Real Money and Trial Accounts

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Real money

For a long time, even before the old There closed in fact, we have wanted to find a way for people who developed virtual goods for There to be compensated with some sort of real currency, rather than the “virtual currency” they get today.

Due to advances in payment systems, we think we can now finally do just that.

In the near future buyers and sellers will have the option to transact business for virtual goods (actually, digital goods) using real money, and have the money flow directly from the buyer to the seller, with a small portion of the sale redirected to There (as it is today). It will be just “real life” where artists produce works, people buy them, and the gallery (that’s us) get a cut.

This is all possible today due to two advances by PayPal (and, we hope, other payment systems):

  • Micro-Transactions for digital goods. This is key. It allows people to conduct transactions for small amounts of money for digital goods, and be charged a much lower transaction fee than they would for a “normal” transaction. The cool thing about this is that it was designed for “Digital Goods”, which is exactly what There transactions are about.
  • Chained Transactions. These allow There to set up a transaction between a buyer, a seller, in such a way that There’s fees are automatically taken out and sent to There without the transaction passing “through” There as it does today. In this way, this is even better than the “gallery” model because the artist always gets their money right away, without waiting for a middleman to “process it”.

As of today, the only payment service which offers both of these features is PayPal. Others offer the second part – chained transactions – but only PayPal offers “digital transactions” at this time. To make this work, we need both pieces, otherwise it’s just not economical for anyone.

We’re sure many of you have questions, but I’m sure that the #1 question is “Why don’t you just do a Therebucks BuyBack like you did before?”. Here’s why:

  1. With a buyback, we actually have no idea where the Therebucks came from, not without crafting some sort of tracking system within the economy to make sure the Therebucks you were exchanging were Therebucks made from selling virtual goods. 

Without that, we’d be wide open for all kinds of shenanigans, many of which people tried to pull when we did hold a buyback. As it was, we had a full time person hand checking transaction histories to keep people honest. 

The “real money” system avoids all that since it only works for legitimate transactions.
  2. Doing a Buyback would mean we would have to increase expenses because someone would have process the requests, check them, issue the checks, and then send them to be to be signed and mailed (we’re in different locations). 

 The “real money” system avoids all that as it all happens automatically.
  3. A Buyback would require that we set an “exchange rate”. Some places “float” the exchange rate according to demand. This means that you won’t really know what you’re going to get for your Therebucks. Some people may find this Ok, and others may not.

The “real money” system avoids this since this is no exchange rate: It’s all in real currency.
  4. Setting an exchange rate to Therebucks implies, from an accounting standpoint, that every Therebuck in circulation is an overhang on the balance sheet. Even if this was applied only in part (only, say, 10% of the Therebucks are counted), this is still frightening. 

The “real money” system avoids this because there’s no “exchange rate”, and no intimation that Therebucks have any “real” value.
  5. We’d probably have to set up some sort of reserve to make sure we had cash on hand for Therebucks redemptions, which would mean taking significant amounts of revenue off the table “just in case” it got redeemed at a later date.

The “real money” system avoids this, for the same reasons as #4.
  6. To keep a “run” on Therebucks redemptions from “breaking the bank”, we’d have to impose some sort of system to throttle or limit redemptions. Past experience has shown that whatever system we were to choose, anyone who couldn’t make a redemption when they wanted would regard it as “unfair”, and much unhappiness and drama would result (as a reminder, remember the uproar, cries of “unfair”, and rending of garments which occurred when we gave everyone an equal chance to claim PAZ drops in the world). 

The “real money” system avoids this, for the same reasons as #4.

Of course there “Real Money” system has it’s own risks. For example, if all of a sudden all transactions are conducted with real money, we’d see a precipitous drop in Therebuck sales. Or, people, accustomed to the idea of virtual currency, won’t want to use “Real Money”. But the risks of a “Buyback” far, far, outweigh these.

In my mind, the best part of this is that it gives the developer ultimate control over how their items are priced and sold. We’re no longer in the “middle” of the transaction, which means there’s one less entity involved – always a good thing.

We’re sure that there will be a thousand questions, such as Will items be “Real Money Only”, “Therebucks Only”, or both, or Can I change them on the fly? How will these items appear on my transaction history, and Do both parties have to have PayPal accounts? All of which we’ll be finding the answers and getting to you.

TRIAL Accounts

The issue of “Trial Accounts” is actually tied, indirectly to the “Real Money” issue.

The original plan was to implement “Real Money”, and then “Trial Accounts”, because we know developers have been clamoring for a “Real Money” solution since There re-opened.

After thinking about it, we think it would be better to do “Trial Accounts” first. Here’s why: When we introduce “Real Money”, we expect we’ll see a decline in Therebucks purchases, which will be bad for us, and, through inference, bad for you.

