Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/sl/sl_market.html
Second Life Product Market Values
Xah Lee, 2010-04-24
Look at this item: xstreetsl modern house. (be sure to check out all the screenshots)
It sells for about $100 USD, and people are buying it. I estimate that it takes about single person 3 weeks to make. If you compare it to software, the ratio of market value over effort is way higher. For example, if you are a game programer, you can code for 3 months, and resulting a product that you can sell maybe $20. And, to be a game programer actually takes a whole lot more training and knowledge than building and scripting in Second Life. Perhaps 5 times as much skill and expertise.
My Particle Maker sells for ~$14 USD, and i sell close to 2 per week since i made it in 2009-04. It took me about 3 weeks full time to create. I have not even spend time on marketing for the past 7 months.
I think the reason for this is because Second Life is a new market. For example, computer games market have been around for 20 or 30 years, Second Life only few years and not yet main stream.
Try Xah Tele-Dasher!
A bit of rare juicy info on sl business. Here's a quote from Wikipedia Second life:
According to figures published by Linden Lab, about 64,000 users made a profit in Second Life in February 2009, of whom 38524 made less than US$10, while 233 made more than US$5000 . Profits are derived from selling virtual goods, renting land, and a broad range of services. In March 2009, it has become known that there exist a few Second Life entrepreneurs, whose profits exceed 1 million US$ per year.
Some companies generate US dollar earnings from services provided in Second Life. Examples are Languagelife.com, Rivers Run Red, BNT Holdings, and Beta Technologies. This opportunity is extending to normal residents and non-Second Life users via affiliate programs. The total value of these transactions has not been calculated but in 2008 consultancy firms Rivers Run Red and Electric Sheep have reported annual revenues of $6 million.
The reference 21 about who made what amount, is from sl official site: http://secondlife.com/statistics/economy-data.php. That page is raw data, you'll need to do some computation to get a readible summary.
The reference about those making millions, is from a blog: Top Second Life Entrepeneur Cashing Out US$1.7 Million Yearly; Furnishings, Events Management Among Top Earners (2009-03-24) by Wagner James Au. At Source
The source of this millions claim is from Robin Harper's blog, at http://couldtherebewhales.blogspot.com/2009/03/correction.html. Apparantly, Robin was a VP of Marketing and Community Developmen at Linden Labs, and left in 2009-02.
Robin being a VP is readily verified on web. Here's a article: http://www.massively.com/2009/02/02/robin-harper-to-leave-linden-lab/, and here: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2009/02/robin-linden-leaves.html. Here's Robin's linkedin url: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rharper.