The following is a transcript of " Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life," a podcast from QuickAndDirtyTips.com. The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at TheStreet.com's podcast home page.

Will Ross here, welcome to The Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Better Second Life. On this show we discuss tips and tricks for the game Second Life, created by Linden Labs.

Today's episode: Dollar Stores, (near) freebies in Second Life.

One of the issues I have with Second Life is that it can be a place where the haves are having more fun than the have-nots. Some days it seems as if the only way to have a fully tricked out avatar complete with all the bells and whistles is to either spend quite a bit of your real world green stuff, or even more horrifying to a professional slacker like myself, get a job. So if you're as broke as I am, and yet don't want to spend your precious game time filling out the new cover sheets on virtual TPS reports at your in-game office, you might want to check out a few one-Linden stores.

Loss Leaders

One-Linden stores are exactly what the name implies -- places where you can purchase clothing, items, shapes, skins, or hair for a single Linden dollar. Most of these establishments are attached to another store or business of some kind, and their purpose is usually to drive traffic. The stores use dollar sections and dollar stores as a way to give people some (nearly) free samples of their merchandise in the hopes of getting a few new customers.

Better Than Free

As I've said on a previous show about freebies, you do get what you pay for, but when you're getting 300 items for the price of one skirt at a premium boutique, it's hard to complain. I've also noticed that one-Linden stores tend to be a little better organized than freebie stores, and the merchandise is usually of slightly higher quality. Why paying a four-thousandth of a cent more gives you a jump in quality I'm not sure, but it does seem to do so.

Enkythings

Anyhow, I'd be a poor guide if I didn't introduce you to at least one one-Linden store while we're on the subject. The one I visit is called "Enkythings," and it's part of Enktan Gully's Second Life retail location, and a very cool one-Linden mall separated into a half dozen stores.

For your home away from real life, there's a section for furniture, garden and decorations. For your style needs, there is a massive, well-organized clothing department featuring clothing, accessories, tattoos and more. They've even got a full selection of cars and vehicles. And if you're really broke, the sim gives you a Linden from time to time just for loitering.

So next time you're so broke you can't even pay attention, consider doing some virtual thrift shopping. It may not be Armani, but at least you'll be able to pay your real life mortgage! That's it for this episode! So until next time remember, the difference between stalking and talking is just one little letter.

Will Ross, a Second Life explorer and professional slacker, writes and records the Traveling Avatar articles and podcasts. Following a stint in college where he came dangerously close to earning a degree in history, Will Ross spent countless hours of his life in a number of online worlds including Worlds of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and City of Heroes before making a permanent home on Eldoe Island in Second Life. To request a topic or share a tip, send an email to secondlife@qdnow.com or call 206-888-MYSL.

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