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ThredUP Review 2019: Make Money Selling Clothes Online

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thredup review

ThredUP is one of the largest closets for second hand clothes and accessories on the internet.

On ThredUP you can save up to 90% on like-new styles from brands like J.Crew, Anthropologie, Mini Boden, Crewcuts, and more. Plus, you can make a pretty penny.

In this review we’ll take an in-depth look at ThredUP, including pros and cons and tricks and tips. You’ll be able to decide if ThredUP is the right online community for you to buy and/or sell clothing. Let’s dive right into this massive closet…

What Is ThredUP?

ThredUP is the world’s largest online marketplaces for used and new women’s and children’s clothing and accessories.

It prides itself on transforming the way people think about and interact with second hand goods.

It’s part of a larger Collaborative Consumption movement, which encourages consumers to live in a more collective, sharing economy.

Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2009 by James Reinhart, Oliver Lubin and Chris Homer, this ground-breaking, privately-owned, start-up’s headquarters are located in downtown San Francisco with distribution centers all over the United States.

They also have two retail locations, one in California and one in Texas.

Signing Up For ThredUP

It’s really easy to sign up for a ThredUP account.  You can use your email, Facebook or Google account to do so.  Once you sign up, you’ll be asked if you want a little help setting up your “closet.”

If you select “Yes,” you’ll be asked your sizes for tops, dresses, waist, shoes and how much you typically spend on a pair of jeans? (less than $50, $50 – $100 or more than $100).

After answering these questions, you’ll be given a “closet” of appropriate items to shop from.  Here are some examples of what ThredUP chose for me:

  • hobo style bag from Express for $36.99 ($80 new)
  • Michael Kors faux fur vest for $64.99 ($248 new)
  • pair of Lululemon Athletica yoga pants for $50.99 ($98 new)
  • pair of Dansko clogs for $34.99 ($119 new).

What Can I Buy on ThredUP?

You can buy quite a bit on ThredUP. For women, clothing categories are: regular, premium and designer dresses, tops, sweaters, coats and jackets, jeans, pants, skirts, shorts and active wear.

There’s also categories for shoes, accessories (belts, sunglasses, tights, hats, gloves, scarfs, watches, makeup bags and card holders), handbags (wallets, laptop bags, weekenders, coin purses, makeup bags, diaper bags and backpacks) and costume jewelry (necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and brooches).

Within the women’s area you’ll also find separate categories specific for maternity, plus sizes and juniors.

You can also buy kids clothes, accessories and shoes on ThredUP.  Sizes range from preemie to 20 for clothes.

Although men’s clothes, accessories and shoes are NOT for sale on ThredUP, boys are.

For girls, categories are:  dresses, tops, sweaters, coats and jackets, jumpsuits, jeans, pants, shorts, skirts, active wear, swimwear, costumes and accessories.

For boys, categories are:  shirts, sweaters, coats and jackets, jumpsuits, jeans, pants, shorts, skirts, active wear, swimwear, costumes and accessories.

Be on the lookout for ThredUP coupon codes in your email or on the homepage.  They often have great promotions, like 40% off your purchase.

As far as tax, ThredUP is required by law to collect sales tax on orders shipped to the following states: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York (some items), Pennsylvania and Texas.

How Much is Shipping for Buyers?

There’s a flat rate shipping fee of $5.99 for regular USPS mail (3 to 8 business days once the item(s) is shipped) or $11.99 for expedited shipping (2 days once the item(s) is shipped).

Shipping is always free for purchases $79 and over (too high if you want my opinion). You can earn unlimited free shipping (for the next month) if you spend $150 or more in any one calendar month.

One cool promotion ThredUP is currently running is free shipping in exchange for allowing push notifications on your smart phone (those text like messages that randomly pop up with breaking or exciting news).

To do this, download ThredUP’s mobile app for Apple or Android.  If you enable push notifications, you’ll get free standard shipping on any mobile app order.

Currently, ThredUP ships orders to the 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, APO/FPO/DPO addresses, as well as over twenty countries outside the U.S, including Great Britain.

All orders shipping to APO/FPO/DPO, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico and Guam will arrive via USPS (but some may initiate shipping with FedEx). All other orders shipped outside the U.S. will be delivered through Borderlinx.

What are Goody Boxes?

There’s a really fun new, limited edition product you can buy on ThredUP called “Goody Boxes.” Goody Boxes were launched in fall 2017.  They’re filled with unique finds curated by ThredUP and customized based on your preferences.

Goody Boxes have free shipping, free returns and free at-home-try-on.  This is not a subscription service.  Each box is unique and customized to your style and budget. There’s a $20 deposit (applied toward purchase) and you only pay for what you keep.

How Does Selling Work?

Once you join ThredUP and see the wonderful array of items to buy, you’ll probably want to consider selling your unwanted items to finance your new habit!  Although savings on ThredUP items are usually around 90% off retail pricing, you can still make money selling items here.

First, you’ll need to order a kit (also known as a bag). Unfortunately, ThredUP has become so popular it’s not always easy to order a kit.  In fact, for several months in the fall of 2017, the site has had a hold on new kit orders.

It’s pretty annoying, especially for regular sellers like myself.  When you are able to order a new kit you have two choices (if you want to make money, there’s a third choice we will talk about later if you don’t want to make money).

Choice 1:  A FREE Standard Bag

If you chose this option, ThredUP will mail you a huge, pretty, polka dot heavy weight envelope.  You’ll fill it with all the things you want to sell and return it back to ThredUP (the shipping is already paid for and the label is already on, you just take it to the post office or arrange a free pickup from your postal carrier – easy peasey).

This option is a great choice for those that don’t need to make a quick penny.  It’ll take a long time for ThredUP to process your bag once it arrives in California filled with the items you want to sell.

