App Chat: Depop Puts a Flea Market in Your Pocket

The all-in-one retail app feels like an Instagram-eBay hybrid

Depop, a U.K.-based mobile app, is at the vanguard of new marketplace-style apps that allow users to sell vintage and secondhand items through mobile devices. 

The slickly designed app debuted in the United States this week after raising $8 million in Series A venture capital to expand here. Former Reddit exec Erik Martin is helming the charge stateside as Depop’s general manager.

The virtual flea market feels like a shopable Instagram. Photos of products resulting from searches are laid out tile style, as they are in Instagram. Click on one of the images and the post looks and feels like a standard-issue mobile social media post—only every item lists a price and offers a one-click buying option (once you’ve established a Depop account). 

Courtesy Depop

An Instagram-inspired screen on the new Depop app

Retailing on Depop is almost as easy as shopping: Sellers take a photo of a product with the app, the photo instantly uploads to the system, and can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Consumers can follow your Depop shop—in the tradition of eBay and Etsy—and privately chat with you to negotiate or ask questions. Payments are ultimately made through PayPal.

I love the speed and easy of shopping on apps like Depop (though I still am more apt to pull the trigger on a purchase when I can peruse laptop-size product images). And it feels like coolly designed, all-in-one selling/buying apps for secondhand goods may soon overshadow slower-moving, less-hip-feeling virtual marketplaces, including eBay.

JCK Magazine Editor