Are you the kind of person who walks out of a thrift store with a vintage Dior blouse and sequined disco pants?
First of all, I’m jealous. Second, you need to check out Depop.
The secondhand fashion app is the perfect place to sell vintage finds and handmade goods at a profit. Here’s how to make the most of this platform, courtesy of some of the app’s top sellers.
What Is Depop?
Depop is a cross between Instagram and eBay. Sellers post items, customers scroll through them, and when something catches their fancy — voila, a sale!
Eric Jevsevar is a top seller who makes a full-time income from Depop. On his shop, Sauce Freely, you can find a $500 pair of Dolce and Gabbana cargo pants, a $10 iridescent baseball cap, and an ugly sweater for $28.50, along with dozens of other items curated from thrift stores.
Depop has more than just thrift store finds, though. Plenty of people sell handmade crafts on Depop. America Calloway started her shop, American Metal, when her modeling gigs dried up due to COVID-19. Five months later, she’s a verified seller making a full-time income from jewelry sales on the app.
After setting up shop, Calloway showed a friend how to use Depop. “She was like, ‘I don’t know why I didn’t do this before. It was so easy.’”
How to Sell on Depop
Calloway and Jevsevar shared their best advice for anyone who wants to set up a successful Depop shop. Here’s what they told us.
1. Pay Attention to What Successful Sellers Do
The first thing you’ll see after signing up is the “Top Picks” page. Those are listings Depop staff have chosen to feature. You should click through them to see examples of successful posts.
You’ll notice a few things right off the bat:
Good photos are a must. “As long as you’ve got good photos — you know, in the light, you model it, things like that — you’ll always do well,” Jevsevar said.
Pay attention to trends. “Skinny jeans were popular like two years ago and now everyone wants baggy pants,” Jevsevar said. “Certain things tend to do [better] than others at certain times.”
What’s hot right now, other than baggy jeans? Sweater vests, Y2K fashion and patchwork, for starters. But trends change, so it’s best to pay attention and adjust inventory accordingly.
Learn the lingo. Depop, like other online communities, has its own language. Here’s a selected glossary.
- NWT: New With Tags
Example: “This jacket is totally pristine and NWT!”
- Swap/Trade: Trading items instead of purchasing
Example: Open to swaps!
- ISO: I’m seeking out.
Example: ISO Brandy Melville crop tops
2. Set Up Your Shop
Whether you’re a thrift curator, upcycler, or craft-maker, you’ll want to keep a few fundamentals in mind when you set up your Depop shop.
Quality photos are key to succeeding on Depop. Depop gives users four photo slots for each item. Using all four slots increases the chance of making a sale by 20%, according to Depop’s seller handbook.
Having a model wear the clothes you’re trying to sell is your best option, but if you can’t, do a flat lay, not a hanger shot. According to Depop, this could increase the chance of making a sale by 60%.
Good product descriptions are also important. Use hashtags to show up in searches. Don’t try to cheat the system and tag popular brands on a random item. It won’t show up in searches or on the Explore page.
Beyond that, be clear, concise and accurate. Honesty is always the best policy!
Once you’ve got your shop set up, it’s time to spread the word.
3. Start Networking
For any business, marketing is crucial, and running a successful Depop shop is no different.
Follow potential customers. When Calloway was starting out, she found a clever way to get customers.
“If someone posted a pearl necklace, I’d go … see who liked it,” she said. “These customers are interested in pearl necklaces. So I’m going to go and follow them so then maybe they can see my jewelry and see if they like it or not.”
That helped her hit the 1,000-follower mark.
Be nice. When you make a sale, send a handwritten note with the package to make the buyer feel appreciated. A regular customer is worth their weight in gold!
Use social media. Sharing your shop in an Instagram Story with the hashtag #Depop can boost searches for your profile by 11%, according to Depop’s seller handbook. YouTube and Twitter are also good places to promote your Depop store.
It takes time to build up a following. In the meantime, make sure you’re staying in the green.
4. Run the Numbers — and Keep an Eye on Them
Depop can be pretty fun, as it’s easy to spend hours scrolling through it without selling a thing.
But if you want a side hustle instead of a time suck, you’ll need to pay attention to how much time, effort and money you’re spending.
Consider the cost of your items. If you’re curating thrifted finds, how much did you spend at Goodwill? If you’re selling handmade items, how much did you spend on materials? And for any seller, time is money, so don’t forget to include that in your accounting.
You’ll also need to think about fees. Depop charges a 10% flat fee on each item. If you use PayPal to receive payments, that’ll run you an additional 2.9% + $.20 per transaction.
Compared to other resale sites, like Poshmark and Etsy, that’s a bargain, Calloway said. “Depop always takes less [in] fees than everyone else.”
Want to see more about how Depop and Poshmark stack up against each other? Check out our post comparing Depop vs. Poshmark.
Depop also sells convenient shipping labels in-app. They cost between $5 to $15, though you’re free to use other shipping services.
The best way to make sure you’re covering all of these hidden costs? Raise your prices!
If Jevsevar could go back in time, he’d tell himself one thing: “Don’t undersell myself.”
For top sellers who make a full-time income from Depop, it’s a dream come true. “I have a whole jewelry room now and it’s been amazing,” says Calloway. “It feels great. I work for myself, and that’s what I always wanted,” says Jevsevar.
Not everyone can be a top seller, though.
The best way to find out if Depop is for you is simple: try it! Just make sure you track your time and money along the way.
Ciara Ainsley McLaren is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.