One Man’s Story: The Second Life Economy

by Alphaville Herald on 28/10/10 at 11:31 am

Selling virtual drugs, guns, clothes, and wheels while camping for L$s

by Frankie Antonioni.

Since early 2008 I have been in business in Second Life, and by March of 2008 I had two stores running. In August of 2008, I had about 19,000 L$. Both of my stores sold drugs and other goods: clothes, cars, guns, motorcycles, and other items. In an average day I made a total of about 110 L$. I made about 60 L$ from camping, and the rest from my stores. Most of the people that came in, payed the random prize machines. They were from 10 L$, to 20 L$.

On some days I made more than 110 L$. If somebody bought a brick of weed for 220 L$, then I made 88 L$. Drugs were the number one thing that was sold. Clothes were the least likely to sell. Other things that sold well were the Carducci guns, cars, and motorcycles.

Camp chair slot machine — legal gambling

After I had gotten the cellphone vendor, I started making more money. Each cellphone cost 500 L$, and I made 200 L$ from each sale. Sales started going up. By December of 2008, I had about 35,000 L$. I had an idea for a new camping device. It would be a campchair, connected to a slot machine. While camping, you wouldn’t make any L$. Instead you would make credits, that could be used to play the slot machine. So you couldn’t use L$ to play the slot machine, but only credits, earned from camping. The credits that you won from playing the slot machine, you could cash out. So this would be a legal gaming machine.

I contacted a scripter, and told her about my idea. I had a budget set at 28,000 L$. After talking to her I found out that it would take more than 28,000 L$. This was in January. So I decided to wait a few months, and save up some more money.

Linden Lab bans camping for L$s

By May of 2009, I had about 42,000 L$ saved up. So I had plans to contact the scripter, that I had talked to in December, and January. But then came the news that LL, had banned camping, to increase traffic. So I had to think of something else.

Linden Lab’s new adult sim policy and BDSM clothes

After that, LL came out with their new adult policy. The person I paid rent to, told me I might want to rent some land in the new adult mainland. She said since my store old guns, it might go against the new Linden rules. Then I started getting emails from LL, about certain words I had in search. I thought it was the word drugs, or weed. So I changed the words to Spanish, and French. After I did that, I still got emails from LL, about the words I had listed in search. So I did a few searches, putting different words in each search.

I found out that it wasn’t the word drugs, or weed. But the word BDSM clothes. My clothes vendors sell all kinds of clothes. Some of these are Gorean, and other outfits. But by the time I had found that out, I had already opened a store in Yierburn sim.

Magic Bottle prize machine

I contacted the scripter, that I talked to about making the new camping idea I had. I asked her if she knew how to make a random prize machine. She said yes. So I had her make a prize machine that is called "Magic Bottle". When somebody pays 10 L$, they would get a prize, and the person that owned it, would make 5 L$. It would also send out a message saying "Your wish is my command, then the persons name". I paid 3,000 L$ to have the Magic Bottle made.

After about three months, I closed the new store in Yierburn.

Today’s Second Life business climate

Fast forward to today. lil Carducci is no longer in the people search. So, I no longer sell cars, or motorcycles. Others have also been affected, by the SL economy. Six months ago, Cocoanut Koala closed her prefab store. Since LL went into the housing business, fewer people bought from Cocoanut, and other creators.

Today, the total L$ I have is 15,620 L$. That is 26,000 L$ less, than I had in May of 2009.

One of the problems affecting the SL economy, is the new SL viewer. Not only is it hard to use, but also hard to find anything. You also can’t look at more than one profile. This includes personal, and group profiles. What LL should do about the viewer, is to let people choose which viewer they like, and let them use that viewer.

Will SL keep on going? Or will LL sell off SL to another company? As of yet, no one knows, except for those that work for LL.


50 Responses to “One Man’s Story: The Second Life Economy”

  1. Senban Babii

    Oct 28th, 2010

    So in essence, your business model failed to adapt well to changing markets and you failed to predict those changes and make plans accordingly.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh but the problem is not because the economy was changing but because you were seemingly lagging at the back end of the product curve and not looking ahead to catch the leading edge of the next product curve.

    The other problem of course is that Linden Lab markets (or at least marketed) Second Life as a platform where you can make easy money. The truth is that while money can be made, it’s not enough to simply log in and expect everything done for you. You need many of the same business skills as you would for a Meat Life business and probably quite a few unique to the context.

    As I only have about 100L$ myself (“Ex-Post 6 Grrrl, Has All Own Teeth, Will Work For Food”), your concerns about only having 15KL$ make me smile.

  2. JustMe

    Oct 28th, 2010

    “What LL should do about the viewer, is to let people choose which viewer they like, and let them use that viewer.”

    LL doesn’t require you to use their viewer. There are a lot of different viewers out there, each with its own set of features. The one I’m using was installed over a year and a half ago and it still is working fine. I don’t believe in upgrading unless it’s necessary.

    As far as doing business in SL, it’s getting tougher and tougher all the time. I have spreadsheets showing my monthly shop profits (animations and some clothing) and the downward sales trend continues, as it has for the past two years. I’m clearing about 1/4 of what I used to clear from the shops.

    DJ tips continue downward also. I keep a record of the number of people at my shows and the average tip. My average tip has dropped to about half of what it was two years ago. This is despite frequent compliments about how much people love the music I play.

    People just aren’t spending money in SL anymore, as far as I can see. The number of concurrent logins has dropped and stabilzed about about 3/4 of what it used to be. My guess is that new people aren’t signing up for SL and the concurrent login numbers are mostly us “old timers” who have been around for a few years.

    Have you noticed fewer noobs these days? I used to see one or two noobs a day. Now, I see about one a week.

  3. Persephone Bolero

    Oct 28th, 2010

    SL business has taken a dive. I used to pull in up to $30000 a month from my prefab business.

    Then, when Linden Homes opened, my sales dropped off the map. (The trend actually started right before that, but continued rapidly when LL offered free homes.) So, I opened a low-prim furniture line, but sales on that have been pretty meager. It’s to the point that my in-world store barely breaks even, and that’s only because I get low tier costs since I own the sim. I’ve cut prices in half and seen only a slight increase in sales.

    Last month, minus classifieds and tiers, I made about $2500L from the in-world store. So, recently, I used my credit card to buy $Ls for the first time in over two years. Needless to say, my generous tipping habits have been scaled down some, and I don’t shop nearly as much as I used to. Things are tough all over.

  4. Scylla Rhiadra

    Oct 28th, 2010

    It’s a sad, sad day when an honest drug and gun merchant can’t make a living in SL anymore, eh?

    Too bad the gambling thing didn’t work out, eh? But I hope the bondage and Gorean stuff is still pulling in a profit for you?

  5. Inniatzo

    Oct 28th, 2010

    well this is billed as ‘one man’s story.’ we all know the SL economy is in a dive, that’s not exactly news. personally i’d much rather hear about someone who actually created the items they sold and how they reacted to the changing environment.

  6. Winter Seale

    Oct 28th, 2010

    I’m gonna sound even harsher then some of the others but… you weren’t even a real participant in the SL economy. Your total numbers would make me cry if they were my -monthly- numbers, and imo, me and Summer are pretty small time really. Our hobby pays for itself, but it’s still just a hobby. If we were measuring our USD per hour, well, it’s well below minimum wage, it only makes sense because we enjoy it.

    I do know people who make real money working the way you do, that is, primarily through reselling rather then creating, but they do it on a vastly bigger scale then you are. And they have various specialized tools to try to deal with that volume, though even then it takes a lot of work on their part. I don’t find that fun, so it’s not something I’ve done.

    But I have no doubt that the number of regular SL users who would like to buy my products is VASTLY larger then the number of have ever even heard of them. If you’re willing to do the work to tap the actually HUGE population of SL, you can actually make real money here. But it’s a LOT of work. SL has no mass media, any one thing you do will only reach a fraction of a percent of residents.

