Those UnstoppableVendors

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on

When we were on lockdown or on home quarantine during the months of March to September 2020, many got into the gardening hobby and were jokingly called “plantitos’ or “plantitas” which literally mean “aunt or uncle plants”. Planting became the craze and there were some sort of contests in social media about who is able to raise the most number of rare and expensive plants. I was amazed one day as I wandered into the other side of the wet market and found stores that sell garden soil and various types of pots. I bought some pots (I have been into gardening even before the craze). In the bigger wet markets, there were vendors selling a number of plants, cacti, other succulents and popular plants in pots aside from garden soil. There have always been stores selling pots in the dry goods section. No need to go to the formal garden stores. In the early months of community quarantine, when public transport was banned, people without private cars or other means of transportation had to walk kilometers to get to the wet market or supermarkets. Soon, mobile and community stores selling fruits, vegetables and fish sprouted. How about the proliferation of online stores selling all sorts of items? Enterprising souls are always on the lookout for opportunities and they act fast!

I love asking fish or fruits and vegetable vendors what do they do with items that are not sold. I get various answers: Some say that everything gets sold at the end of the day. (Maybe some fish vendors deny that they put the unsold items in the freezer and sell them the next day at a cheaper price). Some say they just eat or throw them away. Probably, they have great margins to make up for the losses, but only if the acquisition costs are low. The products won’t sell if the prices are not comparative with the others.

I am also amazed at some hardworking ladies whipping up loads of noodle dishes on the floor with just a small table and stove. Well, necessity is the mother of hard work, if I can tweak the old saying a bit.

I am amazed at the daring-do of the vendors who borrow money with very high interest rates which they pay in daily installments from people who make business out of lending to needy vendors. (I usually see personalities making the rounds collecting from the vendors). Would you borrow money to put in a business with a high probability of losses because the goods are perishable?

Some people have money parked in the bank ( which today, gives no or very minimal interests), but are too scared to go into business. But these people even borrow money to grab every available opportunity. Some have to get into businesses as they have lost their jobs. No choice.

I pray that they will succeed!


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