The dynamics of Dollarbies – advice for content creators

October 9, 2008

Washu Zebrastripe, widely accepted as the inventress of prim hair, had the opening party for her “Hairspray 2” sim tonight, and asked some designers for gifts to hand out during the party. Being not exactly the target audience for a sim dedicated to hair, we decided to donate the Halloween Berlin and the Halloween clock as a gift for the opening. Washu said it can either be set for sale as a freebie at 0 L$ or to be set to sale for 1 L$ and become a “Dollarbie” – a term coined by another hair designer – Teagan Blackthorne. As both items are from our regular portfolio with retail prices of 222 L$ resp. 111 L$, I opted for the Dollarbie option, and set the boxes up. My expectations got exceeded when I saw that our boxes got bought 198 times during the event! While this only constitutes a revenue of 198 L$ (which is not to be dismissed of course), the real value is the additional exposure we got. Since most people got both boxes, we now have 100 people who know about GREENE concept who did not know about us before. And if they rez our items in their homes, friends might see them and inquire further.

From Dollarbies I have seen at other places, there are a few observations for content creators – which also apply to real freebies:

  • Quality
    Your Dollarbie is like a business card. If you set an outdated item as Dollarbie, or stick two prims together and paint them, then the person getting the gift will either generalize the quality of your whole range with the quality of the gift, or they will get a bad impression from the dedication you have. Both is negative.
    But if you see your Dollarbie as a reference and use the same care creating it as you do with your other items, then you leave a good impression. Not only does your customer have the feeling of making a bargain, they will also have a good impression from the way you run your business.
  • Psychological value
    Funny enough, customers seem more reluctant to pay 1 L$ for an object with unclear content, than paying several hundreds L$ and knowing exactly what they get. So if you package your Dollarbie, dont pack it all into one prim and name it “Gift from xyz”. Instead, put the items separately into the vendor prim. This applies especially for clothing, where more layers are considered more valuable.
  • Dollarbies DO add up
    If you have the choice of setting one Dollarbie up or two – chose the higher number. If the event or venue is attractive enough, you will get a lot of sales from the Dollarbie boxes, and a second box effectively doubles the revenue.
  • Give additional information
    This sounds like a no-brainer, but I saw it neglected a lot in Dollarbies and Freebies I bought. Even if you think you are a well known brand, don’t forget to put a landmark to your mainshop into the box. A notecard outlining your product portfolio is certainly advisable. Adding attractive photos of your best-selling items to the box is the ultimate you can do. If the customer likes your Dollarbie, s/he is likely to look at the photos and notecards to, and will probably visit your mainstore as well.
  • Provide customer service
    People who bought a Dollarbie are your customers. They paid money to get one of your products. Even if it is “only” 1 L$, my advice would be to treat them like regular customers. If they come to you with an issue regarding the Dollarbie, they are not a nuisance, but they actually demonstrate that they USE your creation. And if they use it and like it, they are very likely to like other items from you as well. Denying customer service to them, simply based on the fact that they did not pay regular rates, can ruin the best impression they might have had so far. Again – they showed willingness to spend money for one of your creations. So see a customer service request as an opportunity to win a loyal repeat customer.
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7 Responses to “The dynamics of Dollarbies – advice for content creators”


  1. Great post!!! Definitely one that designers should read. 🙂

  2. ganymedes1985 Says:

    designers are reading and nodding 🙂

  3. Portia Says:

    Consumers are reading and nodding as well, especially the point about landmarks. One doesn’t always pick up gifts at the main store. Including a landmark is essential!

  4. Clio Says:

    Very interesting dollarbie-releasing guide, Peter;)

    … I should prolly change how I do things a bit…


  5. […] Gift Edition – not worth 1 L$? Gwyneth Llewelyn :: The Hard Facts About the Second Life® Economy GREENE concept :: The dynamics of Dollarbies – advice for content creators Prad Prathivi :: I can haz […]

  6. Doreen Garrigus Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have been in Second Life for about a year and a half and have just recently become an avid freebie/dollarbie hunter.

    I spend quite a bit of time finding them, but I delete the vast majority of the freebies I pick up. I don’t like most of them, but the ones I do like are very important. You see, I’ve gotten bored with my stuff and I want to find new stuff, but I need some way to find fresh designers.

    For me, freebie hunting is essentially designer hunting. Impress me with your meticulously made samples and I’ll come back and spend (a completely ridiculous amount of) real money. Freebies are advertising. First attempts and almost-rights are not going to bring me to your store.

    One other thing to note is that landmarks get separated from clothes and objects. Be sure to include the searchable version of the name of your business in the name of the object or the description of the object. It is stunning how many designers don’t do this. A shirt named “blue v-neck” picked up from some promotional event may be one of my favorite things ever, but if I have no idea where it came from, I can’t go buy the fat pack. I know that I could IM you to find out, but I won’t, and neither will the rest of your customers.

    All of that said, I want to tell the designers of Second Life that they are amazing and creative and determined. There is so much that is so beautiful, and the quality increases every time I look. Thank you.


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