If we introduce a Trial Account system, we’ll be increasing the size of the population, and thus developer sales. We would expect this to at least partially offset the impact of reduced Therebuck sales.

So, we’ve decided to do Trial Accounts first, before Real Money.

Fortunately, we think we’ve come upon an easy way to implement Trial Accounts which will make it much faster than we had previously anticipated.

Let’s review the problems with “Trial Accounts” as they existed before:

  • Abandoned accounts. The old There has literally hundreds of thousands of abandoned “Trial Accounts” in it, each one all the system’s data which represented an avatar and all it’s goods. 

These abandoned accounts caused all kinds of problems in the system, including poor performance, extended backup time (more data == more time for backups), and we’re sure other issues. 

(Believe it or not, the old There never had a way to deleting an Avatar and everything that goes with it, something we’re working on now).
  • Pollution of the Avatar Namespace, a.k.a. “All the Good Avatar Names are Taken”. If it costs nothing to make an Avatar, then it costs nothing to take that Avatar name that you wanted, and lock it up forever.
  • Providing an “open door” to under-age players. Despite evidence to the contrary sometimes, There is 18+, and the requirement to have a valid PayPal account is one deterrent to underage players (it’s by no means fool proof, but it’s a deterrent).
  • Providing an “open door” to griefers and previously banned members. As we’ve seen, we have griefers, previously banned members, and previously banned underage members who are willing to pay $10 to get back into There, and Trial Accounts would just give them another way to do that.

To address of these issues, we’re going to first experiment with the idea of a “Trial Account Period”.

During this “Trial” period, the avatar will not, as many have suggested, have privileges like voice.

After the ‘Trial’ period expires, a subscription will be needed before the avatar can log in again, but now with full member privileges (voice included).  Of course, if the Trial member decides that There is not for them, they need take no action and will not be charged a subscription. 

The trial avatar will not be deleted immediately, should the member change their mind within TBD days and start a subscription (where “TBD” is a comfortably long period to allow a “Trial” member to change their mind and decide There is for them).

Of course, if the Trial member decided There’s not for them, they can do nothing, and nothing will be charged.
There are lots of ways we can tweak this – changing the length of the trial period, changing the types of privileges the Trial member gets, etc.

When the Trial Member signs up, we need to verify that they have a valid PayPal account. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to determine that without making a charge, so we will make a small charge – less than a dollar – to validate the account. However, we will credit the account with Therebucks in exchange for the small charge, perhaps with some bonus included. This is in addition to any Therebucks gifted on the Welcome Walkway.

I understand that lots of people – especially those under 18, griefers, and banned members – who won’t like this system, because it makes it harder for you to get a trial account. On the other hand, it does allow the types of members There does want to get a “taste” of what There has to offer without making a monetary commitment.

We will probably also re-introduce the restrictions on who has access to the Welcome Walkway, and what they can wear, when when turn this back on.
To sum up:

  • Members can sign up for a “Trial Account”, which will give them access to There for some period of time.
  • The “Trial Account” won’t have certain privileges, such as voice, but will have privileges not granted to Trials in the past such as Music, and the “Explorer Pack” which allows use of the compass and favorite places.
  • Once the “Trial” period is up, the member will need a monthly subscription, and will get all the cool privileges a regular There member does.
  • A member who’s in a Trial can always convert immediately to a regular membership.
  • A member who’s in a Trial can always do nothing, and be charged nothing (when their login privileges will be revoked is TBD).

We’re still deciding few other things, like how long will a Trial Avatar exist before we delete it (we’re building that functionality this time around).

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  1. #1 by martin71a on 2013.01.07 - 2:46 am

    the workshop paz are still not work right i take one out to try new items from designing but i dont get the option to take any thing out my gear as gone can you sort it please ta

  2. #2 by pHluid13pHluid13 on 2013.01.02 - 7:27 am

    Maybe you could also work on profile pictures auto resizing or allow us to upload a picture to our accounts profile? Just a suggestion. =)

  3. #3 by Hugsie on 2013.01.02 - 5:05 am

    This sounds good. something we’ve been wanting for the past 10 years with out having to illicitly sell T$ to other avatars. Having to deal with paypal can be problematic, especially over seas who simply cant use it. Then again that WAS the only way to illicitly sell T$ was to use paypal. So from reading this post it almost sounds like you want to bypass T$ all together and just use real USD via PayPal to buy and sell virtual items in world and avoid any exchange rate that might fluctuate as supply and demand changes. I’m not really sure how this works but I don’t think i want my there.com account linked directly to your paypal account with constant activity. I may be forced to upgrade my account on paypal which i really cant do.

    Personally i just like to build up a volume of T$ and then cash it out once a month. then pay bills and buy groceries. Which is basically what i do on Second Life anyway and the main reason why I moved to SL since it has a real economy with out a drastic overhead charge for creating or consuming content in it.

