Inspired by a movie, a Malaysian decided to open an online store selling people's previously loved items from their exes to help them move on
Starting Kedai Pernah Sayang in October 2020, 27-year-old engineer Hazim Azaman shared that he was inspired by the Netflix movie Toko Barang Mantan.
The Indonesian romantic comedy is about a pawnshop owner who buys and sells mementos of broken relationships, and Hazim thought it was a great business idea.
"I thought that someone should make it real, so I took up the challenge," he said, sharing the reason behind why he was running the one and only "ridiculous shop selling exes stuff" in Malaysia.
It has proven to be a good idea so far.
Hazim's store has taken off – gaining over 20,000 followers in less than four months since he started the Instagram page.
Having never been in a relationship himself, Hazim said he started off asking for help from his younger sister who had her ex's things lying around and gathering dust at home.
By thoughtfully writing the back story of her break-up along with the items, and some luck, he managed to sell the first four items within a week and gave her the money back.
The business has since grown. The store's Instagram feed now features expensive watches and branded handbags, all with backstories of heartbreak and broken relationships.
Some of the sellers would even rate their hate towards their exes on a scale of zero to 10.
"As if you were a doctor," read a caption for a brand new Apple watch, while the caption for a pair of Vans sneakers said: "Thanks for cheating."
One of the prerequisites to list an item on Kedai Pernah Sayang is that the item must have been a gift or a personal belonging of an ex-lover
Hazim told SAYS that he has a day job as an engineer, so he would personally go through seller requests after work to make sure the stories were genuine.
He has full-time staff to manage the store now. Nonetheless, he still goes through hundreds of the heart-aching stories every day that come along with the items he sells.
"Women getting beaten up, lying men, friends stealing boyfriends, broken engagements, divorces, and gambling addicts," he gave examples.
When asked what was the most common reason for break-ups he has seen so far, Hazim answered, "Cheating. It happens every day. I used to believe that men are more likely to cheat, but since I started Kedai Pernah Sayang, the statistic is almost the same."
Despite the angry and vengeful-reading headings given to the items, the stories shared by his clients are mostly sad
According to Hazim, there is one story that he will remember for a lifetime, and that was when a man came to him to sell his white baju Melayu.
"It was his baju nikah on the day that was supposed to be his solemnisation day, but his ceremony got cancelled last minute because his fiancee's parents changed their mind," he shared with SAYS.
"He even sent me the photos of his invitation cards."
"I will forever remember this story because no matter how hard you love someone, they will leave you eventually. Only time will tell," he remarked.
Not just a platform to buy and sell things, Hazim wanted people to know that Kedai Pernah Sayang is also a supportive community for those going through a difficult time
"Most of my shop's followers have felt the pain of leaving a relationship before. We are a family and we will move on together," he said.
He shared that many of the Instagram account's followers often give advice and share their own experiences when he shares a new item.
"I want to help people to move on, I know it's not easy going through a break-up. But if we live in a society that can help each other, we can get through it," he added.
"So, at Kedai Pernah Sayang, even though you have been hurt, at least this is a place you get a chance to make someone else happy."
A woman recently went viral after divorcing an abusive partner and showcasing her celebration on social media: