Last November Linden Lab lowered the setup fees for buying land in Second Life.
At the time I was quite enthusiastic and felt that it was a great step in the right direction, hoping that more prices would start coming down, especially tier.
And even though I still think that this was a good step in the right direction, I’ve had a little time to think it over and now realise that this news wasn’t as great as I first thought.
For people who never looked into buying regions, it of course sounds great when they lower the price from $1000 (!) to $600, but if you have been in SL a little longer and ask more experienced people for advice, you’ll learn that paying even $600 is still a lot more than if you bought one second hand from another SL user.
For instance, if you join one of the Land selling groups in Second Life (such as the one I joined called ‘For sale by owner’ or here on the SL forum; Regions for sale) and are patient, you’ll be eventually offered regions for as little as $300 or even less.
I joined the group a while ago and have even seen them being offered for $100.
And you can even buy a ‘grandfathered‘ region there, if you’re lucky.
And yes, you may still have to pay $150 to move the region, $100 to transfer and $50 to rename it (even though in many cases this is already part of the deal and if you do all those things at once even LL will charge you less), but even then it is still cheaper than buying a new one from Linden Lab.
After all, fewer and fewer people are buying land and many want to get rid of their region, so the market is good if you’re a buyer.
So, as long as second hand regions can be bought for $300 or even less, having them now for sale at $600 is not a very good deal.
Looking at the stats, it is clear that the lowered setup fee did not cause a increase of regions being sold nor did it stop the total amount of regions declining.
In the end we end up in the same old situation; SL is too expensive for many people.
I still think they should lower the setup fee even more or scarp it.
And of course they should also lower the tier, even if it is just by a small amount.
But this is of course scary as the tier is what pays the bills and if they lowered them they would lose income without being sure that many more people would actually start renting land.