    Still.. we are making progress…. carry on.. I’ll be here.

  4. #4 by Andrew Almeida on 2013.01.01 - 5:21 am

    I have a small but important question. When a person gifts another person a membership, is there anything within There or There’s website’s that the said person can click or read that will reveal to them the full name of the person who used Paypal to pay for their membership?

  5. #5 by Rick on 2012.12.30 - 9:48 pm

    ive allways wanted to go back to there, unfortunately, my only way to put money on it , used to be paysafe cards wich now arent allowed.. im 20 and studying have no paypal, and i live in europe and the country i live in we dont really use credit cards for internet shopping , and actually i dont even do any use with my card, so im screwed

  6. #6 by avatar name was Robynn on 2012.12.29 - 4:20 am

    how about only charging $ 1 a month rather then $ 10 ? with all the money people have to spend in There for funzones etc. why is it $ 10 a month or even $ 20 …. what determines this amount of the monthly fee ? my average amount of spending in There each month was about $ 2000 in Real money and I was just a Regular player …. not a designer, developer or invester …. btw Yoshitoshi Rocks 🙂

    • #7 by Andrew Almeida on 2012.12.30 - 5:28 am

      lol you spend 2k a month on a virtual game? I’d like to think if they found records of you genuinely spending 2k a month in There, that they’d just give you free membership or something. But then the obviousness here would be if you really spent 2k monthly, you never would have felt the need to whine about ten measly dollars. Js.

    • #8 by Hugsie on 2013.01.02 - 5:07 am

      2000usd a month? that sounds a bit exaggerated.. Even $200 seems excessive. Most people don’t even make 2000 a month.

      • #9 by JoyofLife on 2013.01.05 - 2:13 pm

        I know Robynn.. she gifted many, many people in THERE with vehicles, tbux and even hoods. Knowing her, I think she was just thinking of ways to allow more people into THERE, not complaining abt $10. I remember her fondly and much of Syn City is owed to her patronage. Whatever were her considerations, I am not surprised that she spent that much even if it seems excessive to others.

  7. #10 by not needed on 2012.12.28 - 8:47 pm

    there is a rip off and allways well be ..

    • #11 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.28 - 8:50 pm

      Thank you for visiting, pepsi79@charter.net.

      • #12 by Brent on 2012.12.29 - 3:29 pm

        I like how you handled that. Anyway I have no issue paying for an account what so ever. I know my old avie is still there because I took the time tonight to reset my passwords and everything. I just hope my avie has all his stuff (At the time of There closing I had pretty much every car, hovercraft, hoverboard, and gun that was not made by players). I will be back, just waiting on payday. To all those who think THERE is / was a rip off, go play Second Life.

      • #13 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.30 - 5:30 am

        When you resurrect your avatar, you’ll be told how to “recover” your old avatar’s belongings, which normally occurs on Monday of each week.

  8. #14 by xXxLilAngelxXx on 2012.12.28 - 9:03 am

    Hi MW I am having some serious problems with there right now. It is kind of out of the blue too… last week I started getting a message saying “there has a corrupt file” from windows and now It is asking me if the program is running properly because the client isn’t made for my version of windows (windows 7). When I am in the game I am unable to do certain things like take out inventory, use my communicator (doesn’t open), change layouts in my lot or paz or clear layout…. these are just a few of the things I have noticed so far. I have tried relogging a bunch of times, reinstalling there which didn’t help at all because I couldnt even open the program after I reinstalled it which led me to do a system restore to before I removed it… I am not sure where to go from here or how to contact you directly. If you or anyone else can help me I would really appreciate it… starting to get very frustrated!!!! sincerely xXxLilAngelxXx

  9. #15 by Grumps08 on 2012.12.28 - 6:46 am

    Seem more a case of passing the buck. Customers dealing with fellow customers fellow users of there. And the part where you say the transaction buying or refunds are between the buyer and seller and has nothing to do with there? Seriously? Good luck with that one cant say as i would trust anyone that far. But as you will already see i left there several months ago due to to many griefers and children. Your creating even more reasons for ppl with self respect to stay away. I also see yet again ppl still cant stop bi*ching at one anorher on your wordpress page nothing changes *sign lool.

    • #16 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.28 - 10:23 am

      Well, it seems to us that people want us to treat Therebucks like “real” money so it seems that having them take responsibility for those real money transactions is the right balance.

      If you felt there were children in world, you should report them with chatlogs and/or video. We’ve been pretty agressive about handling them as long as we have some proof that they are underage.

      • #17 by Joe_R203 on 2013.01.24 - 4:39 pm

        Personally, I think you should let the kids back on. They’re the ones who probably spend the most money on clothes, cars and houses. I’m sure they’d get the $10/mo. from their folks if they begged long enough.

