Top 5 Crazy Filipino Gadget Buying Habits - YugaTech | Philippines Tech News & Reviews

Top 5 Crazy Filipino Gadget Buying Habits

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.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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50 Responses

  1. Kit says:

    I don’t buy protectors nor cases for its purpose, usually on dressing up my phone and immediately get annoyed by its thickness and would love the bare look. Plus I don’t have money to buy screen protectors!!! Hahahaha

    • Benchmark says:

      Same here. At first it was frustrating to have a new phone but still no casing is available. But in the end, its all ok to have no screen protector or casing.

      Sometimes it is just weird why people complain that the phone is heavy, or so thick…in the end, they put this thick casing on it, ot add a casing with external battery on it, making it thick and heavy.

      Anyway, people are like that, you can never please everyone and every one of us has their own prefrences. :-)

      Maybe the problem with e-commerce here in Ph is you are not protected by any consumer law, and if you are, it will take a longest time to settle a dispute.

  2. ren says:

    To add, most pinoy buyers really dont know what they want and need. They go for whats “in”. For example, a high MP camera phone which they will only use for selfies which defeats the purpose and be converted to lower res by instagram or FB.

    • Typical says:

      common misconception kasi na larger sensor size is equals to better pics. it a misconception of a misconception. my iphone 4s 8 megapixel shots are ok but my xperia z2 thrashes it with it better photos on its 20.7 megapixel sensor even if im just using the full auto 8 megapixel setting. it may be downsized more and lose quality when uploaded to social sites but least they are not blurry or edgy…. higher megapixel phones also comes with better capturing technology…

    • the sad truth is most local companies are using this for making a profit.they are boasting high MPs but the quality is crap. and the buying public doesnt seem to care because they sell cheap.

    • Benchmark says:

      And you are not taking pictures and post in in an EDSA billboard. I think 8MP is all ok….(just my opinion)

    • Name: Alex says:

      Same with DSLRs, they buy these gadgets only to use it for taking selfies for their FB accounts. Some, if not most of who bought DSLRs doesnt even know what “DSLR” means…

  3. phonebuddy says:

    Comment on Item 1: Security. Nasa Pinas po tayo. Magkaharap na nga nagkakalokohan pa. Online pa kaya? Hindi naman ganun kadaling magwaldas ng 35k kaya kailangan talaga sigurado. Cautious lng ang pinoy kaya ganyan. At wala naman tayong protection against online sellers dba?
    Item 3: First thing yan sa phone ko. Kasi I prefer matte screen on all my gadgets. Masakit sa mata ang glare so personal preference lng siguro. And show me your scratchless Gorilla glass after a year of using. May hairline scratches pa rin yan.

    • gpr says:

      well, fyi, i still use my nokia x6-00 with the first version of gorilla and the screen is still smooth (hairline visible unless u have a very good eyes). thats 4 years since 2010. btw, i work in mining, so think how cruel my environment is. its not IPXX certified though.

    • Vatch says:

      I remember buying a laptop from a seller at TPC. It was for 63k, pay first. Mahirap makatulog sms ng sms ka sa buyer. Laptop still working as of now.

  4. Greg says:

    I usually get my phones from the carriers (because of the official warranty, and I usually get a case and screen protector as well. But after a few months the novelty wears off. Either the case is already dirty or the screen protector is full of scratches. When that happens, I ditch the case and screen protector already.

  5. ken21 says:

    Referring to number 1, some people just want to have a “hands-on experience” with the phone. Some people are naturally meticulous in buying gadgets while others want to try it themselves. Plus as mentioned from previous comments, trust is an issue with buying things online as we often hear in the news a lot of people doped by fake sellers.

  6. archie says:

    4 & 5: Mahilig mambarat kahit wala sa palengke. Madalas ko marinig yan sa gadget stores. Final price na ang sinabi ng sales agent at wala namang sinasabing discount pero nagpipilit pa rin na babaan ang presyo. Dadagdagan pa ng salitang ang mahal naman niyan kahit alam nang high-end gadget and tinatanong.

    • phonebuddy says:

      well, para sakin walang masama. when I bought my Q10 on the very first day of release, timing nandun ang manager. when I ask for freebies, binigyan ako ng original leather pocket. that’s worth 2k php. nung bumili naman ako ng camera sa sony, binigyan ako ng libreng pouch at memory card. not bad. wag lang umabot sa point na namimilit ka na. kasi usually they have some items na pwedeng ibigay sa customers nila. kaya good tip dyan wag magsungit/magyabang sa agent.

