Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm toying with the idea of trying to make (and use) menu-driven vendors. In a perfect world, they'd work like this:

1. You pay the vendor, using fast pay.
2. Let's pretend you're buying jewelry. A menu pops up asking what metal you want. You choose.
3. A menu pops up asking what gemstone you want. You choose.
4. A menu pops up asking what permission set (copy/no trans or no copy/trans) you want. You choose.
5. The vendor gives you your things.

There are a few problems (some of them potentially major), however.

1. Would people use this? It's a number of steps between paying and getting their items, and it's not something people are used to. Plus, if you waited too long to choose, the dialogue menu would time out. Some people may find this irritating.
2. Would it be secure? I think I've got a handle on this one.
3. What happens if two people try to use it at once? This is the thing that will potentially kill the prospect, if I can't find a workaround. I'm a small business right now (by SL standards; by RL standards I'm hardly a business at all!), but I figure part of getting bigger means acting bigger, and that means not vending products in ways that two people can't use at once.

2 Comments:

Blogger Celebrity Trollop said...

I'd really like to chat with you in world about this idea. :-)

August 26, 2006 5:33 AM  
Anonymous Cailyn Miller said...

Hi Miriel, I read this with interest as I've recently implemented something along the same lines (my vendors ask if you want a transfer or copy version so far, but I'd been thinking about the different stone and metal choices too). Here are a few observations so far:

1) it adds a ton of extra work to your setup, because you have to test every vendor option with every item (or at least I do, I'm obsessive *grins*). Use an alt or a friend for this so you can tell if permissions are set correctly.

2) it really does seem to work - on the items that are in the vendors, sales are split about 60/40 between copy and transfer.

3) I've put in a time-out, once the user pays the vendor they have 30 seconds to choose an option before they get a refund. No complaints about that so far.

4) As for two users at once, I lock out everyone else while the first user is choosing options. Just say something polite like, this vendor is currently being used, please wait a few moments.. I felt that was safer than allowing multiple users.

5) I only use these scripts at my main store, and they are used in single item boxes. My aim is not prim-saving here, hence why I haven't added stone choices yet, but rather adding options for the user. At other venues, SLX & SLB I just sell the basic no-transfer versions.

I've rambled a bit, but I hope something in there is useful to you :) Now all I have to do is convert all the rest of my sales inventory to the new vendors... *sighs*

September 14, 2006 9:04 PM  

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