Depop, the recently Etsy-acquired marketplace for unique and vintage fashion, is updating its Depop Protection program, a safety net for sellers in the United Kingdom and the United States.
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The program offers a layer of security to sellers, providing assistance in cases where a sale encounters unexpected issues. It’s not a new program, but this update makes some significant changes to the program.
To qualify for Depop Protection, the following conditions must all be met:
- The sale must have occurred through the Depop app or website using the BUY button.
- The item should have been shipped within five days from the transaction date.
- The item was lost or damaged during transit, (NEW) including cases where returns resulted in loss or damage.
- The shipment was sent to the buyer’s address as indicated on the sales receipt.
New Depop Protection Limits
Sales up to £250/$300 are covered under Depop Protection, encompassing the item’s price, shipping fees, and applicable taxes. Depop suggests sellers should consider additional insurance options for sales exceeding these thresholds.
Previously, and until this new policy goes into effect, there was no limit on the protection amount.
It’s important to note that bundle sales are considered a single transaction, rather than individual items, within these limits. So, it’s not a per-item limit, but a per-shipment limit.
In the event that Depop notifies a seller about a problem with a shipment that was sent using a Depop Shipping label, specific steps must be taken:
- Respond promptly to all communications from Depop, including providing the requested information.
- For sales processed through PayPal, engage in the PayPal dispute resolution process, including any available appeals.
- To qualify for Depop Protection, sellers need to furnish evidence of both an initial PayPal claim and eligibility for Depop Protection.
Here, there are two important changes to the program. Depop now requires U.S. and UK sellers to use Depop shipping labels to access this seller protection. Previously, sellers were free to use their own labels.
Secondly, sellers who use PayPal must now engage with PayPal as well, effectively using PayPal’s resolution process as the primary coverage, exhausting all appeals, before they are eligible for Depop Protection.
Exclusions From Depop Protection
There are certain scenarios where Depop Protection does not apply.
- Sales conducted outside the Depop BUY button, such as direct money transfers (PayPal, Venmo, bank transfers).
- Items listed on Depop’s prohibited items list.
- Items shipped using methods other than a Depop-purchased shipping label for sellers in the U.S. and UK. (New requirement already mentioned)
- Sellers located outside the UK or U.S. do not have access to the Depop Protection program, as it is limited to these two regions. (This appears to be a new requirement as the previous standard was ‘All’).
- In-person item handovers.
- Failure to meet any of the eligibility criteria established.
Depop Protection vs. Insurance: An Important Distinction
It’s essential to understand that Depop Protection is distinct from insurance. While it serves as a safeguard, it’s not an insurance policy, warranty, or guarantee.
Depop holds sole discretion in determining whether a transaction qualifies for Depop Protection and reserves the right to modify or terminate the program.
The company stresses that its protection program doesn’t affect a buyer’s right to make claims against a seller’s shop if Depop doesn’t refund the buyer. This includes local laws and credit card protection schemes that may apply and could adversely affect a seller.
Depop suggests sellers check out their shipping guides for more information:
And sellers are encouraged to read about Depop Protection for buyers here for a better understanding of how the program works on both sides of the transaction.
In a Nutshell
Depop is taking more control over the fulfillment process by requiring sellers to use their shipping label platform or lose access to seller protections.
While sellers gain seller protection during return shipment, a new order limit is imposed, and a new requirement to engage with PayPal first for those sellers using PayPal, before Depop Protection may kick in.
On one hand, it makes sense to include the PayPal protection requirement, because the seller is paying for it through their transaction fees. However, it does potentially lengthen the resolution process with Depop and adds an extra layer of effort that wasn’t necessary before.
But the real reason for this requirement is likely a desire by Depop to move more sellers to their own in-house payments systems, Depop Payments. Selling via Depop Payments removes the burden of going through the PayPal resolution process first.
The major change that sellers might focus on is the new limit on Depop’s protection scheme. For most sales, that won’t be a factor. But if a seller has a higher value transaction, then it will require them to consider buying additional insurance. That would be an increased cost that the seller would have to absorb.
And there is now a newly defined geographic limit of the Depop Protection program to only cover sellers in the U.S. and UK.
Frankly, it’s difficult to see this new protection plan as anything other than a downgrade. There’s really only one positive side: the protection during a return shipment. Everything else places more burden on the seller and effectively forces sellers to use Depop programs such as payments and shipping.
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