Entrepreneur

Why They Traded In Their Google Caps Just To Sell Old Clothes Online In M'sia

  • SellEz is an online marketplace that allows individuals to buy and sell pre-loved clothing items with the aim of promoting sustainable fashion retail.
  • Among some of their services include efficient customer support, easy returns, and curated collections complete with sizing help and professional photos.
  • SellEz also works closely with Hope Worldwide Malaysia to provide help to single mothers and underprivileged children through fundraising and donation of clothes.

When they founded SellEz in August last year, Swedish countrymen Anders Eriksson and Joseph Alsberg were concerned with solving one particular problem—closets full of unworn clothes.

The SEA-based duo left their jobs at Google and Rocket Internet and came together to solve the problem by starting a new business, with a steely-eyed focus on making fashion sustainable.

“We wanted to advocate sustainability and bring what is good in Swedish common culture into Southeast Asia,” Anders said. “So we started off by trying to sell our girlfriends’ clothes online.”

Currently, SellEz operates as an online marketplace that allows anyone to sell and buy pre-loved clothes (including both menswear and ladies’ fashion), with their business run both online and as a brick and mortar one.

Image Credit: SellEz

For sellers, SellEz offers a solution that works out in three simple steps: Gather your goods, book a pickup, and get cash when they’re sold (at a price of the seller’s choosing).

And for buyers, SellEz makes available high-quality pre-loved items at bargain prices (branded pieces abound), and very much like Lazada and Zalora, offers shoppers the same features found on major e-commerce platforms such as free returns, next day deliveries, and credit card/bank transfer payment methods.

“The difference is that we act as consignment partners between buyers and sellers, thus not owning any of the things we help sell,” Anders said, and explained that buyers also have the option of visiting their offline store based in Kuala Lumpur which also acts as a warehouse for their collections.

Image Credit: SellEz

Sustainable Fashion Made Easy

Since inception, SellEz has today become a business with a team of 15 handling over 1,000 pieces of clothing each week. And in regards to growth, SellEz now has a month-on-month growth rate of around 20%, give or take.

“We can share that within the first month of coming in, we are selling on average 50% of our consignors’ items,” Anders said. “We’re happy because this proves that people have good things to sell and that Malaysians are willing to start shopping more sustainably.”

“At the moment, we are getting more clothes than we can handle, which is a pleasant problem,” he added.”We’re dealing with this by creating a platform to take in more without losing efficiency.”

Comparing their business against the likes of Carousell and other online marketplace platforms, Anders said that SellEz was targeted more towards individuals who wanted the experience of selling their used clothes without doing the dirty work.

“There’s more to selling than just posting products, such as chatting with customers, payments, measurements, shipping, pricing, and more,” he said. “All of those things we take care of for the sellers.”

And on the other hand, buyers can expect to receive their purchases in great condition, and can depend on SellEz to provide the same value-added services offered by the most established online marketplaces and boutiques such as high-quality product photos, curated collections, and efficient after-sales service (returns, refunds, etc).

All in all, Anders hopes that the effort put towards their service will ultimately help them achieve their goal creating a forward-thinking Malaysian public that shops with the future in mind.

“Again, sustainability is at the very core of our business model,” he said. “We aim to give fashion pieces a longer lifetime and try to get people to shop more consciously.”

“We are proud to always put social responsibility first. We sell, we donate or we recycle, but we never throw anything in the garbage.”

Working With Hope

With the opinion that their focus on sustainability should also extend beyond the scope of business, SellEz currently also involves itself in some charitable work by working closely with Hope Worldwide Malaysia to help single mothers and underprivileged children.

“Sustainability is one of our core pillars, and our principle is that we want zero waste,” Anders explained.

“We also believe that being sustainable is about sustaining our available resources for the future generation.”

Among some of initiatives that have stemmed from their partnership with Hope Worldwide Malaysia, one of them involved collaborations with celebrities such as Amber Chia and Terrence Dass to donate their clothes for the SELLEZxHOPE campaign, where RM50,000 was successfully raised to help Hope Worldwide Malaysia’s beneficiaries.

Amber Chia donating her preloved clothes at the SELLEZxHOPE event. / Image Credit: SellEz

“Also, preloved clothes that do not meet SellEz’s guidelines for resale are also given a second life with the children and mums involved in Hope Worldwide Malaysia’s education and healthcare initiatives.”

Together For The Long-Haul

With so many goings-on for the SellEz team, Anders has learned plenty as expects to learn even more as his company continues to grow.

“The biggest challenge so far has been time management and organisation,” he said. “We need to give our consignors top notch service, manage sales, and learn how to do things better and faster every day.”

Explaining further, Anders opened up on SellEz’s willingness to continually break structures and processes in order to create an atmosphere where ideas and feedback are always welcomed and tested out.

“We believe the best ideas are born in an experimental and fun environment where our team, our users, and our partners are empowered, respected, and loved,” he said.

“The most important lesson we have learned so far is that success is built by a team.”

“Michael Jordan’s mantra, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships’ explains perfectly what we believe in.”

Ultimately, Anders is quite happy to have a team that shares the virtues of the company wholeheartedly.

“Growing a startup is not all sunshine and rainbows, but we are blessed to have a team of passionate individuals who dare to challenge themselves in the hope of helping society,” he said. “All the road bumps are worth it because we know we are doing our part in educating Malaysians to shop more sustainably and also in reducing landfill.”

“Every little action counts, and this is our contribution.”

  • You can check out pre-loved fashion pieces on SellEz’s website, or you can stay up to date with them on their Facebook page.

Feature Image Credit: SellEz

 

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