It’s basically an app that’s Instagram fused with eBay. Founded in Italy in 2011, the UK-based app allows users to create their own profile page, upload pictures of items they want to sell to their page, and build up a personal feed of profiles featuring products they want to buy. Items can then be purchased directly through the app and Depop manages the transaction either through PayPal or secure credit card transactions. It looks quite similar to the Instagram layout with options to like items and comment but with the added ‘buy’ button and the option to ‘private message’ someone about an item you like.
It has grown quickly throughout Europe with over 1.8 million downloads in 2014 and is very popular among fashion bloggers and Millennials. Depop has also recently secured an investment for $8 million from Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe) and Holtzbrinck Ventures. It will use the money to branch into the US Market and has managed to hire Erik Martin, former general manager of Reddit to lead this move.
It’s a virtual flea market essentially, as all you need to do is take a picture of what you want to sell, upload it in a few simple steps to your ‘shop’ and watch the offers come flooding in. Buyers either search for items by keyword or by browsing lists from other people you follow, responding to things people have tagged for you to look at, or follow Depop’s recommendations for you made by its in-house curators.
So what’s in it for them?
According to the CEO, Runar Reistrup, individual posters in the UK — who pay no listing fee but give Depop a 10% cut of sales — have sold “thousands of items” and made “tens of thousands of pounds” in the process. There are millions of items on offer on a given day.
But what makes Depop an interesting marketplace is that it’s not just a glorified flea market, it also acts as a social networking site with people just as likely to use the app just to browse, like and comment as they are to actually buy items. It is seem more as a social media platform than an e-commerce site.
It’s not new but it is really starting to take off in Ireland so why not jump on the Depop bandwagon, give your winter clothes to a good home and make room in your wardrobe for all your summer items all while earning some money to splash on your J1! It’s a win win.
(p.s. Shout out to Lucy P for the headline suggestion)