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How to make money in Thailand
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  1. #1
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    How to make money in Thailand

    Diesels Are the New Heroin
    wired.com
    By Jeff Koyen
    02:00 AM Jun, 19, 2006

    BANGKOK, Thailand -- Not long ago, backpackers in Thailand running short of cash would smuggle weed, heroin, hashish -- even yaba, southeast Asia's version of speed. But after so many horror stories about Thai prisons, what was once a quasi-romantic risk is now strictly for corrupt border cops and Chinese mobsters.

    The traveler in Thailand is no longer sticking baggies of smack up his crack and praying for a short-fingered customs official; he's hawking designer knockoffs on auction sites like eBay. Diesel and Lacoste are the most popular brands, but Birkenstock and Adidas are known moneymakers. They mail the merchandise from Bangkok and pray their buyers don't call bullshit.

    This is The Beach, several years on. Bangkok's backpackers are no longer seeking out that unspoiled stretch of sand; they just want to earn enough money to avoid going home -- without, God forbid, teaching English. It's a bull market for these e-bootleggers; everywhere you ask, an expat has an auction about to end.

    Sarah's story is typical. The tattooed, 25-year-old Australian, who declined to give her last name, came to Thailand for the same reason everyone comes to Thailand: cheap hedonism in paradise. Last year, she moved to the beach-resort town of Pattaya for a legitimate real estate job. But, as she said, "the bird flu and Muslim extremism are killing the market."

    Call Sarah in the morning, and she's "doing a bit of work on the internet." Call in the afternoon, and she's either at the post office or a factory just outside of town -- where she buys enough counterfeit Lacoste polo shirts to fill a tuk-tuk. She'll soon be offering them to her countrymen on eBay Australia.

    Then there's Aaron, also unwilling to give his last name, a 28-year-old native New Yorker who's been living in Thailand for several years. Unable to hold down a job in the United States, he fled overseas and found a Thai girlfriend who would eventually break his heart. Two years later, bitter toward the "uncivilized" locals yet still unwilling to return to America, he sells fake Diesels to pay for expensive meals and trips to the whorehouse.

    Aaron's is the basic business model for all e-bootleggers. Each week, he visits the Mah Boon Krong mall, known as MBK -- one of Bangkok's most popular shopping centers, complete with multiplex and bowling alley. In his favorite store on the sixth floor, the jeans, shirts and accessories are stacked 8 feet high. Styles are current, stitches are tight and the counterfeit labels will pass casual inspection.

    After some tough negotiating, one pair of "Diesels" costs 550 baht, or about $14.30; it will sell for between $45 and $100, plus shipping. Without breaking a sweat, Aaron can run 20 auctions per week and clear upward of $1,000. In 2005, one of his more ambitious friends pulled in an estimated $100,000 -- tax-free, risk-free.

    Risk-free, because no one is doing much about it. In the high-profile crackdowns across Asia, it's the manufacturers and brick-and-mortar shops that are targeted. Even then, it's the pirated movies and software that usually get them in trouble.

    The only real threat is eBay's Verified Rights Owner, or VeRO, program. According to eBay representative Hani Durzy, 10,000 companies have signed up for the program, which relies on copyright holders to identify the shady sellers.

    "If a listing violates their intellectual property rights, we'll take it out," Durzy said. If the rights-holder then wishes to take legal action, eBay is "more than happy to provide information."

    The number of auctions flagged under the VeRO program is "minuscule" when counted against eBay's 89 million total listings, and Durzy admitted "there's nothing that we can do to stop people from trying to list things that are counterfeit." But he made it clear that "we stand firmly with the rights-holder."

    But if their account is flagged and frozen by VeRO, an e-bootlegger simply opens another -- an inconvenient but hardly impossible task.

    And anyway, the buyers are enthusiastic. Even when their "Italian-made" jeans arrive in a crumpled package from Thailand, complaints are rare. Like street hustlers offering hot Rolex watches, e-bootleggers may be filling a need, and not every buyer is a sucker.

    As one successful seller said, "No one should pay $200 for a pair of jeans. My labels look just as good."

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  3. #2
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    I buy my clothes from K-mart or lowes, what would I want to pay high prices for a fashion label, that is just standard quality and performance any way. Cotton is cotton, what ever the brand, just one you paying 5 times the price.
    Now let's hope they not start counterfeiting cars, engineering and quality of materials is what makes a car like the BMW 1 series superior to a similar size Toyota corolla, Maybe in Thailand because of high taxes on the BMW's make it poor value for money, but in most countries, the premium on the BMW can be justified.

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    only thing is a beemer is just high priced junk that is the same thing as paying for a clothing label,, you pay for the label.

    And you get a better more trouble free car with a Toyota or Honda than any beemer ever made.

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    I sold a 1989 Honda Civic 4X4 wagon with 398K miles on the clock when I left the states and the only thing ever done to it was new belts every 60K, Oil and grease every 3K, plugs once in awhile and tires, the lady I sold it to is still driving it. The Toyota SR5 4X4 I sold when I bought the Honda had over 200K on it and still run out in the Sonora desert with no worrys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FaranginPhetch
    only thing is a beemer is just high priced junk that is the same thing as paying for a clothing label,, you pay for the label.

