And here we are at a new round of The Arcade. Every three months this gacha event becomes the largest and most popular market of transferable goods inworld (or a hard-to-get-in haven for gacha addicts… I mean enthusiasts). Supposedly, for a fraction of what you’d pay in stores at regular prices, you can opt for a plethora of niceties available for a limited time, for cheap. Just remember: cheap is just an illusion because in truth you usually end up paying more due to all the “useless” copies of unwanted items you frustratingly receive. Yet, there’s always something “attractive” about wasting money in a slot machine, isn’t it?
As I have said before, yard sales are a better option –from my point of view– because, thanks to these bazaars, people are able to pay for what they really want, saving big money in the process. Take into account, though, that without support for the original event, dealers will have no way to restock their thrift shops. No gacha events equals the end of the yard sale phenomenon.
I also enjoy these informal malls because you get a good idea of what SL residents look for, revealing hints or possible trends of what would be good to produce next. If I were a content creator, I would keep an eye on yard sale grounds. The following observations are but some of the basic signs any yard sale goer should keep in mind.
Yard sales let you choose what to get instead of just giving you a chance to cross your fingers and hoping to get what you want (that would be the only choice when you play at a gacha machine). They also allow you to pick what price to pay… sort of: If you visit several places before buying an item, you can compare prices and transfer your hard-earned lindens to the merchant that, according to you, “deserves” it. Some of them offer discounts for their extra copies, so it’s possible to save some money if you follow this practice.
If you’re after a rare item, the previous advice is crucial since such articles are always tagged at higher prices than common ones. Ten times the original gacha price is like a standard, and there are some maddening items that are so rare that they go for astronomical sums of cash. For example, the object with the highest price tag in this March 2014 round of The Arcade seems to be the Country Estate bed from Apple Fall, a participating store that is (in)famous for their almost impossible to get rares (I heard you, you said loathsome). The lowest price I’ve seen for that item so far has been 1200L (P.S.: after finishing this post I found one for 650L), but at one public yard sale in particular it was for an exorbitant 4995L! No kidding. I really doubt that thing will ever go (unless the buyer is really insane), but people’s avarice knows no limits. Resell “iterations” play a significant role in that scheme: early birds buying in one yard sale for a cheaper price, and then reselling that same item for a higher price two minutes later. If that goes on and on, prices keep increasing correspondingly.
Associated with the previous note: Set a limit to your rare items budget, and stand by it. Convince yourself that anything going for more than that is indisputably off-limits. Otherwise, bankruptcy awaits you at the end of the tunnel, not any bright light.
Every yard sale warns of this, but it must be said a hundred times: Don’t forget to pick up the item once you pay for it. Maybe people are too used to paying and waiting for their purchase to be delivered, a process that is usually instantaneous or, when SL is blue, may take a few seconds. In most yard sales you have to take it “manually”. The object switches ownership at payment, but that’s about it. You have to click it again and choose “Take” from the menu. It’s not a science obviously, but some people forget to do it. Return might be on in the yard sale parcel, but come on, collect your goods anyway. That will make room for new items.
When the reseller uses a script (those boards you see with little prim cubes affixed to a picture of the gacha set), the purchasing process may resemble a regular store transaction: you click the cube closest to the item you want to buy, and then have your purchase delivered to your inventory. In this case, make sure that you actually receive the object before you head out of the yard sale or buy anything else from the same vendor. Scripts are not infallible, and may malfunction from time to time; the reseller then gets your money, but you don’t get anything back. IM the reseller with any claims as soon as you realize there has been a problem to complete the transaction or delivery doesn’t happen. Sometimes, the “error” may lie in the human side of the equation –if you know what I mean– so don’t be too naïve either. Also check your transaction history in SL’s website to see if the money went through before you do any claim.
Another reason to check your inventory after a purchase is to verify that the object is in its original state or if it has been altered in any way. Some people are not as honest as you think they are and may try to scam you with an adulterated product if the gacha item is modifiable. It doesn’t happen in SL, is that what you think? Well it does. When the object itself is on display, you have the chance to inspect it before clicking on “Buy”, but if it’s boxed, it might be a different story. Again, don’t wait too long to rezz your purchased item and check if it works properly, especially if it’s supposed to include animations or scripts to perform certain actions. If not, ask the reseller for a replacement or reimbursement, depending on your mood after finding this out.
Don’t rush to find a particular item early on during an event because chances are most people haven’t had the good fortune to access the place yet. Hence, there won’t be enough copies on the market or for trading. That’s particularly pertinent for rare items, evidently. Half of the first wave of gacha goers (or should we call them gachers? –nothing to do with the French verb gâcher, I swear) may be there with the intention of restocking their private thrift shops with new merchandise, but the other half may be real collectors wanting to keep their rewards. So come back later, once more businesspeople have the chance to go through the blockade and try the gacha machines. Then they will have tons of extra copies to exchange. If you’re desperate and can’t wait to start your tour early on, then don’t give up and keep on looking.
It’s not funny –nor morally “bearable”– to pay 1000L for an object you know originally cost 50L or so. Your first thought probably is, “it’s outrageous”, and the second one is “this reseller is a muffin skunk” (substitute that banal description for your favorite censored motto). I’m sure some of them must be rapacious, but do you know how many tries and how much lindens this person spent before setting that rare item for sale? It’s hard to tell, so you go, first and foremost, for a personal approach: s/he’s a bitch. Even if your appreciation is correct, the object isn’t yours, so you have two choices: either to pay what the reseller is asking for, or forget about it and move on.
Consider this as well: When demand goes down, so do prices. If you’re craving for an item to complete a set, wait for the hype to dwindle; most probably you’ll find it for a more reasonable price later on. When that article is not fashionable anymore, or something new replaces its appeal, the trader may be willing to take anything to try to minimize the losses.
This is all I can think of right now. It’s been a long day and I’m pretty tired. If any of you have any other advice, feel free to add it in the comments.