Welcome to Gaia! ::

Money?

Money! Gimme! *makes grabby hands* 0.3359173126615 33.6% [ 130 ]
Money is evil! *makes warding off evil hand gesture* 0.17571059431525 17.6% [ 68 ]
Monkeys? I like monkeys! Oh wait, you said money... 0.2764857881137 27.6% [ 107 ]
Eh, doesn't affect me, but I love poll gold! 0.21188630490956 21.2% [ 82 ]
Total Votes:[ 387 ]
1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 19 20 21 > >>
siskataya's avatar

Tipsy Visionary

14,050 Points
  • Jack-pot 100
  • Battle: Rogue 100
  • Cheercrusher 50
Hey everyone,

I wanted to make this thread so we can have a discussion about that seemingly most dreaded of "m" words on Gaia ...money!

Over the past few weeks, we had a pretty big Summer Spectacular sale, introduced Club Verge for Gaians who've spent $100+ dollars on the site in the past 12 months, etc. It has been interesting to read the various posts, comments, and messages from Gaians on the subject of Gaia and money and I wanted to make a thread to have a central place to discuss this issue; a place where I can post a mini-FAQ to address some of the major issues/comments I have seen. In short, a place where we can all have a civil and open discussion about Gaia and money.

Before we get into things, let me preface this thread by saying that I know not all Gaians have the same perspective on Gaia cash, Cash Shops, Club Verge, etc. This mini-FAQ is not intended to single out any individual Gaian or suggest that all Gaians have the same opinions about spending money on Gaia - it is merely an attempt to address a variety of common money-related themes I have seen arise on Gaia and which I believe might be helpful to address. I also know some of you may already be well aware of the points made in the Mini-FAQ so please understand this is not intended to insult your knowledge, but to provide some answers for those who might not understand these concepts.

Finally, while I love feedback and sincerely cannot wait to hear your ideas and input on this subject, please refrain from making any belittling or abusive comments against Gaians who like to spend money on Gaia, or calling me (or other people) a money-hungry, money-grabbing, cash-cow herding, piggy-bank super-whore of greed and doom! Frankly, as much as I adore this community, that accusation is getting tiresome. Look, I don't have enough time in the day to be plotting soul-crushingly evil yet fiscally-profitable schemes! Actually, I wish I did - then I'd be an evil corporate genius and phenomenally wealthy and could buy my own personal island and stock it with a mansion, good food and lots of bulldog puppies! I digress -my point is to keep the conversation civil without slinging accusations and hurtful comments

Anyway, thanks for stopping by this thread. I hope this turns out to be a helpful tool to facilitate community discussion and understanding of various perspectives about Gaia and money.
-Sisky


gaia_gaiagold Let's Talk About Money Mini-FAQ gaia_gaiagold



Why do you care more about money than the Gaia community in general?!?!
We don't actually, but some people seem to think/feel we do. I suspect (though I could be wrong) that this is because we've been trying a lot of new sales and Gaia cash related promotions lately, and will continue to do more in the future. I think these sales/promotions are more direct in how they encourage people to spend on Gaia, and for some this can feel rather abrupt and greedy, but they are our way of incentivizing people to want to spend on Gaia.

As a business, we do care about making money (I'm not going to lie about this - besides, which business doesn't want to make money?) but that said, we also very deeply care about our community members for non-financial reasons. This isn't an "either/or" proposition - it is not a matter of loving only people that spend money on Gaia or only loving people that contribute in non-financial ways. We highly value your content, comments, and brilliant art creations. We show you this love by having giveaways and contests based on non-financial criteria that anyone can enter; we resolve your tickets, chat in your threads, help you directly in pm's, etc. We spend time hanging out in Flash spaces and playing games with you all. Some of us work all week, then often do more work more on weekends to make sure you are helped, and feel valued. We wouldn't do all that if we didn't care about you as people, and in deep ways that are far beyond anything monetary in nature emotion_hug


Why do you want to make a profit - you should just strive to break even!
I've heard this a few times around the site and frankly, I think it is a silly suggestion. I understand people wanting Gaia to focus more publicly on the aspects of Gaia that aren't Gaia cash related, or do more gold shop updates, and those suggestions I get and appreciate, but this whole "Gaia shouldn't want to make a profit" is really bizarre. What do you think keeps Gaia running? What allows us to offer you all free access to an amazing community, provide you with fun events and contests, and work on new projects and ideas to help Gaia continue to explore diverse new things online? Profit. Profit ensures site stability, workers get paid, forums are maintained, features can be revamped and revised (e.g. Towns 2), and that you have a place to come even if you haven't spent a dime on the site in 10 years.

