From SI410
Revision as of 16:24, 2 April 2021 by Tomea (Talk | contribs) (Selling on Depop)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Depop Application [1] [url text]
Type Online Marketplace
Launch Date 2011
Status Active
Product Line Depop
Platform iOS, Android

Depop is an online clothing marketplace and social shopping platform that enables users to buy new and used clothing from their internet-enabled devices. It was founded in 2011, and the free application was brought to iOS devices in 2013, and later a website is added.[2] Depop has many features: users can create a virtual store or profile, follow and interact with other users, buy items, and view recommended clothing items. [3] Several ethical issues concerning how users interact with the platform have arisen.


Simon Beckerman founded Depop in 2011, and the corporate headquarters moved to London in 2012.[4][5] In 2013 the app was later brought to iOS devices. Simon Beckerman then stepped down as CEO, and Maria Raga took his place.[6][5] The app was initially developed to sell items from Simon Bekerman’s magazine, PIG, and it was later made available as a website.[7][8] In 2014, the app had 1.8 million downloads.[9] Depop was designed to function as both a social media platform and online marketplace. Beckerman noted Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as sources of inspiration. [6] Depop was intended to attract “young designers, cool collectors, small shops and little brands,” and its user base includes younger shoppers and women. [8]

The Depop home page[10]


Many of Depop's features help buyers discover more clothing items to purchase.

Home page

Depop features a home page. This page consists of several sub-pages, including “Explore,” “My DNA,” and “Feed.” These sub-pages allow you to explore new items, view recommended items, see your saved items, and view the posts of shops you follow.[11]

Explore Page

The Explore page allows users to look through a selection of items curated by the Depop Editorial Team. It shows you Depop’s most popular sellers based on your searches, and it aims to showcase the “best of the best” of user listings. Items featured on the Explore page tend to sell three times faster than comparable standard listings. [12]


The My DNA section of Depop shows recommended listings, users' likes, and past-viewed items. There is an option to "Edit My DNA" to get better recommendations at the bottom of the page. [11] The algorithm recommending new items is based on previous items users have saved and favorited. This algorithm has resulted in more engagement, saved listings, and more purchased items when compared to the curated items on the explore page. [13]


The Feed page shows all recent posts from a user's followed shops. The Feed page is similar to Instagram's explore page and is blank unless a user follows one shop. This page is not chronological: however, the factors impacting listings' order are not publicly known.[11]

Using Depop

Depop has many built-in functions to benefit sellers. The features of the app complement the selling and buying process.

Selling on Depop

An example of a recently created Depop store[14]

Depop requires you to have an account to buy and sell items. You do not need an account to browse. To sell, you have to set up your shop within the app, and then you can list items. There is an emphasis on entrepreneurship. As Depop founder Simon Beckerman notes, the app is like “having your store in your pocket,” and CEO Maria Raga notes users can “start a business from their bedroom.”[8][15]

When listing an item, a maximum of four photos can be posted. Depop suggests users model their items in the listing. Depop also encourages branding and promoting individual shops on other social media platforms. They support and verify their top sellers. Depop pushes its top sellers to the front of the explore and featured sellers pages. [16]

A plausible way to freely promote a Depop shop is through social media postings. Much of the current advertising practices present day are through social media promotions and postings. By self-promoting one's Depop shop, attention for the shop is likely to get traction with constant posting and promoting. It is crucial for that to be a step in the outperforming Depop shops that are successful with their sales on the app.

Purchasing on Depop

Depop has many avenues for buying items in the app. Users are recommended items in a variety of places and can also search specific parameters and categories. To purchase items on Depop, users must register for an account. In the app, purchases can only be made with Paypal, which takes a 2% to 4% cut of sales. On the website, purchases can be made with PayPal or a credit card. [17] Buyers need to be aware of scammers and counterfeit items when purchasing items.

Additionally, It is impossible for Depop to quality check items because products ship directly from the seller to the buyer. [18] If a user purchases an item that is not as described on the listing or comes destroyed, they may open a case through PayPal’s Dispute Resolution Centre. [19].

The seller on Depop is responsible for all the information that is provided on the listing, as it will be the information that is available to the person that is interested in buying that item.


