Oh Marketplace, why you gotta be like that.
It’s been weeks since Ive been able to release anything new at Damned Good Design(SL). The reason can be encapsulated in one word:
Over 80% of all DGD sales come from Xstreet. Consistently- and it’s been this way since I opened the store. Though I keep hearing a whole lot of complaining about the “loss of the inworld shopping experience” the truth is that for a whole lot of people, they’d rather shop Xstreet and then spend their time inworld doing something other than waiting on stuff to rez and fight through lag and teleport issues just to buy something.
LL decided to rip apart and reinvent the code base (AGAIN- remember they DID this less than two years ago). Whatever- fine. But they’ve rushed it so hard and so fast that instead of being ready to go live, it’s buggy as hell and should barely be in beta. I suppose if you only have a few listings, it’s not that horrible. You take an hour or two, check your stuff, and there you go. However I have 568 listings (I know Dare has more than that.), and so help me.. *every last one of them* seems to have migrated with some kind of error. The problem was that until October 6, I didn’t dare attempt to really fix them, for fear of breaking the Xstreet listings (which worked perfectly.) So I sent out a notice to my group/subscribo that I was putting new releases on hold until post October 6, at which time I could finally take a little time to go through all the new Marketplace listings and fix all the problems. I figured it would take me about a week. A week longer than it should, but ok fine, I accept the situation. So here it is, early Sunday morning (4am, by my RL clock) and Im up. I figure great, I’ll go try and start fixing this mess.
I got not *five minutes* into this process before I hit a wall.
See, one of the main features of the new Marketplace is that vendors have a “store” on the site. You get to put your logo in, and information about your store, and all that other chewy stuff you expect to find. For those unfamiliar with what this looks like, here it is:
But so help me, I swear that LL truly does not understand at ALL the very people they claim to actually be trying to support. When they decided to switch to this new codebase, it was in association with the announcement of new listing fees, and something they called “a roadmap for freebies.” The bottom line of all of this was an attempt to “clean up” marketplace listings by making it significantly less worth it (or in fact, not worth it at all) to put freebies and cheapies up on the marketplace. Cries went up about this, and about how it was favoring big merchants over small, etc. etc.
Dear Small Merchants: I promise, LL doesn’t give a fuck about larger ones either.
See, the problem up there? Is that there is *no way* that I can find on marketplace to have *more than one store*. If someone can show it to me? I’d be forever grateful. I’ve asked about this and the only answer I’ve gotten back is “use an alt account for each one.” Not only no, but HELL no. First of all, between myself and Dare (and once again folks I feel the need to reiterate the fact that we are in fact two *very* distinct and different human beings both IRL/SL and are damned well not alts of each other) we currently have six different stores all selling different things, in six different marketplace categories, and we have plans for a seventh by the beginning of 2011. Managing marketplace listings using seven different alt accounts means we need seven separate sets of magic boxes, each set owned by a different alt. Even if/when SLM goes boxless it means I need separate inventories. with an endless parade of alts logging in and out to take care of things. It’s a nightmare. Even right *now* it’s a nightmare and all I want to do it set stuff up for Damned Good Design and Virtual Alchemy (Dare actually does the listings from his end for UF, GNI, TF and DD)
Not only is it a nightmare on the administrative end, it’s simply *dishonest* as a merchant. You should know who you’re buying things from. Straight out. You should not have to hunt to find out (or better yet never know) that Jane Fizzywig is really Janet Farmer, who is also really Jeanette Fallowfield. What if you don’t LIKE Jane Fizzywig? Why would you want to buy things from Janet or Jeanette? It sure would be easy to be fooled into doing it, since basically the way the Marketplace is set up now, you have little choice but to create a situation that would cause *exactly* that.
I haven’t even gotten to fixing the LISTINGS yet, because I’m still stuck on trying to figure out what to do about the damned store. And people wonder why I keep screaming that this mess should never have been left out of ALPHA, never mind Beta.