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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI all!

I am sure I am not the first to ask this question. It is amusing that the only difference is the method of delivery (such as this!) I remember sitting in a small hotel a few years ago in the mountain town of Smolyan in Bulgaria watching a heated debate between the hotel owner and his mates (all in their sixties). I asked my friend what they were discussing, and it was how to make money!

Anyway, I just wanted to discuss what people take to, and from the Philippines in order to save family cash or make a little bit of cash to put towards the cost of travelling there. I am a UK citizen, my wife is a filipina and we are travelling out there to see the family. There must be some great ideas out there that we have not thought of. Aside from all the presents we take, the only thing we can think of to save her family money is cleaning products that are cheaper here.

We have three large suitcases plus hand carry to fill up going each way! I am interested in legitimate ideas and nothing to do with **** and fakes!

So, what to take and what to bring back? All suggestions gratefully received!
 

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The easiest way to make a million in the Philippines is to take two million.

We often send BB boxes of cleaning products. There's not much you can take to sell as you are a rich foriegner so are expected to give it away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for the replies. I am not looking to make money from the family by providing them with everyday essentials to help them out.

I am thinking more of things that are generally worthless here, but have some value there. Whether that would be second hand mobile phones, motorcycle parts etc etc.

Or even smartphones, which may be worth far more in the Philippines than they are in the west.

Just trying to throw some ideas around really, so that everyone can benefit :)
 

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We have supplied many phones, a lot of the phones they have are too expensive for me. Lightweigth clothing, tee shirts and top are popular, as is cheap trainers from Sports Direct.
 

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Thanks guys for the replies. I am not looking to make money from the family by providing them with everyday essentials to help them out.

I am thinking more of things that are generally worthless here, but have some value there. Whether that would be second hand mobile phones, motorcycle parts etc etc.

Or even smartphones, which may be worth far more in the Philippines than they are in the west.

Just trying to throw some ideas around really, so that everyone can benefit :)
why doesn't your wife ask her family on things they would like. I'm sure there list of things they would like you to bring them would be more then you could fit in the suitcases.
my wife family has never turned away anything we bring them..
did you send BB boxes ahead of your planned trip?
IDEAS: chocolate , western food products
 

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We send things like tins of tuna and spam, corned beef etc. Cholate and sweets, cleaning products, kitchen ware, clothing, shoes, just about anything they can't afford to buy themselves. One problem we do have is getting them to use the stuff we send as is all gets put away for best. Now we have joined S&R we will send less because the £100 it cost to send a couple of boxes will go a long way buying stuff in the Philippines. And we don't just give money because it will never get spent on the sort of things we would send them.
 

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If you bring a new laptop you could probably turn around and sell if for almost twice what you paid for. Authentic made nike shoes, apple iPad, video camera and believe it or not, digital cameras are still a high price item in the malls. Just a few ideas.
 

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One way to save money is bring items that are hide to find here and use it to save on local foods costs, especially meat products, example of what I miss: Large canned hams, packaged nuts and dried fruits, packaged candies, gummy bears, cinnamon bears, sunflower seeds, large chocolate bars (store in the fridge here, they'll melt) the list could be long, chips to fill in the voids, stuff like that is overpriced in the Philippines and it's a tough spot to make money. Munchies aren't so good here and they are packaged in such small bags.

Remember most people don't have much money and they also won't pay much for your products, so many OFW's selling off their things out of desperation, things go for nothing, computers and phones, stolen and sold cheaply.
 

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If you are serious about making money in the Philippines for yourself your best course of action is to develop some sort of online business. Some expats do Fiverr gigs, others create ebooks about the Philippines and sell them online. Probably the best advice anybody can give, is to have something developed and running Before you move to the Philippines and another thing is to have multiple streams of income, don't just rely on one thing. I tried living there two years ago, did three years before heading back to the U.S. broke. I relied on a small store and eatery, the business did well it just wasn't enough to pay for everything. I am heading back in August to give it another go, and I am definitely more prepared and wiser. The cheapest asset there is labor, which is the reason why so many offshore call centers are there, so use that to your advantage ( wink...wink) why all you need is internet access, several computers and a few workers and bam you got your own call center. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks a lot guys, for the input! It has given me some more ideas.

