Cost of living: Savvy student started selling unwanted clothes on Depop for extra Uni cash - and made £250k
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A student started selling unwanted clothes on Depop to earn extra cash for university – and made £250,000. Callum Massey was in his second year of an English Literature degree at the University of Wolverhampton when he started selling keyrings and patches on the popular clothing resale app in 2018.
The 24-year-old soon turned to selling vintage clothes found at car boot sales and charity shops and, with monthly profits at £1,000, took the business full-time when he graduated in 2019. Budding businessman Callum has now sold more than 12,500 items from his two shops on the app – Callum’s Cupboard and Knitted Treasures – to the tune of £250k in total sales.
Despite Depop’s fee-free rival Vinted increasing competition in the resale market, Callum’s massive 54 per cent profit margin meant a whopping £30k of his £56k revenue in 2022 was profit. He is now preparing to invest his profits in a new monthly sock subscription service to run alongside his two Depop shops – but has no plans to move out of his parents’ ordinary semi-detached house anytime soon.
Callum, who now rakes in £56k-a-year in revenue and is from Wolverhampton, said: “It started out when I was in the second year of my English Literature degree. I drop-shipped keyrings and patches but I was only making £1 profit at a time.
“Then, when I was waiting between lectures, I would go to charity shops and look for sportswear to sell. I’d also go to car boot sales to find vintage clothing and sell my own stuff too.
“I was working part-time for Curry’s PC World as a shop assistant two evenings a week and every weekend. It was hard to balance that with my studies so eventually I quit that and just made money by running the Depop store in my spare time.
“When I graduated in 2019 I took it full-time and that summer I made £1,000 profit in one month for the first time. I lived with my parents and kept all my stock in the garage so I had hardly any overheads.
“Then Covid started and I just kept saving and my TikTok account blew up and took me to £12k sales in just one month. That was definitely a one-off and demand has decreased since Covid.
“A lot of people were out of work and joined the app so there was more competition. Vinted has also devalued vintage clothing because there are no fees on there but Depop charges 10 per cent.”
Callum still lives at home with his parents but now rents two offices to work in and store his 1,500 items of stock. He has no plans to move out and enjoys spending his money on holidays and festivals.
He said: “I’m happy at home and I’m still making decent money. I sold 200 items last month for £4,500 in total and £2,500 of that was profit.
“It’s a really good profit margin but it is not the most scalable business because everything I sell I have to replace. I have thought about employing someone to double the number of items I can find, photograph, list and send out but I’ve not done that yet.
“I’ve been focusing on getting everything ready for my new Sock Box business – I’m just waiting for custom boxes to send out to my customers. I’m going to carry on my Depop shop but Sock Box will be entirely separate from it.
“I want it to exist on its own on my own website rather than on Depop. I have no major problems with Depop but I do think they need to find a way to showcase just how valuable and rare some of the items on the site are.”