...and not run out of wardrobe
We spoke to Depop shop success story, Team Depop alumni and pop-colour guru, Lilli Conreen, about literally all things Depop. Here's how to Depop and how to De-not.
Straight to it, can you make real money on Depop?
Yes. With Depop, the real win is to get things for as cheap as possible and sell them for more. Loads more. 5 times more than what you paid for them.
It depends what you want out of it for sure, but if you’re looking to start a business, relying on one platform is hard. Some people do it though – I witnessed people making 60-100k a year, purely from optimising their Depop shops, no external marketing.
It works! There was one shop who used to go to Italy, buy 60 kilos of clothes from rag markets, bring it all home, photograph it and whack it on Depop. Crop tops, little shorts, normally really girly things. They’d flog them for around $20 each which was WAY more than what they paid.
And this was a successful business model?
They bought a house in South East London within a year or two of doing it.
Got it. So the money isn’t in selling your own sh*t then?
No. You can get a little pocket money by selling the stuff taking up real estate in your wardrobe. But if you want to make serious dollar, you really have to buy to sell.
Tried and tested?
Course. I’ve been on Depop for about 3-4 years. The most I’ve ever made was in the 3 months that I did it professionally. It was my sole job and I was buying to sell.
I made about $15,000 in 3 months.
Listening. What does professional Depop look like?
Savage, but worthwhile.
It got to the point where I was getting up on Sunday at 3am, going to car-boot sales, haggling with middle aged women, bringing the goods home and then washing, ironing and photographing until about 10pm. Honestly, standing over a sheet doing flat-lays for hours was not the one for my back.
The grind. What was turnaround time like?
Me and Tye (partner) did that every Sunday for 3 months. 10pm Sunday night we’d sit there listing products, fuelling our fingers with a rum and coke and then the rest of the week we’d be posting stuff off every day.
You did personalized posting rather than bulk every few days. Why?
The aim of the game is customer service. People are touchy f*ckers. A huge part of winning on Depop is your rating and reviews so you’ve gotta play the game, otherwise people will leave terrible reviews. Tye was better at that than me.
At this point we had about 16,000 followers, 421 reviews and had sold 585 things. That’s almost a review for each.
How do you get a following on Depop?
- Consistency: Honestly can’t stress this enough. Post. Post daily. And keep posting.
- Consistency x2: This counts with your stock too. If you want to be a destination for people, they need to know what they’re gonna find on your page. Get a vibe going.
- Network: Chat to other sellers, get yourself in comment sections, contact people directly if you think you’ve got something that they want (but don’t be beggy).
Got a selling success story?
I remember once I bought a Fendi handbag and it was literally like $1. It had a little rip in it, and I sold it for $70.
No sneaky tactics we hope?
Ha, no sneaky tactics, they knew about the rip and everything. Was mad.
I also bought this pair of APC jeans for $1 off of an old lady at a market. I didn’t even know APC were big at the time and I sold them for $75.
Baller moves. Markets or wholesalers for the win?
Honestly car-booting was fun, but exhausting. Sometimes you just come home with this dead ass batch like, for real? We started going to wholesalers once we felt like we’d rinsed our luck at small-scale/independent marketplaces.
What kinda thing do you get from the wholesaler? Guessing it's not the same game as looking for gems in markets?
I started by getting Champion socks for about $1.60 and flipping them for about $7. Then Primark started doing it.
Huge. Is that legal?
Yeah, you can buy in bulk and sell on. Things like t-shirts. Get a load for about $3.50 each and sell them on for $14. You naturally have to up-price, and it’s not extortionate amounts that you’re charging, it’s just more than you paid. 'Cos you bought in bulk.
How do you know what to buy-to-sell? 👛
Look out for what’s on the up. Use your eye.
See what people are selling at the moment, and don’t sell that.
The need for that is being fed. Look for what people are asking for, and if you can’t see, take an educated risk.
What was the first thing you sold on Depop?
I used to sell loads of my partners stuff. I didn’t like his clothes so...
There's this one jacket that people message me about now. It’s so basic, it’s $31 and I've received over 1000 messages about it, even though it says ‘SOLD’. It was sold 178 weeks ago. I don’t get it.
What’s more important, product or picture?
The photo is everything. When I was working at Depop, there were these girls I spoke to who said they once found a hoodie in a park and sold it on Depop for $20. You can literally sell anything if you make it seem desirable. I’ve sold some hideous things in my time. If you can take a good photo and make it look cool, people will buy.
I remember having steam creases out of this shirt I got for 50 Cents for about an hour. Sold for it for $25. One man's junk is another man's treasure, is that the saying?
Sure. Works both ways right? If the photo can make you money, the photo can lose you money?
Totally. You see people uploading designer handbags worth $3000, but they’re sitting in the corner of a dimly lit bedroom. People don’t trust that. You don’t need to go hard, but make sure you’ve got natural light and a clean surface at least.
So it’s all about image. Reckon there’s an element of that in people using Depop itself?
Yeah totally. It was built on things looking 'cool'. And then you were cool ‘cos you bought something that looked cool. The founder created it for cool people to sell cool sh*t. Everything about it promotes image. So don't ignore the ones you upload.
It’s almost buying into a lifestyle. When Depop first took off it was like people wanted to be asked where they got their shirt from and be able to say Depop. It became a thing everyone wanted to become a part of – buying or selling.
Depop Drama on Instagram (not officially affiliated with Depop) is iconic. Have you got any stories?
Not quite tampons in shoes but I remember once I had a pair of trainers that I knew were having a moment in the whole trend thing. They had blood on the back of them. I cleaned them and sold them but it makes me feel a bit sick today. There I was pouring bicarbonate of soda into these shoes like a criminal.
And on that note, we ended things. Seriously, big thanks to well of knowledge Lilli. Now, let's get set up your buying-to-sell budget. Or hit the share button top right to spread the wisdom further.