Is Depop Safe for Buyers and Sellers? A Detailed Guide

As an avid Depop seller and entrepreneurship consultant focused on assisting small businesses, I‘m often asked – is Depop actually safe for buyers and sellers?

With over 30 million users and growing, Depop has exploded as a popular ecommerce marketplace, especially among young entrepreneurs seeking to monetize their closets and creativity. However, with any peer-to-peer commerce platform, users need to enter informed and take precautions.

From my experience managing a successful Depop shop, I want to provide an in-depth guide on Depop‘s safety features, potential risks, and top tips for both buyers and sellers to transact securely.

How Depop Protects Buyers

Depop offers several protections aimed at creating a safe buying experience:

In-app Payments

  • Depop encourages buyers to use their in-app payment processing, powered by PayPal. This keeps payments within the platform, enabling transaction oversight.
  • In-app payments are protected by PayPal‘s Buyer Protection program, which can refund buyers in case issues arise.

Review System

  • Depop‘s two-way review system lets buyers leave 1-5 star ratings and written feedback about sellers. This builds seller reputation.
  • Per Depop‘s data, 93% of sellers have an average rating of 5 stars. Highly rated sellers are less risky.

Buyer Protection Policy

  • If buyers don‘t receive an item or receive one that is significantly different than described, they can get a full refund by reporting it within 180 days of purchase.
  • According to Depop, less than 1% of transactions end in a dispute. Their Buyer Protection Policy helps resolve these rare cases.

Purchase Protection

  • When buyers pay via Depop Payments, their eligible purchases are protected from unauthorized charges and item not received claims under Depop‘s Purchase Protection program.


  • Depop uses artificial intelligence and human moderators to review listings and investigate complaints, shutting down any prohibited or dangerous activity.

However, Depop buying is not completely without risks…

Potential Buying Risks on Depop

Though Depop offers strong buyer protections, users still need to be cautious. Here are some key risks to keep in mind:

  • Scams – Scammers try to lure buyers off the app to avoid Depop‘s protections. Never pay outside the app, even if pressured.
  • Inauthentic or low quality items – Without examining items in person first, you risk getting replicas or subpar quality. Vet sellers carefully.
  • Incorrect or flawed item descriptions – Sellers may intentionally or accidentally misrepresent details like size, condition, materials, etc. Ask for additional photos and details.
  • Shipping mishaps – Packages may get lost or damaged during transit. Opt for tracked shipping and inspect items immediately upon arrival.
  • Seller irresponsibility – Slow shipping, ignoring messages, and not accepting returns are bad signs. Review profiles thoroughly before purchasing.

To avoid these problems, buyers should follow best practices…

5 Safety Tips for Depop Buyers

As a Depop buyer, you can hugely minimize risks by taking these key precautions:

1. Thoroughly vet sellers

  • Check their reviews, ratings, number of sales, followers, and account age.
  • Opt for sellers with multiple 5-star ratings over new accounts with no reviews.

2. Ask questions before purchasing

  • Request additional photos, measurements, material details, etc. if the listing seems vague.
  • Ask sellers about their processing times and shipping methods.

3. Use Depop Payments

  • Pay through Depop‘s in-app system rather than PayPal or another method. This gives access to the most protection.

4. Inspect items immediately upon arrival

  • Open packages promptly and check that items match their descriptions.
  • If there are serious issues, begin returns right away.

5. Provide fair ratings and reviews

  • Leave honest feedback about your experience to help inform other buyers.

By vetting carefully, paying in-app, inspecting quickly, and rating fairly, Depop buyers can enjoy smooth, successful, and protected purchasing experiences.

How Depop Protects Sellers

As an entrepreneur using Depop to grow a small business, seller protections are also crucial. Here are key ways Depop keeps sellers safe:

Seller Standards

  • Depop maintains seller standards that prohibit misconduct. Violating them can result in account restrictions or permanent suspension. This motivates sellers to behave professionally.

Seller Protection Policy

  • If sellers send items but have issues like false "item not received" claims, Depop‘s Seller Protection Policy helps them dispute cases within 180 days of sale.

Seller Ratings

  • Seller profiles display their average rating, percentage of 5-star ratings, number of sales, and more. This establishes a reputation that attracts recurring buyers.

PayPal Seller Protection

  • When sellers use PayPal invoices paid through Depop Payments, they are covered by PayPal‘s Seller Protection for claims and chargebacks.

In-app Messaging

  • By requiring communication to occur within the app, there is a record of conversations if any transaction issues emerge.


  • Depop‘s moderators remove prohibited items, investigate complaints against sellers, and suspend accounts if necessary to protect the community.

However, selling on Depop comes with its own risks…

Potential Selling Risks on Depop

Depop sellers also need to be vigilant against various hazards:

  • Non-paying buyers – Buyers may "ghost" sellers after agreeing to purchases. Only ship items after payments clear.
  • Returns and refund demands – Some buyers falsely claim items are inauthentic or not as described to get free returns. Enforce clear return policies.
  • Review bombing – Irate customers sometimes leave unfair 1-star ratings to harm a shop‘s reputation.
  • Scams – Fraudulent buyers may try to pay outside the app. Never transact outside Depop.
  • Hijacked accounts – If your account is hacked, money could be stolen or your shop used fraudulently. Use a unique Depop password.
  • Prohibited or illegal items – Avoid accidentally listing banned items like drop-shipped goods. Depop may suspend your shop.

To minimize these seller risks, certain best practices are recommended…

5 Safety Tips for Depop Sellers

As a seasoned Depop seller, these are my top tips for protecting yourself:

1. Screen buyers

  • Verify new buyers by checking profiles and previous reviews left for others.
  • Require ID verification for high-risk transactions.

2. Only ship to confirmed addresses

  • Always ship to the address on the PayPal transaction details.
  • Never change addresses unless Depop‘s support team instructs you to.

3. Upload tracking information

  • Upload tracking details to the order confirmation page so you have shipping proof.

4. Take detailed photos

  • Photograph any flaws clearly and accurately represent item conditions to minimize return disputes.

5. Respond promptly

  • Reply to messages within 24 hours to keep buyers informed and comfortable transacting with you.

The most successful and protected shops carefully vet buyers, upload tracking, photograph clearly, ship safely, and communicate professionally at all times.

Keys to Depop Selling Success

For entrepreneurs using Depop to grow a small business, these best practices are also vital:

  • List consistently – Refresh your shop regularly with new arrivals to stay relevant in search results.
  • Price competitively – Research similar items to price yours attractively compared to other sellers.
  • Follow trends – Analyze what‘s currently popular to inform your sourcing and inventory decisions.
  • Engage your followers – Post shop announcements, sales, styling ideas, and more on your profile feed.
  • Provide great service – Go above and beyond responding quickly, shipping fast, and resolving any issues.

Sellers who consistently list competitively priced, on-trend items, engage their followers, and provide exceptional service can build thriving Depop shops and incomes.


While no marketplace is risk-free, Depop provides extensive protections and security features to enable safe transactions for both buyers and sellers. By making informed transactions, vetting counterparts, and engaging responsibly, Depop can be used safely to exchange unique goods.

As an experienced user, I hope these detailed insights and tips help you navigate Depop confidently. Happy buying and selling!