Saturday, March 9, 2013

Marketplace Frustration

Marketplace Frustration

Written 9 March, 2013

Quite a few months ago the Lindens sent a notice to avatars with products on the Second Life Marketplace, warning us that magic boxes containing product lines would eventually be phased out. I ignored it.

This month I received a second message saying all 388 of my products would be removed by mid-April if I hadn't migrated them to direct delivery..

The alternative is to re-list everything using direct delivery. That requires the official Linden viewer, or, happily, Firestorm.

I downloaded Firestorm, installed the Phoenix skin, and tweaked things until I was able to stand it. (I hate, hate, hate the damned toasts!) and went to work on the marketplace.

On the surface migrating items is fairly simple. One puts everything in a folder (subfolders are allowed), and right clicks and selects Send to Marketplace. A box pops open and you click a second button and the folder is transferred to one's store at the Marketplace. There you can quick fill using an already existing product as a template.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?

The monkey wrench in the engine is the horrible performance of the Marketplace website. About half the time items sent don't arrive. You never know if they actually did arrive or if the Lindens are just telling you they did-- so you might find five or six copies in the unassigned box when you visit the website.

About half the time attempts to start a listing for a newly-migrated item results in failure. The website is that horrible.

Quick fill is annoying because it doesn't migrate the photos that illustrate the product. That means you have to dig up photos you might not have seen for five or six years-- or capture new images.

Deleting an object from the product list can take a full minute-- and there's no way to select more than one at a time. Idiocy.

The real nightmare begins when you try to delete the old magic box items. Before you can delete them from the website you have to remove the item or items from the magic box, then go to the old SL Exchange website and update the box, because updating from the box itself no longer works. It can take as long as five minutes before the update is finished; meanwhile, the SLEX site is unavailable. Then, from the website, you syncrhonize the web contents with the boxes (happily, this doesn't take long). THEN you can delete the items from the Marketplace.

We all know the Lindens are horrible with databases. Look how long search has been broken! The only thing they seem to be able to keep up with (thankfully) is avatar names and (usually) inventory. I'd give anything to have SLEX back.

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