“The people in Banawe, they want the cheapest price, the best product, the longest term [of payment]and no commitment,” he said.
Since Banawe is a bargain center for budget-conscious motorists, Versoza added that the game there was to offer the lowest prices that resulted in cut-throat competition among wholesales and retailers. And from 1995 to 1999, he tried to slug it out in Banawe before giving up.
He said there were two or three occasions where the clients he sold to did not pay him or disappeared into thin air.
“Then I realized I cannot compete in that [enviroment]. So the strategy I did, the tack that I took is sell the expensive items. Because the typical people buying car accessories, they go for price,” Versoza added.
It turned out he made the right choice to sell expensive products to affluent motorists.
“Let’s put it this way – I’m a little bit arrogant that I told myself ‘I don’t want this life anymore.’ I keep on begging [for deals in Banawe]. One day, I decided, I will build my own store, create my own market and never mind the old clients,” he said.
After he opened his Outdoors Club showroom along a bank row and Greenhills in 2002 and saw his business grow, Versoza got a clear picture of what type of clients he was dealing with. He proved himself right in his decision to abandon his business of selling to shops in Banawe.
“I realized to the D crowd, P500 is a lot, To a rich man, P10,000, P20,000 is nothing. So I told myself, ‘I will stay in this [high-end] segment,’ meaning the price difference of P500 in the low-end segment, if you compare a roof rack, P1,000 and P1,500 to a D, E crowd, the P500 is such a huge decision maker. But to a rich man, a P20,000 difference doesn’t mean anything,” he said.
In Banawe, new shops usually mushroom to replace those that close down because of stiff competition. But at the Greenhills bank row, the Outdoors Club remains the only one of its kind in the area since 2002.
“So a long time ago, I told myself I will no longer compete down there [at Banawe]. Now, I’m the only one here [at Greenhills],” he said.