[ Musings ]

Shop the SIA Girls Shopping

It was in the news recently about SIA stewardess running into debts due to the peer pressure and lifestyle they lead, even though they earn a good salary with good travelling allowance (Scroll down or read full article here ). Now, here’s the idea:

It is well known what the SIA girls often spend on: Branded bags, High Quality High Fashion shoes and clothes, and with the vast amount of time they spend flying, they amass lots of these items other girls can only dream of. It is much cheaper for them to get these items since many of these branded fashion items are sold at a much better price from the country of origin and they fly for free (as part of their job!).

From the way I look at it, the problem is with the buying and not the need to possess or carry these items. It is hard to resist the want to buy when such beautifully crafted bags and awesomely designed fashion is right there, sitting in front of you, at 50% or event 70% less the price you get back at home. Trust me, I fell into the trap when I was in Europe. It was in Paris where I bought my one and ONLY branded bag – a LongChamp document case because it looked so sleek, tasteful and a price that was possibly 60% cheaper than what I can get back in Singapore. Now I only use it once every 2 years during Chinese New Year just because it looked good and it’s red. I alternate the years hoping that friends and relatives may hopefully forget that I am re-using the bag.

I understand how tough it is to resist. Many of the things they buy are thus never used nor worn, some even still have their price tag on. And these girls are great buyers: Due to the influence from the seniors they hang out with, they have great taste and great knowledge on where and when to get the best product at the best possible price.

Now as traders, the first step is to know what to buy. The next step though, is to know how to sell, and we all know that being a great buyer does not necessary mean that you are also good at selling (the reverse is also very true btw!). This makes complete sense as many of them joined the line right after graduation and became busy flying (and buying). They do not have the time to sell/ market their buys or ‘manage their inventory’.
The idea then is to create an avenue for them to quickly and easily put up their items for sale, with added marketing service for them. This service may even need to go as far to helping them decide what to keep and what to sell, how much to sell and making it salable.

And the unique selling proposition of the store: You shop what the SIA girls shopped for you. Don’t that make the store sound branded already?

Feel free to take this idea and fly 🙂 If you need help, contact me!

From Wikipedia :)
From Wikipedia 🙂

The rest of the words below are directly from the source: Life of a flight attendant (Part 3): Vanessa’s story of debt, pain and emptiness – Yahoo! News Singapore

What’s life really like behind the bright smiles, perfect uniforms and five-star hotel stays of jet-setting flight attendants? In a three-part series on the inflight service industry, Yahoo! Singapore finds out that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. In the third part of this series, we speak to one Singapore stewardess who was carried away by the good money and high-flying life but now finds herself in poor health and even poorer finances. (For the purposes of this series, only first names have been used as most flight crew are bound by confidentiality agreements).

SQ stewardess Vanessa (not her real name) is only 29 but she has over ten credit cards and is more than $30,000 in debt. Despite her growing credit card bills, she continues to live in style, driving a European sports car and owning a wardrobe full of expensive branded bags and clothing, most with their price tags still on.

Her extravagant behaviour is far from uncommon in the industry she works in – in fact, she said, most of her colleagues lead the same lifestyle. Young, beautiful, well-paid and jet-setting,their motto is to “live in the now” – and spend far more than they earn.

In Vanessa’s case, however, she might have bitten off more than she can chew: she has accumulated so much debt that she currently only pays the interest on her credit cards to keep the banks at bay.

“I know I’m in trouble, but I don’t know how to get out of it. Maybe I’ll sell some of my bags to pay it off. But I can’t sell my car, I’ll make a big loss,” said the petite, pixie-faced young woman during a recent three-hour interview with Yahoo! Singapore.

Vanessa started working as a flight attendant after graduating from a private university here about five years ago and was instantly swept up by the free-spending behaviour of her fellow flight attendants.

“I started off buying one branded bag per long haul trip, which works out to maybe two or three bags or S$4,000 a month for luxury brands like Miu Miu and Prada. Within half a year, I “graduated” to even more high-end brands like Chanel and Hermes and was spending about $7,000 a month on my bags,” said Vanessa, who cringed when she said the amounts out loud.

While she declined to comment on how much she earned a month, she said that it was “at least” $6,000 on average.

Out of this sum, $2,500 a month goes to paying for her car, which she admitted she hardly uses because she is seldom in town, and everything else goes to either shopping or paying part of her debt.

“Of course, I feel very stupid. I drive an expensive car, carry an expensive bag to meet my friends, but I always leave before meal times to go home and eat plain bread because I can’t afford to eat at a restaurant like them. I have no savings at all. In fact, my balance has been negative since I started to work,” said Vanessa.

However, instead of turning her life around and adopting a lifestyle change to clear her debts, Vanessa said she has no intention nor determination to give up her so-called “high life”.

“My colleagues and I have an inside joke. We all owe quite a lot of money, and we always say – all we have to do is a “Jamie Cuaca” and we’ll be secure for the rest of our lives,” said Vanessa.

The ex-Mrs Jamie Cuaca, now Jamie Chua, is a former SQ girl-turned-socialite who married Indonesian tycoon Nurdian Cuaca after the pair met when the latter flew in Business Class. Their acrimonious divorce saw demands from Chua for maintenance of $500,000 a month, and she is famous for owning more ultra-expensive Hermes Birkin bags than celebrity Victoria Beckham.

“I feel that the only way I can stop my crazy spending is to quit my job so that I don’t feel the pressure of keeping up appearance(s). But the money is too good – and I’ve been doing this for five years, I can’t imagine working in any other job,” said Vanessa.

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