Its recent partnership with the Go Negosyo Women Entrepreneurship Summit further affirms’s commitment to encouraging local entrepreneurship

Peapie Ponce, a former call center agent turned “netpreneur”, knows how to hustle.

Ponce started in eBay by selling four Technomarine watches. In less than three months, she more than quadrupled that figure and became an eBay Power Seller, joining an elite 1% of the eBay selling population that have succeeded in turning the online trading platform into a massive revenue generator that can replace their full-time job income.

“I did not really intend to make a business out of eBay,” admits Ponce, whose best-selling products include Technomarine and Philip Stein watches. “It allowed me to build my business from scratch—it has a good feedback system that helps me find out what consumers want, and it has an effective process in place that allows me to manage my business easily.”

Ponce isn’t the only woman jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon these days. As many as 3,000 entrepreneurs in the Philippines, many of them women, make their livelihood from eBay.

Maria Rowena Pimentel, a former employee of an international company, left the corporate world when she saw the potential of selling iPods and digital cameras online.

“The earnings I’ve been getting from my former company was nothing compared to the income I’ve generated from the time I spend on eBay,” says the full-time mompreneur (mom-entrepreneur).

“The best thing about it is that I got to spend more time with my family, without having to compromise my career.”

A Complete Trading Platform

With the growing number of online trading communities that have mushroomed in the last few years, anybody with a decent connection to the Internet can easily set up shop.

Even social networking sites like Facebook and Multiply have seen its share of ‘netpreneurs’ promoting their merchandise by incessantly tagging friends in photos displaying their latest wares.

What makes stand out, however, is that it is a complete trading platform and the only one that has a payment system integrated into it. “As a seller, you don’t really need to worry about meet-ups or collecting payments made in cash,” informs Abhimanyu Lal, business head of eBay Philippines. “You don’t really need to step out of your house. We also have both buyer and seller protection programs that other
social network sites do not have.”

From a purely convenience and security standpoint, seems like the right choice. Pimentel agrees, pointing out that “unlike other social networking sites, eBay is really made for business. In Facebook and Multiply, you put a picture and the caption is the price, and you have to create your own payment system.

In eBay, it’s very specific—there are specific boxes where you upload product photos and input item descriptions, price, title, etc. You just have to fill in the blanks. In Facebook, you have to tag so many people for them to come to your site, but eBay’s search engine already takes care of that.”

Go Negosyo

With the accessibility of the Internet to the masses, the Philippines is now buzzing with Internet entrepreneurs like Ponce and Pimentel who constantly innovate and add value to their products.

“E-commerce in the Philippines is expected to rise by 9.3 percent in 2011, and eBay is committed to supporting that growth,” shares Lal.

“It’s always been about how we can make the maximum impact, and I think our recent partnership with Go Negosyo, whose vision is to make the Philippines the e-commerce hub of Asia, addresses that.”’s participation in the Go Negosyo Women Entrepreneurship Summit 2011 attests to the fact that e-commerce is becoming more mainstream. “I wouldn’t say that e-commerce is young, but I’d say it’s still nascent in the sense that while it shows very good and healthy signs, there is still some way to go before it can go really mass,” shares Deepa Thomas, senior corporate communications manager of

In the Philippines, people in as many as 300 cities actually shop online. While the common pract ice among consumers is still researching on the products online and transacting offline, Thomas says all that is bound to change. “People are now working longer hours, and it would be more convenient for them to buy online. I think in the future, you’ll have more people from every walk of life starting to shop on the net,
and the reason they will do so is that they have the access to great deals and information right at their fingertips.”

In alone, entrepreneurs can sell to over 750,000 Filipinos registered in the site. “Trends are really healthy in terms of Internet users and broadband penetration, and now that we have smart phones, many people can actually shop on the go,” shares Thomas.

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Published in the March 21, 2011 issue of the Business Agenda section of Manila Bulletin.