It’s been awhile since I posted anything here. I still get quite a few views, so hopefully that means I’ve provided some worthwhile information that people find valuable. Yay! I won’t bore you with why I’ve been MIA (RL, blah, blah, blah), but lately I’ve had the time and the inclination to get back into SL.
So, of course, one of the first things I did was to visit my favorite dance stores and see what’s new. Sadly, the answer is – not much. Many of the stores I used to frequent (even though they didn’t have much new content) are now defunct. I was happy to see that several of them (Abranimations, A&M, Henmations, and MyAnimations, to name a few) were still open for business and some even had new items!
SineWave, which was a perennial favorite when I first joined SL, seems to have finally gone. The store was open for years with no new content, but the animations were good and I had a list of dances I still wanted to get. Ah, well. You snooze, you lose, right?
I have updated my Dance Animations Spreadsheet in case you’re interested. Also, if you have any new stores that have opened since I was last active, please leave a comment and let me know the name and/or location. I have L$ burning a hole in my virtual pocket!
It’s been a couple of days since my epic inventory fail, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share with you.
Some I would urge you to do, some are just things I am planning to do myself, after spending the last few days trying to replace a (very) small portion of what I lost.
CHECK YOUR TRASH BEFORE YOU EMPTY IT
As I said in the first post, I usually do, but this time I didn’t, and it cost me dearly. 11,000 items was nearly 1/3 of my inventory, and while I didn’t lose everything, some of what I lost was irreplaceable.
Some of the things I lost included a TON of outfits from Blacklace (which were mostly system, so I’m trying not to cry too hard over them); ALL of my silks – many of which are not available anymore (via in-world stores or MP), so they are just gone forever; ALL of my ‘whole avatar’ costumes, like my alien avatars, my gummy bear avatar, and all the adorable avatars I’ve collected over the years from Abranimations Advent Calendar – irreplaceable because they were gifts and/or no copy; ALL my ‘costume accessories’ which included things like headpieces, glasses, crowns, tiaras, shoulder pets, weapons, hats, scarves, bags, particle effects, bindis, masks, horns, and more.
Truthfully, there was so much, I don’t even remember all the names of the subfolders, much less what items were in them. Add in that many of them were hunt items, gacha items, or gifts – all gone. *wipes away tears*
KEEP YOUR OWN TRANSACTION RECORDS
You can log into your transaction information through your Second Life account. However, those transactions are only kept for the last 32 days. If you want to keep a running record, you will need to download the transactions yourself every 30-32 days and keep your own file.
I also went back through my MP orders – which, surprisingly, went all the way back to 2010. However, many of the items I purchased on MP are no longer listed there – because the items were on sale, because the items have been pulled, or because the store no longer exists. So even though I have a record of my purchase, I am not going to be able to replace those items.
I went to many stores to hit up their redelivery terminals and learned a few things. If a store uses CasperVend and you hit their redelivery terminal, it brings up a page with those store purchases listed at the top, but it also lists CasperVend purchases from other stores on the page as well. After hitting up the redelivery at one store, I was able to get many other items from other stores (some of which I didn’t remember) redelivered as well.
Same thing with stores using the Bejambled system – I hit the redelivery terminal at one store and got a list of lots of purchases at other stores as well. A caveat – no copy items cannot be redelivered, so any no copy items will show as purchases, but you will have to actually purchase them again if you want them replaced.
I haven’t come across a store that used the HippoVend system yet, but I’m hoping it works the same way. Many stores use the E2V system – however, what I’ve discovered with that system is you have to visit each store separately – your redelivery terminal only shows purchases for that particular store.
The biggest thing that I noticed was that many of my purchases (which I knew I had made) did NOT show up on any of the systems. What I realized was that those missing purchases were made at events, like Collabor88, FaMESHed, Uber, Kustom9, etc. I recalled reading somewhere that, to limit scripts and therefore lag, some creators used simple click-to-pay vendors rather than scripted ones. Without the Casper/Hippo/E2V scripts in the vendors, the only record of the transactions is in your history and the creator’s.
This means that each creator would have to be able/willing to go through their own records (assuming they keep them), to find proof of your purchases, and then redeliver them manually. Because I do a TON of shopping at events, this is a HUGE reason for me to keep my own records – then I can simply send a NC to the creator with all that information to prove my purchase. Much easier for them to do, I would imagine. Also, some creators do not use any sort of system like CasperVend or E2V, which means you have to contact each creator individually about redeliveries.
KEEP BACKUP COPIES OF ITEMS
This one may not make sense for everyone, but it’s something I’m going to start doing, simply because this whole issue has been a giant headache for me. Most items are delivered in a box – so my plan is to open the box, keep the items I need in my inventory, and then save the original boxes somewhere (probably in another box rezzed on my land). That way, if I accidentally delete the item, I can go back, pull out the original box, and just open it again. This is the system I have used for years with my dance animations, so it’s just another quick step to add into my opening/boxing/sorting routine.
