Secrets

1 Secrets_025

There are a lot of sales events in Second Life. Some may say there are too many. And some don’t get a lot of press. There are arguments that the events take away from designers’ stores and prevent others from getting a foothold in the market if they are not allowed into the top-tier sales events. Others may argue that some events are a waste of time because they don’t include the best designers and are simply a way for the organisers to make a profit from the upcoming creators by collecting entry fees then not promoting the event to generate sales.

Many events have fallen by the wayside after not achieving enough interest – or cash – to continue. I find most of the events I attend by scoping out Seraphim, the self-titled “premier Second Life sales and event blog”. I admit that I have an affiliation with this blog as a blogger for their very own sales events, The Seraphim Social and Serafilms, but I have been a reader of this web page for almost as long as it has been in existence and have just covered my first event for them. They include not just the prime events, but the smaller and lesser-known sales and hunts, as well. And I have visited many of them.

I guess my argument is that whether there are too many events or not, each of these gives a designer in Second Life an opportunity to get their name out there. I have discovered many brands I probably wouldn’t have had it not been for traipsing through so many events. I’m not talking about the Maitreyas or Truths or Cheeky Peas of our virtual world; I mean the JfL Hats, the VIVID, the Thaino Designs, the Sax Shepard Designs, the Eternal Dream Poses in Second Life. These are all talented designers who do what they do best – create lovely things for the rest of us who are unable to bring to life the vision we might have of the perfect hat, the ultimate dress, the amazing house, the quirky accessory, the exquisite pose that we have been looking for.

So the secret is out. I have blogged items from all of them. I have been fortunate enough to become a blogger for some of them. But first, before that occurrence, I have purchased the items from these designers that I have showcased here on my blog. And in every case, I found them at one of the lesser-known sales events.

1 Secrets_014

Only one of those designers is featured in this post – Sax Shepherd Designs – but you can find all of the others in the archives of this blog. You will continue to see them here because it is no secret that once I find a designer I like, I stick with them. Oh, I will always add more to my repertoire because I’m always on the lookout for another divine creation. I do well at keeping secrets, but not when it means hiding these little gems from the rest of the world.

Pretty stuff I’m wearing:

Outfit: Asteria Creations-Graceful Outfit Ivory-Blouse-Mesh Short-Scarf by katherine Asteria (available at Limited Bazaar)
Boots: Maitreya Thigh High Boots – Black Gold Snake by Onyx LeShelle (available at Collabor88)
Glasses: Sax Shepherd Designs ! !SSD ~ 80’s Glam ~ Pince Nez by Sax Shepherd (available at The Theme Park)
Bag: [glow] Studio Precious Heart Bag RED by Anemysk Karu
*Earrings: Cae ::Pemberley :: Earrings by Caelan Hancroft (available at The Seraphim Social – can be purchased as a set or separate pieces)
Ring: Cae :: Promise :: Ring by Caelan Hancroft
Hair: [LeLutka]-SALOME hair – Jessica by Thora Charron
Nail appliers: {Wicked} Peach – Melody by Autumn Amaranth (available at The Theme Park)
Skin: [PXL] Creations – [PXL] JADE NAT “Love Edition” MEB C2 by Hart Larsson (February Group Gift)
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Hand appliers:[PXL] Creations – [ PXL ] Slink Hand Appliers NAT by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Pose: *PosESioN* Secret 2 by Dahriel (available at Kustom9)

Shopper’s Pet Peeves

1 Shopper's Pet Peeves

So, yesterday I ranted about the things that annoy me concerning creators and the shopping experience. I thought it was only fair to give equal air to the things that annoy me about other shoppers.

I am not a merchant, other than my photography business, which opens a whole ‘nother box of irritation. I am sure store owners have their own set of shopping woes and please, if you are one and would like to chime in, please feel free to do so! Being so dedicated to shopping, the last thing I want to do is annoy a favourite creator by doing something that makes their virtual blood boil.

And here we go, my list of things that annoy me about other shoppers.

