Vendors not buying Naiise founder Dennis Tay bankruptcy story, say money woes began since 2016

Vendors express their scepticism.

Belmont Lay | April 17, 2021, 06:20 PM

Dennis Tay, founder of Singapore's home-grown retailer Naiise, said he is filing for bankruptcy after his business folded, but not everyone is buying his story that the Covid-19 pandemic did him in.

According to people who have had business dealings with Tay and Naiise over the years, their woes of not getting paid have been ongoing for years, some as far back as 2016.

Tay's Facebook post about filing for bankruptcy has also since disappeared after it was put up on April 15 and stayed up online briefly for at least a day.

Brand owners and vendors hit back

The Straits Times spoke to some of the brand owners and vendors who were owed their fair share of money.

They shared about the difficulties they faced dealing with Naiise and Tay from a few years back that had nothing to do with the current pandemic that supposedly did Naiise in.

Ong Yin Hao, co-founder of Nom Nom Plush, was owed S$15,000, but got paid more than half a year late.

He told ST he dislikes how Tay is using the pandemic to frame the failure of Naiise.

Ong revealed he stopped receiving payments from Naiise after Christmas in 2019.

Laraine Tan, co-founder of The Forest Factory, faced late payments a few months after July 2015, shortly after starting her business and is owed S$7,500.

Clearly angered by the news of Naiise folding and Tay saying he is filing for bankruptcy, Tan wrote her side of the story on Facebook on April 15.

Her post also sought to explain to laymen the dynamics of working with a platform like Naiise and how it was not possible for brand owners and vendors to not receive payment regularly or when there are sales.

She also told ST she only found out about Naiise closing down from reading online articles.

Ling Hooi Yin, artist and creator of TinyPinc Miniatures, is owed a four-figure sum.

She took to Instagram to share the “pity e-mails” she got from Tay and recorded phone calls with him promising to make payment.

Lilian Lee, founder of card game Say What With Friends, is owed RM493.80 (S$160) for products stocked at the Malaysia store.

Brand owner explain how it got to this extent

Some, such as Visakan Veerasamy, who is owed S$20,000 wrote on Facebook that it is also the brand owners and vendors who let the whole thing "get that far", despite not getting paid for years.

He also used an expletive to describe Tay.

In the comments in the post, Visakan also revealed his mindset and how he wanted things to work out eventually for good.

He wrote:

we even *paid* them to hold our stock while they owed us money on past sales. 😩💀

when the music stops suddenly everything looks incredibly stupid

Blog about Tay put up questioning his claims

A Wordpress blog, Not Naiise, The Truth About Naiise, has since been put up.

It compiled social media posts showing the purported lifestyles Tay and his wife led prior to Naiise's closure, including living in a condominium in town and various holiday trips the couple embarked on over the last few years.

It also highlighted the problems employees and vendors faced by collating Glassdoor reviews, which served as a counter narrative to the words of encouragement Tay put up in his post about filing for personal bankruptcy, but which has since been removed or hidden.

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