tool and thus will have a price.
• L$99 is the price of our least expensive listing enhancement and so we will start there.
• Depending upon desire for this marketing opportunity and perceived value given such demand, we will adjust the price as necessary to maximize this value and keep the freebie listings from becoming bloated again.
• Expected Delivery: 30 – 60 days

Minimum Commission of L$3 on all items priced L$1 or greater:
• We will enact a minimum commission of L$3 on all sales of non-freebie listings.
• Since Freebie listings are now considered marketing and are charged as such, they will not incur this fee.
• A L$3 commission will raise the commission on all listings under L$50. This was a range suggested by residents, but it turns out that this is the price range where there is a very high transaction volume and low commission income which combine to cover the costs of those transactions.
• We may adjust this minimum commission as we see its effects on the marketplace. L$3 does not cover the full cost of a transaction, but the goal here is first to manage freebie growth first.
• Expected Delivery: 30 – 60 days

Monthly Listing Fee of L$10 for all items L$1 or greater:
• All non-freebie listings will now be charged L$10 per month to remain listed in the Xstreet SL Marketplace
• Currently, less than 20% of Xstreet SL listings make at least one sale per month. This displays just how much clutter of unsold items exists on Xstreet SL.
• Doing this will provide an incentive for merchants to remove listings which are not selling, while keeping this fee low enough to have a minimal effect on listings which are selling and are desired by shoppers.
• By reducing the overall number of listings on Xstreet SL, the shopping experience will drastically improve which will please our shoppers and be a boon to the business of all of our merchants.
• Expected Delivery: 60 – 90 days

Keeping the commission system after buying xstreet was bad enough. Taking down the better webiste of onrez after buying both was annoying, especially given most of the trash was on xstreet.

They get a commission if something sells. That should be enough. If not, the stupid high prices for featured listings (which don’t actually do anything since everything is listed high -> low) still should be enough. Tacking on extra on top of it in this economy is just yet another slap on the face.

Demos:

Hair and skin makers can’t sell anything without offering a demo. So for every colour variant they are charged L$10 and then an additional L$99 for the demo version. On top of the 5% commission. Awesome.

They aren’t marketing material. They aren’t freebies. They are to demo an item for sale. It’s out of necessity to do this because there is no system LL has ever set in place in order to try things out. Yes you see people walking around in demo skins and hair because they are too cheap to buy anything, but we just point and laugh at them.

However, the feedback from our office hours sessions was that many merchants already charge for these demos and that these new controls would not be a major hindrance to merchants with demo listings.

Um. I’ve never seen a demo above L$1. Maybe I need to get out more.

Eventually, we’d like to add better “demo listing” functionality.

All well and good. How about doing this before fucking them in the ass? I’ve been around long enough to know “we’d like to add…” means it may happen eventually (years later) if at all. Usually it’s just something they say and point to when people complain.

Lack of tools for listing multiple colours once:
Someone makes a dress in 10 different colours. They have to list each one separately, which takes a lot of bloody time. Until the change, they were only charged for the colour the person bought. Now they get to be charged L$10 per month per colour. Awesome.

It’s not a lot, but that kind of thing just starts to add up. L$10 for every upload. 5% commission. Land fees. Classifieds. Commission on using lindex.

Things found on xstreet but purchased in world:
Most of my things are in this category. I sell poses and a few animations and not many people buy things without trying them out if the ability is there. But I have no idea how many of my sales comes from this.

I don’t buy anything on xstreet. I search for things, find a few items, then decide in world. I know a lot of people who are like that.

I’ve read a lot of different people say the same thing, that after doing the math the L$10 per month per item charges on anything over L$10 isn’t worth it. If they would give reporting on how many tp to your store based on listings then maybe it’d be worth it. Maybe.

Who decides what listings are stale?
The Shoppers, as indicated by the number of times an item is purchased. If shoppers are purchasing a listing with some frequency, then it is not stale. If shoppers are never or rarely purchasing a listing, then it is stale.

Fuck you very much, LL. I get all sorts of views daily on my items and yet I make in a month on xstreet less than 1/4 of what I make in a day at my main store. It’s always been like that. I have things in my discount section of my main store that you may think as stale, but the people who weren’t around in 2006 when I released it and just now found it may just have a different opinion.


End Rant:

But this is LL we are talking about. They are more than well known for doing half assed changes disguised as helping after pretending to listen. 3 office hours? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. No one goes to those stupid things. Cause. You. Don’t. Listen. To. Logic.

