👘How kids make millions on Depop


August 4, 2021

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The Hustle

To produce the 5k Olympic medals being awarded in Tokyo, officials extracted metals from ~79k tons of recycled electronic devices, including 6.21m phones. What a steel!

Today’s rundown:

  • Your old shirt’s in style: Depop wants to help you sell it.
  • Bomb drop: Zoom settles $85m Zoombombing lawsuit.
  • $1m taste buds: Meet the world’s greatest ice cream taster.

Let’s do it.

The big idea
band tee shirts

Depop helps teens make bank by selling old shirts. Here’s how.

Gen Z knows how to hustle — a stellar example is their take on the modern thrift store: Depop.

Depop is a social shopping app recently acquired by Etsy for $1.6B. The firm makes money by taking 10% of all sales on its platform.

Gen Z has flocked to Depop for its ability to mint teenage millionaires and help others pay for college simply by flipping vintage items.

Setting up a shop is easy…

… which is partly why the app has grown so fast.

To have a chance at success, sellers need to nail 3 skills:

  1. Inventory management: Depop shops resemble an Instagram feed, so curating a consistent aesthetic and giving each item a thoughtful description helps attract buyers.
  2. Customer relations: Adding new listings consistently and responding quickly are a must.
  3. Shipping: Fast shipping is table stakes — branding your packaging, adding thank-you notes, and sending freebies to new customers can help differentiate your shop.

If you get the basics right, you may get selected as a top seller

Top sellers are hand-picked by Depop, and offered extra support and promotion in the app.

To qualify, sellers need to post 4 consecutive months with:

  • 50+ items sold at ~$20, or ~$2.6k in sales before fees
  • Average rating of at least 4.5 from customers
  • Average ship time of 3 days (so buyers get the item in 10 days on average)

Marketing products, managing orders, and shipping items means Depop can be a grind

Some sellers say it’s impossible to succeed without being on your phone for 8+ hours a day (which doesn’t exactly sound like a side hustle).

  • Even some top sellers believe it isn’t worth it — claiming the company favors established influencers with audiences on other platforms over top sellers.

That said, if you’re cleaning out your closet anyway, it may be worth creating a shop and seeing what happens.

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SNIPPETS

The Whole Foods tax: Amazon added a $9.95 delivery fee to 6 markets. #ecommerce-retail

High-five?: Amazon will pay $10 for a biometric scan of your palm. It’ll let you cash out at its checkoutless stores, but one surveillance tech expert calls it “dystopian.” #privacy

Water cooler talk: In the face of drought, some office buildings are recycling their water. #clean-energy

Market networks, explained: What are market networks and how do they make money? Shaan Puri explains. #hustle-picks

Discounts are coming: YouTube piloted a “Premium lite” subscription in Europe for €6.99. #big-tech

Ghost Kitchens go D2C: Reef, a ghost kitchen provider backed by SoftBank, announced plans to launch a consumer-facing app. #emerging-tech

Meet a miner: Inside the life of a 19-year-old making 54k a year mining bitcoin. #fintech-cryptocurrency

For Zoom the Bell Tolls
Zoom gallery view screenshot

Zoom users may get refunds thanks to Zoombombing lawsuit

Sometimes, rapid growth has consequences. Take Zoom, which recently agreed to pay $85m to settle a lawsuit alleging it violated its users’ privacy, per NPR.

In March 2020, lockdowns turned Zoom into our classroom, office, and social space. The platform skyrocketed from 10m daily users to 200m+.

But CEO Eric Yuan admitted Zoom wasn’t quite ready for all that attention, writing, “We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations.”

Between March and May 2020, 14 claims were filed against Zoom and later consolidated into one class-action lawsuit.

The complaint accused Zoom of:

  • Misrepresenting its users’ security and privacy, allowing hackers to Zoombomb meetings
  • Sharing data with 3rd parties like Facebook and Google

What’s Zoombombing again?

Zoombombing is when some rando shows up to a Zoom meeting uninvited. It’s a silly prank when Conan O’Brien Zoombombs a Silicon Valley tech company.

But some bombers shared hate speech or dropped X-rated material into classrooms of underage students, prompting the FBI to issue a warning.

If the settlement is approved by a federal judge…

… Zoom subscribers may receive a 15% refund or $25, whichever is more. Nonsubscribers may apply for a $15 refund. The next hearing is in October.

Zoom has also agreed to take actions to increase security, though Gizmodo wasn’t impressed, noting some require the user to know a lot about data privacy or are a moot point on Apple’s OS.

Still, $25 will get you not 1 but 2 Hustle pint glasses.

Cheers!

