Second Life Shoppers – Be Smart, Get Slapt

by Alphaville Herald on 13/08/09 at 7:56 am

Resident-run alternative to Linden game god’s Xstreet shopping site

by Coke Supply WhenLinden Lab purchased the Xstreet shopping site in January, there wasconcern that the management of the site would be less than stellar. A group of entrepreneurs composed of long time Second Life residents- Lord Sullivan, Kosta Cela, Bykoff Sontse and Constanza Amsterdam -decided to capitalize on the the community's concerns and launched – an independent shopping site to give residents a viable alternative toXstreet. is a new web based marketplace in much the same veinas Xstreet, but with one important difference – the staff listens toits customer base.

I first heard about the website on the Xstreet forums, where it seemed to be discussed in remarkably favourable light compared to similar discussions about the Xstreet marketplace. Intrigued, I decided to take a closer look.

Upon arriving at the headquarters in a region named The Churchyard, I met with Constanza Amsterdam for an interview. The office was a respectable yet mildly humble affair, giving it an aura of both professionalism and approachability.

CS: Well first off, the most prominent question I have is, whatinitially prompted you and your team to create an alternative merchantsite? Did you decide that xstreet lacked any particular features or hadany problems?
CA: We have walked around with this idea for awhileand now after Xstreet was bought by LL (and) we thought this would bethe best time to create an independent site, as Xstreet was.

CS:Yes, but what was your initial motivation, besides making money ofcourse? Did you perceive any particular need for another merchant site,and if so, what was the reason?
CA: With Onrez and Xstreet beingbought by LL, there was no independent website anymore, and peoplewithin Second Life want independence in general. Money was not the mainreason, independence was.

CS: Ah I see. So tell me about the team behind, their background and experience, and how the team came together.

CA: We have a team of 4 people owning Kosta Cela does the LSL, Bykoff Sontse does the PHP of the website, Lord Sullivan does the marketing and I do the HTML and CSS on the website. So, I do the design :)

CS: Is this the first time that you and/or the other team members have done anything like this for the SL community?
CA: Yes


CS: What features will you be able to offer the community as of this moment, and what is being planned for the future?
CA: Xstreet and are 2 different entities, but we have tried to simplify the listing procedures whilst keeping it as similar to Xstreet as we can, so that people are not faced with learning a new system to sell their goods. At this moment, we have the market website, the forum and the wiki with all the information about the Adult Content Changes. Also, we have this sim, where people can have their shops and store their slaptboxes (for people who don't have a spot for that). We have many plans for the future, but we aren't telling everything – We don't release details before (new features are) up and running.

CS: So, would residents be allowed to keep their slaptboxes here for free, or do you charge for that?
CA: Yes, their one slaptbox storage is free. However, if they would like to place more, we charge an additional 3L per box per week.

CS: That's incredibly competitive, I would assume?
CA: We hope so :)

CS: I understand that copyright infringement and intellectual property theft is a rapidly growing problem in SL – I hear that will be taking a slightly more active approach to this problem than XStreet – could you elaborate?
CA: We will be acting rapidly on all DMCA notices, leaning more in favor of the honest merchants when we receive reports.

CS: What would the repercussions be for the offending merchant?
CA: They will be removed from our system.

CS: I think that aspect alone may make more successful than Xsteet. Do you also allow the merchants to have "featured item status" for their content, as Xstreet does? And if so, will the pricing be more competitive? And what other enhancements are available?
CA: Yes, we have featured item status available, just as Xstreet has… and we have kept our prices low. We also have an easy to use split profit enhancement which works on percentage instead of prices. So, when Merchants change their prices they don't have to change the split percentage for their partners. The same thing goes with their SLURL's and website URL's. Everyone has their own URL with shop and avatar details as their listed products.

Slapt 11

CS: So how long has the site been available for residents to use, and has the sign-up rate met or exceeded your forecasts and/or expectations?
CA: went live in April of this year, and we are growing rapidly. The sign-up rate has exceeded our expectations.

CS: Do you expect that will one day exceed the volume of content and merchants that Xstreet has now, based on what you have seen so far?
CA: We would like to think so.

