Chances are that by now, someone you know has posted about selling clothes on their social media stories. Whether it’s your best friend or your cousin’s roommate’s ex-girlfriend, I know that I’ve scrolled through so many pictures of other people’s clothes. I love thrifting and donating my clothes, but I never thought that I could actually sell them to people who wanted them on my own! I had been scrolling through Depop for a few years when I finally started my own shop — here’s what I learned!
- Take stock of what you have
Your first step is figuring out what you actually want to sell. You might have a pile of clothes that have been in the bottom of your closet for ages, or maybe a bag of old shirts in your basement. Whatever it is, start putting everything together in one place! When you start to get into the swing of sorting things, it becomes easier and easier to let go of things that you don’t actually want.
- Take pictures – Modeled or Not!
Selling on Depop requires you to take pictures to show the item’s size and condition. There are lots of photo tips online, but the main goal is to take a flattering photo that portrays an accurate description of your item. You can get creative with your Depop storefront’s appearance by playing around with modeling clothes or laying out clothes with interesting backgrounds. While taking photos, it’s a great time to take measurements of your item with a simple measuring tape in order to let buyers know the item’s actual size.
- Research shipping costs and materials
The biggest challenge that prevented me from starting selling my clothes was how I was going to package, create labels, and ship items when I had no previous shipping experience. Depop has an online shipping option in the app which creates labels for you and is a great way to get started, but online services like Pirate Ship offer lower rates and for you to set your own shipping prices in the app. Packing tape and poly mailers are widely available at places like Staples, Target, or Amazon, and all you need to do is tape your package securely and attach the printed label — it is way less intimidating than it seems!
It can be helpful to save packaging from items you’ve received in the mail to recycle packaging, but just make sure the material doesn’t have too much wear or any tears. Depending on which shipping provider you use (Pirate Ship automatically suggests the cheapest one based on package size and destination), you drop your package off at the post office or a shipping store, grab a receipt, and add the tracking number you receive to the shipping information on Depop!
- Set your prices and policies
One of my earliest mistakes was not fully understanding how to set shipping and item prices, and I ended up losing money on sales (oops) where the shipping price was more than I was selling the item for. If you use in-app shipping, the cost is determined for you, meaning you can make the buyer pay that shipping price or offer free shipping, meaning the shipping price is deducted from the item’s revenue. If using out-of-app shipping, you can set a custom shipping price (for example, $5 flat rate shipping even though the real cost can be more or less), or offer free shipping, meaning you build the shipping cost into your item’s selling price.
Figure out whichever method works best for you and your shop, and remember that Depop and Paypal (if used for the sale) both also take their own fees from the sale. Putting a policy in place about refunds and returns can also protect you from future issues and disputes, but keeping open communication with your customers is the best way to keep everyone happy.
- Build your store!
Besides the opportunity to get rid of stuff and make money, the creative aspect of Depop has been so fun. You can arrange your items by color, style, or theme using the Depop website seller page and creating eye-catching arrangements and themes. Depop makes it easy to build your own store and make unique design choices!
For me, Depop has been more about feeling good by giving my clothes a new and loving home rather than maximizing my profits. You can invest as much or as little time as you want into your store depending on what works for you. I hope that some of these tips make getting started a little less overwhelming — my Depop store is @kscoolclothes if you ever need any tips or inspiration!