You may have heard of a wonderful app called Depop. If you haven’t, have you been living under a rock? Download it from the app store now. The app, brainchild of Simon Beckerman (of PIG magazine and RETROSUPERFUTURE sunglasses fame), is essentially a global marketplace for creatives and thrifters alike. Imagine if Instagram and eBay had a baby, this would be it.
It’s THE platform for that wardrobe clear out, picking up that perfect party item or even selling those doodles you think are actually quite good! You can like, share, buy or sell pretty much anything. Making Depop the ideal university side hustle, for that extra cash you need to make that loan stretch.
The only thing that can sometimes be tricky, is working out how to make the most money from your stuff through the app. Which is why I’ve put together this handy guide on how to make money on Depop - 'The Top Tips for Success'. You can thank me later.
1 - Photography is key
Remember that people on Depop are literally scrolling through hundreds, if not thousands, of photos looking for that one thing they want. Make sure your photographs are clean cut and appealing.
- Natural lighting. This is everything. No one wants to see a picture of your old top bathed in yellow light, crumpled on your bed because you took it at midnight during an insomnia-crazed room clear out. It tells them you don’t care, and if you didn’t care about the picture, then why should they believe you cared for your clothes or for your customer service. Bye.
- Wear the clothes. I can’t stress this enough. It’s the only way that a potential buyer is actually going to see the fit of the piece of clothing you are trying to sell. If you’re really self conscious in front of the camera, why not enlist the help of a friend? You can take even better pictures if someone else is doing the posing for you. You should also include a few close ups of key parts of the clothes like the label or print; if they still have the tags, show that; if there a few imperfections take clear pictures of them, showing any faults stops a whole lot of possible hassle later on.
- Style the outfit. If you want to become successful on Depop, you have to make all your pictures a styled mini shoot. If people see how well a top goes with a certain colour or jean fit, they are more likely to think they can pull it off, and therefore buy it. Extra tip, try and style things that you are selling together. For instance, if you’re desperately trying to get rid of a pair of jeans, wear them in all the pictures where you’re selling a t-shirt, and show buyers how well those items go together. You never know, you could get a bundle deal going.
- Wherever possible, use a pale or white background for your photos. A really easy way to do this is to go into literally any arts and crafts shop and pick up some large pieces of white board/card. Or mix it up and get a few different pieces of pastel shaded card. Go wild. Whatever you do, you’ve just created an easy backdrop for anything you’re selling, or a background for a flat lay.
2 - #hashtageverything
Pretty self-explanatory to be honest. Just hashtag everything about your listing you can possibly think of, and more. People search for what they want so use tags like: Y2K / crop / 90s / nineties / oversized / corduroy / black... You get my point.
3 - Description
Apart from your photo, this is the only information a buyer has about your product. You want to tell them as much as possible about it and make them want to buy it. Your description is so important, it’s how people are going to find you and your shop so pay attention to the details. Use keywords that you would use to search for the same item. If you’re selling a black North Face longline puffer jacket, don’t just list it as a long black coat…
It can be useful for some people to make a little template to follow for every item they list:
- Start with something along the lines of a ‘title’ in capital letters and then a brief description of what it is, how it fits, what condition it’s in etc.
- Then you should include the sizing and measurements. These go such a long way and avoid someone losing interest because they can’t be bothered to message you for the sizing. Depop does ask you to include a size when you list the item, but here is where you can expand a little more, for example saying that the label says M but it won’t be a loose fit unless you’re a S.
- Finish with your tags, this is what is going to make your item visible on search results, so go mad (see my above point).
It’s always a nice touch to add a little styling suggestion in your description as well. Spin a little story about the ideal event to wear it to or what to wear it with. Telling someone how to make a piece work is only going to make them want it more.
4 - Follow everyone
If you want to make some real money from Depop, you need to create a following. People are more likely to buy from someone who has a good following and reviews, it gives the impression you are sought after and trustworthy.
There are a couple of really simple ways of doing this. When you set up on Depop, spend some time scouting out some shops and people whose aesthetic/clothing you like and follow them. The second way is to follow back everyone who follows you. Depop is a creative community and you need to show you’re also here to support others. Remember this one is a bit of a gradual process though, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t have 25k followers within the first week.
