Bye bye XStreet Freebies

If you haven’t heard yet – and apparently quite a few other active people in SL haven’t – XStreet is going to start charging for freebies, with the specific intent of getting rid of most of them.

I just posted my reaction – because that means I’ll be pulling my products from XStreet as of five minutes ago. I sell a few items, but not enough to cover the listing fee they will start charging. This pretty clearly signals (again) that Linden Labs is more interested in making money than user experience.

I’ve been told about as an alternative, but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

If you want to post your reaction, do so here.

I’m yet another Resident who has pulled my items from XStreet. I had a few t-shirts I created, but the main thing I sold? A notecard to help new residents get started. Oh, sure, there’s that spanking nice PDF, but that doesn’t include LMs, or URLs to other helpful resources, or the USEFUL freebies already separated out from the crap. But it’s not worth even L$10 a week for me to list it.

  • In a world as big as SL, the biggest problem is the search and exposure problem – whether you’re in it for profits or not. I could create the most wonderful product ever, but unless other people hear about it and can get to it, then it doesn’t matter.
  • Inworld shopping is a pain in the ass, especially if you’re looking for something specific. Even vaguely comparing it to searching a website is foolish.
  • LL managed to send me a survey (via e-mail) about my attitudes towards new “enhancements” – but couldn’t bother to do so re: freebies? Or to do so to ANNOUNCE the office hours? Some of us have day jobs. Or night jobs. Or both.
  • If free and low-cost items are driving down the sales of high cost items, that’s simply called market pressure, and means that the high-cost items are priced above equilibrium.
  • Raising the cost of entry might get rid of “crap”, but you’ll also get rid of those things that don’t have a huge profit margin. (T-shirts, anyone?) It also cuts out smaller businesses and hobbyists.
  • The ratings system is supposed to do the job of weeding out bad products; perhaps that should have been revamped first.

Crack down on people reselling full perm stuff for free? Sure. That makes sense. The rest of this roadmap? Seems to be a quick way for the bigger vendors (and LL, taking a little off the top every time we need more $L) to make more money and shut out competition.

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One Comment

  1. Paul Johnson
    November 26, 2009

    There's also the OSGrid General Store if you want to offer freebies to a community of users who isn't so hellbent on profit margins and theft.

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