Another online business is making a name here in Palawan and this time, it offers to “pasabuy” from Hong Kong to Palawan. Now, those who miss shopping branded items can order easily. Behind this latest hype is housewife Joane Rabang Mata whose family is based in Hong Kong.
Pasabuy from Hong Kong to Palawan started through a Facebook group last September. This business meant to provide extra income to Mata’s family especially because its own ticketing agency stopped operations due to the pandemic. Mata’s Siblink Ticketing Agency is now converted to Siblink Market Place to welcome its pasabuy business.
Hong Kong as we all know is a shopping destination for most Filipinos, and ‘Pasabay’ or ‘Pasabuy’ is an unofficial tradition among Filipino communities abroad that whenever they go home, you will ask random friends if they want to add something to your baggage that they can give to their loved ones.
“The business started last September only. My family, who is based here in Hong Kong, opened an online business. We thought we could use our access to the outlet store beside the building where we live. I personally buy the items in the outlet store with the help of my husband and children. I would post items on sale from different branded shops of shoes, bags, clothes, cosmetics, chocolates, vitamins, etc.,” Mata said.
Mata said that the challenge she faced in starting the said business is getting the trust of many people. We all know and heard many stories of bogus or fake buyers and sellers in the online world, so trust is really a big issue. She started first with close friends and kept them updated regarding their order every now and then to prove that she is a legit seller.
Pasabuy Hong Kong to Palawan operates by placing an order through Facebook Messenger after Mata posts items on sale in her place. They need to pay the amount of the items they want through online payment and a charge of ₱50 up to ₱450 will be added depending on the weight and size of the items. She will put it in a balikbayan box and usually arrive after 5 to 6 weeks.
Her partners in Puerto Princesa will contact the ‘pasabuyer’ once it arrives for meet up and pick up of the goods. Invoices and official receipts will also be issued by them to document the whole transaction.
“I have to be transparent and show proof of authenticity to all products we sell. I have to market with my friends and slowly post things we bought here, then in 1 month I shipped 4 boxes for 70 pasabuyers,” Mata shared.
To place an order in Pasabuy from Hong Kong to Palawan, you must join the said group on Facebook. According to Mata, there are no restrictions regarding the products as long as it can fit in a Balikbayan box. In the coming months they are also offering pre-selling for some sellers who wish to start selling items from Hong Kong.
“We think of our online business as an opportunity with win-win situations to our clients. We are happy to give joy to our family, friends, relatives and newly acquainted members of the group as we provide service to our kababayans,” Mata added.