    • #18 by Tre_Ghost on 2012.12.29 - 10:56 am

      It isn’t about trusting them at all. It will be the developers option to give or not to give any refunds. And most likely will not.

      • #19 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.29 - 12:04 pm

        And, if they don’t word will get around, and people won’t buy from them. Just Like “Real Life”.

      • #20 by Andrew Almeida on 2012.12.30 - 5:31 am

        I totally agree with that MW. The developers who put out the word they will offer refunds under whatever circumstances and then have a reputation for doing so will climb to the top of the list of developers who end up more successful. All they have to do is learn not to remove funds that get added till after a grace period which will be the refund time limit, and only at that time to count it as an actual sale.

  10. #21 by Namron Therian on 2012.12.27 - 8:46 pm

    I’ve been thinking about the Real $ for Developers… If that process ends up working well for developers, might it be applied to other types of content that the membership bring to There?

    A simple example could be the donation boxes/jars. If people could donate in either T’s or directly through their Paypal account, It would be a way to reward decorators and people who hold events in world in the same way that developers would be rewarded.

    What does everyone think?

    • #22 by Hugsie on 2013.01.02 - 5:10 am

      This should apply with any one who has T$ they wish to exchange, regardless how they acquired their T$. I did a lot of buying low, selling high on used items, AND developing my own content in my time on There.com. This shouldn’t be limited to just developer sales.

  11. #23 by Johnny on 2012.12.27 - 8:12 pm

    I concur, i’d like to hear if the mac version is coming out if you know, Thank u

    • #24 by xnecroscopex on 2013.01.01 - 9:31 am

      I guess we will NEVER find out for sure…

  12. #25 by avatar name was Robynn on 2012.12.26 - 2:12 pm

    Merry Xmas & Happy New Year Mr. Wilson 🙂

  13. #26 by xnecroscopex on 2012.12.23 - 6:51 pm

    how about that mac version? any updates?

    • #27 by Hugsie on 2013.01.02 - 5:13 am

      There.com’s client is so heavily reliant on Internet Exploder, and DirectX I am amazed they even have a Mac client in the works. They had one in the works about a year before There.com closed. but obviously stopped (assuming it if ever progrssed at all) and now Micheal is the only one working on this project. Hopefully in the new year Micheal will need some mac testers? I Volunteer! Would be cool to have a iOS and Andorid client.

  14. #28 by xeroxcopy on 2012.12.22 - 8:35 am

    Just curious now that all developer transactions are recorded via Paypal. What are the real world implications to paying taxes should the IRS ever subpoena your financial history. Before it was like keeping tips from waiting tables – but now there is a paper trail…

  15. #29 by xxxcometxxx on 2012.12.21 - 12:13 am

    exelant work being done ,but i do agree with guernseyman i was an island guide but am no longer able to do due to not having the right level , i realy enjoyed my time as a ig and would love to be able to help new members as they enter this vw

  16. #30 by Swimgood on 2012.12.20 - 12:59 pm

    Can the team start on ban appeals? It has been forever. I’ve been wrongfully banned and lost my hood and all my other there belongings and up too 500,000 in tbux. I just want to play There again…

  17. #31 by Gordon Hard on 2012.12.20 - 4:38 am

    Awesome ideas….I’m in

  18. #32 by xxxcometxxx on 2012.12.20 - 2:13 am

    yes i am in full agreement with gurnseyman it will be great to have lots of new members but although i was an island guide i now find i have not reached the required level to help anymore sad

  19. #33 by CC (@CarCus) on 2012.12.20 - 1:52 am

    The Real Money idea is great but the following thought pops up and I hope you have thought of it as well and are willing to address it; Do we developers have any recourse for redeeming our current Tbuck balances that we have made off of selling developer items for Real Money as well? Some of us have made a few Tbucks over the last year since the re-opening and would like to be rewarded for them as well.

    • #34 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.20 - 6:22 am

      I’m sorry, but there’s no real money exchange for existing balances. You can use them to, say, Rent a Hood, or for other transactions in world, but, for the reasons described, we’re not planning on another buyback, nor allowing 3rd party sales.

      I hope we were pretty clear that people should NOT expect any sort of buyback for existing balances.

      • #35 by CC (@CarCus) on 2012.12.20 - 12:56 pm

        Sad, very sad to hear you say that. I imagine a lot of designers will be unhappy to hear this as well.
        I guess I have lot rent and submission fees covered for the next 10 years if the place stays open that long.

      • #36 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.20 - 1:04 pm

        Well, let’s see:

        1. We could offer to buy them back. But our current cashflow isn’t sufficient to do that (the last time There did a buyback, it was right out of the investor’s pockets).

