Promotional sales Philippines style!

Since moving to our new house. Bob and I and the kids like to hang out at our porch and the front yard. Luckily we have bigger front yard now and the kids can play basketball, badminton, tumbalata, or just riding bikes. A few days ago while Bob and I were sitting on our porch with the kids and nieces, somebody outside our gate yelled something when seeing us. Bob and I just didn’t hear what the people were saying. I just heard our kids told them we are not interested. Just looking at their hands they were selling something. I don’t usually entertain sellers that much especially it was family time for us.

Bob asked our niece Glenda what was that person saying, Glenda said that they are selling toothpaste, mouthwash and other stuff. I told Bob that we don’t need anything anyway so we don’t entertain them. Bob said he wanted to see what they have, because we need toothpaste at the bathroom in his office anyway. We will take a look and see if we like what they are selling. I told the kids then to call up those sales people and let them come in inside the gate, we want to see what they have.

They were selling colgate products
They were selling colgate products

So we let those ladies sit with us at the porch. We could tell that they are sweating. So Bob then offered them if they wanted to have drinks? The younger lady said no thanks, its okay. But the older lady said that yes we are going to take you up for those drinks. The older lady that wanted to have drinks looks like she was really tired. Bob then told the kids to get some drinks for the ladies. I asked them if they have been walking for a long time, they said yes we’ve been going house to house since this morning here in Matina. I told both of them you guys really have a good stamina to do all the walking and carrying all your stuff  and also under the hot sun. They both gave me a smile. While talking to them a little while, our helper went outside and told me that our merienda (they were cooking banana cut in half and fry them) were ready already. So both Bob and I told our helper to bring out extra food and plate for the sales ladies outside. They were really shocked that we offered. I’m glad we did though, just looking at their plates afterwards they must really be hungry, they ate all the banana we brought out for them.

Bananas are a common Filipino snack
Bananas are a common Filipino snack

Anyway, they showed us what they were selling. It was toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and soap. A lot of them they combined the products in package like a small tube of toothpaste a toothbrush and a small bottle of mouthwash for 75 pesos. The big mouthwash half a liter for 250pesos. We wanted to buy toothpaste but they are out of the big tube of toothpaste, all they have was a combo the 75pesos. So I just bought the mouthwash then. While they’re eating I was asking them how would they get paid. They told us that they were paid 15 percent of all the items they would sell. The owner of the product will not give them money for food and fair. So I asked them for that day how much did they sold so far? They said that they sold 1500 pesos each. So they got like 225pesos each for their share. I asked them if it were enough earnings for the day since they have to buy their food and they have to pay for there fair? They said sometimes their earnings were lucking for the food and the fair. I asked them do you think its worth it? They said if they sold a lot then it will be worth the while, but sometimes they also lost some money for food and fair. I told them you have to be good in talking to really earn big time. I told them to not be so shy and really talk to people so that they can sell the products that they have. I said just try to convince people to buy your product. They seem happy after they left at our house, I guess with full stomach and lighter load to carry. :-)

If you see people like that in your neighborhood try to see their product it might be worth buying and your helping them at the same time. Try to be cautious too some are rip offs. Use your instincts!!!


Post Author: Feyma (349 Posts)

Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.

Live in the Philippines Consulting


  1. Gary Wigle says

    Food seems to be the popular thing to sell door to door where I live. We have 3 Sari Sari stores close to us that sell all the other stuff so if we need anything we just go to one of them. They open before 6 in the morning and it might be 11 at night before they close. It is more fun to shop in the Philippines…I think. 😛

    • says

      HI Gary – Oh yeah, food are more popular, but the other stuff were catching on too. Too many sari-sari stores, some of them carries different kind of stuff from over the counter medicine to liquor. Even on the wee hours of the night you can even wake them up. Especially if you wanted some medicines they don’t mind opening their little store for you.

      Definitely, it’s more fun to shop in the Philippines. LOL…

      Have a great day Gary!

  2. Donna west says

    that was very nice of you to help out the ladies with their sales and also so kind to show them your hospitality. it is a hard job for them but not so bad if t he days sales are good. i was thinking it is one of those businesses i was talking about in my comment from bobs last article…..if they only had a few hundred dollars of their own to invest in buying their own products for resale, they could cut out the middle man who pays them only 15% profit. thanks for the good story. i enjoyed it.