  7. marilyn murphy

    Oct 28th, 2010

    wow. those numbers you talk about seem so small. on the other hand you didnt create anything you sold. this is not a bad thing, i dont knock that as much of the real economy is people selling things they did not make.
    my small business ventures were largely one item i created and then a service i provided. i was selling L$ every once in a while, cashing out for dollars now and then. i think you would have done much better if you had provided a service of your own or created something of your own.
    what winter seale says about the market and people being aware of your product is spot on.

  8. edna

    Oct 28th, 2010

    What exactly would one do with a brick of weed in SL? Selling weed is still illegal in the USA. Virtual or not, I hope the Herald have reported this admitted crime to real life authorities.

  9. Winter Seale

    Oct 28th, 2010

    @edna Exactly how is selling a computer representation of a drug illegal? I don’t think there was ever the suggestion that it represented something in real life. Remember that L$220 isn’t even USD$1.

    Weather it was simply a visual prop, or if it were scripted to do something or not, is hard to say. It’d be hard to justify even L$220 if it wasn’t scripted, given it’s rather limited utility and how easy it would be to make one, oneself, but I’ve seen less sold for more.

  10. Kinoko

    Oct 28th, 2010

    Well Camping isn’t really illegal. Using bots to Camp or traffic gamming is illegal. Generally if I had 25 friends on my land/sim, and they all went afk there for about 5-8 hours that is our decision, and my sim/land, and we can do such because they are being controlled by a human nothing wrong with it. I generally never use camping chairs, because they dont really help new people to SL.

    Also I don’t like viewer 2, Well I like it but I think they need to offer people the old interface like they are used to before people will use it, so in the U.S Box you can select old looks, and new looks etc.

    Yes the Economy is really screwed up, I think it has to do with the Copybotters, and the witch hunts on our grid. No new residents want to shop, Idon’t shop stores that use CDS even though I could with alt accounts, and all my friends which are over 100 people boycott their stores, so if you do the math the economics do get really bad. If only LL would take action against our privacy violaters Copybot or not going around our grid New people would begin shopping again.

    I also do agree that the Traffic Gamming was a bad thing and I am glad LL Dealt with it. Although I don’t mind gambling its peoples money, do as you please, if you want to do virtual child molestation on your own sim sandbox, break the TOS its simply Dont Ask, Dont Tell, and I dont care as long as you are both 18+ its fine LL has taken many rights from us and this sucks.

  11. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 28th, 2010

    @ edna

    I hate to feed the troll here but selling a virtual representation of a drug is not illegal in any U.S. state nor the United States as a whole. Otherwise we’d see virtual DEA agents running actual prosecutable drug busts in every single urban roleplay city known to man.

    That being said, I have very little remorse for Frankie. You’re whining that your reseller business tanked and your plan of making gambling games and pointless “magic bottle” prize giveaway machines was cut off by LL, so you… went… on a rant… about Viewer 2? How did you make this connection?

    In any case, I hope your business selling virtual drugs, shitty cellphones, and BDSM clothing works out, especially because you invested so much time and effort into rezzing all those reseller vendors.

  12. Scylla Rhiadra

    Oct 28th, 2010

    Oh dear, Kinoko? You’ve been deprived of your God-given right to jerk off while pretending to molest a child?

    The heart bleeds, it does, really . . .

  13. Persephone Bolero

    Oct 28th, 2010

    @Kinko LL hasn’t taken any rights away. It’s their grid and they can refuse to host whatever content they want. It would be denying them their rights to force them to host content and activities they decide to prohibit.

    Though, I do agree that fantasies shared between consenting adults are harmless, and there’s no evidence they *cause* anyone to harm anyone else that wouldn’t have otherwise done so.

    Still…ewe. I’m really not bothered LL did decide to eliminate sexual activity involving child avatars. Let someone else host that shit.

  14. General Drama

    Oct 28th, 2010

    five to one, Kinoko is a furry.

  15. General Drama

    Oct 28th, 2010

    A virtual brick of pot might be considered drug paraphernalia by your typical redneck country sheriff. But they’d probably be a lot more interested in prosecuting Kinoko’s paedo kink.

