Until yesterday I knew only two ways to shop for SecondLife products: in-world, TP’ing from store to store and sometimes waiting ages for textures to rezz, and on the www using SLboutique and SLexchange. A friendly salesman from MetaMart told me about a third one: using an in-world hud (heads-up display) to browse through goods. ‘Might there be a way to raise my clothes per hour shopping ratio even more?’, I wondered as I started type lots and lots of question in the IM-window. I can only guess at the following conversation:
Salesman: ‘Hey boss, I have an eager shoppingaddict with a blog asking me tons of question and I can’t keep up answering them.’
Salesman’s Boss: ‘Hmmm. Would she be pissed if you mute her?’
Salesman: ‘Yes, I think so.’
Salesman’s Boss: ‘Ok, that would be bad publicity, we can’t have that. I’ll talk to her and see if I can calm her down a bit.’
… and this is how a ruthed Robbie Kiama ended up in my skybox to tell me all about MetaMart. They say MetaMart is a HUD search engine that will help you to search & purchase items in-world. I say it’s a huge in-world shopping-playground. Using it is like being on the grid and using slboutique at the same time, but then without having to do alt+tab’ing constantly. No need to rezz something in SecondLife to prove who you are, just wear the HUD and you’re good to go. Would I speak that positively about something without testing it first? Of course not!
This is how I told Dakota - now with guns! - about it:
[18:09] You: think of what a break through it is for strippers
[18:09] You: being able to shop
[18:10] You: while they are busy on that pole
[18:10] Dakota Buck: hahaha
[18:10] You: well, actually the same for escorts i guess
[18:10] You: *giggles*
My experiences as a buyer:
Pressing ’search’ on the MetaMart-HUD makes it search for the keywords you send to #8. Search results turn up for both ‘/8 silks’ and ‘/8 costume’. At this point I bought myself the lovely ganster girl costume that turned up in the search, but that’s heading ahead on things. ;) Pressing ‘advanced search’ allows you to search for ‘Latest items’, ‘Popular items’, ‘Seller’s Name’ and … w00t ‘Free items’.
So you see something that you like, and want to see more of it? Just click on the thumbnail picture and the full picture texture will slide out of the HUD’s interface. If the ‘i’ next to the thumbnail is bright yellow, the seller has included a notecard with more information about the product. Just press the appropriate yellow ‘i’ to open that notecard. Sometimes the large textures tend to load rather slowly, but that is the seller’s fault, as the displayed textures use asset UUID. Maybe there is a way to check the size of the texture through the UUID before loading it?
To buy a product that is not a freebie, - evidently - you need to have enough money in your MetaMart account. Depositing and withdrawing funds to and from your account is made easy with a menu that also allows you to check your account saldo. Both redrawing and depositing work without delay. The ‘ganster girl’ outfit was sent to me right away, and now I’m happy, goodlooking gangster girl. ;)
Robbie Kiama ensured me that version 3 of the MetaMart shopping HUD will include the ability for customers to rate/comment on a product. That’s great, because I must admit, with SLBoutique, I’m a bit to lazy to return to their website to comment after I tried the product I bought in-world.
Other things I would like to see added though:
- For the ‘free items’ search, the latest added item should show on the first page, not the last. But that’s solved if we get some ’sort by price up/down’ and ’sort by date added oldest/newest’ functionality. Please?
- A way to browse items by categories (avatar, clothes, security, hawt silks, photography equipment, … ;)) and a way to search only within those categories.
- More items! It’s just starting up, I know, but c’mon sellers, get your items up there. I want more choice. Especially in hawt silks! Preferably white, please. ;)
- I want to be able to ‘fave’ sellers, so I can easily sort all their products in one search query, listing the latest they’ve added on top.
From a seller’s/freebie-giver’s point of view:
Works the same way as SLboutique does. You’ll need 1 free prim to rez an in-world warehouse that will keep up to 40 items. If you want to become a referrer, that’s 6 prims. Keywords and price you can add/edit on the MetaMart website. If you want to give your possible customers more information, you need to add a notecard that has the same name as the product, but with _nc behind it to the warehouse. I hope that they will add that functionality to the website, so the information simply shows below your product on the HUD. Already to much useless notecards in my inventory. The texture displaying the item you need to upload to SL and then copy paste the asset UUID on your products item page on their website. So keep the texture you upload as low-sized as possible!
From the price your product is sold for, 97% of the money goes to you, 1.5% to Meta Mart and 1.5% to the referrer (the person that gave your avie-customer the HUD). You can easily get a report send to your email that tells you exactly how much money you made selling stuff on MetaMart and your referrals shopping spree’s. The report could be a bit more detailed though, but the same goes for SLboutique. I don’t want to know how much I sold in total, I do am interested in how many times I sold item A, B, C, … .
Ow, that and the warehouse does not look really that impressing. Either put in some other pictures (graphs?butterflies?!binoculars to be associated with SL-search?! that’s a tab window, for christ’s sake! geeh!!!) or I’ll just hang it on the outer side of my skybox. Yes, at 700 meters altitude! *grins* And I had a minor problem adding a notecard with information to my product. See, the product uploaded was already using the maximum amount of characters and object’s name can have, thus no way putting the _nc behind it. Well, people will just have to do without the explenation.
And some general ranting on the HUD’s looks and functionality:
I IM’d about that already with Robbie, but these are some things I only noticed after that conversation:
- It took me 4 seconds to much to find the ‘buy’ button when I wanted to use that. Place it somewhere more logical, on the right side from the product I want to buy for instance.
- Why is ‘minimize’ written out that big? It disturbes! And each time I maximize it again, it gives me yet another notecard. I have tons of that already!
Will I use MetaMart myself? Yes, I *heart* the idea behind it and believe it can become a very functionably SecondLife meta-shopping help. I will upload any future freebies to MetaMart as well as SLBoutique. If you want to try out the MetaMart HUD yourself, you can get one from the MetaMart Warehouse in my skybox. Yes, that will make me your referrer and I’ll earn 1.5% on each item you purchase through MetaMart. But, hey, clothes and guns don’t come cheap! ;)
Directions to get to my skybox: go to the Paradise Lost Club (SLurl) and then take the teleportal (round disk in the floor) to ‘Vint Labs’. You’ll probably rezz somewhere close to the warehouse where you can get your own MetaMarkt HUD.