UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Top 21 Second Life Store Groups to Join and Stay a Member of, for the Best Free Group Gifts and Bargains!

PLEASE NOTE: My blog is still on indefinite hiatus; I have made a single exception for this blogpost. After this, I will be going back on my self-imposed break from blogging.


Have you joined the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group yet? I will be posting EVEN MORE news and tips on finding fabulous freebies and bargains in Second Life than I now post here on the blog! More information on this brand new SL group here.


Join the Scandalize store group for only L$20, and it will likely be the best twenty Linden dollars you have ever spent!

Today’s blogpost is in response to the often-asked question: What are the best Second Life store groups to join and stay a member of?

But before I answer that burning question, there are six freebie groups (i.e. they are not store groups) which you should already be following (source):

  1. Fabulously Free in SL: their group is free to join; here is a list of the gifts you can pick up with that group tag active
  2. Maitreya Gifts, Sales & News: their group is free to join; follow their blog to find out what gifts you can get with this group
  3. Mesh Avatar Appearance Maniacs (MAAM): it costs L$50 to join the MAAM group; here is a list of freebies you can pick up with that group tag active
  4. SL Frees & Offers: theirgroup is free to join; here’s their list of group gifts
  5. TeleportHub.com: it costs L$10 to join their group; here is a list of gifts you can get
  6. THIRD LIFE [Frees, Gifts & Hunts]: their group is free to join, although they have charged in the past; here is their blog

Now, on to the list of Second Life store groups which I do recommend you join, in rank order (with the most generous groups listed first). So, if you are short of group space, you can just work you way down the list until you run out of available group slots! As I mention below, some of these groups are free, so you could leave them after picking up all the steals, deals, and freebies!

I also strongly recommend that you always keep at least one free group slot available, so if you do have to join a group unexpectedly, you are prepared!

There are, of course, countless other freebie groups which you can join for free, just to pick up a free outfit, then leave immediately afterwards (e.g. Mesh Body Friends). Usually, there will be a sign in the store which you can click on, that will give you a link in local chat to join the group, next to a picture of the free item. (Remember to press Ctrl+H to pull up the local chat window so you can click on the link.)

The generous group gifts wall at Wow Skins (click on the black and white gift box for all the previous group gifts!)

Without further do, here is the list. Please note that I have given the EXACT spelling of the store group names below is given in bold at the start of each entry on this list, so if you are having trouble finding it, you might want to cut and paste that name into the Search box under Groups.

