Kitely move to offer new marketplace

Kitely-logoKitely, the on-demand virtual world provide has issued more details on their upcoming new marketplace, including an “early bird” promotional offer.

Announcing the company’s plans for the new marketplace on Sunday 20th January, Ilan Tochner, Kitely’s CEO had the following to say:

We are currently developing an advanced content marketplace. Since most OpenSim users are familiar with the Second Life marketplace, we asked our users what they like and don’t like about it. Using these insights we intend to deliver a great user experience that addresses the main usability issues with existing online marketplaces. At first the market will be used only for buying and selling inside the Kitely grid, but eventually it will be used for selling to multiple grids from a single online shop.

In order to attract good content creators we are now offering various benefits for merchants that bring their content to our market before it opens to the public.

The Kitely Marketplace will combine features familiar to those used to using the SL Marketplace or markets such as the (now defunct) Apez and Metaverse Exchange: items can be browsed on-line, then purchased (using Kitely Credits (KCs) or US dollars), prior to being delivered directly to the purchaser’s in-world inventory.

Additionally, the Kitely Marketplace will function more like e-commerce sites such as Amazon, where items can be searched for using attributes, rather than a rigid category hierarchy, making the search process and drill-down easier and more flexible for both merchants and consumers. Kitely will also allow for multiple versions of a product to be listed as a single item, thus simplifying the lists, viewing and reviewing of products. For example, rather than having 5 individual listings for an outfit which is available in 5 different colours, a merchant will be able to create a single listing for the outfit, which includes the 5 different colours, allowing consumers to buy any of the five from the one listing. Kitely call this capability “variations”, and it was a major attraction within the old Metaverse Exchange marketplace. Reviews and ratings for any variation of a product will be recorded in the one listing.

Merchants will be charged a one-off fee of 100 KCs for listing an original item on the marketplace, and a one-off fee of 25 KCs for each variation on that item also listed. There are no ongoing fees associated with listed items or their variations once listed. So for example, in the case of an outfit with 5 colours as mentioned above, the merchant will be charged 100 KC when creating the initial listing for the outfit (which will obviously include one colour variation) and then a one-off fee of 25 KC for listing each of the remaining 4 colours. Further charges will only apply if the merchant uploads additional variations (additional colours) to the item.

Commenting on this approach, Ilan Tochner stated, “The listing fees are designed to prevent low quality content from being added to the marketplace and were supported by our mentors group so that high quality content can be more easily found. This can increase sales for high quality items that are currently hard to find in marketplaces, such as the SL Marketplace, that include many low quality items that aren’t likely to be bought. Those low quality items make it harder to find desirable items which in turn means that good content providers see less money coming in. One way merchants can view listing fees is as a type of low-cost advertising that helps increase the visibility of their wares by eliminating a lot of the noise that prevents finding it.”

Kitely will charge a 10% transaction fee on content sales. Purchases made using US Dollars are paid directly into the merchant’s PayPal account (without going through Kitely), therefore PayPal’s fees will also apply.

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24 thoughts on “Kitely move to offer new marketplace

  1. Thank you for the coverage Inara 🙂

    One of our main goals is to enable merchants to have good control over the content they sell via the Kitely Market. The existence of the Export flag will enable merchants to sell content which will be prevented from leaving the Kitely grid while also selling content to the greater metaverse form the same online store. They could even have one product variation with the Export permission and one without, charging more for the variation which can be taken out of Kitely.

    I highly encourage people who wish to eventually expend their customer base from SL to the metaverse to take advantage of our early bird promotion, especially if they can qualify for the Featured Merchant benefits.


    1. Thank Ilan,

      I personally view this as one of the most exciting developments in virtual world commerce, moreso if it can be used with otherwise “walled garden” VWs. Looking forward to seeing the marketplace up-and-running. Feel free to nudge me if /when / should you get a prototype running ;-).


      1. Thank you Inara 🙂

        It will probably require some bizdev work by us, but I think the Kitely Market will eventually help increase the amount of legally licensed content that prominent SL merchants make available in Hypergrid-enabled and walled garden OpenSim-based worlds.


