A Comment on Export Perms & Fees

There’s a thread on the Kitely Forums about the Export perm and how much it should cost. I posted the following Comment in that thread…

A lot of makers of virtual goods base their price on the amount of work or cost involved with producing the item. On the surface, that makes sense. But it actually misses the point completely. It’s not about what it is worth to the creator or seller, it’s about what it is worth to the buyer.

You can be a great creator but that doesn’t mean you know anything about business or marketing.

In the case of Export perms, it’s not a question of how much the creator is “giving up.” It is only – and always – a question of how much value the buyer is going to get out of the item and therefore, how much they are willing to pay.

Remember, in OpenSim, people have done without for a long time. Because of this a few may be champing at the bit to buy but for most – they have done without it for this long, so if you charge too much, it is very easy for them to keep waiting for a better deal. Or go without forever. Heck, these folks are OpenSimmers – if they REALLY wanted that thing and it wasn’t available for free, they would have learned to make it by now.

So if you want to sell to them – make it good, make it convenient and make it reasonably cheap. And remember this – you are not actually selling a product in virtual worlds, you are selling a service.

If you don’t think that’s fair – don’t sell it. You won’t be missed.

Don’t get hung up on the “They can take it anywhere and use it all over the Metaverse. That’s worth money.” It might be but that’s not what they’re buying.

In January, I wrote:

“Just because you’re granting them the right to go anywhere in the free Metaverse with their purchase doesn’t mean they’re going to go everywhere with it.”

Export Perm – How Much Should It Cost?

Although I used to be willing to pay a 100% mark-up, I’m not sure about that anymore. Why should I pay an export fee at all? What did I do to deserve that?

And with HG prevalent now, what sense does an Export perm markup make really? It’s a cover charge. A “convenience fee.” Don’t those convenience fees have a bad name?

About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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2 Responses to A Comment on Export Perms & Fees

  1. Addison says:

    I usually agree with sir, but in this case I disagree. The system you describe above promotes low-quality merchandise, or items that have been illegally copied so that the creator actually spent no time on the product design. In the real world, we have these issues too, and it creates third-world factories with folks essentially enslaved. If you choose to support that system, that is your choice. As we have discussed before, the Open Sim world is going nowhere fast unless it can appeal to those with an aesthetic sense. It is not there yet, and won’t be as long as crappy freebie items are what one can surround oneself with,


  2. I’m not describing or suggesting a system. I am simply stating the way things are now. A tariff – high or low – might seem justifiable to the content creator. I simply state that the “justifiability” is a moot point.

    You can make the best widget in the world and have good reason to charge a million dollars for it. Potential customers can see that it is by far the best and they can even see the necessity of the pricing. But if they can not afford to purchase it or decide that as good as it is, they will do with a lesser one because of the pricing – you are no better off.

    Don’t price yourself out of the market.

    This is all I’m saying.

    I understand the fear that quality content creators will not come to OpenSim because they fear illegal copying and all it leads to. My fear is that if prices are too high, sales will be low, and that will be the reason quality creators stay away from OpenSim.

    It is also possible we are both right. Which would be worse news.


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