  1. !|SCANDALIZE|! – This group only costs L$20 to join, and you get so much for that! Scandalize is, without a doubt, the most generous store on the grid when it comes to group gifts. Joining the group also gives you access to their many lucky boards. Don’t forget to also join the new Scandals SL Frees & News group group for free, to pick up all the free Scandalize outfit fatpacks available at the Scandalize outlet store on the same sim! More information here. (Once you have vacuumed up all the goodies, you can leave the Scandals SL Frees & News group.)
  2. Hilly Haalan Fashions – You can join this group for free, pick up literally dozens and dozens of lovely free group gifts of women’s apparel, footwear, and jewelry at both the spawn point and at the nearby freebie store, then leave the Hilly Haalan group if you need the group space for something else! (Thank you for your generosity, Hilly!)
  3. ..Virtue.. – The proprietor of Virtue, Abiela Heartsong, generously offers 100 free gifts of modestly designed but ultra fashionable women’s clothing, in two panels labelled “Group Gift” located on the main floor of her store. The Virtue group is free to join and, again, you can always choose to leave it after scooping up all the freebies.
  4. -monaLISA- The monaLISA store has almost 100 group gifts of women’s apparel and footwear (the group costs only L$50 to join).
  5. Glitterati by Sapphire – If you join the Glitterati by Sapphire group for L$100, you can pick up one hundred past group gifts of dresses and gowns at the Group Gifts area in the in-world Glitterati store.
  6. .:WoW Skins:. – If you are looking for free female skins, the skin store group you should definitely consider joining is Wow Skins, which costs L$199. For that fee, you can pick up a large number of free group gifts, plus a gift box with all the past group gift skins! Keep an eye out for days when you join the Wow Skins group for free. They also have a Discord server you can join. You can see some of these group gift skins here.
  7. *COCO* Update Group COCO Designs has several low, black group gift walls scattered around the store, with well over 60 high-quality gifts (women’s clothing and shoes; the group is free to join).
  8. J-Store DesignsJuli Fashion Design has a group gift wall with nearly 60 gifts of womenswear, plus a few men’s outfits, too! The J-Store Designs group is free to join.
  9. Pink Cream Pie – For a group join fee of L$314, Pink Cream offers you free womenswear group gifts from the current year, plus all the gifts from the previous four years, too! (here’s the SLURL to their group gift wall, located on the second floor of the store). The store group also lets you click on their six lucky boards.
  10. Legendaire V.I.P. Legendaire currently has 41 gifts of women’s clothing and shoes; the group costs only L$49 to join.
  11. LYBRA Update Group {free}Lybra has recently updated the group gifts wall in their store, offering a wide variety of wonderful womenswear (the Lybra group is free to join, and there are also some group gifts on a nearby wall for the various freebie groups—see the list at the top of this blogpost!).
  12. …:::Beautiful Dirty Rich:::…The Beautiful Dirty Rich (a.k.a. B.D.R.) store is also very generous with their free group gifts, and the B.D.R. group is free to join!
  13. .ViSion. Clothing Store – For only L$18, you can join the ViSion store group and pick up some lovely free group gifts located to the right of the entrance of the store.
  14. …::: LsR :::..! Fashion Friends ! – This group costs L$99 to join, and it gives you regular group gifts of L$300 free store credit to use on anything in the LsR Originals store, plus a wall of group gifts and a huge wall of lucky boards, just for group members!
  15. <FABIA> Mesh Hair – This group costs L$300, and the FABIA Hair store gives you 18 free group gifts of women’s hairstyles.
  16. Loki Store – The Loki Store group costs L$99 to join, and offers a nice selection of free group gifts (here’s the SLURL to their group gift wall in store).
  17. BELLE EPOQUE CustomersBelle Epoque usually offers a half dozen free group gifts on their group gift wall, located to the right of the main entrance; the store group costs L$20 to join. The group gifts tend to get rotated relatively frequently, so it’s best to drop by every three months or so to see what’s new!
  18. TRUTH VIP – For a L$350 group join fee, Truth Hair store group members receive a free group gift of a hairstyle fatpack with a styling HUD via the group notices, every single month! The hair is beautiful, so this is definitely a group to join and stay a member of! TRUTH VIP group members can pick up the previous months’ group gifts for only L$500 each (here’s a SLURL to that wall where they are displayed).
  19. Baby Monkey JunkiesBaby Monkey womenswear proprietor Pixieplumb Flanigan always has lovely group gifts of women’s clothing and shoes to offer, and the Baby Monkey store group costs only L$20 to join. You can pick up previous group gifts for only L$10 each at a vendor located next to the current free group gift.
  20. 7 Deadly S[k]ins – The 7 Deadly S[k]ins store group costs L$295 to join, but keep your eyes peeled for periods throughout the year when you can join the 7 Deadly S[k]ins group for free (for example, they usually have one just before they launch their popular Advent calendar every December 1st). With your group tag active, you can pick up the monthly free group gifts located at the front desk of the store. The group tag also lets you play the lucky boards in store! Here’s a SLURL to the location of the lucky boards.
The group gift wall at Belle Epoque (the group costs L$20 to join)

Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATE April 3rd, 2021: The Arcane Spellcaster store group is free to join this Easter weekend, and with that free group join you can not one but two L$500 gift cards, good for anything in their store!

You might want to stay in the Arcane Spellcaster group, as they plan to give away a L$500 gift card every three months! Here’s the SLURL to their store.

