Unveiling the Truth: Selling on Etsy and Depop - Pros and Cons Revealed

Unveiling the Truth: Selling on Etsy and Depop - Pros and Cons Revealed

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy
    1. Fees and Payout System
    2. Limited to Handmade and Vintage Items
    3. No "Offers to Likers" Option
    4. Cropped Cover Photos
    5. Constant Changes on Etsy
    6. Saturated Market
    7. Perceived Snobbery on Etsy
    8. Shipping Costs and Timing
    9. Lack of Personalized Customer Service
    10. Pros of Selling on Etsy
  3. Pros and Cons of Selling on Depop
    1. No Sales and Lowball Offers
    2. Targeted towards a Younger Audience
    3. Modeling Expectations on Depop
    4. Mid-Size and Plus Size Hate
    5. Limitations on Photos and Videos
    6. Lack of Offer/Accept Offer feature
    7. Depop's Shipping System
    8. Limited Categories on Depop
    9. Customer Service Issues
    10. Lack of Shop Analytics
    11. All Transactions go through PayPal
    12. No Sales Tax Collected
    13. Pros of Selling on Depop
  4. Conclusion

Selling on Etsy and Depop: Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between

Selling vintage and handmade items online has become increasingly popular in recent years. Two platforms that provide sellers with great opportunities are Etsy and Depop. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of selling on these platforms, from fees and market saturation to customer service and shipping systems. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of which platform might be the best fit for your business. So, let's dive in!

Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy

Fees and Payout System

One of the cons of selling on Etsy is the associated fees. Etsy charges a listing fee of 20 cents per item, which can add up quickly. Additionally, there are hidden fees and a somewhat complicated payout system that may not be ideal for some sellers. However, the pro of selling on Etsy is the potential for higher sales prices. Etsy's reputation as a marketplace for quality handmade and vintage items attracts buyers willing to spend more.

Limited to Handmade and Vintage Items

Etsy has a strict policy that only allows sellers to list handmade and vintage items. While this limitation may not appeal to everyone, it can be a pro for those who specialize in these types of products. Vintage items, in particular, tend to sell well on Etsy, as buyers come specifically to find unique, nostalgic pieces.

No "Offers to Likers" Option

Unlike some other selling platforms, Etsy doesn't have an "Offers to Likers" feature. However, sellers can compensate for this by creating coupon codes and running sales in their shops. These options provide alternative ways to attract and incentivize buyers.

Cropped Cover Photos

One common complaint from Etsy sellers is that the cover photos for their listings get cropped, resulting in less-than-perfect visual representations of their products. While this issue may not significantly impact sales, it is a minor annoyance that sellers should keep in mind when optimizing their listing photos.

Constant Changes on Etsy

Etsy is known for making frequent updates and changes to its platform. While some changes are seen as improvements, others may not resonate with sellers. Adapting to these changes can be challenging for some, but it's crucial to stay informed and make the necessary adjustments to stay competitive on the platform.

Saturated Market

Due to its popularity, Etsy has become a saturated market, with thousands of sellers vying for buyers' attention. This level of competition can make it challenging for new sellers to stand out. However, with a unique product offering and effective marketing strategies, sellers can still succeed on Etsy.

Perceived Snobbery on Etsy

Some sellers feel that Etsy attracts a more discerning and demanding customer base. While this perception can be seen as both a pro and a con, it's important to understand that Etsy buyers often prioritize high-quality items and are willing to pay a premium. So, while sellers need to meet these expectations, it can also lead to higher profit margins.

Shipping Costs and Timing

Etsy's shipping system, while convenient in some aspects, has its downsides. Sellers must factor in the costs of shipping, and the payout timeline may not be as immediate as other platforms. However, compared to platforms like Poshmark, Etsy's shipping process is generally smoother and less time-consuming.

Lack of Personalized Customer Service

Etsy's customer service has been a subject of mixed feedback. Some sellers find it adequate, while others have faced challenges in receiving timely assistance. However, it's crucial for sellers to take a personal approach to customer service to create a positive and memorable experience for buyers.

Pros of Selling on Etsy

  1. Higher sales prices: Etsy's reputation attracts buyers who are willing to spend more on quality handmade and vintage items.
  2. More traffic and a large customer base: Etsy's popularity means more potential customers, increasing the chances of making sales.
  3. Vintage items sell well: Etsy's focus on vintage items creates a niche market with dedicated buyers always on the lookout for unique finds.
  4. Creative and curated platform: Etsy's marketplace is known for its carefully curated shops and a wide range of artistic, trendy, and one-of-a-kind items.
  5. Professional-looking shops: Etsy encourages sellers to create visually appealing shops, which can help attract potential buyers.
  6. Seller control and features: Etsy provides various tools and features to help sellers customize their shops, run promotions, and create a unique brand identity.
  7. SEO optimization: Etsy's search system and analytics provide sellers with valuable insights to improve their visibility and sales performance.

