A new pair of Dr. Martens can cost well over a hundred dollars. Students who use the online thrifting app Depop can get them marked down for under $100.
Depop, a mobile thrifting app where users buy and sell clothes, shoes and accessories, was first released in 2011. Since then, Depop has expanded into a million-dollar company with more than 13 million users. Depop put e-thrifting on the map, allowing thrifting enthusiasts to access a wide variety of options in every size, color and design at the click of a button.
While working at a vintage store on the Drag and interning at an online Depop shop, Maya Halabi, human dimensions of organizations junior, said she was inspired by her bosses to create her own Depop shop and began selling to the online community.
“One of my bosses was really heavy on teaching curation,” Halabi said. “That’s the part that inspired me the most because, beforehand, I knew about selling vintage, but I wasn’t sure how much creative direction you can put into it.”
Halabi said she found her creative direction through mood boards and building her conceptual brand, @ineedibuprofen, on Instagram.
“I like sourcing pieces, but I also like to make sure that I’m being meaningful about it,” Halabi said. “I’m not just, ‘Oh, well. I’m here to sell and make money,’ but I’m also here to create a mood board and make people feel things when I post a picture of a Dior piece.”
While using Depop, Halabi said she appreciates how the company treats their users, and their process of transactions between customers has made it easier for her to sell.
“A lot of apps don’t push you to use PayPal because they don’t care if something goes wrong with the transaction,” Halabi said. “But Depop value(s) small businesses and people who actually put work into selling on their platform.”
Some thrifters aren’t as comfortable selling on Depop, such as public relations sophomore Mackenzie Fischer, who said she found the app to be more challenging to use than she expected.
“It is just a big-time commitment,” Fischer said. “It is a big math equation, the whole trying to profit even though you have to ship (products). I ended up losing money.”
Jane Lee, marketing and psychology sophomore, said Depop also affects the profits of brick-and-mortar thrift stores.
“There are a lot of people on Depop who go thrifting and buy stuff for cheap and then upsell it, and now thrift stores have to raise their price,” Lee said. “So I think that definitely sucks because there are people who genuinely need thrift stores to just be able to buy clothes.”
Fischer, no longer a vendor, still uses the convenience of the Depop’s filters to find dresses for events, Dr. Martens and everything in between.
“You can look up exactly what you’re looking for, the color, the size, and then (have) it shipped right to your door,” Fischer said. “You never even have to leave your house.”