It is not only the people that spend money on Gaia who profit from those payments, and I really want everyone to keep this in mind. Even the gold shop or free items cost us money in terms of paying the artists to design them, server costs, etc. Free for you doesn't always translate into free for us, but financial support allows us to continue having them free for you - make sense? biggrin


I hate Club Verge - it's elitist and mean-spirited to those of us who choose not or cannot afford to spend real-world currency on Gaia cash!
We understand that Club Verge might be upsetting for some, but as I mentioned before, it is a best business practice to find ways to reward/offer perks to those customers who invest their money in your business. Ever flown First Class and sat in the fancy airport lounge? Club Verge is like that lounge - a way of rewarding people who have spent money on Gaia.


Club Verge isn't a reward because you have to buy more stuff..for HIGH PRICES.. what kind of f'd up "reward" is THAT?!!
This is another complaint I've seen around, and as I've said before, the concept of a reward is a variable thing. Have any of you ever been invited to a midnight shopping exclusive? I have, and it is a really unique experience. Basically, sometimes a store will open its hours at an abnormal time such as midnight, and invite its big spenders and customers to the store to allow them to shop for exclusive items or items that are not yet available to the general public for purchase. This is a long-time practice that I've seen for years, and is a form of rewarding people who choose to spend a substantial amount of money with the company.

Also, just so everyone is aware, this is just the first round of rewards for Club Verge members. Members already get a guild to socialize, contests, chance to win avatar art designed by a Gaia artist, free birthday item, etc. In the future as the shop evolves, I expect even more benefits along the way of free items, coupons, discounts, sales on Cash Shop items, etc. to come down the pipe. Not sure exactly what those rewards will be, but if they align with what I think will be coming, it'll be very exciting!


But what about different rewards for loyal Gaians who have been on the site for years?!? I'm broke so I cannot spend money - does this mean you think I am not as valuable as people that spend money on Gaia? cry
Not at all! We love all our members, and while we are working on ways to more prominently reward/offer perks to those who do spend their money with us, we love all of you the same. This is why Gaia is still free to play, and why we are working on a fun new loyalty program for members whose contributions are not financial but more socially-based such as posts made, time spent daily on Gaia, age of account, etc. As I've mentioned before, such variables are not yet determined, and we're working on a good way to use such variables to determine "loyalty" but that is taking some time. Not to worry, it'll be coming out as soon as I am able to get it all together, and I am excited about it! I think there'll be lots of fun things for people 3nodding


I'm not broke, but I don't want to spend money on Gaia - does this mean I am ineligible for the rewards for Gaians who don't spend money on Gaia?
Not at all! If you meet the eligibility requirements to receive rewards for being in this category (requirements are not determined yet!) then you'll get the rewards. Doesn't matter if you cannot or choose not to spend money on Gaia - money isn't a factor at all in determining loyalty rewards that are not based on spending! ^^


Why would anyone spend money on pixels - it is not REAL items!
Maybe not, but people should buy things they like, can afford, and which make them happy! Sometimes those items are tangible like a puppy or a book! Other times, they may be digital like a music download, a game add-on, or an avatar item! These items are valuable to the buyer because it enhances his/her experience, and makes them happy. We all like to buy different things right? One person's pixels are another person's trading cards or another person's books! Besides, I think the items on Gaia are amazing and the art team does a fantastic job! 3nodding


When someone spends money on a particular feature on Gaia, does the profit made from sales of those items go directly into supporting that specific feature?
This is one of the most interesting things I have heard on Gaia - that if, for example, one buys a CI that the money made from the sale of that item will only go to support the creation of more CI items. I am not sure how or where this notion came from, but in case you aren't aware, companies don't typically work this way. When people spend money on the business, it all goes into a pool of money made which is then distributed across all features and business functions to ensure the stability of the company. If anyone can shed some light on why so many people have come to think that spending money on one specific feature means that money only goes to support or enhance that feature, I'd really love to hear your input.


The prices in Club Verge are too high - you should lower them! It's not fair to charge so much!
With regards to the Club Verge prices, they were set high to help the items retain a higher value in the overall Gaia economy. These are fairly exclusive items in that the number is limited by the initial price of the items. Honestly, it's not like we expected to sell thousands of them and start having money fights in the lunch area! They're priced this way so those that really want to invest in the items or item sets can do so and get a good sell-back price should they choose to sell them in the vend/Exchange due to limited numbers. That said, we are taking pricing feedback into consideration and are happy to have you input on this!

