Frequently Asked Questions
(ongoing)What's it called?
The suite of services is called inIW.net. The marketplace is the first of several projects under development. Rentals (and a property search website), places to visit, services, jobs, freebies (the current Freebie Ring service), music & radio, and other services will be added later this year.Will it be an online marketplace or a catalog that sends customers to my in-world store(s)?
Both. Listed products must be available to buy on the marketplace but we also provide a simple and flexible mechanism for bringing customers to your store, or even a department within your store. The in-world teleport option is as prominent in listings as the online sales option. We believe in giving you customers the choice and encourage you to offer both options.Can I have more than one store?
Yes, you can have multiple stores at no additional cost.How many products can I list?
As many as you like.How many images can I have on each product?
Up to 5.What should I do to prepare my images?
Our image servers accept jpeg, png and gif image types, up to 1MB file size. These are converted into 480 x 480 and 240 x 240 images. These are somewhat compressed (smaller file size) before being sent to image storage. Other than making sure your images are the right file types and no more that 1MB in size you don't need to do anything else.My images aren't square. What will happen to them?
They will be resized so that they fit within the dimensions above, and then displayed in different ways according to where they are used. That is most easily explained visually. See the image below for an example :
marketplace image resizing.jpg [ 128.48 KiB | Viewed 6062 times ]
Can I list products for free?
No. The current Freebie Ring service will be migrating to this new network, and is designed to handle free products.Do you support InWorldz Plus pricing?
Yes, the system allows you to enter special pricing for Plus/Cornerstone, new residents and store group members. Customers can search for (and filter) results with those discounts and see the discounted price, but they have to visit the in-world store to receive those discounted prices. The marketplace cannot validate eligibility for those discounts.Can I split sales with other people?
Yes. You can set that up at either the business or product level. We are also working on special 100% payment forwarding for supported charity seasons (e.g. Relay for Life and Toys for Tots).What about listing in multiple categories?
Our category structure is more complete and detailed than other marketplaces, so you may find that your products fit into more than one category. You can list your products in up to three categories, but only if they really fit that category. Repeated abuse of this facility will result in being banned.How is the store structured? Do visitors browse by category or search by text?
You can search by text, by category or by both. You can then refine your search by price, permissions, features and how recently products were added. Listings support up to 10 keywords each, and keywords are given a higher priority than main text.How good is the text search? If I search for "hair" will I also get "chair"?
No. Our custom-written search engine uses "stemming" to match "hair" and "hairs", for example, but will not match "chair". We also store special codes for things like categories and permissions so that the search stays as fast as possible.Can I search by merchant or by store?
Yes you can search for both. You can also click the links in any product listing to view other products in that store or by that merchant.How much will it cost?
Online sales pay a 5% fee. In-world sales are free.Do I need a magic box, or something like it?
You will need to place your items in our "warehouse" devices, which serve the same purpose.Will you provide a place to host these devices?
That is under consideration, but we recommend that merchants have at least two copies of each warehouse anyway, on different regions, to help prevent delivery issues if a region goes offline. If we provide a "hosting" service then we would want to offer that on two regions for the same reasons. We would need to factor that into our costs and region load.Can I enhance my listings or make them "featured" for higher visibility?
We are working on an enhancement package that will let you customize your listings and store pages a little, mostly by color scheme. The cost is likely to be 1,000 izzies a month, or 10,000 izzies a year, and includes a reduction to a 3% sales fee instead of the usual 5%. We have no plans to lists any product higher on the page because of any paid enhancement. We don't believe that is in the best interest of site visitors.What other advertising is available?
Banner ads will be available soon. We are also working on a "promotion" system that will allow you to add products to special promotion. You will be able to apply discounts across or all products, or individually, for the duration of the promotion. You can then upload a promotion graphic that will appear at random below search listings and on the home page, and your product listings will display a selected "ribbon" across the top right corner, to highlight promotional products in search results. Costs and details are yet to be finalized and this work will be in a later release.How easy will it be to manage my listings.
Very! We have worked hard to create a great admin interface for our services. It is fast, reliable, and powerful, and includes features like bulk editing, predefined text blocks and tabs (for terms etc.), integrated extracts to PDF, CSV and Excel formats, graphs and reporting by various criteria, and much more. The bulk editing facility is something we are very proud of and we can't wait for you to see it.Can we import our products from other marketplaces?
We have a backup from inBiz from early this year. When you first create your merchant account, you will have the option to import your products from that backup if you wish. You can also import from the NewInStore beta project that I ran a while back, and we are working on an import from the Second Life marketplace. In all cases we aim to migrate the title, text, permissions, images and price (except for SL imports) for your products. You will still need to manage keywords, categories, and so forth before you activate your products, but that can be a very quick process using our bulk editor. If you choose the inBiz import then we will also provide a device that migrates an inBiz magic box to our own warehouse devices and links them to your product listings, ready for activation.Is this an official marketplace? Can you use our InWorldz money balance and deliver from our inventory?
No this is a resident-run marketplace, as inBiz was, and as the Second Life marketplace was originally. We do not have access to your money or your inventory.Is this marketplace associated with inBiz? Can you transfer our inBiz balancers? What assurances can you give us about our money in your marketplace?
No we are not associated with inBiz. We had discussions with Anna at the start of the year, and received a product backup file for testing, but we had no further communications. We have no access to your inBiz balance either. As for assurances, we are very committed to InWorldz and are very active within the community, but we also respect the risk that merchants and customers take with us. We aim to be as open and available as possible, and we are especially keen to to address the biggest financial risk - that of sales proceeds accumulating in merchants' accounts. To that end, we are letting each merchant set a minimum balance on their account. Twice a week we will automatically pay out any sales income above that minimum balance. The minimum balance is designed to cover any additional fees for advertising, enhancements, etc. but you can keep it higher if you regularly shop on the marketplace too, or just add money to do that when required. Basically, we give you the option to limit your financial risk.Will it be reliable and fast?
Yes, we currently run on 6 application instances (like mini webservers) and 3 database servers. We also use "content delivery networks" for image and website delivery. This means that the service is very fast and should survive the loss of multiple application servers and even a database server with only a couple of minutes outage while the database switches over. We also run a cluster of separate servers to handle image uploads, as these are quite CPU intensive and we don't want to slow down the marketplace while merchants set up their products.That's a lot of investment for a marketplace. Why go to the time and trouble?
Partly because we take pleasure in doing a job really well, but also because this network will support many other projects too. It already supports our upcoming web-based networked rentals system (in closed beta at Dream Mall), the TP2.me teleport network (also in closed beta), the freebie ring, the Relay for Life devices, the official events devices and many other projects in progress or coming later this year. The marketplace is the biggest of those projects, so that is our main focus and we want to get it exactly right, but the network is essential to many other projects too. It needs to be fast and reliable for all of them!