1. Staying on the landing point after arriving. For the love of the totem pole, when you arrive at a shopping venue, take a couple of steps off of the landing point! Yes, sometimes lag prevents movement immediately, but at least try to move away from where you have rezzed. This will prevent other shoppers from becoming stacked on your head or left flailing in mid-air while they wait for you to mosey on along. Even if you can’t see yourself rezzing, you can still move to give a clear drop zone for avatars coming in behind you.

2. Leave your gestures at home. I’m not a complete Gesture Nazi, but when a venue is stacked to the gills with shoppers the last thing I want to see is a wall-o’-text blocking my view of the vendors that have finally rezzed. I have sound turned off for gestures via my viewer, but I do know that constant giggles and shouts are just as annoying as the text (thus, my preference for muting the sounds).

3. Don’t wear your thousand-script outfit to a sales event. This is the greatest contributor to lag (or so I have been led to believe). While I don’t usually go with a full-alpha look, I am conscious of my script count. I generally wear system clothes or no-script mesh clothing and hair and the only gadget I wear is a low-script AO, but I will take it off if the venue is overly crowded. I check my script count before leaving home (via my viewer, but there are free script counters available on Marketplace). I love the events that have script traps and bar entry to those avatars who insist on shopping while wearing full battle-gear or their pretty-as-a-princess ballgown, complete with jewelry and hair that have listening scripts in all 3000 prims!

4. Don’t flog your own store (or another competitor) in someone else’s shop. This is a guaranteed way for me to boycott your store and probably mute you. It is in poor taste and if I were a store owner who came across someone doing this I would be very likely to ban the offender first and ask questions later. I’m probably going to document your actions and report it to the shop owner, too.

5. Don’t beg. I’m not sure how often beggers in SL actually receive Lindens from other SL residents, but it’s not going to be me. Very little spoils my shopping experience more than having a complete stranger IM me asking for money. I have never heard a sob story that moved me enough to want to part with my hard-earned cash to give to a random panhandler. I can be helpful to people looking for freebies or how to upgrade their avatar or find free or low-cost items. But that is a question I am rarely – if ever – asked. I will also be happy to give suggestions on how to earn money in Second Life. I can also be generous to my friends and people I choose to share with. But call me mean if you want; I have better things to spend my L’s on than a moocher: namely that cute dress in the corner or that sparkly pair of earrings to my left 😉

6. Don’t hit on me. I am not an unfriendly sort, but I am taken. Read my profile; it’s right there on the front page. It is also highlighted in my Picks. Even when I was single I was never charmed by a blind IM making suggestions about what visions danced through the sender’s head when my AO had me bending over. Honestly, I was just adjusting my shoe, not trying to feed your fantasies.

7. Don’t IM me and just say “Hi.” By this I don’t mean I don’t want you to strike up a conversation. I mean, don’t just say “Hi” and then go silent. You are the one who initiated the chat; please don’t expect me to come up with a topic to discuss. I’m busy shopping so my focus is on the pretty, shiny stuff in the store.

8. Don’t stop to have a conversation with your half a dozen co-shoppers right in the middle of the store. I’m not opposed to local chat in shopping venues (as long as it isn’t offensive or gesture-laden), but by stopping your avatars in the main traffic areas, you are keeping me from easily accessing the goodies I am trying to buy. I don’t want to have to dodge your head as I attempt to pay the vendor and I don’t want to have to derender you just so I can view the latest releases. If you must stop to determine which one of your acquaintances is cheating on his/her lover this week, please step to a quiet corner and feel free to open up a conference. The rest of us there really aren’t interested. What we are interested in is shopping.

9. Don’t be a litter bug. Another reason I like wearable unpackers is that you can have the immediate gratification of opening your newest purchase right away. However, if a creator uses a standard rez delivery box AND is kind enough to give you a place to open your purchase, clean up after yourself! How would you like it if someone came into your home and scattered empty boxes and packing peanuts all over your living room? Not much, I imagine. In fact, you would probably be incensed and not only have a screaming hissy fit, you would be inclined to kick said offender out of your house. Why should it be any different for a shop owner whose hospitality had been trampled? It isn’t.