You can’t do this, of course, with no copy items. Which brings me to gachas. 🙂 I have a love/hate relationship with gachas. I love them, because it brings it out the gambler in me, and winning that RARE or ULTRARARE is always a rush. For the past several years, I’ve avoided gachas for things like H&G items – I would want them to use in a set, and you can’t use no-copy items in a rez box. However, I would still play the gachas for clothing, hair, accessories, and costumes, because no-copy wearables is a non-issue for performances.
Unfortunately, the fact that they are no copy means no redelivery. That means all the gacha outfits, corsets, costumes, horns, and more that I had (many of which were rare or ultrarare) are gone forever. Oh sure, I could hit up the yard sales for replacements (and probably will, for some items), but rares and ultrarares are generally offered for ridiculous prices, so the odds that 1) I find them and 2) I’m willing to pay the price are pretty slim.
I wrote in the first post about losing all my particles and ColeMarie Soleil (owner of Cole’s Corner particle store) being a doll and redelivering my purchases manually.
In addition to my particles, the other items I was most upset about losing were my costume purchases from !deviousMind. It has been one of my go-to costuming stores for years. I had so many of her items that the store had its own subfolder. 😀
I sent a notecard to Chandra Meehan, the creator, and explained the situation, asking whether it would be possible to get some of my lost items redelivered. Though I didn’t have transaction info for all of them, I did have pictures of some of the items on my blog and on my Flickr stream to offer as proof of purchases.
Chandra was an absolute angel – sending me all the items she could verify from what I had provided. She also very generously sent me some of her recent group gifts (I have been a group member for years) and told me she would work on replacing other items as she had time to work through her transaction records.
What I have already received was beyond my wildest expectations, and though I still have a long road ahead, I have at least made a dent in replacing some of what I lost. 😀
In addition to all the costuming items I lost, the other killer for me has been that I lost my ‘Finished Routines’ folder. The folder contained all my completed routines – dance HUDs, choreography sequences, rez boxes – everything I would need for a routine, should I want to repeat it or modify it.
This means that I now have no ’emergency’ ready routines that I can pull out in a pinch. For the foreseeable future, I will have to create everything from scratch (which isn’t a huge deal) while I slowly rebuild my inventory.
I used to pull out my choreography notecards and such and save them in other places in my inventory, but I had gotten out of the habit of doing that. Guess I will have to get back to doing it!
I also will be more careful about putting ‘everything’ to do with a routine in one folder – or at least make a backup copy if I do.
There have been some silver linings to this whole situation. 1 – People have been absolutely amazing with their kindness when they learned of the issue (it seems unexpected inventory loss happens more frequently than I realized). 2 – Though I wouldn’t have chosen to lose 1/3 of my inventory voluntary, it’s quite possible that this is a blessing in disguise, forcing me to get rid of all those old items that I kept for no apparent reason. 3 – I now have 1/3 less inventory to manage. 4 – Less inventory means more shopping! 😛
My darling husband commiserated with me over my loss, and then told me to go shopping and replace what I needed, even offering to share his large and rarely used stockpile of L$ with me. 🙂
So, SL has given me lemons, and I am busy making lemonade. Now, what events start this week? 😀
Yesterday was December 1, which means that along with the plethora of events every month, lots and lots of stores are doing Advent Calendars.
I have a few favorites that I do every year (like the Abranimations Advent), but there are tons more.
I found a listing on the Fab Free blog of various stores who are doing Advent Calendars this year. I know there are other listings, but I like this one, because it also tells you if the calendar is totally free (open to everyone), requires a free-to-join group, or requires a pay-to-join group.
Totally free ones are my preference – even with the extra group slots I get as a premium member, I never seem to have enough!
I don’t mind joining for a bit to do the Advent, though I always feel slightly guilty for joining and then leaving after getting the freebies.
(I’ve always wondered how merchants feel about that – is it just expected, a part of doing business? Or does it annoy the bejeesus outta them?)
If it’s a paid group, I generally just give the calendar a pass, unless I already happen to be in the group.
Some of the calendars are really fun. At Sway’s, for example, you get a free HUD, and then have to hunt around the store to find 24 Christmas baubles. When you find the one for the correct day (#1 for yesterday), you return to the pile of Advent gifts, find the correspondingly numbered gift and click.
Voilá! Adorable free gift. 🙂
I actually found all the baubles yesterday, so now I just have to go back each day and pick up my gift. Sweet!
Visit the Fab Free blog here to find the listing of all the stores doing an Advent calendar. (Note: I checked at DMC yesterday and there was no Advent Calendar set out. Save yourself a trip.) 😀
Some of the Advents don’t start until December 12, so be patient. Also, yesterday saw the start of this year’s Peace on Earth hunt. It’s a fabulous hunt, and has become something of a tradition for me.
I think there are 74 stores participating this year – and it’s a totally free hunt. I don’t think there was a blog set up for it as yet, but you can join the hunters group in-world for free and grab a notecard with all the SLURL’s.