        2. We can’t say “Oh, it’s OK to use 3rd party resellers just this once” because once the reseller buys them, then they’re going to want to sell them, and could claim forever that “Oh, I bought these then”.

        Neither scheme works. We tried to be very clear that there was no buyback coming and we’re sorry that message didn’t get across.

      • #37 by CC (@CarCus) on 2012.12.20 - 2:01 pm

        Oh, I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud about the buy back. I fully understood you way back when you stated that this wouldn’t happen. Some of us though this just meant a no general buy back for everyone type of thing and a developer only type system would be put in place. I would have never imagined this type of scenario (digital goods through paypal). I think it is a great direction to head towards. I am just simply stating that some may feel that their efforts during this year are worthless and may feel cheated.

        For some of us, our thoughts were different on how things were going to play out. In my mind at least, I imagined a system that would take into account the Tbucks made as developers via our transaction history (or some other method). This amount would be accounted for and could be redeemed each week or month as we so desired. As we redeemed them our developer balance would reflect those withdrawals and so on and so forth. Doing it this way, only developers would be able to be rewarded.

        As I said before, I am not mad (others may be); just sad to hear that there will be no way of being rewarded for our efforts this year.

    • #38 by martin71a on 2013.01.02 - 7:36 am

      happy new year you guys

      me and kaz are soo greatful that there.com is back in action 1 i would not have met her if it want for there.com 2. there.com is far more cheaper than what we was paying in the the other world i wont say its name we was paying 100 pounds in the other VW thats $150 aweek that was starting to hit us but now there is back we left the other one in a flash so 10 $ a month is a geat and free trial for newbies how long do they get for a free trial is a week? MW ..

      the bottem line is we are in here to have for fun and meet new friends and make new items and make some tbucks not real money no buybacks me and kaz are here to have fun and help to keep there.com running as long as pos

  20. #39 by invu34 on 2012.12.19 - 10:05 pm

    The real money concept is good but what about those who don’t design but buy goods to resell? Are they not able to convert their t-bucks to cash? It has been stated you can not buy or sell t-bucks to other members, so how are we suppose to get back what we have spent? The free trial is a good idea but I do not agree with not giving voice. I think the free trial should include everything. People want to know what they are going to get for their 10.00 a month and they are not going to get the full experience. Can you sign in an old avatar during this trial period to get your inventory?

    • #40 by NathanAvis on 2012.12.20 - 1:24 pm

      invu has unwittingly raised an interesting question – can we gift voice safely and responsibly without much risks of griefing?
      If your trial accounts are going to be registered by people that must have Paypal? The answer is a likely “Yes”. 🙂

      Think about it, if you set it so that a PayPal account can’t make more than 1 trial (EVER) but as many premiums as they want..then you can do this. You can give triallers the full experience so they know what they’ll really get without any repercussions like people making trials over and over just to play for free. Not many people have more than 1 PayPal account bar people with businesses etc. so this could work.

      As for resellers not being able to get their Tbucks back? I was a reseller and can completely understand where MW is coming from with this. I could come into world with no tbux, do someone a favor and get given them and use this money to start my reselling venture. It’s safe to say in my 8 1/2 years of playing I’ve received millions of tbux in gifts. What if I decided to ask There for reimbursement for all this in real money once I converted it to tbux? I’d effectively be asking there to pay me thousands of dollars out of thin air simply for using their services in an entrepeneurial manner. Now if everyone could do this Makena would be paying us all millions out of thin air from old currency still in the system and wa la…no more there. This is simply expanding on the reasons why we can’t have a buyback programme…..in case it wasn’t abundantly obvious.

      • #41 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.20 - 1:31 pm

        Heh, well There apparently got money from “thin air” before. 🙂

      • #42 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.20 - 1:33 pm

        One part of this is ensuring that griefers don’t use the trial program as a way to entertain themselves by abusing newbies, which is bad for business. Voice is a big vector for abuse – ranging from yelling to swearing to playing loud music – you name it.

        I know it’s attractive, but given what we’ve seen “adult” members pull so far, it’s too much of a risk.

      • #43 by NathanAvis on 2012.12.20 - 1:51 pm

        A fair point. Thanks for responding to that so quickly. It’s a shame really about the voice.

      • #44 by MaxSMoke777 on 2012.12.21 - 11:21 am

        I think your example is terribly flawed. Unlike IMVU, There never handed out free Tbuxs to anyone. I got some when I signed up and paid for my membership, but even those weren’t “Free”. All Tbuxs are backed up by money. Even if you didn’t personally pay for them, any Tbuxs people gave you WERE paid for by real money. You never got “Money out of thin air”, you earned it by doing jobs for people. That’s called “WORK”. Getting paid for Work is not absurd. There’s nothing “Abundantly Obvious” here.