  2. I doubt I will ever have anything to sell, but this all sounds good, It is what the SL Marketplace should have had a couple of years ago. Some of these things have, I am sure, been talked about for SL, but they have never appeared.


  3. why do those who make SL clone worlds feel it necessary to make a slam/dig at SL when they create a new function for their own world

    is kinda wearying and off-putting this. it detract from the positive of what they have done

    why cant they just say: hi everyone. we made this really cool thing. here is how it works and we know you going to love it


    is true that users are going to make comparisons. but if as the world owner you doing it yourself all the time then is negative promotion and people get tired of it

    like we end up only hearing: this is better bc is better than that other place. is not better bc is actual better

    this message is not what they mean to convey. but is what comes across when they doing it all the time


    1. I agree that there is a tendency to hit out at LL at times when other grid operators should pause and think how it might reflect on them; the Havok sub-licence arrangement being a good case in point, wherein some grid opertors persisted in painting it as an attempt by LL to “block” their business & thus sour users’ relationship with LL / SL.

      Sadly, however, LL / SL is the “big bad boogieman” in some respects because it still does, warts and all, command the grid-based virtual world niche – and is likely to do so for a while yet at least. As such, it is going to be a target, whether or not the critiques are far or not.

      But that said, I tend to feel there is nothing in the Kitely blog post or mentioned here which is unfair to SL / LL or – more importantly – which hasn’t been raised as an issue with the SL Marketplace by SL merchants themselves. Certainly, the ability of linking multiple variations under the same listing has long been something SL merchants have wanted, and as we’ve recently seen, LL are now finally overhauling MP listing categories in response to repeated requests from merchants.


      1. in your commentary you said what the benefits are of the ability to sub-list different color items under the one listing. I agree that is lots of benefits in this for everyone. so is a good thing. to be able to do this bc it cuts down on the number of items returned on a search keyword

        the owner commented that this ability allows the user to find high quality items sooner than on other markets like SL where there are a lot of low quality items which are unlikely to sell

        a sub-listing function has nothing to do with the quality of any item. high or low. it just returns a smaller set


        1. You’re mistaken. The low-quality item reference is linked to Kitely charging a listing fee, and I am not sure that the Kitely market, with or without the fee, is ever going to have the problem.

          Some of the freebies on the SL Marketplace are pretty good, even when they’re old. But there is a lot of old stuff on SL which I doubt anyone would miss. Amongst their characteristics, they are pre-sculptie, and in some cases the scripting is not up to current standards. So there are objects made of a huge number of prims, and there is, because of obsolete LSL behaviour, a script in every prim. And details of the scripting of such things as vehicles might need changing, but have not been. Those old vehicles in SL really are useless.

          It’s such a hassle getting stuff out of SL that I wonder if any of that stuff will transfer to Kitely. It’s going to be the Mesh that might appear in both, because they have to be created outside SL. If you’re building something with prims, you will likely have to build it in your own OpenSim instance and the SL and Kitely versions may well need different scripting.

          I made stuff for SL that I could upload to Kitely, but I doubt the quality is there. Would it sell well enough to be worth the initial fee? I don’t know enough about Kitely to say. But the SL Marketplace got into enough of a mess, a year ago, that I pulled out.

          The Kitely plan, if they can deliver, would make the SL Marketplace look pretty sick. But the people running and maintaining that Marketplace have not shown any sign of caring about the quality of their product/


        2. Sorry, I think you’ve mis-read.

          The ability to list variations in colour and the use of attributes as well as a broad listing category are not in any way linked to avoiding “low quality” items. Rather, they are linked to the facts that a) they make finding variations of a single item easier (as all variations can be placed under a single listing), and b) that the entire search process is made more flexible through the combination of a category hierarchy and use of attributes, and thus makes drill-down easier (as I point out in the article) because it returns a smaller set of results (as you point out).

          Both of these approaches are how many e-commerce sites function, but the SLMP doesn’t really capitalise upon.

          It is the listing fees which are linked to discouraging “low quality” items in Ilan’s statement. Again, I fail to see this as being overly negative critique of the SL Marketplace, because (again) a frequent complaint WRT the SLMP from consumers and from merchants is that it is often hard to find the destired items, simply because of the volume of freebies, etc., which tend to dominate search results and category listings. True, some of this can be tuned-out through the use of additional filters, and it is questionable as to whether the approach will be 100% effective. However, it is likely that the use of listing fees will act as a filtering element.

