Updated: Jan 6
What Is Depop?
Depop is an online resale app highlighting streetwear and vintage clothing (as defined by Millenials and Gen Z; pieces from the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s). Founded in 2011, the app has become more utilized and recognized in recent years by online sellers & buyers alike. Depop’s popularity is likely a result of the unique marketplace it offers, alongside the app's design (which is similar to Instagram) and its social media aspect. Successful Depop sellers carefully curate their shop's products and post professional photos, often which consist of a model showcasing the item in an appealing, fashionable way. Many Depop sellers have reputable shops on the app which mirror qualities of popular stores like UNIF and Lazy Oaf.
How Does Depop Work?
The Depop platform encourages users to socially engage, by following your favorite shops and "liking" items on your feed. Being regularly active on Depop increases the chances of gaining a following and remaining relevant with newly posted items. You may want to go as far as observing when the app's traffic is busiest, and only post items during these times to increase exposure and chances of selling. Newly posted items appear in two places: at the top of the newsfeed of those who follow you and at the top of search results related to your description and hashtags. If you're lucky, Depop may feature your post on the Explore page (aka Home or "Things We Love"). Hey look, it's us!:
Setting Up Your Account
Setting up a Depop shop is as simple as creating a new social media profile, but you need to link a PayPal account in order to buy and sell. In addition, you’ll need to come up with a username for your store. When first starting out, and perhaps periodically, you may want to follow other shops and followers of shops that are similar to the style of your own. This may help your shop get noticed and also familiarize you with what products and presentations thrive on the app.
Listing a Product
Listing an item is similar to posting on Instagram, with the addition of details such as price, shipping cost, and appropriate hashtags to boost search results. Natural lighting against a plain background generally works well, if other resources are not available. If possible, modeling items is the best option, and often requested by buyers so they can see how the item fits. High demand items that are photographed well will get the most likes, as well as lead to more follows and sales for your shop! The more descriptive words you include in your listing, the more it will pop up in search results, and the more attention it will get. When determining what price to list your item at, you can search for similar items from other sellers to see what they sell for and notice which price ranges are too high or low. Depop gives you the option to set your own shipping rates, and as of February 19, 2020, alternatively offer five shipping classes which range from $3.50 (<4 oz) to $14 (<10 lbs).
There is now a Depop desktop listing page available, which makes it possible to list on Depop using a PC rather than your smartphone. This requires no download and is available directly on their site menu under "Sell". This was personally my only qualm with Depop before, as I prefer to list products on my computer, so I was psyched to discover the addition of this feature.
Making a Sale & Shipping Orders
When an item in your shop sells, you get notified and the funds go directly to your PayPal account. Depop automatically takes a 10% fee from the sale, as a separate transaction in PayPal. The order will appear on your shop page until marked as "shipped". If shipping on your own (vs. using a Depop shipping class), shipping labels can be created through the sales transaction on PayPal, so long as you have access to a printer and shipping supplies. The tracking info should be added to the order through the app. You should always give your buyer a friendly rating, as they have the option to rate their own experience when they receive the order. Once the transaction is complete, your PayPal balance can be transferred to your bank account, which sometimes processes as quickly as one business day.
Is Depop Safe?
YES! Depop is just as safe, if not safer, than other alternative resale methods. PayPal is the sole payment method used on the app and is often a preferred payment type across other resale sites, as they offer buyer/seller protection. Tracking numbers on orders will protect sellers from most shipping misunderstandings, and PayPal protects the bank and credit card information of buyers and sellers. The only time personal information is exchanged is within a sale transaction, in which the user's name, address, and email address are shared between buyer and seller.
Depop Vs. Other Resale Apps
In June of 2019, TechCrunch released an article regarding Depop's growth, stating "this rapid uptake and strong usage of the service has driven it to 13 million users, revenue growth of 100% year-on-year for the past few years." Apps like Poshmark are currently more widely known and used than Depop, therefore it may offer a larger selection of items and cheaper deals. According to an article about Poshmark on The Verge in July of 2019, the Poshmark community is "made up of 50 million users, 5 million of whom are sellers." However, this is why Depop may a better platform for some sellers. Since Depop has both fewer sellers and users than Poshmark, items are more likely to seem rare, and therefore potentially sell faster. Even though it may not yet be as common as Poshmark or other resale apps, it is growing quickly, and with a targeted crowd of Millennials and Generation Z seeking unique vintage and streetwear styles. Poshmark currently takes a 20% selling fee (compared to 10% on Depop) and charges the buyer a flat rate of $7.11 for shipping on all items. Poshmark also has a “Make an offer” feature, which cannot be removed from listings. These two apps mainly focus on clothing and accessories, whereas other resale apps (eBay, Etsy, Mercari, etc.) offer a less-targeted, wide range of products.
If I were regularly using these apps to shop instead of sell, Depop would be my favorite platform to do so. Depop leans towards a certain fashion niche, which may either attract or deflect users. When determining if Depop is right for you, it really comes down to what you’re buying or selling and how you prefer to interact on these apps. Explore Depop to get a feel for what it’s like and how it works, then post your first item! You could end up making some extra cash and might even have fun doing it. What have you got to lose?
If you love vintage clothes and/or streetwear, check out our online store, Thread On Arrival, and follow us to keep up with new posts, items, and sales! ☺
Fashion blog of Thread On Arrival, highlighting vintage clothing & thrifted streetwear in the latest news, tips and how-tos. Our store specializes in original & re-worked pre-loved women's & men's secondhand clothes, shoes and accessories from the 1970s, 80s, 90s & early 2000s.