      • #45 by PcMan Hoverboat Pilot on 2012.12.22 - 3:15 pm

        Apparently Max forgot about the “sparkles” and the hunters that claimed them. Those were definitely free Tbux.. and ALOT of them at that.

      • #46 by NathanAvis on 2012.12.24 - 4:55 am

        I’m guessing someone conveniently forgot the Sparkles and constant reminders of “There.Com is not a financial investment”. Sorry you are too invested in There.Com or incredibly unmotivated to put your talents to better use elsewhere, Max, but that’s not my problem, any other Therian’s problem, Makena’s problem or MW’s problem. That’s your own and one for you to sort out. Get over it already. Yes I’ve done what you call “work” for tbux in the past but those tbux as far as I’m concerned were just that, tbux, and when we were allowed to resell back in the day I might have been lucky and occasionally traded them. But times are different now, this was never intended to be part of the business model for There and it certainly wouldn’t be part of any non-suicidal business model this decade.

        The new system we are getting will allow you a chance to earn real money now. What more do you want? You make good items, just make some new ones and you’ll have dollars in no time once the system is introduced.

      • #47 by Hugsie on 2013.01.02 - 5:19 am

        MaxSMoke777: They used to give out free T$ for varying reasons and ways. I.E. returning skill rewards. For a while free trials accounts were given about 300T but they could only spend it on auction items. I don’t know how long you’ve played There.com but by the time i stopped being a regular user, they had killed those ways of getting free T$ so you probably never saw it.

    • #48 by invu34 on 2012.12.27 - 2:09 pm

      Well thank you for elaborating NathanAvis 🙂 Sure do miss ya by the way! Thank you MW for responding as well. As for the buy back program I was not expecting MW or Makenna to purchase the tbucks back but to be able to sell our tbucks to other people I know this has already been discussed and we can not do this because then There would loose money. I just thought maybe we could come up with some other avenue to make this successful.

  21. #49 by Thumdar on 2012.12.19 - 5:59 pm

    Fantastic! The logic of Trials before Real Money is sound and will make Therians very happy. We all crave noobs and to see designers flourish.

    • #50 by NathanAvis on 2012.12.20 - 1:27 pm

      This is awesome. 🙂 more people = more cash flowing and it’s great that they’ve found a solution to keep everyone willing to graft for money happy as well as newcomers in the loop.

  22. #51 by MaxSMoke777 on 2012.12.19 - 3:01 pm

    Sweet! But would all of these “Micro-Transactions” take place individually, or would they be grouped together every week or two? Accounting in Paypal would be CRAZY with a few hundred micro-transactions a day. I’m also guessing that this would be an option in the re-listing function? Would the Jinx relisting tool be updated to understand it?

    • #52 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.19 - 3:15 pm

      I suspect PayPal will account for each transaction individually (I’ve never SEEN it bundle them). But that’s what I’d WANT it to do anyway – how else could I be sure it was doing the “right thing” if I had to go back and check?

      Remember, we (There) can’t “bundle” these transactions in this case, we’re just a party to a transaction which is ultimately now you and the buyer, directly.

      I don’t know if Jinx will be updated. There doesn’t maintain it.

      • #53 by Truck on 2012.12.20 - 6:16 am

        I can see a Huge problem with the real money.. no offence to any designer. but i can see it now that some designers will NOT except the t-buxs at all only real money.
        Some of us are on fixed incomes and love to play THERE. Now the other thing is when said buyer goes to resell said item (a hoverboat) is that person able to get there real money back due to thats how they bought it?? I remember Pay-pal did have a limit on some accounts that u could only do $400. a month.

        I made a comment a while back, Have 2 different T-bux accounts. everyone has a reguler t-bux account, but any designer could have a 2nd ” Designer T-bux account” this way there would be no cheatting on what they can sell back. Like the Im u sent me before There closed ( michaelwilson we had to examine each one to find some uh, creative endeavours)

      • #54 by coolnet560 on 2012.12.20 - 6:20 am

        the Jinx Explorer is run by Sonblock. Any issues with that should be reported to him. 🙂 From what I understood, Sonblock came out with a update that should work with There. http://thumdar.com/forum/developer-forums/22485-sonny-has-updated-jinx-but-still-has-glitches.html

        Note: There.com is not responsible with third party applications.

      • #55 by Tre_Ghost on 2012.12.20 - 10:53 am

        The part about some will only accept cash and no tbux, you all have paypal to buy tbux with, spending 5 dollars worth of tbux on an item is no different than spending 5 dollars on the same item. But that is a good point. Say we buy an item for 2 US dollars or something, then want to return it. Will cash bought items be set as no refunds? I assume that’s the way that will be handled. Cause I doubt There is going to pay out of their pockets to refund cash some guy already spent lol.

