What is Depop? Meet 2020’s Coolest Social Shopping App…

Depop hasn’t hit the big time yet, but it will soon enough. Here’s everything you need to know about the social shopping app for iPhone and Android…

Equal parts Instagram and eBay, Depop is growing at a rapid rate. The app, which allows its users to sell stuff to followers, looks A LOT like Instagram and functions a bit like eBay.

As with all good ideas, Depop has pinched elements from the biggest and best social media and shopping applications and then combined them together to come up with something a little different.

Founded in 2011 in Milan, Depop is now based in London. The company’s goal is to help the next generation of teenage entrepreneurs start making money. Designed to be simple to use, Depop cuts out the complexity associated with store platforms like Shopify and SquareSpace.

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Taking inspiration from Instagram, all you have to do is build up your following. Once you’ve done this, you can start making sales. Simplicity is the order of the day here and it is the #1 reason why Depop is gaining so much popularity with youngsters.

How Depop Works

The design of Depop is no mistake. It is designed to look and feel more or less identical to Instagram. And the reason for this is simple: Depop is targeting Instagram’s core user base – young people in their 20s and 30s.

Once you have a profile on Depop, you can begin the process of getting followers and building out your store. You can sell anything – and I really do mean ANYTHING – although the most popular accounts tend to focus on selling vintage clothes and garments.

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In fact, 90% of the sellers on Depop are based in the fashion niche. Where things get more interesting, however, is that once a profile gets successful it opens up the possibility of starting a new fashion line – something that is happening quite often on the platform.

Instagram luminaries like Lottie Moss and Chiara Ferragni both have stores on Depop and both sell items under their own fashion lines.

In order to start your own fashion brand on Depop, you need followers. Lots of them. But once you have a solid base of followers, the sky is pretty much the limit with what you can do with your account.

This is why multiple YouTube and Instagram stars are now flocking to the platform. Emma Chamberlain and Marzia Bisognin now both have stores on Depop. And new profiles are popping up every day on the platform too. But this is not surprising; COVID 19 has forced many people to start looking at new ways of controlling their destinies and making money.

This is why apps like OnlyFans are growing at unprecedented rates.

Setting Up A Depop Account

Setting up an account with Depop is literally as simple as starting an Instagram profile. You log in with an email, add a bio about your store, and start uploading pictures of the stuff you want to sell.

Depop payments are done via PayPal, the bank account of choice for many youngsters, and all payments are stored inside PayPal. All you need to get started on Depop is a PayPal account and an email.

Like Instagram, the key with Depop is developing a brand. In order to build an audience on Depop, you need to be engaging with your followers and selling stuff they cannot get anywhere else. If you can do this, you can succeed on the platform.

And because Depop is still relatively unknown (I only discovered it last week, and I’m a technology journalist), there is plenty of scope for fast-growth. The platform is not yet saturated with big names and big players, meaning newbies like you can get in and start building traction with users of Depop.

How Much Can You Make on Depop?

As with everything top-line figures are difficult to pin down. There are plenty of people making six figures a year on Depop. Similarly, there are plenty of users – the vast majority – making hardly anything.

In order to make the big bucks on Depop, you need followers – lots of followers. Accounts with 300,000 to 500,000 could potentially make anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 a year on the platform.

Most users of Depop – like 99.9% – will be able to make money. But you need to keep in mind that it probably won’t be a living-changing amount of cash. In order to replace your regular 9-to-5 with Depop, you’d need thousands of followers and a steady stream of stuff to sell.

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Most Depop users start off by selling old clothes, stuff they no longer need. They do this steadily for a few months to a year, gradually building up their channel and followers. Once you hit a milestone – say, 1000 followers – you can then, maybe, think about getting in some bespoke stuff to sell.

If you have skills with a needle and thread, for instance, you could start off selling custom dresses or other unique items of clothes. Maybe you could sell off the rack dress or blouses that you add customizations to? Whatever you do, you need to find your niche and stick to it.

My better half makes hand-made baby clothes under the brand Jila & Co; she makes everything by hand to order. A platform like Depop would be perfectly suited to this kind of thing. Although, when you’re making things by hand, you need to take into account demand. Can you keep up with it? What if you get 100 orders and it takes you several hours to produce one item?

These are ALL things you need to consider when starting your own fashion brand.

Will Instagram Eat Depop’s Cake?

As with most things, smaller apps like Depop rely on their users. But what if bigger apps like Instagram start allowing its users to buy and sell stuff on their platform? Both FB and Instagram now have checkout features, so users can sell on both platforms.

However, I think Depop’s secret sauce is locked in how it has built up its user base and how it specifically targeted certain demographics. Rather than going after EVERYBODY like Instagram and Facebook, Depop has niched down on a specific type of user – young fashionistas.

It doesn’t need to be the biggest social media platform ever. All it needs to do is offer a simple way for youngsters to sell items online. Depop has found its niche – fashion and vintage clothes – and it seems to be doing really well exploiting this niche.

Depop has solid user retention, the all-important “new” factor, and, as of right now, the platform also still feels slightly exclusive – it’s not been polluted by the masses just yet. That could change as the platform grows, but right now Depop is doing everything right.

And I think it has a lot to look forward to in 2021 and beyond…

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin is a leading UK technology journalist with a focus on consumer tech trends and data security. Renowned for his insightful analysis, Richard has contributed to Sky News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, and CNBC, making complex tech issues accessible to a broad audience.

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