Posted in business in SL, Clover Farms, DFS, Manic Elf, money, personal, Uncategorized

Making a Withdrawal

I cashed out all my L$s today. Even shook down my alts for spare change. We’re in the RL Deep Freeze in more ways than one and there’s no time for sentimentality.

Well maybe a little.

I can’t bring myself to delete most of my inventory from any of my avs and I think the only way I could see my avs deleted is if LL’s server crashed. And then I’m sure I would grieve.

I am, however, going to sell off some loose stuff out of inventory. Clover’s liquidation of the DFS gear has brought a return of about 550 L$ on a 6k investment (but then, we can never get the land tiers back). I’m not sure how well that will do since I guess right now a half gallon of RL milk goes for 800L and (or 200 DFS Milk Crates). Still it feels good to actively be doing something, and to know that it’s only going to be a couple pay periods in which things are this tight.

Here’s Clover’s shop, what remains of it.

And here’s Mistletoe’s. I’m still fond of that Tipping Cow!

Posted in Clover's Kitchen, day-to-day, entertainment, fashion, Manic Elf, mesh, money, personal, Philomena, prim torture, work in progress

Sticking my feet in

So. I’ve done two fireworks shows since returning inworld. I’ve also rented a shop space, not really that I have a whole lot to sell but I have a little and it feels good to have a home base. I set up a sewing machine and a crude counter in there so it feels like a work studio.

I love that Philomena is still a place, if a slightly different iteration than I recall. It’s really really surreal knowing there’s a street named after me. I’m just this elf, ya know?

Continue reading “Sticking my feet in”

Posted in business in SL, day-to-day, Lionheart, list, machinima, money, rant, Shopping!

I don’t contribute to the economy?!

I was talking with a particularly cynical acquaintance the other day who had some less-than-kind things to say to me when I mentioned going to Marketplace-only with Clover’s Kitchen, and no longer having a prim-and-mortar shop in his estate. Two particularly stinging things he said were that I’m “part of the problem” for going to MP only, and that by not having a prim-and-mortar shop, I’m no longer contributing to the economy.
Continue reading “I don’t contribute to the economy?!”

Posted in day-to-day, events, love, money, personal

Victory Dance

Last night’s dance raised around 11,000L (about $43 USD), including long-distance donations from friends who couldn’t make the dance itself.

Add to that $45 donated to PayPal so far.

Add to that the 10K lindens (about $40 USD) out of my own savings I’m cashing out.

Add to that the $36 in CD sales and donations from my RL workplace.

If I’m doing my math right, that’s about $161 raised so far. That’s almost enough to get him there, based on the discount rates Lelani in her Travel Agent Powerz has been able to find. That’s pretty friggin’ good for just a couple of days.

Of course we’ll still have to work out a return flight too (I DO want him BACK!) but that’s not as pressing an issue yet. I’m just very happy and thankful for what we’ve gotten from such wonderful people (except that one who’s an evil poisoned soul and don’t you ever forget it) so far.

Continue reading “Victory Dance”

Posted in business in SL, fuck you LL, money, rant

What LL Has Taught Me About Business

My shop, Clover’s Kitchen, has existed in SL about 3 years and change (minus a break between December 2009 and March 2010). Between its start in 2008 and now, I’ve gotten better at building and scripting, technology’s gotten better, sculpted prims have become amazing, and people’s needs have grown and changed. And so it only makes sense that I fix old products that aren’t as good (like my 20 prim Easter basket from 2 years ago, holy cow), make changes, and keep working.

I’ve learned from LL’s example of what not to do, not to worry about the shiny things that I want to add to my store (like camping for items or other promotional gadgets) before first focusing on the quality of the product itself.

I’m not the happiest of campers with LL right now, in particular regarding the Marketplace. At the time of this posting, a solid 1/6th of my Marketplace listings are unavailable, due to a glitch that’s causing links to other people’s listings (but still with my product images) to appear in my shop, instead of the actual listing to my product that’s supposed to be there.

One. Sixth.

While the Lab is working on getting Direct Delivery to actually function correctly (which in my opinion should be a high priority, before they so much as think of setting a deadline for us to switch over to it), they’re enhancing the reality of my Second Life experience by causing me to work harder than usual just to scramble together enough money to make ends meet. Just like in real life!

Oh, so, in my ranting way, what I was getting at is this: check your product. Especially the older stuff. If it’s not up to scratch anymore, get rid of it and replace it with something that is.

Also, talk to your customers and ask what they think. You’ll learn more from your harshest critic than your most flattering supporter, if you’re really willing to hear what they say.

Posted in business in SL, money, rant, Shopping!

Ure gonna love this one.

So the other day, Clover got a quick “Greetings!” IM and a notecard. I really don’t know how to make PLEASE IM ME FIRST bigger or more capital in her profile, but anyway, here comes a notecard with a marketplace invitation.

It has been my experience that branch shops tend to cost more than they pay, with some occasional exceptions. Why this is, I could speculate all day, but what it all comes down to is this: if I’m going to open a branch shop in your marketplace, it has to be worth my while to do so, in one way or another. Even if I don’t make a profit in a branch shop, if it introduces my product to a considerably wider audience, that may be an example of worthwhile.

But, back to this notecard, which was such a lesson in what not to do I’ve decided to make an example of it for the Know-it-all Pages.

Continue reading “Ure gonna love this one.”

Posted in building, business in SL, day-to-day, Happy Ass Pub, money, personal, rant, updates

Right. It’s “later” now.

