13 September 2009

Hey, wasn't one of my stores here?

Hmmmm ... so on September 9th all my items (meaning my entire store!) located at a sim were returned without notice by the owner, Bessie, to whom I had paid rent only two days earlier, on September 7th. This store hadn't been doing much business, just breaking even, but had been at this establishment (for voice escorts) since August 6th. Now, it's bad enough when mall owners move their mall or shop areas on short notice (really, folks, it's time consuming to put in a store!), but ... simply sending back all my items without any comment, and just after I had paid rent? (This, by the way, was just after I had to move my store on August 26 because they had redesigned the mall there ... on one day's notice.)

So I stopped by to see what was up. As you can see from the photo above, the club had been replaced with these kind of ugly houses -- intended to be rentals, apparently -- and I could see on the mini-map that Bessie was way overhead on a platform. So I IM'd her (this was my alt Tessa's shop): "[2009/09/09 14:54] Tessa Derryth: hi bessie ... i notice my items from nice tropic have been returned, but not the rental fee of $400 i paid just 2 days ago, on 9/7 ... i do hope you are planning to compensate renters for their time ... thank you." Alas, no reply after several minutes, although I could cam up to see Bessie actively working, and "fly" had been turned off. So I used the map to set her coordinates and TP'd up there, to this exchange:
[2009/09/09 15:00] Tessa Derryth: hi there
[2009/09/09 15:00] Bessie: hey tessa
[2009/09/09 15:00] Bessie: sorry i was in middle of this
[2009/09/09 15:00] Bessie: so couldnt reply
[2009/09/09 15:01] Tessa Derryth: really, i don't mind a change of business plans :)
[2009/09/09 15:01] Tessa Derryth: ok
[2009/09/09 15:01] Bessie: there isn any change
[2009/09/09 15:01] Bessie: we r just trying a new things
[2009/09/09 15:01] Tessa Derryth: hmmm but of course your rental area is gone
[2009/09/09 15:01] Bessie: they will be back by tomorrow..
[2009/09/09 15:02] Tessa Derryth: back how?
[2009/09/09 15:02] Bessie: we will put it back
[2009/09/09 15:03] Tessa Derryth: hmmm, ok ... then let me know ... i'll let you continue on your build
[2009/09/09 15:03] Bessie: it will be back by tomorrow
[2009/09/09 15:03] Bessie : and dont worry

Of course, the day after, no shops were there, nor the day after that. There are now (on 9/13) some shop spaces for rent, all empty, in the middle of a bunch of empty rental houses, and still no communication.

I don't write this to single out Bessie in particular. I suppose she's having a hard time making ends meet. But please, mall owners, get this through your skulls: those of us who are merchants rent specific locations after careful consideration. Sometimes, as in the case with this place, there was some risk, because not many shops were rented. But, honestly, who in their right mind would rent a shop in the middle of a bunch of rental homes? We merchants aren't renting stores just to help other people fulfill their SL fantasies -- we're renting store spaces to make money, to earn a profit! You have to work with your merchants. And those of us who are merchants do talk to one another ... we do keep informal tabs on places and people. :)

OK, rant over. (Ziki steps down off the soapbox and tries to regain her composure.) And there are lots of great mall and shop space owners out there ... I have the pleasure of knowing many. I guess to make up for this diatribe I should write something nice about someone next time! :)

P.S. On a more positive note, I would like to encourage merchants to join the Second Life Commerce Merchants group, which is run by Pink Linden, Colossus Linden and other Lindens ... It's turning into a great place to share ideas for the betterment of SL commerce, with conversations in group chat and meetings in person (virtually, of course!).

Addendum on 9/21/09: Just stopped by the old place, and it's now a vacant lot ... obviously those cheesy looking rental homes weren't raking in the dough. Never did hear from Bessie, of course, so I'll end up eating that loss ... I find it somewhat humorous that she started a SL group designed to help escorts know which clients are dishonest and don't pay. ;-)

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