Do you need Depop Followers to increase sales?

depop sales no or little followers

From personal experience, the answer is “no” you do not need a lot of followers to make sales on Depop.  Everyone has to start from somewhere I opened my account in April of 2018 and I sold my first item in May 2018 with maybe just 10 followers. 

I continued selling and now I have sold over 200 items. My current follower count is 1606 and I have not done any schemes like “follow, unfollow” or actively pursued followers at all.  I strongly believe followers do not matter for the big picture of continuous selling, there are cases where big followers and a big following will matter but that exception requires more conversation that we will get into in a moment. 

First I will like to discuss the steps I took to increase my sales without a humongous following.

Customer Reviews matter more than Depop Followers

When I first started Depop it was just an afterthought in hopes of selling some items that I could not push via Poshmark.  A few weeks into the process with approximately 10 items listed I got an offer that I decided to accept even though I was only going to break even.  I decided to take the offer because I wanted to use the chance for a good review to help build my reputation, so the reduced sale for me was a “defacto” marketing cost. At the time, I knew that in an peer to peer buying situation like Depop, reviews matter to build the customer’s confidence.

Before starting on Depop I researched the app and I saw the articles/posts about scammers so I wanted to prove myself as a “legit seller.”  I made it clear to my first customer that I was selling at a low rate because I am new on the app and I am trying to get good ratings.  It worked and she gave me my first rating.  After that, I continued to sell the rest of my items at a profit and after the first sale I no longer sold any items at breakeven point. 

I just focused on packing well, being prompt with my responses, shipping quickly, and selling an item as described.  I felt like this was an integral part of my brand and instead of focusing on follow games I would be better just focusing on my customers so I could get good reviews. The more good ratings I received, the more it solidified me as a good seller that a customer didn’t have to worry about any issues with. 

Why I don’t think Depop followers matter when you are just beginning?

Based on my experience and looking at other shops, I don’t think Depop followers matter as much in the beginning.  In the beginning when I had no followers and even now I don’t have an enormous set of followers, people purchased from my shop because I had the inventory that they were looking for at a price they are willing to pay. Once I got the confidence up with the first sale I slowly started to list more items at Depop. At first I was crosslisting with Poshmark, then as my sales started to pick up at Depop sometimes I wouldn’t even bother cross listing if I knew the item would seller faster on Depop.

Another reason I don’t think Depop followers matter when you are just starting out is just because I follow 5K people doesn’t mean those people will follow back. Also, even if they follow back, there is no telling if they would even buy  from my shop. There are some people who I will never fit their aesthetic and also there are people who will only be buyers never sellers. 

I much rather build up my following with people who choose to follow me and are more likely to be engaged with me as a seller because they dig my shop. Yes, they will always be people who follow me just because they are hoping to follow back, but that is a nature of any app with a follower concept. 

Also, running parallel to why I don’t spend a lot of time with following endeavors is because this a  part-time hustle–my time is precious and I streamline my business so that it can be profitable so devoting time for following is just not worth it from a cost benefit analysis perspective.  

How do you get a boost of followers on Depop?

I naturally get a boost in followers with Depop at times when I am on the Explore page.  I first got onto the Explore page around the end of May,  a few weeks after joining the app in April.  I’ve been on the Explore page several times since being on the app.  The followers boost is nice if you are into that sort of thing, but ultimately I am here to sell.  I haven’t notice any difference in a follower boost increasing my sales.  I feel my sales have naturally grown based on the fact I took TLC building my brand, providing good customer service and making sure I have the right inventory, period!

When do Depop followers matter?

I feel those who have those featured accounts and those with bigger followers like in the 10K + range may have a slight advantage for two reasons:

depop verified badge example
Verified Badge

A verified account on Depop are those accounts with the big blue check mark by the profile image.  You will notice that when you go to the Explore Page that you will see some of the same faces over and over again.  That’s because that is a perk for being a featured seller.