    • Chito says:

      Sir, yung pambabarat/pagtawad etc. ay trimmed down version lang nang negotiation yan. Kahit malalaking deals between multinational companies may “pambabarat” din na involved pero iba lang ang term. Kaya wag mong sabihin sa palengke lang meron nun.

    • archie says:

      @Chito you must be on drugs when you read what I said. Your logic on negotation doesn’t play well with it. Why would you still insist to lower the price or magrereklamo ka na mahal ang gadget kung alam mo namang gadget store ang pinuntahan mo at malinaw na final price na ang sinabi ng seller? Or baka tinamaan ka sa sinabi ko dahil ginagawa mong palengke ang gadget store. When you don’t have the money, just leave the store without nonsense remarks.

    • The Last Price Man says:

      minsan or madalas pag sinabi nila na last price na, may ibababa pa yun especially pag cash mong bibilhin. iniinsist lang nila yung ganung price para sa incentives nila. at ang pagsabi ng “ang mahal naman” ay parte ng strategy yun na kung di man kaya babaan pa eh tapatan ang freebies na inooffer sa iba.

    • hello says:

      Just my two cents, ayos lang humingi ng “last price” kung 2nd hand unit ang bibilhin mo, at kung walang nakalagay na fixed price, or wala pang nagtanong beforehand. Kung brand new @SRP at babaratin mo, better na maghintay na nalang ng sale. If you’re buying a brand new unit, do not expect the gadget stores to comply to your demands of a possible “lower price” since most of them follow the suggested retail price.

      You could ask if there is a discount if you paid for it in cash, since some stores list downpayment prices. Some sellers actually tell you outright that there is a cash price. Pero hindi na dapat nag-iinsist ng discounts or markdown. Buti sana kung maramihan ang bibilhin mo e, baka sila pa magbigay ng discount. And besides, wala ka sa Divisoria or Tutuban para sa ganung klaseng “negotiation”.

      Pag naman “cash only”, common sense na yun na hindi open for trading ang unit. Di nalang nagbabasa yung mga insistent na tao. Nakalagay “RFS: need cash” tapos oofferan ng Galaxy S5. WTH. Go back to grade school and learn to read. SMH.

  7. jay says:

    Di ko pa rin makuha kung bakit kailangang gawing article ang mga yan.

    Basic principle nalang ng sinasabing “trading” eh dapat nagkakasundo ang buyer at seller. So kung ano man yung terms na napagkasunduan labas na ang kahit sino dun.
    Personal frustrations ng writer tong mga sinulat nya dito sa article na toh.

  8. Roni says:

    The first one is probably the reason why Xiaomi will have a hard time selling their phone here .

    • i think its more on the warranty issue, pag nasira phone mo san mo dadalhin? ni wala pa nga atang service center sila dito eh. madami n ko nbabasang negative sa customer service ng lazada. kaya i would still prefer to buy on sellers na may physical store unless 2nd hand ung item.

    • jenie says:

      hate to burst your bubble but xiaomi has official service centers here in the philippines. I own one. I went to one.

  9. roiji says:

    i personally look at the phones in physical stores then buy online hahahah

    it’s the same phone from the same manufacturer.
    maingat ako sa phone and i trust the make quality of the manufacturer.
    so far di pa naman ako nabibigo sa mga binili ko sa online store na iyon, at sa manufacturer na iyan.

    as for #4, the seller should put no swap/trade.
    …but still meron pa rin nag pupumilit makipag swap baka maka tiyempo ng magbago isip.
    …muntik na akong magbago ng isip noon.. (my cloudfone 430x for PSP 3000 +2k) but i have no use for the PSP LOL

  10. BratPAQ says:

    I don’t think #1 to #4 should have negative connotations. That’s what the norm is, hindi “crazy”.

    Many people Di lang Pinoy ang nagreresearch ng bagay bago nila ito bilhin, which I think is wise thing to do, knowing the price range of the phone you want means Di ka maloloko sa presyo. Then most preferred the physical store Para kaliwaan and let’s admit it, warranty claim eh pahirapan na sa physical store, at mas lalo na sa online store.

    I also don’t find anything wrong buying from a cheaper store. Baliw lang ang mas nanaisin magbayad ng mahal for the exact same thing.

