How To Use Depop to Buy Good Second Hand Clothing

Since Depop's arrival to the online shopping world, it is becoming a key place for people to find clothing second hand (without the effort of rummaging through charity shops. Instead of feeling like you are looking for a needle in a haystack, which charity shopping can feel like sometimes, Depop has brought the search engine to second hand clothing.

If you have never heard of Depop before, it is essentially an app where anyone can list their clothes to sell to others. It is pretty similar to eBay or Poshmark, except the process of listing items is so much quicker and the user base is refined to people selling clothes and accessories. I discovered it 3 years ago and have sold over 200 items since then, alongside buying too. Therefore I feel like I know the ins and outs of how the app works and how to successfully purchase what you want for a much lower price than buying on the high street.

Related Post: How I Sold Over 200 Items on Depop



If you are looking for something specific, such as clothes from a particular brand or a certain piece (e.g black flared trousers) make sure to use the search feature to send you in the right direction.

There are different ways you could initiate a search for what you want through:

- The brand name (e.g Brandy Melville)
- The type of clothing (e.g black flared trousers)
- Combine brand and clothing types (e.g Topshop jumper)
- Using key words and being specific! (e.g black Topshop Jamie Jeans w26 l30)

If you are unsure of what you are looking for be generic, then get inspired by the items that come up and refine your search as you find new styles. For example, you may search black denim skirt, and find a type that has buttons up the front - therefore you can make a new search saying "black button up denim skirt" so that you aren't just scrolling endlessly forever.


In addition to this, use the search filters to refine the search down to the categories, sizes, brands and price you want. Something to be wary of, is that not all sellers use these filters properly when listing items, so it may be better to select multiple sizes such as S, 8 and w26 rather than just size 8. Also I have noticed that a lot of sellers categorise clothing differently, so it may be worth looking through the original search and finding an item that could have been listed wrong - the price may be better!


If you know you love the quality of clothing from a particular brand, be sure to narrow your search down to that brand. This is also useful in terms of sizing and knowing what will fit you. For example, if you have a lot of tops from Topshop in the same size, it is likely that if you buy another top from their brand on Depop, that it will fit you! This removes the issue of not being able to return items if they don't fit, because it will most likely fit!! 

The only times this may not apply is if you have never tried a brand before, if the sizing is one size, or if it is a vintage item. In this scenario, the best way to find clothing that will fit you is to.. (cue next step)

To avoid the guessing game of sizing and brands, you could simply ask the seller about the sizing of the item e.g:
    • "Hey would this fit a size 8?"
    • "Would this fit a w26?"
    • "What is the measurement for the inner arm of the sleeves in inches?"
    • "How long is this skirt in cm?"
    • "Is the material stretchy?"
    • "How many times have you worn this?"
    If you ask for the measurement specifics then you can get out your tape measure and check the lengths on your own body - making it more likely that the item will fit when it arrives. Asking the seller questions is also useful for understanding what exactly the item is like. Often sellers do not have very good descriptions, so you may need to ask about the material, weight and stretch of the item.


    A lot of sellers (including myself) only upload photos of the item on the hanger, as it is the quickest way to list an item. However, this can cause issues as usually the way a piece looks on the hanger is completely different to how it looks on a person. Unless you know the style of the item, I recommend asking the seller to post some more photos of the item, whether it be from a different angle or having them wear it. I've definitely had cases where I thought I would love an item, then I see it on the seller and it just isn't what I imagined. Save yourself the effort of reselling items and ask for photos and measurements. 

    A good tip is to also ask the seller's height, because they may have longer legs or torso than you, so the image on person may look different to how it would for you. Make a good judgement - if a top is not cropped on a tall person, why would it be cropped for you? 


    If you find an item in your size and style, it's likely that the seller has listed lots of things that fit your criteria. It's a good idea to follow people who are your size, so that when their items come up on your feed, you aren't scrolling past things that wouldn't fit. Also you should look at who the seller is following, and look at their items


    This especially applies to finding unique vintage pieces. This space is great for inspiration and styling suggestions, the pieces are usually being sold by experienced and more professional sellers. However, it may be more difficult to find your size - this is where the search feature is better. Regardless of that, it is still a really useful section of the app, especially for items that you may not know how to describe.

    So, that concludes the first post in my new Depop series. If you haven't given Depop a try yet, I'd say take the plunge and try a new way of shopping - you'll be surprised how much money you can save by shopping second hand. Future posts in this series will include: how to sell, Depop myths busted and finding the cheapest clothes - so make sure to save the link to my blog or follow me on social media here to be notified of the remaining posts in my series!

    If Depop doesn't work for you, have you tried Thred Up?

    What are your techniques to finding clothes you love on Depop?


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