CS: Me too. So, tell me a little more about how the unique merchant URL works – will they have the opportunity to own their own customised merchant site, selling their own unique brand(s)?
CA: The unique Merchant URL's is at this moment not customizable for Merchants. However, it lists all their own items so customers can see everything on one page. Merchants also get a Merchant sign which redirects to their personal URL. For example, two of the owners of (Kosta and myself) are Merchants ourselves:
All the merchant's own products are linked to their page, so if they change the SLURL, for example, all the SLURL's under their products are changed automatically. The same goes for the shop website.

CS: Thats very convenient – I like the attention to detail shown so far. So, we will expect to see ATMs inworld around the grid, or only in one location?
CA: Yes, so far we have just under 60 inworld ATM's, on PG, Mature and Adult regions. All of the ATM's are also displayed on the website under:

CS: I hear that your team pays a lot of a lot of attention to your customers' input?
CA: Yes, we do. It is them that are helping to shape the site. We are focusing on our customers' needs, rather than on our own needs. is written from the ground up, (which) means that we can implement anything we or our customers want to see on the website fairly quickly.

CS: Do you think that is why other merchant sites such as have failed to take off as successfully as
CA: Apez and other sites are going in different directions to us.

CS: Yes, but Apez has been around for a long time now – what would you most likely contribute's growing success to?
CA: The fact that we are independent and similar to Xstreet.

Slapt 7

a variety of products are available

CS: Well, I think it's safe to assume that the growth of proves that sentiment. I can see that two of the categories on the site are "Xcite" and "SexGen" – will you be allowing other merchants to list their brands in the category list too? And are you worried that listing Xcite and SexGen in the category list might incite accusations of favouritism from the community?
CA: Xcite and SexGen have their own category as both make it possible to make add-ons, like for example Tokon Compatible Collars etc. However, we will be creating an Individual Store section where Merchants will be able to have their own store front. However, this will be limited to about 180 Merchants and is not ready to be brought online yet.

CS: So, if other merchants create a brand that enables others to create add-ons, we would expect to see those brands listed there too?
CA: Yes.

CS: How favourable has the feedback been from your customer base, to date? I have seen a great deal of negative comments levelled at Xstreet, even in their own forums – How has the feedback been for
CA: Excellent, as you can see on our forums, which can be read by anybody:

CS: So what are the merchants so happy about? What gives them the biggest smile, as it were?
CA: The fact that we are independent from Linden Lab, our easy-to-use, familiar interface, and of course our willingness to listen to the needs of our customers.

CS: So, your customers are happy, your growth is exceeding your expectations and you are willing and able to respond to the feedback from your customer base… sounds like a very desirable place for merchants to be. But do you think that you can keep up with the growing popularity of the site?
CA: Yes, without a doubt.

Slapt 4

VGS ether – how have you lived without it?

CS:  Do you believe or hope that maybe one day would be the primary commerce site for SL residents?
CA: That is what we are ultimately are aiming for, but we will have to wait and see. It is up to the Merchants and Customers as to the success and growth of the site, as without the Merchants and Customers we are just disk space on a server rack.

Creating my account

At this point in our interview, I asked Constanza to show me one of the ATMs. I wanted to set up an account, and set one of my creations for sale on their site so that I could accurately report on the process and the system's general ease of use.

Clicking the ATM gave me a notecard that gave detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for setting up my new account. The URL in the notecard took me to the registration page, and I had myself registered in just a few short minutes. Next, I was instructed to paste the code received via email into public chat while standing near one of the inworld ATMs (the notecard gave a URL to the page that listed the inworld locations of the ATMs, but luckily I was already standing right next to one!). Having done that, I was informed that my account was set up and ready to use. I promptly paid the vendor L$1000, and was immediately informed that my account was credited. So far so good!

