What it's like being a Depop seller during lockdown
By Joy Molan
We caught up with @selenasshop vintage clothing reseller, Selena Williams, to hear how she built a 20K following and the ways coronavirus is reshaping our second-hand shopping habits.
How did you get into fashion reselling?
I first got into reselling when I was 17. My friend and I were saving to go on our first trip to Malia after finishing school (our parents wouldn’t fund it). We gathered all our old clothes together, including some of her sister’s old clothes, took some very basic pictures and uploaded them on eBay. To our surprise, everything sold. We were pleased with the extra holiday money, but didn’t think to take it any further.
Fast forward eight years, a friend told me about Depop, I’d never heard of it until then. I had a look on the explore page and I was instantly hooked. I started out as a buyer and loved all the unique vintage pieces that you could discover! Whilst I was in between jobs I decided to sell a few of my old clothes for extra money.
At first, all my Depop pictures were pretty basic, but within a week everything had sold and I was addicted.
It reminded me of what I had enjoyed doing as a kid. As a child, I grew up going to weekly car-boot sales and charity shops with my grandparents. They were massive hoarders and my grandad used to be an antique dealer. My grandma had the most amazing wardrobe and that’s definitely where my love of vintage clothing came from. Rummaging through charity shops and hunting down vintage gems at car-boot sales became a massive hobby.
I am so blessed that my hobby has now turned into my job and I can now buy vintage clothing for other people.
I started putting more effort into shoots and sourcing the best stock as my following grew on the app. I only really saw this become a business around eight months ago and since then I’ve been putting all my energy and time into it. It’s all happened really quickly and the shop has grown really organically.
What does your daily routine look like?
Before COVID-19, Mondays and Wednesdays would usually be my sourcing days. This is my favourite part of the job. I absolutely love rummaging at markets, kilo sales or car-boots and when you find a gem, there’s no better feeling!
A normal day at home would start with me having my first coffee of the day and then taking my little pup Otis out for a walk. I think it’s always great to start your day with some fresh air and exercise. Then l get back and start preparing to shoot. I’ll get everything out of my stock room that needs photographing, make sure it’s all steamed and ready to go.
I always shoot the clothes with some music on in the background, this keeps me motivated when I feel like stopping.
Once everything’s been photographed, I start editing the pictures and getting things uploaded to Depop. I also try to be super active on my social pages, as this helps promote my page and it’s good to interact with potential customers and sellers on the app.
Do you do this on the side or is it your main gig?
I was doing this on the side up until around a month ago. I was working part time at a cafe twice a week, I then decided to take a huge leap and go at it completely full time, just before all the chaos. After speaking to some lovely sellers on the app who gave me lots of advice and reassurance, I decided to go ahead.
At first, I was anxious about going full-time on Depop, but so far it’s been the best decision I’ve made!
I definitely feel more motivated and now I can’t rely on income from the cafe, I have to work twice as hard as before.
What advice would you give people looking for success on Depop?
I would say definitely give it ago if it’s something you really want to do! I feel you have to love every part of it as sometimes it can be a tad lonely, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Don’t compare yourself to other sellers and remember it’s all about the journey not the destination.
Building a reputable store with lots of followers definitely takes a lot of time and hard work and won’t just happen overnight. If you’re consistent and stick with it, you’ll make it happen.
Finally, how is coronavirus affecting your store at the moment?
Coronavirus is having both positive and negative effects on my store. The positives are sales have actually been pretty good in the past couple of weeks.
I guess because people are spending more time at home they are on Depop a lot more and it’s definitely a little uplift treating yourself to a new outfit.
Unfortunately, my stock is running low and I’m desperate to go out buying. But I’m not sure when I’ll next be able to go to vintage sales and charity shops again, which kind of sucks. I’m having to get creative and restyle and reshoot items I’ve been sitting on for a while and I’m also having a rummage through my own wardrobe for pieces.
I’d definitely say now is a great time to start building a shop on Depop, especially if you have a lot of old clothes you want to get rid of. Get creative and have fun with it!
Image from Selena