  16. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 28th, 2010

    @ General Drama

    So all furries are pedos? Er, “paedo”s?

  17. Gundel Gaukelei

    Oct 28th, 2010

    Reminds me of the event when some dedicated suit at NCI gave us the boot for smoking pixelpot in public. “Won’t somebody please think of the ageplayers!”

  18. CarloAntonio Negulesco

    Oct 28th, 2010

    Good question about will SL get sold off. A few weeks ago (maybe a month, I haven’t watched the time all that well) there was all the buzz about a rumor of a rumor from somebody’s second cousin’s third cousin’s brother’s sister’s boyfriend’s old schoolmate that Microsoft was making an offer to purchase LL.

    Now, just to tickle my conspiracy bone, I noticed about a week after that shocking (and surely true) rumor, that Ray Ozzie – chief architect for Microsoft – tenders his resignation. It is also rumored that Ozzie was a pretty heavy investor in LL.

    Then, about two days later, good ol’ Phil posts his notice about his stepping down from the CEO position, and how a search is on for a new CEO.

    I dunno, but the timeline of all this just BEGS for a new rumor to get started…doncha think?

  19. Frankie Antonioni

    Oct 28th, 2010

    @edna, the brick of weed can be broken down into baggies, and the baggies can be broken down into joints. You can smoke the joints, or you can resell them.

    @Kinoko, back in Feburary, the owner of Dryke Peak IV, had a CampMaster that paid 30/60. Thats 30 L$ an hour, and it maxed out at 90 L$. It also had an antibot at every 10 minutes.Every 10 minutes, it would show a nunber made up of dots.The list of numbers went from 0, to 11. So if te number shown was 5, then you clicked on number 5.

    I sent an article to the Herald last month, called “A Rebuttal to JS Uralia; Or how Linden Lab can Help Improve the Second Life
    Economy”.But Pixeleen had asked me to do a story about how the SL economy had affected me.

  20. Pappy Enoch

    Oct 28th, 2010

    @General Drama,

    The Enoch-Holler Sheriff (the latest one…they keeps gittin’ shot) grows the pot and goes after them young ‘uns sum’fin fierce.

    I done come to the fake world to git away from all that trouble. It are TAME in SL.

  21. sl designer

    Oct 28th, 2010

    I’ve been selling fashion items for a few years now in sl, and while I’ve read many stories such as the one above I’ve noticed very little change myself. For context, I make around thirty to forty dollars a month and that’s been remarkably consistent over the last couple of years.

    There have been a lot of grumblings about the new viewer, and I don’t use it myself. That’s not because it’s particularly heinous in any way though, it just doesn’t really do anything better than the old viewer. And for content creation it’s in some ways worse.

    There are a raft of smaller things they might have done to ease content creation. Creating multiple clothing layers at once from textures. Batch renaming of files. A mannequin to preview and sell clothes. It’s only been in the last month that we were able to batch edit on the web marketplace.

    Despite their efforts, which must have been considerable, the new viewer has really done little to nothing to help content creation.

    The problems are very similar in search. The new search ‘all’ feature isn’t broken because my particular store ranks higher or lower than I feel it should. It’s bad because it’s intolerably hard to find and preview things in the game. Before that was true of ‘places’ and now it’s true of search.

    The Linden Lab have mostly been doing things differently rather than better.

    Nothing crystallizes this point better than the image paramaters. Take a quick look at the wiki on image sizes…

    There are currently more than a DOZEN different image sizes, many of which have different and arbitrary ratios. Add to this the new web marketplace added their own new size (700×525) that’s not compatible with the grid image sizes. It’s asinine.

  22. had enough

    Oct 29th, 2010

    That whole baby furry, pedo bear furry stuff is weird to me.

    As for buying things in SL, why bother to waste money on something that you do not own anyhow? Every time you buy linden dollars, picture flushing money down the toilet. It is the same thing.