Having L$1000 in my account, I decided to purchase one of the items already placed by another merchant. I chose the “Blush 69 The Naughty Beack Strip Bikini Pink” bikini set, and it was delivered in what I believe was less than two seconds.


you'll need this after the ether

CS: Cool :) Everything went without a hitch, it was all very easy to use, and the payments and delivery of the item went smoothly and promptly :)
CA: :)

CS: I'm definitely going to be using this site in future lol
CA: Thank you :)

CS: I wanted to wait until this interview before I made an account etc – I didn't want to be biased before we started lol
CA: haha i understand :)

Setting up my ATM

CS: How easy would it be to get one of these ATMs onto my land?
CA: Very easy. Just place a request on the forum and we will place the terminal within 24 hours:

CS: If I were to order a terminal, would you be kind enough to meet up with me when the time comes so that i can ensure that the terminal is placed exactly where I would like it?
CA: There is a dummy terminal available on which you can place yourself, to make this easy :)

CS: Excellent – you guys seem to be thinking of everything :)
CA: Not only us, our Merchants and Customers too :)

Following the link I was given, I was taken to a page on the website that held the dummy ATM and allowed me to purchase it for free with just one click.

slaptBox v1.2 owned by Sleven Hathaway gave you 'Slapt Terminal Placement Dummy'  ( ).
CS: I have the dummy ATM in my inventory already – wow that was easy lol
CA: :)

CS: I will place it on my land and put my request in the forum as soon as I get the chance :)
CA: Thank you :) The Dummy Terminal has been made by one of the Merchants to make our work easy and also for the people that request a Terminal. As soon as the dummy terminal has been placed, I will react to the request on the forum to replace the dummy with a real terminal, and once that's done, the resident receives a confirmation email :)

Becoming a merchant

My next step was to log into the website, and then place one of my creations online in the marketplace.

CS: OK – Could I have a box, to put an item onto the website?
CA: Yes :) After you have logged in you will see the "getting started" link in the top-right corner of the website. From there, you can get your slaptbox.

Following Constanza's instructions, I went back to the website and clicked the link. From there, receiving the slaptbox was as simple as clicking one button on the website, whereupon I was sent my product box containing the slaptbox. I then asked Constanza to take me to the slaptbox storage area, where I would need to place my slaptbox on one of the racks.

Slpt 3

male chastity belts available at

CS: And I can place the box here for free??
CA: Yes you can :) You need a group invite though. I will tp you to the slaptbox room :)
CS: ok :)

CA: This is the club on the slapt sim. Over here is the teleporter to the slaptbox storage area. You will need to wear this tag to have access.
CA: Just pick a shelf :)

Once the product box was rezzed, all I had to do was click on it and I received a folder containing the actual slaptbox required to sell my inventory on the website (the product box conveniently deleted itself automatically once the folder was received, which I thought was a nice touch!).  After dropping my product into the box with its corresponding vendor graphic, I reset the scripts in the box and returned to the website, clicking a link that brought me to the edit page for my very first marketplace item! I selected my product (“Coke's Cool Shades”) from the drop-down listbox, set the price, uploaded one display image that the site that other users would view, wrote a short description for the item, and I was done.

CS: woot!

CS: Is there anything else you would like to add, that we didn't cover?
CA: I think we covered it all :)   I would just like to add our slogan: Be Smart, Get Slapt! hehe

I returned to my sim and placed the dummy ATM on my land, and then went to the website and posted a request in the forum for the ATM to be placed. Literally within 2 minutes, an avatar by the name of Slapt Core turned up and placed the new ATM at the location specified by the dummy ATM.

SC: I'm the terminal guy
CS: I once knew a terminal guy – he died lol
CS: I'm sure you heard that one already lol
SC: haha

Throughout the process of setting up my account, registering my fist item, and placing my ATM, I encountered no difficulties at all, and barely had to glance at the instruction notecards. Of course, being an Xstreet user made this easy, due to the similarity of the two systems, but using the system seemed to be a slightly simpler and more streamlined experience.

It's not just the ease of use that impresses – is also priced very competitively, as the following pricing data shows (current Xstreet pricing is shown in brackets);

Homepage Featured Item Listing -                 (L$2899)  L$499 per 30 days
Homepage Featured Item Listing (7 days) -   (L$899)    L$139 per 7 days
Highlighted Item Listing -                              (L$299)    L$69 per 30 days
Bordered Item Listing -                                  (L$299)    L$69 per 30 days
Bold Item Listing -                                         (L$99)      L$24 per 30 days

Visiting the forums was a pleasant experience too, confirming Constanza's comments about the remarkably positive feedback shown by the community. The forum is a very relaxed, friendly and fun place, and it seems that the team behind show no apprehension at all in communicating with their customer base.

