Depop & Vinted, as two of the biggest resale platforms are changing the way younger generations shop.
Depop: the game changer
Founded in 2011 as a small social network platform allowing readers of PIG magazine to buy items featured, Depop soon developed into a worldwide marketplace for second-hand clothing. The app allows users to connect with friends and role models to browse what they are selling, liking and buying, bringing a social dynamic to shopping.
This revolutionary concept has grabbed the attention of Gen Z. Overall Depop has 26 million users worldwide, including designers, collectors, casual sellers and artists. The app's popularity surged with its familiar, easy to use platform and growing fashion conscious fan base. Its become the place for wannabe creators, designers and small business entrepreneurs - with many taking their Depop businesses full time.
Depop's HUGE recent sale to Etsy, demonstrates that this way of shopping is taking over. Gen Zs’ are now taking the planet into consideration when shopping and many are converting to second hand to stop the wastage and over production seen in fast fashion.
Figure 1: Depop advert
Vinted: the wardrobe clearer
Vinted is putting itself straight up against Depop. The platform was founded in Lithuania in 2008 with the vision to show everyone ‘just how brilliant second hand can be’. They quickly expanded to 10 more countries and launched an app in 2012 which was an instant success.
Vinted, much like Depop, have successfully created a social marketplace. Across the UK, US and EU Vinted have 21 million users buying and/or selling preloved items, which is close to Depop’s community size. Although many users do have both apps, Vinted is very Europe centric - and is most popular in France.
The Vinted app makes it very easy for people just looking to sell casually rather than creating a business account, unlike Depop. Angelique Ruzicka for This Money magazine states you can potentially earn on average £150 a month from the app by keeping active and your items updated.
Figure 2: Vinted Advert
The same but different
Both marketplaces are surging in popularity worldwide. Focused on similar goals of gaining global status, being the go to for sustainable shoppers and being a cornerstone of the circular fashion economy.
There are some noticeable differences between the platforms that may sway you to choose one over the other.
When selling on Depop, they take 10% of what you earn from a sale but Vinted do not have this condition and users can sell for free. However, Vinted take a fee from the buyer for purchasing an item depending on the price.
This means Vinted incentivises sellers to list more individula items AND also more expensive items .
Why does everyone love Depop?
Depop has made the re-selling of clothing very easy through its app. They have given it the familiar look and feel of Instagram with its social feed & interaction structure. This app design means buyers & sellers can while away hours scrolling, searching & posting.
With this easy way of browsing bargain hunting is fun and many users find amazing items for unbelievable prices. Especially for Generation Z, for whom buying high priced designer items is not always an option, so people can turn to Depop to find some great bargains!
It ha become very much a social app. Allowing users to socialise and for people to meet others with similar styles and interests. There is a lot of crossover with other social platforms - with hundreds of groups & pages set up around the Depop scene.
In the beginning the first incentive to use the app was mainly to get a bit of extra money through selling your old clothes. However soon people realised how profitable the site could be and how to utilise the app to create a business. Depop is now filled with small businesses, ranging from small bedroom sellers to high street vintage sellers. Depop has proved to be a lifeline for a lot of youngsters during the Covid lockdowns, when typically they would of been looking for hospitality jobs.
One success story is the Depop shop Alerria jewellery, which produces colourful and trendy rings. Again started from home and done very well in lockdown. Jemima Firth the founder commented recently in Miss Vogue:
“I started making jewellery in my laundry room and had so many compliments about my pieces that I thought I should share them. I used Depop as a way of selling and showing my designs.”
So, if you are looking for a way of displaying and selling your very own creations Depop is perfect.
Figure 3 - Alerria jewellery post from Instagram, @alerria_
The Bad of Depop
The fee.... a lot of users try and skirt around the 10% fee. This goes against the Depop community guidelines. If you are caught offering to take payment outside of the platform you may be banned for life. If you are a buyer do avoid this as you will lose your protection and are open to be scammed.
Scamming. Like many platforms on the internet, Depop sadly does have issues with scammers. A great video on this from Alycia Thrifts:
Like many social media sites, harassment is unfortunately something that occurs on Depop as well. A recent article from the Business of Fashion by Chavie Lieber explains the harm this can have if not regulated properly.
Garcia said. “I’ve sold to minors and I bet their parents for sure don’t know what type of messaging they’re getting. And that’s really scary.”
"In interviews with nearly a dozen Depop users, BoF heard numerous reports of women being inundated with sexual messages."
The app includes a report option that could potentially end in suspension from the site for a user harassing people. Due to its likeness to Instagram there will be a risk when posting pictures of yourself as a model. However never hesitate on reporting bad behaviour. The quicker these predatory users are removed from the platform the better.
Figure 4 – Depop app explore page
The good of Vinted
We have already talked about the fact selling is completely free. The selling process is super easy too. Whilst listing an item it gives you a step-by-step guide on how to reach the most buyers using hashtags and aesthetic posts. Vinted have created their whole selling process to be easy and fun to do compared to eBay which can take a lot lot longer...
Vinted offer another feature which is swapping, allowing users to do a friendly swap of items. This opens avenues for people who do not want to spend money which can be the case for university students and teens.
Is Vinted for everyone?
Vinted includes some restrictions on what clothing category you can sell unlike Depop, which can be restrictive and turn potential users away. The app only allows you to sell women’s clothing, women’s bags, women’s beauty products, cosmetics, tech accessories, men’s clothing, children’s clothing and all types of footwear. People looking for home wear items and others not included still have to resort to Vinted’s old school competitor eBay.
Vinted are very popular in the EU as they originated from there and have catered perfectly to that market. Within the US and UK markets the app is still emerging - meaning that if you are a UK seller it may be tougher to make a sale than Depop.
With similar ethics and customer bases both apps come head-to-head within the re-sale market. From first glance Vinted have taken a more original shopping approach layout to Depop, who have created more of a social network. Depop having this social network style app to display items makes it easy and familiar for Gen Z to browse. Vinted on the other hand have a much more efficient search engine making it easier to look up a specific item.
Figure 6 – Vinted rating on Google apps
Figure 7 – Depop app rating on Google Apps
With a lot of friends using both apps, I conducted some market research of my with a poll on Instagram. The main age range of followers replied is 18-24 giving us a look into the target markets opinion. I asked the question:
"Who is your favourite re sale app Depop or Vinted?."
Out of 184 votes, Vinted only got 17 and Depop came in with the majority with 167 votes.
Figure 8 – Instagram poll ‘what’s your favourite, Depop or Vinted?’
What’s best for you?
There’s always the big question which app will work best for me? Well, it all depends on how and what you are selling.
Depop is very business orientated now and a lot of work goes into selling and building a ‘Depop store’. However it’s a very fun accessible app to use, especially if you love a bit scrolling. If you are an aspiring designer, entrepreneur or someone who just wants to show off their creativeness, Depop is amazing in reaching many other users and facilitating your small business. Whats becoming clear is trends are starting to build from Depop - it's driving changes in fashion.
If you are looking for a more chilled approach and just want to sell a few things from your wardrobe Vinted may be more suited to you. As it is not as business driven as Depop and does not charge the sellers a fee for selling. So, if you have an old prom dress you need to get rid of and do not want to lose money from a fee, Vinted is the best option.
However just from the number of users and the dominance in the UK particularly, Depop appears to be the market's favourite - through its social network style of interaction and selling. For us it is the clear leader with it's ability to create & dictate the trends of the most fashion conscious.