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Should You Use Depop, Gen Z’s Favorite Fashion Marketplace?

Image for article titled Should You Use Depop, Gen Z’s Favorite Fashion Marketplace?

Photo: 22Images Studio (Shutterstock)

Depop is one of the top fashion marketplace apps for Gen Z to find trendy vintage fits or earn some cash selling items. Reports show that young people are making real money using sites like Depop as their side hustle. Explore the #depop tag on TikTok and you’ll find lots of reviews from fashion influencers, tips for making money, and “storytime” rants about alleged scams. So there’s plenty to learn before you jump in to buy or sell on Depop; here’s what you should know. 

What is Depop?

Depop is like a crossover between a marketplace, like eBay, and a curated social media feed, like Instagram or Pinterest. According to their site, Depop describes itself as a place “where the next generation comes together to discover new items…transforming what fashion looks like.” That “next generation” targeting is key, what with Gen Z’s not-so-surprising love of secondhand hauls.

How Depop works

To buy or sell anything on Depop, you’ll need to create an account with a valid phone number. Once you’ve followed all the steps to register your account, start searching by item, brand name, style, or even by specific users you want to purchase from. Once you’ve liked enough items, the “My DNA” feature can start curating your feed and recommending new items based on your likes. And like most socials, you can follow users to add them to your feed. Enter your payment information to start buying and your PayPal to start selling.

Selling on Depop

It pays to know a little more about the algorithm to become a successful seller on Depop. Their official blog features tips about making listings more appealing, responding quickly and staying in-app, and refreshing old listings so they can bump to the top of users’ feeds. Depop’s subreddit also has a wealth of advice for sellers, much of which comes down to building a friendly brand—familiar territory for the Etsy veterans.

How to avoid scams

There’s good reason to be skeptical about buying and selling online. According to reporting by Vice, tech items are the most likely to be scams on Depop. Be skeptical of high-value items that seem too good to be true. Always keep your transactions in-app (rather than moving to text) to make sure you’re covered by Depop’s Buyer Protection, which guarantees a full refund if your item doesn’t arrive or if “it’s significantly not as described.”

Is Depop problematic?

Like with any fashion trend, an increased demand for thrifted items causes the price to climb. However, the “cool” factor of thrifting undermines its very purpose: to provide affordable times to those who actually need them. Consider the fact that many sellers openly purchase items from thrift stores and then resell them on marketplaces like Depop for a significantly higher fee, and it’s clear that this trend comes at the expense of those who actually needed those items in the first place.

So if you’re wondering whether you can make money or find quality items on Depop, the answer seems to be yes. But should you? Depop is no doubt contributing to a much larger gentrification of secondhand shopping. Still, there’s a big difference between selling your old sweaters for a few bucks versus downright abusing the system. Be conscientious—as you should be when you buy or sell anything.