  23. Samantha

    Oct 29th, 2010

    I started SL with a 10,000L loan from a girl I met on youtube who brought me to Sl because she believed in my talent after seeing my deviant art work. ( had to pay her back time and a half in money but it’s been worth it.)
    Fact, in the first 8 months of starting I have made 2,2 million L. It can be done, because the niche markets are where its at. I had days that if I didn’t make 20,000 in sales I had complete fits.
    SL is still strong but everyone is waiting for mesh to happen and I think once that boat lands things will either implode or skyrocket and I think many are waiting to see which its going to be.

  24. James Larken Smith

    Oct 29th, 2010

    Like anything in the business world, the trick to stay in a market is to stay fresh, always work on innovation, and read-read-read. Rumors of the end of gambling in SL were there several months ahead of time. Signs were also there for the change in adult activities and age verification. My radio station increases in listener-ship because I look ahead. I have not sold my soul to SL. I appreciate it’s contribution, but it’s not my sole source of listeners and expansion….

  25. Dave Bell

    Oct 29th, 2010

    I wonder if Frankie is here because he is so like the Alphaville Herald staff.

    It’s beginning to look like the same pattern of failing to cope with changes in the market, anyway. What will the Herald report on now that Emerald is gone?

  26. Senban Babii

    Oct 29th, 2010

    @Had Enough

    “As for buying things in SL, why bother to waste money on something that you do not own anyhow? Every time you buy linden dollars, picture flushing money down the toilet. It is the same thing.”

    It’s about perceived added value. Yes, SL can be seen as a money drain but if spending that money adds value such as enjoyment then it’s not wasted, even if ultimately it is flushed down the toilet.

  27. Tux

    Oct 29th, 2010

    Chicken vindaloo is also ultimately flushed down the toilet. But I still enjoy it!

  28. Winter Seale

    Oct 29th, 2010

    @sl designer: That pretty much sums up how I feel too. And the aspect ratios are a pet peeve of mine too!

    CarloAntonio Negulesco: That might restore my faith in LL, so therefor it’s impossible. =p (I still think of him as the Notes creator, and the most successful commercializer of PLATO-inspired software.)

  29. Millennium Sands

    Oct 29th, 2010

    Quite a while ago I figured out that a premium member from germany who has to pay VAT needs to earn about 27 LD per day in order to get even with expenses.
    Well, if you ask me, you have to be an idiot if you can’t make that much with ease.

    As a matter of fact, I cashed out about 200 USD in slightly less than 4 years, starting from zero.
    My account holds currently about 200.000 LD and about 110 USD.

    All in all I only earned pocket money, but what the hell: It’s the first time ever I got payed for playing a game! :)

    I really don’t play for the money, but earning some cash is an additional kick to me and so far I can only say: The SL economy works well for me. :D

  30. Gundel Gaukelei

    Oct 30th, 2010

    @had enugh As for buying things in SL, why bother to waste money on something that you do not own anyhow? Every time you buy linden dollars, picture flushing money down the toilet. It is the same thing

    Because I enjoy flushing money down the toilet. What else to do with it? It’s not even tasty. I tried!

  31. Noor Loam

    Oct 30th, 2010

    So you camped all day and night to make some measly L’s? You must have had some high ass electricity bill each month.

  32. tankgirl

    Oct 31st, 2010

    My sales went from 50.000 ld to to almost 400.000 in the last 18 months. I hear creators complain all the time about sl economy and linden labs, but i think the reason for loss of income is more likely that there are so many more good creators in sl now.

  33. Frankie Antonioni

    Oct 31st, 2010

    @Noor Loam, not all day and night. When I went to bed,I turned my computer off. I did the same if I went some where.I went to the spots that paid higher. Most of these have anti bot. So you have to answer a question. If the pay out was every 15 minutes, then the anti bot question would be every 10 minutes.

  34. Joachim

    Nov 3rd, 2010

    I can only speak as someone who DJs and knows DJs, not as much as a content creator. People spend less money at clubs for one thing. Years ago a DJ could make 3000L easily in a shift, now I’ve seen good DJs get 20L for 2 hours work.

    People are walking around with little or no money in their pockets, picking up freebies and just checking out the sites. They go to clubs and hang out, and don’t tip, because they don’t have money and they aren’t going to get any. I think in the long run clubs are going to have a very hard time of it, they need to make sales from their vendors, and while they often don’t directly pay staff, people aren’t going to keep working for 10L an hour, not when they have streams to pay for.