5- Get in touch
Depop will notify you if someone has liked or saved one of the items you have up for sale. This is a great opportunity to make a sale. Message the buyer saying that you’ve seen they are interested in an item and if they need any more information you are happy to help. Also, if you’re open to doing swaps or bundles, this is a great way to let them know. Always send friendly, casual messages - even if they don’t reply, you haven’t lost anything. Although it may seem really awkward or cringe at first, if you get into the habit of doing this you are sure to sell more clothes.
Also don’t be scared to get your customers to leave a little review after they have bought something from you. Depop has a five star rating system - the more reviews you can get, the more legit you seem.
6- Be responsive/active
When someone messages you, they want a reply. This may seem obvious but it is so easy to forget. Despite what our parents think, we are not glued to our phones 24/7, and I’m not suggesting that you should be. But making sure your customers get a quick and friendly response is essential. Having a quick conversation with your buyer builds trust and will make them more likely to buy from you, as well as come back to you in the future. Plus it costs you nothing, so do it.
Another big part of Depop is being active. They will deactivate your account if you don’t do anything on the app for a certain amount of time. A really easy way of doing this is simply to keep uploading your clothes to sell. Obviously, if you don’t have any more clothes you’re in a bother. Here’s where I come in. A nifty trick is to update one or two things in the description of something you already have listed. This refreshes it and will bring it back to the top of your page, meaning it doesn’t get lost down in the depths of all the stuff you’ve already sold. You’re welcome.
7- Honesty is everything
Let’s not forget that a lot of the stuff you’re probably going to be selling on the app is second hand. Everyone who buys on the platform understands that what they buy might be pre-loved, or vintage, or charity shop couture. However, what they will not understand is if they receive something stained, ripped, with holes or broken. If there is any type of defect on your item, make sure this is clear from your description and pictures. Then they can make their own informed decision whether they would still like to buy it, most people don’t mind too much. They will have paid you for a product and if you weren’t honest from the outset, they are entitled to their money back.
8 - The personal touch
A personal touch is especially useful if you want to make your Depop account into a little shop. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but if someone receives their order and sees a little extra fall out it will only make them happier with you. Some easy things can be a little hand written note saying thank you or some sweets - get creative with it. I would not recommend confetti or glitter though, don’t get me wrong it’s cute and fun, but it gets everywhere. You want to make them smile, not clean up.
9 - Be good with your prices and willing to negotiate
When pricing your items, remember that Depop will be taking a 10% commission on anything that you sell. Think about whether you want to/can afford to offer free shipping. Or whether you bump up the price of your item to cover your shipping costs. Do you ship internationally? These are all things to make clear at the outset, best put in your bio at the top of your account page.
Be real with yourself and your customers. Something you had for years and have worn inside out and upside down is probably not worth the equivalent of a month’s rent. As much as you want it to. Be really fair with your pricing, and willing to negotiate on the price you have set as well. People love nothing more than to feel they got a bargain. Enjoy the bartering process.
Equally, if there is a price that you really don’t want to negotiate on, make it clear. Still be fair with the price, but write in the description that you don’t want any messages offering less. It’s fine to have a non-negotiable price for something a bit unique, or for a real find.
10 - Share your shop far and wide
No one is going to buy your stuff if they don’t know you’re selling it. It doesn’t matter if you have 50 or 500,000 followers on your social media accounts, that’s the first place you should be shouting about yourself. Post on your story if you’ve just listed a load of new items, or if you’re offering a discount on certain items.
Depop have a nifty tool to help you on the app. Go to your profile and just next to your followers you should see this:
All you have to do is click on the ‘Share shop’ button and share to your Instagram story. Your Depop account also has its own specific link which you can post to Facebook or Twitter or Myspace etc.
Don’t forget that Depop isn’t just for clothes. You can sell pretty much anything on this wonderful platform, so if you have a little side hustle creating hand drawn birthday cards or ceramic boob pins, set something up! The app is your oyster.
Written by: Joan Crowley