Tag Archives: SL Marketplace

SL Marketplace search: Lab asks for feedback

secondlifeIn a blog post dated Tuesday 17th December, the Lab has asked for feedback on the SL Marketplace search functionality, and have set-up a survey for people to take as a means of offering their views.

The blog post reads in full:

Next year, we’ll be making some improvements to the Second Life Marketplace search functionality. To help focus those efforts, we’d like to get some feedback from Marketplace users (both buyers and merchants) about how Marketplace search is working for you today and, more importantly, what you’d like to see in the future.

Please take a few minutes to help us improve this feature for all Residents by completing this brief survey here.

The survey will be available for feedback through January 6, 2014, and your input is greatly appreciated!

Marketplace search survey: open for input until January 6th, 2014

Marketplace search survey: open for input until January 6th, 2014

The survey presents a dozen sections, some of which are multi-part, asking for elements of the search functionality to be rated, and some of which offer users the opportunity to provide direct input / suggestions on things like the current search filters, relevance and sorting of results, presentation of search results, etc., and any specific changes people would like to see. It takes about 5 minutes to complete.

For those frustrated by Marketplace search, this would appear to be a good opportunity to provide feedback as to how things might be improved, which will hopefully be taken on-board. A discussion thread on the survey and feedback given has been started within the Merchant’s forum.

Marketplace completes “move” to SL payment system & offers new payment options

Following-on from the announcement made in week 25 that the SL Marketplace payment system would be “moving” to the Second Life payment system, a further brief Commerce forum post has been issued confirming the move has now been completed.

The forum post indicates that users will be able to pay for goods with Linden Dollars (as has always been the case), or select a new payment method. and includes links to the following resources:

What Has Changed

SL Marketplace: no more USD prices for goods on item pages, but a new notice about payment methods and currencies.

SL Marketplace: no more USD prices for goods on item pages, but a new notice about payment methods and currencies.

There are some changes to the SL Marketplace as a result of this update:

  • When viewing items in the Marketplace, only the LS price is displayed by default. There is no longer any USD price
  • All items now include a note that “At checkout, you will be able to pay with any supported currency“, directly under the L$ price. The link will display the Accepted currencies and payment methods section of the Billing page in the Knowledge Base, which lists the credit / debit / charge cars recognised by Linden Lab and the currencies in which payments can be accepted using them.

The other major change can be seen when clicking on the Checkout button from your shopping cart. This takes you to the Second Life Cashier Page, which lists the items you are purchasing, unit price for each and the total payable.

The revised SL Cashier payments page for the SL Marketplace

The revised SL Cashier payments page for the SL Marketplace

To the right of this is the amount payable and your current payment method, and a link allowing you to add more payment options.

The expanded payment section showing all recorded payment methods and button to add further methods to your account

The expanded Payment section showing all recorded payment methods and button to add further methods to your account

Clicking on this link expands the Payment section  to display:

  • Your current payment options
  • Buttons for adding additional payment methods (credit card, etc., or PayPal).

If you wish you use an existing alternate payment method, simply click on the required button in the upper section of the expanded screen.

To add an additional payment method, click on the required method (note the green-background text above the payment option buttons) and follow the on-screen instructions.

When you are ready to complete the transaction, click the Buy Now button.

Note: I’m not sure if, after selecting and using an alternative payment option, this becomes your default option for all future payments (and thus  appearing the “Using this” section of the Payment box of the Cashier Page. This is because I use L$ for all my Marketplace purchases, and have no wish to use an alternate payment method I have registered with the Lab.

Related Links

With thanks to CS Pfeffer for the nudge about the forum update.

LL announce “Marketplace to move to Second Life billing engine”

Update June 24th: The billing system “move” has now been completed, see my update here.

A new post appeared in the Commerce forum on Tuesday June 18th, announcing that the Marketplace is to “move” to the Second Life billing engine, generating some confusion along the way as to how Marketplace payments are currently processed with regards to Second Life.

The intimation appears to be that although the Marketplace allows for payments for goods to be taken directly from your L$ account, the finances themselves are handled through two different channels, with the Marketplace perhaps still, underneath it all, using elements dating back to the XSL / SLX days. With the upcoming “move”, everything will be handled by the one system, the Second Life billing engine – hence the reference that Commerce Linden will be replaced by Currency Linden as the escrow account for Linden dollar purchases via the Marketplace.