          Again, in fairness to Kitely, I don’t think the point was to take a “pot shot” at the SLMP for the sake of it, but to try and differentiate on the basis of feedback people have given based on their experiences using the SLMP, particularly given that many (most?) of their users are both active in SL as well as Kitely, and so do have experience of using the SLMP, and can give feedback both positive and negative.


        3. yes ok. if low quality now explained as meaning cheap or free. price don’t determine quality. is many free or cheap items of very high quality

          as a way of discouraging ongoing listings of items below a fixed bottom line cost it makes sense. is a market/economic lever this

          was maybe just an unfortunate choice of words. it just adds unnecessarily to the noise


  4. perhaps a quibble and admittedly i did not fully check what the benefit would be in becoming a ‘featured merchant’, but i seriously doubt there are benefits for the eventual shoppers. featured merchants must upload 200 UNIQUE “quality” items not variations… wait let’s reread that… must upload 2 HUNDRED different things (?!). get serious is all i have to say to that. if you make textures maybe.
    establishing a minimum quota as an entry bar is exactly how NOT to foster quality. it’s how to set up a few little virtual world walmarts.
    as a person too picky to as yet have created 200 unique quality items for sale.. and i mean evah, i would feel as though my little pile of trinkets was merely support or filler for the mega stores who get featured.
    no thanks
    between the swamped in tacky amateurism flea market disorganized free for all that is SL MP and what sounds like the creation of the virtual worlds’ first mall of big box outlet stores, i’ll keep setting up my little folding table amid the fleas and malfunctions of the sl mp. now whose turn is to go for coffee?


    1. Hi garvie,

      Please read our announcement before you pass judgment. Based on your comment I think you may have overlooked a few important things.

      Being granted the Featured Merchant status provides people with big benefits but you don’t have to be granted that status to be a merchant in the marketplace. Anyone can do so even if they only sell a single low quality item. In fact, any merchant (whether featured or not) who follows the registration procedure before the marketplace opens will get a discount on fees and have access to the 4-region Kitely Merchants sandbox.

      As stated in our announcement, Featured Merchants are not selected just based on the number of unique items they upload. We consider content quality a very important criteria and are willing to offer Featured Merchant status to merchants who don’t have 200 unique high quality items if they are well known in SL/OpenSim and have highly desired content (it’s all explained in our blog post).

      The reason we have Featured Merchants is to attract big names to invest the time to upload their content to the Kitely Market before it opens for business. Those people already do good business in SL/OpenSim and need to have incentive to act before our marketplace becomes well known. We want those people in the marketplace so that people coming to it will see that well known merchants are using it to sell their wares.

      Having a few well known merchants featured on the marketplace’s homepage and have premium location in the official Kitely Plaza helps people coming over to Kitely quickly get acclimated. As important, it helps us avoid the “there is only stolen content on OpenSim” meme that is prevalent amongst many SL merchants. We intend Kitely Market to be a place where you can quickly find legally licensed high quality versions of what you are looking for. Big name merchants offer well known brands that can help people feel they are shopping in the right place.


  5. ok, i admit that my original post makes it sound as tho i arrived at a hasty and harsh judgement and even that i hadn’t read your actual blog or thought about it much, so i apologise for that. of course i always understood what would be in it for you, that the initial capital and more importantly the legitimacy afforded by the presence of big names would be beneficial. I still think you run the risk of alienating or even insulting lesser brands. having reread the announcement to make sure i had the ‘facts’ about the quota straight, i must say i am now more horrified by the 3 yrs selling criteria to be a featured merchant, and what that says about quality or a new venture. are you trying to institutionalize cliquishness or something? will there be extra perks for friends on plurk?
    i know this all sounds more peevish than it should and even maybe like sour grapes, and it’s not. i genuinely love the idea of a cross virtual world shopping site. love that people will have options for where to look for stuff, and really truly wish you success. i just don’t think institutionalizing big names from that institution you are supposedly trying to do better than or be different than is a logical first step, even IF it happens to make business sense.