What about the return flight? Does anyone have ideas of things to bring back to help contribute to the cost of the holiday? I am not interested in fakes/****. For instance, I was staying in the Mabuhay Manor which is right next to Baclaran and met an Englishman there with his wife and she was buying curtains to bring back and sell. Pretty random I know!

A few years ago we had our curtains made there, cost us about £50, would have been hundreds of pounds here. Any other ideas?
 

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One has to be aware of the fact that any business in the Philippines has to be 60% Filipino owned, no matter the size of a business.
 

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The big problem is that no body here wants to pay for anything, and because you're a foreigner, they automatically think you're rich, and that you're happy to just give everything away. Bottom line, if you show up with some sort of products in your luggage, people are going to want them for free. However, if they contact you while you are still in your home country, and ask you to ship them something, then you're in a position to get money out of them.

About twenty years ago I imported American car parts by wrapping them in old clothes, and putting them inside balikbayan boxes. At that time I knew a guy down here who had a 1974 Chevy C10 pickup that he needed a four barrel rochester carburetor for. I sent him a carb in a box, and he sent me money via Western Union. This went on for a little while until I started sending dashboard panels over here, and then the local authorities started to demand a fee before the boxes would be released.

I don't know, but maybe there is a possibility that someone could make some money importing used car parts, but it seems like the local government doesn't want anyone to be successful in this type of endeavor. Maybe they are worried that if people can fix their own cars, then they won't buy the surplus used imports from Japan?
 

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If you bring a new laptop you could probably turn around and sell if for almost twice what you paid for. Authentic made nike shoes, apple iPad, video camera and believe it or not, digital cameras are still a high price item in the malls. Just a few ideas.
The problem with that idea is that most people here can't afford to buy those things out right. Meaning you will have to finance it in monthly payments. I have done that but not bringing things in from abroad. Just financing friends with computers to do on-line marketing stuff. It turned into a major headache. Chasing them every month to get the payments.

Constant reasons for not making payments blah blah blah. I drew up contracts for all of them. Got the laptops back after a couple of months of non-payment but a lot of agrivation for me and my Asawa as they were her friends.

Finally sold 2 out of 3 outright, keeping the 3rd as a spare for the kids. IMO don't go that route. Less expensive stuff that they can pay cash for in 1 shot. Stay away from the financing stuff.
 

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The big problem is that no body here wants to pay for anything, and because you're a foreigner, they automatically think you're rich, and that you're happy to just give everything away. Bottom line, if you show up with some sort of products in your luggage, people are going to want them for free. However, if they contact you while you are still in your home country, and ask you to ship them something, then you're in a position to get money out of them.

About twenty years ago I imported American car parts by wrapping them in old clothes, and putting them inside balikbayan boxes. At that time I knew a guy down here who had a 1974 Chevy C10 pickup that he needed a four barrel rochester carburetor for. I sent him a carb in a box, and he sent me money via Western Union. This went on for a little while until I started sending dashboard panels over here, and then the local authorities started to demand a fee before the boxes would be released.

I don't know, but maybe there is a possibility that someone could make some money importing used car parts, but it seems like the local government doesn't want anyone to be successful in this type of endeavor. Maybe they are worried that if people can fix their own cars, then they won't buy the surplus used imports from Japan?
I agree with you. Auto parts can be a money maker. I have a local friend who is doing quite well with his business. It's amazing to travel around the PI and not see one Auto Parts Franchise such as NAPA, Autozone, O'reilly's, Advance Auto, etc. but food franchises such as McDonalds, etc. are everywhere.

The demand is there. Just this past weekend I needed an Inner CV joint boot for my Ford. I checked the cost online at Autozone is $15 (P675) but Ford PI wants P11,000 ($244).
 

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Windshield for a Ford Escape 44,000P at Ford Iloilo. 8,000 at an auto glass shop. They are not at the top of the list of places to have to go for me.
Agree. No more Ford's for me here. I wish I would have check parts cost prior to buying it. I could write a lot about the infinite mark-up on parts. Most of the time they say it's because the parts are from the states but I have got parts there with Ford stickers placed over Mazda stickers where the part was made in China.
Ford wanted P8,000 for a remote door opener. I bought 2 on Amazon for $4 each. One Ford tech wanted me to get him a box full of them and other Ford parts during my next trip to the states and he would split the profit but I declined.
 
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