The site also contains a link to the Slapt wiki, which seems to be focussed heavily on the new adult content changes. Here is an excerpt from the wiki's main page:

This Wiki has been started to provide information about, and archive the discussion about the changes to Adult Content in Second Life® (SL). It has been started because of past historical inaccuracies and posts no longer being able to be viewed and we hope that you will participate to document these changes here. This website is outside of Linden Lab® (LL) servers and we will not censor your views. All we ask is that you stick to the facts as have already been documented and help build this wiki into a reliable archive of information. Please sign up for a FREE account at the top of the page and we hope that you will enjoy contributing to the pages here at I am working hard at getting the wiki on the search engines as an Independent reference source for SL and widely referenced across the internet as it grows. Feel free to add any pertinent information to the pages. It's your wiki, I have just facilitated it on our own servers here in Amsterdam. I must add a warning though that wiki's can become addictive ;) appears to show all the signs of developing into the number one place for Second Life residents to visit for their online shopping needs, and appears to be going from strength to strength. I felt that the overall experience of using this exciting new service was very pleasant, and that I am in very safe hands with Constanza's team. I recommend this site to any aspiring merchant in Second Life, and will be watching the future of with great interest.

16 Responses to “Second Life Shoppers – Be Smart, Get Slapt”

  1. Just Avatar

    Aug 13th, 2009

    there are so many new marketplaces these days, apez, slapt, meta-life, metaverseexchange, …. And under the hood they are all similar, so what should I use?

  2. Orion Shamroy

    Aug 13th, 2009

    Gee, ya think these guys would throw me off their site for using “ass” in my item descriptions?

  3. Stroker Serpentine

    Aug 13th, 2009

    I’ve known Lord and Constanza for quite some time. I know they are passionate about having an independent market that doesn’t discourage adult content. Look for them to surpass Xstreet readily and heartily. I wish them the best of luck and good fortune. Markets SHOULD be representative of the Content Creators..not the other way around.

  4. Coke

    Aug 13th, 2009

    @ Just Avatar:

    Use! I got slapt and I loved it :D

  5. LOL

    Aug 13th, 2009

    I give it 3 months before Linden lab either shuts down the site for some BULL SHIT reason, or Buys out SLAPT.ME and shuts it down Just like ONREZ.

    Hurry Up Linden Lab, your Virtual monopoly is in danger! OMFG, a NEW SL related website\forum that earns $ and is not moderated by an avatar named Slapt Linden. Better hurry up and shut it down before residents of SL realize they have a new place to earn $L and speak thier minds in forums w\out fear of being banned or suspended.

  6. LOL P.S.

    Aug 13th, 2009

    I seriously hope does not use the SL E-mail server for it’s service, I can totally see Linden Lab for what ever reason, be it intentional or sheer incompitence, exploiting thier e-mail server to have a negative impact on SLAPT.ME

  7. Lord Sullivan

    Aug 13th, 2009

    @ LOL No we do not use the LL email service as we wanted a better communications model ;) All joking apart we will run correctly with the merchants and customers at the forefront guiding us as we grow and also we will not give LL the pleasure of working with our company lawyers ;)

    We are not a fly by night set up and intend to be here for the long run as an independent market place not under LL control, even Blondin Linden commented on the wiki and said what an excellent resource it is :) we are a fully registered Dutch company and run our operations from an excellent data center here in Amsterdam.

    We will not sell out to LL as SL merchants need a market place such as ours, as a place they can help shape and be proud of and we will always listen to the merchants and customers because without them is just a bunch of code on some expensive servers :)

  8. Coke

    Aug 13th, 2009

    @ Stroker:

    Well said Stroker! I haven’t known Constanza for very long but she seems wonderfully capable and willing to listen to the needs of her customers, as I am sure the rest of the team is too, and I also believe that this site will one day outperform XStreet. Let’s hope the SL community will all pull together and help make this happen :D

  9. Scylla Rhiadra

    Aug 14th, 2009

    It would have been nice had Coke sought or provided information on one missing element of this story that seems particularly interesting, and potentially contentious: in what sense does Market Place, in the words of Stroker, above, not “discourage adult content”? IF this is indeed true — and given the nature of the Wiki’s focus upon Adult Content, I very much suspect that it is — I would love to hear some elaboration from Lord, Kosta, Bykoff, or Constanza. Is it intended, for instance, that the Market Place provide an easy way to get around the age verification process? Will it provide a forum for the sale of materials currently prohibited in SL (as for instance sexualized ageplay content)? How exactly WILL the approach here differ, in practical terms, from that of Xstreet? Or has Stroker misspoke here?