      • #56 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.20 - 1:01 pm

        The transaction is between the buyer and the seller (the developer), and refunds, or not, are between them, not There.

      • #57 by Truck on 2012.12.20 - 3:44 pm

        Tre_Ghost u typed “spending 5 dollars worth of tbux on an item is no different than spending 5 dollars on the same item.”
        I see different, 5 bucks of t-buxs i have.. $5 real money i don’t have to throw around in my pay-pal account everytime i see something i like to use. and the qoute MW said all refunds are between said person and developer.

        I can see some one harrasing a designer. I payed $10 for said hoverboat, but the develpor only recived $5 buck after there took out the wholesale. So dose said developer get wacked paying the full amount or is the return buttom show time left to return it, like in t-buxs?
        I know alot of designers would love to get payed for there work. but i see it as a way someone can greif a designer they dont like.. 1 other thing. If said designer refuses to pay a refund is there a penilty agenst the designer? Or would Pal-pay have to get involved?

      • #58 by Tre_Ghost on 2012.12.24 - 12:02 am

        Truck I don’t think you have a billion tbux to last you forever. Eventually you’ll buy some and buying 5 dollars worth of tbux to spend is no different than 5 in real money when it’s all coming through the same paypal. And he said the refund or no refund will be between the buyer and seller. So items bought via cash will not have an automatic return system.

      • #59 by PlAiNHaVoC on 2013.03.09 - 9:06 pm

        I love the idea of real money micro-transactions through paypal. This is in all actuality why I’ve waited to submit designs. Nothing against There at all, but time is precious, and developers spend that time trying to make it right for all to enjoy in There. For those who are worried about returns and refunds. Why not a “restocking fee” of sorts. The amount that There charges for the transaction between developer and customer would NOT be refunded. Say someone spends the $10 on an item, Makena charges $2 for the transaction. Within 30 days, they customer could get a refund of $8. The $2 would be the restocking fee. Or because that same developer did spend time not only to design, but to do the transaction with you, the refund could be $7. $2 to Makena, and $1 to you for the trouble of having to do a refund in the first place. Everything could be scenario specific, but that would be a fair way of treating it, especially if the developer is forward about their policies. I will have a website up soon for all developers to display their products, specialties, and purchase / return policies. Your products would link directly to There’s auctions. Also a great place that you may blog about your upcoming products. That way there will be a central location for everyone to visit, rather than keeping track of 50+ websites for the same info. Who’s interested in that?

    • #60 by DavyRocket on 2012.12.21 - 9:26 am

      I just do not see this working out to well as far as refunds (Real money) is concerned. Reason being. A buyer buys my item. Places this item somewhere only to find “grass” is showing in the item (pond) I made. The buyer now wants a refund all because “grass” was showing in the pond, and failed to do a “Try it” first. That’s a true story by the way. I personally do not like giving refunds for such reason. So I do not give a refund, now that makes me look like a bad business person. This person can go around telling others Don’t buy from me because I do not offer refunds. Or what if we already cashed out from Paypal? I know this is no concern to you. Therefore I just do not see me taking advantage of this new idea.

      • #61 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.21 - 9:49 am

        So you’re willing to give T$ refunds but not US $ refunds? I don’t understand.

      • #62 by DavyRocket on 2012.12.21 - 11:55 am

        If there was some major fault in my item then I have no problem granting a refund Tbucks or real money. Here is my problem granting a real life money refund. 1. I am unemployed 2. I am broke. 3. Makes it harder for me to give a refund because I will usually cash out soon after I have enough to cash out. 3. Giving a refund because someone fails to do a “try it” first is not a reason for me to. So bottom line is I will give a refund if there i a flaw in the item I create. Giving a refund just because so and so does not want it is not good enough for me either. So maybe extend the “try it” time on items for real cash to say 10 minutes? You know.. To be sure grass does not show in a pond lol

  23. #63 by Bedlam1 on 2012.12.19 - 2:05 pm

    i think the trial accounts would be nice.Just wonder why in all this time that there isnt a way for me to get my stuff from my other avies? I reclaimed them way back when that was what was told to do. But of cource it was wrong move.As now it wont allow me to retriev the stuff and the value is probably less that the one month fee.Perhaps its time to think about past members needs also. Now I’d have to premium them to retrieve the stuff. So thats why i havent returned..like others also..

