Friday, June 23, 2017

My thredUP review (Updated)

Awhile back, thredUP asked their customers to write a review of their site. And because I'm so conscientious, I wrote one ... within six months. They didn't offer compensation, but just asked customers to spread the word. allows you to buy and sell secondhand clothes (and some accessories) online. Right now it only has clothes for women and kids; apparently it hasn't been cost-effective to sell men's clothes.

I like to go to thrift shops -- they're better for the environment, and have low prices -- but I find it overwhelming to try to find brands and styles I'll like. ThredUP does make searching for clothes easier for me. Their prices are reasonable, and I can sort by brand, size, color, etc. They frequently have 10% off coupon codes as well.

The clothes arrive in a cute cardboard box wrapped in tissue paper. There's no plastic bags, unlike other stores, so everything is recyclable. You have 14 days to return items if you don't like them. I've been seeing a lot of items that are "final sale," though, which sometimes makes me skip them.

The clothes have always been as described, but they used to arrive with a floral scent that took a few washes to get out. The latest box didn't, and the scent hasn't stopped me from buying.

So, that's buying. Sending clothes to them -- and potentially getting money for your clothes -- is easy. You request a bag, and it arrives in the mail a few days later. Then you pack it with clothes, wait in line at the post office (or schedule a USPS pickup) and mail it off. They subtract $6.99 from the payout (was $4.99 or so when I tried it) to cover shipping costs, or you can opt to have the proceeds donated to charity. I picked clothes that were in good condition but not a good fit for me: too big or too small, or the wrong style.

Is it worth it to send stuff to thredUP over a charity? I'm not sure. I sent them a bag, but it will still be a few weeks before I find out my payout. If you have expensive clothes, you might want to try selling them on your own first. And it may be more eco-friendly to give them to a charity shop in your area.

Fast fashion has created a trend where clothes are bought and discarded quickly. Hopefully secondhand shops (both online and brick and mortar) can temper that a bit. Any thoughts?

Update 8/12/17: I've read that thredUP is no longer sending out clean-out bags. It shows up as available in my account, so this is likely dependent on location. I also discovered that the site is heavily impacted by where you live--they will only show you the items in the warehouse closest to you.

The bag I sent to them was processed after around 6 weeks. Most of the clothes were either in new or like-new condition. My payout was $2, which I was sort of expecting after reading their usual payout amounts. But I was surprised that clothes I thought wouldn't be accepted--such as Old Navy and Champion--were the ones they took. I wouldn't send more expensive items, and for that payout, it's easier to just have charities pick up my clothes. For that reason, I'm not recommending the clean-out bags.

I also sent a return a week ago, and it hasn't been acknowledged yet, either by e-mail or on the site. I had to check the package tracking number to make sure I didn't stick the wrong label on the box. It will be delivered to the return center on Thursday--so four more business days. (And the return was for store credit, not a refund.) For comparison, I shipped out an item to another company on the same day, and have already received my payment.

I have been able to find some unique items at thredUP, and I was happy with them in the past, but I'm going to wait a little while before I make my next purchase.