As for it being fair to charge so much, this is a nebulous concept. Some people are willing to pay higher prices for some items and others are not, and some stores will charge more than others for similar products. For example, I have a friend who buys extraordinarily high-priced heels! She loves her shoes! Now, I am not personally going to pay $2,000 for designer shoes, but she and other people will pay that amount because they value the item. They should have the right to do so if that is how they choose to spend their money, and the store/designer has the right to charge that much if they so desire.


Are you planning more special deals/rewards/perks/offers for Gaia cash purchasers?
Yes, we are. This year, we'll be trying a bunch of new incentive plans - rewards/perks for high rollers as well as rewards/perks for people who have spent some amount on Gaia, and incentives for people who have never bought Gaia cash. Just letting you know now so you aren't alarmed as these offers roll out, and so you know that not all offers are only for those who spend tons of money on Gaia. We appreciate and value all levels of financial support, and are working on ways to provide more perks/rewards for all Gaians who financially support the site in any amount.


Why are Cash Shop items so much better than Gold Shop items?!
You know, I don't agree with this really, but perhaps I am missing something. I get that Cash Shop items have more poses and whatnot, but the Gold Shop items are pretty darn awesome too! I make a LOT of amazing avatars out of only gold shop items and wear them proudly. If anyone that feels this way can better explain this perception to me, I'd love to hear why you feel this way so I can better understand that point of view.
Space Butterfly's avatar

Sparkling Dog

13,250 Points
  • Perfect Attendance 400
  • Threadmaster 200
  • Megathread 100
I feel bad that you have to address something like this. Most of us(I hope), feel that gaia as a whole is great. There are something here and there that we want to change, yeah but that is with everything in our lives. There is no matter what you do, you want change. It is human-nature to change. Maybe changing dinner plans one night, or wanting to lose weight, or something so small that it doesn't have much of an impact like changing socks. I think that gaia, has become more of a business we learned to accept that. We accepted that Gaia has to make money, some how.
Yeata Zi's avatar

Loyal Gaian

16,550 Points
  • Perfect Attendance 400
  • Partygoer 500
  • Firestarter 200
Thank you for addressing this.

Hopefully the doom theories are over. :/
siskataya's avatar

Tipsy Visionary

14,050 Points
  • Jack-pot 100
  • Battle: Rogue 100
  • Cheercrusher 50
Monsieur LoyaI
I feel bad that you have to address something like this. Most of us(I hope), feel that gaia as a whole is great. There are something here and there that we want to change, yeah but that is with everything in our lives. There is no matter what you do, you want change. It is human-nature to change. Maybe changing dinner plans one night, or wanting to lose weight, or something so small that it doesn't have much of an impact like changing socks. I think that gaia, has become more of a business we learned to accept that. We accepted that Gaia has to make money, some how.


Thank you for your post! I don't mind talking to people, especially about sensitive subjects like this. I get why people are frustrated or upset, and I understand that not everyone is going to like everything we do. That is the same thing for all people across all sites. What I most wanted to do was just talk to people, try and address some of the reasons for things, get some genuine feedback on why certain ideas are floating about because I honestly cannot understand the origin of the complaint, etc. Mostly, I hope that I have reiterated the fact that we love all of you, whether you spend or not 3nodding
The anti-social cookie's avatar

Precious Vegetarian

18,250 Points
  • Object of Affection 150
  • Tooth Fairy 100
  • Marathon 300
For the Gold shops vs the Cash shop:

I know for me it feels like the Cash shop get a lot more attention over the Gold shops. They get more updates, and even though its around the same size it just seems better.

I know the Cash shop will produce a lot more color choices then the GS. The CS get all the amazing blues, reds, creams, purples, pinks, greens, ect.

I love the GS to death, but they are seriously lacking in matching colors to the items we get. The lady Jane and the mummy item has a nearly impossible to match blue to it. I would love to see item come out in the Gold shops with that kind of blue!

I think that if the color pallets could be redesigned to work together to enhance each other, it would be great! Have the super awesome (and I'll guess difficult to make) items come out in the Cash shop and then with the following Gold shop update use the colors (the wine purples, greens, the blood reds, the navy blues, the new gorgeous soft chocolate brown).

I believe it would open up a lot of choices when it comes to creating avatars.
+[Skarekrow]+'s avatar

Fluffy Pumpkin

Thank you so much for this. I am so tired of others calling people money hungry or stupid because they want to spend their money on items.
siskataya's avatar

Tipsy Visionary

14,050 Points
  • Jack-pot 100
  • Battle: Rogue 100
  • Cheercrusher 50
Yeata Zi
Thank you for addressing this.

