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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Divisoria a hub for Chinese, local traders

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Divisoria market, which began with a small community of Chinese merchants, boomed into a major commercial and trade center in the 1990s.

Filipinos flock to Divisoria for its bargains and the chance to haggle. While everything seems like a great deal, shop owners aim for small profits, earning more on bulk orders than retail sales.

Shoppers negotiate for fair prices that balance quality with seller profitability. Discounted products should ultimately benefit both buyer and seller.

Low margins force shop owners to sell quickly in large quantities to survive Divisoria’s fierce competition. Their merchandise needs to move swiftly, like a well-oiled machine. Over the past 30 years, many Chinese businessmen have grown from small shops to big importers, wholesalers and national network owners. The key to their success—networking.

Most Divisoria products come from China, often undercutting prices globally. Local Chinese businessmen naturally have an advantage finding Chinese exporters. However, the Chinese market is open, and more Filipinos are now importing directly from factories.

Finding suppliers isn’t the challenge in Divisoria; it’s generating high-volume sales at competitive prices. A strong marketing network is key.

Chinese communities have existed in the Philippines since before the Spanish arrival. They’ve integrated nationwide, with large clan associations like the Lim, Sy and Tan families having chapters across provinces and cities. A Divisoria shop owner can leverage these connections, finding partners who can become customers, agents or expansion facilitators.

Joining local Chinese chambers of commerce and industry is another way to build a network quickly. Through their main office and local chapters, one can promote products faster and integrate into the national supply chain, a crucial step for achieving high-volume sales.

Many Divisoria customers are Filipino entrepreneurs from various provinces who buy goods for resale. Shop owners often expand their networks by recruiting these entrepreneurs as regional agents.

After background and credit checks, shop owners offer support like consignment goods and product training. The strategy has helped many Chinese immigrants establish networks and capture market share.

Building trust and good faith are fundamental principles for any business, especially in a competitive environment like Divisoria.

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