From my experience being on the Explore Page is not an automatic sale, there are times that I have the same item show up on the Explore twice with no sale. However, I can tell you that being on the Explore Page doesn’t hurt and it greatly increases your chances of selling because it widens your audience and increases your exposure exponentially. My follower count naturally experiences a boost every time I am featured on the Explore Page.

Many times you may hear that only big accounts with big followers built up via Instagram or Celebrity accounts are the only people who sell, but that is just not simply true.

This is what appears to be true:

An Account with a verified badge especially one that shows up in the Explore Page area will undoubtedly help a seller sell more because of the exposure.

Having a lot of followers will allow your items to go into more feeds of potential customers which will in essence increase your reach into more buyers feeds.

Not being in a lot of peoples feeds have not prevented me from selling, although that doesn’t mean I could potentially sell more with more followers. 

They are those Depop famous/celebrity accounts whose pictures, merchandise, etc may not be nearly as good as yours and you may feel its unfair that they are just selling stuff fast because of their name or exposure.

However, just like on Instagram with Kylie Kardashian and her lip kit success and her other plugs that she does on her Insta, she has a huge reach and exposure and she can sell things that the average person wouldn’t just buy from you or me, because of name recognition, her brand, etc. This same concept applies on Depop and is the reason why Featured Accounts, accounts with big followings, etc may appear to have an advantage.

I can tell you being salty about someone’s perceived advantage is not putting any more money in your pocket. You’ve got to do you, and you can’t copy and paste somebody’s else situation and make it your own.  Aim to succeed with where you are at in this moment. There are plenty of newbies killing it all the time, focus on your shop

For those social media peeps that are killing it and are crossing over to Depop to sell and you want to be like them–then you have to decide if that is your path to success. If you want to build social media as a catalyst for selling on Depop as well as other things there is a time and investment component to that. For me, my focus is purely on selling via Depop at this time as I have other projects that need my time and attention. I can tell you from my experience that I’ve sold without any social media pushes.

I am not going to complain or hate on the ones that made it and are featured in the meantime I am going to keep moving like the little engine that could and instead focus inwardly on my shop on how I can make that money until it starts making itself!

Do you want to Sell on Depop but don’t have the time?

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Bumping matters more than Depop Followers

When you are first starting out, bumping matters more than Depop followers for getting sales. For the Poshmark sellers out there, bumping is the equivalent to sharing.  They are some people that do this every hour especially if its their full time job.  Honestly, bumping gets repetitive and can be a mundane task, however it is one of the best ways to kickstart your sales. Bumping goes into the “it is what it is” category if you want sales you gotta bump, periot pooh!

Bumping on Depop moves your item to the top of the feed. There is a direct correlation to bumping and sales, as your item moves down into the feed the more likely you will lose the type of customers who are not willing to scroll through a lot of listings to find items.

Here is an illustration of how bumping works on Depop:

First consider again that Depop’s platform functionality mirrors Instagram in a lot of ways including how the feed functions.  Just like on Instagram the newest content is at the top of the feed, the same with Depop, the newest items added to the app go to the top of the feed. However, you can get your older items to the top of the feed again by bumping it, which just means you edit the listing so that it updated and then it will go to the top of the feed.

Take for example if I am searching the popular Depop hashtag #nothing new, at 9:28 AM is the picture of the feed without my Harley Davidson shirt listed, then I immediately shared it at 9:28 AM and then it came to the top of the feed at 9:30 AM. It won’t take long for the Harley Davidson shirt to get buried with other listings as more and more items are added to the feed by other sellers as #nothing new has “224, 013” results. 

The default output is, to show the most recent items added or updated to the top of the feed. However, a user can always filter out results for category, size, price which could change how the buyers sees your listing, but that is outside of your span of control.  What is in your span of control is bumping for the default output for the customers who are just scrolling from the top of the feed to the bottom.

You can make it on Depop with little or no followers

The followers, the accolades you are searching for will come if you are listing dope items, taking great pictures, and providing good customer service–these are the key elements to selling on Depop.