Easy Thrifting with ThredUp

A few months ago, I mentioned I had listed some of my clothes on Bloggers Closet. I had some initial luck and sold two items quickly, and I know others have had success with it, but I wanted to explore other options to keep up with the growing pile of clothes I plan on reselling or consigning. After seeing several other friends mention their experiences both with shopping and selling on ThredUp, I knew I needed to give it a try. While there are numerous online resale sites (expect a future comparison post), I think ThredUp is one of the best options for people who need a quick, but profitable solution AND for those who want to thrift good-quality, name-brand items (and may not have access to a fantastic Goodwill or consignment store).

Easy Thrifting with ThredUp

Here's how it works:

Shop

Browse through hand-selected,gently-used or new clothing, shoes, and handbags for women, juniors, and children at discounts up to 90%. ThredUp often posts additional discounts, too. It's like having a well-stocked Goodwill right at your fingertips. Brilliant!

Sell

Order a Clean Out bag (right now, they're sending them for free!) and you'll receive a giant polka-dotted bag that you can fill with kids, juniors, and women's name-brand, good-quality clothes, shoes, and handbags. You can reference their Buying Guide to see what brands and styles they accept and use the Clothing Calculator to get a rough estimate of what you may earn from your items. Once you've filled your bag, you can drop it off at a FedEx location or give it to your USPS carrier for free since it already has a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label attached. Activate your bag using the number listed on the bag and you'll receive a notification once the bag has been received and then when it has been processed.

ThredUp Refresh Your Closet for Cash

Some brands such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and LOFT qualify for upfront payments, which means money right in your pocket. Others still may be accepted and sold later through consignment. You can receive up to 80% of the resale value, depending on the item and brand. Any items that are not accepted or aren't sold after 84 days are donated or can be returned for an additional fee.

Any earnings can be spent right away in ThredUp as credit or cashed out after 14 days.

Knowing this information is great, but sometimes it really helps to read about someone's personal experience before diving in. I decided to give it a try a few weeks ago and thought I would share how my experience went.

My First ThredUp Experience

After doing my research, I ordered a Clean Out bag and got to work. I already had a huge pile of clothes to go through, so I quickly compared the pile to the Buying Guide and Clothing Calculator to see what would be accepted and what would be worth it. Some items would have better luck on eBay or at my local consignment store, but the majority were viable options for ThredUp. I'd say the whole process, since my items were already pulled from my closet, took a total of 10-15 minutes.

Thred Up Bag Items

My first Clean Out bag included:

  • 6 Dresses
  • 3 Skirts
  • 4 Sweaters
  • 1 Pair of Pants
  • 2 Blazers
  • 11 Blouses
  • 10 Sleeveless Tops

Total: 37 items

All of my clothes were the following accepted brands:

  • Express
  • LOFT
  • Ann Taylor
  • Merona
  • White House Black Market
  • Banana Republic
  • The Limited
  • Gap
  • H&M
  • LC Lauren Conrad

ALL of these brands qualified for an up-front payment, meaning I would receive payment even before accepted items were sold, due to the brands' popularity. This was reassuring for me, as the clothing calculator gives a pretty wide range of payouts and there isn't a guarantee with the brands that don't provide payment up-front.

Before I mailed my bag, I wrote down the Activation code on the shipping label and activated my bag on thredup.com. After a few days, my bag was received and in processing! It only took a few days for ThredUp to go through my items and select their picks.

The Verdict

ThredUp accepted 26 of my items. This included:

  • 4 Dresses
  • 2 Skirts
  • 4 Sweaters
  • 9 Blouses
  • 7 Sleeveless Tops

The Payout

I earned $54.19 up-front for my 26 items, with each item earning between 10-40% of the anticipated selling price. While I bummed that certain items weren't accepted, like the two blazers for example, I think they took a much larger number of items than any consignment store (especially Plato's Closet) in my area. I also think it's a relatively decent payout because I didn't really spend much money on the items in the first place. I would estimate that 95% of what I submitted was purchased at thrift or consignment stores or at church sales. I know for a fact that I didn't pay full price for any of them.

ThredUp Clothing Calculator Estimates Payout

Overall, I really loved the process. Sometimes the goal is to get items out of the house for a little bit of a return and you can definitely get that experience with ThredUp. My final thoughts:

Pros

  • It's EASY.
  • It's fast.
  • You get more bang for your buck than Plato's Closet.
  • It pays upfront for quality brands.
  • You can earn referral credit to spend or save.
  • You can also shop quality consigned clothing, shoes, and handbags for a fraction of the price, right at home.
  • You can fundraise via ThredUp.
  • You're contributing to a good cause, Teach for America.
  • You can estimate your payout using a simple calculator tool.
  • There's no listing fees.
  • You don't have to worry about shipping--it's all pre-paid and provided for you.
  • Customer service rocks.

Cons

  • It's not as profitable as eBay.
  • Not all items are accepted and you must pay an additional fee ($12.99) to get them returned to you.
  • You can see how much your items are actually being sold, which isn't so fun in comparison to your payout.

Overall, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons and I will definitely be thrifting (and possibly buying) through ThredUp again. What do you think of online thrifting? Is it a good option for you or do you prefer another type of reselling? Fill us in on your secrets!

If you're interested in shopping, be sure to snag 25% off your first order for all new customers (with code SPARKLE, offer valid through July 31st)! Also, if you order through this link, we both receive $10. Then you can start sharing a referral code with your friends (which means more money in your pocket or to spend on clothes)!

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