Kitely Market Early Bird Promotion

We are currently developing an advanced content marketplace. Since most OpenSim users are familiar with the Second Life marketplace, we asked our users what they like and don’t like about it. Using these insights we intend to deliver a great user experience that addresses the main usability issues with existing online marketplaces. At first the market will be used only for buying and selling inside the Kitely grid, but eventually it will be used for selling to multiple grids from a single online shop.

In order to attract good content creators we are now offering various benefits for merchants that bring their content to our market before it opens to the public.

How the Kitely Market will Work

The basic operation of the Kitely Market will be similar to existing marketplaces: merchants create Products using items in their inventory. Users browse the products and purchase them. Products are delivered directly to the buyer’s inventory.

One of the biggest problems with existing marketplaces is the rigid categories. First, sometimes items don’t fit exactly into a single category. Second, there’s a lot of duplication in the list of categories: e.g., the Second Life marketplace includes categories such as “Rings”, “Jewelry Sets”, “Valentine’s Day Jewelry” and “Wedding Rings” which makes it hard to find all the nice gold rings without visiting all of these categories. To solve these problems, the Kitely Market will use attributes. Attributes are properties of the product: for example, “Woman’s” and “Gold”. This makes the list of categories shorter because, for example, we only need one category called “Rings”, and then the attributes can be used to drill down into the various types of rings. This is how most big e-commerce websites work, e.g. Amazon, and we are bringing this useful feature to the OpenSim world.

Another problem with existing marketplaces is that there are many similar products. For example, a merchant that creates a blouse might offer it in five different colors, and each of them is a separate product. This makes it difficult for users to browse the available products because there are only a small number of unique products in each page of results. To solve this, we will be using variations. Each product can have multiple variations, based on color, material, etc. In the example above, there will be just one product for this blouse (e.g., “Mary’s Stylish Blouse”), and five variations: one for each color. When searching the products in the marketplace the product will appear just once instead of five times. All of the product’s variations are counted together for reviews and sales ranking. Again, this is something that already exists in big e-commerce websites but is missing from the Second Life marketplace.

Our listing fees will be:

  • Add product: 100 KC
  • Add variation: 25 KC

(Note that Kitely doesn’t charge content upload fees so you can import as many assets as you want into your inventory for free)

Another significant feature of the Kitely market is that we will add a new permission flag to objects: the Export flag. This flag will only be available for items bought from the marketplace, but not for items bought in-world. Items that have the Export permission can be taken out of the Kitely grid. Currently this will allow items to be included in OAR exports, and later it will allow the items to be used on other Hypergrid-enabled grids. This means that a user will be able to buy an outfit in the Kitely Market and, if the merchant gave it the Export permission, have it available when they hypergrid to other grids. Alternatively, a user whose “home base” is OSGrid will be able to buy an outfit (or any other item) for use in OSGrid.

Products in the Kitely Market can be sold using both Kitely Credits and US dollars. Kitely will charge a 10% transaction fee on content sales. Purchases made using US Dollars are paid directly into the merchant’s PayPal account (without going through Kitely), therefore PayPal’s fees will also apply.

NOTE: the following sections are now outdated and kept here for archive purposes only. Please continue reading our newer blog post about the Kitely Market Early Bird Promotion.

Early-Bird Discounts for All Merchants

There will be a 50% discount on listing fees until the market opens for buyers.

In addition, we will provide a special free world that registered merchants (see below) can use for creating their objects. Since we don’t charge upload fees, this means that even users using the Free Plan will be able to create items without any cost except for the listing fees. This world will only be available until the marketplace opens.

Additional Benefits for Featured Merchants

The discounts described above are available to anyone that creates content for the Kitely Market. But in addition, we have another tier of benefits for a limited number of big merchants. These benefits are as follows:

Free listing of products and variations until the marketplace opens. (I.e., we waive the 100 KC / 25 KC listing fees completely.)

The merchant’s store logo will be displayed on the Kitely Market homepage for one year from the date the marketplace opens.

We will create an official always-on free-access shopping world, tentatively called the “Kitely Plaza”. Each Featured Merchant will receive a free 2000m parcel with 3000 prims to build their shop in this world. This parcel will be rent-free for at least one year.

Finally, Featured Merchants will be eligible to participate in monthly fashion shows in the Kitely Plaza.

Criteria for Featured Merchant Consideration

You must upload at least 200 unique high-quality products (not variations) to the Kitely Market before April 1.