10. Don’t strip naked to try on a demo in the store. I know we have all been victim of the magical disappearing clothes trick in SL, but there is no need to completely disrobe to try on a new outfit. All you need to do is ADD the demo then remove your previous outfit. Even if you have run out of alpha slots, you can remove the current one then add the trial alpha. I’m not a prude, but I wouldn’t get naked in the middle of a shop in RL and I’m not going to do it (purposely) in SL. If you are shopping on an Adult sim, it’s probably not going to be an issue. If you are on a Moderate sim, it is a practice that will most likely be frowned upon (if not forbidden by the shop owner). If you are on a General sim, you are in violation of the TOS. Use the layer method if you are trying on in the shop and spare us a view of your pixel bits and bobs.

11. Please don’t do cartwheels on my head. You know the AOs I am talking about, right? The cutesy ones that have the wearer dancing, skipping and doing acrobatics rather than walking? Yes, they show your joie de vivre; but they also muss my hair and wrinkle my clothes when you run me over in your exuberance to inspect the newest release. In general, please be mindful of other shoppers when moving around, regardless of the style of your AO (or even if you’re not wearing one). I realise that movement can be a bit random in SL, especially on laggy sims, but if you have run me over more than once, I’m going to be a wee bit peeved. And if you do inadvertently bowl me over, for the love of the Flying Wallendas, apologise!

12. Keep your children under control. If you are going to bring your children shopping, the rules are pretty much the same in SL as they are in the real world. Keep them within your sight and under control. I don’t know what it is about child avatars in SL; they seem to be the worst kind of spoiled brats you dread coming across in the supermarket aisles, throwing tantrums, screaming, having fits and generally creating a commotion. Yes, we see you. Yes, you’re adorable – or at least you would be if you behaved like a well-brought-up youngster. I have come across some lovely children in SL. I have even helped a few pick out an outfit or hair when they asked politely for my opinion. But my experience has been, for the most part, bring the parents into the equation and an otherwise polite child seems to turn into a shrieking banshee that spoils the shopping experience for the rest of us.

That’s about all I can think of at the moment, but I haven’t been shopping yet today. Jump on in the comments and share any of your pet peeves I have left out. The more the merrier, I say!

Pretty stuff I’m showing off:

Sweater: ISON – angora sweater -S- (white) by Harry Hyx
Pants: *Fishy Strawberry* Yoga Pants – S Light Grey by Fae Eriksen (available at My Attic @ The Deck until Jan. 31)
Shoes: tulip. Suede Loafer (Gray) by Minami Susanowa (for Slink Flat Feet)
Socks: Izzie’s – Knee Socks + Applier for SLINK’s Avatar Enhancement (Plum) by Izzie Button
Hair: /Wasabi Pills/ Alicia Mesh Hair – Cinnamon by MissAllSunday Lemon
Skin: [PXL] Creations – [PXL] JADE SK Bare Lips MEB C2 by Hart Larsson
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Feet: Slink Mesh Feet (Av) Flat by Siddean Munro
Hand & Feet appliers:[PXL] Creations<a – [ PXL ] Slink Hand & Feet Appliers SK by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Rug: my own creation
Vanity: Trompe Loeil – Vintage Vanity Desk Brown by Cory Edo
Laundry basket: LISP – Dolly Days Basket – Lemon by Pandora Popstar
Dress form: Tres Blah -tb- Vanity – Dress Form by Julliette Westerburg (gacha prize)

Pose & shoes, shopping bags and shoe boxes: {Nantra} Shoe-aholic by Tracy Redangel (available at My Attic @ The Deck until Jan. 31)

Shopping Pet Peeves

1 Shopping Spree

I’m pretty sure you’re all aware that I’m an avid shopper. I would even go so far to say that I could be classified as an expert. I like quality and I’m not afraid to pay full price for something I want, but I also love a good sale and bargain. In short, I have embraced shopping as a vocation.

With that established, I am about to climb firmly on my soapbox and have a mini-rant. So grab your popcorn and beverage of choice and settle in. This is a list of my shopping pet peeves – in no particular order, other than how they popped into my head. It is also not comprehensive; I have no doubt a few annoyances will pop into my head shortly after I hit Publish.

