updated 21 Mar 2012, 05:23
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Mon, Mar 19, 2012
The Business Times
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Trove in the mailbox
by Debbie Yong

Vanity Trove

At $28, Vanity Trove clearly clocks in as the priciest of the three subscription services available locally.

But the extra cost is clearly visible in an effort made to present a more upmarket package, such as in the drawer-like packaging made of thick cardboard and its potpourri-filled interior.

This month's packages, or "troves" as proprietor Douglas Gan calls them, come in several variants.

They include an exclusive box for newly launched skincare label Astalift, created by Japanese film manufacturers Fujifilm, and a mixed bag of products including a three-part Dior Snow whitening regime, a foundation make-up trial set from Candydoll, a lip-and-cheek gloss from Princess Pinki, a 5ml sample of Ferragamo pour Femme perfume and an eyelash kit from Starlash.

Aside from Dior Snow and Astalift, the other items and their packaging seemed like products you could find in a regular pharmacy or beauty store - nothing show-stopping enough to justify the price tag, which is almost double that of its competitors.

Vanity Trove also does not currently have an online store for those who would like to purchase full-size products, but clueless males looking for an ideal present for his female partner should take note.

After receiving several orders from companies for their female employees' birthdays, maternity celebrations and International Women's Day, Mr Gan and his team are currently setting up a system to keep track of their members' birthdays, which employers can then tap into to send them timely gifts.

Self-called"serial entrepreneur", Mr Gan, whose location-based information services start-up, ShowNearby, was acquired by the Global Yellow Pages for $3.5 million in 2010, shares:

"One time a customer wanted us to include a Tiffany necklace he bought for his partner in our box. I had to hand-deliver the box myself. It was my most stressful delivery."

This article was first published in The Business Times.



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