Monday, 24 February 2014

Why Kitely? - A Merchants Perspective

2013 was not a good year for merchants in Second Life. There were points this year where I could have sworn that Linden Labs were actively trying to drive people away. I wont go into the meat of the matter here, but my main peeve points last year were:

1. The New TOS - All your prims are belong to us!
2. The Digital Taxman - I live in Europe, why the heck should I give my details to the IRS?
3. Marketplace Madness - Listings disappearing and reappearing, merchants not getting the funds from sales, not being able to cancel featured items, or being billed for them each hour, every hour.

I have always had a foot out in the open metaverse, but more as a traveler and casual builder, for as much the reason that there was never a platform for merchants to sell their creations for opensim anyway. But it was about the time that all this was going on in SL, that I heard Kitely were launching their Hypergrid Marketplace.

I had been in Kitely previously, but drifted away from it as my store gained in popularity in SL. I decided to come back and list a few items and its been about 6 months now and to be honest, I only log into SL these days to answer customer queries and chat to the odd old friend.

Kitely ticks so many boxes with me that its going to be hard for me to explain why without coming off as some kind of gushy fan-boy.....but I will do my best.

Firstly, if your in it for the money at this will probably be disappointed. Hypergrid delivery has not been rolled out yet and sales are from within the Kitely community mostly. Don't get me wrong. Though I have done surprisingly well, the takings are still dwarfed by my SL sales. But in my opinion, if your looking at it this way then you are missing the best part.

You love to build right? I mean, I do, so I cant imagine your in the creation business if you hate the act of creation. In SL, I could at best afford a whole region IF I was prepared to fork over my entire takings back to the lab for the privilege, and occasionally take a hit in the pocket on a bad month.

In Kitely, my takings are lower but at the incredibly low price for a starter region I can easily cover my costs for a region for the next 8-9 months with just my takings in KC. Anything paid for in USD is money in the bank, and now I have no region in SL, that's money in the bank too.

The effect of this is that I no longer feel under "commercial pressure". What I mean by this is I don't feel the same compulsion to monetize my sim in the way I am forced in SL in order to pay the bills. In fact, I am starting a residential medieval sim and relegating my commercial store to a skybox. I feel free to create what I want rather than trying to find niches and "hot" ideas.

So I started trying to convince you by saying "don't come for the money" but lets review my position.

Before Kitely
  • 1 region in SL that is paid for just this month
  • Some burger money each month
After Kitely
  • 1 Region in Kitely that is paid for this year.
  • more burger money + all that wasted tier
Of course when I closed my store in SL, my sales dropped. But so did my expenses, which left me at a substantial net gain.

So forget it, come for the money! But come for the freedom too.

Welcome to the World's End Virtual Store blog!

Hello and Welcome to the official World's End Landscaping and Roleplay blog. Here you will find all my new releases, thoughts and the occasional wall-of-text rant.

World's End is currently operating in both Second Life and Kitely. Due to the many recent changes I have scaled back operations in SL to a minimum and currently I am focusing on completing Kitelys first medieval themed residential sim. But more on that some other time.....I have been told I need to give you reasons to come back ;)

For those unfamiliar with my store, I already have a wide selection of landscaping items, modular kits and various other items already available at the Second Life Marketplace and the Kitely Hypergrid Marketplace.

Second Life Store

Kitely Store

I will be blogging regularly as my project expands and/or I release new items. Here is a small selection of whats on offer right now!