Reach Isles :: luxury living in Second Life®

the 1 L$ sim myth – hidden costs of hobbyist estates

November 16, 2008 by reacher · Leave a Comment 

Seen on a friend’s flickr blog earlier today:

My Estate Owner decided to sell my (and a few other) Sims without informing me – all my items were lost over night when i logged in this morning, the whole Sim was deleted.

Unfortunately this is becoming more and more common in SL, as many of the fly-by-night estates that cropped up this year are going under, and taking their customer’s prims with them. I think people are starting to realize that the artificially low prices some of these estates charge for land come with allot of hidden costs, including lost land, lost prims, lost time, lost work, and lost trust. I’ve talked to quite a few new customers who’ve had experiences like this, which is sad, because it reduces confidence in private estates which makes the jobs of the reputable ones more difficult.

SL is unique in an economic sense when compared to RL, because virtual business costs are relatively low. This allows people to float a business that may not be economically viable, by using their personal income to float it. This is what I refer to as a “hobbyist estate” – private estates whose success does not necessarily depend on normal market principles, but rather, the interest of the estate owner. While the interest is there, the estate is there, often offering openspace sims for unprofitably low prices and tier rates, simply to attain customers. The problem is that, you generally get what you pay for. As we’ve seen, these kind of estates can vanish just as quickly as they appeared, when the estate owner’s interest wanes, taking your L$ and prims with them.

Reach Isles is not a hobby. We’ve never been the cheapest nor most expensive estate; our prices are competitive and fair, but based on real economic principles where our business costs are fully covered, and we also make enough profit to provide a safety net and incentive to continue. We’ve done this now for nearly two years, through many ups, downs, and Linden Lab surprises. You will never see us selling a sim for “1 L$”, but you will always have a stable, safe virtual home to conduct your Second Life. We believe that peace of mind is worth every L$.

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Reach Isles :: luxury living in Second Life®