Note: While the images in this blog post are from 2017, the content has been reviewed and updated for 2020.
Similar to real life, Second Life shopping can be quick and easy or time consuming and in depth. You can go to a mall just to window shop, or you can find what you need via the web by browsing the Marketplace and heading right to the location in world. This guide will help you find what you need when shopping in world.
Second Life Shopping In World: The Basics
With the Marketplace as an option it may seem silly to shop in world. Why browse through the game when product searches are more specific on the web? For the exact same reason you’d go to the mall instead of shopping Amazon, of course! You can see how things look in the world instead of just product advertisements. Watching the people around you to see what they’re interested in is a lot of fun too!
Second Life is a vast world filled with thousands of sims. Knowing how to navigate them is the key to finding what you need in game. After logging in, your first step will be to open the search. I prefer using the Websearch tab for shopping since it’s a lot neater and easier to navigate. Make sure you select Places from the dropdown menu if you’re specifically looking for store locations. Then simply search for what you need (I find the more broad the topic the better), check out descriptions for the results that interest you, and select a place to teleport.
Off To The Shops!
Generally when you first land at a store you’ll be in a welcome area. This area is usually set up as a welcome spot. Many stores offer a map of the location, group/subscription information, and anything else they feel is important for their visitors. Make sure you read any store notecards that are given to you. They often have in depth information about the store’s policies and any ongoing sales.
You can wander around stores freely and see if any products interest you. Some stores will have employees to greet you and help you as needed. Feel free to see if there is any conversation and learn from the others around you.
Stores may have their items rezzed in world or modeled on avatars so you can see how the product looks in use. Others will have pictures of the item for sale. Many have a combination of both. Usually information such as price will be located near the rezzed object or on the picture of the object. If not, right clicking can give you more information. If a demo is offered make sure you give it a try before purchasing the full product!
You may have to left click the object for a demo, pay, or purchase option to pop up. Sometimes right clicking the object is required instead. Most products will tell you if something else is required. If you’re not sure see if there are employees around or join the store’s group to ask.
Supplementing With The Marketplace
If in world shopping is too broad for you, consider using the Second Life Marketplace as a web based alternative to browse a few items. When you find the quality or style you like you can then visit the stores in world to get a better look. For tips on using the Marketplace check out my in depth guide.
Alternatives to Traditional Shopping
Going store to store to peruse items isn’t the only way you can find good products. Thanks to creative marketing we have a few very fun alternatives that anyone can participate in.
Scavenger hunts are a fun and popular way to collect free and low cost items. Hunts usually run from a few days to a few weeks and let you explore new areas to find fun rewards. Visit HUNT SL for the latest hunt info. If you’re interested in being a master of the hunt, check out Isabeal Jupiter’s Hunting Tips.
Based on the Japanese machines of the same name, Gacha are low cost vending machines that give a random item. Most have the chance at something rare and/or exclusive. Gacha can be found all over the place, from a few scattered across a sim to giant events spanning multiple sims. HUNT SL lists some gacha events under their Fairs and Events section.
If you’re looking for no-cost and low-cost items, freebie groups are one of the best ways to build your collection. One such group, FabFree, shares multiple items a day via its blog and group. Freebie groups tend to share a few different types of low cost items:
- Completely free items with no strings attached.
- Group Gift items that require a group tag to purchase.
- Midnight Mania boards require a specific amount of users to participate before an item is awarded.
Store VIP Groups
VIP groups are one of the best ways to get high quality items as they are released, sometimes even at a discount! When you find a brand you love, joining their group is a great way to interact with other players and to keep up on all the new products. In addition to representing a store you love, many VIP groups offer other perks such as:
- Free products
- Many groups give members something for no cost on a regular basis. This is especially popular with hair and skin groups.
- Plenty of sellers allow group members to take advantage of lower prices than the average buyer. Make sure you’re wearing the group tag at the time of purchase so you don’t miss out!
- Exclusive Items
- Some stores offer exclusive products to group members. These items might be made available to the public later, but they may forever be for group members only!
- Store Credit
- A few stores offer a credit system if you’re a group member. Members must make their purchase with the group tag on to get a percentage of the cost as an available balance for spending at the store.
Tell me about your favorite way to enjoy Second Life shopping!