Free Items are great for marketing and advertisements of stores. Most stores use freebies to show off what kind of things their stores offer - and it also helps the F2P users look somewhat decent rather then noob. Freebies have double standards. On one hand - helping the community - and on the other - marketing and advertising. I fail to see any downpoint to freebies.
I think gifts actually help the economy if anything. I generally have a box of them on my land. I need to spruce it all up a bit (I haven't done anything in SL for about 5 years now), but I've been logging in more lately and guess what ... buying things from other vendors.
Freebies are fine, probably better for the economy than stores full of super-cheap tat. (She said, with a store full of super-cheap tat.) But neither of those affect the real powerhouses of SL commerce, so maybe neither one is an issue?
Biggest pain in the arse I have is a confetti tossing freebie I sent out into the wilds in 2007. I still get requests:
-Where to buy them.
-Support requests referred to me by the people who resell them.
-"Am I allowed to modify these?"
Most are sweethearts, some abusive twats but very few of those.
Then there's the absolute dimtwit who insisted I accept a payment of L$500 for full rights and that I alter all the existing ones on the grid to no transfer, no modify for their commercial purposes.
I really should put them out somewhere. But it's been ten years and I still can't be arsed.
Are there really people who complain about freebies? Like as a general thing?
The only time I've noticed is when somebody decides to go out of business or leave SL completely and makes all his/her products free for like the last week, then you get all his competitors whinging about how that should be illegal or something.
Sure. As Immy suggested up thread, I can easily picture Prokofy Neva having some choice words on the subject. Something about how the availability of good quality freebies discourages people from buying Lindens, meaning that these folks aren't participating in the economy and blah, blah, blah, fishpaste, blah, blah, blah, Ayn Rand, blah, blah, blah...
Never underestimate the abilities of a libertarian to have stupid economic opinions.
Oh - well yeah I guess there's always those crazies, but they have a problem with everything though.
You want a controversy, find a bunch of merchants and ask them how they feel about content creators choosing to sell high-quality products for cheap. Apparently a lot of people feel your right to self-determination of the value of your own work should not be absolute.
Wow! I remember this being a hot debate issue when I joined SL in 2008! Back then, just starting out, I had collected a ton of freebies - many of which are still tucked away in my inventory. I don't think they've harmed SL in the slightest.