Thoughts on business in SL

Although this is primarily a fashion blog, from time to time I will write things that have been bouncing around in my head, and this post being one of them.

I’ve been thinking of all the sales in SL that happen (which I also participate in). While a small part behind these sales is to offer something of quality at a discounted rate to shoppers, by and large the reason that there are sales is to make money. *gasps* Sound cold-hearted don’t I?

Regardless if you are selling items to pay tier, cover upload costs, shopping habit, or even to support your life in the real world; you are a business. Even if you create -just- for the joy of creating, your items that have a price tag on it, unless you are giving things away for free. My question is this: Why is that so bad? Why are SL content creators crucified for trying to run a business for whatever purpose?

Think about this for a moment. You get flyers in the mail for sales happening at your local shops, you proceed to buy that item because for whatever reason you want/need it, and you’ve saved yourself some money in the process. Why do people attack shops in SL that participate in sales for trying to be successful? There’s no difference between a RL company trying to bring sales in through different promotions than an SL one doing the same thing. Yet somehow SL content creators are held to a different standard and this is something I don’t get.

Clothing creators try to foresee trends happening in order to provide something that the public would like. Skin designers see a trend for teeth and cleavage, and try to accommodate that. This is what any business will do in either world in order to stay relevant and successful.

I’m not trying to state that we don’t enjoy creating and not care about our customers, or that we are all just soulless money grubbing bastards. However, just like any other business, money does play a huge part in what we do. So my question remains: Why is that so bad?

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on business in SL

  1. I admit I haven’t seen a lot of this kind of attitude in SL, my business is rather small.
    One possible explanation could be that maybe many SL consumers don’t value virtual items very much, and have a hard time paying as much as we might ask for them. SL is a micro economy. Relatively, things cost so little already. Perhaps many wonder why they should have to pay anything. A basic account is already free.
    My general feeling is that SL consumers who are not content creators, and who have never tried to make quality content, really don’t know how much work it is.

  2. I think what is happening is this , RL or offline , *choose your term* economy is not good. Jobs are lost daily and people are struggling financially. So for those who can afford to pay to play, free basic or not there are still real dollars invested here, tier, cable, pc , pc upgrades to even run the program, investments in your graphics program of choice to create what you do create for those that do etc. Is not cheap to be in SL by any means. So, Ive not looked lately but if you come in game you buy what in lindens for your shopping pleasure 235L per 1 USD?
    Only so much to go around. I personally give everything I create away for free to new citizens at NCI or as gifts to friends.
    The virtual streets are no more paved with gold the the RL ones.
    I do not begrudge anyone thier effort to make thier linden dollars but if oil companies can get gas prices down I’m thinking content creators could/should use that as an indicater, again not my business but I ask myself …if I were in SL business as a creator would I want to lower prices and make solid sales and try to cover my *cost*or leave them high and then struggle to cover my *in would* running costs from my *real world* finances.
    I think I’d be a make it here pay it here play it here and not take from my RL finances. Thats just me. I’ll spend my lindens on content I want , sale or no sale.

  3. I totally agree with both of you, it’s just I’ve heard so much criticism from the weekly day sales, and people berating the creators, which I don’t understand. I mean if your favorite shop was having a sale once a week, on different items I’d be sure happy.

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