    #3 is kind of weird pero maraming ganyan, walang iniwan yan sa bumili ng sofa or kutson na di inaalis ang plastic.

    #4 is called haggling, which normal for any transaction.

    • archie says:

      You don’t haggle for a piece of gadget na alam mong hindi tumatanggap ng trade. It’s all about having common sense. Imagine yourself going to a Samsung store and asked the sellers if you can trade your playstation vita for their phone. Ginagawa mo lang katatawanan ang sarili mo. Wag magpilit kung walang pera.

  11. jp1mp says:

    What I don’t like is seeing ads on sulit about gadgets which were barely used then being sold for cash kase walang pang bayad ng bills! Talk about priorities!

    • bryan_mmx says:

      you know what’s more annoying? the term “lady-owned” being added to almost every 2nd hand gadget ads. kahit lalaki ang original owner lalagyan “lady-owned”. sorry, but I trust a mint condition ads more than a lady owned one anytime.

  12. enzo says:

    Smartphones these days may have those scratch-resistant and strong glass facades but what they don’t have are rugged, “life-proof” features. They’re getting so ridiculously thin that one small slip and you’ll be looking in disbelief at 4 pieces of your octa-cored kitkat device on the pavement.

    Admit it, Abe, that you’ve used, on occasion, a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe off fingerprints and dust on your devices. It may be an irritating aspect but it prolongs the life of our devices and protects one’s hard-earned purchase.

    As for trolling online stores then demanding meet-ups or buying at a physical store, it is still a buyers’ right to buy in a manner one chooses to.

    And, lastly, the overall tone of the article feels like you’re putting down the Filipino consumers. These “annoying” traits are just exclusive to us but it can be found in ANY country, regardless of economic stature.

    That’s my two cents’ worth on this article.

  13. #1-3 isnt crazy.practical,maybe.ang dapat ilagay nyo s list,yung mga ng-ooverprice s srp dahil konti ang stock. 8k for a zen5, thats ridiculously crazy. and thats on an fb group btw. :)

  14. jenie says:

    really crazy behaviour is when a someone haggles unreasonably. Like the time I was selling an iPad 2nd Gen 64GB 3G for 12000(a second unit of the sames was still selling around 18-20k) someone texted me and offers a ridiculously 8000 for my item. Not wanting to offend a potential buyer. I told him na: “ok lng nmn po tumawad, pero wag naman po ganyan kababa. alam nyo naman po kung ano ang binibili nyo.” to which is replied: “ganyan kasi talaga online. me tawaran.” to which i said, “matagal na po ako sa online buy and sell and I know how it goes, but your offer is insulting po.” After that, he proceeded to lecture me about my post, how i should have put every conceiveable disclaimers and notes on my post and i shouldn’t have said “slightly negotiable” if i don’t want to be haggled. I told him, “that was why I also put a ‘..within reason’ after the ‘slightly negotiable'” So I drop his offer like a hot potato and never made contact with him but for the past two days he would leave a PM on my account lecturing me about buying and selling online and how to be “Professional” daw. now that’s CRAZY

    • archie says:

      You can’t blame the buyer for saying those things. You don’t see each other so there’s no guarantee that your gadget is just slightly used and nobody cares if you’ve been trading online for hundreds of years. That’s one of the problems with online sellers in our country: They treat their pre-owned gadgets like jewels with non-devaluating value. They have an illusion that since it’s just been slightly used, it is still of great value. Always keep in mind that present day gadgets are greatly devaluated once you purchased them because the obsolescence rate is fast. Be realistic that hagglers will not shell out more money than what you expect just because you’ve been around for a long time. The moment an iPhone, iPad or Samsung S5 is released, competitors are already producing units with better specs and hardwares.

    • bryan_mmx says:

      we call those kind of hagglers lowballers. when you encounter such breed, ignore them. they only buy your item to sell it higher elsewhere (sometimes even just within the forum/site where you sell yours).

    • frustrated says:

      Nung may na-experience akong low-ballers, ang sinabi ko, sayo na yang pera mo, babasagin ko na lang itong item ko sa harap mo.

