Beginner’s guide to Depop

What is Depop?

Depop is a social app on which users can buy and sell clothing. Much like eBay or DoneDeal, Depop allows users to advertise their unwanted things to potential customers worldwide. The appeal of the app lies in its simplicity: items are easy to find and accounts are linked to Paypal, allowing for quick and easy transactions. The app’s layout is similar to that of Instagram, with users displaying the items they wish to sell on their profile.

There seems to be a common misconception that Depop is only for teenage girls looking for bargains from Urban Outfitters and Brandy Melville. There’s a huge market for that, sure, but there really is something for everyone on the app. Depop is advertised as a second-hand clothing app – and you can find clothing for anyone, really. What you can also find is thousands of other items you had planned to buy brand new: bags, books, jewellery, gym equipment and more. There are bikes, scooters, blood pressure monitors. Last week I found a Kindle for £15. 

There is so much clothing in the world right now, I really don’t believe there is a need for us to always buy new items. The ability to immediately find what we are looking for through ASOS filters is a huge privilege, and while convenient, it’s not entirely necessary. With a little patience we can find a more unique, second-hand, and oftentimes a better quality item. In my opinion, the search is more rewarding this way, anyway.

If you’d like to read more about fast fashion, check out our article on it here.

Tips for selling:

  • The first step in selling an item is taking pictures of it. Setting up your pictures against a plain background and in good lighting can easily make them look professional. Natural lighting is the best kind, so take your photos in the daytime in front of a window, rather than in the yellow glare of indoor lights at nighttime.
  • If you can, and if you’re comfortable with it, include at least one picture of yourself wearing the item. You can crop out your face if you wish, but seeing the item on an actual body (rather than on a hanger) will give the customer a good idea of how it sits.
  • Be reasonable with your prices. Consider the item’s quality, and how many times it’s been worn. While you don’t want to overcharge people, you want to charge high enough that it’s worth your time – whatever that means to you. 
  • If you’re shipping with An Post, most hoodies, jumpers and trousers will cost between €6 and €9, depending on how heavy they are. Lighter items will be less expensive. Generally, customers don’t like to pay a lot for shipping, so keep that in mind while pricing your item. I usually charge no more for €5 for shipping, even though I know it’ll cost me more in the post office. You can see An Post’s postal rates here.
  • Wash and iron items before sending them on!

Tips for buying:

  • Take your time. When you see an item that was posted 20 minutes ago and already has a bunch of likes, it might be tempting to buy it straight away before anyone else can. This is the fast fashion mindset we have been conditioned into by retailers like Missguided and PrettyLittleThing. They make discounts available for only limited amounts of time, forcing us to act spontaneously and not properly consider our purchases. If an item sells out quickly, it’s okay! Something else will show up eventually.
  • If you’re unsure of the way an item looks or its colours, feel free to message the seller with questions, or to ask for more pictures.

Depop pros:

  • Depop users are very friendly! Alarmingly friendly, even; possibly motivated by fear of bad reviews. It’s likely your messages will be full of x’s, love-hearts, and smiley face emojis.
  • Depop allows for sustainability during coronavirus. A lot of people have turned to online shopping during lockdown – what else is there to do? Depop allows for a fun, sustainable alternative to browsing other retailers. 

Depop cons:

  • The layout is a little confusing. Anyone who uses Instagram will find profile pages easy to navigate, but difficulty lies in discovering new items. There’s a bunch of different avenues to browse and explore for new items, which can be overwhelming. 
  • For all the hassle you’ve gone to, you really don’t make that much money. Postage and packaging is fairly expensive, and both Depop and Paypal charge fees on top of that. While Depop is a nice way to make some extra cash, for most people it’s not a reliable source of income.

Depop isn’t necessarily a solution to fast fashion. It’s certainly a lesson in patience and recognizing consumer demand, but the fast fashion crisis requires far more than considered consumption – it demands upheaval in consumer mindset. That upheaval is a long way off though, so for now – Depop is a fun alternative to buying brand new!

Marieke Oggel
Marieke Oggel

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