Updated: December 28, 2014
Currently, the Philippine mobile market is around 55 million, this 63% market penetration rate is enough for me to say that the mobile telecommunication industry in the country is big business. Almost everywhere, specially in the metro, you could see someone holding a cellular phone, probably reading or sending text messages. And because of this, prepaid cellphone load retailer stores have likewise become widespread in cities and provinces.
And yet, how many times have you or someone you know fell to zero credit balance and couldn’t locate a place to buy load from? Although there is already an extensive network of retailer stores in the city, there will be times that you can’t really find one around. Sometimes it’s already late at night and there’s no store that’s still open near you. But what if you’re on the bus and can’t get off to buy load or you’re simply just too lazy to go out of your house, don’t you wish there’s a more convenient way to purchase cellphone load credits during these situations?
My solution to this dilemma also turns out to be an excellent income opportunity for us Pinoys – and that is to become an cellphone eload retailer. I’m surprised that only a few people I’ve talked to know about this easy sideline. You don’t need to put up a stall nor have an existing business to do this. All it takes is a cellular phone and adequate marketing and selling skills. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Globe, Smart or Sun?
The Philippines currently have three mobile companies, Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular. All three offer various prepaid load retailer schemes. Do you want to sell Globe Autoload, Smart Eload or Sun Expressload? It’s your choice but I suggest getting the mobile company where most of the people you know are subscribed in. Can’t decide? Then get two or all three.
2. Get your cellphone ready.
Almost all cellphone brands and models are capable of reading the special retailer SIM cards. Anything that came after 1999 would probably work so this means that you can now have another use for your old Nokia 3210 and the other good working cellphones that are now collecting dust in your household drawers. If you don’t mind switching SIM cards, then you can use the current cellphone you’re using.
3. Look for a local distributor.
Go to the nearest Globe Business Center, Smart Wireless Center or Sun Shop and ask for the contact details of the load distributor in your area. With the exception of Sun Cellular, the retailer SIM cards are only available through these distributors. It’s also important that you know where exactly their office or branch is because you would have to go there when you need to reload your credit stock. Make sure that it’s convenient to visit their location.
4. Buy your retailer SIM card.
Go to the distributor and buy your retailer SIM card. Be ready to buy your initial credit stock too which is usually P1,000. After buying your retailer SIM, ask the distributor to teach you everything you need to know about being a retailer. This includes how to sell load, how to check your remaining balance, how much is your profit per transaction and what number to call for help or if you have further questions.
5. Advertise, sell and earn money.
Once you have your retailer SIM activated, start telling your friends, family and officemates about it. Once you have successfully marketed your sideline to your immediate social circle, expect word of mouth to give you more clients. My brother who’s been doing this in his office often get visits from people from other departments for load, even his superiors occasionally purchase credits from him. If you’re planning to put this income opportunity to an existing business of yours, then remember to ask for marketing materials such as posters and flyers from your distributor. These are free and usually immediately given upon request. The standard profit margin is around 13%.
Congratulations on investing in another income opportunity. Always remember to pay yourself first. Lastly, there are currently independent distributors who offer integrated solutions for selling prepaid load. They offer opportunities for you to earn from different brands of electronic loads and prepaid products through your existing SIM or via the internet like Load.Com.Ph.
These are good alternatives except that the profit margin through these companies tend to be smaller, around 5% to 10% – a trade off for being able to sell your products with only just one SIM card, plus they offer more products and not just cellphone prepaid credits. Just be sure that you understand their terms and conditions and do some background check on the company before you invest because unfortunately, some of them are scams or have weak technical and sales support.
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Andrew Dela Serna. Aleba Blog: How Bloggers Use Their Cellphones. February 6, 2008.
Photo courtesy of Smart Communications, Inc.