Many options are available to ship items after completing a sale on Depop. Depop allows sellers to use their internal shipping system or to ship using external mail carriers.[16] Only sellers in the United States and the United Kingdom can use Depop's shipping system. Depop has partnered with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the United States and Hermes in the United Kingdom.[20] Depop shipping is first class for smaller items and priority for larger items and ranges from $3.75 to $14.40. [21].

Shipping prices are always included in the item’s total cost to avoid confusion. Sometimes, if a consumer buys multiple items from the same seller, they can receive shipping discounts due to the "bundling" feature. [22]

Ethical Issues

Ethical issues have arisen concerning Depop, with some gaining more traction than others. These issues can impact both sellers and buyers.

Reselling thrifted clothing

There has been growing awareness of Depop sellers and their impact on thrift stores, mainly among younger people. Named "thrift store gentrification,” this process is critical of thrift stores raising their prices. Recently, online resellers have come under criticism for encouraging this process.[23] This issue is widely debated, and there is not a lot of current research on this topic.

Reselling thrifted items has been around since the 1990s and was also present on eBay before Depop.[24][25] Moreover, raised prices can be a result of changing demographics for thrift stores. As shopping at thrift stores was normalized in popular media, middle-income shoppers felt more comfortable shopping there. Due to thrift stores' growing popularity, there has been an increase in competition from other second-hand stores, discount stores, and online marketplaces. More competition resulted in thrift stores expanding their target demographic to high-income customers and thus moving to premier locations, having a clean and inviting interior, and raising prices. [26] The specific impact of Depop on this phenomenon is not known.

There is a huge financial and social impact on thrift stores as it is presented to the public as an alternative option to fast fashion clothing. The recycling of thrifted clothing is great for the environment and a great way to save money in the long run. However, the history of thrift shops is to provide clothing and household items that have used to the communities that do not have the necessary funds to buy directly from fast fashion shops or other brand name clothing stores. With the influence of second hand shopping in thrift stores, this has created a financial obstacle for the families that depend on thrift shops. Additionally, Depop sellers usually use thrift shop finds to alter and create a new design for clothing that is usually resold on their Depop shop. This way of recycling clothing allows people to use what is available to them with the creativity to recreate it and resell it the way they want to Depop Shoppers.

Reselling clothing is also known to have benefits for the consumer. Middle-income consumers use thrift stores to save money and resist a culture of consumption and disposability.[26] Also, Purchasing used clothing is shown to have significant positive impacts on the environment. As buying resold clothing replaces buying new clothing, for every 100 used clothing items bought, about 60 new clothing items are not bought. [27] When consumers purchase used clothing, they can resist current fashion business practices, which are known to use large amounts of water, increase greenhouse gases, and speed up deforestation. [28] Additionally, consumers can reduce the strain they have on landfills by purchasing used clothing. Americans alone throw away about 10.5 million tons of clothing every year.[29] Moving clothes from one person to another will reduce the strain consumers have on landfills, resources, and pollution.[29]

Reselling During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Depop and the reselling industry. Thrift stores have faced negative impacts, as stores have closed and become overrun by donations.[30] However, there was still demand for clothing, and some Depop sellers have seen increased sales. [31]

Additionally, Depop as a company has been able to thrive during the pandemic because of its business model. [32] However, this could be challenged as some thrift stores have moved to online shopping. Moreover, second-hand consumption has dropped, but as more thrift stores reopen, this may return to previous levels. [33]

The COVID-19 Pandemic has also encouraged a lot of people who are quarantining to try new things and experiment with their clothing. There is the possibility that listings on Depop go up as well due to the time and creativity the pandemic has awarded many people. There is also a large stance for supporting small business during hard times like these, and buying from Depop shops is one of the ways to support small businesses.

Re-working plus-sized clothes

Selling not just thrifted clothes but re-worked thrifted clothes have increased in popularity. Newer trends popularized on
Shirt and skirt set made from XL Polo shirt[34]
Depop feature size extra-large and up shirts turned into multiple clothing items. These sets can include crop-tops and skirts, shorts and shirts, and skirts and scrunchies. These re-worked items are often sold by Depop sellers for more money than the original thrifted item, as they have turned a plus-size item into multiple smaller items. This trend makes plus-sized pieces difficult to find in thrift stores, impacting middle-income and low-income shoppers. [34]

