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Thu 23 Mar 2017
Virtual Shopping
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 26 November 2002 00:00

Do you know that I am a shopkeeper? I have a shop here in Thailand that has been open for about two years. It is quite popular now. I have lots of customers every day. The customers come from lots of different countries around the world. But most of my foreign customers are from America, England, UK and Singapore. I also have quite a few customers who are Swedish, Polish, French, Dutch, Spanish and even Brazilian.

After reading the first paragraph, you may wonder what I am selling. Or why people around the world are coming to my shop. Or where it is in Thailand. I am going to tell you more about it right now. But first I want you to know that you don’t need to get in your car to come to buy stuff from me. You can buy it from your house by turning on your computer and then logging onto the web site called “Thai Hypermarket” (http://www.thaihypermarket.com).

In early 2000, my old primary school, Sriwittayapaknam School, set up a virtual shop on the Internet called thaihypermarket.com. The reason was to teach the students about buying and selling things through the Internet or e-commerce as it is known. They teach the students by letting them work on the real thing, not just by sitting down in a classroom and listening to the teacher. Anyone in the school can open their own shop. All you need is something to sell!

Now to come back to talk about my virtual shop. I have been working pretty hard on it since I started. At first, I was aiming to sell bilingual children’s books to Thai families who live abroad or foreign families who had adopted Thai children. I didn’t sell that much at first but I thought it was not bad. But later on, after I started a web site called LearningThai.com, I began to add more books about learning the Thai language. This proved to be more popular than the children’s books.

At first, there were not many people buying or visiting so it wasn’t a hard job to make up the parcels and send them off. I only went to the post office once a week or some weeks not at all. But, nearly three years later, there are many many more people who know my bookshop and come to buy books. I always try to make the prices of the products in my shop cheaper than the other shops on the Internet. And I also give people free gifts.

Now that the shop is more popular I have to go to the post office at least four times a week! That also means that the job of making up the parcels and going to the post office is getting harder as well. There were some times in the past that I made some mistakes and had to send the books again. Sometimes, when there were lots of orders, I rushed my work and wrote the address wrong, sent the wrong books, or didn’t wrap the parcel carefully enough. I don’t really get much profit from the products I am selling. So every time I make mistakes and have to send out the order again, I lose money.

Since I have made those mistakes, I am now always double-checking the parcels and the addresses before I go to send them out. Now business is good and I am earning more money than my parents are. So, I stopped asking them for pocket money. I use some of the profit as my pocket money and the rest I am saving in the bank for the future. The only big thing I bought so far was my motorcycle. This is very useful, as I need it to go to the post office.

Some months, if I earn more money than my average, I always give some money to my parents and grandmother. They gave me a lot in the past, I think that it is time for me to start giving back to them!