How To Start an Online Business (Philippines)

Who doesn’t want extra income?

It may not be easy for some, but for the dedicated, nothing is impossible.

It may require you to make a little effort here and there, plus spend a little more time online, but in a span of weeks or months you could be earning extra.

Here are a few key-points that would help you start one:

Do your research.

What products can you sell or resell that are easily accessible to you? It may be a place in your city that can provide you low or wholesale prices of a commodity that you like. (In the Philippines, Divisoria is one place that can give you access to a lot of products that you might be interested in. From clothes to accessories, kitchen wares to gadgets, beads to charms.)

Finding your supplier, as what they call it, is the most crucial part of starting an online business. You may have something in mind on what you want to actually sell, but finding the supplies needed is the hard part. From packaging to the actual product, you need to start your own research on where to buy them at a low price.

The lower the price of your supplies, the bigger your income.

You can also find your suppliers online. From Facebook groups to google searching your needs can be possible. However, you need to be cautious on who you talk to. Make sure that the person you’re transacting with is legit. If possible, offer meet-ups in public places so you can see the products itself before handing over your hard-earned money.

More research.

Once you know where you’re going to get your supplies, you need to do more research. You need to know if the product that you decided on will actually sell.

I’m sure that you already have an idea on how much you’re planning to sell your products. Take into consideration whether there are other online businesses selling the same product that might have a lower or higher price. Start thinking of the advantages of your product to theirs. It may be the same commodity, but presentation matters.

Product Presentation

There will always be another online seller who has identical products. Unless your products are hand-made and originally designed by you. Either way, think of ways on how to make yours stand-out. It doesn’t need to be expensive for it to look good. Since the point here is to earn more, not spend more.

Product presentation comes in a lot of forms, from packaging to the way you photograph your products. This is very important. Presentation is key.

Product Shots

You don’t actually need a professional camera to ensure appealing shots for your products. Even a phone camera can be used, as long as the megapixels of the camera are good enough to get a clear shot. (But of course, you can always invest on a new camera once you’re earning more.)

Natural light is your best friend here. Anything taken with a good lighting can produce a decent shot with clear details. (Again, you can invest in light boxes if you want to, or do DIY!)

Don’t be afraid to use props. You can use fabric backgrounds, plastic flowers, faux furs and special papers. Be creative.

Product shots from my online shop Little Box Of Colors. Taken by an iPhone6+ camera, edited with Snapseed & VSCO.

Social Media

Social media is free. Use it to your own benefit. Be present in all the platforms you can possibly manage. Facebook and Instagram is a must. Set up your own page and use it to your advantage! This is free advertisement at its finest.

A Facebook fan page will take a little longer to gain followers, especially if you do not promote it to people. Your first page invites should start from your family to friends. This will help you get a wider reach and get more likes in the future.

There is a shortcut to gaining more likes, but I don’t recommend it for those who are just starting. It will require you to pay via credit card or PayPal. Facebook will offer you to promote your page by using paid ads. You can use it on your own discretion.

Instagram is usually easier. The correct hashtags will help you in great lengths. Make sure that your profile is set in public. Posting on Instagram frequently can help you gain more likes.

Online Selling Apps

There are apps available in the Google PlayStore and Apple Appstore that can help you build your own online community. In the Philippines, apps like Shopee and Carousell are good options. They look similar to Lazada and Zalora.

Personally, Shopee is my favorite. It provides a protection between the buyer and the seller. It becomes the middleman in terms of payment.

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Shopee’s interface.

Buyer places an order > Buyer pays to Shopee > Seller ships items > Buyer receives order > Pament is released to seller

Of course the process will differ if the buyer chooses a Cash On Delivery payment. But nevertheless, it’s almost the same process. Payment is released to the seller once the items are acknowledged and received by the buyer.

The only downside to this is that the seller will only receive the payment 1-2 weeks upon transaction. But I promise you, it’s worth the wait.

Another favorite feature of mine is the Cash on Delivery and partnered Courier shipments. Once the pick-up of your parcel is scheduled, Shopee will dispatch their partner courier right on your doorstep. They will prepare your proof of shipments receipts for you. All you have to do is to pack your items before hand, make sure that the package has a name label, and you’re good to go. (Pack the items well, use bubble wraps or anything than can act as a cushion especially for fragile goods.)

Carousell is a little different. It is more of a Buy & Sell app that has about 70% pre-loved items in posting. Expect your customers to haggle on this platform. Be patient.

The downside for this app is that it doesn’t have the “Add to cart” option compared to Shopee. The app does not give you an updated inventory on your listings once a product is sold. It also gives the buyers and the sellers an option to have meetup transactions instead of shipments and remittance/bank payments.

Always be Online.

