As I wrote about in this post, I recently did a big closet clean out. Where did my cast off garments go? Some went to family friends but a decent portion went to ThredUP. What up? Let me explain. ThredUP is an online second hand shop where you can be both a buyer and a seller. Thus far, I have only used it to sell, so I won't be reviewing the purchasing side.
Overview: The process is super simple. To sell, you create an account on ThreadUP's site and then request a clean-out bag. Once the HUGE bag (seriously you can fit shoes and lots of clothes in there) arrives, you fill it up and then drop it at the post office. There are no shipping fees, and the label is pre-printed for you. Once your bag is received, you get a confirmation email with an approximate date of when everything will be processed. When your time comes, you get another email telling you what your bag has been valued at. If you have items valued under $60, you get paid as soon as they are processed (two weeks). For items valued over $60, you get a percentage once the items have sold. Overall, I've had a really good experience with ThredUP and have now used it twice. Here's a breakdown of the Pros and Cons.
- Ease of Use - From sign up to receiving your payment, everything is very straightforward and simple. Sometimes technology and buying/selling online can get unnecessarily complicated, not so here. [Note: I've only done the cash-out with a Visa pre-paid option so I'm not sure if the PayPal, converting $ to credits, or donating - still not so sure how this works, options are more complex.]
- Transparency - ThredUP has a very comprehensive FAQ page and tells you what they accept and provides a payout estimator. Once your bag has been valued, you see an itemized listing of how everything has been valued.
- Convenience - Very little is required on your part. Shipping is pretty much all handled for you, you just have to get the bag and then return it (filled) to the post office and the same goes for receiving payment. As noted above, I choose to cash-out via Visa pre-paid card, basically a use anywhere gift card, and when the time to cash-out comes, I just select that option and the card is mailed to me.
- Responsible Recycling - Like any second hand store, ThredUP will not accept all items, for anything that isn't accepted you can choose to have them returned to you (you will pay shipping for this) or for them to be responsibly recycled, i.e. donated which may mean that the items themselves are donated or that they go somewhere that will break them down and use the materials to make new products. I have opted for this both times because the whole point is to get these items out of my house and if they can go do some good in the world in whatever form, then I'd like them to do that (and also not to come back and clutter up my NYC apartment).
- Not Just Clothes - Have extra shoes or bags sitting around? ThredUP takes those too! With the shoes, I did put mine in a plastic bag inside the clean out bag as I was worried they might mess up some of the clothing (get things dirty, heels catch on fabric, etc.). [Not really "Con" worthy, but if ThredUP enclosed an additional bag for shoes/bags to keep them separate, I think it would be really helpful.]
- Communication - This will also show up in the cons but for now, I like that you get emails along the way so that you know where in the process your things are and can guesstimate the time frame.
- Valuation - I feel like items are a bit under-valued. That said, I am not the expert on this or what shoppers are willing to pay so take this with a grain of salt. You can adjust the price of something listed for consignment (that's the value over $60 category) and I just recently did so; I'm curious to see how it sells.
- Communication & Timing - As I said, you get emails along the way BUT they do not always keep to the timeline. In both of my ThredUP experiences, I've been told that my bag would be processed much sooner than it was and/or that they were experiencing delays. Notification of delays is not always relayed and on the one hand I felt like "well I didn't want the stuff anyway so even if it's lost who cares," I was also very much (and more so) in the camp of "I could have sold/donated my things somewhere else so do you have it or not and what is going on?"
- Donating - ThredUP's site says you can use your payout to donate but I have no idea how that works and can't figure it out. To be honest, I will probably not take that option as I do support many organizations and really use this as a way to rationalize my matcha lattes. Still, it would be nice to know how it works should I want to and I imagine there are sellers who would like to utilize this option.
BOTTOM LINE: I definitely see myself continuing to use ThredUP. It makes getting rid of unwanted-but-still-in-great-condition clothing so easy and you get some money back. Wins all around.
Have you used ThredUP or anything similar? Anything in your closet that you'd NEVER part with?