Why to sell
Why should you start selling on online platforms like Depop? Well, because you need extra money of course!
Coming from my own personal experience, online platforms like Depop, Mercari, or eBay, make it super easy to list things that are just taking up space in your closet and get money from selling them. I sold on these websites for about 2 months this past summer, selling books, magazines, and other knick-knacks that I have an overabundance of, and I made about $800 (give or take). I didn’t even sell clothes, which is the most obvious thing to sell on Depop, which is known for its thrifty fashionista sellers, so it really shows that there is a buying audience for stuff like books, magazines, jewelry, etc.
But it’s not a walk in the park, especially if you really want to move your items super quickly. So, here are just some tips that I learned on my 2-month journey of selling online, and hopefully, you too can earn some extra pocket money.
Having clear pictures is the very first thing you need if you want to start selling. Especially on these platforms where a picture is what will draw in a buyer in the first place. You need to find a spot with good lighting, to make sure every important part of the thing you are selling can be seen easily. Center the item, have a plain background, or, if it’s clothes, buyers prefer to have them modeled on a person to get a better idea of how it fits. Have a good camera too if you can, but I personally used my regular iPhone camera.
Don’t be too artsy, make sure the buyer can easily tell what item you’re selling, but an interesting picture will be more eye-catching to buyers.
You also need to make sure you photograph any parts a buyer would want to see. For example, if a shirt has a small hole in it you should zoom in and take a clear picture of it, good enough for a buyer to see how big it is. You never want to lie, because misinforming a buyer is a first-class ticket into getting a bad review, which could hurt your future potential sales.
Follow the platform’s rules
Following the rules is a basic kindergarten lesson, but it also applies here. Read the terms and conditions, and make sure your listings follow the rules or guidelines. The last thing you want to do is get kicked off a platform because you disregarded something. One thing I know that Depop in particular hates is using more than their allowed maximum number of tags on a post. With Mercari, they don’t like people sharing their socials.
Another thing that is important is looking at the selling fee. Each platform has its own percent fee that they take out of your sale. For example, I sold a set of collector’s edition books for $300 dollars, my biggest sale, but Mercari took $40 out of my sale. So I technically only made $260. Make sure to keep that in mind when you price things.
Reupload constantly and crosspost
Cross-posting is listing an item across different selling platforms. The best way to describe it is “not putting all your eggs in one basket”. This gives you more chances of an interested buyer coming across your item. Maybe someone only checks eBay for that collector’s item, but you only posted it on Depop. You would be losing a sale since you didn’t cross-post! Just remember to unlist something on every platform as soon as it sells, so you don’t have to embarrassingly tell a buyer that you already sold it.
Reupload a listing after a week of it being published. That could mean editing and then saving the description on Depop or actually deleting and remaking a post on Mercari. This is also called “Bumping”, where your listing can be labeled as new and perhaps ends up at the top of the searching system. This, again, helps ensure buyers can see your item.
Have Discounts and Sales
This is especially important for items that you have had listed for a while and now just want to get rid of. Depop gives you the option to have items put on sale by a certain percent, and Mercari and eBay let you lower the price with a simple click.
One thing that I have personally done is a “BOGO” sale, like buy 1 get 1 50% off. This is another great way to get inventory moving.
One thing that can make or break a seller is the packaging. If an item is poorly packaged then it could make a buyer give a bad review, which hurts sales. One thing that I did is recycle old packaging from my online shopping habit and use it as bubble wrap for those fragile items. Make sure you package everything nicely, making sure it doesn’t move around much.
What I also did was include little freebies! As for my book sales, I included cute bookmarks. Stickers are also a great and small freebie to include with each purchase. You can buy these in bulk on Amazon or at other retailers. And if you want to encourage reviews, leave a note saying something like, “Thanks for buying from me! Please leave a review when you can”.
Shipping is the worst part of selling. It’s worth it in the end when you see that money hit your bank account, but then you actually have to take it to the post office.
One thing to remember: There’s no such thing as free shipping. You, the seller, will be paying for shipping if you label an item as “Free shipping”. Rather than taking it out of your own pocket, if you decide to go with this route, add the shipping fee to the regular price of the item.
Another thing to remember is that items are shipped according to their weight. Buy a scale for cheap at Walmart or Amazon and weigh the package at home, including bubble wrap and the box/envelope.
What I personally learned the hard way is that shipping is crazy expensive, so I started using this website called Pirate Ship. You have the option to create and print shipping labels for a cheaper price than buying them at the post office. This is really helpful in saving money with shipping, and it’s super useful.
I made a lot of my sales in books, as I have a personal library. But one thing about books is that they get heavy quickly. So, especially if you decide to sell media items, (books, movies, CDs) sell them under “Media mail”. It’s a cheaper, and a bit slower, alternative for shipping. Here’s a list of how much shipping would cost based on how much media items weigh.