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Review of Selling With ThredUp - Is It Worth It?

Kierstin is a penny pinching mom/college student who treats money-saving like some kind of really nerdy, homeschooly video game.

should-you-sell-with-thredup

When the house is bursting at the seams it's time to pile up the clutter—out with the old, in with the new. But what exactly do we do with the old? While donating it is a nice thing to do and can be handy come tax season, it's pretty tempting to swap old duds for fast cash. These days, you don't even have to load bags and boxes into the car and wait at the counter while they scrutinize the closet castoffs and decide what to keep and what to hand back with a disapproving glance at the consignment shop.

If you've ever taken a look around the internet, you've probably noticed ThredUp, an online consignment boutique that will pay you for the clothes you don't want. Sounds AMAZING, right?!

Yes!

Maybe.

Earlier this year, when we moved into our new home, I decided to give ThredUp a whirl, overwhelmed by the amount of outgrown toddler clothing and my own ill-fitting tops and dresses that had been shoved to the back of the closet for two seasons. After gathering armfuls of clothing to consign, I shoved it all (well, actually, I neatly folded it) into the bag provided by ThredUp and sent it on its merry way. It was way too easy, the mail carrier even came and picked it up off my porch.

What Is a Cleanout Bag?

So, when you sign up for a ThredUp account, you can go to the top of your ThredUp toolbar to locate "My Account" where you can request a cleanout bag. It's basically a really big mailing bag, and inside is a return mailing label. Nice. It arrived in my mailbox after about a week and came with some guidelines of what they do and don't consider for consignment. Many of my items seemed to meet the standards. Admittedly, I threw a few brands in I wasn't sure about since they were new with tags (like a Cherokee tee that belonged to my oldest daughter and a Rock Paper Flower blouse of my own from Target).

To get the most from your first cleanout bag, you should pack that puppy as full as possible, but you don't want to just send a bunch of junk or ThredUp can decide to revoke your consigning privileges, so I was careful to include only newer, on-trend items in good condition. That meant passing over some of my daughters' more well-loved, outgrown outfits and choosing more recent purchases that were hanging in my own closet but that realistically I was never going to wear or that no longer fit (thanks, post-partum yo-yo weight).

Here's the top menu on my ThredUp account where I can navigate my pay out, selling options and more.

Here's the top menu on my ThredUp account where I can navigate my pay out, selling options and more.

The Process of Selling on ThredUp

ThredUp's selling process is super simple.

  1. Sign up with ThredUp. To sign up, you can use your Amazon account, your Facebook account, or just your regular ol' e-mail address. Sign up is totally free.
  2. Once you've signed up, you'll be able to use your "My Account" settings to request a cleanout bag. This bag is also free and you'll just have to agree that the cost of mailing the bag back and forth will be deducted from your earnings from the clothes you send back.
  3. When you request the cleanout bag, ThredUp will walk you through a few reminders regarding what they accept and what they don't accept. Some general rules of thumb are that they don't typically sell bargain brand clothing—the more expensive the brand, the better chance you have of your items being accepted—and the clothing needs to be in pretty good condition. Minor fading, stains and pilling are okay as long as it's not too noticeable. Another thing to keep in mind is that clothing should be on-trend or classic. Oh, and clean!
  4. ThredUp will mail you an envelope that contains the cleanout bag and a return label. It takes about a week or less to arrive.
  5. Once you have the cleanout bag you'll fill it, keeping in mind ThredUp's guidelines. Neatly fold items until the bag has reached it's capacity, then seal it shut and slap on the label.
  6. You can drop your cleanout bag off at the post office or schedule a pickup online and have your carrier pick it up right from your front porch.
  7. Once your bag arrives at it's destination, it takes a while for the items to be processed. I think that my bag took nearly six weeks to be processed and listed on the site. You can opt to have your items processed sooner but at a cut to your final profit.
  8. Whatever items are not accepted by ThredUp are, according to their site terms, are sold to third-party sellers or recycled. You do have the option to buy them back too but...why would you do that? You'll lose money.
  9. For items that are accepted by ThredUp you'll find that they are either bought outright by the company or placed under consignment terms. The consignment terms are dependent on how quickly items sell and past a determined date you will not receive any profit.
  10. Whatever profit you receive from your clothes will show up in your account after a few weeks and you can either cash out or use the total towards a purchase on ThredUp.