    • says

      Hi Donna west – Thank you so much. I’m glad you like what I posted here. Yes it won’t be so bad if they sold a lot of the products that they are intended to sell. The problem, those people needs big investment to get the product from the manufacturer. Have to have millions to invest on that. I guess for now they had to get over the shyness to really sold a lot.

      As always good to see you here. Have a blessed day!

  3. Mark Mellinger says

    Great post and am always happy that in instances like this a hard working person has earned some money. My concern is that one salesman/saleswoman makes a sale and then goes back and before you know there are lots more salesman looking for that easy sale. I guess it depends on where you live and in what kind of neighborhood. Ive been to Philippines 7 times so far but we all know living there is totally different than just a visist so I only have my experiences to draw from.
    Anyway….keep those great posts coming!

    • says

      Hi Mark Mellinger – Thank you so much. I know what you mean. Just have to see if the product they are selling will be of useful to you. Gated community will not allow people selling stuff house to house.

      Visiting here are totally different than living here big time. I think you saw some of our articles here on LIP way back then. The fun and the challenge times of adjusting here.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Keep reading. God bless!

  4. Lenny says

    Just the other day, for the first time a man…. who a friend of mine sent to me, was selling of all things pasturized milk, also strawberry and chocolate flavor along with yoqurt…first time in 7 years I have seen this product..I bought quite a few after the first testing, but it was quite a surprise…. they do what they have to do here, he was on a bicycle, with a big stryofoam box filled with crushed ice……

    • says

      Hi Lenny – Welcome to the Philippines. You will see a lot more of first time thing here in the PI. More surprises coming your way. :-)

      Have fun and enjoy your stay here. It’s really fun learning more something new here in the PI.

      Have a wonderful day!

  5. sue-lang says

    Oh my we have seen a lot of those around where my mom lives and she’s tried buying some from those peddlers and then finding out that they’re all fake- shampoos that don’t bubble and doesn’t do nothing at all and leaves your hair even sticky! toothpaste that makes you get canker sores and stuff. Even lotions when u apply your skin will get even drier. There has been news about those selling branded items on the steets here but actually they’re the ones who concoct the ingredients and pass it on as the real thing by using the bottles of the original. So be wary of peddlers selling stuff with well known brands coz you may get duped or worse your health may be in danger as well.

    But as far as hardworking pinoys are concerned, my heart goes out to those guys who goes in the street carrying a wooden bed or a divan walking in the heat of the sun hoping to make a sale for that day so they wouldn’t have to carry that heavy load back home. :(

  6. says

    HI sue-lang – I hear you. I heard so many stories like what you said too. That’s Like what I said on my post “Try to be cautious too some are rip offs. Use your instincts!!!”. Be very careful on buying any stuff anywhere I think. Too many rip off guys in the world.

    Thank you for the good advice. I really appreciate very much. Good to see you here.

    Have a pleasant day!

  7. PapaDuck says

    Mrs Feyma,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s nice of you to offer them refreshments. You have to really give them credit for putting the effort out to try and sell there products in the hot sun for very little money. You really feel sorry for them for having to earn a salary that way. Take care, have a nice day.

    • says

      Hi PapaDuck – Thank you so much for the nice word. I guess that’s just human nature really to do what we did.

      Always good to you here PapaDuck. Take care and have a great 4th of July!!!

  8. Brent Johnson says

    Fema, it must really be a tough sell for those vendors who must go door-to-door selling who knows what. I know next to my wife there are at least three sari-sari stores that sell everything from beer to toothpaste. The bigger village is just a short trike ride away where anything is available. But I still saw many different people coming to the front door each day selling beauty products, skin whitener, fruits, offering services like mani/pedi, even a dude wanting to cut your hair. Nanay would talk with each one of them, but I think I’d grow tired of saying “no” to so many people each day.

  9. says

    Hi Brent Johnson – I’m sure it is. I know what you mean about too many sari sari stores in an area, as if its in between houses. I told those ladies they should try to sell in the province, at least there they don’t have to compete with the convenience store or a mall nearby. Buying at the sari sari store, It’s more fun living here in the Philippines… :-)

    Thank you so much for dropping by. Have a good day!

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