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Guest Blog Post: Online Shopping in Brunei by Orchid Row.

woman_with_orchid.3_biggerEditor's Note: Reader, this is Projek Brunei's first ever guest blog by our very own Orchid Row. You may know her as @OrchidRow on Twitter, or you may already be a fan of her webbie, www.orchidrow.com. She has got a passion for fashion, featured local businesses, and has written articles about make-up, hair-care, and of course, style tips. In her own words, "Orchid Row is the product of much love for shopping and weakness for beautiful things." Enjoy the read, and of course, shout out to you Orchid Row!


Let’s Shop Online!

onlineshoppingpb

Do you agree that online shopping is becoming more prevalent in Brunei?

In Brunei, more and more blog stores, online stores, web shops or other variance of the entity, are popping up like mushrooms after a cold and hard rainy day. With the increase of technology savvy individuals, many find opportunities in starting up an online-based business.

It is also worth while to note that most online stores has leveraged on Facebook as a platform for their businesses. Not only is it used for marketing purposes, but also to make use of business-oriented applications such as credit card payments and a store-like appearance.

Business-wise, going online definitely has its perks, such as little or no capital for start-ups. And some of our local online retailers has found their niche, and have been going strong among our community.

Amongst the crowd of Brunei e-tailers, thefollowing are some of the more notable stores:

fesretroflyerpb2FES Retro

This store started its roots at their existing blogspot site, trading in football jerseys, T-shirts and soccer memorabilia. FES Retro has gathered much customers and supporters over the past few years. In early 2009, due to its success, FESRetro has opened its brick-and-mortar store near London Kebab in Lambak Kanan.

 

dotdotslittleshopDot Dot’s Little Shop

This online-based business started retailing their imported motherhood and breast feeding products in September 2009. Run byMaureen, this mother does not just simply offer items for sale, but also tries to connect with their customers by providing active support to new mothers or mothers-to-be by sharing important information and advice on babycare.

qqestorepb2QQ eStore

Who hasn’t heard of QQ eStore? Brunei’s largest online store has been around for the past 4 years, dealing mostly in mobile phones, computers and other electronics. It is, without a doubt, the most popular online store in Brunei. Their distinctive advantage is the variety mode of payment offered for their customers’ convenience.

Just as the number of e-tailers is increasing, so is the number of people turning to the internet for their shopping needs. The time when people are wary and dubious of online shopping is slowly but steadily improving, as more and more people get more comfortable with our online retailers and the convenience it offers.

However, online shopping does not come without peril. There are cases of bad experience related to bad quality products and dishonest retailers. As such, we must take precautions when making purchases online.

·          Take note of deposits required

Most of the Brunei online stores offer products that are obtained from their suppliers on a pre-order basis. To secure orders, deposits would need to be placed prior to ordering from suppliers. Amount of deposit required varies from store to store, as such, this is one of the aspects you must take note of before placing your order. If you are not comfortable to put in a 100% deposit, check out other e-stores that requires less amount of deposit.

·            Cancellation of orders

Although it is understandable why some e-tailers do not allow cancellation of orders, I believe customers should have the same privileges as they would have in a physical store. So, make sure to ask the seller for details of the product before purchasing. You don’t want to be stuck with an item that did not match its pictures or descriptions.

·          Delivery charges

Some-sellers charge fees to meet-up or deliver for collection of items while others deliver for free. If you are purchasing from an online store that does have delivery charges, check the fees to see whether they are reasonable. Anything under $5.00, to even as far as Kuala Belait, is considered reasonable. If the online seller is using Fedex or any other delivery service company, charges should only come up to $8.00 maximum.

It is encouraging to see that a lot of our fellow countrymen (and women) are taking the initiative to carve out a place in the business world and consumers are spoilt for choices to satisfy their shopping needs. With that, we, as customers, should also be cautious when doing our shopping online.

With all stores, shop with this motto in mind -‘caveat emptor’ (Let the Buyer Beware).

On that note, happy shopping, everyone!


Editor's Note: Reader, if you have a story to tell about Brunei, or if you are interested in getting involved as a guest blogger on Projek Brunei, reach me here

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