KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Face it, we all have a common problem well hidden in our closets. Most times, we have too many clothes stuffed in our closets from constant buying. Clearing the clutter means we not only have room for new things but it means a fresher look. What we might regard as something we don’t like anymore could be on someone else’s wish list. Enter Closet Styles, a platform by Fong Kam Ling that helps to monetise clearing up the clutter in our closets plus shop for great bargains from other people’s closets. The platform was launched in Malaysia last October and it expanded to Singapore early this year.
“Being a woman it means having a lot of clothes in my closet. I have four sisters so that means I can have access to four closets because we tend to share clothes. Closet Styles is a way to extend my closet to any woman in the region who has the same style and body type that I do,” said Fong. Closet Styles is a website as well as a mobile app that is customised and focused on women’s fashion.
From tops, dresses to accessories like shoes, bags and even cosmetics, it is a one-stop fashion destination.
“When you shop for clothes, you go to Zara instead of a department store. Closet Styles is focused on fashion and it will give you a fashion experience. It is customised to size and style. Our members are called style mates,” said Fong. Be it preloved or brand new, you can find anything you like and there are categories to choose from such as brands, types of clothing and so on. Small blogshops also sell on Closet Styles so you can choose different sizes. You can also find the Closet Styles pop-up shop at Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur.
What’s different about Closet Styles from other online marketplace is that they offer their buyers protection from scams. So you get what is actually listed, otherwise you get a full refund. Closet Styles also does not share personal information about their customers. One of the coolest things about Closet Styles is that you don’t have to worry about meeting up with strangers. A courier service will be sent to your house to collect your parcel and send it to your buyer. This is not only safe but convenient as you don’t have to step out of your house! Buyers have to pay for the delivery of the items and it is a standard rate throughout West Malaysia. Shipping is also available in East Malaysia and Singapore at a different rate.
Fong was studying and working in Singapore for 10 years before she came back to Malaysia to start Closet Styles. The broadcast media graduate enjoys talking to people so she decided to work in business development and sales. When she was in Singapore she worked with a company that helped build the Universal Studios theme park.
“Malaysia is the right market for Closet Styles because I wanted to stop the online scams. In Malaysia, scams are very common in online shopping and I wanted to provide a better shopping environment for people,” said Fong.
Closet Styles is so strict on scams that they even provide an authentication service for designer goods sold on Closet Styles for a fee. This is to ensure that people do not sell any fake items on the site.
Customers can also help report listings that give out any false information. The listings are often checked to see if it is a scam or not. If a seller sells fake products on the site, Closet Styles would delete the listing. “So far, there has been a low percentage of returns. We resolved every issue 100 per cent. 71 per cent of our customers come back to make another purchase so it’s been good,” said Fong.
If you listed an item and it hasn’t been sold for a long time, your items will be put in the featured listings for higher visibility. Sellers are also encouraged to take good photos of the products and divulge more information. Closet Styles have partnered up with celebrities and bloggers to sell their products on the site. Names like Amber Chia, BangsarBabe, Cheesie and Debbie Goh have sold their products on the site. “The celebrities set a good example by putting items that are in good condition. They open their closet so followers can shop and get actual pieces worn by them,” said Fong.
As part of their marketing campaign, Closet Styles also ran a charity campaign where proceeds from selling the celebrities’ items at a bazaar were given to charity organisations. Currently, there are about 15 bloggers and celebrities who list their closet items on Closet Styles. One of their featured bloggers is Ringo Tan, who is popularly known as Cheesie. She was one of the first bloggers to appear on Star Closet. “It was a breeze! They have a professional team who makes everything very hassle-free for me. It’s really wonderful to know that clothes that no longer suit me anymore are going to find better owners and continue to be loved,” said Cheesie about her experience with Closet Styles. Most of her clothes that she lists on Closet Styles are Japanese brands.
Currently, there are 7,000 to 8,000 items available to shop from the mobile app and their website. With 5-digits of registered members in Closet Styles, there is plenty to buy from and a lot of buyers to sell to. Style mates are typically young working adults aged 25 to 40. They are encouraged to use the mobile app because you can just snap a photo and upload it to be sold. You can also shop on the go. Fong said that there is an increase of mobile usage for online shopping. Buying and selling is such a simple process that many working women use it because they don’t have time to shop or meet up for cash on delivery. “Most of us have too many clothes that we are not utilising so why not turn it into cash?” said Fong
For beauty junkies, you can also find brand new cosmetics being sold at Closet Styles. According to Fong, Closet Styles would be a place for people to shop both local and international celebrities’ clothes. If you see someone’s outfit that you like you can shop the look on Closet Styles. There are plans to expand to other markets in the region as well.
Download the Closet Styles app now or visit the site at www.closetstyles.co