UPDATED! Another Fifteen-Minute Second Life Avatar Makeover: You Must Be an Angel

No one on earth could feel like this
I’m thrown and overflown with bliss
There must be an angel
Playing with my heart

—There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), by the Eurythmics

Time for another one of my patented 15-minute Second Life avatar makeovers! I hope that you enjoy these transformation as much as I do 🙂

This time, I have selected an alt which I have styled as a heavenly angel (her actual, Second Life legacy name is Prayerful Vigil, quite fitting!). Here is a before shot from 2018, a classic avatar with a system-layers-and-flexiprims outfit, outfitted with the free Bento wings and sword from the Marcus starter SL avatar:

And here is the after shot. This avatar is a perfect example of one of Ryan’s top ten tips for freebie hunting:

Be patient: Freebies can come and go; freebie stores like The Free Dove and Ajuda SL Brasil rotate their freebies regularly, so it’s worthwhile to visit every couple of months, just to see what’s new. It can take some time to pull together a complete look from various components picked up as freebies at different times from different stores and events.

In this case, the complete look was pulled together by patiently picking up freebies at various times throughout the past two years. I also took full advantage of the then-free Kalhene Ariadna mesh body when it was avialable! The wings and hale were the final two bits I picked up in the past week (please see the style credits below the picture for details).


This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: the Strong Face Bento mesh head by The Genus Project (free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Mesh Body: the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body (I was lucky enough to pick up the free predecessor of the current Kalhene Anya mesh body, which is now for sale for L$1,695 here; this body is compatible with Maitreya Lara apparel and footwear, and includes a Bento mesh head, not used here)
  • Bakes on Mesh Skin: White Queen skin gift by A&A (free on the SL Marketplace)
  • Hair: I picked this Jessi hair in goth white up from Sn@tch as a free prize in a previous year’s Trick or Treat Lane hunt
  • Necklace: This was a free hunt prize by Dreaming Thicket, in the Spring 2019 edition of the Twisted Hunt (which had a colour theme of gold and white, perfect for this angel avatar!)
  • Gown: This was also a free hunt prize in the Spring 2019 Twisted Hunt, from Appliqué Chic
  • Shoes (not shown): Amy flats from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)
  • Wings: golden Icon angel wings from Blueberry (I was able to pick up the Gold Pack of these wings last weekend, using the L$500 in free store credit which was in the group notices, and taking advantage of their four-day 50% Off Sale; the Blueberry group costs only L$20 to join)
  • Halo: Aether halo by Cubic Cherry (free gift at the current Engine Room shopping event; the event group is free to join; the halo is resizable and I made it smaller)
  • Sword: from the free Marcus starter Second Life avatar
  • Particle Effects: This is the only thing I bought at full retail price! The Valkyrie particle aura is from Cole’s Corner: animated halo, hands, and body particles in either silver or gold! (L$300; more information here, including an animated GIF)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR LOOK: Only L$320! (L$20 to join the Blueberry group, and L$300 for the Valkyrie aura particle effects; if you need to purchase the Kalhene Anya mesh body, the cost is L$2,015)

UPDATE Sept. 30th, 2020: I just found the perfect finishing touch for this avatar! It’s a gold wing necklace, the free gift from the MINDS booth at the 5th anniversary round of the SanaRae shopping event (here’s the exact SLURL; it also comes in a silver version). It’s beautiful, and very fitting indeed for an angel!


After” pictures taken at the Engine Room shopping event.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Beautiful Free Ballgowns!

I just stumbled across a fabulous fashion freebie for female avatars, and I decided to use it as an excuse to write up an entire blogpost about all the places in Second Life you can pick up a full-length mesh ballgown, for free! Clip and save for when you need something for a formal, black-tie event (or even if you just feel like swanning around SL in a full-blown battleship ballgown; hey, it’s your Second Life, express yourself any way you want!)

