20 November 2009

Changes to XLStreet

Ok ladies and gentlemen, I feel the need to post something that will effect me and my business in SL.

The following is a statement direct from Linden Labs.

"The Roadmap:
We will enact the following new controls for the Xstreet SL Marketplace within 90 days, with at least two weeks' notice, in order to improve the shopping experience:

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
Separate freebies into their own category:
  • There is already a freebie section on Xstreet SL. This section will become the place to browse for new freebies.
  • We will remove free listings from the browsable categories and keyword search results on Xstreet SL.
  • Expected Delivery: 60 - 90 days
  • We will provide at least 2 weeks notice before releasing any of these changes.
  • We expect to enact these controls within the time window 30 - 90 days following this roadmap announcement."
So in summary for those of you like me who shudder at the sight of a lot of words.

If you put a FREEBIE on XLStreet as a vendor LL is going to charge us 99L (per item), per month, as they class it as a promotional tool (ignoring the poor people who just make things to give away to people).
Linden Labs will also be taking 3L from us out of every sale as commission.
LL will charge us 10L PER ITEM, monthly, to even advertise it over 1L.

Now for a small busniess like me this is an impossibility. Now i would have to suddenly magic linden out of thin air to cover this additional costing. Thinking of all the new merchants wanting a start, they have zero chance unless they want to lump a hell of a lot of money into this. And in the worlds current financial climate I don't think anyone is willing to do that.

Personally, and this is just my own personal opinion, that LL is trying to make XStreet elitist. Only the finest of them all, who make enough money can now afford to keep going on XStreet without feeling the pinch. What happened to the freedom and creativity in SL that I loved when i joined. The fact I could make whatever I wanted and attempt to turn a small profit.

Now don't get me wrong, XLStreet is full of stuff, and some of it isnt always top notch, i'm no godess at making things, however surely I shouldn't be taxed for this. I know that XLstreet needs a clean up, making the shopping experience a bit more pleasant. However I feel that LL have done this completely the wrong way.

What about altering the filtering process. so that you can set it to not even show freebies and stuff below a certain pricing. Them looking over XLStreet more carefully, getting rid of mulitple copied items would be a good thing too.

What I would like to know is what gave LL the right to decide what is good and bad stuff to be on XLstreet. Who made them the lords over standards in creativity. One mans shit is another mans gold. Noobs rely on that site to get a handle on looking vaguely human at the start of there Second Life.

I know its another POLL but i really wanna see everyone elses view on this. So to the right -----------> Please let me know if you think this change is going to be a good or a bad thing.

I am off to sit and grump in a group i joined called "Former Xchange Shopkeepers". They are there trying to sort out a solution/alternative to this mess LL has decided to throw vendors in. If you want to join us in there please do.

Hear endeth the rant, the book of Mal, chapter 1 verse 3.

Mally xx