You must have been selling for a minimum of three years in Second Life and/or a well known OpenSim grid.

Since space in our homepage and shopping world is limited, only about 20 merchants will be eligible for these benefits.

Notes

Once the year is over Kitely will reallocate the parcels in the Kitely Plaza based on marketplace sales performance. We may rent some of the spaces in an auction, and/or allocate some spaces in a lottery between qualifying Kitely Market merchants.

The Kitely Plaza will be made available to Featured Merchants 3 weeks before we open the Kitely Market so they’ll have time to build their in-world shops.

Fashion shows will only be held if at least 3 Featured Merchants participate in them.

We may give Featured Merchant status to people who don’t pass the aforementioned requirements but have other good qualifications. If you have outstanding content but don’t meet these requirements then please contact us and let us know.

Since we are early in the development cycle for the Kitely Market, we may decide to change some aspects of its behavior or fees. However, the discounts and benefits described here will still apply.

How to Apply

Send us an email with your Kitely avatar name and the approximate number of unique content items you intend to upload to the Kitely Market before it opens, and you’ll get the 50% discount and access to the content-creation sandbox.

If you want to apply to be a Featured Merchant then include the following additional information in your email: the name you go by in other grids (if different from Kitely), and a SLURL and/or link to a website where we can view your content. We will notify you by email whether you were accepted or not. This will happen before we make the merchant control panel available, so that you’ll know which listing fees you will need to pay (if any).

Weekly Merchant Meetings

Kitely will hold weekly meetings for merchants where you’ll be able to ask questions and have a say on how the Kitely Market develops. Times and dates will be announced later. In addition, you can use our forums at any time.

Act Now

We will make the Kitely Market’s merchant control panel available in about 1.5 months. However,  you shouldn’t wait for that: you can start uploading your content to Kitely immediately, so that it’s already in your inventory once the control panel is available. Having a lot of high-quality content in your inventory will increase your chances of gaining Featured Merchant status.

  • Minethere

    very good-)) i sent this link out to several ppl and places-))

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Thank you Minethere :-)

  • Ramesh Ramloll

    Congratulations! :)

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Thank you Ramesh, I hope you’ll be one of the people selling something (scripts?) in our market once it opens. If you send me a request I can add you to the Kitely Merchants group and give you access to the Kitely Merchants Sandbox.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.voyager Daniel Voyager

    Sounds very exciting. :)

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Thank you Daniel :-)

  • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

    Great progress Ilan!

    I’m much impressed that you are leading with the export perm and the option to list a home grid where items may be taken. According to Diva, the export perm needed viewer changes so she ruled it out for HG2 and said it would have to wait until HG2.5. This raises a question mark in my mind and I aim to explore it all in a blog post soon. But I will follow close since I plan to get land at Kitley once Hypergrid is enabled. These developments are important to me and, I think, to the Open metaverse community in general.

    Keep up the good work and thank you.

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Thank you Gaga, we didn’t want to wait for HG 2.5 so we decided to implement the user interface for the Export permission in the Market itself.

  • Eurominuteman

    Next to benchmarking yourself with the Amazon and Second Life marketplaces, you might also want to keep the Steam Store on your radar… http://store.steampowered.com/

    Steam Trading Marketplace for Virtual Goods has also been positioned…
    Steam’s 1st Genre is Apps!
    http://forums.steamgames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=32465129

    Convergence Culture > Join Kitely Users on Steam!
    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/kitelyusers
    .

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Thank you for the heads up James.

      • Eurominuteman

        Convergence Culture means using platform A AND B, and not merely A OR B… So benchmarking in several directions (Lego class and Cinema class) would enhance Cartoon class development, market delivery, and client procurement…
        .

      • Eurominuteman

        The unfortunate Windows 8 / Windows Store issue from Microsoft seems to pose a threat to Kitely / Kitely Store, as well as for other similar marketplaces.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Store

        Can you add some remarks about this?
        .

  • Eurominuteman

    How about enabling this marketplace for real life 3D printing?
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/immersiveworlds.3Dprinting/

    Introduction to SOLID Learning
    http://www.stemulate.org/?p=337&preview=true
    .

  • Eurominuteman

    How about enabling book marketing and a store in this manner?

    Books on Gaming Platforms
    Dear Esther on Steam
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/203810/?l=english
    .

