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Meet the Teenagers Who Earn Thousands Selling Online | Work & careers

By on March 23, 2021 0

EEntrepreneurial teens are selling trendy merchandise on resale platforms like Depop – and earning mega-bucks. Every Thursday morning, a snake-like queue forms outside streetwear brand Supreme’s store in Soho as fans line up hoping to walk away with bags full of limited-edition clothing.” abandoned” that day.

Among the fanatics, there are teenagers, and they are not only here to boost the freshness of their wardrobe, they have come for the sole purpose of buying highly sought-after items to resell them on Depop, a site intended to young people (54% of its users are aged 14 to 24) auction application.

And it’s not just Supreme they love. Generation Z – those born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – buy trendy merchandise from streetwear brands such as Bape, Nike and Yeezy to resell much more on platforms such as Depop, eBay and Grail.

Forget newspaper delivery or shifts at the local supermarket. Instead, these enterprising teenagers – many of whom are still in school or university – put in hours each week reselling limited edition products, a job that earns them up to several thousand pounds a month. .

Reuben Wall was just 14 when he got hooked on selling items online after accidentally buying too many Rubik’s Cubes.

“I decided to sell the spare cube and sold it for double the price I got it for,” says Wall, now 18. He then reinvested the money into buying two more cubes and selling them on eBay, before buying more. “Before long, I had a whole tower of Rubik’s Cubes.

From there, he moved on to selling Japanese anime merchandise before moving into his current market – reselling streetwear from Supreme, Palace, and Kith.

Reuben Wall says he reads comments and polls on Twitter to gauge the popularity of products. Photography: Chris Cohen

“When I saw how much certain items were selling for on eBay, I wanted to get in on the action,” says Wall, who is studying for a BA in music production at Northbrook Metropolitan College in Brighton. “I started selling mainly T-shirts, then coats and jackets because they cost a bit more.”

He says he will only buy trendy items and reads Twitter comments and polls to gauge the popularity of a certain product.

Sometimes items “brick” (an item that doesn’t resell much more than retail), so sometimes it takes a loss. He spends around three hours a day reselling and making a profit of £1,000-2,000 a month. To increase his chances of success, he lists the same items on multiple reselling platforms.

While Wall spends the money on rent, food and clothing, it has also provided him with an enviable prize pool worth £14,000. “I’m saving for a mortgage on a house,” he adds.

Like Wall, Scarlett Gillespie, who lives in London’s Greenwich, was 14 when she started selling clothes on Depop. “When I was no longer wearing something, I thought I might as well resell it,” says Gillespie, now 15. She mainly sold branded clothes like American Apparel, but soon realized she could earn more by buying and reselling fashionable clothes. cult brand products. “I bought Supreme backpacks and tops at the Supreme store in Carnaby Street,” she says. “I’ve only been there once – and I spent almost an entire day waiting in line and in the store – but I often ask friends to buy things for me.”

Gillespie also researches products from brands such as Nike, Adidas and Ralph Lauren, and browses clothing markets. Like many of her peers, she finds out which products are in demand by checking out streetwear-focused Facebook group The Basement. She recently bought a Supreme backpack for £120 and sold it for £180, set her back £60.

She earns an average of £100 a month and “everywhere I go I look for products to resell. My father always asks me what I sold. He thinks it’s cool.

James Marshall Griffin earns around £600 to £1,000 a month reselling brands such as Supreme and Palace.
James Marshall Griffin earns around £600 to £1,000 a month reselling brands such as Supreme and Palace. Photography: James Marshall Griffin

Many Depop stockists such as Lydia Clear, who has 9,942 followers on Instagram, are creating a buzz around their products by modeling them on the photo-sharing platform.

“There’s a whole marketplace of Instagram influencers selling clothes on Depop and those marketplaces feed off each other,” says Petah Marian, editor of trend forecasting firm WGSN. “They build their influence and credibility on the street on the platforms – it helps them when it comes to selling.”

But does this devalue brands? Or are they losing because their products are resold via resale sites? (There are no responses to emails sent to brands such as Supreme, Nike and Yeezy.)

Marian says it’s a win-win for the labels. “It’s good for brands because children are so attached to items. This drives people to buy into the brand more, and demand creates desire.

Depop founder Simon Beckerman said the app, which has had more than 7 million signups, has “opened the doors” to a new generation using a marketplace for the first time.

“You have vintage sellers specializing in the 70s, people with a more Y2K [early 2000s] aesthetic, then of course there are those who are in the drop culture,” he says.

Beckerman says Gen Z isn’t afraid to build empires from their bedroom. “There are very few risks in trying,” he adds. “There’s so much uncertainty around us these days that being your own boss is a very appealing idea.”

This resale interest among teens is a key part of Gen Z’s characteristics, says Lucie Greene, Global Head of 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 use social media to monetize their influence,” he adds. she.

Growing up as digital natives, spending time online setting up their own Depop store, or building hype around clothes on Instagram is second nature to this demographic.

“As a generation, they show enormous self-awareness and agency, while being extremely creative and sophisticated in their understanding of brands and culture,” says Greene.

“The combination is you have this micro-entrepreneurship applied to a lot of what they do. It also reflects their interests in general. If Millennials were the reality TV generation where anyone could be a celebrity, Gen Z is the cohort that believes anyone can have their own business.

Ask teens if they feel guilty buying items and reselling them for a significant markup, and it’s pretty much a definite no.

“For those who are genuine brand supporters, who want to buy clothes to wear and keep, it’s understandable that it’s annoying to be beaten by someone who is just looking to make money on the same item” , says 18-year-old James Marshall. Griffin, who lives in Southampton and resells trendy streetwear products from brands such as Supreme and Palace, earning him around £600-1,000 a month.

“However, it’s inevitable that people will when they’re willing to pay sometimes 10 times the retail price within the first 10 minutes of selling the item if they really feel like it.”

It’s a dog-eat-dog world for these enterprising teenagers.



The 17-year-old lives in Brighton and is studying for her A-levels.

Lydia Clear was just 14 when she caught the bug selling clothes online.

“My mom used to sell on eBay, so when I got tired of my outfits, I started selling them on Depop.”

It wasn’t until last year that she started buying clothes with the sole purpose of reselling them online at a higher price. “I started going to Supreme stores in London during school holidays and would buy the most popular items,” she says. “I also often went to Adidas and Nike stores to buy trendy items that I had heard about on social media.”

During a Supreme drop, Clear enlisted several of her friends to line up and buy products she could sell on Depop. She spent a total of £300 on hoodies and t-shirts and made a profit of £1,000.

To build more hype, she also models the clothes on Instagram, where she has nearly 10,000 followers, and adds a link to her Depop store.

She spends around two hours a day reselling and makes a profit of around £1,000 a month. She has saved £8,000 so far on resale. It’s definitely a win-win situation for his mother and father. “I told my parents not to give me any money – I don’t need them anymore.”

Lydia Clear started off by unloading old outfits, but moved on to buying for resale.
Lydia Clear started off by unloading old outfits, but moved on to buying for resale. Photography: @danieloregan/Instagram