After reading Prad’s post this morning, and then seeing all the comments something occurs to me. The idea of freebie’s and freebie hunters increasing is actually a selfulfilling prophesy. Before you all flip out think about it for a minute.
Back in November ’06 when I started in Sl there were a few *Freebie warehouses*. And frankly the quality was well, questionnable then and horrible now. I picked up some stuff but until I bought my first bunch of lindens and actually went shopping, I wore the same system skirt and shirt, changing the textures myself. Ditto on the hair.
I’m not a big freebie shopper. Most of the time I almost feel embarrased to take one. If I see something in a shop that’s free and looks awesome I’ll pick it up if I’ve never been to the store before. Usually though, my freebies come from very generous friends, lucky chairs(which I don’t seek out either) and the groups I’m in.
So here’s my theory….
Store owners are constantly looking to improve traffic, boost sales etc etc. Think about how many clothing stores there are all competing against each other. So, you want to increase your traffic and boost your sales. What can you do? Here’s some options:
1. Have a sale. Drop the price for a week on some items. Do it often on different things so that no one knows what will be on sale and when.
2. Re-release retired items. Did you see all the people at Last Call before they closed and previously retired items were re-released? Yeah, full sim, a lot. You may have to tweak the quality of the older items but that shouldn’t be a show stopper.
3. Advertise Advertise Advertise. Got a blog? Get on all the fashion blog feeds. I read them everyday, write down what I want to see and make the rounds later. Don’t always buy everything but I do go and look. Sometimes I’ll even buy something that wasn’t on the blog. 🙂
4. Have an event at the store. Treasure hunts, live DJs, parties whatever. Have a contest. All these things will get people to the store.
5. Flickr contest. I love flickr contests. I don’t join all of them. Two of the ones I joined recently I even won something. 🙂 Yay me! Ya know what happened, I ended up going to the stores, a lot. Give a gift cert as a gift for winning and you get repeat customers. Not only did I use up the cards, but I spent more while I was there.
6. Lucky Chair. Put some limited edition coolness in a lucky chair. Leave it out for a short time. You’ll boost traffic yes. Not sure if you’ll get people buying other stuff though.
7. Group freebies. Sure, send freebies out to the store group. Make is a subscribe -O- Matic(S -O- M0 though so people don’t use up groups. I’ll stay in a S-O-M group.
8. Pay for an ad on search. How much to spend is up to you. Spend a lot, or a little, change the amount if you are running a special event. This is probably not the best way to go, but hey, I use search so I’m sure other people are too.
So, there are 8 suggestions for store owners that don’t include the ever popular *freebie*. Lets face it though, not every store will succeed. It takes hard work and dedication. Just as it does in RL. You get what you put into it. Work hard, maintain your integrity and stand up for what you believe is right, you’ll be a success. It may be a more winding slightly uphill road but when you reach the top, you’ll be able to look back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Or, you can stick out freebie after freebie and deal with the complaints from the so-called *entitled*, boost traffic but not sell anything and get more frustrated.
One other point to make….
If you put freebies out, people will expect freebies. Stop giving them away and people will eventually be *forced* to pay for what they want. Those that are willing to do that will stay in SL. Those that aren’t… well…. don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.