My Depop Experience: Starting a Side Hustle

Way back at the end of last summer, I decided I wanted to start a side hustle to bring in some extra cash since I knew my hectic academic schedule wouldn’t allow time for me to work. So, I planned to start an online shop on Depop. Well, it’s now at the end of the spring semester, and I’m just now getting it off of the ground. C’est la vie, am I right? I didn’t think the planning process would be as hard as it’s been, but that’s probably just because I’m a perfectionist. Also, I’ve found a deep interest in styling and photography that I didn’t know I had, and a level of business-savvy that I hope will help me in the future. Here’s the steps I’ve taken to get everything set up that could help you get your own venture started!

Step 1: Shop identity

Before you start selling, you have to figure out who you are as a business and what niche interests and styles you can market. What are you interested in selling? What would be feasible, including factoring in shipping, cost of your stock, plausible store prices, etc.? Are you crafty and want to sell your own creations? Look at other shops for some inspiration. To be honest, as a beginner seller it's intimidating to see the big sellers and the quality of their work, but I truly believe in my shop identity, and I know that I'll get better with practice. Personally, I thrift unique and vintage clothing and curate my collection that way. Not only have I learned a lot about vintage clothing and how to spot quality, but I've seen my personal style evolve as a result. (And I've found some amazing pieces for myself, so that's a bonus.)

Step 2: Planning

Make yourself a system. Keep track of what stock you have, what the measurements are of each item, what you paid for it, and what price you think it could catch depending on its condition, rarity, and the selling price of similar items. It’s boring, I know, but it will really help you in the future and help you if you run into any issues with buyers. Making a space for taking product photos is also important for creating visual consistency and making your items more attractive. Since I’m selling clothing that I curate from thrifting, I get very descriptive in my notes and make sure I do thorough research on every item. If I can’t say with certainty that an item is vintage, I don’t list it as such. Also, comparative pricing is important. You have to be able to justify your prices for discerning buyers, and if you price too high you likely won’t make any sales.

 

Step 3: Branding

Here’s the fun part. To really stand out, you have to create a personal brand for your shop. Even though it’s just you, you should still treat it like a business. What can you do to make yourself different? What are some of the things that the brands you really like do? Is it their aesthetic, their captions, or the actual personality of the creators? Do you want to lean more street style, bohemian chic, or feminine and flowy? I’ve used Canva to help me create a shop logo, and I’ve actually started a blog and an Instagram account to help me generate interest in my shop and also create more visibility for my blog.

Step 4: Make Things Happen

You have this pile of planning and aspirations, so now it’s time to get down to business. Take product pictures, organize your digital files, and get ready for launch. Remember that it’s all a learning process and that if you want to give yourself the best chance of success as possible, it’s going to take a lot of work. At the moment I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to cement my Depop shop as a side hustle, but if it doesn’t work out I’ll figure out what went wrong and try again or move on to other ventures. At the end of the day, it’s about learning a new skill and having fun while doing it. For inspiration and to see how I run my shop, you can find the link here. Good luck, and happy selling!

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