Tips & Tricks

Second Life Marketplace vs Inworld – Where’s best to sell?

This started as a post I made on SLU at the end of last year.  Along with everyone else, I’m noticing a move away from buying inworld to people shopping on the marketplace.  So I looked at the figures and it’s pretty obvious to see why stores in Second Life are closing, it just isn’t cost effective to be paying so much for land when people aren’t buying inworld.

I had decided to close the stores at the end of this month but have decided to give them one last chance and I’ll continue to subsidise them from my marketplace sales but it can’t carry on indefinitely and once I have to start putting my hand in my pocket to pay for the land then the shops will go.  They’re just a vanity now.

Most store owners complain that tier is too high, they’re right, for what is effectively a 3d web page it is extortionate how much we’re charged but for me, the decline started back in March 2010 when they introduced the new search inworld and then moved to the web based search. That stopped years of month on month sales growth inworld and I’m not the only one who saw that change.

If you don’t fancy reading the table, the take away from it is that to get the same return of $100 from sales inworld to the marketplace you need to be turning over $100 usd per month for every piece of 512sqm you use as a store.  Not unheard of but certainly rare I’d suggest.  It still beggars belief that LL choose to push people to sell on the marketplace rather than inworld since tier gains them much more income than the lindens they receive in commission but then Linden Lab has never been a haven of rational decision making.

The only requirement is a viewer with a merchant outbox (which is everything but phoenix afaik).Either a premium account or estate land. Minimum cost is around $5usd per month.
  • No initial upfront cost, except time.
  • Customers can’t try out any expensive rezzable items before purchase
  • Search and customer behaviour is more focussed on lower priced items
  • Land search effort
  • Upfront tier costs if estate land
  • You’ll need to purchase a store, vendors and other paraphernalia
  • Set up time
  • If your parcels are rental then you’ll have to run around at the end of each rental period to pay your rent
  • If it’s estate land your landowner may close down with no notice or will give you notice but either way you’ll have to move,
  • Sales and licensing policies need to be made available separately,
  • Your land has to be able to support the number of prims used to display and vend your items,
  • You need land that matches the maturity rating of the highest rated item (G, M or Adult),
  • Items are blanket rated according to the land, so even with an item search, if the land rating it is on is not included in the search it won’t be seen (however, search may or may not display all items available and will return lower rated land items even if you didn’t ask for them..),
  • Your store name may or may not appear in search for any category,
  • Your items may nor may not appear in search for any category.
  • You have your own storefront which can be partially branded and can contain your sales and licensing policies, links to your inworld store and anything else you can cram in,
  • Commission is taken at the time so all money you receive is yours,
  • Each listing is has a maturity rating so it will appear in the correct search return,
  • Upgrading the item or listing can be easily done (pain is relative) via the website (except on a Friday when the thing can’t cope). Although you still need to go inworld to actually load the item into the marketplace,
  • Full details of the item along with multiple pictures can be displayed,
  • You can suggest other items to the customer on each listing.
  • You can have multiple stores by having multiple parcels – makes for more effective targeting of customers in search (insert rofl here)
  • You can offer entertainment or other things to entice them to come and spend money
  • Customers can try out your rezzable items
  • Higher priced items are more frequently sold
For every $100 usd of sales..
LL gets $5, you get $95.
To make $100usd you’d have to sell around 25,000L worth of goods. Not unheard of but to make around the same profit as the marketplace you’d have to do it from a piece of 512 @ $5 pm
Good luck with that.
LL Marketing RequirementsLL Marketing Requirements
None, you’re automatically listed in search so you just need to add keywords to your listing.
  • Parcel search is 30L a week
  • Classified search is a minimum of 50L a week.
  • Don’t forget to game it by adding spammy keywords, apparently that’s ok according to some of the larger store owners on the official forums.
  • Some vendors get people to buy and rate to boost search rankings
  • And other vendors use alts to buy stuff and leave 1 star ratings – which may kill an items sales stone dead but will boost it in the rankings (an unintended consequence but it’s the only silver lining there is),
  • Don’t forget to game it by adding spammy keywords to your classified and parcel listings
  • You can game each item for search by adding spammy keywords to your object names and set them to show in search
  • You can get non registered bots *ahem* models and either keep them in your shop to show a green dot or twenty on the map and show a higher traffic rank if people use parcel search or pack them high up in the sky in a skybox (yes, people still do this, fuck knows why)
LL Marketing optional extrasLL Marketing optional extras
Variously priced ads but be warned, there’s a bug where if you do take out an ad it’s quite likely you won’t be able to stop it at the end of the period and they’ll keep taking money from you until hell freezes over or LL goes bust.You can buy your way up the classified search returns by increasing the price of your classified ad.However, LL has a policy of including non keyword high priced classified ads in returns as well and search is also broken so your ad may not be returned even if you pay the highest price for an ad with the keyword that is specifically searched for. (I can remember one classified where they were paying $100usd a week and it wasn’t returned for the main keyword yet a host of irrelevant high priced ads for other things were, that’s LL for you)
Set upSet up
  • Create the storefront on the website,
  • They will provide the template for the listing and automatically include it in search (well, it may or may not, depends on how broken it is at the time) and you can upload 8 images and a url to a picture free for each listing.
  • All you need to do is make sure you’ve gamed it. Sales and ratings (no matter how poor) will ensure you rank higher.
  • You’ll need to find the land, the building and the vendors you want to use (all an added expense).
  • You’ll need to then set it up, including loading vendors, uploading images @ 10L a time (and you can usually only have one image per listing per vendor), add parcel restrictions and get yourself a stream,
  • Then list the land in classifieds and parcel search,
  • Keep an eye out for griefers,
  • Keep an eye out for prim drift,
  • Check your stores after each rolling restart for access, items missing and items not working (both vendors and any items you have inworld).

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