MANILA, February 8, 2005 (STAR) You are abroad; your sweetheart is back home. It’s Valentine’s Day, and you want to send her a present. What do you do? Rush to your favorite online store at But the truth is that it’s really no rush because you coolly buy your present online, while does everything else – signs, seals and delivers it (even with a kiss) however you choose!

"We have overseas Filipinos in mind who have strong ties with people back here at home. For example, immigrants whose family members live in the country, foreigners who have fiancées here, or foreigners who have close relatives working here," said Gerry Ditching, Managing Partner of

"Actually, best selling products depend on the season or occasion, such as Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s. Flowers, food items, or a combination of these is common," said Ditching. He added that filgifts is currently developing its beauty products and perfume line in response to queries and requests.

Ditching explained that they are continuously adding to the product line of because "we don’t want our clients to get tired of seeing the same products over and over." Most recently introduced product offerings include gift certificates and a wide array of toys.

"Sales have been growing strongly. Last year, sales grew 64 percent. I guess we’re doing something right given hefty growth rates on our fourth year in business. We aim to maintain this growth rate for the next three to five years," said Ditching.

Ditching pointed out that has chosen to cater to a niche market with strong purchasing power rather than trying hard to be everything for everybody and ending up like many e-stores out there – out of business.

"At first, everything was guesswork, but we knew the challenge was to keep our focus and make the best use of available resources," said Ditching, adding, "We developed the website with just one particular market in mind."

After developing a sound business model and the website, they took pains in getting the right people, found reliable service providers and merchant partners, and launched efficient marketing and advertising campaigns. "We went through the set-up phase very patiently, as the online store could not operate without all these key elements in place."

"Having the right partners is crucial. Our shareholders understand the unique nature of an e-commerce venture. They know it’s a long, challenging and less traveled road; but with the right support and determination, it can prove to be quite rewarding." said Ditching.

Like any online store, gets its fair share of fraudulent attempts. However, Ditching said that they have developed tools and know how to flag these attempts. "To minimize the risks, we have veered away from highly risky product offerings," he said.

Apparently, customers are satisfied, and they definitely come back to for more. "Our customers come back because we fulfill our promise. We tend to pamper them also," said Ditching. He likes to think of as more of a service company than a trading firm. service is rewarded by the raving feedback of customers. Ditching admitted that these always inspire him and his team, adding, "they give us the energy to do more and go farther for them."

Five years old in July, still aspires to become "your personal gift valet."

So, log onto NOW! There’s still lots of time before Valentine’s Day.

For more information, you may reach at for gift ideas, advertising inquiries, and to showcase your world-class products and services on the site.

You may also reach them at for assistance with transactions, technical problems and general help.

A link is also available on!

Your Personal Gift Valet this Valentine’s Day

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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