Me before opening the Happy Ass: I miss having a pub to go to! I like Irish Music and sipping a virtual pint at the end of the day. I can build and decorate real good. I’ve come into some disposable Ls. WHY THE HELL NOT?

Me now: Oh yeah, THAT’S why. I’m working RL full time so I don’t have time to devote to managing this place or even to have a DJ set of my own, except Tuesdays at 4PM (and who the hell is even on then, besides me?). I got one DJ yelling constructively and continually suggesting at me to “advertise more” (sure, as soon as you tell me where that money’s going to come from and if it’s actually even worth it to spend) and here I am coming away with the impression that she’s blaming me because nobody’s on to listen to her set on a mid-week mid-day.

Let me break it down. Take the (very small) number of people who are even on SL at this particular time. Now, of them, take the percentage of people who are interested in the same type of music (of which, I’ve admitted, I’m not even one!). Now, of them, narrow it down to the number of people who aren’t already busy either building, sexing, or attending to some other commitment. Then, just to make extra sure, remove the griefers who are already on the ban list (of which there are maybe a half dozen).

This is not my fault here, and pumping cash into some “ad board” somewhere won’t fix it.

Further, Mondays and Tuesdays are my two days off from RL work. I feel as though if I log Mistletoe in, she’s obligated to be at the pub. Clover has once more become my “shut up and let me build stuff” alt.

But, long story short. I’m not having fun, I’m feeling overwhelmed by commitments I’m losing interest in (and am thus avoiding), and I’m paying for the privilege.

How about no.

I could just as easily sit on my butt at home and listen to Irish music or watch TV or have friends over, and I could do it for less money and without being told how to do it.

So, I’m closing the pub. I may refurbish the building as a house, but chances are more likely I’ll use the red house I built some time back and rather like. Very rural/suburban New England looking, with plenty of room for the whole family.

And as a note to myself: Laura, don’t do this again. Patronize a pub what already exists.

Further edit: not surprisingly, the shit hit the fan over something I had said.  I’m not blaming the DJ or my frustration or the closing of the pub on her.  If I was unclear about that, I apologize.  However I do have the right to be upset, and I do have the right to say why.

Posted in day-to-day, money, personal, RL

Where I’ve been

Things have been really hard, and really stressful, IRL lately.

I hesitate to talk about my situation because for every “I’m poor” post that comes up there’s an inevitable flurry of replies to the tune of “You think you’ve got it bad?” I’m not suggesting for a moment that I’ve got it worse than anyone else, or even that I’ve got it as bad as many people. There are things I’m fortunate enough to have and do my damnedest not to take for granted. And there are loved ones near me that I wouldn’t trade for double that $220m winning Powerball Ticket.

But boy it’s a frustrating and uncertain month. Short version is that we’re facing the possible loss of our food and prescription benefits after this month. My prescription alone (the “chemistry” through which I’ve been “living better since 1993”) is easily over $240/month at full price. Food will be an added $350/month (which is the amount the benefits have been covering). And winter’s coming. Heating oil last year was $400/month, and we kept the thermostat no higher than 60 (turned down to 50 overnight) all winter long. If all these expenses hit us at once, we’ll be forced to default on our debt to the state Revenue Service. And I don’t know if you realized this or not, but they tend to not let stuff like that go un-enforced.

Getting out of bed is getting harder and harder.

I’m not really asking for anything here; I’m too embarrassed to do that. I just wanted to talk about where I’ve been and why you haven’t seen much of me in SL.

Posted in business in SL, day-to-day, I wrote this, money, SL Marketplace, tutorial

Writing an excellent Marketplace listing

Copywriting is just an industry word for writing the description and information related to your product. When you’re writing your copy, remember that this and your image are often the only impression people will get before deciding whether or not to make the purchase. So what important things must your description do?

What is this thing?

"What the hell is that thing?!"
If your copy answers no other question in the mind of the shopper, it should answer this one. I once had someone TP me into her shop to ask my advice on marketing a Big Incredible Thing she had made that nobody seemed to be buying. I went to her shop, saw that the parcel name included “Home of the [Item]!”, and waited for the shop and item to rez.

“So,” she finally asked, “How do I get people to buy this thing?”

“What thing?” I asked.

“The [Item]! It’s awesome, isn’t it?”

“What is?”

“Don’t you see all the [results]?”

“Oh, yeah, sure. So your [Item] is a [results]-maker?”

“Well, no! It’s so much more than that!” And she proceeded to list off all the amazing things her product could do.

When she was done, I asked, “How would I have known that, if you hadn’t been here to tell me?”

By now she was getting impatient, thinking I was stalling before offering some Big Marketing Secret. But the questions I was asking were really the important part.
Continue reading “Writing an excellent Marketplace listing”

Posted in business in SL, Clover's Kitchen, Love 146 in Second Life, money

Ho Ho Ho

Yesterday, I cashed in the over 50,000 lindens donated to Love146 and as soon as the transaction goes through to PayPal, I’ll be sending them a nice little Christmas present courtesy of many generous folks in Second Life. By raising awareness of them in Second Life, they’ll have gotten close to $500US by way of generous donations from avatars this year.

As for my own Christmas stocking, today I cashed in 20,000 lindens from my own savings. My rents are all paid up for at least a month. I’ve got a small cushion in case I don’t see a dime in the coming month (which is unlikely; Clover’s Kitchen’s slowest month in ’10 netted 3k. That’s net, so after rents are paid.) Plus I have weekly DJ gigs for some additional spending change.

So all in all, a decent year financially in SL. Not super awesome; but I took out more than I put in and that’s always good.