What I Sold With ThredUp

Altogether, I loaded the cleanout bag with about 20 items - most were my own, and a few of my daughters'. The brands included Ann Taylor LOFT, Bass, Nanette Lapore and Banana Republic. I would have liked to have put more in but part of me was nervous to put in a bunch of stuff that I kind of loved in the hopes of making extra money since I didn't know what kind of money I would get in return. I parted only with stuff I knew for sure I'd never regret ditching. I'm sure there were items that I sent along that were not accepted by ThredUp, but here are the items they DID accept:

My Items Accepted by ThredUp

ItemSizeCondition (According to ThredUp)Up Front Payout or Consignment

Old Navy Long Sleeve T

4T

Like New

Up Front Payment

Cherokee Short Sleeve T Shirt

4T-5T

New With Tags

Up Front Payment

Osh Kosh B'Gosh Overalls

2T

Like New

Up Front Payment

Old Navy Casual Dress

Women's 6

Like New

Up Front Payment

Gap Casual Dress

Women's Size S

Like New

Up Front Payment

H&M Blue Floral Romper

Women's Size S

Gently Used

Up Front Payment

H&M Casual Dress

Women's Size S

Gently Used

Up Front Payment

Old Navy Casual Skirt

Women's Size S

Like New

Up Front Payment

Old Navy Long Sleeve Top

Unavailable

Unavailable

Up Front Payment

H&M Pink Romper

Women's Size S

Gently Used

Up Front Payment

Banana Republic Casual Skirt

Women's Size 6

New With Tags

Up Front Payment

Old Navy Jeans

4T

Like New

Consignment

Rock Paper Flower 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

Women's Size S

Like New

Consignment

Nanette Lapore Casual Dress

Women's Size 6

Like New

Consignment

G.H. Bass and Co. Casual Skirt

Unavailable

Unavailable

Consignment

Old Navy Sleeveless Top

Unavailable

Unavailable

Consignment

Ann Taylor LOFT Long Sleeve Top

Unavailable

Unavailable

Consignment

ThredUp's guidelines require sellers to go through a checklist of standards before returning their cleanout bag.

ThredUp's guidelines require sellers to go through a checklist of standards before returning their cleanout bag.

My Total Earnings With ThredUp

With over a dozen accepted items I made a grand total of...wait for it...

Get excited...

... last time I consigned at my local resale boutique I made around $4-10 an item, so I was kinda rollin' in dough after loads of consignments...

... with 17 items I'm gonna make at least like 15 bucks, right?!

I made $6.10

I didn't even make enough to cover the shipping, so ThredUp waived the fee for me.

So yeah, not rich. Not rich at all.

Here's my ThredUp dashboard. From here I can cash out, order another cleanout kit and browse through my items that are both for sale and have already sold.

Here's my ThredUp dashboard. From here I can cash out, order another cleanout kit and browse through my items that are both for sale and have already sold.

If you're looking to pad your wallet by selling clothes on ThredUp you might wanna think twice.

If you're looking to pad your wallet by selling clothes on ThredUp you might wanna think twice.

So, Was Selling With ThredUp Worth it?

You'll have to decide for yourself!

Here's the Pros and Cons

Cons

  • You will make pennies on the dollar. With 17 accepted items my profit came to around 35 cents per piece which is slightly frustrating considering the time it took me to inspect each item for wear, tear, pilling and stains, to collect items from "acceptable" brands and to neatly pack the bag, attach the label and schedule a delivery with my carrier.
  • Some items will be rejected without reason. That's the risk of consigning, of course.
  • It can take a really long time between when you send your bag out until the time ThredUp receives it for them to process it.
  • You will not make any money once a listing expires. My Nanette Lapore dress, which retails new at $298 and was listed on the site for $56.99, expired. They do email you a notification when your listing is about to expire so you can adjust the price to entice a sale. Keep an eye on your inbox.

