WRITTEN: 2006 by Eireen Diokno-Bernardo
This is a file exported from her Friendster account before Friendster close their business March 2011.
UPDATE on Earning Dollars in the Philippines
There was a time when earning dollars without leaving the Philippines was a myth. As pleasant as the thought maybe, it simply wasn't possible, unless you are a big time exporter. But with advances in technology, the myth is now a reality.
This article will tell our kababayans that there is a way to earn in dollars without ever leaving your family to work abroad.
Now, before we go on, I would like to clarify that I have nothing against those who work abroad. It is only that the separation from your love ones sometimes weakens family ties, and creates more long term problems. Many of our children are raised without one or both parents, lacking their guidance and caring when they are needed the most. I am truly hurt with that, sometimes we know there is no other choice for them. It is just that the opportunity is so limited in the Philippines.
We even know of some migrant workers who come home to an empty house, the reason being that the spouse ran away with a lover. In extreme cases, we read in the papers of the family of an absent migrant worker being robbed, raped, and murdered in their own home, simply because the one who was supposed to protect them is thousands of miles away.
Many present e-sellers will think I am crazy to teach others how to sell online. There is such a thing I consider as “The Few & The Proud”. There are friends who are already making a living selling on eBay. A lot of these "The Few & the Proud" thinks creating more e-sellers will only create more competition for us. They may have a good point.
But for me and my husband we believe otherwise. We believe we can sell more if there will be more active Filipino online sellers on eBay. The more Filipino products exist on eBay.com the more we shape the international demands for our creations, our label, our brand.
How can this be?
HOW DID WE START SELLING FILIPINO PRODUCTS ON EBAY?
My husband Angelo Bernardo Jr. got retrenched from his work at a foreign stock brokerage. Instead of sulking, he even got fueled up and got more excited with his life! The first thing he did using his separation pay was to buy a whole truckload of old bottles from Bulacan. For him, and most people in his circle, it was the best bottle collection in the country, he raise and bought all of it.
Not that his separation pay is small, the collection is from a reputable family, and he even paid hefty commissions to the agent who stand as a brokered for the deal. During those times I felt I married the wrong man. He must have gone mad! Who, in his right mind, knowing you have two children, and has no job would use all his money to buy so many dirty unusual bottles?!!
Well that was 4 years later, today his mad stunt became a full blown enterprise, Dekada Collectibles and then Dekada Arts Philippines is now one of the largest purveyor of Philippine collectibles and historical items.
Way back 2000 to 2002 we did not have anybody to teach us then. When we started learning the ropes, it was through trial and error, misstep by misstep. We did not have much when we started, what we had is our maturity, experience from the stock market, client relationship management, and proceeds from the dirty unusual bottles.
We did not even know what to call the nature of our business so we coined our practice “retail exports”. Our first sale on eBay was from a Norwegian buyer and he bought a 1974 Miss Universe photo of Ms. Aruba. We received his payment through Bidpay via Western Union check. We did not even know how to encash it then. It was a tedious self learning process yet still it led us to reach a high gross sale during our first year operation. We were so surprised it was many times the amount we have made when we we're working.
It may not be that much for a corporation but considering how much is the output we used to arrive with that input/gross, it is overwhelming.
Among us “The Few & The Proud” nobody want to share information or their expertise.
When we came across each other in places where we buy our inventory, we just express a friendly hidden grin. It was a silent war of prices and feedback. Nobody openly discussed about eBay, as this “The Few & The Proud” did not want to encourage competition. We are friends but more than that we are rivals online.
Now, because of eBay.ph, it is estimated there are 250-400 Philippines seller at the website with more than 2,500 listings each day. We do not have a choice but to accept that success is a prime material that is suited for everybody. Eventually “How to do eBay Cross Border” will not be exclusive to the very few and proud.
Due to that fact, ingenuity plus opportunity is also the base formula to rip off someone. eBay is not spared from scammers. As a legitimate business, that is indeed very alarming, since everyone's credibility is at skate.
The backbone of this industry is pure trust. Buyers aboard are
required to send payment first before items get delivered. Such practice can be exploited by persistent evil doers on the internet. Sellers from some countries are so persistent and continuous with their scamming activities that they managed to tarnish the name of their country in terms of online transactions (e.g. Nigeria, Romania , and even China in some respects).
Still I can say that there are a lot of outstanding Filipino eBayers who are performing very well on online trading. Some of us are rated Silver Powersellers ($3,000 average sales per month). There are now hundreds of Filipinos who are dealing with foreign buyers daily, displaying the highest form of professionalism. Filipino virtue is part of our business and that is not an overstatement. You would see how a Filipino seller being acknowledged and rated through their feedbacks.
Based on our recent evaluation eBay even being the far leader on online trading is only dominating Europe, North America, and US Possession Territories. This part of the world is already given to us as a rich source of international consumers, from retail buyers to industrial and corporate clients. From these areas alone it is already providing sales to produce sellers making a gross of $100,000 a month sales.
The Middle East (e.g.Dubai and Kuwait ), Central America, and the Caribbean are a potential markets that have yet to be explored and penetrated. We see this as not just an opportunity for eBay, but also for us sellers here in the Philippines.
Yes we do not encourage competition but it is also true we alone cannot supply the infinite demand eBay brings. There are still a large array of
products we can offer the world. We urge everybody to look at the potential and do it the right cooperative way.
Entrepreneurial minds can be set in the right course of international trading minus the cutthroat practices. Unorthodox as it my sound, because of the size and reach of eBay, what I am saying is possible. Borne out of concern and self interest we pilot an effort to educate Filipinos how to earn dollars on eBay. For almost a year now we have conducted regular Seminars, Lectures and Workshops for Retail Export, we have been well participated and we are happy to say we continually organize schedules to make our modules available to everybody who is interested in doing business on the internet.
It is our aim to develop more sellers from the Philippines, Singapore has at least 10 times more sellers generating more than 10 times in terms of
revenues. Even the staff of eBay.ph is based in Singapore. If we can narrow down this great divide, then perhaps eBay will give more attention to Philippine sellers and provide us with services that were previously unavailable to us, like Paypal.
Paypal is the world’s de facto standard in terms of online payment methods. Now Philippines our country has an outgoing PAYPAL. Meaning we can now sign in as buyer paypal user, we can pay for what we purchases on eBay and with some other website but we cannot still accept payment. This is a positive welcome development and we feel proud what we are aiming for is almost there with in
SLOWLY our banking system in adapting to the advances in information technology the Philippines is very much in need off.
With Paypal, the fees are cheaper, and they’d get only a portion of the amount. Hopefully then our banks would help instead of being a great
hindrance to our progress in terms of online
If we can create more sellers, and make them our allies we the Philippines can have better negotiating power, then perhaps we can make things happen, and have systems setup that are conducive to online selling.
Entrepreneurship is the backbone of any economy, and if we can create entrepreneurs through online selling, then we would have provided a viable
alternative to earning that strengthens the family (since you have to stay home or a nearby office to do business on your computer!) and brings in foreign currency as well. With this alternative, everybody wins as we help to generate employment, and we help local manufacturers sell their goods.
Eireen Diokno Bernardo
Dekada Arts Philippines
I really seldom blog or write insights or opinions online. I am a terrible writter but these insights lead the way in organizing www.sendmaillogistic.com last FEB 8 2010.
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with Alwin Pagdanganan and Annie Marcelo
Favorite write up MONEY SENSE 2010