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Sunday, April 12, 2009

An open letter to designers

First, let's send the freebie hunters on their way...At !Cybernetic, you can get a free AO Hud, and a whole slew of nice animated poses for only 1L each (both male and female). Go!

OK, now that they're gone...a letter to the designers.

Dear Designers:

You know that we bloggers get around and see a lot of things, so I wanted to send you designers an open letter covering a few points that have bothered me lately. Take from it what you will.

As a freebie blogger, I really love all of you designers...you keep me in business. I just wanted to give you a few viewpoints from this side of the business, and I hope you'll take these in the spirit in which they are given.

In these days of troubled economics, I understand that you are all trying to make some RL wages from your SL work. But lately, with a few notable exceptions (Simone! and Rha! Designs, and I'm sure there are a few others), I've seen prices going up, rather than going down.

You might want to consider the wisdom of selling many items at a lower price, than one item at a higher price. I personally sell sculpty pumps at 49L each. They aren't fancy, but they're cute...and let me tell you, at 49L, I sell the heck out of them (3 pairs, just during the course of writing this post)! Everyone can afford 49L...but not everyone can afford 875-2199L for fancy prim-toed shoes (and I confess, I do own some of them, but those were in better financial days). In fact, Baby Monkey is selling gorgeous prim-footed shoes for 150L (100L if you join the group!) and she's selling a LOT of them! I know this, because I stood and watched for awhile yesterday - while I was buying my own 5 pairs.

So, if the "SL society" shoppers are what you're going for, continue raising your prices - there's a bunch of people out there who are still willing to pay them. But if your sales seem to be slumping, consider lowering your prices - a little....because the majority of your target shoppers are not in that SL society group.

Next, I wanted to discuss "gifts" or "freebies". I've heard a lot of discussion from designers lately stating that they felt that gifts or freebies were sucking their business dry, and yes, there is probably some of that going on. But let me give you the viewpoint of many shoppers.

I've done the Vain Kiss hunt, the POE hunt, the Fly A Kite hunt, the Bunny Hop, etc. I do the complete hunt and then when I'm finished, I go home and unpack all 200-400 items, one at a time. I try them on and if I like what I see...I go back to the store to shop more. If I don't like your item because it's poorly made, I probably won't be back to shop. There have been times where I "kinda" liked the item but it was so well made, I had to go and see what else they made.

We've also been seeing a lot of cases of gifts only going out to your groups, which is fine on the one hand, but on the other, I've seen a lot of people charging to join their group! I am only one freebie blogger....there are many of us. When we come to your store and blog your item, we are giving you free advertising. When you make our readers pay to join your group to get your freebie, then the freebie is no longer free and our group room is severely limited. I don't know about the other bloggers, but I have 125 consistent readers....that's 125 people I'm sending to your store, each and every day. Make them pay to join a group....and they may not join, and further, they may not even shop there.

A point to the skin designers. Do you think it would be too difficult for you to include a notecard giving us the RGB values that you used on your skins? With 5 pairs of Baby Monkeys, 4 pairs of Moodys, and 4 pairs of J's, and at least 5 skins I bounce between....I'm going freaking nuts trying to keep up! ;)

Lastly, some of you are great about letting us know when you put a new freebie out and some of you...not so good. While we know you're busy, we don't all have the time to just hop store to store looking for a freebie (although, when I first started VF, that's exactly what I did!). If you're an active reader of this blog, and you put out a new freebie, let us know! We're here to help YOU as well as our readership...so help us help you!

Some helpful ways of letting us know:

1. Drop a folder on me called "For the blog". Include a notecard telling me about your freebie and a landmark. I get folders occasionally, but no comments or anything else. I don't know if I'm getting a group gift or a review folder, and sometimes things get overlooked. If you label it "For the blog", then I'll know.

2. If you release a new freebie each and every Friday, drop me a notecard and tell me that, along with your lm. One of us will make a point of getting over there, or alternatively, stand right in front of your freebie, make a slurl, and paste that in a notecard, along with a description and full perm picture of your freebie, and drop it on me, which will save us an immense amount of time.

That's it. Hope ya'll still love us after reading this, but it was just some stuff I needed to get off my chest ;)



RBZ Design said...

I'm bad because I forget to tell you about my freebies :P

I think my prices are good tho :)

Anonymous said...

AMEN, AMEN, all things said were my thoughts for a longer time too. Okay, we want to have all for free eeeyyy, lolzz. But that is impossible, the creators deserve to be paid for good stuff. But I have seen alot of stores/creators who's prizes are really ABSURD. And they won't see me there to pay alot of Lindens for PIXELS - let's face it, we pay for *just pixels* :-)

Byez, Opal Jorda

Honey said...

Yes, but Ral, while you do forget, your prices are very good, and your freebies are always top notch. Some stores, I go in to get their freebie and think, "If this is the quality you're giving to draw people into your store, what in the world makes you think they're actually going to shop?"

Sydd Sinister said...

i have to agree that when i get a freebie i really like i definitely go back to the store and shop more. i cant say it for everyone but atleast for me finding well made freebies from the blogs are how i've found some of my favorite stores

Sanura Sakai said...

Hey there Honey - thank you for writing this wonderful article. A friend sent it too me just an hour or so ago, and I'm glad I had a look. Some of my own views are very much reflected here. That's all!

Pink Couturier said...

Right on!! Totally agree with you! It's surely better to sell a lot at a very low price than it to have your stuff sitting on the shelf gathering dust anyway.

Btw !Cybernetic SLurl lands you in front of a box and when you click on it, it says "Rofl!" lol ..Can't see any poses or anything other than clothes there

Honey said...

Sometimes, locations will have forced landing points. Watch for the red beacon...that's where you need to go.

Anonymous said...

I agree! When I find a good quality freebie, I more often than not head back to that store to find more of what they have. Many of my 'favorite' store LMs have become my 'favorites' just this way, and I continue to frequent the designer's store and tell friends about it too.

Anonymous said...

Dear Designer possibly reading this,

I would also like to ask, would it be impossible for you to make clothes transferable?

I have spent a good many lindens on items to have them look horrible on me but I know they would look good on others, if nothing else to cover up some noob flesh.

I would just as soon be able to GIVE it to someone else to wear then throw that MONEY of MINE away. Yes I understand it is *just pixels* but I work hard for my RL money I turn into LINDENS.

Thank you.


bibliobibuli said...

i thanks all those that give freebies ... the gifts i've loved have had me coming back too loyally to the same designers and have helped me find my second life style.

i do buy full priced items regularly from my favourite stores, but debate the more expensive purchases with my avi long and hard. (she's after all my cash but i'm the one has to earn it at the same keyboard while she's having all the fun!) but when things are priced low, like 49L ... you don't think twice you just snap 'em up!

that's one reason i love the japanese designers - prices are much lower and the quality high.

i really do thank you and all the other freebie bloggers who put the word out about good things. i've made so many happy finds through this and other blogs. and i know it takes a lot of time and effort.


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