  • Eurominuteman

    How does Kitely Market vrs Windows 8 / Windows Store behave? Has Microsoft implemented market barriers as reported? Is it better to use Windows 7?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18996377
    http://blog.nalates.net/2012/09/03/windows-8-vs-games/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Store
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8

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  • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

    Kitely Market Place plans gets a serious plug from me in comments to New World Notes…

    http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/01/second-life-inventory.html

  • Pingback: Kitely is opening their SL Marketplace in mid April 2013 « Daniel Voyager's Blog()

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.m.taylor.71 Robin Meeks Maggard

    Will the content upload be done through the UI ingame? Just wondering

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Hi Robin,

      Uploading content into the Kitely grid can be done via the viewer (as in all other grids) and by uploading OAR files for the creation of worlds using the user control panel.

      Uploading content from inside the Kitely grid to be used in the Kitely Market will be done via the merchant control panel. The merchant will be able to view the items in his or her inventory and select the ones he or she wishes to include in the product or variation listing.

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  • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

    How about implementing Kitely & AdSense/AdWords, like the following article indicates?

    Hey Linden Lab, Now That You Got AdSense on Your SL Site,
    Why Not Encourage SL Content Creators to Use It Too?
    http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/02/second-life-adsense.htm

    .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tenly.designs Tenly L’avatar

    I believe your dream for how the marketplace will work will be a vast improvement over the way the SL marketplace functions, for shoppers and store owners. However, I also believe your starting fees for the marketplace are grossly over the top. Unless, the ONLY people you care about courting, are the big money makers, which MOST secondlifers are not.

    There is a recession going on everywhere these days, both in reality and in the viritual world. This makes your region fees seem acceptably affordable and attractive. However, most SL Marketplace store owners dont own entire sims or regions in SL. We own our small little hovels and entertain ourselves with creating for the marketplace, shopping, and visiting those who can afford to exapnd their hobbies more expansively and expensively.

    I feel your marketplace fee tier will be too expensive a gamble for some, and force other content providers to believe they must drastically raise their prices in order to break even. With customer’s pocketbooks tight right now its a mistake to be overzealous in adopting a pay before you earn system, rather than a model that only costs you when you earn as SL does.

    As a storeowner on the Second Life market place for several years, my experience has been that to attract buyers one needs to lower prices. People just don’t have big bucks, whether in K or in L. Of course I’m not the storeowner you’re courting. I’m just an average hobbyist having a great time in SL while developing my skills as a content creator. I probably spend more time shopping in other people’s stores, looking for the BEST deals, than I make from my own sales.

    A sim owner in SL, who makes a profit, may indeed still find a move to Kitely affordable, since owning a region in Kitely is considerably less. But if you want to give SL a run for the money, you’re going to have to attract more than just the top players. You need to attract the people who purchase from those top sellers too.

    You need to court people like me who not only explore and create, but purchase from said upper echelon.

    I for one appreciate that SL only takes a piece of what I earn. And the fee for uploading is considerably less, at 10L than the 100K fee for uploading to your proposed market.

    In SL I can upload 10 unique items for 100L (.71 cents US). In your proposed Marketplace it would cost me 1000K ($5.00 US). That’s quite a gamble.

    1000L by the way, is 4.34 as opposed to 1000K @ 5 dollars.

    In Kitely, as a shopper, I’m not only likely to be looking at higher prices due to higher upload fees, but I may have to pay to enter the region in many cases.

    With this kind of gross difference in upfront costs, as a fledgling creator, and a stealth shopper looking for the best deals, I would be inclined to use Kitely to create and build, then export for sale in SL where at least I might break even.

    One thing that might make a difference is cost of uploading mesh. It can be costly to upload high end items like mesh in SL. So, if uploading to Kitely is completely free, I can see where someone whose main priority is selling and providing mesh, might see things much differently than I do. And while Mesh, has a place at the head of the table, its not be all end all for every possible creation.

    I think you may have what it takes to lure a few folks over from SL. I myself intend to see what you’re made of. But history is full of grids that have tried and failed to sustain a following. Some of what you’re doing is definitely attractive; regions at 40 bucks a pop are extremely attractive. I’m not sure how I feel about the pay as you go feature in order to explore and visit. Right now SL costs me less than 10 bucks a month to play, stay, explore and shop. And I use a free sandbox for creating. The ONLY reason I look for value elsewhere, is because owning my own region is SL is prohibitively over-priced. If I could get a region, or even a homestead size parcel of my own for 40 bucks a month, what your offering wouldn’t compare to the richness SL has to offer.