1. Boxes within boxes. While I would prefer to have my goods delivered to me in a folder that requires no unpacking, I understand that boxing is a requirement for some vendor systems and Marketplace. However, once I have that box ready to open, I am not going to be pleased if there is a duplicate box inside that requires yet more unpacking! This is especially frustrating if the box is nestled inside a folder, leading me to believe that I have already gotten to my treasures, only to be faced with another box that needs to be cracked.

2. Not knowing whether to rez or wear the box for unpacking. I am thrilled that so many creators have moved to a wearable box or bag that you can click to open (or it does it by itself when it is attached). After years of being conditioned to rez a box to open it, so as not to have an unwanted accessory in the form of a parcel on one’s head, I am slowly beginning to automatically ADD the box to my person to open it. However, in many cases, this is done as a guess since I have no instructions on what to do with said box. PLEASE, add the word WEAR in the item name if I’m supposed to put the sucker on my body to retrieve the contents. I would be happier if REZ was included in the title of those clunky packages that don’t have an unpacking script, but I will settle for knowing for sure which objects I should be wearing to open. And please be consistent in how you pack your items. If you are going to use a wearable packing box, do it all of the time. It’s embarrassing attaching a bulky container to oneself that requires rezzing when you have been conditioned to wear a package from a particular designer! Oh, and if it is something tiny and wearable, like a necklace, and it isn’t boxed, DEFINITELY put WEAR in the description. I’ve chased more than one little bauble around the floor, trying to pick it up since I didn’t know it wasn’t packaged (this happens fairly often with gacha prizes).

3. If your box has to be rezzed to open, be kind on Land Impact. While I have plenty of prims to play with, not everyone does. I do adore a creative delivery box; I have used several to decorate over the years. However, if you’re going to get fancy, please be considerate of Land Impact! There have been plenty of times in my SLife that I have had to go to a sandbox or remove items from my own parcel to rez a box. By all means, give us something pretty and clever to look at, but with the advent of mesh, there really is no reason to package your goods in a 43 prim parcel! (Yes, I have had a delivery box with that many prims.)

4. List permissions on your vendor add. This is especially important when you use a vendor system that uses the Pay function instead of Buy. There is literally no way to tell from an item in a vendor what the permissions are. I want to know if I’m getting a one-rez item or if I can copy to my heart’s content. And I really want to know if it is mod – I just gnashed my teeth today over a chair that was giant size once rezzed only to discover I could not shrink it down so that I didn’t feel like a two-year old swinging my feet a metre above the floor. Guess where that went? Yep, straight into my trash.

5. If you’re selling mesh clothing, have a demo available. I just won’t buy mesh clothing that I can’t try on. Even it is at a sales event. Even if you swear you are using standard sizing, I have learned by hard experience that not all standard sizing is created equally. This is especially true of the alpha layers. An otherwise gorgeous outfit can be wrecked if the alpha cuts outside the clothing layer or if it doesn’t cover enough to prevent elbows and shoulders from peeking out.

6. Mesh hair makers: PLEASE give us a note card that includes the head dimensions you use! You know, I don’t really mind adjusting my cleavage and breast buoyancy to make a top or a dress fit. Your bust size is usually determined by the size of mesh clothes you wear, anyway (I’m not talking Lola’s here). But when I have to start messing around with my head to get hair to fit, I draw the line. Changing the head size, forehead dimensions, head roundness, and so on can drastically change the look of my FACE. While I have changed my body shape fairly radically over the past three years, my face has stayed the same. I need to know the head size for rigged mesh hair so I can make a decision on whether it is worth the risk to changing my head shape to make it fit. And alphas aren’t always the answer; an alpha doesn’t cover the hairline on the forehead.

7. Display new releases in an easy-to-access location. I really hate seeing a new release advertised on a blog or Flickr, excitedly heading to the mainstore to buy it and having to traipse halfway around the sim to find what I am looking for. If you can’t place it at the landing point, please offer a TP board or at least directions to where the new stuff can be found. If I can’t find it within a few minutes, chances are I am going to get frustrated and leave.

