Selling Clothes Online UK – Depop vs. eBay, Which Is Better?
I love selling pre-loved clothes online, not only do I get to declutter my closet, it’s sustainable to our environment. Best of all, I can make some extra money too!
With so many online selling platforms available, which one is the best to sell clothes?
What’s a better way to find out than doing an experiment on selling my secondhand clothes online using 2 popular sites to see which one is better.
And the results? – let’s just say, I was pretty surprised by it.
Before I share with you the results, allow me to explain some details about my experiment as they are important factors that lead to the result.
One of my guilty pleasures in life is buying workout clothes. Over the years, I have accumulated a good share of them.
After a closet decluttering session, I have picked 5 pieces of workout clothes to part way with.
All of them are from popular brands, and the size ranges from XS to S.
For the experiment, I picked the 2 popular online selling clothes sites, available in the UK to find out which online store is best to sell clothes.
- eBay – the biggest and probably the oldest online selling platform for just about anything.
- Depop – one of the fastest-growing marketplace for selling clothes online.
The criteria to compare eBay vs. Depop
For my experiment, I came up with 3 criteria to evaluate the 2 online selling platforms:
- Easy to use: The service needs to be easy to use. That is from posting items on the site to processing the payment and doing it all from my phone. No complicated instructions. Who has time for that?
- Effectiveness of selling: I was not looking to get rich from selling second-hand clothes. As a busy working mum, I see making some quick extra money as an incentive to parting with clothes that I loved.
- (I don’t get ripped off by the) Fees: The clothes are reasonably affordable, therefore I would prefer the site with the lowest service fee so I get to keep as much profit as possible, after the transaction.
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Is eBay still a good place for selling clothes online in the UK?
While eBay needs no introduction, it is the original marketplace for selling just about anything.
But with many the newcomers like Depop, is it still a good place for selling clothes online in the UK?
Here are some interesting statistics [Source]:
- There are 187 million eBay users globally.
- 28% of eBay sellers are from the US, followed closely by 25% in the UK, 17% from China, 16% in Germany, making up 86% of all eBay sellers.
What this all means is that there are plenty of people who are using eBay as a way of buying and selling things, and the UK is leading the way.
Although everyone and their dogs probably have heard of eBay, 61% of eBay users are between the ages of 35-64. [Source]
What’s unique about selling on eBay?
It’s worth mentioning that, one of the unique features, is its Auction.
You can set an auction period where potential buyers can bid for it. Personally, I don’t use that feature very often for two reasons:
- I prefer to have more control of how much exactly I want to sell the item for.
- I just don’t like the faff… but that’s just me =)
As a private seller, you get 1,000 free listings per month (which is a lot!). But if you happen to go over this monthly allowance, it’s 35p per item for the listing fee (also known as insertion fee).
eBay charges a final value fee when an item is sold. This is 12.8% of the final sale value, after postage, taxes, and other applicable fees.
In addition, you may be charged a Paypal fee if your buyer chooses it as a payment method.
As the eBay fees change slightly over the years, make sure you check eBay’s official site for the latest fees for the region you are selling.
You have the option to offer free shipping or provide an estimated shipping fee for the buyer to pay.
What is Depop?
If eBay and Instagram could have a baby, it would be Depop. It is a social media platform, as well as an online marketplace, that was founded in London in 2010.
It’s an app that you can download on your phone and it’s really easy to use. You don’t need to create an account to browse the items for sale, but if you want to make a purchase, you need to create an account.
Is Depop good for selling clothes?
Yes. it is a social shopping app where you can sell anything fashionable but mainly selling clothes. Offbeat, vintage items are very popular on Depop. If you have an item that is sold everywhere else in the stores, you can probably sell twice the price.
Demographic for Depop
As Gen Z (the teens & 20 somethings) are their primary targeted demographics, many smaller sizes from XS to M, UK size 6 to 10s do very well in general.
What’s unique about Depop?
Unlike eBay, a unique feature to Depop is that you can negotiate the price with sellers and swap items.
According to Thrifted, having good photos, hashtagging everything, being responsive, and following other people’s accounts, are a few good practices to do well in Depop…. Does that sound familiar to another social platform?
It is free to list items on Depop.
For every item sold, Depop charges 10% on every transaction. However, you will need a PayPal account to withdraw the money, which charges an additional 2.9% + £0.30 in the UK (and 2.9% + $0.30 in the USA). This is the same fee you will be paying selling on eBay if your buyer decided to use a Paypal account. The only difference is that eBay provides other payment methods in addition to Paypal.
It also offers both free shipping and paid by buyer options.
My experiment on making money selling my clothes online: eBay vs. Depop:
As this is my first time using Depop, I had to set up a new account first before I start selling. The process was very easy and only took a couple of minutes.
