Step back a second and think about your favorite shopping experiences in SL. They are usually a social thing—you go looking for a new dress for a party or a new skin. You gather landmarks from friends. You walk around stores admiring the ambience and the products. You try on an infinite number of hair demos to show your partner (who is infinitely patient, which is why s/he’s your partner). Shopping in SL is an event.
But… when you’re at work where you can’t log into Second Life, know you have two rez days celebrations to send gifts for, need a costume for one of the rez day parties (who decided an all-pink pajama party was needed?), and you have a long lunch hour stretching out in front of you.. where do you go? Marketplace. (And do NOT tell me you don’t surf the web at work—you’re reading this blog, after all!)
The new Marketplace went up for Second Life aficionados recently. The transition from XStreet to Marketplace can’t have been an easy one but it’s done. Lots of folks have complained, but honestly, I don’t understand everyone’s griping. There’s so much to like.
First, there is the clean interface, which removes all the “junk” from the listings and the opening page. You get big bold images with a pleasing color scheme that is integrated with the Second Life main page, letting you know that it all goes together and makes the sale of content become much more important. Making content king in SL has been one of my points of agitation—I have always thought LL needed to acknowledge the importance and value of content for the continued existence of SL, both financially and aesthetically. The new Marketplace does that.
Then you have that shopping cart, which I love. I *hated* having to go back and find my place after purchasing something in XStreet. Now I don’t have to. I can look at my cart and see exactly how much I am blowing… I mean, spending *cough* before I buy it all. I can decide right there who is getting gifts and who isn’t, ALL IN ONE PURCHASE without the fear of making an error. From a consumer standpoint it’s a win. And oh, oh.. you don’t have to run to a terminal anymore to deposit Linden. Thank goodness!
Finally you have the seller interface (yes, I sell on Marketplace so I am not talking out of my whatsit here). I checked out the process for entering a new item, and it seems quite streamlined and less clunky than the XStreet interface. They also have provided the opportunity to split sales, attach a pdf, enter an in-world slurl, a website, a video link, and link it to eight other associated products. Come on! What could a content maker possibly be unhappy about?! The time it takes re-editing to take advantage of all these goodies, I suppose, but that’s life. Deal. And hello, the website runs lickety split (unlike the old XStreet that took forever to update when you were editing a listing).
So… I can’t NOT show an outfit here. This ensemble is the result of Marketplace browsing. Imagine you’re click, click, clicking away, browsing all the dresses and skins and shoes while you munch on your salad, and then you see this cute dress from Ava Lu, and it’s a must have. She has combined the funky colorful abstract pattern of the puffed sleeves with a sleek mini made of cheetah skin. It’s one large step beyond the typical mini.
Then you look a little farther and Cora Lu has the perfect earrings and ring to go with the dress. The earrings, oversized and beautifully textured, compliment the updo from Truth Hawks, also found by click clicking. The skin.. well, you know.. I saw the set and had to have it.. this from Heather Beebe, who does beautiful subtle skins. (And the cleavage works for a dress like this.)
And finally, the shoes.. these by Felicity Overlord with sculpted feet and toes and a very simple but easy-to-use hud that allows you to color your feet using the edit tool from SL directly on the hud and then clicking to transfer it to the foot.
You log in that night. You have a complete outfit, you found some cute pink PJs, two gifts are scheduled to go out to friends, and you’re set to go.