These days just about anything is available for sale online, for better or for worse. But for a while there was a gaping hole in the online shopping market: secondhand clothing. Now, peer-to-peer marketplaces have gained rapid traction over the past several years, making the resale market more accessible for everyone. Depop and Poshmark, which happen to have more differences than you think, are the apps that are leading the way.
In June 2021, Depop made waves when it was bought by Etsy for a whopping $1.6 billion. As Gen Z’s favorite shopping platform, it’s produced some successful young power sellers, too, including “Internet Girl” Bella McFadden and Emma Rogue, who turned her Depop business into a vintage brick-and-mortar in downtown New York City. Poshmark has been around for a decade but has had some major milestones in the past few years. In 2019, the resale app paid out more than $2 billion across its network of “seller stylists,” topping its $1 billion mark from the year before.
While these two online marketplaces essentially serve the same purpose of selling pre-loved clothes and accessories, each boasts plenty of fundamental distinctions — fees, features, aesthetics, and more — that cater to completely different users. Ahead, we break down what sets Depop and Poshmark apart from each other and how they compare for those who plan to sell and buy on these apps.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Earnings From Sales
This is perhaps the most important aspect of online resale apps for those listing items. Many new sellers are unaware that these apps make commission and find themselves confused and frustrated when their final earnings don’t match up with what they expected. For Depop, the app takes 10% from every sale made, and its partnership with PayPal to ensure secure transactions creates additional fees. PayPal takes a cut from every sale, though it varies by country. For U.S. sellers, expect to be charged 2.9% + $0.20 of every sale, and for those in United Kingdom and European Union, it is 3.4% + $0.25 per sale. Poshmark operates a bit differently: For every sale under $15, Poshmark takes a flat fee of $2.95, and for every sale over $15, the platform takes 20% of earnings.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: User Experience
Both platforms are formatted like social media (dubbed “social commerce” by retail experts), which makes endless scrolling all the more feasible. But if Poshmark is Facebook in terms of aesthetics and layout, then Depop is Instagram. Poshmark combines followers with the algorithm’s predictions and utilizes stories, similar to Instagram and Snapchat — although the purpose of having them is unclear. Depop, on the hand, has separate tabs: “Explore,” “My DNA,” which uses your likes, saves, and purchases to curate a personalized style edit, and “Feed,” consisting of users you follow.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Notifications
If we’re anthropomorphizing online resale apps, which I guess we are now, Poshmark is like the elder millennial sibling to Depop’s Gen Z. The former pings your phone with Oscar Wilde quotes and reminders to set boundaries, while Depop gets right to business with shipping notifications and message alerts. While personal notification settings can be changed, communication and quick response time is crucial while using resale apps. It may be worth keeping them on, regardless of your feelings toward inspirational platitudes.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Curating For You
Like the Instagram Explore Page and the TikTok For You Page, Poshmark and Depop use user data to help find items that are tailored to your tastes. When users first create an account, both apps will ask about brand and designer preferences in order to help create a more enjoyable shopping experience. Depop users can also check off specific styles, such as streetwear, Y2K, and vintage that gets filtered into more recommendations.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Shopping For A Specific Item
Ultimately, finding the item on your shopping radar comes down more to how they’re listed, as opposed to the apps themselves. When searching for a specific item — for example, let’s use black platform boots — the more specific the search, the better. Both apps, when searched with the keywords “black platform boots” offer a wide selection of the particular footwear I’m looking for. Using the exact name of the product, especially if you have a certain brand or style in mind, like “Marc Jacobs black platform boots” or “chunky black platform boots,” tends to yield better results than broader, vague keywords.
Both apps allow you to narrow down your search results by filters, including brand, size, color, and more. A major difference for Depop’s search function, however, is its use of hashtags, which usually highlights an item’s brand and aesthetic. A listing’s caption for a pair of black platform boots from Dr. Martens boasts the hashtags #drmartens, #grunge, #egirl, and #gothic, among others. You can also input these hashtags into the search bar for easy browsing and more shopping choices.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Brand And Product Authentication
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot either app can do about verifying the authenticity of the brands and fashion items that people claim to be selling. Poshmark does offer its Posh Authenticate in-house physical authentication service for all items that are priced over $500. To help ensure the validity of luxury items within this range, a Poshmark employee will review the item for authenticity and then once confirmed, send it over to the buyer with free shipping.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Communicating With Sellers
Both resale apps allow users to correspond directly with sellers. On Depop, all communication is via DM, while on Poshmark, all of it is out in the open on the platform. There is no way to privately message a seller, though users have bypassed this by creating a bundle order, which is still somewhat public.) For any questions or more clarification from the seller, Poshmark shoppers can comment directly on the item’s product page so the seller can respond.
Both Depop and Poshmark also encourage bartering. But on Poshmark, users are unable to directly message the seller with questions or to make offers. Like on eBay, Poshmark users can submit bids on items. If the offer is accepted within 24 hours, the user commits to buying the item. Depop, alternately, is more of a marketplace in which users can speak directly to and build relationships with sellers.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Who And What Is On The App
On Depop, 90% of its users are under the age of 26, meaning that the app is dominated by Gen Z. Poshmark’s demographic is a bit more diverse, with only 20% of users belonging to Gen Z. However, the numbers seem to only be growing, as Poshmark reports that 1 in every 4 new users is a part of the under-26 age bracket. While demographics may not affect the overall buying and selling process on either app, it may contribute to the differing popularity and availability of items across the platforms.
That being said, Depop’s offerings will likely cater to Gen Z’s shopping and fashion preferences, which, right now, range from specific internet aesthetics to all things vintage, DIY, and streetwear. Rare designer finds can certainly be found on Poshmark, but the app’s inventory can skew more mainstream, offering plenty of everyday brands and very common styles (think athleisure, business wear, and beyond) at accessible, secondhand prices.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Price Gouging
Price gouging has been a growing ethical quandary in the digital resale community as of late. Defined by the Poshmark FAQ page as “when a seller increases the price of items to a level much higher than what is considered reasonable or fair,” price gouging is generally contextualized in terms of essential and emergency supplies. However, the secondhand clothing market has seen price gouging affect in-demand pieces, leading to questions of morality over rebranding a $15 child’s large Justice T-shirt as a $50 Y2K throwback baby tee. Poshmark has instituted a policy against price gouging and threatens users who participate in extreme overcharging with listing removal or account suspension. Depop’s Seller Handbook does not provide any policy against price gouging, instead advising sellers to consider adjusting the price based on buyers’ needs.
Depop Vs. Poshmark: Bottom Line
Despite their similar overarching concepts, it’s clear that Depop and Poshmark have some key distinctions (for both buyers and sellers). While no peer-to-peer online marketplace is flawless, the only way to truly decide which one is right for you is to keep the differences we laid out in mind and use these resale apps firsthand.