Pros

  • You'll have a clean, well-curated closet! It's so refreshing to swing open those doors ands see only clothing you're excited to put on.
  • Using ThredUp is a great way to disrupt the woozy cycle of fast-fashion.
  • The money you do earn can be put towards another piece of clothing you might want from the site.
  • ThredUp's prices are very reasonable. I've been buying and selling with them now for four years (waiting on a cute pair of embroidered Zara jeans as I type this). Will you get rich selling your clothes here? No! Will you be able to keep your wardrobe refreshed and your closet organized on a budget? Yes!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2017 Kierstin Gunsberg

Comments

GH Lepe on March 05, 2020:

I sent a big bag of clothes in good-great condition to ThredUp a month ago and have made (still waiting for it to clear) maybe $2. Meanwhile, I put up a pair of never-used winter booties on Poshmark and sold them within 2 days. I made much more on that sale than I'll probably ever make on ThredUp. From now on, I'm putting clothes through Poshmark first (you post the item and mail it yourself) and only when it doesn't sell there will I consider ThredUp-- I'll probably use the latter mainly to buy clothing (I did buy a winter coat for son at a good price).

Carolyn Gormish on November 18, 2019:

Biggest scam ever, I’ll never send them anything again!

Karman Jones on November 03, 2019:

I just recieved my mailer bag in the mail. I wanted to read a few more reviews before i send my clothing to thred up.. And i sure am glad i did..yes they have great brands and a great place to shop..but i wont be sending them my old cloths. Thank you i will find another way to sell my tons of boxes of old stuff.

LV on July 29, 2019:

I completely REGRET sending great brands to ThredUP, I sent TWO bags of great brands, they only returned 1 item and it maybe totaled $42. What a rip off! I would’ve made more money selling my items at a garage sale. DO NOT SELL on ThredUP!

Kierstin Gunsberg (author) from Traverse City, Michigan on June 18, 2018:

Julmar, awesome comment! You're right - the stress of taking my clothes to be consigned keeps me from doing it a lot of the time! In the past, I've always taken my clothes to a locally owned consignment shop and for the few items they take, I get a pretty good amount of money but I have to make a bunch of trips just to bring stuff in, collect the money and then take the check to the bank whereas with stores like ThredUp, everything is simplified. Also, it shouldn't, but I totally get silently offended when they diss some of my favorite past pieces.

I'm filling up my 2nd bag right now too :)

Julmar on June 15, 2018:

I just sent my first bag and am working on my 2nd bag!!! I have done well so far $$, but it is so much easier than going to the consignment store--where most are looking to pay you in store credit or they have little teens judging your clothes and not buying much from you. (and I have taken clothes to various consignment stores for 20 years)

The bagging up for the donation place is second step...or worse, they sit in the trunk of your car for months! Thredup really makes it easy to clean out your closet, maybe get a little money, and then donate/recycle the clothing fibers for reuse/those in need.

I highly recommend to anyone who may shop normally at a few of the stores/brands listed on their website!!!

Kierstin Gunsberg (author) from Traverse City, Michigan on April 05, 2018:

Hi Ronald! Thanks for reading! I feel like I need to give full disclosure here - I LOVE buying from ThedUp and actually just put an order in this morning. But I think one of the reasons I love buying from ThredUp is also one of the reasons it's hard to sell with them which is that their prices are really good. So as a buyer I'm getting a great deal but as a seller I didn't make much profit.

You might want to try Swap. They also don't give a huge payout as far as I know but they do accept men's clothing!

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on April 04, 2018:

I have a closet full of old clothes I'll never wear again, so when I saw this topic I was interested. I never heard of ThredUp before, and after reading about your experience I can clear the name out of my brain. That closet will stay full, at least for the moment!

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