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When you cash Lindens out of Second Life using the Linden Exchange, you have the choice between a “Market Sell” and a “Limit Sell”. Although I’ve never done a Market sell, I can see that I get considerably more dollars using the Limit Sell, but apparently the Market Sell is much faster. I’m not sure how much faster! I’ve never used it!
I work hard for my lindens and I wish to optimize the amount of dollars I receive for them.
When you do a Limit Sell on the Linden Exchange, you are trading your lindens for other residents dollars. So when you sign up to perform a Limit Sell, you are put in a queue that will match up your lindens with other residents dollars when its your turn to exchange. And quite likely your exchange will happen in chunks when its your turn – not all at once.
Unless you are planning on cashing out and processing credit of USD $10,000 or more, OR PayPal will not permit payments to your country, you will need to set up a PayPal account first (see here). I’ve had one for years, I used to send money from PayPal to my bank, but now I use the PayPal debit card.
Your cash outs from Linden Dollars to US Dollars proceed in 2 steps: first to your US Dollar Balance that belongs to your Second Life account (which you can use to pay tier to LL or for premium fees), then to your PayPal account. Each step takes a few days, the whole process usually takes 7 days for me from initiating the Market Sell to the money in my PayPal account. On a first time limit sell it took 11 days to complete for a friend of mine.
In order to keep from stressing myself out, I start the cash-out process at least two weeks before I need the money.
Exchanging Lindens for US Dollars via Limit Sell
So once you have a PayPal account set up, you can begin the process. First you will need to turn on your advanced settings. On the left hand side of your Second Life Dashboard, under Linden Exchange click on “Manage” and then in the list that appears underneath click on “L$ Exchange Settings”. My list may be longer than yours because I already had my advanced settings on.
This will take you to a page where you can select basic or advanced settings, tick the advanced button and click submit.
The next page that appears will show you a bunch of information and choices. Here is where you can make a Limit Sell. First you need to select the Exchange Rate to use. I always choose the one with the most volume (which may not be the top value). In this case the most volume is trading at L$247 / US$1.00. If there is a tranche selling just above that rate for L$248 / US$1.00, you could use 248 as your exchange rate and your Limit Sell should sell faster than if you chose 247. But I always give myself plenty of time and pick the higher volume amount.
You CAN try to get even more US dollars for attempting to exchange at a better rate, say L$245 or L$246 per US$1.00, but my attempts to sell at any rate better than the prevailing rate never sold in the month I was willing to wait and see.
You can also perform a Market Sell, which will net you significantly less US dollars. I like to compare the estimated proceeds of Market Sells and Limit Sells just so I can see how much more money I am getting out of a Limit Sell.
So once you are done exploring, enter the number of Lindens you wish to exchange, and the exchange rate you wish to use – in this example it would be L$247 / US$1.00. You will see numbers appear Estimated Value (before fees) and the Estimated Proceeds (after LL takes their 3.5% cut).
Once you click on the “Offer to Sell” button you will be directed to re-enter your SL login information again, and then will be taken to a confirmation page. You should also get an email stating that a Limit Sell order was placed from Second Life. Now you just wait. Probably about 4-5 days.
You will notice that the amount of Lindens that you offered to sell have been taken from your Linden Balance. This is because it has been pulled into the exchange queue, waiting for buyers, And it would not do if you spent the Lindens on a spaceship, lemur avatar or nifty new skin with scales in the meantime. But never fear! You can always check to see how things are proceeding by going under the Linden Exchange (left side of your Dashboard) > Manage > Transaction History. Your Open (pending) orders will show up, relieving your fears that your Lindens have somehow escaped to the ether. You can also check your closed orders in the last 30 days on this page.
So just be patient until that magical day comes that you receive an email telling you that your Limit Sell has been filled!
Once it has been filled, the US dollars REMAIN in your Second Life account. This enables you to pay tier, premium fees or even shop on marketplace with US dollars! (Don’t you DARE shop on Market Place with US Dollars!). Linden Labs will use this US Dollar balance first for any money owed to them, before they attempt to collect from your payment information on record.
Now for the second step – Process Credit. If you wish to transfer some or all of these US Dollars to your PayPal account, now is the time. Go to your Account Summary on your Dashboard, and you will see a US Dollar balance with a “process Credit” link next to it. Click that!
Then next page shows that the Process Credit has changed (for now) and you are given a link to the knowledge base if you care to read more about it. You will need to select a Payout Method, so click the Payout Method plus button .
BE VERY SURE THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU GIVE THEM IS CORRECT, BECAUSE THE FUNDS WILL GO TO WHATEVER EMAIL YOU ENTER!!
You should only need to do this part once, unless of course LL changes things again.
Clicking on the plus button will take you to this dialogue for Change Payment Method. If you need to add a payment method, click the link to add a payment method.
If you have processed credit to PayPal in the past, you will be able to tick a box next to PayPal Address that shows the email you use to process PayPal payments. Tick the button and click continue.
Now you will see the PayPal logo and the email you use for PayPal under payout method. BE VERY SURE THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS CORRECT, BECAUSE THE FUNDS WILL GO TO WHATEVER EMAIL YOU ENTER!!
Then click the Request Process credit button
You will again be asked to enter your SL login information, and then you will be directed to a page showing the Transaction Details of your Process Credit Request.
Now you will wait – again – for about 3 days, (could be 6 days if its your first time). Then you will get an email from PayPal saying that your money is available in your PayPal account. It usually takes me a week from initiating a limit sell to seeing the money in my PayPal account if I go to process credit as soon as I get the email that my Limit Sell was filled, but your first time may take longer.
And that’s how you optimize your cash out from Second Life to real money!