Location: On the edge of town loaded with shopping bags
Soundtrack of the Moment: Eleni Foureira – Fuego
I think it is no big secret, that I am a shopping addict (well like most other avatars of this place as well) and so I am constantly roaming my usual sites, the mp and shopping events, to get some inspiration and throw my money at the various designers I regularly shop at.
Yet still the time of my mindless “god i have to have that … no matter what the cost” is happily over, and so I am not buying that much any more guided by the first impulse … well mostly.
One thing that I like about having the choice in SL is, that (if a designer dives deeply into it) is that I can have a piece of clothing in a wide variety of colors. Some even offer an excessive choice of over 40 of them which is really nice. Usually I do not require more then one or two of them, and very rarely 3 or even rarer more then that. So normally I do not buy Fatpacks. My normal approach of buying something is to fit the demo and then make a color choice afterwards. With those outfits, that come with a full fatpack included at the regular price (yes some designers actually do that) I always notice, that my color choice boil down to one or two at the most after some time. It is like I have have a certain color for a piece in mind, and then will stick with it.
So I do not have much use for a Fatpack, but I understand, that there are enough addicts, that have been hit even worse like me, and are using enough variations of a clothing piece, to warrant the purchase of a fatpack. As long as that fatpack is just the collection of all colors at a discounted price, I am not seeing a problem there, and can happily live with that.
But this is not the status quo with several brands anymore. It started out slowly with offering a small number of additional colors or patterns. I can still see the sense in that, to give an additional incentive to the customer, but what has recently evolved out of this is beyond my comprehension.
A brand which I like for their designs ist Gulabi, and their ballet wrap outfit looks spectacular in satin green, but if you do not dish out the fatpack, there is no chance of getting your hand on it. So if I only wanted that (and maybe that gold one … I am just insatiable) the two pieces would come along for 175L$ for each top and bottom … if … these colors would be available outside the fatpack. In this case the extra choices in the fatpack is 10 additional colors, which is huge … but paying 2500L$ for 1 or 2 colors which I am actually going to use, is way over the top.
I wonder what makes a designer make that choice. I mean ok give and take. I will give you a fatpack for the price of 5 colors which include like 30, which would lure my customer into buying it, because I know the average customer buys only 3 varieties. So with only purchasing 2 more I get like 30 … win/win. But on the other hand those massive infusions of exclusive colors will cut off all those potential buyers, that would still buy those one and two colors, but have no chance, as buying two fatpacks is just way too much. I am lacking numbers, so this is merely speculation, but I cannot imagine, that fatpack sales are skyrocketing because of a massive influx of exclusive colors … or if they do now, they will continue to do so, because more and more people become fed up with that practice as it turns more and more to the extreme side. So in the long run I will probably sell less because I am loosing my occasional fatpack buyers, as well as my regular one at a time customers.
But the worst example I have seen comes from Blueberries latest release. The denims belonging to it, are just a regular “buy one get all” pack so I am not going deeper into that. But the top and the panties scream hell and murder at me … have a look at the display.
The fatpack for the tops includes a whole line of matching panties. Those panties are not available as single pieces, but only either in a fatpack with the tops, an own fatpack or a so called minipack which is a half fatpack. For a person this is simply off limits. As much as I like wet clothes in SL and pity the small choice, I am not seeing myself dishing out 700L$ (250L$ for the top + 450L$ for the minipack) for a pair of wetlook underwear. I am not going down the “this designer is greedy path”, as the choice, to offer the pieces only that way is her decision, but I do not think that it is a smart one.
Of course I do not (and will not) have to buy the presented goods, but still I would like to, and I cannot see that this model is helping a business in the long term. Fatpack are good for the “i need the whole pack” crowd, but it leaves regular customers on the side line if more and more extras are stuffed into them, and I have my doubts that it is a sensible in the long run. When the release was announced I went there and normally I would have expected to be bogged down by lag, but not this time. My impression was, that a good deal of people was interested, but walked away, seeing the amount of money to dish out just to get the clothing. Even in a virtual world, the market dynamics are mostly the same, and causing frustration with your customers, by forcing them to buy excess things, they will never use, just to generate some more sales in the short term, but lose sales in the long run, will hurt your business model. So if you are a designer and read this, please rethink your your choice. Locking your goods behind such systems will hurt you in the long term.