After Much Debate

Sunday, December 7, 2008 Sunday, December 07, 2008

Yes, I’ve made a decision. And it’s why I haven’t been posting this week. I’ve been shopping – for land.

My main shop is located on mainland in the Caso Milo region, and has been unchanged size-wise since June 2007. However, I’ve been gradually filling it up over the past eighteen months with products, displays and even a rather wacky lounge. I’ve even begun to worry about prim counts, something I’ve never had to do before.

Last week I noticed a few parcels adjacent to me on sale! After much debate (hence the title of this post) I decided to expand onto mainland instead of getting into the island game. The bottom line was that I just could not justify the expense of an island without having a solid approach for a return on that investment. In other words, I could not think up a way to actually use the land on an island effectively. Sure, I could USE the land, but would I get any RETURN from it? A business does not last long if it spends without returns.

Besides, as everyone knows, islands are a risky proposition if you are not willing to fund it from your own pocket. You must have a substantial income from your business, massive donations, subsidies or a complete complement of renters. None of these are guaranteed, and you’ll have to work very hard to make sure they come through. Worse, there are no guarantees that tier rates will remain stable, as we’ve seen recently. So I proceeded to engage something I know I can afford and make good use of. A bigger mainland shop.

After some quick “buys” and “joins”, my parcel is now almost twice its original size, as you can see in the top image. One issue is that I did not quite get all the space nearby. There was a 256 sm parcel subdivided into a 208 sm and several 16's. I'm negotiating for the 16's, but the 208 sm is priced at the ridiculous price of L$25,000+, if you can believe it! It's using some kind of automated script to gradually lower the price. Fine, I will build around it, and I've placed some particle stanchions around it to keep people from falling to their death below.

Meanwhile, I have obtained significant space that can be used for a variety of purposes. The question now is, “what exactly will I do with this extra space?”

My goal is to rectify an ongoing issue in my particle business: sales seem focused on very basic items, such as chimney smoke, white fog, fire and a few other staples. Meanwhile there are many other fascinating particle effects that don’t sell as well. I have pondered this for a while, and now have a theory that I can test with the new land.

The theory is that unusual particle effects are very difficult to understand, and simply cannot be sold from a box picture or even a basic small-scale demonstration. People already understand smoke and fire, so they buy them. They don’t understand the more unusual products, so they don’t buy them. I sell many strange star effects, but I believe the reason they buy is because I usually have a parcel-wide demonstration running that people can’t miss seeing. In other words, if customers see products properly, they are more likely to purchase. My job as the merchant is to truly show them what the other stuff is all about. And I could not do it when limited by the space.

Thus, the new area will be used to provide rich demonstration experiences, far more detailed than ever before. For example, I suspect I’ll end up with a gigantic area for showing fireworks effects. And another for dance floor effects. And so on.

So if you don’t see me in the next while, you can find me hidden in the back, building demonstrations!


Moggs Oceanlane said...

*grins* congratulations.

And yup, I believe the silly pricing of small plots - my RL sister (Magrat Myoo in-world) and I own a chunk of land on Mainland and have a few little 16m2 and small patches that we'd like to own but refuse to buy when they are priced as they are ($12,000 for 16m2? I think not!)

*sits back to much popcorn and watch the building of your empire*

Anonymous said...

Oh I was just going to come by and have a looksie but I will wait until your new additions are all up!

And I agree that having little demonstration areas is the way to go. Just like I think furniture looks/sells better when it's grouped into little "room" set ups. People want to see how the product will look in the way we will use it. I think that's what makes a customer go...oooh me wants!

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