How Teens Are Making Bank on Depop
Teenagers are taking thrifting to the next level using a mobile marketplace app called Depop.
The app allows users to create storefronts for their personal items, gain followers, and exchange direct messages with other members of the community. Some of the app’s youngest users have cultivated accounts with thousands of followers by treating their shops like a full-time job, and, they claim, making full-time job cash in the process.
“As soon as I get home from school, I go straight to my little homemade stockroom and start putting together outfits and brainstorming new products,” says Carolann Bartley, who found Depop at age seventeen. “It’s an awesome stress reliever.”
While most people begin using the app to sell things they already own, they end up becoming active thrifters and reselling through Depop. Bartley, with 12,460 followers, makes $100-$200 a day. She even finds pieces at estate sales held at the former homes of celebrities.
“Two of the most interesting celebrity estate sales I’ve been to so far took place at Liberace’s former Palm Springs home and author Anne Rice’s home in Rancho Mirage,” Bartley told us. “I love estate sales because I feel like I always discover the most obscure vintage brands and quirky accessories.”
Similar to Instagram, Depop features certain users on an explore page. Getting featured is a great way for users to draw attention to their storefronts, so it’s important for them to be on the look-out for rare finds.
“The better your picture is, the more chance it will be put onto the explore page,” says Noah Carlos, a sixteen-year old Depop user. “The explore page is where the most unique items go.”
It can take Carlos up to four hours just to photograph new inventory. Most store owners on Depop model their own clothes, and part of developing an attractive online storefront is taking amazing photos.
Amaury Barberi, who started his account when he was nineteen, photographs all of his pieces against a black background. His friend has a full lighting set up and green screen frame with backdrop sheets that they use for Depop.
“I noticed that if you don’t get the background of your pics right, your whole shop can start to look kind of messy,” Barberi says. “There are also times where the background colors can be really distracting from the clothes, so I wanted something simple that would be easy on the eyes and give more attention to what I’m selling.”
Nathan Cross, 17, uses his camera’s self timer or has family members take photos of him modeling the clothes against the same background so his feed is consistent.
“My secret for running a successful Depop is keeping the pictures of the items quality and responding quickly to questions,” Cross says. “People really appreciate fast communication and are more likely to engage if you communicate quickly.”
Buyers can follow users that fit their personal aesthetic, like punk rock chic or pink and preppy. Successful shop owners do the leg work of finding quality items in a specific style and while they may not be the actual designers, it’s still important that they sell items that reflect their interests and personal style.
“When I post an item I subconsciously think to myself, ‘If this was on somebody else’s shop, would I buy it?'” Barberi says. “You don’t really know anybody else’s taste in clothes other than yourself, so if you stay true to yourself and post items that you genuinely like and would buy, other people will appreciate it and ‘vibe’ with you and purchase.”
Lastly, anyone buying items on Depop is looking for a great deal. The most successful store owners on the app are open to negotiating their prices, have flash sales, and send purchases with additional goodies. If you’re thinking about starting your own Depop store, consider offering discounts and clothing bundles to keep your customers coming back.