    Greed and SLs desire to be affordable only to the highest income earners, is the reason we all look to the virtual horizon for alternate, affordable solutions.

    There are other worlds competitively priced that have reasonable upload fees and land ownership fees. Their only weakness is that the inworld experience is very 2004. Ghosts, clouds and scripts that simply don’t work and no mesh support.

    I’m rooting for you, but where my excitement over discovering you by accident yesterday was at an all-time high, reading about your marketing fees, “pay before you earn” model, have me spiraling down.

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Hi Tenly,

      Thank you for your feedback, we aren’t targeting only the big money makers. We want to attract people like you as well.

      I think there are a few things that are worth considering when you do the comparison between Kitely and Second Life:

      1) In order to sell things in Second Life you need them to have nice textures and/or sculpties (I’m ignoring meshes as you’ve already pointed them out). Those components would cost you money in upload fees (in Second Life) or payments to other merchants. This means that in effect you are paying before you earn when selling content in Second Life.

      2) Kitely Market will have a one-time listing fee that the Second Life marketplace doesn’t have, but Kitely doesn’t charge you upload fees for the components you use to create the items you sell in Kitely. Which of these costs is higher depends on how much content you upload but at 100KC for a new product listing you don’t need to pay more than ~$0.33 in Kitely Market (see #8 below) to list a unique product and you’ll be paying only half of that if you do so before the marketplace opens.

      3) If you sell content inworld using KC then there is no product listing fee you have to pay. Which means that the cost is zero in Kitely compared to whatever you pay to upload that content in Second Life. You can also have a nice prim-rich full region inworld store in Kitely on the Free Plan, while even a small store in Second Life will cost you some money.

      4) Due to the Kitely Market listing fees your product will have a higher chance of being viewed by potential buyers as people will be much less prone to spam the Kitely Market with low quality freebies and multiple variants of the same product (which is a problem that makes it hard to find your goods in the Second Life marketplace). Less noise means you can have better sales.

      5) The money people save on land maintenance costs in Kitely is freed to be spent on buying more virtual goods. So sellers need spend less in Kitely and get access to potential buyers who have more money to spend.

      6) As time goes by more people are switching their worlds to unlimited free access for all visitors so it doesn’t cost you minutes or KC to visit them (in effect making those worlds the same type of free access that you get in Second Life).

      7) There are free sandboxes in Kitely, you can find them in the Public Words page:http://www.kitely.com/search?q=sandbox

      8) The more KC you buy the better rate you get, if you buy $50 worth of KC
      you’ll get 300 KC per USD which means 1000 KC can be bought for $3.33.

      To conclude, the different fee structure Kitely uses can create a different dynamic that can be more profitable to not only big sellers but also to smaller ones such as yourself.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tenly.designs Tenly L’avatar

        you make some good points. all worth considering.

        • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

          Thank you Tenly :-)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tenly.designs Tenly L’avatar

    I have to eat some humble pie and take back what I said about the price of uploading to the marketplace and Ill tell you why.

    I forgot what a perfectionist I can be and how often I have to re-upload a piece before I get it just where I want it. And thats just for the clothes I wear myself. When its for the market, Im even pickier.

    My current little experiment has just cost me 90 lindens and I haven’t perfected what I’m working on by a long shot.

    I had forgotten how much I sometimes spend in the creation process!

    So, as I take another bite of pie, I now believe my concern with regard to pricing was completely wrong. if uploading my textures to Kitely is free, even with the marketplace prices of 100K per item (25K per iteration), it will cost me less with regard to the overall process, then it now does uploading to SL.

    Man, get that marketplace out there! I’m small beans compared to many SL store owners, but I’m definitely standing in line!

    • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

      Thank you Tenly :-)

      It’s even cheaper than that. You only pay 100 KC to create a product entry once, you can then change it as often as you like at no extra charge. The 25 KC charge is for creating product variations. So you can, for example, create a Tenly Fancy Shoes product in blue then add product variations in other colors (let’s say a red variation and a pink variation). This makes it easier for buyers to find the design they like then select the color from one of your variations. Different variations can include other accessories, have different prices, etc.

      We’re about 3-4 weeks from making the merchant control panel available for you to start creating your Kitely Market store. The marketplace is planned to open for business in June.

      If you email me your Kitely username I can add you to the Kitely Merchants group and give you access to the Kitely Merchants Sandbox so you can start uploading your content into Kitely. This will also allow you to start building content directly inside Kitely, saving you those uploading costs you’d need to absorb in Second Life.