The freebie is from the newly-rebranded store, Dead Doll (formerly known as Dead Dollz), which has set up in a brand new location and is offering a gift to celebrate. If you join the SeraphimSL.com group for free and click the panel shown below, you can pick up the simple, elegant Etta strapless gown for free:

The Etta gown comes in a fatpack of sixteen colours as shown. Here, Vanity Fair models it with a black lace bolero from United Colors (not free; I purchased the fatpack of this bolero, waiting for the perfect gown to pair it with). Sheer perfection!

Another place where you can pick up some free gowns is the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil. Up on the third floor is a large display by VIPs Creations, where in the top row of panels are three different styles of full-length gowns:

This lovely strapless gown with a subtle pattern is by VIPs Creations, and comes in four colours as shown, and even includes the shoes:

Another place to pick up a simple, classic ballgown is the generous freebie store at Hilly Haalan, where you can find this Nadia gown in fifteen colours (you will need to join the Hilly Haalan store group for free to pick up all the freebies here).

While some gowns are the right length for high heels, the Nadia gown works best with flats. Fortunately, at Hilly Haalan you can also pick up a free set of Amy flats which come in a variety of colours to match this ballgown perfectly!

Another little-known spot where you can pick up ballgowns in orange, red, and blue is !Soul, a store which has set up shop in a skybox high above the newbie orientation centre called New Resident Island (here’s the exact SLURL). If you join the !Soul group for free, you can pick up dozens of free gifts of women’s clothing, hair, footwear, and system/Bakes on Mesh skins. Everything in the store is free!

The apparel at !Soul comes in standard sizes, but ballgowns are the kind of clothing that you can easily alpha out your pelvic area and legs anyway, so they will always fit! (You might have to adjust your bust size slightly, though.)

Here is the blue ballgown from !Soul, with the optional fur stole. Looking elegant for zero Linden dollars!

Of course, you can sometimes pick up free ballgowns at the entrances to many of the finer dance establishments in Second Life, such as this gown from the newly-reopened Frank’s Jazz Club (which appears to have started up again just to try and wrench business away from the upstart Frank’s (more information here):

And, of course, there are several beautiful ballgowns to be had at The Free Dove (remember that you have to join The Free Dove group for free in order to get these freebies). Palomma Casanova, the owner of The Free Dove, has reorganized her venerable freebie store by designer, so you will have to wander around a bit to find all the ballgowns. However, there is still a small women’s formalwear section near the back entrance (SLURL):

Nearby is a display by Lurve, which features two very different gowns:

And close by, the Tiffany Designs display at The Free Dove has a couple of lovely full-length ballgowns, perfect for your next swanky soirée:

In fact, you can also pick up a couple of free ballgowns at Tiffany’s main store location (one is mesh and the other is an applier gown; no group is needed):

Take a look at the shimmering, daringly low-cut Nia ballgown in champagne, one of the free gown gifts at Tiffany Designs!

So there you have it—elegance on (less than) a dime!

Remember that the Etta ballgown fatpack gift at Dead Doll is likely a time-limited offer, and that Palomma Casanova frequently rotates the stock at The Free Dove, so please don’t delay picking up these gowns and stashing them in your inventory for your next major event. Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATED! Taking a Second Look at the Viva Full-Mesh Avatar: Why the Mesh Head and Body Wars Are Just Getting Started in Second Life

A month ago, I first wrote about the Viva Full Featured Mesh Avatar (Level 3), available for free on the SL Marketplace. After playing around with the Kalhene Ariadna full-body mesh avatar, and documenting its strengths and weaknesses (notably, a lack of alpha sections on the HUD and support for clothing alphas), I came back to the Viva mesh body with a renewed appreciation for all the work the creator had put into it. The HUD truly is amazing, allowing you to combine both alpha sections and clothing alphas to make just about any outfit fit!

For example, here is one of my alts, who wears an Akeruka Lulu Bento mesh head (one of their early group gifts), which I have grown attached to and wanted to keep. I originally wore it with a classic, SL system body; Akeruka had provided system skins to match the entire range of the Lulu head’s available skin tones. And for a long time I was happy with that.