Pros and Cons of Selling on Depop

No Sales and Lowball Offers

One of the downsides of selling on Depop is the occasional lack of sales, and the prevalence of lowball offers. Depop's platform attracts a younger audience, which can result in inconsistent sales and unrealistic price expectations.

Targeted towards a Younger Audience

Depop primarily caters to a younger demographic, including Gen Z and younger millennials. While this can be advantageous for sellers offering trendy and unique items, it may limit the potential market for sellers with different product offerings.

Modeling Expectations on Depop

Depop encourages or, in some cases, expects sellers to model their items to attract buyers. This modeling culture on Depop can be a challenge for sellers who prefer not to or cannot model certain clothing items. However, it's possible to be successful on Depop without modeling by focusing on other aspects like item descriptions, styling suggestions, and flat lays.

Mid-Size and Plus Size Hate

Unfortunately, some sellers and buyers on Depop engage in body shaming and discrimination, particularly towards mid-size and plus-size individuals. It's crucial to promote inclusivity and report any offensive behavior encountered on the platform.

Limitations on Photos and Videos

Depop's photo allowance is limited to four photos and one video per listing. This restriction can make it challenging for sellers to showcase their products fully. However, sellers can maximize their photo space by strategically utilizing each photo to highlight different angles, details, or styling possibilities.

Lack of Offer/Accept Offer Feature

Unlike many other platforms, Depop does not have an "Offer" or "Accept Offer" button. Negotiations and price adjustments are typically done through direct messaging, which can be a hassle for sellers. However, sellers can streamline this process by providing clear guidelines in their listings and engaging in prompt communication.

Depop's Shipping System

Depop's shipping system uses a tiered pricing structure similar to platforms like Mercari. While it provides convenience for some sellers, others prefer to handle shipping independently, especially for international orders. Taking control of shipping allows sellers to choose carriers that offer better rates and services.

Limited Categories on Depop

Depop's category options have previously been criticized for their lack of specificity. However, the platform has been actively improving and expanding its categories to better serve sellers and buyers. While there may still be room for improvement, the current categories offer better organization and easier navigation for users.

Customer Service Issues

Depop's customer service has received mixed reviews, with some sellers reporting challenges in getting timely and satisfactory assistance. In such cases, sellers may need to explore alternative solutions or rely on platforms like PayPal for dispute resolutions.

Lack of Shop Analytics

Depop's analytics and statistics tools for sellers are currently limited. This makes it essential for sellers to keep track of their inventory, sales, and other metrics independently. Maintaining accurate records is crucial for evaluating the success of your business and making informed decisions.

All Transactions go through PayPal

A pro of selling on Depop is that all transactions go through PayPal, ensuring fast and secure payments for sellers. It allows sellers to receive immediate, full payment from buyers, building trust and eliminating payment delays.

No Sales Tax Collected

Unlike some other platforms, Depop does not collect sales tax on behalf of sellers. Sellers are responsible for calculating and including any applicable sales tax in their product prices or accounting independently.

Pros of Selling on Depop

  1. Trendy and younger audience: Depop's platform attracts a younger demographic that actively seeks out trendy and unique fashion items.
  2. Simple listing process: Depop's listing process is straightforward and easy to navigate, making it simple for sellers to showcase and sell their items.
  3. Weird and niche items sell well: Depop's eclectic marketplace welcomes unconventional and unique pieces that may not find a market elsewhere.
  4. Familiar interface: Depop's interface resembles Instagram, making it a familiar and comfortable platform for potential sellers who are already active on social media.
  5. Higher price sales: Depop's trend-focused audience is willing to pay more for fashionable items, resulting in higher sales prices for sellers.
  6. Modeled photos and high-quality visuals: Depop encourages sellers to showcase their items through modeled photos, allowing buyers to envision how the products would look when styled.
  7. Affordable fees: Depop's fee structure is straightforward, with 10% taken from the total sale price, including shipping costs, making it easier for sellers to calculate their profits.

In conclusion, both Etsy and Depop offer unique opportunities for sellers, each with its own set of pros and cons. When deciding which platform to use, consider your target market, the types of items you sell, your personal preferences, and your overall business goals. Don't be afraid to experiment and test different platforms to find the best fit for your vintage reselling business. Good luck and happy selling!


  • Etsy offers higher sales prices and has a large customer base.
  • Depop attracts a trendy and younger audience, and weird/niche items sell well.
  • Etsy's fees and payout system can be complex, while Depop's photo limitations and modeling expectations can be challenging.
  • Both platforms have room for improvement in customer service and analytics.
  • Understanding the pros and cons of each platform can help sellers make informed decisions about where to sell their items.
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