  35. Ziggy21

    Nov 4th, 2010

    I don’t want to be too disrespectful but the author here just isn’t qualified to comment on the Second Life economy, the pocket money figures he is quoting are just too small to be used as any kind of economic measure.

    I joined in July 2007, I started creating pretty much straight away and was making my first sales by October, by spring 2008 I was able to cover my tier with SL earnings and by winter I had several weeks (I sell a lot of seasonal items) where my SL earnings were well in excess of my RL earnings , since then I have seen slow but steady increases in sales.

    So many residents are happy to make brash statements like “we all know the Second Life economy has tanked” , “people are leaving in droves” or just make up their own ‘facts’ like “The number of concurrent logins has dropped and stabilzed about about 3/4 of what it used to be”, (just not so, go check) and each person has some tale of woe to apparently back this idea up, we all know of a club that shut or a shop that vanished. What everyone seems to forget is that in RL businesses fail all the time, for new businesses in the west the failure rate within the first 2 years is around 90%.

    If your business has failed or your sales figures are a quarter of what they used to be, the problem is not LL, Concurrency or Viewer 2, the problem IS YOU!, why have you allowed your figures to fall so far?, this is a unique sales environment its very very easy and very very very cheap to start a business here, if what you are doing isn’t working try something else, don’t sit there whining about it and blaming LL, get off your behind and react!.

    To be fair we did see the author attempt this, with the camping chair idea, but he had so little confidence in his own idea he wasn’t even prepared to speculate $150 US on it, consequently that ship sailed without him, while he sat for months with L$28k in his account. That money could have been spent on all sort of things, scripting services, sculpty packs, advertising, anything to increase product range, visibility and consequently sales, these are the reasons for his decline in sales, put simply his sales decreased because he didn’t take any actions at all to increase them.

    Can you honestly imagine a successful RL retail business, which started with zero capital investment, sold only 3 products which no one had any use for, never did any advertising ,never introduced new stock, and never reinvested any of its profits!!??

  36. Funny Bunny

    Nov 5th, 2010

    I have saved up over 800,000 L in less than 2 years by learning to build and script and selling my stuff.
    I have invested some of that into a zyngo hall which pays all the tiers on all my lands, all by itself.
    My income only continues to grow, and I have been lazy the past few months in building new stuff (at least stuff to sell).
    Your business plan has a flaw… you rely entirely on the work on others with resale vendors. That just makes you one of the pack, nothing to see here, nothing to stand out here.
    Learn a skill.
    Market your skill.
    The economy is thriving.

  37. Millennium Sands

    Nov 29th, 2010

    Since my annual fee was due, I decided to sell some Lindens.
    Well, whoever says the economy is going down didn’t get the latest figures.

    I sold 6000 L for 2000 L / 7.31 USD. (I always use 2000 L steps).

    The economy is not going down, it became even more rewarding!

    My mark for an “average sale” of Lindens is 2000 L / 7.17 USD.
    This mark was determined by years of observation.

  38. Nelson Jenkins

    Nov 29th, 2010

    @ Millenium Sands

    That’s a pretty iffy exchange rate, L$279/US$1 on average and L$274/US$1 this time. LindeX runs at around L$250-260. (Then again, that doesn’t factor in the exchange fees.)

    I would say that the economy is as shitty as it ever was. Not getting any better, but not getting any worse. We’re just starting to see a shift away from this leech mentality. Here’s my guess:

    Monthly repeat logins are relatively steady but user hours are dropping. This means two things: first, people are spending less time in-world per login, and second, monthly new logins (i.e. new registrations) are dropping as well (LL doesn’t provide this statistic for reasons unknown to mankind). This basically means that there are less noobs than usual.