You will have lots of inquiries. May it be per day or per week.  You have to be patient on catering to everyone’s needs and attention. You will face self-righteous customers that will get into your nerves. Again, be patient. Make sure that you reply on time, this helps them keep their interest on your products. When all else fails, customer service will be there to rescue you.

Whether you decide to do this full-time or part-time, the rest of the hard-work is up to you. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below.

Sig

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iWhite BB Holic Everyday BB Cream Review

First of all, I’m not a foundation person. As much as I would like to use high coverage foundations, I have yet to find a suitable one for my Dry to Combination skin. High coverage foundations are rejected by my skin. Even with a good routine of skin prepping and priming, these kinds of foundations seem to flake off in just a matter of less than an hour.

I live in the Philippines and we pinays are no stranger to the excessive heat and pollution. “Pawis kung pawis”, as they say. Not just in the summer months, but almost every day. It is not advisable to use heavy coverage foundation on a daily basis if your daily activities are physical in nature. When mixed with sweat, it can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

My never ending search for a base that provides decent to good coverage and good for every day wear has lead me to try this iWhite BB Holic Everyday BB Cream.

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Here’s a photo of the iWhite Korea BB Holic Everyday BB Cream. I am in the shade Light. There are two shades available: Light & Beige.  Light the lightest and Beige the darkest. I have heard so many good reviews about this product. It is said to have the consistency of iWhite Korea’s Aqua Moisturizer. It is available in a tube for PHP159 and sachet for PHP24.50 in Watsons.

I will no longer post the long list of ingredients as it is readily available online anyway.

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Here’s how the consistency looks like. It’s not runny when you first dispense it on your hand. But as soon as you blend it, it starts getting liquidy. Almost like a water-based moisturizer that melts into your skin seamlessly.

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With this product, a little goes a long way. (Please excuse my furry arm.)

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This is how it looks after it is blended. It looks a little pinkish on my yellowish pinay skin tone. But it can be fixed by a yellow-toned setting powder. It doesn’t look ashy when it’s blended out.

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On natural light. It’s not patchy looking, nor cakey looking. It looks very natural.

Below, I will list the issues that I have with my skin. This is so you can understand what I want to correct and what I look for in a BB Cream/Foundation.

Here’s a list of my skin issues:

  • Redness around my nose and below my chin.
  • Uneven skin-tone.
  • Dull skin.
  • Dry to Combination skin, oily on the T-zone.
  • Blemishes on my cheeks.
  • Large pores.

My Views:

I find this BB Cream great. I would rate it a 4 out of 5 just because of the coverage. This is good for daily use and would probably work on those with very little skin imperfections. It provides little to no coverage. It will slightly even out your skin-tone, but will not brighten and make it look like its glowing. (At least for me, it wasn’t like that. I think it’s because of the slightly pink undertone.) I find that this BB Cream works well when topped with a concealer and setting powder. On my skin, I personally don’t think that it’s okay on it’s own, considering the very little coverage it can give. I love that it’s lightweight though, it’s good for those quick errands that you don’t exactly need to be all flawless and fully made up. This BB Cream is slightly buildable, but only up to 2-3 layers only. The consistency is too liquidy when blended, almost as if it just melts on the previous layer you just blended in. Building the product up won’t exactly give you a medium coverage, just a slightly more evened out skin-tone. This is not matte nor it is dewy. It’s a little bit of both, depending on how you use it or set it. I’m not entirely sure if this has oil-control properties as well. Although I find that it does not make you “oil up”. Since it’s water-based, it’s not oily or tacky on the face at all. It has a serum-like feel and it sets on your face almost immediately after application. It feels very fresh on the skin, I think it’s because it’s like a water based moisturizer that blends and melts into your skin nicely.

Would I repurchase? Only if I don’t find another BB Cream that’s as lightweight as this with an added coverage. But I would probably still use and empty out this tube that I purchased. It’s not that bad at all. I actually love this but I do think it needs more improvement. iWhite needs to make more bases that are medium to full coverage! I love most of their products and I do find myself reaching out for this BB Cream most of the time when I’m not aiming for something that has high coverage.

PROS:

  • Affordable for PHP159/P24.50.
  • Easy to blend.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Good for everyday use.
  • Did not break me out.
  • Very cute packaging!
  • It has a fruity grapefruit-like scent.
  • You don’t need brushes or sponges to blend it out.
  • Smooth application.

CONS:

  • Has very light coverage.
  • Can last up to 3-5 hours on your skin.
  • Availability of the product will depend on your location. I don’t think all Watson’s outlets has this.
  • Limited shades.
  • Pinkish undertone instead of yellow.
  • Slightly buildable.

That’s all for this review. Until next time!

Sig