  24. #64 by Phil Reinsmith on 2012.12.19 - 1:30 pm

    Good News to hear this close to the Holidays. Merry Christmas to the Phoenix team, and keep up the good work. We DO appreciate it. “Rockinsurfer_boy”

  25. #65 by Matthew on 2012.12.19 - 12:19 pm

    For the trial accounts, I am just curious as to the logic of not including voice? I think in order to really be introduced to the full effects of There that make it so fascinating and keep people coming back in part, voice would have to be included. Perhaps each trial account could be limited on voice. Maybe allow them to hear, but not speak, or maybe give them the first day with voice activated. Allow them to pay an additional few bucks or something if they want to use voice for the remainder of their trial if they want to just continue trialing the voice and not commit to the full $10 just yet. Just an idea that would make it more possible to offer voice in the trial. I can tell you that if There.com did not have voice, I probably wouldn’t have become so attached to some people, which is the entire reason I keep coming back. If voice didn’t exist in There, I wouldn’t have stayed when I was new. And I mean there are ways around using voice with other Thereians through 3rd party voip applications like teamspeak, ventrilo, or skype so I’m not real sure why voice is made out to be such a huge deal in world, other than the convenience that with in game voice, you become a bit more engaged in the world.

  26. #66 by Tre_Ghost on 2012.12.19 - 12:13 pm

    out for free^

  27. #67 by Tre_Ghost on 2012.12.19 - 12:09 pm

    MW I don’t know if Paypal offers this as an option, but I can remember switching from aol dial up to highspeed once and then using aol for free. That made the chat service charge our credit cards one dollar for age verification, then it refunded the dollar. So maybe that can be done later for them, not sure. Also I’m about to be returning very shortly, been waiting till it was close to new users being flooded in. I told a friend if they came I’d pay for them to have 6 months on me to try it out, and you once told me here I could not make an extra account to let ppl try There on for free cause you would not have a way to know who they are or their ages. So if they do this trial like you’re setting it up, can I gift them a membership for 6 months or do they have to pay their first month before I can gift it to them?

  28. #68 by Mimi There on 2012.12.19 - 11:44 am

    Awsome set up. I surely hope this is what everyone has been waiting for. What a great way to start the new year, new progress! Guernseyman? I spend hours on the WW. Day and night, with the exception of this week. (vacation). Can’t recall seeing you there, but then again our time zones probably are that reason.

    Excited about this new beginning. Thanks Team Phoenex for all the hard work behind the scenes! Happy Holidays to all.

  29. #69 by soede on 2012.12.19 - 11:40 am

    The tiny payment, though tiny, concerns me a tiny bit as I’ve seen even die hard virtual world fans pass up worlds that have them. Other than that… BRING IT ON!!! Sounds great!
    Re the Pheonix stars, I would hope that they allow new applicants again. I’ve sent a few emails as well with no reply.

    • #70 by Michael Wilson on 2012.12.19 - 11:46 am

      We wish we didn’t have to charge anything, but we need to verify that they have a valid PayPal account, and there’s no other way to do it.

      As I said, this is the first thing we’ll try. If this doesn’t work, we can try something else.

      • #71 by coolnet560 on 2012.12.20 - 6:23 am

        Instead of doing it as a purchase, is there a way to do a hold on the money temporary? When you add a credit or debit card to PayPal, they hold 1 or 2 dollars and than refund it back to you.

  30. #72 by Mooly on 2012.12.19 - 11:26 am

    Some of the best news I’ve heard all year! Thank you, thank you!

  31. #73 by MademoiselleFifi on 2012.12.19 - 11:16 am

    I’m happy about the trials!!!!!

  32. #74 by Namron Therian on 2012.12.19 - 10:31 am

    Good to hear the progress. ‘tu

  33. #75 by Guernseyman on 2012.12.19 - 10:21 am

    I think this will appeal to every one and I hope bring in much needed new blood to Thereinc.com world. The one thing that bothers me is the return to Island Guides / Greeters only on the Walkway, I know we don’t have them at the moment but I still like going back to the Walkway to see if there are any new blood/members arriving on it. I do not have enough brownie points(skill points in newbie helper) to join the Phoenix Star group and have written a number of times to group leader but had no reply, I will be sorry to have my time on the Walkway taken away from me because of no Phoenix star on my name plate, all my time on the Walkway over the past few months have been lonely apart from meeting the rare new blood/members. In the last few months I have not seen any Phoenix star avatars on the Walkway only the odd few like me who go and do our voluntary new members stint to introduce them to the friendly world of Thereinc.com . I used to belong to the GoFG’s (Guild of Free Greeters) and used to help the old There Greeters like Josie, Dixie, Greenie(?) and Anna not forgetting the Island Guides like Percy, Nursejay, Zafferon (my There daughter) and all the others I used to help when we had floods of new members coming on world back in the 2007-2009. I never joined the Islands Guides as it seemed I was not good enough to do so but was good enough to help them out when they were over come by newbies, I am hoping that we will once again be over run with new members and that we will have the pleasure of meeting people every mile we travel like we used to do. On behalf of my self I would like to wish every one who knows me on Thereinc.com and all at Makena.com a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and may 2013 bring you more joy than 2012 did.

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