One aspect which appears to have gone largely without comment is that international users will, with the switch-over, apparently see more international payment options offered (one assumes alongside the US dollar payment option).  How advantageous this is seen as being is perhaps open to question (the US dollar prices for items on the marketplace are hardly favourable when compared to the straight L$ prices, which already tends to encourage people to use L$ rather than USD for purchasing goods).

The switch-over is due to take place in the week commencing Monday June 24th. no action is required on the part of users or merchants, although the blog post does warn that:

We will be failing any old orders that have not completed in preparation for the switch over, so you may see a refund appear from a stuck order over the next week prior to the release.

If you do start experiencing issue with Marketplace transactions, please ensure you submit a Support ticket. All issues related to billing are fully supported by Customer Support and will be addressed with appropriate priority.

With thanks to CS Pfeffer.

Marketplace: incorrect listings – LL offers “clean-up process”

In March 2012, merchants started noticing issues with some (or even many, in a number of cases) SL Marketplace listings. Key issues included:

  • Listings on Marketplace stores do not match the actual items
  • Incorrect merchant attribution (products from Merchant X listed as belonging to Merchant Y, despite appearing in Merchant X’s store)
  • Products from one merchant appearing in stores belonging to other merchants
  • Items incorrectly priced
  • Incorrect ratings assigned to products (G-rated items appearing as Adult, etc.).
An exmaple of the listing errors, supplied courtesy of Lillou Merlin

An example of the listing errors, supplied courtesy of Lillou Merlin

A JIRA -WEB-4587 – was raised on the matter, and extensive forum thread also reported the matter, and merchants were assured the matter was being looked into as a “top priority”, and in May 2012, an updated was issued by the Commerce Team noting that:

(WEB-4587) Listings show up with images from other Merchants listings:Current status: we have identified the problem and are working on testing the fix.

The fix apparently didn’t work, as the issue was subsequently reported as one the Commerce Team would address “after the next Marketplace update“. This only problem here being that subsequent updates failed to address the majority of JIRA relating to Marketplace issues, including WEB-4587 – and then stopped altogether – something with prompted me to comment on the continuing erosion of merchant trust.

On April 24th 2013, just over a year since it was first reported, the Commerce Team published an update on the listings issues and WEB-4587, which reads:

For those of you who have had an incorrect image appearing on your listings–or have seen your image on someone else’s listings, we have come up with a supported process to get these listings cleaned up.

Someone Else’s Image on My Listing
If you are seeing someone else’s image on your listing, you should be receiving an email with a link for you to go remove those images from your listings. These images will be returned to the listing we have identified as correct. Any listings not reviewed by May 15, 2013 will be unlisted until the Merchant has a chance to remove the image manually and reactivate the listing. We will provide a summarized list of these and notify all Merchants whose listings have been deactivated.

My Image on Someone Else’s Listing
If your image is appearing on another Merchant’s listing, the following will happen:

  1. The Merchant will be notified to review their listing and confirm that the image does not belong with their listing.
  2. The image will be returned to your listing. At this point, you will be able to review your updated listing here (link). This may occur after the review period for step 1 has already completed.

If the listing your image is appearing on is not reviewed in step 1, the listing will be unlisted to prevent your image from appearing on the incorrect listing.

We appreciate your help in getting this cleaned up.

So the good news is, there is actually movement on the matter. Admittedly, in reading the forum post, I cannot help but conjure a mental image of some poor sod (or three) at the Lab having been tasked with spending the last 12 months digging through the Marketplace and manually checking images against project descriptions / links – but movement is movement, and is, on the whole, to be welcomed.

There are some issues being reported with the process, however, as noted in the thread following the announcement. Some of these issues appear to be related to items which, in lieu of any communications from the Commerce Team, merchants opted to previously manually remove from their listings, and other appear to indicate that not all incorrect listing items have actually been captured by whatever process was used at the Lab. Others are reporting mixed outcomes simply as a result of following the given instructions.

It’s not clear how widespread issues are in following the instructions; certainly the problems being noted appear limited going on the amount of feedback on the thread. Not that this is any comfort to those affected, but it perhaps indicates that for most people who were blighted by the issue, things are now being put right.

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