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Cool job

John Harrison licking ice cream off his gold plated spoon (Source: YouTube / WISH-TV)

The ice cream man whose taste buds are insured for $1m

Currently, there are ~30k self-identified pro “tasters” on LinkedIn. But it’s safe to say few have a story like John Harrison’s.

It starts in 1880, when Harrison’s great-grandfather opened 2 ice cream parlors in New York. Some time later, his grandfather started the 1st dairy co-op in Tennessee.

  • After that, his father owned an Atlanta-based dairy factory, and his uncle owned a Memphis-based ice cream factory.

Harrison started out as an assistant taster for his uncle

Eventually, in 1980, Harrison joined Dreyer’s (known as Edy’s in the eastern US) as the company’s head taster, where he retired in 2010.

In his time at Dreyer’s, Harrison claimed he tasted (but rarely swallowed) a few hundred million gallons of ice cream.

  • Harrison also claimed he co-invented cookies and cream and could immediately tell the difference between 12% and 11.5% fat in a product.

According to Harrison, it’s all in the taste buds

Harrison’s insight was so valuable to Dreyer’s business, they had his buds insured for $1m.

Here’s what Harrison told the LA Times in 1991: “My taste buds… are not necessarily better than anyone else’s, they’ve just been trained.”

Wanna see Harrison in action? Check out this clip. We guarantee you’ve never seen anyone eat or speak about ice cream so eloquently.

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Podcast

How to know when to go all in

The duo discusses making that high-risk, high-reward jump.

Other hot topics from episode 200 (woooooo) of My First Million: the crypto media business, teenage side hustles, and the $15m house Shaan is podding from.

Also, Sam shares why he’s thinking about buying the lot next to his house. We’re fielding business ideas for him. Watch it now.

Ep. 2-hundo →
AROUND THE WEB

✈️ Wait, what: For the 4th time, a pilot has reported a mysterious person with a jetpack — a la “The Mandalorian” — hovering near LAX. The FBI is on the case, but hasn’t been able to validate any of the previous reports.

📻 On this day: In 1958, the Billboard Hot 100 published for the first time. The No. 1 jam was Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool.”

🏅Hmm: Fewer cities are bidding to host the very expensive Olympics. But what about an Olympic village charter city?

💁 How to: If you’re nervous about an upcoming presentation, Forbes has some tips on how to use your voice and hands to knock it out of the park.

🕰️ That’s cool: Physicists say they’ve built a “time crystal” in Google’s quantum computer. A time crystal’s parts move in a repeating cycle but consume no energy.

🐂 Cure boredom: Enjoy an online round of 1990’s “The Oregon Trail.” After losing your ox trying to ford a river, you’ll be ready to get back to work.

TRENDS

Trends has been… evolving lately

Trends has one focus: to help people build incredible businesses.

That’s why we went all-in on building our product and community.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

  • More and more events. Weekly in-person meetups, virtual “Get Sh*t Done” sessions, member-led masterclasses, and the occasional chess tournament. We’re doing the things.
  • Trends Deals directory. Over 100 discounts and $100,000+ in savings on all kinds of cool tech and baller B2B services — courtesy of Trends members.
  • Upgraded weekly reports. We made the deep dives deeper and the insights more actionable. Plus we’ve crossed over 2,000+ niche market signals in our database.

Our community rallies to help each other.

It’s why dozens of members are getting game-changing advice for niche-specific questions every week.

Trends member Peter said it best: “Great content but the community is another level… No one preaching or selling – a genuine group of people looking to help others succeed.

Nice one, Peter.

Evolve to Trends →
Thrift shop find of the day
Jackson Pollock painting

Jackson Pollock at work (Source: Tony Vaccaro / Getty Images)

In 1992, Teri Horton visited a thrift shop and bought a big, ugly painting for $5 as a gag gift to cheer up a friend.

When the friend didn’t have room for it, Horton tried to sell it at a garage sale where an art teacher told her it might be a Jackson Pollock.

  • After hiring a forensic specialist, Horton was able to trace the painting back to Pollock’s studio. Horton was once offered $9m for it but wanted to hold out for $50m.

She’s since passed, but not before a documentary was made about the experience, aptly titled “Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?” in which art experts question whether the painting is a real Pollock after all.

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Stickers

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

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Pint Glass

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cool bevvy. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pint glass etched with The Hustle logo.

Anyway, here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

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You’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

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Always be Hustlin' tee

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

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Hustle Hoodie

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the pint glass. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

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Trends Screenshot

Hey, we see you. You’re out there spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

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Plane

If you love us so much why don’t you just marry us?

Get {1000 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll fly you to The Hustle HQ in beautiful, downtown eastern Austin, Texas. Round-trip flight, 2 nights in a hotel downtown, and some wining and dining with The Hustle fam.

Heck, you practically work here anyway. Copy & paste this link to share:

{referral_url}

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Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

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