Depop is giving young people a new way of making money on the side (Image Source: TechCrunch)
By Meika Bottrill | @meikabottrill
If, like me, you have been living under a rock for the past eight years, you may have only just heard of Depop, a website that combines platforms like eBay and Instagram, allowing users to create their own businesses.
But Depop is not a new sensation.
Since 2011, the website has been providing users with a thrift shop type platform that allows them to sell their clothes, develop businesses and create connections with their consumers.
Depop attracts a younger audience who create a profile mimicking Instagram’s layout in order to sell vintage clothes—such as wide-legged jeans, sportswear and halter necks—at very reasonable prices.
Users can like photos, haggle negotiated prices and follow each other (think Instagram minus the celebrity-endorsed sponsorship photos).
It’s nothing we haven’t seen before on Instagram, but what makes the buzzing website stand out from other fashion sites is its personalisation.
Like most social media platforms, users who develop their profiles with aesthetically pleasing photos accompanied by descriptions of the clothes, prices and hashtags make more money.
It is also essential for users to keep on top of fashion trends in order to make their profiles stay relevant and attractive.
Jessie Heath currently studies a Bachelor of Contemporary Art at the University of South Australia and runs a part-time business on Depop in her spare time.
What started as selling a few unused items in her wardrobe slowly transformed into an online business.
“I watch a lot of YouTube, and Depop videos kept getting recommend to me, [so] being curious I watched one, and the idea of making money from selling my old clothes in my bedroom was amazing to me,” Ms Heath said.
“I only started taking my Depop page seriously about three months ago, before then I was rarely updating my page and was pretty bad at replying to messages—I just didn’t see it as a potential business opportunity.
“After taking it more seriously and updating my page daily, I saw a huge growth in followers and sales.
“I remember hearing someone say in a YouTube video ‘what you put into Depop is what you get out of it’—so far this has proven to be true.
“I actually hit my end of year goal within two months after putting just that little bit more effort in.”
While she currently sources her items from thrift stores and wholesale websites, Ms Heath hopes to apply the skills she has learnt at university to stock handmade items in the future.
In order to make money, Depop takes 10 per cent of your profit—a sacrifice most users are willing to make.
“Considering how easy it is for potential customers to find my shop [on Depop], I don’t mind at all, it is much easier than starting from scratch,” Ms Heath said.
Another platform similar to Depop that has grown progressively more popular is the Facebook page Adelaide Clothes.
Adelaide Clothes is set up in the typical buy, swap, sell nature, and targets a younger demographic.
Users post photos from clothing stores in their size, asking if anyone has the piece they are after.
The outcome is consumers buying a dress, a jacket, a skirt or a pair of shoes cheaper than its retail price from someone else’s closet.
In a world that is becoming increasingly more conscious of where our clothing comes from and the impact of fast fashion, sites such as Depop and Adelaide Clothes are set up to succeed.
So next time you need a new dress for that dreaded 21st coming up, have a quick look at Depop or Adelaide Clothes.
As the old saying goes: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.