Second hand shopping is becoming rapidly more mainstream. And I can see why! You no longer have to rifle through racks of musty old clothes in charity shops. (Although, that’s still a viable option and shouldn’t be looked down on). But second hand shopping has made it’s way online. Sites like Depop are fast becoming favourites for those looking to score a bargain, or those looking to avoid fast fashion.
I’ve been selling bits and bobs on Depop for a little while, but haven’t actually bought anything for myself on the app.
Mostly, I was apprehensive from the horror stories I’ve heard of various seller scams. Where the sellers have never sent the purchased items, or have deactivated their accounts after accepting payment. The list goes on and on. I finally put my big girl pants on and took the plunge into the world of Depop shopping. I’ve learnt quite a few tips and tricks along the way.
When I first started looking for clothes, I was confused. I’d refine the search for women’s trousers, but t-shirt listings would occasionally crop up out of nowhere. How annoying!
When refining your search, Depop also gives you the option to refine to a certain subcategory. So in my case, I’d be searching for women’s trousers, but with the subcategory of culottes or skinny jeans. That way, your results are instantly tailored to focus on exactly what you’re looking for.
Don’t forget to filter your search to include your clothes size too!
While Depop is known for being an affordable marketplace, sometimes people can catch you out. While I don’t like assuming the worst of people, there are times where the listing price is the same or higher than the item’s RRP. This is especially an issue if the item in question has been previously worn.
Now, I’m not a cheap shopper – I willingly spent £89 on sustainably produced culottes (which unfortunately didn’t fit). But when it comes to pre-worn clothes, you’ve got to be realistic. A pre-worn jumpsuit just isn’t worth paying upwards of £20 plus shipping fees.
So check the RRP to see what the original or current price of the item is and compare it with the Depop sellers price. This has saved me overpaying on items countless times.
Buying from sites like Depop involves a lot of trust between buyer and seller. I always check seller reviews to see other’s experiences have been with them. Did they package the items adequately? Was the item packed and shipped on time? Were the items as described in their listing?
If these questions aren’t answered in the reviews, I’m a bit more apprehensive about buying from them. At the end of the day, I don’t want to lose money buying something that might not arrive or be in poor condition.
I’ve noticed this written in a few product descriptions. At first, I was super confused. Then I realised it was people trying to get out of paying Depop fees (10% of listing price). It’s also a method used by scammers to get paid without sending items to the buyer.
I would strongly advise that you only ever buy items directly through the Depop app/website to fully protect yourself. Screenshots can also help your case if something were to go wrong. Not to mention, payments processed through Paypal can be disputed up to 180 days post-purchase.
There seems to be a surge of designer items on Depop. People want high end products for a more affordable price tag. The issue that comes with this is sometimes these deals can be too good to be true. The best way to avoid this is to ask for some kind of proof of authenticity.
When it comes to more expensive designer items it definitely is better to be safe than sorry.
This is the most important tip of them all! I always check to see if the seller is wearing the item or if they include photos from the original website of the item on the model.
Clothes look so different on the hanger vs. on an actual person. I’m a lot less likely to purchase an item without seeing it on someone else first. Especially when a lot of sellers don’t offer returns or exchanges.
If they don’t have any photos of the item being worn, then message the seller! If you ask politely (in my experience) most sellers are willing to provide further photos of an item if you’re genuinely considering purchasing it.
When you find a listing for an item that you love, check the brand it’s originally from! I do this simply because my sizing can vary SO MUCH from brand to brand. While I’m a size 16 in New Look (generally), I can be anything from a size 14 to a size 20 in Primark.
Like I said previously, a lot of sellers don’t offer refunds on Depop, so pay attention to the little details!
The people selling on Depop are just like you and me. They’re everyday people with everyday lives and jobs. You can’t expect free next day delivery.
It costs £3.55 to ship a small parcel with the Royal Mail. If you’re not willing to pay for the faster shipping, don’t demand it. I’m saying this as both a buyer and seller on Depop, it just comes across as rude.
Parcels will take a little longer than they would with your favourite online retailer, but if you’re getting a total bargain then it’ll be worth the wait.
The most important details of an item won’t be found in the photos, they’ll be found in the description. The seller will (or should) detail any faults with the garment, or describe the fit. This ties in with brand sizing because a size 16 from Pretty Little Thing may fit slightly bigger or smaller than a size 16 from New Look.
What I love the most about Depop is that you get reviews as both a buyer and a seller. So if you’re just using the app to buy some high street bargains, the people you buy from will leave you a review.
I love this feature because it encourages people to be kinder to one another within the app. Nobody wants to receive a terrible review.
So that’s it for my top tips! Shopping on Depop has changed the way I look at clothes shopping for the best. Second hand shopping is one of the most sustainable fashion options out there. Not to mention, it can absolutely be affordable.
Don’t forget to check my Instagram to see my latest Depop bargains – including a brand new pair of ASOS shorts I picked up for just £5!
Do you love shopping on Depop as much as I do? What’s the best bargain you’ve had on the app?
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.