The ThredUP website says it takes about 7 weeks to process, but I’ve had my bags take up to three months to process.  Once the bag is processed, you’ll be paid for your accepted items and NO FEE will be deducted for your earnings.

Choice 2:  A $16 Expedited Bag

If you chose this option, ThredUP will mail you a huge, pretty, polka dot heavy weight envelope.  You’ll fill it with all the things you want to sell and return it back to ThredUP.

This option is a great choice for those that want to make money faster than the free standard bag option.  It’ll only take a week or so for  ThredUP to process your bag once it arrives in California filled with the items you want to sell.

This is a HUGE time difference than the first option.  Once the bag is processed, you will be paid for your accepted items and a fee of about $16 will be deducted for your earnings (ThredUP says: “Expedited fee may vary depending on demand. We will always let you know the current expedited fee at the time you order a kit.”)

Choice 3: A Free Donation Bag

The third choice makes you no money, but you’re doing a good deed. This choice – called “FREE Donation Bag” – allows you to donate all the items you return to ThredUP in your free bag to charity. You’ll receive a tax receipt via email.

Something else neat about this option is that men’s items are accepted in these free donation bags.

For any of the bag choices, if you’re curious about where your bag is in the ThredUP process, sign into your account and click on “My Selling History” in the drop down menu. Here, you can check on the status of your bag.  This is a great feature!

What Sells?

Now, just because you send something to ThredUP in your bag doesn’t mean they’ll accept it. I’m a regular seller and they take about 50% of each bag I send in.  This is actually higher than their average (40% of each bag sent in).

ThredUP has professional buyers who carefully evaluate each item the company receives and determines its quality and ThredUP’s ability to resell it.

Unaccepted items are donated to third-party sellers or textile recycling partners who turn them into things like rugs. It’s possible to get your unaccepted items sent back for a fee. If you’d like to have the unaccepted items we returned to you, select Return Assurance when you order your bag.

Here are some tips on what the ThredUP evaluators are looking for:
  • Obviously, clothing and items that fit into one of the categories mentioned above.
  • Items in excellent condition. Items with stains, holes, pilling, or signs of wear won’t be accepted.
  • Clothing, shoes, etc. should be on-trend (ex. “in style,” fashionable, hip, hot).
  • Over 35,000 brands are accepted by ThredUP (there is no list of unaccepted brands). Within those 35,000 brands, here are few they note as favorites:   Baby Gap, Crewcuts,
H&M, Lilly Pulitzer, rue21, Vera Bradley, White House Black Market, and Zara.
  • Don’t send unaccepted items! It costs ThredUP money to deal with disposing these items and is not cool. Unaccepted items are: Non-clothing items (toys, books, sports gear, etc.), kids clothing without a brand (women’s ok to send without brand), sleepwear, undergarments/slips, slippers, used tights (new tights are OK), pajamas, robes, prom dresses, bridesmaids dresses, wedding dresses, men’s clothing, items obtained illegally (or containing sensors), homemade or altered items, counterfeit items or accessories, local or niche clothing, clothing with graphics or reference to hometown teams and places that do not have a broad national audience, items that contain language or content that is deemed inappropriate for a family-friendly audience, fanny packs, tablet and phone cases, real fur, toe rings, hair accessories, items without sizes, maternity bands and work uniforms.

How Much Does ThredUP pay?

Is it worth it to sell on ThredUP as opposed to other websites?  Let’s look at this example to answer:  If you have a pair of Lululemon Athletica casual pants to sell, ThredUP will pay you about $7 if they accept them.  If you sell them on eBay or Poshmark, you’ll probably make closer to $25 – $30.  However, there’s a lot more work involved using those sites.

The beauty of ThredUP is that the company has made it very easy for you to sell your used clothes with very little effort and, possibly, no money on your part.  So, if you value your time and energy like currency, the lower payout for your items on ThredUP may be worth it to you.

Definitely take a look and play around with Payout Estimator on ThredUP before you send your first bag in. If the payout makes you squirm because it’s too low, this is not the right online marketplace for you to sell your used GAP cardigan (estimated payout to you 65 cents).

How Do I Get My Money?

You’re paid in one or two ways on ThredUP:  upfront or consignment. You don’t get to choose, ThredUP does and it could be different for each item (not bag).

If they choose upfront, you’ll receive a payout as soon as these items are processed. You have a better chance of upfront payment if the item is on-trend, in-season, in great condition and likely to sell quickly.

If your item is chosen for consignment, you’ll be paid for it upon sale. This can take a while. The amount you’re paid depends on the original price, brand, and category of each item.

Consignment items are typically in great condition, but unique and not necessarily in-season or on-trend at the moment. Consignment items are listed for 84 days. They can be reclaimed 7 days after they’re first listed, up until 14 days after their listing window ends.

To actually *get* your money once it’s deposited into your ThredUP account, you can transfer the cash to PayPal, get a Visa® Prepaid Card or use your balance as store credit for your own purchases. You also have the option of donating it to charity.  The Visa® Prepaid Card will be mailed to your home address.

There is a 14-day delay in place for when you can cash your money out via PayPal or a ThredUP Visa Prepaid Card.

Another Way To Make Money on ThredUP

Currently ThredUP has a great incentive where friends you refer to the site get $10 to spend and you get $10 to shop after they place their first order on ThredUP. You can invite friends (via email or Facebook) on their invite page.

Wrapping It Up

We hope you have found this introduction to ThredUP helpful and easy to understand. If it has peaked your interest in the site, sign up and give it a try. You really have nothing to lose and your bank account and/or closet just might grow in the process.

We hope you enjoyed our full ThredUP review. If you have anything you’d like to add, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!

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