Hopefully the doom theories are over. :/


You are welcome! I hope they are over too - that would be darn nice! ^^
But...but I like doom. sad
It's even in my (not username) normal internet name.

@ Sisky:

I'm not really upset about Club Verge.
You're giving people benefits for spending a lot.
Benefits that weren't there before.
Sure - most people won't be able to afford the high-tier items there.
But before they didn't exist to get anyway.

You're giving people opportunities to get "epic" items.
I just wish you'd use features like this and merge them in with other features a bit more.
Perhaps make new epic recipes and sell them in Club Verge.
Gain revenue while spiking a bit more interest in other features such as zOMG.

Even though you've pretty much abandoned zOMG, it's still one of the best games in gaia purely because it links into Gaia in so many ways.

Plus, you could do things like sell Gold items in club verge too, just insanely expensive like in denier cri. How about giving more uses to wing stickers? Add wing sticker items into the shop too.

I'm not upset at the fact that club verge is expensive.
I'm just upset at the fact you could be using it a lot better and be merging it more naturally into the websites features.

Then again, honestly you probably don't care about my opinion.
siskataya's avatar

Tipsy Visionary

14,050 Points
  • Jack-pot 100
  • Battle: Rogue 100
  • Cheercrusher 50
+[Skarekrow]+
Thank you so much for this. I am so tired of others calling people money hungry or stupid because they want to spend their money on items.


You are welcome! I am tired of that too - it's not fair because in some way or another, I think we all spend money on digital things (e.g. mp3s, game add-ons, etc.) or things that we like which others may not want to purchase.

I do see avatar items very much like the expensive shoes I mentioned - these are items not all people will want to buy, but others do because they are fun and let them express themselves. And some people will pay more for such things. I like buying items and making my avi stylish because, if I may be honest, I could never be this stylish in real life. It allows me to represent myself in a fun and fantastic way, and to me, it is worth the money.
siskataya

You are welcome! I am tired of that too - it's not fair because in some way or another, I think we all spend money on digital things (e.g. mp3s, game add-ons, etc.) or things that we like which others may not want to purchase.

I do see avatar items very much like the expensive shoes I mentioned - these are items not all people will want to buy, but others do because they are fun and let them express themselves. And some people will pay more for such things. I like buying items and making my avi stylish because, if I may be honest, I could never be this stylish in real life. It allows me to represent myself in a fun and fantastic way, and to me, it is worth the money.


Yep, people have the right to spend money on what they want.
In the end it's theirs to spend. People just need to calm down on being jealous and just take a deep breath.

I'm just wondering what impact all of these high tier items are going to have.
CI's, EI's and MC's coming out quite fast.
With each CI you get many epic and rare items which are quite expensive.
Now you have Club Verge with even more.

I do believe you would have had a lot more positive feedback on Club Verge if you stuck at least a few decent Gold items into the shop, this way people won't think you're completely biased to cash.
When it comes to cash, one of the things I always liked about Gaia was cash wasn't a necessity. Everything that could be purchased with cash could also be purchase with gold. It made the game have an even playing field either way you wanted to play the game. Now however you are literally being cut off from certain areas unless you have spent enough cash recently. As a long time member it feels strange for an official Gaia run guild to say, "Hahaha, nope you are not extraordinary enough to enter." I could understand not being able to purchase items from the new shop Verge but I am not even able to step in the door to window shop and try on the new items.

There is a lot more I want to post but I got to finish painting the ceiling so I guess I'll just slap this out there till I'm done.
Thanks for another great post, Sisky. I appreciate your taking the time, multiple times, to address community concerns. mrgreen

I do not envy you the massive amount of reading and replying that comes along with, however. >__<
<3
ShadMaria4ever's avatar

Lonely Loiterer

Thank you for this~! heart All the doom and gloom stuff has been getting hard to hear lately, so hopefully this will put it to rest. emotion_facepalm
The Undead Suitor's avatar

Questionable Bunny

11,550 Points
  • Heckler 50
  • Ultimate Player 200
  • Destroyer of Cuteness 150
is it weird that you guys have spent more time explaining yourselves than anything else lately

Quick Reply

Submit
Manage Your Items
Other Stuff
Get GCash
Offers
Get Items
More Items
Where Everyone Hangs Out
Other Community Areas
Virtual Spaces
Fun Stuff
Gaia's Games