Entrepreneurial teenagers are promoting hyped merchandise on resale platforms corresponding to Depop – and incomes mega-bucks. Every Thursday morning, a snake-like queue types outdoors streetwear model Supreme’s retailer in Soho as followers line up within the hope of strolling away with baggage full of restricted version clothes “dropped” that day.
Among the fanatics are youngsters, they usually’re not simply there to spice up the coolness of their wardrobe – they’ve come for the only objective of shopping for extremely sought-after objects to resell on Depop, a youth-targeted (54% of its customers are aged 14 to 24) public sale app.
And it’s not simply Supreme they’re lapping up. Generation Z – these born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – are shopping for hyped merchandise from streetwear manufacturers corresponding to Bape, Nike and Yeezy to resell for considerably extra on platforms corresponding to Depop, eBay and Grailed.
Forget delivering newspapers or working shifts within the native grocery store. Instead, these entrepreneurial teenagers – many nonetheless at college or faculty – are devoting hours each week to reselling restricted version items, a gig that’s incomes them as much as a number of thousand kilos a month.
Reuben Wall was simply 14 when he turned hooked on promoting objects on-line after he purchased 1 too many Rubik’s Cubes by chance.
“I decided to sell the spare cube and I sold it for double the price that I got it for,” says Wall, now 18. He then re-invested the cash in shopping for 2 extra and bought these on eBay, earlier than buying extra. “Before long I had a whole tower of Rubik’s Cubes.”
From there he moved on to promoting Japanese anime merchandise earlier than selecting his present market – reselling streetwear from Supreme, Palace and Kith.
“When I saw how much certain items were selling for on eBay, I wanted a piece of the action,” says Wall, who’s finding out for a BA in music manufacturing at Northbrook Metropolitan College in Brighton. “I started selling mostly T-shirts, then coats and jackets because they go for a bit more.”
He says he’ll solely purchase hyped objects, and reads feedback and polls on Twitter to gauge the recognition of a sure product.
Sometimes objects will “brick” (an merchandise that doesn’t resell for rather more than retail), so typically he takes a loss. He spends about 3 hours a day reselling, and makes a revenue of between £1,000 to £2,000 a month. To assist improve his probabilities of success, he lists the identical objects on a number of resale platforms.
While Wall spends the money on lease, meals and garments, it’s additionally offered him with an enviable cash pot price £14,000. “I’m saving for a mortgage on a house,” he provides.
Like Wall, Scarlett Gillespie, who lives in Greenwich in London, was 14 when she began promoting garments on Depop. “When I didn’t wear something any more, I thought I may as well sell it on,” says Gillespie, now 15. She primarily bought branded garments corresponding to American Apparel, however quickly realised she might earn extra by shopping for and reselling hyped merchandise from manufacturers with a cult-like following. “I’ve bought Supreme rucksacks and tops from the drop at Supreme’s store on Carnaby Street,” she says. “I’ve only been once – and spent almost a whole day queueing and in the store – but I’ll often ask friends to buy stuff for me.”
Gillespie additionally seeks out merchandise from labels corresponding to Nike, Adidas and Ralph Lauren, and scours garments markets. Like lots of her friends, she discovers which merchandise are in demand by checking streetwear-focused Facebook group The Basement. She lately purchased a Supreme backpack for £120 and bought it for £180, handing her a tidy £60.
She earns a median £100 a month and “wherever I go, I look out for products to resell. My dad is always asking what I’ve sold. He thinks it’s cool.”
Many Depop resellers corresponding to Lydia Clear, who has 9,942 followers on Instagram, create hype round their merchandise by modelling them on the photo-sharing platform.
“There’s a whole market of Instagram influencers that sell clothing on Depop and these markets feed off each other,” says Petah Marian, a senior editor at pattern forecasting agency WGSN. “They build up their influence and street credibility on the platforms – this helps them when they come to selling.”
But does this devalue the manufacturers in any respect – or are they dropping out as a result of their merchandise are being bought once more by resale websites? (There’s no response to emails despatched to manufacturers corresponding to Supreme, Nike and Yeezy.)
Marian says it’s a win-win for the labels. “It’s good for brands as kids are so attached to the items. It makes people buy into the brand more, and demand creates desire.”
Depop founder Simon Beckerman says the app, which has had greater than 7m registrations, has “opened the doors” to a brand new technology utilizing a market for the primary time.
“You have vintage sellers specialising in the 70s, people with a more Y2K [early 2000s] aesthetic, then there are of course the ones who are into the culture of the drop,” he says.
Beckerman says Generation Z aren’t afraid of constructing empires from their bedrooms. “There’s very little risk in trying,” he provides. “There’s so much uncertainty around us nowadays that being your own boss is a very appealing idea.”
This curiosity in reselling amongst youngsters types a key a part of Gen Z’s traits, says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group at JWT Intelligence. “Gen Z are generally much more entrepreneurial and creative in the way they make money. They see themselves as brands, creators, marketers and are using social media to monetise their influence,” she provides.
Growing up as digital natives, spending time on-line to create their very own Depop retailer or constructing hype round garments on Instagram is 2d nature to this demographic.
“As a generation they’re showing a massive amount of self-awareness and agency, as well as being extremely creative and sophisticated in their understanding of brands and culture,” says Greene.
“The combination is that you have this micro-entrepreneurship being applied to lots of what they do. It’s also reflective of their interests generally. If millennials were the reality TV generation where anyone could be a celebrity, Gen Zs are the cohort who believe that anyone can have their own business.”
Ask the youngsters in the event that they really feel responsible about shopping for objects and reselling for a major mark-up, and it’s just about a convincing no.
“For those that genuinely support the brand, that want to buy clothes to wear and keep, it’s understandably annoying to be beaten to a product by someone just looking to make money on the exact same item,” says 18-year-old James Marshall Griffin, who lives in Southampton and resells hyped streetwear merchandise by manufacturers corresponding to Supreme and Palace, making him about £600 to £1,000 a month.
“However, it’s inevitable people are going to do this when people are willing to pay sometimes 10 times the retail price within the first 10 minutes of the item selling out if they’re really eager for it.”
It’s a dog-eat-dog world for these entrepreneurial teenagers.
RAGS TO RICHES
The 17-year-old lives in Brighton and is finding out for her A-levels.
Lydia Clear was solely 14 when she caught the bug for promoting garments on-line.
“My mum used to sell on eBay, and so when I grew bored of my outfits I started selling them on Depop.”
It wasn’t till final yr that she began shopping for garments with the only intention of reselling on-line for the next worth. “I started going to Supreme drops in London during the school holidays and I’d buy the most popular items,” she says. “I’d also often go to Adidas and Nike shops to buy hyped items that I’d heard about on social media.”
During 1 Supreme drop, Clear enlisted a number of of her associates to queue and purchase merchandise that she might promote on Depop. She spent a complete of £300 on hoodies and T-shirts and made a revenue of £1,000.
To create extra hype, she additionally fashions the garments on Instagram, the place she has near 10,000 followers, and add a hyperlink to her Depop retailer.
She spends about 2 hours a day reselling, and makes about £1,000 revenue each month. She has saved up £8,000 so removed from reselling. It’s actually a win-win for her mum and pop. “I’ve told my parents not to give me any money – I don’t need any from them any more.”