With the many years of experience buying gadgets and also selling gadgets, we’ve encountered a lot of Filipino behavior that can be really irritating or frustrating at times. We list down the top 5 gadget buying habits of fellow Pinoys and tell us if this is true.
Let’s face it, we’ve done some of our own share of gadget shopping at one time or another.
1) Search Online, Buy Offline. When we are planning to get the next gadget or cellphone, we hit the internet and search our favorite online shop or check the listings in TPC, eBay, Ayos Dito and Sulit.
However, once we find the right seller, we still prefer either a meet-up or go ask them where their physical store is so you can personally make the visit and get it yourself. It could be that we really want to get it immediately that we can’t wait or we just don’t trust to make the payment first before having the product shipped to us. It’s possible customers have very little trust with couriers or find them in-efficient.
The truth of the matter is, in e-commerce, most customers use the internet for research but prefer the commerce part to be done face to face.
2) Loyalty to the Lowest Bidder. Admit it, our buying habits will often be dictated by the lowest bidder. Filipinos will jump from one store to another and their loyalty will shift from one seller to another depending on who is the lowest bidder.
That is the reason why the gray market has flourished in the country for so many years. When people want to buy a Sony smartphone, they don’t go to the Sony Concept Store in the malls, they go online and look for the lowest price being offered by online sellers — regardless of the fact if they don’t know the seller, they do not offer a manufacturer’s warranty (only service warranty) or they won’t issue an official receipt.
The savings is all worth the risk.
3) The Protector or Nurturing Nature. Just bought a spanking new smartphone? Go buy a screen protector; even if the display is made up of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3. A naked phone is a sacrilege — go buy a gel case, a flip case and an armor case just in case you go on a trip.
This protective or nurturing behavior has created a very huge and lucrative secondary market for cases and accessories. (Trivia: Smartphone distributors/dealers make much better margins in cases and accessories than they do from the phones.)
4) Last Price Mentality. Filipinos are great hagglers and they are very proud of it. Some people think it’s an art. Others think it’s psychology. We think we’re giving the sellers a favor when buying from them so they better give a discount or freebie in return.
Sellers get annoyed or frustrated when they say “fixed price” and the potential buyer still asks “last price?”
5) We’re more Traders than Buyers. Not contented with #4, still quite a number of Filipinos think it’s the 19th century and believe buying is synonymous to trading.
We’d normally see this conversation in the threads:
Seller: Selling a brand new iPhone 5 64GB! Only Php20k, Globe lock. Inside the box. Last price.
Buyer 1: Puede swap sa Samsung Galaxy S5, second hand, minor scratches?
Seller: Cash only po. Thank you!
Buyer 2: Swap with LG G2, plus cash!
Oh, the frustration. Either people don’t know what cash means or they think they can get away with swapping.
And the list does not end there.
With about a decade of experience in online commerce in the Philippines and the numerous discussions we’ve had with a lot of online sellers and buyers, these observations are top of mind. We dare call them crazy; probably not. Maybe just a bit odd or funny.