Thinking of starting a cellphone loading business as a sideline? It’s one of the cheapest small businesses to start in the Philippines, with a capital of less than PHP 2,000. Anyone—including housewives, students, kasambahays, sari-sari store owners, and office workers—can easily earn money as a prepaid load retailer.
An e-loading business may not be very profitable, but it’s still a good opportunity to earn extra income on the side. With almost 130 million mobile prepaid subscribers in 2019, the Philippines has a huge market for e-loading services. And it will keep growing. Customers will keep coming to loading stations to buy prepaid load for calling, texting, or surfing the internet.
Ready to become an e-load retailer? Start your loading business with these six easy steps.
How to Start a Loading Business in the Philippines
1. Decide Where and How You’ll Run Your Cellphone Loading Business
Where and how will you operate your e-loading business? Who will you sell load to? Determine these things first before you start a loading station business.
The best thing about setting up a cellphone loading business is its flexibility. You can add it to your business, like a sari-sari store or internet cafe, especially if it’s in a location with good foot traffic.
If you don’t have an existing business, you can still sell load to family, friends, and neighbors from your home.
2. Get a Cellphone for Your Loading Business
Any basic mobile phone released from 1999 onwards, preferably a dual-SIM unit, can be used for selling prepaid load. You can buy one for cheap at around PHP 1,000 or less.
However, you don’t have to buy a new phone if you have an old and unused phone that’s still working. You may even use the unit you have right now if you’re okay with changing your personal SIM card to a retailer SIM.
3. Choose an E-Loading Method
You have two options to start your loading business. One is to become an exclusive reseller for a telecommunications company like Globe, Smart, or Sun. The other choice is to become a member of a third-party distributor (the most popular ones being LoadCentral and LoadXtreme) that enables selling load from all telecom companies.
Here’s a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of the two e-loading methods.
Exclusive Prepaid Load Reseller
Guaranteed legitimate way to start a cellphone loading business
Higher profit (7% to 13%) than selling load for all mobile networks
Retailers can’t sell load and any product from competing brands
Offering limited services because you’re tied to just one telecom
Load Retailer of Multiple Networks
Convenient way to sell e-load from different networks, including Globe, Smart, Sun, TNT, and TM using an all-in-one SIM card
Serving a wider range of customers regardless of their mobile network
Selling a wider product range, including game credits and subscriptions for cable TV and video-on-demand services
Lower profit (5% to 10%) than selling load from just one network
Risk of getting scammed by illegitimate third-party companies
Poor technical support of some distributors
Which is the Right E-Loading Business Method for You?
The better type of cellphone loading business depends on your target market. If you’ll be selling mostly to Smart subscribers, for instance, being an exclusive retailer is the sensible choice.
If your target customers subscribe to different networks, it’s better to sell load from multiple telecom companies. However, make sure to transact only with a legitimate distributor. There are many distributors that offer all-in-one retailer SIM, so be careful when choosing one.
4. Apply as a Prepaid Load Retailer
How to Apply for e-Loading Business with a Telecom Company
Visit the nearest Globe Business Center, Smart Wireless Center, or Sun Shop where you’ll fill out an application form and submit requirements (usually valid IDs, proof of billing, and ID pictures). If you want to sell a Smart prepaid, you can apply as a load retailer online.
You’ll also have to purchase a retailer SIM card that costs around PHP 300 to PHP 600 as well as an initial load balance worth PHP 1,000. The telecom company may refer you to a local load distributor in your area where you’ll buy the retailer SIM and reload your load wallet.
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an agent code and prepaid load reseller kit from the telecom firm.
How to Apply for e-Loading Business with a Third-Party Distributor
Instagram photo by @___nashee
Visit the website of your chosen independent load distributor and register for a membership account. Registration requires filling out and submitting an online application form.
Once your account is registered, the third-party company will send you a confirmation message through email or SMS.
5. Learn How to Sell Prepaid Load
Read the manual that comes with your reseller kit to know everything about starting your cellphone loading business.
Pay close attention to these critical details:
Prepaid load products you can sell, their validity, and price
The amount you’ll earn per transaction
How to sell load, including the keyword and access code to use for selling
How to check your remaining load balance
Where to reload your digital wallet
Ways to contact the distributor for technical assistance
6. Promote Your New Business
Photo by Brian Evans via Flickr, Creative Commons
Now’s the time to put your marketing skills to good use.
Make your cellphone loading business known. Start by sending a text blast—tell your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors that you’re selling load. Encourage them to spread the word, so you can get more customers. Also, use your social media accounts to advertise your e-loading business for free.
If you have a business location, ask your distributor to provide you with flyers, posters, tarpaulin, or any marketing materials. These are usually given for free upon request.
How Can I Start a Loading Business Using GCash?
Do you have a GCash account? Then might as well use the app for your e-loading business! Doing this is easy and would only require a verified GCash account and GCash credits.
Follow these steps once you have verified your account and have a decent amount of credits to start with. You may start with PHP 1,000 to PHP 2,000.
Open the GCash app
Click “Buy Load”
Enter number in “Buy Load For”
Click “Next” then enter the amount. You may enter a value between 10 to 150 or choose from the available denominations (up to PHP 900).
Complete the transaction!
What’s good about using GCash for your loading business is that GCash gives a 10% rebate for every load transaction. Meaning, if you load PHP 50, it will only deduct PHP 45 from your GCash wallet.
How Much Would I Earn as an e-Loading Business Dealer?
As a loading business dealer, a modest monthly profit would range from PHP 1,000 to PHP 3,000—not bad for a side business that’s easy to start and operate. Some e-load retailers even earn around PHP 1,000 daily from their loading business.
As soon as you’re done with all the six steps, you’re all set! You can already start selling prepaid load and earning a commission for each transaction. Market your business to family, friends, and even online and make sure to keep track of your earnings.
 How to Determine Foot Traffic and Use Data to Pick a Business Location (Fabregas, Fit Small Business, 2020)
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