Home Events Why Second Life Weekend Sales are Devaluing Brands and Creators

Why Second Life Weekend Sales are Devaluing Brands and Creators

by Prisqua Newall
483 views 11 minutes read

It’s quite amusing to think that I penned my thoughts on Second Life Weekend Sales over three years ago. Back then, I viewed them as somewhat redundant and overwhelming, yet I continued to purchase items at full price. Seeing those items on sale didn’t ruffle my feathers too much.

Fast forward three years, and my feathers are decidedly ruffled! Seeing an item I’ve recently purchased at full price being discounted so quickly now feels like a slap in the face. How times change!

Brief overview of Second Life and its shopping events

The first Second Life weekend sales shopping event was “Fifty Linden Fridays” which started in 2009 (I think). This event was created by a designer named “Craven Theas”. The event involved various designers who would offer items for sale at a discounted price of 50 Lindens every Friday and is still going.

In the past, I recall the thrill of visiting shopping malls to hunt for fresh outfits and stumble upon new brands. Today, the landscape has changed dramatically with an overwhelming number of shopping events that it’s become a challenge to keep up with them all.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have a fondness for these shopping events, but the current volume is simply staggering. To add to this, we now have Second Life Weekend Sales events that have spilled over into the weekdays. It seems there’s a sale for every day of the week, blurring the lines of what a ‘weekend sale’ or just a “sale” truly means.

This doesn’t even take into account the brands that frequently offer 50% off sales at their main stores. With certain shops, it’s almost a given that they’ll host several sales throughout the year. This predictability often leads to a wait-and-see approach among customers, who see little reason to pay full price for an item when a sale is just around the corner. At times, I might purchase a single item, with the intention of buying the rest when the inevitable sale rolls around.

I’ve often come across discussions among creators debating the hours of work that go into creating a product, only to yield minimal profit. Let’s put some numbers into perspective. If you purchase a mini-dress for 250 Lindens, it roughly equates to US$1, while a fatpack priced at 1999L is about US$8. A weekend sale item at 60L is approximately 25 cents. Does this mean creators generate more revenue by selling their products at rock-bottom prices due to increased sales volume? If that’s the case, it begs the question – why do full-priced items even exist?

Buying full-priced items that later appear in Second Life Weekend Sales

Today, I checked the 77L$ weekend sales new round and  what do I see?

These are 2 pose packs from Pixit that were sold at the last Tres Chic event.

Event Opening Date: June 17, 2023
Event Closing Date: July 10, 2023

Just a few days have passed since the event’s closure. It was at this event where I bought these two packs, each priced at 220L.

Less than a month ago …

I’ve bought numerous full-priced packs from this creator in the past. While I’ve noticed some of the packs I bought at full price go on sale later, I’ve never seen them discounted just a few days after an event’s closure. Given this, do you think I’ll purchase from this creator at full price again? The answer is a resounding no. I’m all for supporting creators, but this feels like a blatant disregard for consumers.

How Second Life Weekend Sales affect the perceived value of items?

Weekend sales in Second Life are a bit like a roller-coaster ride for the perceived value of items. One minute you’re at the top, paying full price for a shiny new item, feeling like a high roller. The next minute, whoosh! The price drops faster than a hot potato in a game of pass-the-parcel. It’s enough to give anyone a case of virtual whiplash!

This price yo-yo can leave shoppers scratching their heads, wondering if they’ve been paying top dollar for bargain bin goods. It’s like seeing a Chanel perfume or a Louis Vuitton bag suddenly slashed to a price that even us mere mortals on a budget can afford. Talk about a plot twist!

This constant game of ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ with pricing can make us feel like they’re in a never-ending episode of ‘The Price is Right’ – but without the fun games and fabulous prizes. Over time, this can make the value of items, and even the brands themselves, seem as shaky as a house of cards in a windstorm.

In the end, it’s not just about the Lindens spent, but the trust lost. And once that’s gone, it’s harder to regain than finding a needle in a haystack.

 

Why Second Life Weekend Sales are Devaluing Brands and Creators

I recently spotted a vendor, a brand called SOFIA, at a Cosmopolitan event round who made a striking declaration on their display ad. They’re marching to the beat of their own drum, choosing not to participate in weekend sales until a year after the item’s release. Now that’s a refreshing change of pace.

I was so thrilled about this unique approach, which now seems to be a rarity as not many creators appear to be adopting this strategy, that I couldn’t help but share my joy in a Second Life Facebook group.