    Some detail from one of the group’s founders on this would be greatly appreciated.

    I also would like to say a word or two in praise of, and in particular, of Lord Sullivan. I am far from being entirely in sympathy with much of what is endeavouring to support — namely the violent pornography and content that falls within its mandate — but I have to commend for its principles of openness and accessibility, as well as for its responsiveness. When I discovered, some weeks ago, that the position of the SL Left Unity Feminist Network on the new Adult content regulations had been mischaracterized in the Wiki, I mentioned this to Lord via the SL Residents Answers forum. He immediately removed the misrepresentation and went so far as to note that there was available space on the Wiki for other groups, not excluding a feminist group that was likely to be opposed to at least some of the content endorsed or supported by

    I was impressed. This kind of openness will undoubtedly serve the Market Place well; more importantly, from my perspective, it speaks well to’s sensitivity to the issue of “community” and democracy overall.

  10. Rawst Berry

    Aug 14th, 2009

    As much as I hate the way LL runs just about everything, Xstreet SL has the advantage of already being well-known as well as heavily advertised by LL.

    That said, I’ll probably be making an account on Slapt just because more exposure can never hurt, but I honestly don’t see how any independent shopping site could rival Xstreet. The only advantage you really have is less censorship on adult items, which is important, but the majority of the SL population doesn’t really care.

  11. Lord Sullivan

    Aug 15th, 2009

    @ Scylla: To answer your question about not discouraging adult content. Firstly let me say this about the sexualised age play aspects. We clearly state in our TOS here:

    “6.a:The following is a definition of what is NOT covered under these guidelines, and that which is not allowed to be uploaded or posted on this website under any circumstances:

    * Explicit sexual material depicting minors (person(s) under the legal age, mental, or physical capacity to give consent)”

    We WILL NOT tolerate this material on our site whatsoever and in any form as it could potentially open a can of worms for our company, even though we are based in Holland. Sexualised ageplay is NOT and WILL NOT ever be allowed on

    Adult content however is allowed, if it is legal and allowed in SL then we will not censor it on We will welcome anybody to the site as long as the few rules that we have are followed, but is NOT all about adult content and adult content merchants as you can see from the many things that are going onto the site now from various merchants. We are like Xstreet was before LL started to slap all the adult content rules on it. Its been said that it is paypals fault for the adult section on Xstreet, however after running a successful RL online adult product shop before we sold it on, we used paypal for most of our transactions for RL dildos, vibrators, etc. etc. and only once did paypal ask us to remove a product from sale via paypal and that was a vacumn bed of all things lol so paypal are not so anti adult content as I can attest ;)

    As far as the age verification process, what we have on our wiki is what has been known since the open BETA started with the age verification system and was blogged about extensively then. In fact I even asked Cyn Linden at a Brown Bag meeting I was at, what LL intended to do about the fact it was so flakey, and she replied that LL cannot do anything about it. We had hoped that by using the wiki and making an open mockery about the verification system LL would rethink it, but we should have known that they wouldn’t attempt to fix it :)

    We also state in our TOS that:

    “2.a: Eligibility to hold an account with

    This Agreement must be completed, understood and agreed to by an adult of at least 18 years of age who holds the Second Life avatar Account the account is being created for. By accepting this agreement you represent that you are an adult 18 years of age or older and hold the relevant Second Life account.”

    and also before going anywhere on the site from the main page we warn:

    “18+ Warning

    This web site contains mature content designed for and by adults. There are discussions and images which should not be viewed by those who are not considered adults in their particular geopolitical reality. If you are under the age of maturity, dislike or do not enjoy images, products or topics having to do with 18+ matters or are incapable of separating artistic fantasy from reality, Please leave this site.”

