The first items I had bought from a Multiply site were books. Second hand books. It was a risk that I have to take. The seller just opened an ad in an online forum and link back the photos of the items to a Multiply site. I sent a message to the number and the transaction was closed in less than an hour. I paid through GCash and the following day, my books arrived at my friend's mailbox (I gave a different mailing address to be safe). It was indeed a successful transaction. Safer and fast transactions are what we are looking forward as Multiply.com launched the Multiply Marketplace last July 7, at the Gateway Art Space, Gateway Mall in Cubao.
The risks of meeting a scammer online or a bogus buyer (a term popularized by Multiply users) were put behind as Multiply.com listened to its members - and the new innovation in social media was once again initiated by users in the Philippines. Today, buying and selling items in Multiply is not just convenient, but safer. Sellers can now list items and monitor stock inventory; and buyers can now easily shop (from different stores) and settle the items through safer payment options.
Mr. Jack Madrid, Country Manager of Multiply Philippines, shared "Sometime in 2006, or 2007, users used photo albums to advertise.. they took pictures and share them. This situation happened in the Philippines.. and I am so proud." They were able to justify that a big number of users were from the Philippines when during the holy week of 2008, the traffic of Multiply went down (we know that we Filipinos love to spend Holy Week in the beach, and maybe Wi-Fi capability was not yet very popular then). Today, there are over 88,000 shops in Multiply (and one of them is my online store).
I was able to have a quick chat with Sir Jack before the launching, and when I told him the reason I opened a store and started selling online was because I couldn't find the graphic bracelet I wanted to buy online. He stressed that that was a good example of entrepreneurship (wow, I wanted to take a bow when he said that!). Multiply is actually the best place to check the most unique items you cannot find in a physical store or in malls. Multiply is not just an online marketplace but a showroom of Filipino talents. I see stores selling hand painted shoes, bags made of recycled items, bracelets made of safety pins and statement shirts.
Now more than convenience and variety, Multiply also offers secure shopping in partnership with BDO Virtual Card, BPI, GCash and Paypal. I am so excited about this because what is preventing me from buying from Multiply is the mode of payment. I hate going to banks to fall inline and pay, or go to Globe Center if I am out of GCash fund. The partnership with Paypal is what I am most excited about.
Mr. Paulo Del Puerto, Senior Marketing Manager showed us how we can easily choose from the variety of items from different Multiply stores, and check if the item is available or in stock. You can simply add the item in the cart, and shop from another Multiply store, then settle the bill in one transaction. I love the idea that there is no need for me to comment "Mine" whenever I feel the interest of buying an item in Multiply; and even filling out different order forms. It is as easy as buying from an established online site.
Another point that would be beneficial to the buyers is that sellers can no longer overprice on the shipping fee. Items are also listed per category so it would be easier for buyers to navigate through the site to buy the item he/she wanted - no more trial and error keyword searching (that I always do!).
As a seller, I feel that it would also be beneficial in a way that one can manage his/her inventory and stocks, and ensure that the potential buyer would bring sure sale. Maybe we can all delete our albums entitled Bogus Buyers.
The event was graced by three Multiply sellers who find success in selling items online. Alwin Aguirre of Tough Brat Bags shares "I’ve always had a fascination for bags and setting shop in Multiply was one of the best things I ever did. It’s quick, easy and convenient and saves me time to do other things I enjoy such as maintain a lifestyle blog on the side."
Jonie Cheng of Mamaway, agrees that setting up an online business is far more convenient than opening a physical store especially for those who are inexperienced, "When I began, I was hesitant to put out such a big investment because I wasn’t as familiar with the mommy and baby market. Now I bring in about two collections a year. I’m very satisfied.”
Suyen Rivera of House of Flair shared that she only not serve as a seller to the store, but also like a personal shopper as some of her clients would send their requests so she could buy them and offer in the store.
During the event, laptops were set-up so we can experience the all new Multiply.com. But the best part was when they raffled off items from the featured Multiply sellers. They gave away Longchamp bag, kids clothes, eyeshadow set, a new MyPhone phone and a Panasonic Lumix camera! I lost my charm and luck in raffles, but my friends took home nice prizes!
If you are a regular buyer from Multiply, or a seller which is handling a store, you would notice that there is a new tab which says Marketplace, where you can find selection of items and stores which now offers the convenient way of shopping in Multiply. I tried updating my site in time for me to re-launch my online business. If you want to know more about the new and improved Multiply, or if you want to update your site to experience a whole new difference in selling online, check the Help page first before checking the stores (it's so addicting to *online* windowshop!).
I already saw some nice home items from Posh Living and my favorite store, Yellow Daisies has also upgraded its store using the new Multiply Marketplace features.
Have you checked out the new Multiply? It is absolutely the newest and biggest digital mall online!