    And you get a better more trouble free car with a Toyota or Honda than any beemer ever made.
    A true sports is balanced to be heavier to the rear, using mid engines and rear wheel drive, like a formula one car a balance of 40:60 front to rear, This configuration gives, the traction close to a 4 wheel drive, with out having the weight and friction disadvantages of a 4 wheel drive as when you accelerate more weight gets distributed to the rear wheels where the traction is needed on the drive wheels, giving traction front to rear during acceleration 15:85 ratio. BMW sedans are naturally weighted 50:50, but usually in reality about 45:55 front to engine rear and during acceleration about 35:65 front to rear. A Mid engine car is not practical in every day use, so BMW sedans are front engine rear wheel drive, the best configuration for sporting handling and practicability, this configuration is more expensive to produce than Toyota corollas front wheel drive, whish is weight front heavy some thing like 60:40 front to rear a configuration that needs harsh suspension, to enable the car to corner. Other reasons BMW 1 series will cost more than a equivalent sized corolla, is the materials used, the engines in a BMW are made of magnesium alloy, which is lighter and more expensive than the standard aluminum and steal used in most corollas. BMW uses much more aluminum in it's construction like aluminum is the suspension, BMW comes with more safety and standard equipment like a full array of air bags. Things like the came shafts on BMW use triple link chains rather than a rubber belt that needs to be replaced regularly on a corolla.
    If you look at all these features, and other things I could still mention, sure there is a premium on BMW but many of the costs are justified, just not good value for money in places like Thailand that have high taxes on luxury imported cars.
    If you want good value for money with premium quality, not quite as premium quality as BMW but better value for money with more standard features than BMW, than go for the Lexus IS 250, whish is cheaper than a BMW 325i which is lighter and stronger because of the more exspensive materials used.

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    I am sorry that I bypassed the Ignore on your last 2 posts, not that your info is so wrong but your use, context and spelling is atrocious and some of the worst I have ever seen from anyone that was raised speaking English and is supposedly so filthy rich.

    It makes your posts to hard to read and understand when the spelling and context is so wrong, not worth the effort really..

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    Re: How to make money in Thailand

    I wish I read this post when I was in Thailand before. Now I'm home and trying to make enough money to head back.

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    Re: How to make money in Thailand

    Quote Originally Posted by FaranginPhetch View Post
    I am sorry that I bypassed the Ignore on your last 2 posts, not that your info is so wrong but your use, context and spelling is atrocious and some of the worst I have ever seen from anyone that was raised speaking English and is supposedly so filthy rich.

    It makes your posts to hard to read and understand when the spelling and context is so wrong, not worth the effort really..
    You spelled the word 'too' incorrectly, brainiac.

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    Re: How to make money in Thailand

    I had this idea a while ago, and am very pleased to see how well it apparently works!
    Another idea may be buying and selling from the markets in Chiang Mai, there were a few interesting things there such as leather purses ect.
    Oh and as a mechanic Toyota is probably better than BMW in terms of reliability, depending of course on the year and make of the car, not that it's important or relevant.
    Good luck too you all!

  11. #10
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    Re: How to make money in Thailand

    Yes Toyota in general is more reliable, due to cars like the carolla are made in such large numbers, the bugs get ironed out, also the car is more simple, so there are less parts to fail.
    My point at the moment is poor value for money in Australia. A BMW 335i in the USA is around US$48,000 plus minimal sales tax and lower on road costs in Australia the same car is AU$110,000 plus stamp duty and higher on road costs and considering the Australian dollar is actually higher than the US dollar at this time, that makes the US price something like AU$45,000.
    The price difference is not solely due to tax, as Australia has a 10% import duty and a 10% GST on this car, the car does attract luxury car tax for the value over AU$57,000 but due to the fact the car should not cost more than this price it should not have attracted this tax in the first place.
    The problem is US and European currencies have dropped by almost half against the Australian dollar, and in the USA they have still keep ed the price of the car the same, but in Australia the price of the car has not adjusted to the strength of the Australian dollar
    A New BMW should have halved in value if our dollar has risen, but these cars are just as expensive as they were before the dollar has risen. Australians are being ripped off by all these European brand cars like BMW Mercedes Audi and even the Japanese Lexus, we are actually paying double what we were when our dollar was half what it is now.
    I personally won't be buying another BMW because of this ripoff in Australia, a base model BMW 3 series in Australia is just a 4 cylinder car, the engine does not even have direct fuel injection, unlike the same models available in Germany who have the more advanced engine.
    I will be buying my self a new Holden commodore, like the BMW it's also importantly rear wheel drive, Like BMW it has an all alloy engine, like BMW it has a 5 star safety ratting, like BMW it has an advanced multi link suspension system for great handling.
    But unlike BMW, the Holden has a more advanced engine in it's base model, it's a 6 cylinder vs the 4 cyclinder, the Holden has direct fuel inject vs the fuel inoficincy of BMW's out dated technology even though they have direct injection engines in Germany, they are not compatible with Australian fuels. Next point Holden Commodore can use a variety of fuels like 85% ethanol which is important as petroleum is skyrocketing in price and we need alternatives.
    Next point final the base model Holden Commodore is generally a better car than the base model 3 series BMW available in Australia due to the fact it's a larger & heavier meaning in a head on collision against the BMW, you would be safer in the Holden commodore.
    My final point, the better car is actually the Holden Commodore in Australia which you pay something like AU$37,000 on road when on special which is $30,000 less than the base model BMW 320i 4 cylinder. A 3 series BMW in Australia should be nothing less than a 6 cylinder if you really deserve that prestige badge. The fact is the base model 3 series BMW is a 6 cylinder in the USA and cost about the same as the Base model Holden Commodore in Australia just goes to shows the car is no better. Australians are being ripped off and I would urge people who want to buy any of these European cars to save you money and buy either a Holden Commodore or a Ford Falcon and there up market models until these european companies adjust there prices to a more realist level.

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