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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wheelers and Dealers

Today's post is for those who own Mainland, and deals with a way to work around the coarse tier "levels" offered by Linden Lab.  Fair warning:  it involves some Math...but nothing more strenuous than simple arithmetic.

Let's say that you buy...oh, I don't know...say 3/4 of a Mainland region, to take an example not-quite-at-random.  According to Linden Lab, this puts you in the Full Region tier level, $195 USD per month.  (A table of tier levels can be found here.)  Oh dear...we are PAYING for a whole region, but we only OWN 3/4 of one.  That certainly does not give us the best monthly cost-per-prim figure, does it?

We could solve this problem by buying another 1/4 region somewhere.  It would not cost us any additional tier.  But if we don't really care to own and manage more land, there is another way.  We can rent out our spare tier to someone that does not have quite enough to cover the land THEY own.

Huh?  Rent out tier?  How does THAT work?  Well, you can "donate" tier to a group, to help pay the monthly tier costs on land the group owns.  I belong to a group called The Forum Cartel, and that group maintains an in-world "clubhouse".  The land costs are paid for by group members' donations of tier to the group.  You can make a tier contribution to any group you are in, by using the "Land and $" tab of the group information window.  If you need the tier back at a future date, you can adjust your donation at any time.

Some groups are formed specifically for the purpose of trading in land tier credits.  NinjaLand, and some other businesses, provide this service.  They pay you for your spare tier, and then re-sell it to others who need it, while taking a middleman's profit.

Here is a specific example.  My land group, Kiddees, owns 55,296 square meters of the Masocado region.  Because of the 10% tier bonus given to groups, I only need to donate 50,300 square meters of tier to cover this.  I also make a "charitable donation" of 2048 square meters to The Forum Cartel to help pay for the land that group holds.  But, I am paying tier at the full sim level...65,536 square meters.  That means I still have 13,188 square meters of tier just sitting around, doing nothing, but still having to be paid for each month.

Now another group, SKF Enterprises, comes into the picture.  SKF pays $L0.16 per week for spare tier.  I donate my 13,188 square meters to them, and get a payment of $L2,110 per week.  This works out to $L2,110 X 52/12 = $L 9,143 per calendar month.  Divide by 248 to get $36.87 USD per month that I can apply against my monthly tier bill to Linden Lab.

If I wanted to, I could set this up another way.  I could "tier down" to the half sim level, $125 USD per month...and then BUY the additional 22,528 square meters of tier I need from NinjaLand.  They would charge me $L 0.25 per square meter per week for this, or $L0.25 X 22,528 = $L5,632.  Applying conversion factors, that's $L 5,632 X 52/12 / 248 $L/$USD = $98.41 USD.

So my monthly bill for my 3/4 sim would come to $125+$98.41 = $223.41 USD.  It's less economical doing it this way, since I'd be paying that "middleman's fee" to the tier rental group instead of paying tier directly to Linden Lab.  However, there are some times when this is the preferable method, for example when you are holding extra land for a relatively short period of time.

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