Since I already have an eBay account, so all good to go there.
To make sure this is a fair comparison, I have posted the same 5 clothing pieces on both eBay and Depop, with the same pictures, descriptions, free shipping and prices.
While it was fairly simple to post items on Depop, I followed an instruction just to make sure it was set up properly.
However, the extra work I had to do on Depop was to follow a few items that are similar to mine and a few sellers. Also, use some relevant hashtags. If you are already using Instagram, this is very similar.
Posting on eBay was very straightforward. In fact, I love the feature that pulls up similar listing items to auto-populate some descriptions and provide price references.
In addition, I set the items with the “Buy it now” and “Make an offer” buttons disabled.
The selling process…
While eBay was quiet after the items were posted, I had multiple followers and messages from Depop… Most messages were people making lower price offers, questions on the items etc.
Although I didn’t mind all that, I was pretty sure something will come through Depop pretty soon.
After a couple of hours of listing on Depop, my items got many “likes” and interests in the form of questions. I thought any time now, a sale is going to come through after all the interactions.
Shockingly, it was a notification from eBay in less than 24 hours, my 1st piece was SOLD!
Over the next couple of days, the sweet notification sound from eBay continued, to result in all 4 remaining pieces being sold.
As for Depop, my followers have grown from 0 to 45. I have relentlessly answered any questions as they came up, yet no clothes are SOLD.
While I thought eBay may do a little better, I was surprised that it sold ALL my 5 pieces of clothing!
So why didn’t I make a sale on Depop?
- Perhaps workout clothes aren’t a popular category?
- Maybe I didn’t have a big social following, therefore less known on the platform?
- I also wondered if the results would have been better if I did more “engagements” on Depop? – Gosh, I thought I spent enough time on it just for selling a few pieces of workout clothes!
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Is Depop better than eBay?
Not in my experience.
eBay has been and will continue to be my tried and trusted site when it comes to selling old clothes in the UK.
It was easy to post items, the minimum effort required while items were on sale, and the transaction was instant.
Although, I had zero luck with Depop on my selling clothes online UK experiment. I do think Depop is a fun platform, especially if you love Instagram and enjoy spending a lot of time interacting with your potential customers.
The alternative platforms on selling things online:
eBay and Depop might be great choices for selling clothes online, but there are other online marketplaces that are better for selling other things online:
Facebook marketplace is one of the best places for selling unwanted items that are big or heavy. Typically sold to local buyers, there is no listing fee or selling fee. Here are 13 tips to sell more on Facebook Marketplace.
If you are looking to make some money from selling unique and creative goods, Etsy might be a great choice.
Taking from someone who has her own Etsy store selling digital products, Etsy is so easy to use especially for new sellers.
Want to venture out earning passive income selling on Etsy? Here are 30+ best things to sell on Etsy
Other ways to make some extra cash fast:
- Earn over £1000 in 2 months tax-free guaranteed doing this. (UK only)
- Make extra money from 10 best paid surveys online for real cash
- Make an extra £20 instantly with Ohmydosh!
Tips for selling clothes online:
- Take as many clear photos as you are allowed. The clothes are better on a person than hanging or laying out as it provides more information on how it looks on. I also like to provide measurements for the height and size of the model (often myself).
- Consider target market. Different selling platforms can have very different demographics. For example, a Jesus Jones 1991 concert T-shirt may sell much better on eBay than Depop.
- Offer free shipping. This is the psychological thing… Buyers love free shipping, it comes across as a good deal. You can always factor the cost of shipping into your selling price.
- Paypal fees – These days, virtually everyone uses Paypal. While it’s so easy to use, it also comes with a fee. For example, if the buyer pays using PayPal, you will be charged 2.9% per sold item price plus 30p per transaction.
- Timing is important. This tip is particularly for eBay sellers. Try to schedule your bidding item to end on a Sunday evening, the day where you will get most eBay traffic which can lead to a higher bidding price.
- Cross list items. Since listing on eBay (under 1,000 items per month) and Depop is free, why not cross-listing on both platforms and see which one sells first. Just be sure to cancel the same listing on the other platform to avoid complications.
Selling clothes online UK: eBay vs. Depop – OVERALL SCORES:
So to wrap up my experiment, here are the scores head to head between eBay and Depop:
- Ease of use
- Effectiveness of selling
|Ease of use||5/5||4/5|
|Effectiveness of selling||5/5||1/5|
There you have it. The great online clothing sell-off, the battle of eBay vs. Depop. In my personal opinion, eBay is the winner for me, but if you have a different set of preferences, Depop can be a good choice too.
I hope this will help you to decide which site is the best to make some extra money selling clothes.
Whichever platform you choose, happy selling!