Feminization of work

Along with other forms of online reselling, Depop faces the issue surrounding its feminization of labor, both as a social media application and a reselling platform. While Depop's exact user statistics are unknown, on similar apps, like Poshmark, registered users tend to be primarily female, with 97% of survey respondents with an account identifying as female.[35] Founder Simon Beckerman notes “girls who want to sell their whole wardrobe” make up a large part of Depop's customer base, and “girls love [Depop]."[8]

The page in Depop's app to create a shop[11]

Women's role in Depop's labor system creates ethical issues. With a focus on creating and maintaining customer relationships and networks, reselling goods online can be incredibly burdening for women. With the reduced ontological friction offered by Depop, sellers often lose their right to ignore information and must be constantly available.[36] Additionally, reselling items “is complicated by the emotional labor women must assume in managing their business personae and maintaining flows of communication online."[37]

Depop emphasizes the importance of a professional brand, both on the app and other social media applications.[16] Encouraging a professional brand can be ethically complicated, as creating a reselling brand is primarily based on “classed and gendered identities, experiences, networks, and bodies.” [37] The large public social media presence sellers maintain can lead to additional emotional labor and adverse consequences. [38]

Worker's rights

Depop takes a 10% cut of all sales: however, all sellers on Depop are labeled as "bedroom entrepreneurs."[15] Moreover, Paypal takes a 2% to 4% cut of all transactions performed through the app. [16] These sales cuts can decrease the profit sellers make. These sellers do not receive any benefits or job security and can make varying amounts of money. Some more popular shops are known to earn upwards of $150,000 a year. The typical user earns significantly less, often equating to the minimum wage. [39] Depop shares many features and ethical concerns with a gig economy, despite labeling its users as entrepreneurs.


There have been reports of users on Depop being taken advantage of and scammed. This mainly occurs when users purchase outside of the Depop app, as Depop has buyer and seller protection for internal purchases. [40] Though users are highly encouraged to receive payment through the Depop app, they may opt to receive payment outside of the app to avoid Depop's 10% sales cut. Scammers then can fake payment information or refuse to send an item. A company spokeswoman has stated, "when someone transacts outside the app we are unable to trace it or assist with a reimbursement." [41]

Depop has implemented AI to help detect if users are attempting to complete a transaction outside of the app. They primarily used a pre-trained transformer network to complete this task. The dataset the model was trained on can bring in existing bias. Additionally, the accuracy of this model is not stated.[42]

Sexual Harassment

Depop users can face sexual harassment within the internal messaging service. While Depop has a messaging feature intended to provide communication between buyers and sellers], some members utilize it for sexual harassment.[43] One user reported their boyfriend was "pretty much using Depop like Tinder." [44] This can lead to many problems for the young users on Depop.[45]

