I like to shop, so I have the need to cycle unwanted items out of my closet on a fairly regular basis. If the items are like new, I try to consign them. I’m all about saving time and not too fond of going in person to a local consignment store. Yes, I’m that person who uses amazon.com whenever I can for food, cleaning supplies, etc. That’s why I like Thredup….it’s convenient for me. Thredup has a great app and website where I can go and order a free clean out kit. The kit is simply a plastic bag with an adhesive seal strip and a prepaid postage label already attached. Once I receive the bag in the mail, I’m ready to go. I pack the bag with all of my items and then I have three options - take it to Fedex Kinkos, my local post office, or just schedule a pickup from the US Postal Service to pick it up from my doorstep. That’s right….it’s that simple. I don’t have to tally the items or fill out a form or even leave my house to mail it. One more thing…you have the option to purchase return assurance for $12.99. If you buy it, they will return any items they don’t take. I never do this. Once I send the items away, I don’t want to see them again. Plus, I know that if they don’t take my stuff, they will donate it to someone in need.
Once the bag leaves my doorstep, it typically takes about 4 weeks to get my payout. That’s about the same amount of time I think it would take for the items to sell in a typical consignment store. The payout process is pretty simple, but you should know they make you wait 2 weeks for your payout after they process your bag and give you the amount they are willing to pay. You can use the funds immediately on their website to buy from them or donate to a charity through their site, but you do have to wait 2 weeks for the cash. I always wait the two weeks and get my funds via PayPal. It’s the easiest way for me.
If you decide to use Thredup, make sure you peruse their website to make sure it will work for you. Their website is very informative and you can quickly understand the process if you take a look at it. It’s very important to look at the list of retail brands they will accept. Here’s the short list of important things I think you should know before you try them.
- First, they take women’s clothing and accessories and children’s clothing. That’s right—clothing, shoes, bags, workout wear, hats, belts and scarves. They do not take men’s or young men’s items at this time.
- They are very picky about what they take and I know this first hand. I’ve sent some of my kids’clothes to them….and they didn’t take much of it. This is because they are looking for items that are like new. And they mean it….so take a good hard look at your item before you send it. If it doesn’t look new, they won’t take it. Even if it’s a good brand. If it’s still pretty nice, I would recommend that you donate it yourself to a local charity. At least you will have the opportunity for a tax deduction.
- Their pricing structure is interesting. If they think they can sell the item for $60 or less, they will pay outright for the item. However, if they think they can sell your item for more than $60, they will categorize the item as a consignment piece. You will have to wait for the item to sell, but you will get more money. They even have a calculator on the website for you to estimate how much you might receive for the items you send.
- Understand their process. It usually takes about 4 weeks from the time your bag leaves your doorstep for them to process it and let you know your payout. Then, you will wait another two weeks for your payout. This may seem like a hassle to some, but personally I would rather wait that long than spend my free time taking items in person to a consignment shop and then going back in person to collect.
- Understand the consignment process in general. Consignment stores typically sell items for 25% of what they retail for and then they split the proceeds with you. It’s very rare that we pay full retail price in everyday stores like Ann Taylor and J Crew - they are always running sales and promotions. Consignment stores know this and take it into consideration when they are pricing their items. So, that item you purchased on sale for $49 that retailed for $70 is likely to earn you around $5 or $6 from a consignment store. This is why it’s best to pay attention to return policy deadlines….put a note on your iPhone calendar. Returning those items for what you originally paid can really save your wallet and your heart some grief!!
5. While Thredup doesn’t incur the costs of a regular brick and mortar store, they are absorbing all of those shipping costs. Their mission is to recycle clothing to eliminate waste. It’s actually pretty cool if you read about it on their website.
- Be emotionally prepared to let go of the items and be happy with what you get for them. It’s not negotiable….you have to trust them and this puts a lot of power in their hands, but remember, they are covering the shipping costs and the items are out of your way.
Overall, I’ve had a great experience with Thredup. It’s great to get a little cash from things that I don’t want anymore and even better to enjoy the free space that I get once I use that clean out kit!