Since ThredUp popped up on my radar last year, I have been talking about them and enthusiastically sharing the company with my community of readers – more from a Buyer’s perspective rather than a Seller. The prices are good and a great option for back to school bargain shopping. I realized I needed to try all of their services so I could give a full scope honest review. So I went for it!
This past spring, it was time to do the annual Spring cleaning of my closet. Discard the old and bring in the new! So being a fan of second hand clothing, I decided try a new direction and go with selling some of my items using ThredUp.
What is ThredUp?
ThredUp is a fashion resale website for consumers to buy and sell secondhand clothing online. For Sellers, ThredUP claims to pay out 20-40% for their Sellers clothes. ThredUP is part of a larger “Collaborative Consumption movement”, which encourages consumers to live in a more collective, sharing economy. Not sure what we’re sharing here, but OK! Founded in 2009 in Cambridge, Mass., company founder, James Reinhart, was rejected over 27 times by investors until it was finally backed by Goldman-Sachs for $81 Million. The company now has over $131 Million in funding.
How ThredUp works
I had been looking for my chance to clear out the old and hopefully, make some cash while I was at it. The process is pretty simple. You create an account with them online, request a clean out bag to be sent to you and Voila! it arrives in about 5 days for you to fill with your gently used clothes. You want to make sure you send in clothes that are CLEAN, on trend, good brands, etc. No junk, and they do specify which brands they don’t want on their website. You then seal the pre-paid bag and the postman will pick it up for you.
What happened Next
I ordered my clean out bag on May 19, 2017, it arrived 4 days later. I promptly filled it with my carefully selected clothes and shoes, and sent it on it’s way on May 26th. And then waited. And waited. FINALLY, on July 19th, they processed my clothes and offered me a payment. I felt confident because most of my items were top brand names, designer labels even and in very good to brand new condition.
This is the payout I received after sending ThredUp over $2,800 worth of clothes.
I logged into my account to find this: $42.05. I realize it’s $42 I didn’t have before, and I was rid a lot of clothes in my closet, but dummy me assumed this process was more like Buffalo Exchange. Nope. In fact, I wish I would have read all of the ThredUp bad reviews on Better Business Bureau and horror stories before sending in my clothes. It seems there are a lot of really ticked off customers out there.
Is ThredUp a Scam?
I realized when sending this bag in, that I ran the risk of some items not being accepted, as it states on their website and policies, “unaccepted items are donated responsibly”. “Ok”, I thought, “I can be on board with that”. I see a photo of children, so I assume they are assisting a children’s charity? Wrong. The website continues: “We have high quality standards and typically accept less than 40% of the clothing we receive. Here is what happens to the unaccepted items:
Basically, the items you send in to ThredUp which aren’t sold through their online store are SOLD (elsewhere?) to recoup their “cost of labor” and any “shipping financial losses”, which I find odd because I and all of the other customers who use ThredUp PAY for the cost of shipping the bag out of their final payment. In short, ThredUp seems to be scamming people out of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. They also state that any items which aren’t accepted are “passed” onto 3rd party sellers for recycling. Which to me, means textile recyclers who buy used clothes. I am totally OK with that. I agree with this and support this wholeheartedly. This is my gripe, however: Nothing I sent was textile recycling worthy. Nothing. I know how secondhand and consignment works and I know what they accept. I would have never sent anything that was “recycle-worthy”. In fact, I sent a lot of clothes with tags still attached, a few of which are unaccounted for.
Here is a partial list of the clothes I sent to ThredUp (which are unaccounted for):
- Prada shoes, worn 3 times = Unaccounted for = $350 est.
- Halston Heritage 100% silk cocktail dress, tags still attached $579
- Billy Reid wedge shoes, in the box with shoe covers, worn 4 x = unaccounted for $395
- Ralph Lauren Collection (Purple Label) Moto Zipper Jeans, worn 3 x = $690 (They called these ‘Jeggings’, and priced them at $22, which I promptly changed to the max amount I could.) Guys, these are $690 jeans, NOT jeggings.
- Betsey Johnson silk dress
- Free People knit dress
In total, there were two dozen items sent, totalling an estimate of $2,800 retail value.
Here is the payout I received, and here are the other items which they marked as received and “acceptable”:
So, a pair of Billy Reid Shoes, Prada pumps, a brand new Halston silk dress is unacceptable but a cheap (although cute) H&M dress is OK??
I have sent the customer service (email@example.com) an email to request my unaccounted items to be returned. As of now, I am not longer endorsing ThredUp, nor would I encourage anyone to do business with them until I hear back from their customer service regarding the very expensive designer items that are unaccounted for.
Here are the companies I recommend for cleaning out your clothes for cash, trade or consignment (Instead of ThredUp):
- Poshmark – Poshmark has been the best experience I have had selling clothes online so far. In fact, I have sold $375 for 14 items on Poshmark. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort, but if you’re looking to make some extra cash for your clothes, this is the BEST method I have found so far. You don’t have to pay for shipping, and you set your own prices and negotiate.
- Buffalo Exchange – Go in person if you can, I don’t recommend sending in clothes
- Crossroads Trading Company – again, find one nearby (stores are very limited) and go in person if you can
- Plato’s Closet – Same as above. Mostly for Juniors clothing. GREAT option for clothing exchange!
If you don’t have the time to sell, donate your clothing to a local shelter or charity.