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A few months ago, one of my closest friends told me she wanted to start selling his own clothes online. New and pre-loved things she believed other girls would enjoy using more than her.
At first, I was skeptical about the idea but I supported her on this journey. We decided to start an Instagram page, which we called “@ilcloset.gt” as the name was the first thing that came to mind, to start showing and see how things could go. She started to upload photos of blouses, bags, jeans, and shoes she had on her closet to grow her feed with the tag of “DM for more info”.
It didn’t take too long for people to start following her, in a matter of days the account had 100 followers, then 500, and then +1000
She quickly got lots of new customers buying her stuff, some girls even spending a good amount of money there. We were really surprised, as it was the first time doing something like that, and learned girls are actually eager to buy clothes someone has picked and used before but are in excellent condition and getting a good deal.
We didn’t choose an e-commerce store as we believed that selling that type of product was more like a one-time hit and not a serious business, boy, we were wrong.
This is how we worked
Upload the photo of the clothing, with price and more on the description as a post
When someone was interested we let them know to send us a direct message to get more pictures or info.
They send us the money via bank transfer or deposit.
then, we send the package to them using a courier inside our country
The process was pretty simple but it took a lot of time of our lives to be answering messages all day long without any kind of automation, so we decided to search how other people were doing this.
We found thrift stores all around the city, garage sales but neither was created for the digital world, or at least we were foreigners in this industry.
Then one day, I found Depop, a London startup that has built an app for individuals to post and sell (and mainly resell) items to groups of followers by way of its own and third-party social feeds.
Which made us realize how big this market was and the future of re-selling.
The photo was taken from TechCrunch
The rising popularity of omnichannel commerce, selling to customers wherever they happen to be spending time online, has grown significantly with the help of an army of shopping tools and platforms that are giving a run for their money to old retail websites and marketplaces.
We discovered places beside Depop doing similar things Vinted, Poshmark, and ThredUp, another second-hand clothes sales platform, or Goat, StockX (focused mainly on reselling streetwear clothing and sneakers)
The third one making a study that estimated the total resale market is expected to more than double in value to $51 billion from $24 billion in the next five years, accounting for 10% of the retail market of the entire fashion industry. (crazy!)
“Our mission is to redefine the fashion industry in the same way that Spotify did with music, or Airbnb did with travel accommodation,” said Maria Raga, CEO of Depop on an interview with Tech Crunch
“The fashion world hasn’t really taken notice” of how things have evolved at the consumer end, she continued, citing concerns with sustainability (and specifically the waste in the fashion industry), how trends are set today (no longer dictated by brands but by individuals) and how anything can be sold by anyone, from anywhere, not just from a store in the mall, or by way of a well-known brand name website.
All of these platforms are primarily aimed at millennial and Gen Z consumers. Depop calculates that about 90% of its active users are under the age of 26 (which I am), and in its home market of the U.K. it’s seen huge traction, with one-third of all 16 to 24-year-olds registered on Depop.
This brings me back to my own store, without any knowledge, my girlfriend and I, were entering a whole new market that allows normal people like you and me to earn money no matter where we are.
“You can now start a fashion business from your bedroom”
For our generation of entrepreneurs, social apps are not a choice, but the basis and source of all their online engagement. We grew up with it.
The average daily social media user opens an app “several times per day” both to browse things, check up on those that they follow, to message contacts and comment on items, and, of course, to buy and sell.
Depop noticed and decided to participate in a new category of the market. This rapid strong usage of the service has driven it to more than 13 million users, and a gross merchandise value of more than $500 million, making a possible total revenue of around $50 million since the launch of the company.
Depop was founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Simon Beckerman at Man on Man, an Italian technological incubator and business start-up center. Its headquarters moved to London in 2012.
The photo was taken from Depop.com
It provides a mobile marketplace that enables individuals to buy and sell their items on iOS and Android platforms.
All of the success created a new term between social media, “Depop Girl”, at first I didn’t understand what that meant but basically is a group of girls that became famous for their style and selling it online. New-made influencers who own the discovery of her clothes and business. All thanks to the platform.
On average, Depop users collectively follow and message each other 85 million times each month helping them close a Series C round of investing of $62 million led by General Atlantic. Previous investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Balderton Capital, Creandum, Octopus Ventures, TempoCap, and Sebastian Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Swedish payments company Klarna.
An investment that will allow them to continue expanding their operations worldwide.
When I started the store at first, I thought second-hand clothes and accessories were not a good thing to sell but after being more involved, I realized there’s a whole movement of sustainability behind all of these types of stores, which I totally support.
Depop is making what others couldn’t, trying to make selling your clothes something magical and as easy as possible, you just upload it and build a business from your phone or computer without any friction.
What do you think? cool, right
Until next time,
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