Annie Melson, the mastermind behind the brand Just BECAUSE, chimed in on my post. She stated, “I also steer clear of weekend sales for my items until they’re about a year old. And I don’t just put the original items on sale. Instead, I offer limited edition recolors. Once they’re sold out, those particular recolors never make a comeback. I strive to make them unique and special.” Now, isn’t that something to celebrate?

I stopped following Just BECAUSE as Annie has shifted her focus away from the Maitreya Lara Petite line. She shared that her older collections did cater to Petite, but due to limited sales – just a handful for each design – she decided to halt production for this particular size about a year ago. Despite her personal preference for the Petite body, it didn’t resonate with her customer base.

However, she does throw in a curveball during weekend sales by occasionally offering the Petite size. This extra effort to cater to a wider audience during the weekend sales truly enhances my appreciation for the Just BECAUSE brand.

The Impact of Second Life Weekend Sales on Creators and Brands

Creators in Second Life employ a variety of strategies when it comes to weekend sales. Some choose to design specific products exclusively for these sales, adding a sense of novelty and exclusivity. Others opt to offer new textures or variations of existing items, providing customers with fresh options without having to create entirely new products. An interesting strategy is employed by creators like Nutmeg, who design small new sets specifically for the weekend sales. These sets often serve as a teaser or complement to a larger, upcoming set that will be featured in an event. These strategies aim to attract customers with the allure of something unique or limited edition, making the weekend sales a special event to look forward to.

Others, such as Ysoral, go the extra mile by launching brand new, intricately designed products. For instance, Ysoral released a new watch complete with a HUD offering animations.

Ysoral shed light on the effort behind such creations, explaining that a realistic full-mesh watch, complete with functional gears, required around 50 hours of meticulous work. The scripts, the new HUD, and the animation alone took up 20 hours. Despite the immense effort and time invested, this brand new product is being introduced at a mere 60L for the weekend sale. It’s a testament to the creator’s dedication and a real steal for customers, as the product’s value far exceeds its price.

While some creators go above and beyond to offer unique and innovative products for weekend sales, there are others who opt for what might be seen as the easy way out. Rather than investing time and creativity into designing new items or variations for the weekend sales, they simply recycle old items. Even more contentious is the practice of using items that were recently featured at events for these Second Life Weekend Sales.

This approach can feel like a shortcut, a stark contrast to the dedication shown by creators who pour hours into crafting new and intricate designs. It’s like comparing a freshly baked, artisanal loaf of bread to a pre-packaged, mass-produced one. Both serve a purpose, but one clearly involves more effort, passion, and craftsmanship.

It’s a delicate balance, and the way each creator navigates it can significantly impact their reputation and customer loyalty.

Wrapping Up

In my view, the sheer number of events in Second Life has reached an overwhelming level. It’s become a bit of a circus, with creators juggling multiple events and sometimes dropping the ball on quality. It feels like we’re seeing more of the same old, same old, or even worse, half-baked products. But more on that in my next post (consider that a tantalizing teaser). The thrill of discovery is fading.

With an event for every day of the month, and sometimes two, the excitement is dwindling. Wouldn’t it be better to have fewer, but more themed events? What do you think? Do you prefer the constant stream of events, or would you rather see fewer, more unique ones?

Events like the Food Court, Cupid, and Summerfest, which occur once or twice a year, give us something to anticipate. Fewer events could also give creators a breather, allowing them to innovate and bring fresh ideas to the table. Plus, it might encourage us to visit individual shops more often. Would you visit shops more if there were fewer events?

It seems to me that these events primarily serve to line the pockets of the hosts. The buzz around an event usually fizzles out after the first few days. Visit a week later, and it’s like walking into a ghost town. The excitement is replaced by a sense of ‘meh’. I’d be curious to know what creators pay to participate in these events, especially considering the hefty late extension fee of 3000L. But when you break it down, that’s just a couple of fatpacks or ten 300L dresses, which doesn’t seem so steep when you see the hordes of people at an event opening.

On the bright side, my virtual wallet is breathing a sigh of relief. I appreciate the sales for introducing me to new brands and giving me the chance to try new things, compare, and share my thoughts. If some creators choose to stick to the tried and true, that’s their prerogative. There will always be those who dare to be different, and I’ll be there to support them. After all, with such a vast array of creators in Second Life, if one doesn’t hit the mark, there’s always another waiting in the wings.

Do you have any favorite creators who consistently impress you with their originality? I’d love to hear your thoughts

Remember, your comments and insights help shape Second Life community. So don’t be shy, share your thoughts below.

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