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Doing business In Thailand an absolute nightmare


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1 hour ago, robblok said:

You can believe what you want but I have done business and I advise businesses. You are truly thinking its too easy. Its just a bit naive but many non business people are like you. The amounts you want to have are quite high, so its not an ordinary order. It would be different if they had a far larger normal production. I have often been called with crazy offers, it takes time to see who is real and who is not. 

 

Why would i invest a lot of time into a venture that sounds too good to be true. If its well within my normal normal production capacity its easy to give an quote. If it is not now then i first need to know that person is genuine before I am going to make a difficult calculation and see how i can allocate extra resources. 

 

It just shows that you have no real insight in how things work. If you ask for extra packaging and changes. Then they need to go and see how they adjust their packaging and how much that would cost. That is a time consuming calculation and takes quite a bit of work. I would not even start a process like that before knowing more about you. There are plenty of time wasters. You must make sure they know your not a time waster and are serious. You cant accomplish that with just a call.

 

 

That’s interesting . Not too long ago when you were showing off your knowledge you stated you never had business or knew much about business in Thailand but were an accountant back in Holland . Now as it turns out , you area savy businessman doing business deals and advising business ?

 

So this time around, is that miracles of internet ? Or another attempt to appear smart?

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2 hours ago, neeray said:

My business experience buying from Thais was 180 degrees counter to yours. But maybe it's different in the big picture like yours, as mine, comparatively speaking, was small potatoes.

 

Three years ago, I purchased a container of artisan products, about a million baht, from some 3 dozen suppliers in the Chiang Mai area. They treated me with great respect, they were all eager to do business. Each and every one met their deadline for my exporter to pick up, pack and load for shipment to Canada. And the export company did their job immaculately too.

 

Maybe your big numbers just scared the ass off the little Thai business people. Perhaps it was out of their comfort zone. Please do not take this personally but maybe they saw farang big numbers as "pie in the sky" and just a waste of their time. Remember, to gear up to your levels takes some investment on their part (the natural Viagara deal for example).

 

Good luck on future ventures.

As I mentioned earlier, I did think of that. In case of seafood I think is the case . Too much to handle but to save face they just say no. 

 

Another little problem, shrimp to Oz has to be white spot free disease , many know it, and naturally do not want to admit their product will not pass Oz customs .

 

But in case of soybean oil , I do not think 1000 tins is an outrages number.

 

My seafood friend had a contact number in Thailand , he called them directly . According to him, he was abused , screamed at and hung up.

 

So he asked me to call. First day, no answer at all. Second day, guy answered and said he did not know but someone else will call back .

 

A day later , female called back and said her boyfriend has no idea about business.

 

So told her the requirements , she said she would do a quote and get back to me. This was 2 months ago .

 

tried to follow up, no answer. 

 

Saw as a guy post on Facebook advertising supply of lobster tails. Contacted him.  Was told 500 baht per piece . Told him I need 100kg , what is the price? Answer was he does not sell by the kilo, it’s 500 per piece . Ok, how much does a piece weigh?what size was his answer ? I do not know what sizes you have , small medium or large was his answer. Ok how many kg is small or medium or large. He does not weigh it  was his response 

 

where do you go from there ?😂

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20 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

Why not accept reality?

I think many of us called big companies in Thailand and found out few people speak English and basically nobody would be able to make business contracts in English.

That's reality. And it's Thailand. If companies don't think English is important then who are we to tell them what they should do?

 

I think it should be obvious for every foreigner that if you want to do business in a foreign country then make sure you know the local rules and mentality or hire someone who does.

I don't disagree with you, companies may conduct business in whatever way they think is suitable. I'm just worried about the consequences, countries surrounding Thailand are savvier, more eager. It will not end well for Thailand if they don't wake the f up. 

 

Globalisation and all....

 

Other anecdotal evidence, and this is slightly off topic but I write articles about "tech in Asia" for a publication in my own country. It's my job to scour the Internet looking for stories about tech, entrepreneurship, disrupters etc in Asia and then write about it. I'm always on the lookout for stories about Thailand (because I live here) but I struggle to find anything at all! It's all Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and of course China with huge investments and joint ventures in fintech, mobility, autonomous driving pilots, etc. 