Perhaps making it easier to find things on xstreet would have been a better solution. Oh wait, there I go with the logic again…

By reducing the overall number of listings on Xstreet SL, the shopping experience will drastically improve which will please our shoppers.

Um say what? I’m all for getting rid of the trash on xstreet, but my trash is another person’s treasure. Improve the shoddy search functions would be a start. Freebies cluttering up the place? Just throw them into their own category. Allow us to filter them out. Overcrowding in general? Add more categories and subcategories. I’d like a couples poses section please. Due to inactivity? Make us log in or auto delist the item(s). How about getting rid of all that ripped content too? That’ll clear out loads of clutter. Oh even *gasp* actually following through on things that violate copyright and trademarks.

There is all sorts more junk and clutter out on the grid. Did you know that? It’s what makes finding very specific things, even through the trash on xstreet, easier. Are you going to do some hamfisted thing with that next?

And as usual there are many better ideas people have thrown out in the 4 hours since the announcement than they seemed to have gotten from the useless office hours.

In addition to the survey they sent out about new (and rather expensive) marketing programs they are thinking about doing, it makes me wonder if LL is taking SL more in the direction of where people fear Blue Mars is going: only people with a lot of cash and/or already established will have a chance.

In case you missed it, here are some highlights:

Second Life-Certified Vending Machines
-Usage of the vending machine will allow the merchant to receive premium support for merchant activities, enable automatic listing on XStreet SL, and ensure that all items are delivered…. guaranteed. Additionally, the vending machines provide rich data reporting and business metrics.
– Linden Lab would assess a 10-15% surcharge on all purchases

Listing and Promotional Program

– By joining this program, any item you list for sale in-world can also be auto-listed on XStreetSL. Cross-posted items will automatically be displayed, in rotation, in a premium position as a sponsored listing in on the Classifieds page.
-To participate in this program, a small surcharge will be assessed a fee 5-10 $USD for each item cross posted.

Merchant Marketing Program
– The program would provide exclusive use of branding systems, customized store systems (such as a custom URL/SLURL and web storefront), and automatic consideration for large scale promotions. Also included is a data dashboard to enable you to track purchases in real-time. Customer service tools such as AvaLine mean that you are always able to talk with your customers.
– Membership in the merchant marketing program would be available at a cost of $10-100 USD monthly, depending on sales volume.

The Mall of Second Life

– In exchange for the free land and promotion of the Mall, Linden Lab will assess a 30% surcharge on all purchases.

14 Responses to “Yet another boldly stupid idea LL. :high five:”

  1. the brilliance of their scheme is that even if half the merchants on Xstreet delist their items now, LL will force them back onto Xstreet automatically with their fancy new vendors! KaChing!

  2. nice rant. it’s not rocket science, LL sees the HUGE amount of money generated from sales and they want a piece of it any way they can get it.

    sadly, these types of things don’t come off in a way to help or serve sellers.

    it’s VERY obvious they just want a piece of EVERYTHING. i’d suspect a tax in the near future as well.

    they ARE a business and that’s OK, but to PROFIT off the sales of businesses by wanting to “partner” with them seems sorta weird and alienating to what LL i thought was about, “our creation our world” or w/e that slogan is.

    oh well, time to reinvent once again.

    • They don’t really profit off of L$ sinks. They are the printing press. If they want to sell L$, they just make more. Like they already do.

      Does make me wonder about all these new L$ sinks they are proposing. Always infuriated me when they started selling L$ to “protect” the lindex from going haywire, but would never buy L$ if it went the other way.

      Adding extra charges to a service without increasing that service will only piss people off and drive people to use a different service.

  3. Makenzie Irling Says:

    *claps*

    As a new designer and my personal policy to keep thing affordable for everyone the $10L listing fee will be a 1/5 of one of my items….if it sells. Then the extra % fees on top of that….there is really no point in my listings. I will lose more paying to sell my items, excuse me LIST, my items than I will actually make.

    Fucking ridiculous.

  4. Chez Nabob Says:

    I don’t have anything on Xstreet, so this won’t affect me, but I have to say, the more I watch LL and the boneheaded decisions they make, I really think the place is run by monkeys, like in those Career Builder commercials (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEC2OtHq7Pw).

    All the proposals they’ve advanced in recent days are worthless to content creators. For the most part there are already existing products and services in-world that do what LL is proposing for a lot less money.

    Here’s a little tip LL. When you want to start charging money for something, you should offer an incentive to current and potential customers. You should be making the product appreciably better in some way so your customers get something extra for the additional money you’re asking them to spend. It doesn’t mean you put a little lipstick on the same old pig and charge more for it.