    at the very least i think it would argue in your favor to dissociate inventory size and avatar age from mention of quality altogether and absolutely. as someone mentioned above, content is changing very quickly. i tried all day long to think of merchants about whom i would say honestly have what would now today be considered (by me anyway) 200 unique quality items. i came up with very few names. (although the ones i did come up with would all pass the 3 yr requirement.)

    but on the bright side i see more and more just awesome stuff in sl allll the time. i cannot believe how much the quality of things has improved in the last couple years and how many more people are making great stuff. but most of them are small, many of them are new and some of them are even both. THAT’s the market i want to shop at, the neighborhood i would go to hang out in, and the place i would also be more inclined to want to have a store, no matter what my age or inventory size.

    but really i hope the Kitely market becomes such a place, and when it looks as though it at least is not working against that vision as it does now, i will be all over it as shopper and if you’ll have me, merchant.


    1. Hi garvie,

      Please allow me to begin by quoting a paragraph from the Notes section of our announcement: “We may give Featured Merchant status to people who don’t pass the aforementioned requirements but have other good qualifications. If you have outstanding content but don’t meet these requirements then please contact us and let us know.”

      From the applications we’ve gotten so far, more than half were from people who have taken advantage of this option. We can’t promise anything at this time but we are not rolling anyone out just based on the number of unique high quality items that they’ll be able to upload before the marketplace opens.

      Featured Merchant status provides several benefits inside the marketplace itself that have varying effect on merchants not getting that benefit:

      1) “Free listing of products and variations until the marketplace opens” – the listing fees are quite low as it is and all merchants get a 50% on them before the marketplace opens (e.g. listing 50 items with 4 additional variations each would cost just 5000 KC, with the 50% discount, which comes to $16.67 when buying KC at max discount rate) . People who don’t have a lot of content to sell won’t need to spend more than a few dollars to list it. A Featured Merchant that would have had to spend more money to get all their good content into the marketplace needs the bigger discount on listing fees so the cost of listing all that desirable content (to potential buyers) won’t be prohibitive.

      2) “The merchant’s store logo will be displayed on the Kitely Market homepage for one year from the date the marketplace opens” – prominent merchants already advertize on the front page of the SL Marketplace. The fact that they do so may help their sales but it doesn’t prevent tens of thousands of other merchants from getting business as well. If buyers are going to see some store logos on the homepage it makes sense to show the ones that buyers are more likely to recognize as being good merchants that they have already bought from in the past. If someone offers just one item in our marketplace but that item gets a lot of sales in the SL marketplace then that person may qualify to be a Featured Merchant.

      (Other Featured Merchant benefits are not inside the marketplace so I’ll leave them out of this discussion)

      The goal is to have high quality content in the marketplace, not to get as many items as possible. We won’t give Featured Merchant status to someone who has a lot of content that wouldn’t be considered high quality anymore. That said, when there are more applications than available slots, and all the people in the running have high quality content, we’ll prefer featuring a merchant that is well know over one that isn’t.

      Finally, as stated in our announcement, Featured Merchant status offers benefits for 1 year so we aren’t exactly “institutionalizing big names” but rather working to attract them and the people who are looking to buy their content. Nothing in the benefits we offer them to do so prevents you from being successful in the marketplace as well. I suggest you consider the business benefits of you having a presence in the marketplace when it opens even if you don’t get the Featured Merchant status.


      1. lol.. but i never wanted the featured merchant status,,, at all. in fact, thanks but ick, was kind of what i was trying to convey. i know that prominent as we will now call them merchants have ads on the sl mp home page, but so do lots of non prominent merchants. both groups pay the same amount to have them there. believe me it’s quite a personal brain cramp to find myself defending the free market or its principles, and so i won’t.

        what i will say instead is that if you’re in the position to favor one group or another or several groups, choosing the large established and successful businesses doesn’t seem like the best choice to me. if it does seem like the best choice to you, then i would have had the decorum to do it quietly and discretely rather than risking insult to all the other potential merchants not invited to the trough.

        ” A Featured Merchant that would have had to spend more money to get all their good content into the marketplace needs the bigger discount on listing fees so the cost of listing all that desirable content (to potential buyers) won’t be prohibitive.”