But today, I decided to upgrade this avatar to a full mesh body, and while I was thinking about how best to do that for an inexpensively as possible, I remembered the free Viva Bento, Bakes-on-Mesh compatible mesh body and decided to try that again. (I wasn’t too crazy about the head that came included with the Viva mesh body, but that is a separate attachment, and you can use literally any head with it.)

Here is what she looks like now:

The only problem I encountered was that the system skins that came with the Akeruka Lulu head were older, and as a result there were white spots at the nail bases of the mesh fingers. To fix this, I used the free set of Bakes on Mesh feet and finger fixes available at League (exact SLURL):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: Lulu by Akeruka (L$1 group gift, no longer available; the Akeruka group costs L$150 to join).

Mesh Body: the Viva Full Featured Mesh Avatar (Level 3) from the SL Marketplace.

Skin: I used one of the system skins that came with the Lulu head in a matching skin tone, adding the League Bakes on Mesh finger fix in the pale colour, which was the closest match.

Hair: Chella by Analog Dog (I picked this hairstyle with scarf as a free gift at previous gacha event)

Necklace: Metamorpheses Temple Necklace (a gift from the 2019 BURN2 celebration of Burning Man in Second Life)

Top: Cream embroidered peasant blouse by Petite Mort (this is one of my favourite freebies, available from the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil).

Jeans: Skinny jeans from Mara’s Mysteries (a free hunt gift, no longer available).

Flats: Amy flats by Hilly Haalan (free group gift from their freebie store; the group is free to join; I found that the Viva mesh body’s flat feet are compatible with both Maitreya and Belleza flat shoes, but the Belleza ones fit a bit better so I used those)

Bag: Boho Bliss fringe bag (with hold pose) from a previous Witchwood hunt (Witchwood is the sim where the Petite Mort and Oubliette stores are located, and they regularly hold small hunts; I believe I paid only L$10 for this delightful bag!)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: Only L$161! (L$150 to join the Akeruka group, L$1 for the Lulu Bento mesh head, and L$10 for the bag)


I am very pleased with the result of this makeover! After my experiences working with both the Viva and the Ariadna mesh bodies, I can say this: with the advent of competition from free or inexpensive Bakes-on-Mesh compatible, Bento bodies, we are getting closer and closer to the time when stores charging (and users paying) thousands of Linden dollars for a mesh head and/or body is going to become harder and harder to justify. Yes, I know it’s a bold statement; hear me out.

The Viva and Ariadna mesh bodies are just the first shots fired in a war for marketshare between the established, big-name brands (Catwa, LeLutka, Maitreya, Belleza, Signature, Slink, etc.) and the smaller, nimbler upstarts. For now, the big-name brands have better designer support and offer more options, but, as we see with the fully-featured HUD that the Viva mesh body offers, that gap is starting to narrow!

I’d strongly encourage you to take a look at the Viva and Ariadna mesh bodies on the SL Marketplace, and give them both a test run. Although they are not perfect, they do give an indication of the direction the market is moving. The days of paying L$10,000 or more for a full-body mesh avatar may be numbered!

UPDATE June 11th, 2020: The Kalhene Ariadna mesh body has just updated to version 2.0, with alpha layer support (SL Marketplace link). It now has a HUD with alpha cuts and skin shininess levels, addressing some of my most serious concerns about the product.

In these final two pictures, I have combined the beautiful head from the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body with the Viva mesh body, using one of the Bakes on Mesh skins that came with the recent Limited Advanced head group gift from Akeruka:

Looking fabulous for zero Lindens! The Viva mesh body offers many more features on their included superHUD (such as a better selection of alpha sections to choose from, five different fingernail lengths, and three foot height options), which the Kalhene Ariadna body does not have. Here I just picked the shortest nails, in a natural nail colour, to go with this makeup-free look.

One particularly nice feature is the option to alpha out the wrists but not the hands, as I did for this long-sleeved minidress (a gift from Little Fox at the recent Cosmopolitan shopping event anniversary round). Surprisingly few HUDs that come with mesh bodies allow this—even the expensive brand names!