    This move with Xstreet will only serve to make it LESS useful than it already is. Hopefully merchants will pull their content off it altogether, and LL can eat whatever money they paid for it.

    I’ve already seen three different urls for sites similar to Xstreet. I have no idea what they charge for listing items on their services, but if they’re smart they’ll try to capitalize on this situation and provide an environment that makes it easy for content creators to list their merchandise, makes it easy for shoppers to find merchandise and provides a better solution than the old pig LL is pushing out into the marketplace.

    • Chez Nabob Says:

      If you really want to watch the monkeys, go here:

      The url above is picking up the parenthesis and borking the link.

    • All well said.

      Cept for the monkey thing. Dude monkeys are WAY cooler than LL.

      Honestly, I don’t think they are stupid. I believe they think we are stupid. Yeah we’ll bitch and complain, but we’ll bend over and take it. And they know it. Cause that’s what we do. Cause we have no other viable alternatives.

      So they will continue to fuck with our livelihoods because they can get away with it.

      What it looks like now they are trying to put in a class system. We already have one, but that was more about gaming systems that had the appearance of being fair like traffic and classifieds. Top earners will be on xstreet. Cause we all know the masses will still use xstreet and hardly notice when the maybe 100 people start boycotting selling there. Minus the hair and skin makers. Oh and animators.

      Then further widen the gap with new marketing ideas where only a few people can afford it.

      Someone over at slu said it very well:
      “Perhaps I’m just cynical these days, but I think I’ve noticed a pattern that whenever Linden Labs delivers bad news that will infuriate its long-suffering members, they try to immediately bury or soften the blow by wheeling out Torley. He will then make a happy-clappy post full of glee, sparkles and watermelons that they hope will somehow induce a zombie like trance causing us to forget what we were angry about and go back to our mindless peon-like activities on the grid, creating content for Linden Lab publicity materials, enabling synergy, driving up the economic stats etc.”

  5. Vegas Blogger Says:

    For quite a few months now, I’ve been hearing about another alternative to xstreet- called slapt.me

    I’m going to check it out- I think its resident run, like onrez was, and xstreet before LL took it over. I propose all merchants who are outraged over this, delist your items on Xstreet and move to slapt.me

    Lets take OUR money back out of LL’s pocket.

  6. Sunshine Kukulcan Says:

    Here’s my take on the next steps (and mind you not one shred of evidence to back it all up):

    1) Raise fees for uploading content based on usage. Make upload costs tiered based on usage.
    2) Charge for inventory items over a certain count (perhaps 50K invos and higher).
    3) All tier fees will be raised so that no older grandfathered sims will be paying old tier.

    If 1 happens, my partner stops building. If 2 happens, I’m buggered. If 3 happens, we abandon our sim. In other words, LL needs to tread lightly in this area, you can only go to the well so many times.

    • 1. Is possible. Or even likely.

      2. Actually might help asset server issues.

      3. They recently announced that they will not be ungrandfathering sims even though they’ll be upgrading the server class. While it’s not unheard of for them to back track into stupidity, they are for some reason keeping the peace on the grandfathered sim thing. They only actually promised the grandfathering through 2007 and for some unknown reason never touched the subject again.

      Unless you are like me and believe in some conspiracy that they tried to force us to upgrade by seriously degrading class 4 sim performance.

      Honestly, LL kind of just baffles me. They have never done anything logical which is just odd coming from a bunch of nerds. When you think they couldn’t do anything more asinine than X they come up with Y and Z.

  7. Yepp another blunder for the LL and xstreetSL team,knee jerk silly change because of something mentioned by people whining about everything being cluttered up there lol.No more clutter soon as folks move on.
    A site i highly suggest and have been using for years now because they have vendors and a web shop,banking,linden exchange and so on is http://www.apez.biz none of the other 3rd party sites even come close!what am i talking about xstreets is 3rd party now hehe

    Mike

  8. By reducing the overall number of listings on Xstreet SL, the shopping experience will drastically improve which will please our shoppers.

    Anybody remember the Healthy Forest Initiative here in the US? It was where George W. and crew proposed to “protect” forests from forest fires… via deforestation.

    This reminds me of that.

  9. It’s not really a stupid idea on Linden Lab’s side. They reduce clutter and make money in the process. It’s actually brilliant. :)

    • Mistletoe Says:

      Do you honestly believe it’s going to “reduce clutter”? I think it’s more likely that we’ll see overpriced “clutter”.

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