    Only SL avatars can sign up and use due to our sign up proceedure, where they have to validate their account against an in-world terminal before they can sign in and use the site. The same in fact as Xstreet. We cannot do anything more than this I am afraid, however if LL change the rules then we will adapt accordingly, but we will not censor people as censorship is a bad way to go IMHO :)

    We are not here to buck the rules aginst LL, we feel that we can offer merchants an open and honest environment to sell their products as Xstreet once offered. We are also not a hobby outfit, we are a legally registered company here in Holland and subject to the same legal rules as any other company here in this great country and we own our own dedicated servers here as well. Holland is just a bit more relaxed about things than some other countries ;) We will also ensure that as LL changes the rules, we will adpat within the definitions of their rules whilst staying totally independent. We will not take sides either on matters as I have said, if its legal in SL then its legal on ;)

    Thanks for the kind comments on our openness but this is how we set ourselves up. We believe that all parties and groups that are legal in SL have a place on, it is not my position to judge anyone, even if at times our opinions differ and we hope that with this openness people will join us and be able to have a voice once again and discuss what is important to them within SL without being censored. So I look forward to seeing you on our forums as well for some interesting debates ;)


  12. Lord Sullivan

    Aug 15th, 2009

    @ Rawst

    I agree with you that LL heavily advertise Xstreet, however we are not Xstreet we are and over time I am sure people will come to us as well as they get fed up with the restrictive practises that LL seem to be applying in many areas. Also Xstreet has been around for a long time and is well established even before LL brought them out. So here at we have a lot to prove to you merchants and customers, so that we can earn your trust and respect, but that does not come overnight ;)

    As you rightly say it never hurts to have another outlet for your products as a merchant. Believe me when I tell you that we are working very hard at ensuring that is being marketed hard and aggresively in the market place. Our growth rate is getting better steadily we are seeing a 50% growth rate each month in users on the site, we have a sign up rate of an average of 20 people a day and that has climbed since last month as it was an average of 10 a day. Our merchants are starting to report sales of their items as well.

    Its not going to be massive sales each and every day at present we are not so silly to think that :) However we are seeing growth in all areas and as long as that continues then I know I am doing something right ;) will only become a success via its merchants and customers, as you guys and girls are and always will be the life blood of the site as I have said and always will say that if it was not for the merchants and customers then is just a bunch of code on some expensive servers that I own lol. That is why we are listening to everything that you tell us good or bad, we will discuss it in the forums and work with you all to facilitate any changes we need to make to make even better. We will always be open and honest with, we have nothing to hide from anyone, Honesty is our policy here at, if its on the table then if we are doing it wrong we can correct it and if we doing right then we can make it even better ;)

    We have just started our 3rd month with being open as a market place and if things continue growing as they are in all areas, then I truely believe has a rosey future, as long as we continue doing what we are doing and working with you all, to develop a site that you as merchants and customers can be proud to be a part of :)

  13. janeforyou Barbara

    Aug 15th, 2009

    Its cheper then SLX, its not well known yet, but thats all bout “getting the word out”
    i just wish i was able to logg inn? The logging dont work for me for some reason?

  14. Lord Sullivan

    Aug 15th, 2009

    @ Janeforyou

    I have sent you an IM in world :)

  15. Scylla Rhiadra

    Aug 16th, 2009

    Many thanks, Lord, for the VERY comprehensive and informative response, which very nicely exemplifies my comments about’s openness and responsiveness. It’s too bad that the Zindra Alliance has apparently distanced itself from your approach. Public debate and accountability are always a good thing; I find it ironic that a private company should prove to be more aware of this than a supposedly public “community” group. I think we may find that continues to serve as an open forum for the sorts of discussion that the Alliance would prefer not to engage in.

    Your point that is about much more than adult content is well-taken; clearly, however, the adult materials are going to be an important, and potentially contentious part of what you carry. I am greatly reassured by your suggestion that the Market Place will not tolerate items designed for sexualized age play, and that it will abide by LL’s own determinations about what is or is not prohibited in Second Life.

    And I look forward to some of those forum debates. ;-)

  16. Pussycat Catnap

    Aug 17th, 2009

    Well, after reading this blog I got a slapt-me box last night and put it under the floor of my ‘under construction’ shop right next to the xstreet, Apex, and meta-life ones… ( :D ).

    Not that there’s much of anything in there just yet, but hopefully my ‘freebie’ will do as well through as it has been doing through xstreet. Which reminds me that I need to finish putting together 2 more freebies I’d been planning… :D

    It is frustrating that at present there are still many things I do not see on, but I do plan to start using it as a starting point for searching just to give it some support.

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