Maybe Elon Musk tried contacting Thai companies but no one picked up the phone?

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1 minute ago, Bassosa said:

I don't disagree with you, companies may conduct business in whatever way they think is suitable. I'm just worried about the consequences, countries surrounding Thailand are savvier, more eager. It will not end well for Thailand if they don't wake the f up. 

 

Globalisation and all....

If these companies are successful in Thailand why should they change? Only to have headache with foreigners who don't understand how things are supposed to be (from a Thai perspective)?

 

Over the years I did lots of small scale business with Thai companies and with companies in Thailand with a farang boss.

I seems sometimes Thai companies hire a farang because they think he will do a better job. And maybe he does a better job than Thais.

But then after a while maybe something has to be changed. For me it seems farang bosses know that time is money. They expect to get charged for service work. But it seems many Thai bosses somehow expect service free of charge. And that's the moment when the business relation stops because both parties (Thais and farangs) have different expectations. And I wouldn't say Thais who expect free service are wrong. That's what they are used to all their life, and then this farang comes and changes the Thai rules.

 

This is obviously different from selling products. But I am sure there will be on both sides expectations and at least some of those expectations will be very different - but never discussed. And then the problems start...

So I don't blame Thais if they are not keen on doing business with those strange farangs...

 

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customer service sucks here, 2 weeks for a quote lol, same product in KL quote in 24hrs.  the English having been in Malaysia makes a big difference.  another problem is a lot of companies want funds transferred into bank rather than just take a credit card.  totally archaic. 

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16 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

If these companies are successful in Thailand why should they change? Only to have headache with foreigners who don't understand how things are supposed to be (from a Thai perspective)?

 

Over the years I did lots of small scale business with Thai companies and with companies in Thailand with a farang boss.

I seems sometimes Thai companies hire a farang because they think he will do a better job. And maybe he does a better job than Thais.

But then after a while maybe something has to be changed. For me it seems farang bosses know that time is money. They expect to get charged for service work. But it seems many Thai bosses somehow expect service free of charge. And that's the moment when the business relation stops because both parties (Thais and farangs) have different expectations. And I wouldn't say Thais who expect free service are wrong. That's what they are used to all their life, and then this farang comes and changes the Thai rules.

 

This is obviously different from selling products. But I am sure there will be on both sides expectations and at least some of those expectations will be very different - but never discussed. And then the problems start...

So I don't blame Thais if they are not keen on doing business with those strange farangs...

 

 

The OP was discussing import/export so internationally operating companies who deal with international clients and possibly compete with other international players...

 

You know.....like Thai Airways, who like doing things the "Thai way" as well. How's that working out for them?

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My guess is that you should do business the Thai way meaning meet with someone higher up the food chain, take them and colleagues or family out for a slap up meal pay for it then offer to cross their palm with silver and gifts..

 

..then ask for a price, (the Thai way)

 

also youmight be disadvantaged not being thai (just like your buddies favouring you as a supplier the Thais might have their own Thai/Chinese buddies)

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17 hours ago, DaRoadrunner said:

In my time here I have done business with Indians, (after shaking hands, count to see if you still have all your fingers), Taiwanese and Japanese. When I have tried to do anything with the Thais it has been a monumental f'up. I never figured out what is wrong with these people?

 

I also watch the Chinese do business here and never figured out how they do it?

 

This country can destroy you, mentally, physically and financially.

Most Chinese do business with the thai that are originally from China.

 

The problem is you have 'know people' then you can do business, this is not much different then in some countries in the west.

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Just now, Autonuaq said:

Most Chinese do business with the thai that are originally from China.

 

The problem is you have 'know people' then you can do business, this is not much different then in some countries in the west.

Hmmmm, so if I call a shrimp vendor in Florida, I need to take his family out for dinner, offer a gift or two and then in a sly way ask for pricing?

OK got it.

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20 minutes ago, Bassosa said:

 

The OP was discussing import/export so internationally operating companies who deal with international clients and possibly compete with other international players...

 

You know.....like Thai Airways, who like doing things the "Thai way" as well. How's that working out for them?

They obviously don't compete with other international players.

Or maybe the OP does not convince them that he is a player...

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