Copy scripts

The E2V-3 box contains two scripts to help copy the contents of one prim to another prim. The scripts are:

Copy prim contents - FROM HERE
Copy prim contents - TO HERE

We’ll call these the “FROM” script and the “TO” script.

To use the scripts:

  1. Drop the “FROM” script into the prim that contains the contents you want to copy.
  2. Drop the “TO” script into the prim that you want to copy the above contents into.
  3. Wait for a moment. The contents will be copied, and then both scripts will automatically remove themselves.
  4. Always complete one copy before doing another copy – even if you’re copying to/from the same prim(s) multiple times.

If you’re using these scripts to copy items into your E2V Inventory Server, remember that you will need to use “Edit Linked Parts” and put the TO script into one specific Storage Box at a time. You can place the TO script into the same prim over and over, to copy from several different objects into the same Storage Box, or you can put the TO script into a different Storage Box each time.

Working with others: Partnering vs Splitting

When you work with other people there are subtle, yet crucial differences between split profits and partnering. Here are the basic ideas…

First, whoever owns the vendor object gets 100% of the customer’s payment when that object is purchased. This is just how SL works, and has nothing to do with any vendor system. When someone pays money to an object you own, you get the money.

But, think about what else this means. If you own the vendor object, that means you also own the entire product itself. That’s because you can’t put something into your Inventory Server that you don’t own. So this means that even if someone helped you create all or part of your product, they would have given it to you at least with copy/transfer permissions, making you the final owner of the product.

The term “split” is really a bit of a misnomer. “Split” implies that you get part of the money coming in, but part of it is somehow diverted to someone else. This isn’t the case! You get 100% of the money. If you want someone else to also make money from this sale, then you have to pay them from your account. The split feature of a vendor system is intended to do this automatically for you, based on who you tell it to pay, and how much. As the sale is recorded, the system simply pays the split target the amount you specify, taking it from your account. That’s why splits require debit permissions.

Now, what if the person you’re working with doesn’t want to give you the item with copy/transfer perms, and wants to retain full ownership of the item they create, even though it’s selling in your store? You cannot place this item in your Inventory Server, and thus you cannot sell this item from a vendor object you own.

The owner of the item has to sell this item from their own vendor. But, if they do that, then the purchase will not show up under your redelivery terminal, any store credit earned will not be credited to the customer under your store, etc. All that sales data would go to the store of the owner of the vendor object.

This is where partnering comes in!

Partnering allows the vendor owner to say “I want sales of this item to be part of someone else’s store, instead of my store.” So whether a customer buys an item owned by you, or by your partner, the item still shows up your store’s redelivery page, any buyer’s rewards still affect their credit balance in your store, etc.

In version 4, partner mode can be applied to every vendor on a region, or only to specific vendors.

Events vs Main Stores

“How do I set up for an event, which is on a different region than my main store?”

I answer this question a lot, which is a sure indication that it’s confusing! There are big changes coming in Version 4, to simplify this (and a million other things). But for now, I’ll recap how things work in Version 3.

No Difference Between Events and Main Stores

This is the important thing to remember: there is no difference between your “main store” and an “event.” Here’s all the system cares about: regions. Any region where you want to have vendors will be set up the same as any other region.

Sometimes people get confused by the Inventory Server being on the same region as one of their stores. The Inventory Server can live on any region in SL, whether you have a store there or not. If you have a private home sim, your Inventory Server can live there. It’s the one special-case object in the system, because you only need one of them to cover the entire SL grid, and it does not matter what region you keep it on.

How to Set Up on Any Region

Here’s how you set up any region in SL to have your vendors on it (in the current version!)

  1. Rez a Store Controller, then a Transaction Relay, and then a Delivery Relay. Remember that only objects that come from the Release 9 folder will work.
  2. Now you can create vendors.

If you use Take in your viewer to grab copies of working vendors from one region to rez them on another region, it’s always a good idea to reset everything once you’re done rezzing vendors.

Can’t Spare The Prims?

If you can’t spare the 3 prims needed for the store support objects, there are other options.

I can spare 2 prims – If you place a boxed copy of the product inside every vendor prim, then you will no longer need the Delivery Relay.

I can’t spare any prims – Then you will need to use a script called the EventVendor, which you’ll find in your Release 9 folder. The EventVendor also requires that the boxed product be placed inside the vendor prim. It also has a different way of setting the vendor options. If you need to use this script, please shoot me an IM and I’ll help you get the options set correctly.

 

E2V Version 4

I’m going to begin publishing a few articles here and there about what to expect from the E2V system in version 4. These will include information about new features, and/or ways existing features and procedures will be changing. Here’s a few quickies for today…

Easy Updates – Keeping your system up to date will be easier than ever. Updates will be delivered to you automatically, and will (in all foreseeable cases) consist of a single box that you’ll just rez, click, and let it do its thing automatically.

Simpler Options Settings – The options settings on each vendor are going to return to version 2 style. For version 3 users, your existing vendors will be converted automatically for you, and you’ll find setting options to be much simpler going forward. For version 2 users, you’ll already be familiar with how to set options. This is to allow for more feature flexibility, and simpler instructions!

New 1-prim Controller object – There are several individual store support objects in version 3 that will be combined into a single Controller object for version 4. This means just one prim will be needed to run a store on any region.

More info coming in the future …

 

SL Groups and the E2V System

I’m often asked if the E2V system does “group discounts” – and the answer is a qualified “no.” When I think of “group discounts” I come up with two possible scenarios. The first is where group members pay a lower price than non-group members. The second is where group members receive cash back after paying the same price as non-group members. Let me explain why neither of these are great approaches in Second Life, and then explain what the E2V system does instead.