    Now, let’s take into the account the mindset of a more experienced player. Will they just go to any junky affiliate farm to buy their stuff? Of course not, they go to the source (or, at least, I do). Affiliate farms are fundamentally flawed in that experienced users, who have more money, just don’t want to waste their time in rolling hills of reseller stores. They go to the mainstore, check out the display models, get what they need, maybe shop around a bit, and get out. Noobs, on the other hand, are more likely to visit these reseller stores because there’s more to look through or something like that (honestly, I can’t remember why I went to such shitty reseller places as a noob). Nevertheless, since there are less noobs, these “leeches” just don’t get as many customers, resulting in “omg teh economie r ded cuz mai zyngo reseller sploder hall maded no profits”. But that’s just my wild guess.

  39. Yep

    Nov 29th, 2010

    Go getem Tiger :P

  40. Nelson Jenkins

    Nov 29th, 2010

    @ Yep

    Cool story bro. Do you get a boner after posting that in response to every single comment I make?

  41. Gaara Sandalwood

    Nov 29th, 2010

    “I can only speak as someone who DJs and knows DJs, not as much as a content creator. People spend less money at clubs for one thing. Years ago a DJ could make 3000L easily in a shift, now I’ve seen good DJs get 20L for 2 hours work.

    People are walking around with little or no money in their pockets, picking up freebies and just checking out the sites. They go to clubs and hang out, and don’t tip, because they don’t have money and they aren’t going to get any. I think in the long run clubs are going to have a very hard time of it, they need to make sales from their vendors, and while they often don’t directly pay staff, people aren’t going to keep working for 10L an hour, not when they have streams to pay for.”

    Same, except I do security. I could easily just make stuff, but I don’t because I insist on keeping SL as dear to me as any old video game, maybe even less so. I do recall that a couple of clubs I’ve known of in the past are dead pretty much. Kama Sutra closed down a few months prior to my recent vacation from SL, and New Grayson is barely pulling in 200 in traffic daily.

  42. IntLibber

    Nov 29th, 2010

    Have to agree with Nelson here. Millenium, like many in SL, you erroneously think that if the L$ rate is higher (i.e. 278L/USD vs 265L/USD), that this means you are getting more USD for your L, when in fact, it is just the opposite. The only people that a higher L rate benefits are those BUYING L’s from you.
    As for Mr. Funny Bunny, those L$800,000 you’ve been keeping in your virtual pocket the past two years has increased in value as the AVERAGE exchange rate on the Lindex has dropped from 265L/USD down to the present 258L/USD, an improvement of about 2% over two years, or 1% per year. Conversely, the inflation rate in real life has been greater than 1% a year, so you have actually LOST money.
    If you had instead converted that money to USD (or whatever your local currency is) and socked it in a 2 year certificate of deposit, you would have locked in rates of over 3% per year at that time, and would have actually made about 150 USD in interest.
    If LL had allowed virtual banks to continue in SL, and did not intentionally trigger the collapse of the financial sector with the gambling ban, you could have earned rates of around 30-40% per year, so you would have earned L$240,000-L$320,000 in interest in that time (or about 800-1200 USD). (Granted, there has been significantly reduced economic growth in SL in the past two years, but that reduced growth stems directly from LL’s bans of gambling and banking)

  43. Anon

    Nov 29th, 2010

    Except that two-year certificates are paying far less than 3%.

    Remember, everybody, that Intlibber has driven more than one of his own businesses into the ground, and is the last person on Earth you should be accepting financial advice from.

  44. Nelson Jenkins

    Nov 29th, 2010

    @ IntLibber

    I was going to agree back until you said that you can get a 2 year CD for 3% interest. I’d like to meet the guy that’s offering that kind of money and either punch him in the face for being a scamming douche or invest all of my money and make tens of thousands of dollars in 2 years. That, and you’re actually supporting unregulated, unbacked banking. What an idiot. I’d rather have a mediocre economy with no idiotic gambling and no one-night-stand banking than a thriving economy fueled by bullshit.

  45. Millennium Sands

    Nov 29th, 2010

    @ IntLibber

    Int, I think I get more USD for my Lindens when my balance proves is.
    That might be a simple pattern, but I’m just a blonde, after all.

