Do you shop the Second Life Marketplace? Most of us do. It’s convenient! We can see search results based on relevance, price, prim count, user rating, or even how new something is. It’s useful, and makes things easier if we want something quickly.
And yet, I prefer to buy inworld if possible. Here’s why:
I like the experience of a 3D store. The main reason I’m in Second Life is that I enjoy a virtual environment. Seeing the building and decor chosen by the creator is part of the fun.
Going to the inworld store gives the store owner traffic. Each time we visit a Second Life location we give that place traffic. Why is that good? Because places with the most visitors show at the top of the list when people use SL Search. Even if we decide not to buy anything, we still help the creator if we visit their store.
The store owner usually makes more lindens if you buy inworld. The SL Marketplace takes a cut from each item sold. This is not necessarily bad because it’s good to support Linden Lab too, but if you want 100% of the purchase price to go to the creator, it’s better to shop from their inworld store.
You can often find items inworld that you don’t see on the Marketplace. Stores have sales and give freebies now and then. They have contest boards and all sorts of stuff. If you just look on the Marketplace, you could miss that.
Some things need to be seen in 3D. For some items, photos do not show the full story. Example: I would not recommend buying a home without it rezzed first.
The Marketplace is so popular that many creators no longer have stores inworld. They sell only on the Marketplace because they didn’t get enough visitors to justify renting an inworld location. This is a shame because discovering an intriguing store is part of the fun exploring, and makes Second Life a more interesting place.
The Marketplace has its uses. I’m glad we have it, and I’ll continue to shop on it. However, if a store still has an inworld location, I will teleport to that first if I can.