  15. elvis says:

    here is a tip in buying gadgets sa mall.. totoong mas mahal siya kasi aside from its official warranty may tax pa.

    kapag decided na ako sa gadget na bibilhin ko.

    eto ginagawa ko i check CMK . sa kanila ang pinakamababang presyo “online” ng mga gadgets na may official warranty. since malayo ang physical store nila sakin at ayoko din ng delivery i go to mall and check their prices. diretso na din ako dun sa gadget na gusto ko at hindi na mamimili pa..with that hindi iisipin ng saleslady na namamasyal ka lang

    i also immediately ask for the last price kapag cash (ang goal ko eh makuha yung price na katulad sa CMK)
    ..marami na kasing store ngayon ang nagooffer “daw” ng 12months installment na 0 interest pero ang totoo andun na ung interest sa price.

    tulad ng binili kong camera,nakadisplay is 39k pero nakuha ko ng 34k cash..may official warranty pa.

    may freebies pa..

    30k sa gray market– 34k sa CMK..34k ko nakuha sa mall na may official warranty at freebies..worth it yung 4k na dinagdag ko.

  16. alvin says:

    20th anniversary ng powermac bukas at 20% off on all items..kung bibili ka ng macbook air 13inch, from 50k 40k na lang, mas mura na xa sa gray market.

    first 20 minutes lang to. hindi nila binobroadcast sa facebook page baka dumugin ng tao eh hehe

  17. Ronald says:

    #3. Wala naman masama bumili ng SC and Case. We are just trying to preserve ung good condition ng glass and body from scratches. So incase na ibebenta na after a year mas pipiliin ng mga 2nd Hand buyers ung well preserved gadgets.

    If you will buy 2nd hand gadgets of course pipiliin mo ung almost Bnew ang itsura dahil well preserved ito kesa dun sa mga puro gasgas at dents na unit.

  18. Anon says:

    Those are not crazy at all.

  19. ernie says:

    well my comment on #1, i think this is not irritating or frustrating since online buying is more frustrating. RETURN POLICY that’s the issue when online buying. so I don’t think this is true since consumers just want to check on their gadget thoroughly before they purchase. i have bought online and the wait for the delivery is bearable, but returning the product after finding that is defective??? pain in the A** + the wait for the replacement!!! i guess that is why people prefer physical stores. TRUST, i think is the secondary reason like phonebuddy says.

  20. gabz says:

    In reference to #3, I buy a screen protector to prevent finger print smudges. I usually get a matte screen protector for this purpose. Scratchproof glass isn’t worth a damn if you’re trying to read through a cloudy fingerprint loaded screen.

  21. aRei says:

    Here’s why I buy a screen protector, because I dont live in a printing and quarantined World:

  22. Evo Garcia says:

    Daming alam ng blogger. Maligo lang hindi.

  23. JohnQuill says:

    Buying protectors is a waste of money. Your phone will be have little or no resale value in a year. And it’s not like you can use the same protector on your next phone.

    • aRei says:

      Not everybody buys a new gadget annually or are as careful as you. Maybe you can say that to those who buy extended warranties but not to people who buys protection for their gadgets against the elements and against the user’s clumsiness. :P

  24. Ben says:

    I get irritate with pople of #4 and #5. Been selling online, and I get those A LOT, even I clearly indicate my price.

  25. Rubbahband says:

    why is #3 considered as crazy? even my Gorilla Glass 2 screen is susceptible to scratches(I noticed it after several months of having no screen protector on my SGS2). in fact most of the smartphone users do this, not just Filipinos, except if you’re very rich that you do not even care if your smartphone’s screen has some minor or deep scratches.

  26. Mirror says:

    I’m not much of a casing freak guy but I always put all my gadgets screen protector. I read somewhere that there is a maximum degree where “scratch-free” feature can withstand. So I always prefered to have it coated. In terms of back cover, I don’t often install one since the phone will become heavy and bulky. So I’m willing to trade back scratches with vanity.

  27. jess says:

    Too many nuissance on buyers wisecrack last price query as there are sellers of over used but still at 60-70% price value, i sell my stuff no longer than 1-wk coz i price it at how common sense dictate, for a smartphone used for a yr, it shoud be priced at 50% or less, coz ur done with it and ready to upgrade.

  28. Sherwin Go says:

    Sakin pinaka annoying yung last price na yan. Sometimes I put on my ad that asking is last price take it or leave it pero may nagtatanong pa rin.

    But I admit I still prefer buying on a physical store than online as much as possible…

  29. V says:

    my favorite.

    buyer: how much ?
    seller: pm….

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