        ^ poor things, so much market share already and now a prohibitive cost too.

        most adults by now know that this is in fact how the business world works you know, we’re just not all used to having it said out loud or to our faces, particularly not by the person who is supposedly hoping to rent us the store front.


        1. Hi garvie,

          As a general rule we try to say what we do and do what we say. You wouldn’t have any reason to be aware of this, but we have weekly meetings with the Kitely Mentors Group where we discuss our plans and seek feedback before moving forward with policy changes, new features, etc. We don’t always satisfy everyone (especially when there are conflicting opinions) but everyone gets heard and everyone’s input is taken into real consideration. The meetings are open to all Kitely users and I’m personally inviting you to attend them and have a say in how Kitely develops. For details see:

          We don’t practice favoritism and we try to act as transparently as we can so people will know they have a say in how decisions are made. People who had contacted me with links to samples of their content and asked to be considered for Featured Merchant status, even though they have less than 200 items to upload, got personal responses for what they can do to increase the likelihood of winning one of the few Featured Merchant spots (e.g. it can be advantageous to make sure that the high quality content that they do have is already organized in their Kitely inventories before the cutoff day).

          No matter how we think the world should work the reality is people seek out brands and buy from well known merchants. If we want them to browse our markerplace then we need to show people that they can find merchandise that was created by such prominent merchants. As a result to having such merchants, more people will browse the marketplace and buy from the various merchants that offer their wares inside it (not just from the 20 or so Featured Merchants on our homepage). Talented small/new merchants will get more business this way then if the marketplace gets less traffic because people don’t know it holds items from recognized brands. If you look at inworld stores in SL you’ll see that locations next to “big names” are more sought after by small merchants who hope to get some walk-in business from their popular neighbors traffic.

          At least at the beginning, small/new merchants in the Kitely Market will be able to get a significantly larger percentage of the total item views in our marketplace than they can get in the SL Marketplace with its over 1 million items. A year after the marketplace opens, the Featured Merchants benefits will expire and the things you think are unfair will no longer be present. Our goal isn’t to make the rich richer it’s to give buyers what they want to buy and, as a result, give ALL merchants selling in Kitely Market a better chance to profit.


    2. I maybe ought to have another try at making stuff for SL. Rigged mesh is pretty intimidating, and I am not so sure of my scripting skills, but there is stuff I have done and which could sell.

      I think it’s fair to say that part of what discouraged me has been the nature of the SL Marketplace. A problem now is that I don’t really know what will work in Kitely. Things such as Sculpts, Mesh, and Scripting. The SL Avatar has problems, and is a decade old. I can see potential detail tweaks that wouldn’t break existing items, but if Kitely has made some of those tweaks, I’d need to allow for them to get the best results.

      And SL suffers from a habit of explanation deficiency. One thing I ran into was the question of how Sculpts look at different LoDs. Key edges in the model have to be fitted to the vertices which survive at low LoD. Not explaining how Kitely works (but that particular problem depends on the Viewer) is an obstacle for the creation of quality content.


      1. Hi Wolf,

        Kitely works with OpenSim compatible viewers. For example Imprudence, and the OpenSim version of Firestorm (for a full list see: ).

        Sculpts and meshes work as they do in SL. LSL scripts work almost the same as in SL – they will require the most work to transfer in order to test that they work as expected (for details see: ).

        Kitely is more flexible than SL when it comes to prim settings, e.g. megaprims can be up to 256m in size, etc. Each world in Kitely supports up to 100,000 prims so things can be a bit more primy (though I’d still recommend SL’s building best practices and not going wild on the prim count – people’s viewers may not all be running on high end computers).


        1. Sorry this got held for moderation, Ilan – a precaution with comments containing multiple links.

          I should perhaps point out (given some of the debate here and in fairness to SL) that SL can handle megaprims of up to 256m size. However, for megaprims above 64m on a side / diameter, it does so non-natively (i.e. they cannot be created using the build floater). This limits their effectiveness somewhat in that they cannot be resized by stretching – however, they can still be path cut, hollowed, twisted, tapered, sliced, etc.


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