Seller Stories: How I went full-time as a Depop seller

Education

Looking to turn your side hustle into a day job? We talked to three sellers who did just that. Read on for more details on how to be successful on Depop

Case study 1:
@avenuevintage is an Australian Top Seller who has gone from selling secondhand as a hobby during university to working full-time as a Depop seller. Sam tells us about how he made the change and moved his business up.

How I started
“I have been collecting and selling vintage and secondhand clothing for most of my life. But I’d never really sold online before, nor had I given my hobby the time and energy required to turn it into a career. While at uni, I needed some extra cash and a friend suggested I should give Depop a go. So I just started using it intermittently, selling the odd item from my collection here and there.”

Scaling up
“Having items featured in the Explore section or being featured in the Meet The Sellers section by Depop was crucial in helping me gain a substantial following. Having good quality, well-styled stock and photographs, as well as posting regularly is the best way to get noticed and featured by Depop.

Quality and consistency are extremely important, but perhaps the most important ingredient in becoming a successful seller is to be yourself; be unique; be creative; and don’t be afraid to be different or try new things. Depop celebrates individuality and I believe that many Top Sellers, including myself, can attribute that to their success.”

When I knew it was time
“After a lifetime of working crappy jobs that I hated and getting paid minimum wage, I worked a REALLY terrible and stressful job that I kind of broke me. I woke up one day, quit that job and decided that I had to follow my passion and make a living as a creative and a full-time vintage seller. I left myself with no choice other than to succeed. I never looked back and I never will.”

What happened next
“Quitting my day job was one of the most important steps as it gave me the time and freedom to source stock; shoot and edit photos; and make listings/manage my social media around the clock, seven days a week.

With time, repetition and lots of trial and error, my photos and styling have and continue to improve. I have experimented with countless backgrounds; multiple angles and poses; and various lighting conditions. I am also constantly experimenting with different styling options like accessorising, layering and trying to mix things that wouldn’t typically be worn together.”

Case study 2:
@shoplynx is a US Top Seller who specialises in custom sneakers and rare streetwear.

Big steps
“Connor and I decided the best thing for us to take Depop to the next level was to dive right in head first.

We both quit our corporate jobs and lowered our living expenses by moving from New York to Florida and using a budget for groceries. We eat a lot of rice and beans! Connor took on a part time job where his working 20 hours a week was just enough to cover our basic living expenses.

I worked full time on the business and he helped when he was off work. This added pressure meant we literally had no choice but to succeed on Depop if we wanted to start saving for the future and elevate our standard of living (afford fancy foods, nights out, new tech, travel).”

Business mindset
“We listened to a bunch of audiobooks about customer service, creating a brand, and marketing. We even attended seminars by SCORE (a free business mentorship by our local small business administration).”

Show you’re serious
“We formed an LLC and started meeting with an accountant to track our profits and losses. I think so much of our success was from taking our Depop shop as seriously as if it were any other startup business, rather than just a hobby. It helped us create a niche and determine what products brought us the most profit, while also creating loyal customers who appreciate those products (and leave us beautiful/inspiring reviews).”

Case study 3:
@pink_ink is run by Tabitha Darling, a UK seller who focuses on true vintage and unique items that are in line with the trends of right now.

From hobby to side hustle
“Growing up in Belfast, I was always buying vintage in charity shops and built up quite an extensive personal collection. A friend mentioned Depop to me and from then on I was hooked as it's such a great way to sustainably recycle your wardrobe.

After I finished my degree I sold my art alongside selling on Depop for a year and then went on to work as a curation coordinator at the Depop office in London. I then decided to make the leap into having an online vintage business full-time, which had always been a dream of mine from the very start.”

Laying the groundwork 
“It took me time to build up my shop while I was working and to really know what I wanted to specialise in selling. I had to lay the foundations before making the leap as well as educating myself on how to run a business.

Finding a niche
“You have to be patient as it takes time and it can be intimidating at the start but if you put in the work it can happen. You have to have confidence and faith in what you do and most importantly love what you sell. Curation is key to your shop’s success, you need to refine what you sell giving your brand identity.”

Constant innovation
“Pink Ink has been very successful selling not only to the UK market but globally, with multiple platforms of selling. I think it’s important to constantly evolve and innovate my brand; currently I’m focusing on creating a collection of one-off custom made pieces, created entirely out of recycled vintage.

Depop is a great concept. I loved it from a sustainability aspect as well as how easy it was to connect with my customers. I think that’s very important if you have a shop - I want to get to know my customers and give them a great experience, and Depop made that accessible.”