Lets get the who, what, when, where and why out of the way first.
Who am I?
I am a resident, shopper, and merchant of Secondlife. If you don't know what secondlife is, check out www.secondlife.com and tell them Myst Panther sent ya. If you do know about secondlife, here's some info about me.
I've been on Secondlife for a little over a year now. I own a small shop and mall, but I am friends with some people who own larger businesses and we colaborate from time to time. As a mall owner, I am also a land owner. I am a shopper who loves to explore the creativity of others. Like any good shopper, I love a good deal. Its taken me a fair amount of time to determine what a good deal is, and each market has its own sort of ebb and flow.
What is this?
This is a blog that will discuss a number of topics relating to business in secondlife, from shopping to selling, covering both perspectives from the buyer and the seller. I'm interested in informing people of both the good, and the bad of doing business in SL and the realities of business in this virtual world. The title of this journal is Latin, meaning " Let the buyer beware". Particularly in instances where there is a limited control or limited to no warrenties on the purchase. This describes the 'market' of secondlife very accurately.
When will I be posting?
Whenever I get the chance and have something reasonably intelligent to say. Also, I hope that people will eventually help me out by writing me with their experiences (good and bad), scam alerts, tips, tricks, experiences, etc.
Here of course. I'm not sure If I will post this anywhere else, but hopefully I'll be able to condense this information into some kind of handout for noobs.
Why are you doing this?
The main reason? There seems to be a need for a calm, impartial voice that can explain simply and easily, without bias some of the issues surrounding buying and selling in secondlife. I also think that through some of my real world experiences in the world of retail, customer service, marketing, branding, copyright, etc, that I can provide insights that others who haven't had my experience may lack. There is also a rising threat of scams, ripoff artists, copycats, and other unpleasentness that is difficult to find information on and get information on. Hopefully I can collect this information in one, easy to read place. That way, both merchants and buyers can check out this blog to check for information on new scams and prevent these people from taking away their hard work and rightful sales. Secondlife is a virtual wildwest in terms of business, and we, as business owners cannot take it for granted that Linden Labs is going to babysit us. We are (supposed to be) all adults here. We need to act like adults. The first step to that is to stand up and take responsibility for the community, both the merchants and shoppers.
What do I hope to accomplish?
Mostly, raising awareness and brining merchants and shoppers together on the same page. I've seen the aspects of both big and small businesses, new and older businesses, and the frusteration of when the two sides are clashing because neither really knows what to expect from the other. SL creates a unique sort of experience in which we can pretend to be that which we are not IRL, and perhaps wouldn't do IRL as a living. Merchants who create in SL, many do not have years in customer services, know how to make retail policy or have any business management or business communications training. Yet the consumer, who's expectations in the game are built on what they have known IRL in terms of customer service, still assume individual merchants are going to behave like Walmart. This is not the case. Also I hope this will serve as a resource for merchants and consumers alike to keep abreast of the latest and most common scams, so that both can protect themselves from being ripped off.
In the world of Secondlife, Caveat Emptor should be your shopping motto. Everyone is out to get your L$.
Let's talk about it.