Hi, I’m Michelle, fashion lover and recovering retail therapy addict.
My closet has been a revolving door of out with the old, in with the new. Sure, the outgoing is passed along to friends or donated, but the time has come to focus on “out with the old” and curb “in with the new.” Simplify. De-clutter. I’m shopping my closet, creatively up-cycling what I have, and being selective about purchases.
This shift got me thinking… Why not recoup some of the money that’s gone out the revolving door? Yup, makes fiscal sense. But hours spent photographing, listing, shipping—the required stuff for eBay, Poshmark and similar services—not gonna happen.
Enter thredUP, a San Francisco company with a simple model: Order a Clean Out Bag, fill it with stuff and send it off. All for free. Then wait to hear what’s been accepted and whether payment will be upfront or after the sale. Since my closet is NOT populated with expensive designer brands, I anticipated a payout (thredUp only consigns items they list for $60 or more). Here’s a recap of my experience…
Ten items went into the bag—a mix of dresses, tops and bottoms in good condition. The company states they have “high quality standards and typically accept about 50% of the clothing…” Indeed, exactly half my items were accepted.
Here’s what was in my bag, acceptance status, and pricing…
The five pieces were listed for a total of $87.95. My upfront payment was $13.86 (15.7%). Payments can be spent at trendUP immediately, or cashed out (via PayPal) after two weeks.
For a $12.99 fee, thredUP will return rejected items. I chose not to do that, in part because of the cost and also because I thought they would be donated. My mistake. Here’s what the thredUP website says…
Items that are still in great shape but don’t meet the thredUP standards are sold to third party sellers. Items that are no longer in wearable condition are passed onto our textile recycling partners and upcycled. The proceeds we recoup through this process help us cover some (but not all) of the shipping and labor costs incurred for the unaccepted items we receive. Every year, we donate 10% of these proceeds to Teach for America.
I’m immersed in the sustainable and slow fashion movement—personally and professionally—so I love the intent behind thredUP. It’s good for thrifting mass or select designer brands and kid clothing. The thredUP process makes it a no-brainer to clean out your closet and passively earn a few bucks.
That said, I’m not inclined to send another bag. Two reasons:
1) I was baffled by the selection process. Totally not surprised the Champion capris and crochet vest didn’t make the cut. And kinda surprised some of the others did. But the dresses? All were in great condition, seasonally relevant and on-trend. Athleta is one of the most-wanted brands in their 2014 Annual Report and the three items accepted all sold. I looked at the dresses currently selling and still couldn’t figure it out. When I realized they would be sold to a third party, I was disappointed.
2) The payout is low (lowered June 1). No doubt the math works for their business, but I’m more inclined to pass along to friends, donate directly, or take to a local consignment store where I can earn 50%.
I’ll check out thredUP periodically if I’m needing to replenish with gently worn clothing, and look forward to seeing how their business evolves.
Pinky Swear: This review is not sponsored and opinions are my own. No commission or referral fee is earned from links.