The App That Saved My Relationship With My Teen Daughter

It magically ended our clothing fights—and put some cash in both our pockets.

It was the Doc Martens that almost pushed me over the edge. A couple of years ago, my daughter—who is obsessed with ’80s and ’90s fashion—begged me for a pair of the eternally cool, yet extremely pricey, boots. I told her if she could raise half the money, I would split the cost, and after a few months of saving her baby-sitting dough, she ordered a gorgeous pair in a metallic sheen.

She wore the boots twice.

I suspect they just weren’t that comfortable for the uphill walk from her subway stop to her school, or maybe she realized her old pair of Adidas matched more of her outfits, but I was mighty pissed off that her splurge boots were now just taking up floor space in her closet. I felt the same way about the dress she’d worn to one party and never again, and several sweaters that were bulging out of her dresser drawer while she wore the same hoodie to school every day.

This led to many arguments with the same refrain: “No more new clothes until you wear the ones you have!” Cleaning out her closet every season became an exercise in frustration, as we unearthed several items that had looked good in the fitting room, but never made it into her daily wardrobe rotation. (Okay, I will stop here to admit that the same thing happens in my very own closet!)

But last week my daughter discovered a solution to this problem that made us both ecstatic: DePop. The app, which is popular with teenagers and adults alike who want to monetize their wardrobes, is like a virtual yard sale: You post pictures and cute descriptions of the clothes you want to sell, and other people can buy it. Simple, yet revolutionary. My daughter spent the weekend sorting through old, barely-worn clothes, took photos, wrote enthusiastic ad copy, posted it, and waited.

Within 24 hours, she sold the Doc Martens to a girl named Ashley for $45. The app made it easy—Ashley paid for the boots and shipping over PayPal, my daughter packed them up in a box, affixed the pre-printed shipping label, and dropped it off at the post office. We split the proceeds.

My daughter now has a nicely stocked shop on the app—including several dressy outfits she’s outgrown and a leather jacket my husband hasn’t worn in years. Her closet is neater than ever, and she is saving the money she earns to buy new outfits, ones she will hopefully wear more than once before reselling on DePop.

Next weekend, I plan to go through my own closet and see what I can sell. That slinky dress I bought 10 pounds ago that now makes me look six months pregnant? It has to be worth a few bucks to someone, right? We’ll let DePop find out.

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