Lying on a sofa after work, office worker Chan Reaksmey is browsing Facebook for party dresses, before clicking on a link to buy one from a seller she doesn’t know.
With the increase in the numbers of Cambodian users on Facebook, up to 239,560 in the past six months, internet buying and selling has become more popular – especially for time-pressed women who can now buy clothes at the click of a button.
“I love buying clothes on Facebook because it’s easy and I save time by not shopping at markets,” said Chan Reaksmey, 25.
She outlined the advantages – buying clothes, shoes or bags on Facebook saves her time, saves her money on transport and gives her the choice that markets don’t have.
According to Facebook statistics, 80 percent of its users in Cambodia are people aged between 18 and 34, with women making up about 38 percent of users, says web analyst Facebakers.com.
The incredible popularity of Facebook made Sophea, the owner of Trendy Shop, decide to start selling clothes on the website.
“I found that most Cambodian people would like to buy clothes on the internet but some don’t know how do it because buying from overseas websites leads to more money being spent on postage and tax,” Sophea said.
The owner, in her early 20s, added: “So I launched a Facebook shop selling clothes at a suitable price, which has proved popular.”
Most of her clients are under 30 years old and the top sellers are party dresses imported from China, with most costing between US$10 and US$50, including free delivery.
However, after about three months in business, Sophea noticed a decline in trading as more competition opened up and other sellers jumped on the Facebook bandwagon.
Another seller, who asked not to be named, launched an online shop called the Supor Collection in November last year to sell clothes she imported from China. “Sales are good but it’s less income than you’d make from a market stall,” she said.
Meanwhile, experienced Facebook shopper Chan Reaksmey is happy with her purchases so far. “Yes, the prices are slightly higher than market stalls, but it’s simple to use.”
Pictures of the clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery are posted online, together with descriptions of their size, colour, price and code, she said. Buying just required contacting the seller by Facebook, SMS or email and waiting for the goods to be delivered.