Two Prices
It is possible, using the SL “pay” dialog, to present two price buttons with different amounts. What’s not possible is to prevent someone from pressing the wrong button – both buttons are equally clickable by anyone, whether you have the group tag on or not. It is only after the Lindens have been deducted from the customer’s account, and transferred to yours, that a script can validate someone’s click. In other words, a person without a group tag can click the group price, and a person with the group tag can click the non-group price. So how would the script deal with these scenarios?

In the case of a non-group member clicking the lower price (and who wouldn’t?) the customer is due a refund of the entire payment amount, and would have to be informed that amount is only for those wearing the proper group tag. In the case of a person wearing the group tag and pressing the higher-priced non-group button, they would be due a refund of the difference between the price they paid, and the group price.

Both of these scenarios require that the system obtain debit permissions from the store owner, in order to be able to pay the customers. I’ve expressed my feelings about debit permissions on many occasions, but suffice it to say that I would never grant debit permissions to anyone else’s script, and therefore I certainly do not expect any of my customers to do it either. Granted, there are some scenarios (like splits) where there’s just no convenient or better way around it, and I’ve reluctantly implemented the requirement for debit permissions in those cases.

So to sum up – any approach where people can select the “wrong” amount to pay, requires debit permissions, and is therefore something I’m not terribly motivated to support.

Cash Back for Group Members
Debit permissions. Enough said.

The E2V Approach: Store Credit
It’s still possible to treat your group members specially, using Buyer’s Rewards. There are two rates of buyer’s rewards available on every vendor, one for group and one for non-group. There are a couple advantages to using store credit:

  • You do not earn less money from group members.
  • Store credit is an incentive for your customers to come back to your store.

For example, if all your items sell for L$100, and you offer 10% buyer’s rewards for group members, they essentially can get an 11th item for free. Isn’t getting them back into your store, and wearing/using your product, better than giving them L$100 in cash that they might spend elsewhere? 🙂

 

 

E2V: VIP Credit

One of the easily overlooked features of the E2V system is VIP Credit. This short article will explain quickly what it is, and what you might use it for.

VIP Credit is a way to give out “free” store credit to certain people. It’s a kiosk or terminal that you build, and add a script to – so you control how it looks. If an avatar is approved (more on that in a sec) they can click the terminal, and their store credit account is credited with an amount you determine. People can click only once per “round” – though you can reset the round at any time.

There are two ways to specify who can collect this credit gift. You can either create a notecard with a list of specific names, or you can set the terminal to your group, and then anyone with your group tag active can participate.

One possible usage of this feature would be something akin to a monthly group credit allowance. You simply set up the terminal to be group only, and then reset it every month.

Another possible usage is to give store credit to a select list of bloggers. You would add their names to a notecard, and perhaps reset the list before each release you’d like to invite them to.

VIP Credit can be an alternative to sending out free items, or can be an incentive for customers to come to the store.

You should already have the box in the E2V folder of your inventory (use the Filter Inventory input to search for “VIP”), but if you’d like to make sure you have the latest, just shoot me an IM in world.

(The latest for Version 3 users is called “[E2V-3] VIP Credit (Rez me)” and for version 2 users it’s called “[E2V-IS] VIPCredit 1.2”)

 

 

My Availability

As of March 17th, 2014, I’ve started a new day job. I previously worked at home, which gave me a lot of flexibility in terms of checking my email, answering questions, and even logging in during the daytime if needed. But my new job is much less flexible, and comes with a massive commute – meaning that there are at least 3 hours of my day that I’m utterly unavailable.

When it comes to support questions, my policy is to answer current customers before answering potential new customers. I do realize this likely means less sales for me, but I value my customers and think their needs/questions should come first.

So here’s how you can make the most effective use of your time (and mine) …

Existing Customers
If you’ll please keep these points in mind, it’ll help me offer you the best possible support:

  1. Never send me notecards. They might not get read for days.
  2. Never hesitate to send me an IM or email. I find it extremely distressing when a customer says to me “I struggled with this for soooo long, and just can’t figure it out, so I’m contacting you.” UGH, that makes me feel like dog poop. There’s no need to struggle with anything for “so long” when you can just IM me and ask! I don’t want you to come to me once you’re already frustrated, that’s no fun for either of us. I appreciate when people try to figure things out on their own, but please don’t let a question or problem fester, when I’m so totally willing to help you in any way I can.
  3. When you contact me, I need details, lots of details. If something’s not working, it doesn’t help me if you say it’s not working! I need to know what you’re seeing that makes you think it’s not working, what the symptoms are, any messages you see, etc. Please, please provide too many details in the first message, I promise you’ll save us both time!
  4. Please check the documentation. As you can imagine, I answer a lot of the same questions over and over, and that’s why I write stuff down, to save my poor fingers. The documentation for version 3 of the E2V system is found here.

Potential Customers
Thank you so much for your interest in the E2V system! I will be happy to talk to you about your business needs, and see if E2V is a good fit for your store. No one system is right for everyone, so a brief chat can help you avoid buying the wrong thing. A couple of quick notes:

  1. The features of the system are briefly mentioned on the E2V website. The full system documentation is also available here, so you can know exactly what’s involved with the system.
  2. Please read this overview page, especially if you’ve never used a scripted vendor system before!
  3. Please let me know what solution you’re currently using in your store. For example, “I’m just starting” or “I’m just using regular buy contents prims” or “I’m using system XYZ” or however you can describe your current setup. This helps me know how to best advise you in terms of conversion and setup!
  4. Please be a little patient. I will get back to you, it just might take me a day or so.