Advantages and Disadvantages of Balikbayan Boxes and Online Shops

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Published: 18th January 2011
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Sending gifts is one of the most popular practices for many overseas Filipinos. It was because of this service that a package known as balikbayan box became popular among many Filipinos. However, other than the use of balikbayan boxes, many overseas Filipinos had also used online shops in the Philippines as a way to send gifts to their loved ones.

So which method is the best? According to overseas Filipinos, each method used to send gift Philippines is known for its own advantages which is why balikbayan boxes are still used even though many overseas Filipinos had said that the use of online shops is far more convenient.

However, each method is also known for its own disadvantages, which makes the each method appropriate for a specific purpose. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of using balikbayan boxes and online shops to send gift Philippines?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Balikbayan Boxes
The main advantage of using balikbayan boxes, according to overseas Filipinos, is its cost-efficiency. One characteristic that separates balikbayan boxes from other types of packages is its size, in which balikbayan boxes are bigger and bulkier compared to conventional packages.

Because of its size, overseas Filipinos can easily send a number of gift items in one packaging. Gifts sent through balikbayan boxes normally consist of items which wouldn’t easily perish or break such as clothes, toys, accessories, electronics, shoes, perfumes, canned goods, common household items, toiletries, and many more.

Another adnvatage of its size is its cost-efficiency. If the same amount of items were sent through smaller, individual packages, the cost can be significant. However, there are also a number of disadvantages of using balikbayan boxes.

One disadvantage is the amount of effort and time needed to arrange a whole balikbayan box, which would normally involve a lot of shopping and browsing, as well as packaging the items securely and the process of sending the package through courier service. Another is its delivery, which normally take weeks to even a month. Although there’s a faster way to send balikbayan boxes (through airfreights), there is still the lack of a solid delivery date. This makes online shops more useful compared to balikbayan boxes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shops
The use of online shops became popular because of a number of reasons, one is that online shops is much more convenient compared to balikbayan boxes, in which overseas Filipinos would only have to use a computer or a WIFI-enabled mobile phone to send gift Philippines.

Another advantage of using online shops compared to the use of balikbayan boxes is its collection of gift items. Only through online shops can overseas Filipinos send gifts such as bouquets of flowers, as well as home appliances, foods, and even vehicles.

Online shops can also offer overseas Filipinos the chance to send gifts faster compared to the use of balikbayan boxes. Online shops are known for its faster delivery services, normally taking 2 to 5 working days. And compared to sending a balikbayan box, online shops are known to send their gifts on time.

The disadvantage of using online shops is the cost of every item, which is much more expensive. Another is that most items available online are only those found in the Philippines. Rare and imported items can only be sent through balikbayan boxes.

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