See Also


  1. Ruback, Brianna. “Depop Raises $62 Million To Fight Counterfeiting, Expand Globally.” Retail TouchPoints, 12 June 2019,
  2. Christie, S. (2015, March 30). Fed up with eBay? Sell on Etsy, Depop and Folksy instead. The Telegraph.
  3. Weir, Melanie. “What Is Depop? Here's What You Need to Know about the Clothing Marketplace Platform.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 8 Jan. 2021,
  4. Azeez, Walé. “Depop: We're All Shopkeepers Now.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 12 Nov. 2015,
  5. 5.0 5.1 “Simon Beckerman & Maria Raga.” The Business of Fashion, 1 Oct. 2019,
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pavarini, Maria Cristina. “Stories: Simon Beckerman, Founder/CEO,” The, 13 Jan. 2014,
  7. “About.” Depop,
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Morrison, Emma. “In Conversation with: Depop Founder Simon Beckerman.” Artefact, 4 June 2015,
  9. Christie, S. (2015, March 30). Fed up with eBay? Sell on Etsy, Depop and Folksy instead. The Telegraph.
  10. Wisniewski, John. Screenshot of Depop Home Page. 18 Mar. 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 “Depop.” Depop,
  12. Depop Concept: Empowering the User to Define Their Own Exploration. (22 January 2018), Depop Concept: Empowering the User to Define Their Own Exploration
  13. Riley, Jonathon. “Depop For You: A Personal Shopper with Millions of Items to Choose From.” Medium, Engineering at Depop, 15 Oct. 2018,
  14. Hanbury, M. (2019, June 7). Teens are making up to $300,000 selling secondhand clothes on this Instagram-like shopping app, which is now planning a huge US expansion. Here's how it works. Business Insider.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Lunden, Ingrid. “Depop, a Social App Targeting Millennial and Gen Z Shoppers, Bags $62M, Passes 13M Users.” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 7 June 2019,
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 “Seller Handbook.” Depop,
  17. “How do I buy an item?” Depop Help GB,
  18. "How do I buy an item?" Accessed 20 March 2021, from
  19. "How to Buy & Sell Clothes Online: A Guide to Depop, Poshmark, thredUP, and Tradesy" (13 December 20),
  20. “Shipping Guide UK.” Depop Help GB,
  21. “Shipping Guide US.” Depop Help GB,
  22. "Bundles on Depop." Accessed March 20, from
  23. PheusTheFetus, director. TikTok, 30 Dec. 2020,
  24. Garland B.C., Crawford J.C., Gopalakrishna P. (2015) Second Order Marketing: The Consumer Reseller. In: King R. (eds) Proceedings of the 1991 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer, Cham.
  25. Murphy, Scott L., and Shuling Liao. "Consumers as Resellers: Exploring the Entrepreneurial Mind of North American Consumers Reselling Online." International Journal of Business and Information, vol. 8, no. 2, 2013, pp. 183-228. ProQuest,
  26. 26.0 26.1 Raulli, Julie A. From Shabby to Chic: Upscaling in the United States Thrift Industry, Colorado State University, Ann Arbor, 2005. ProQuest,
  27. Farrant, Laura, et al. “Environmental Benefits from Reusing Clothes.” The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, vol. 15, no. 7, 2010, pp. 726–736., doi:10.1007/s11367-010-0197-y.
  28. “Circular Fashion - A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion's Future.” Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Nov. 2017,
  29. 29.0 29.1 Cline, Elizabeth. “Where Does Discarded Clothing Go?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 18 July 2014,
  30. Stochl, Emily. “Where to Donate Old Clothing: Don't Dump It in Front of Goodwill.” Remake, 3 July 2020,
  31. Shulman, Dylan. “Maryland Depop Sellers See an Uptick in Sales amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.” The Diamondback, 27 Oct. 2020,
  32. “Pandemic to Push Sustainability in Fashion Sector.” Emerald Expert Briefings, 2020, doi:10.1108/oxan-db253489.
  33. Ertz, Myriam. “Notes d’Actualité. La Crise Pandémique De La COVID-19 : Catalyseur Catalyseur De La Reconfiguration Des Échanges Marchands Par La Consommation Responsable?” Revue Organisations & Territoires, vol. 29, no. 3, 2020, pp. 91–93., doi:10.1522/revueot.v29n3.1203.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Superstar, L. (2020, September). The Great Depop Debate. Styled.
  35. “Poshmark's 2020 Social Commerce Report.” Poshmark, 2020,,community%20of%2060%20million%20users.
  36. Floridi, Luciano. “Ethics after the Information Revolution.” The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics, edited by Luciano Floridi, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010, pp. 3–19.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Zhang, Lin. “Fashioning the Feminine Self in ‘Prosumer Capitalism’: Women’s Work and the Transnational Reselling of Western Luxury Online.” Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 17, no. 2, July 2017, pp. 184–204, doi:10.1177/1469540515572239.
  38. Khamis, Susie, et al. “Self-Branding, ‘Micro-Celebrity’ and the Rise of Social Media Influencers.” Celebrity Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, 2016, pp. 191–208., doi:10.1080/19392397.2016.1218292.
  39. Butler, Sarah. “'Everyone I Know Buys Vintage': the Depop Sellers Shaking up Fashion.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 20 Oct. 2018,
  40. "Buyer Protection." Accessed March 20, from
  41. Brignall, M. (2017, Jun 03). It's part-eBay, part-Instagram, but is Depop safe for your teenagers? The Guardian
  42. Edo-Osagie, Oduwa. “Detecting Out-of-App Fraud.” Medium, Engineering at Depop, 29 Sept. 2020,
  43. Lieber, Chavie. “The Dark Side of Depop.” The Business of Fashion, The Business of Fashion, 12 Nov. 2019,
  44. 44.0 44.1
  45. Knowles, Kitty. “Depop CEO: Solving 3 Big Problems For Young Cool Shoppers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 26 Apr. 2018,