Today is of course "Cyber Monday," one of the busiest shopping days of the year, when millions of employees steal company time to do their online shopping for their loved ones. Surely, Amazon’s and Buy.com’s websites are taking a big hit today, but what about Second Life retailers? I did a quick in-world search for real life gifts that you can purchase for all those on your shopping list, and here’s what I came up with:
Starfruit Gift Shop (click here to teleport) : This European e-tailer specializes in three things guaranteed to win the heart of your sweetie — flowers, chocolate and liquor. A nice box of Belgian chocolates will run you L$12,000 or about $40, while a bottle of scotch goes for L$22,000 or about US$75.
Sadly, they only ship to Germany and Switzerland at this time, but sounds like a neat service nonetheless. You simply pay for one of the virtual gifts with linden dollars, and then get taken to a webform to put in the gift address information. And totally anonymous, if you really want to stalk secretly woo someone.
[UPDATE 12/6/07: Pixel comments that Starfruit does indeed ship internationally.]
IWOOT Store (click here to teleport): The UK-based e-tailer IWOOT (short for "I Want One of Those") has been serving up useless gadgets for the masses for a number of years, and only recently started selling their goods in-world for SL residents. They have a nicely implemented in-world shopping system, including a shopping cart that you follows you around and large pictures and descriptions of all their products. And since they have been in the gadget biz for awhile, they have a good instinct for what geeks like me want to get. International shipping is available for those not in the UK.
CAPP Records Music Store (click here to teleport): For the last minute gift, nothing beats digital media. If iTunes doesn’t do anything for you, head to the Capp Record Store and check out the cool electronica, house and trance music they have on offer. Your avatar can sit in one of their listening stations to sample various albums and then pay for the tracks on the spot. Each song is only L$300, or about a dollar. You are provided with a notecard with instructions on how to download the MP3 file on the web.
So if you have some linden dollars to burn, and want to spend your money with some smaller e-tailers, these folks would certainly appreciate your business. If there are other Second Life retailers who sell real world goods, feel free to post them in the comments section.
UPDATE 12/3/07: I just discovered the SL Music Emporium, which sells MP3s of your favorite Second Life artists. Check it out at this SLURL.