    I never sayed it’s big business. In my example, I got only 14 cents more than usual per 2000 sold Lindens. Nevertheless I take it as an indicator, thelling me that my Lindens increased in value, because more people buy Lindens.

    For me, that’s not the sign of a crumbling economy. Especially because I observe chances like this much more often lately.

  46. Millennium Sands

    Nov 29th, 2010

    Hmm…. since Nelson got me wrong too, I wonder what made my post so misunderstandable…

    Again: An average sale for me is when I get 7.17 USD for 2000 Lindens.
    Is it really a bad deal in comparison when I get 7.31 USD for 2000 Lindens instead?

    At least in Germany we believe that you made a good deal when you earn more money than usual with it.

  47. Nelson Jenkins

    Nov 29th, 2010

    @ Millenium Sands

    Don’t confuse me with IntFibber. While you got a good deal this time compared to your average sale, overall your exchange rates appear to be worse than LindeX’s averages. Nowhere did I say that you’re worse off because you got more money. Int is just being an idiot and thinking that because you get more money, the exchange rate is higher (which thus gives you LESS money, which would make the argument void anyways). But hey, he knows so much about economics, how can he possibly be wrong?

  48. Millennium Sands

    Nov 30th, 2010

    @ Nelson

    Ok, I sell Lindens directly with the link in my account summary. I always believed that IS LindeX, but I never really checked. So it looks like I could get even more USD for my Linden.

    They are earned hard enough, that’s for sure!

    While Int is contempt with driving businesses against the wall, I drive virtuell cars in SL against walls, and I’m INSIDE them!
    So if you ever meet me, don’t be surprised to see me wandering around with a bandaged head or limps packaged in plaster. That’s simply the common dresscode for a daring race queen.

  49. Nelson Jenkins

    Nov 30th, 2010

    @ Millennium Sands

    Mark me up as wrong, then. Probably just the exchange fees that make your perceived rate worse. (Also, I need to learn how to fucking spell “millennium”.)

  50. Millennium Sands

    Nov 30th, 2010

    When I started to sell Lindens, I experimented with different amounts.
    It looked to me like it’s no good to sell real high amounts. If you throw too much money on the market with one sale, the estimated proceeds seemed to drop. On the other hand, selling even less than 2000 in one go means that you have to go through the hassle of entering your name and password many more times, and it can become hard work to sell 10 000.

    In the long run, I ended up with selling 2000 in one sale, and that amount makes it possible to observe the changes in estimated proceeds very closely. In my example, I sold 6000 for 7.31 in three 2000 L sale steps, and when I wanted to sell 2000 a 4th time, the estimated sale had dropped to 7.28. A sure sign that the market was about to become saturated, and a sign for me to stop selling.

    For those readers who never sold Lindens:
    You get two numbers. On one side you are told how much your Lindens are worth, and a second number tells you how much you will get when you sell. This second number is the estimated proceeds and it’s usually much lower than the first number.
    In most cases you get one cent less than estimated, so when estimated proceeds tells you that you’ll get 7.18 USD for 2000 L, you’ll usually get 7.17 USD. If you actually get what estimated told, or even more, keep on selling!

    When I started to sell Lindens some years ago, I got less than 7.00 USD for 2000 L.
    By 2008, the sales climbed above the 7.00 USD mark.
    By 2009, the sales stabilized in general at 7.17.

    There are always temporary changes, and in some cases it’s good to observe RL marks. Close to Valentines Day, for example, many rezidents buy presents for their friends, and have a higher demand for money than usual. At times like that you get chances to sell your Lindens for much more than usual.

    Still, all in all, the 7.17 mark (7.18 proceeds), turned out to be a pretty good mark for me when I want to determine if the time is right to sell Lindens. If the proceeds are above 7.18 for 2000, the time is right to sell, if the proceeds are below my mark I better continue to sit on my money.

    And here’s the extra challenge for non-US rezidents:
    If you finally sold your Lindens for a good price, you have to check the exchange rate for USD/Euros, or whatever currency you use, before you transfer your Dollars to your Pay Pal account, where it becomes your native currency and from where you can send it to you really real First Life Bank Account.

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