Thursday, December 3, 2009

The "unintended" consequences of XStreetSL's listing taxes

As the first of the big changes to XStreetSL(L$99 freebie monthly tax) will be coming soon(sometime between Dec. 18 - Jan. 18), "unintended" consequences are already being clearly seen.

XStreetSL now has a big rash of active item listings that no longer have any items associated with it. This was due to merchants neglecting to de-list their items before trashing their XStreetSL magic boxes. This will force the Commerce team to eventually do a sweep and remove the "dead" listings, but until then these listings serve as a proof of lost income for the Lab: customers can't buy them, the Lab can't get a commission, and heaven help them if they try to extract listing taxes from those dead listings.

So many of the merchants who left now leave the Lab with a significant liability in terms of both monetary and reputational value. XStreetSL's primary strength was it's ability to buy items in a browser and not have to go through the trouble of finding them in-world. With these dead listings, the departed merchants have effectively undermined that strength and simultaneously made alternatives more appealing. And it may get worse when the listing taxes go in effect, causing more merchants to leave abruptly when they are truly faced with the Lab's greed.

Congratulations, Commerce team. You've fostered the creation of content black holes on your site.

3 comments:

Wayfinder said...

LOL, this is what happens when a company fails to make decisions with the good of EVERYONE in mind. Now they're going to have to design code to eliminate dead listings, because it's their problem that such listings exist. I'm sure if they try to charge merchants for listings that remain after the merchant pulled their server box... they're going to be stepping on some very negative ground. :D

AntoniusMisfit said...

@Wayfinder:

"I'm sure if they try to charge merchants for listings that remain after the merchant pulled their server box... they're going to be stepping on some very negative ground. :D"

While it's unlikely they will do that deliberately, it's possible that until they do write and deploy the code necessary to remove the dead listings the system may be dumb enough to charge the dead listings.

Either way, I'm not personally worried because I took the time to de-list my items before I trashed my magic box.

Zauber Paracelsus said...

I had to manually delist everything after I deleted my magic box. Next morning I had found a bunch of people tried to purchase the items, but the delivery failed. After that I sent out the purchased items (all freebies) to the people who tried to buy them. They all appreciated me going through the trouble.