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My Top Tips for Finding Steals on Depop

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

The global secondhand clothing market is expected to soon grow at three times the rate of the broader global apparel market, according to a report by ThredUp. As public awareness of the social and environmental costs of fast fashion has increased, more and more people are choosing to shop secondhand. An increase in online thrift hauls has been accompanied by the rise of buying and reselling clothing apps, with Gen Z’s favorite being Depop.

While this secondhand shopping shift has provoked debates over the ethics of the resale market, such as rising prices in thrift stores, it’s undeniable that online platforms like Depop have expanded people’s access to and selection of used clothing. They also give us the option of buying clothes outside of the trend cycle curated for us when we shop new. That being said, the Depop scammers and the app’s thousands of listed items can be intimidating, so here are four tips I’ve learned that have helped me find the steals that became staples in my closet.

Discover what vintage brands are your style

This might take a bit of time to figure out, but find what vintage brands you like. If someone buys that one cute top in your Depop likes before you, search for the brand to see if you can find anything similar. Take note of brand names when you are searching the app or even at a physical vintage or thrift store to find more pieces you love.

So far, some of my favorite brands I’ve found have been Bebe for Y2K clothes (there used to be a Bebe store at my local mall when I was little. RIP.), In Bloom by Jonquil for lingerie dresses you can make work as a top, and Betsey Johnson for fun girly pieces and accessories.

Certain brands (I’m looking at you, Custo Barcelona and Hysteric Glamour) are the most coveted among Depop fiends and are priced at sometimes hundreds of dollars for a simple printed shirt. However, you can still search for fashionable marked-up brands. Sellers will often add these brand names to their items’ descriptions when their piece is a similar style. I found the cutest green cargo mini purse for cheap by typing the brand “Diesel” in the Depop search bar.

Don’t overlook today’s brands!

My TED talk is that buying present-day brands on Depop is often a way better deal than vintage. When a Depop reseller finds someone’s 2009 tops from high school at a thrift store, they’re marked up way above their Goodwill price because this is considered a “rare” vintage item. But people aren’t going to mark up their Urban Outfitters dresses that didn’t fit them since people can get the new version in-store.

Searching for present-day brands, I’ve been able to get clothes from brands typically found at the mall heavily discounted as well as from brands that bought new would’ve been way out of my price range (all while not contributing to the fast-fashion cycle!) Half the time these clothes aren’t used at all and are simply clothes people forget to return.

Some brands I’ve succeeded in getting significantly cheaper on Depop include Aritzia, For Love & Lemons, Free People, Unif, FARM Rio, I.AM.GIA, and Brandy Melville. Since these brands are so common, up to hundreds of new pieces from each brand are posted each day. So even if there’s not the best selection today, I would encourage you to keep looking!

Get inspo from old media & period dramas

If any clothing item was previously trending enough for it to be featured on TV or in one of today’s shows set in a past era, chances are there are plenty of pieces of this trend still floating around today.

For example, after watching That ’70s Show, I became obsessed with some of Jackie’s looks that I learned were part of a larger Victorian/prairie-style revival in the 1970s. I was then able to find the brand most emblematic of this style, Gunne Sax. While I will admit the brand is high priced among vintage sellers, just having this brand name allowed me to find a lot of similar pieces of this style.

Did I buy a beautiful but totally impractical Victorian-inspired top with the neckline of Jackie Burkhart’s prom dress? Yes. Also, hear me out on Nancy’s style in Season 1 of Stranger Things (I’m coining the term “’80s coquette”). I became obsessed with her ’80s pastel sweaters and was able to find so many on Depop.

Be cautious of anything without pics tried on

As much as I love shopping secondhand on the internet, I have wasted my fair share of money in a system where you can’t try things on (or make returns). However, a common theme in my flop purchases was that they were the ones that didn’t include pictures of the piece tried on. You think you can tell what a clothing item looks like from it being lied flat, but take a second thought. More often than not, pieces look completely different when on.

It helps if the item is shown on a person or a mannequin so you can at least try to compare your measurements to theirs. Too often I’ve thought I can tell the size of something by its pictures and description, and I’ve been proven wrong about as many times as I’ve tried.

Hopefully, these tips will help you fill up those Depop likes. I hope that all of you will find the Y2K camis and vintage denim of your dreams!

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Flora is a sophomore at FSU who grew up in Houston, TX, but more recently lived in Jacksonville, FL. She is studying History and is part of a pathways program for Geographic Information Science. This is her second semester at Her Campus which she loves to write for. <3