Thursday, July 7, 2011

Freebies! Whee!

Lots of things are free in Second Life. You can even find a number of “stores” where EVERYHING is free. These are maintained as a service for new avatars by public spirited residents. Even though the goods are free, you should toss something in the donation jar if you’re able. The store owner pays tier to keep that store open.

You can also find freebies in the SL Marketplace (the giant catalog of virtual goods on the SL website). When you search for a particular sort of item, just have the results sorted by price, lowest to highest. You’ll see the freebies first.

Besides the dedicated freebie stores, many for-profit stores have free things for you. These can take several forms:
  • A freebie (usually near the door) as a thank you gift just for dropping by.
  • An item that’s free or deeply discounted for store group members. These group gifts are often updated monthly as an incentive to join and stay in the store group.
  • Midnight Mania boards. These boards have two numbers on them, like 57/100. The first number is how many residents have clicked the board. The second is the “goal”. When 100 people have clicked the board, entries are closed, and everyone gets a copy of the board’s item sent to them. If the goal isn’t reached by midnight, nobody gets a prize.
  • Lucky Chairs. A chair displays a letter of the alphabet. If an avatar whose name begins with that letter sits in the chair, they win the prize. The letter is randomly updated every few minutes.
  • MOB Vend discounts. These aren’t as popular as they were a few years ago. The price of an item becomes lower the more people are in range of the vendor’s scanner. The idea is you invite all your friends to drop by so everyone gets a lower price.
  • Camping prizes. Some stores let you sit, or model, or sweep the floors in return for merchandise. If you sit on the poseball for the required time, the item is sent to you.
There are lucky chair and Midnight Mania groups you can join. These groups send out frequent notices of where freebies are to be found.

While lots of items are free, linden dollars ($L) are not. You may see offers for “Earn Free $L” or “Earn2Life”. These are scams. If you sign up, you’re asked to fill out surveys on the web. Supposedly, you are paid $L in return. I have never spoken to anyone who actually made any money with these, and many who have spent hours disinfecting their computers of the viruses and malware they contracted.

Some of my favorite freebie spots:
The Free Dove  

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