Lab: get grandfathered tier in 6-month buy-down offer

secondlifeOn Monday, April 4th, the Lab took a step to help those who are leasing a region (full or homestead) directly from the Lab with the opportunity to reduce their tier payments, by paying a one-off fee.

The blog post announcing the offer – which runs for a six-month period from April 4th through October 4th, 2016 – reads in part:

From today until October 4th, 2016, you can “buy-down” your Full Islands and/or Homesteads to the grandfathered maintenance rates. By paying a one-time fee up front, you’ll be entitled to lower tier rates on your land for as long as you hold it (and remember, we now also allow transferring grandfathered land).

The pricing for this offer is as follows:

  • Full Island:
    • One-time buy-down fee: $600
    • Grandfathered maintenance fee: $195/month (regularly $295/month)
  • Homestead:
    • One-time buy-down fee: $180
    • Grandfathered maintenance fee: $95/month (regularly $125/month)

If you plan to hold onto your land for longer than 6 months, this is a great deal for you!

To take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to submit a Support Case using the Land & Region -> Region Buy Down case type. In that case you can provide us with the names of the regions you would like to buy down, and we will assess the appropriate buy-down fee per region.

There are some caveats to the offer: it cannot be combined with Education and Non-Profit discounts, nor can it be applied to Skill Gaming Regions. The quoted prices are also exclusive of VAT, if applicable.

Coming on top of the recent changes to region set-up fees, which is also referred to in the blog post, this is an interesting move by the Lab, indicating that they are trying to mix things up a little in an attempt to try to help with the issue of tier.

The 6-month period of the offer means those who take immediate advantage of it will effectively break even on the one-time fee cost, and will continue to enjoy the grandfathered tier status for as long as they hold the land. And, of course, grandfathered regions can now be transferred – although this does incur a further up-front fee (US $600 for a full region, $225 for a Homestead, for example).  At the same time, it potentially offers the Lab something of a cash injection, making it almost a best of both worlds offer.

Tier will remain a contentious issue within Second Life, but the Lab is hoist by its own petard  when it comes to taking broader steps with tier and possible tier reduction; there is only so much the company can do without risking hurting itself. As such, this is something of a welcome move, although it will be interesting to see how far down it reaches.

11 thoughts on “Lab: get grandfathered tier in 6-month buy-down offer

  1. John

    While this is a steal, having to pay 600 usd up front, is a deal breaker for me. I will have to sadly decline. But what does this say about the status of SL? To me it seems they are trying to raise some much needed capital and to stop the sim land slide, which is a good thing but worrying at the same time. Thanks for the info Inara.

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  2. Ezra

    You mean there was a way to do it without Patterns, dio, Versu, Creatorsverse and Desura?

    Apologies for the snark, but moves like this is what Rod should’ve did years ago.

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  3. Able1

    Be aware you are not afforded the same privacy about the fee you pay for tier as “Grand Fathered” regions, where their status is hidden in About Land and in the SKU. For some reason they have decided to show Buy Down in the region type. So.. long after your upgrade fee is forgotten, you can expect gripes from people you rent to who become aware that your tier is less than regular pricing as this information is for all to see!

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      1. Able1

        Transparency is when it is the same for everyone. Privacy issue is when only the Buy Downs are “Transparent” but the Grandfathered regions remain hidden.

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        1. Inara Pey Post author

          “the Grandfathered regions remain hidden.”

          That’s always been the case since around the time homesteads were introduced in 2008/9*. Ergo, any advantage gained by estates holding large numbers of Grandfathered regions (and I understand from Tyche Shepherd that around 85% of all homesteads are already Grandfathered, as are around 11% of Full regions) has always been there, and Buy Down doesn’t change that at all. What the Buy Down label offers is potentially greater transparency to those comparing rental prices when looking for land (granted, allowing for the status of the majority of homesteads already).

          *My memory may be playing tricks on me here, but in the interests of fair commenting, I believe Grandfathered Full regions used to be indicated as such in About Land. I have a hazy recollection of the Full region I held up until early 2009, which was Grandfathered, being listed as such. I have no idea if Full Grandfathered regions still are (never bothered looking), but assuming my memory of things is correct (and as I say, I’m really not sure), that many have gone away during the whole “Enhanced OpenSpace” / Homestead fiasco of 2008 / 2009.

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          1. Able1

            Your memory is correct, GF regions were displayed as being Grandfathered until about 2 years ago when it was then hidden from About land and scripts. I thought I had read it on this very blog that there had been some upset with owners not wanting their regions identified as such.

            I have no issues with both being visible, or both being hidden. But I do believe it is plainly unfair that only Buy Downs are visible when Grandfathered status is not.

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            1. Inara Pey Post author

              Thanks for the confirmation; good to know my memory isn’t going totally out of the window.

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  4. stormmfirecaster

    I think it is a wonderful way for some that couldn’t afford the old prices to obtain a sim in the past to be able to be able to now much more easily. I’m saving every single dime and L$ I can to make it before the end date of the offer in Oct. It has been a dream of mine since I started originally back in 2007 to have my own sim, I finally might be able to. Crosses my fingers and toes..it might help. lol
    Great article Inara.

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