Semi-business Guangzhou Trip

It’s a semi-business, semi-shopping mission with my mom and my aunt.
 
That’s what entrepreneurial Filipino-Chinese do. The easiest way to make money is to source it cheaper in China and then resell back in the Philippines.
 
Which is a problem — China is no longer as cheap.
 
Whereas beef noodles by the roadside used to cost RMB 2 per bowl, we were hard-pressed to find a meal less than RMB 10 this time around. Even breakfast at Cafe de Coral was no longer inexpensive.
 
cafe
 
RMB 13.5 for a bowl of congee with fish and century eggs! It’s highway robbery,” my auntie exclaimed.
 
We went to the accessory, aquarium and electronics wholesale shop. We bought a few things to ship home in the hopes of reselling them at a profit.
 
But here’s what we forget:
 
1) While our suppliers get cash, we are instead hoping for cash in return for the products we do ship in… If we do actually get to sell them.
 
Remember, it’s not cash yet till they are sold. I’d rather have money on my hand instead of dreams.
 
2) It’s not that cheaper to source from China even if you get them from wholesale market. Hey, if you’re buying them from the city, there’s already two to four middle men who already get a cut.
 
Take a look at a mini aquarium we bought for a few hundred RMB. Nice isn’t it? We could easily sell it in Manila for a tidy profit. Yay.
 
“We can buy it at RMB 200, which is around Php 1,500 and resell it at Php 3,800. Not bad!” I excitedly exclaimed.
 
That thought stayed in my head until we went back to our hotel room and look at Sulit.com.
 
It’s like eBay of the Philippines, but there’s no bidding. Basically, people simply post product availability and you can inquire directly with the suppliers, whose contact numbers are posted on the website.
 
Sulit
 
Aquariums at Sulit.com cost around Php 350-2,000 for the entire set, the structure, light, sand, oxygen and all. Along with shipping costs and goodness knows, the effort, how else can you make a profit?!
 
Boo. You simply aren’t rewarded enough for the risk and effort. Period.
 
And 3) Everyone has the same idea.
 
China sourcing and reselling can be pretty competitive. If you can do it, others can do it too.
 
Imagine you’re the guinea pig who paves the way for others to copy, provided that you’re successful enough. If by the first month, you’re successful, you’ll find copycats sprouting left and right by the second month.
 
Reselling has a small barrier of entry that almost anyone with an airline ticket can fly to Guangzhou and do the same thing as you do. Gone are the days when China is the new frontier. Now, go to the Canton fair and you’ll see all your kababayan from home.
 
So money isn’t that easy to make.
 
Business isn’t that easy to make.
 
So why are we still here? Why do we still make the trip?
 
For ideas, really.
 
Business is all about good ideas and there’s no better place to get good ideas than in a more entrepreneurial China.
 
So how about you? Will you still make the trip?
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About Bonita

I'm a forgetful person. But I think a lot. Every day, a lot of thoughts enter my head. That's why this blog came to be: first, to keep my memories alive through the years, and two, to actually see how I and my thoughts have changed. Please note that I seldom draft or edit my posts. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I offend some of you, my readers. And while I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable, I am not sorry for being honest or for making well-intentioned mistakes. I will however be the first to admit if I change my mind. Hence, do read and proceed with caution. My life is as colorful and as boring as you make it. I complain many days, but offer some encouragement in others. Life is fluid, it changes. So keep the positives and throw away the negatives, and I do hope that at the end of the day, you will enjoy reading the blog and leaving comments here and there if my posts touches you. Happy reading!
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One Response to Semi-business Guangzhou Trip

  1. Pingback: Happy birthday to ME! | Nameless in Taipei: The Life of an Expat Balikbayan

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