By simply equipping themselves with a personal computer and an Internet connection, more and more merchants are discovering that doing business online is an efficient, safe, and hassle-free way to market their products.
In the Philippines, in particular, online merchants are now fast turning cyberspace into an online shopping mall, selling most everything from balloons to cellular phones and concluding thousands of transactions in the relative ease and safety of their living rooms, office cubicles, or even of specialty coffee shops.
Take the case of 24-year-old Joether Santos of Manila. When he decided to pursue post-graduate studies earlier this year, he badly needed money and he needed it fast. The beginning of the school term was less than a week away but he was still woefully short of the funds he needed for his tuition.
That was when he decided to sell his motorcycle online. He took photos of it, uploaded the images onto his laptop computer, then posted them on his web log along with a price tag and a short description. In just two days, he got the P30,000 in cash he needed to enroll for his post-graduate course.
"It\\\'s easy to make money from online selling as long as you have a good quality item to sell," he says. "It\\\'s convenient, and you get to reach a much broader audience free of charge."
Santos now plans to expand his foray into the online selling business by posting more items and increasing his inventory. He intends to do this on the side while doing his post-graduate studies and his regular job as a marketing manager at FEATI University in downtown Manila. Unlike traditional business ventures that require an onsite presence most of the time, online selling entails but a few mouse clicks a day.
He explains: "You don\\\'t have to physically check everything because you can do the business by remote." One company that is capitalizing on the growing number of cyber transactions in the Philippines is the Korean firm Auction.ph. It is betting that with the families of overseas Filipino workers awash with foreign exchange remittances, their appetite for online shopping as an alternative to mall shopping will grow steadily as a result.
"We are confident that our consumer traffic will climb as more and more people become aware of online buying and selling," says Jenny Kim, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and vice president of Auction.ph.