When you end a relationship on bad terms, any gift you’ve gotten from your ex-significant other may seem tempting to destroy or trash.
While that could provide satisfaction and an outlet for anger, Hazim Azaman had a better idea: why not make some money out of the items instead?
The idea struck him when he was watching an Indonesian movie, Toko Barang Mantan, a shop that sells pre-loved items of people who want to move on from exes.
Halfway through the movie, Hazim thought that he should create a real-life version of this shop, which is why we have Kedai Pernah Sayang today.
Started By Selling His Sister’s Ex-Boyfriend’s Items
When Hazim created the Instagram account, the first items he sold were his sister’s ex-boyfriend’s stuff, which included a Polaroid camera, a laptop, and a coffee mug.
Hazim’s shop got its initial traction through someone popular on Twitter who shared the page, when the online shop started getting more attention and things to sell.
How Kedai Pernah Sayang differs from the shop in the movie is that Toko Barang Mantan buys the items from the seller first, then sells them in their store.
But Hazim’s shop works together with the seller to first get their stuff on their Instagram page, and receives commissions from the profits once the product has been sold.
So far, Kedai Pernah Sayang is only run by Hazim and his business partner, Amel. Hazim has a full-time day job and focuses on the business at night.
Now, their working hours are 6PM to 2AM because Hazim doesn’t just sell these pre-loved items, but actually spends time talking to the sellers to learn the items’ backstories.
From Shoes To Microwaves
On their Instagram page, you’ll notice most of these items are common gifts from lovers like shoes, bags, jewellery, perfume, etc. This is because 72% of his customers are women between 20-30 years old who are mostly Malay.
Some products would appear more frequently than others once one person starts selling them. For instance, after someone sold a Polaroid through Hazim’s shop, more people started approaching him to sell their ex’s Polaroids as well.
Whenever Hazim posts up an item to sell, he’ll sometimes add a big catchy label in the picture that either describes the person’s anger or the reason for their breakup, like “kau bau busuk”, “otak dekat mana”, “ex paling pemurah”, “terima kasih curang”, and so forth.
Most of his sellers have experienced getting cheated on, which they shared in their stories with him.
One of the things Hazim didn’t proceed with selling was a pair of lingerie, which he felt might raise hygiene concerns among his followers.
“However, I’d honestly be open to selling anything kinky on our platform, because these are real things from real people in our society. If we decide to do it, I’d like to organise one day where we sell only kinky items on our platform,” he shared.
Common items aside though, Hazim has also been approached with some less conventional gifts like a microwave, bike helmet, and even a cat.
He sold the first two, but chose to just put the cat up for adoption, as the woman who owned it with her ex had to move somewhere else and couldn’t take the cat with her.
When deciding on the pricing, Hazim encourages his clients to sell these items at a very low price, because they’re not going to use them anyway and they would go to waste.
“Moreover, it’s a pandemic. People don’t have that much money, so it makes sense to price your unwanted pre-loved items for as low as possible,” Hazim told Vulcan Post.
Getting Over The Challenges Of Running The Biz
Being an online store and the middlemen, Hazim and Amel have to first run quality control through pictures that the clients send. If the items actually look good enough to resell, they’ll post them on their Instagram page.
If a buyer is interested in the item, they’ll have to pay upfront to Kedai Pernah Sayang. Hazim will then hold the money until they’ve received the product in good condition, then split the profits between Kedai Pernah Sayang and the seller.
If the customers aren’t happy with the quality of the products, Hazim will return the money to the buyer and the items back to the seller.
One of the main challenges with running Kedai Pernah Sayang is actually the aforementioned late working hours.
“People are more vulnerable at midnight, so they usually prefer sharing their heartbreak stories at times like these. So, Amel and I always have to sleep late all the time to listen to their stories,” Hazim said.
Another challenge is the uncertainty of which pre-loved items are actually from an ex, or just the seller’s item that they’d like to get rid of. Hazim uses his intuition to filter these.
“Sometimes our clients get angry at us for not posting their products, mostly for those who want to sell us clothes. Usually for clothes, it’s very hard to determine it’s actually from your ex or just yours. People can make up stories about it being from their exes, but are they really true?” he explained.
Hence, for any clothing item, Hazim will make it clear from the start that they’ll only take dresses or engagement and marriage clothing items.
Expanding The Same Concept To More Stores
Pasar Pernah Sayang sells pre-loved items too with a short description of the story behind selling the items, while Karya Pernah Sayang serves as a platform for local artists to sell their artwork.
On Bauex, he shares poetry from Kedai Pernah Sayang’s fans and sells merchandise, an air freshener card for your car or other spaces.
As of now, Hazim is working on making a cafe for Kedai Pernah Sayang where customers can enjoy a cup of coffee while checking out people’s pre-loved gifts from exes.
- You can learn more about Kedai Pernah Sayang here.
- You can read more startups we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Hazim Azaman, founder of Kedai Pernah Sayang