Miss Ina Centaur makes some very good points here.
All right, so I'm sure everyone's heard by now that Linden Labs are dissatisfied with the level of profits they're getting currently (in that they're not WoW), so they're jacking the prices of things on XStreet.
While doing nothing to stem the rising tide of blatant copyright infringement and business-in-a-box sales.
So...you're irked with the Labs and you have stuph for sale...what do you do?
There's a limited list of alternatives. One is Slapt.me. Built by three residents and hailing out of the Netherlands, it uses an unfortunate orange color scheme and a rather slow server, all things considered. Setup is a bit tricky, but doable, and no more brain-croggling on listing items than XStreet.
They're discounting largely their advertising fees:
slapt.me does not charge merchants for standard item listings on the Marketplace website.
slapt.me charges Marketplace merchants a commission for each sale. Standard commission rates are as follows:
All Items: 5% of the sale amount
* Commissions are rounded to the nearest Linden Dollar using straight rounding (e.g. 1.5 is rounded to 1).
* Commissions are charged at the time of each sale.
Featured Item Listing
Homepage Featured Item Listing -
Homepage Featured Item Listing (7 days) -
Highlighted Item Listing -
Bordered Item Listing -
Bold Item Listing -
I'm trying it for a month to see, with one or two items. I'll tell you how it goes.
Down Sides: To date, there's no effective 'payout' for goods. They say they're working on it. I have doubt. But this is what their FAQ now says:
* How do I withdraw my L$ funds to real cash?
We are currently working towards introducing a method to withdraw your funds directly to RL. We will post more information when we have it and are able to share it with you. For now you can only withdraw L$'s back to your avatar via the inworld terminals. See below for more details.
So...find an inworld terminal--or host one in your store, if they say yes and send you one--and you're good for at least in-world things. This is not the worst concept. I will say that Slapt terminals are much more prevalent in world, now, and it's equally easy to withdraw funds from a Slapt terminal as it was from SLBoutique.
The other big down side: their formatting is crap. There's just no way around that. Their formatting of rigid box sizes and fields that can't be read if they go outside the boundaries of the box ensure that I'm pretty much making a blind stab at category for my outfits, and have no idea what my items are actually listed as. This is not good.
Metaversal Exchange is another virtual reseller to investigate. Many merchants are drifting over there for two reasons: first, it's a fairly easily understood format, easy to set up an account, easy to list items; and second, they claim their end goal is to serve all virtual good designers, in all worlds, so if Second Life ends up being inhospitable to non-business accounts, the assumption is that merchants can hop to another world and still list their items for sale.
Terminals are a little odd to get to, but they're growing; I have an account and I'll try to get set up as a merchant with a sales box tomorrow.
The SL Mentor Group is closing. I can't help but think that, barring the few genuinely helpful souls, this is a good thing; both because the Labs are becoming evil mercenary thugs, and also because the SL Mentors group was becoming full of tinpot dictators with delusions of grandeur...wait, why is Linden Labs closing the Mentor group again? Sounds like their mix of thuggish insanity would fit in fine with the M Linden Labs!
I'll keep you updated, either way.