8. If you are running a popular sales event, make the layout user friendly. Up until this point I haven’t named names of offenders. However, I had such a terrible experience at The Season’s Story earlier this month that I am going to use it as an example. Granted, I went on the first day and it was very busy, but that doesn’t change the difficult layout. First, when landing, customers were faced with a long trek up a snow-covered hill, down the other side, through a stream and up another hill just to get to the sales area. When I arrived, there were 23 people on the sim. Busy, but not at capacity. It still took me over five minutes just to run the gauntlet to get to the goodies. Once I was there, I stationed myself about halfway down the path and cam-shopped the entire length of the row. But there were items that I couldn’t find; and I wasn’t the only one. I heard several people in local chat asking where a certain item was and I hadn’t seen any of them. As it turns out, there was another sales area that you needed to access by a bridge. If there was a sign pointing this out, it never rezzed for me…or, apparently, for the other frustrated shoppers. Yes, it was a beautiful sim. But the point of being there wasn’t to take photographs; it was to buy the wares of the creators who I venture to guess had paid dearly to have a place in the event. I wonder how many sales were missed, simply because of the confusing and frustrating layout.

9. Getting hit by a group inviter every few feet. Hit me once when I land; I don’t mind. I’m not about to join your group simply because you invited me (my group real estate is very crowded). But if I get hit by an invitation every time I move to a different area of the store, I’m probably going to either mute the spammer or just leave. And I probably won’t be coming back.

10. Not having your name as creator on items. This may not be a big deal to most shoppers, but to a blogger it is extremely frustrating. More and more often I am running into (Unknown) as the designer listed in the Properties. I do my damnedest to credit every item I blog and it drives me crazy having to come up with creative ways to find the maker. Oh, and if you are using a template, please create a root prim with your name so the template creator isn’t the one who is credited.

11. Keep your mainstore SLurl updated in your profile. I don’t trust landmarks. I delete almost every one that comes with the item I have purchased. Why? Because Second Lifers have a transient existence and I have landed in the middle of someone’s bedroom more times than I care to count by using a stale landmark. When I blog, I go to the creator’s profile and check for the location of their store in their Picks. I’m not sure about other viewers, but with Firestorm it is as simple as standing at your landing point, bringing up your Picks, clicking Set Location then OK. A few seconds is all it takes to keep up to date with where your store is this month.

12. Central landing points without a TP board or directional markers. OK, as a sim owner, you want to give all of your tenants the benefit of foot traffic. I get that and I even respect it. However, if your sim contains dozens of stores with multiple streets and alleyways, I’m probably not going to stick around long enough to find what I came looking for – especially if directional beacons aren’t working. A TP board or set of directional signs (sorted alphabetically, thank you) with the store names might be a bit of a hassle to keep up with, but chances are tenants will stick around longer if customers know where they are located. And while I am perusing that board or signpost, I might just see another place or two I want to stop by for a bit of window shopping…or, more likely (knowing me) some actual purchasing.

I think I’ll stop at an even dozen. Feel free to jump on my soapbox and rant away in the comments!

Pretty stuff I’m wearing:

Outfit: {Indyra Originals} {Indyra} Chick Wish by Indyra Seigo
Shoes: tulip. Gladiator Sandals (Black) by Minami Susanowa (for Slink Flat Feet)
Necklace: Pendant Daisy White by Damen Gorilla (In SL Library)
Hair: /Wasabi Pills/ Lory Mesh Hair – Cinnamon by MissAllSunday Lemon
Skin: [PXL] Creations – [PXL] JADE SK Bare Lips MEB C2 by Hart Larsson
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Feet: Slink Mesh Feet (Av) Flat by Siddean Munro
Hand & Feet appliers:[PXL] Creations<a – [ PXL ] Slink Hand & Feet Appliers SK by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Pose & props: aDORKable Poses – Gacha Shopping Spree 9 by Adorkable Peapod (Gacha prize – NLA)