Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Newer Scheme: ThredUp

I don't think I've ever taken clothes to a consignment store.  I used to go to Plato's Closet every now and then, which is a kind of consignment store for teens.  I would bring in a whole pile of stuff, the 16-year-old staffers would paw through it, and then they'd reject most of it and shame me a little bit.  Usually, I'd walk out with maybe $5, but I figured that it was worth it because I would have just donated that stuff to the thrift store for nothing otherwise.

As far as real consignment stores,  they kind of baffle me.  I've shopped at them, but it seems that in selling things to them, there are a lot of rules.  You have to sell things by season, and you have to do it way before that season arrives.  Most of the places around here, you have to make an appointment to have them look at your stuff.  Also, I don't buy a lot of super high end stuff, so it seems like they'd just reject me and waste both our time.

Because of this, I have had a pile of very nice clothing in my closet that I just can't bear to give to the thrift store.  Most of it is stuff I bought for work that either doesn't fit me well, or I didn't end up liking after a while.  Every now and them, I'd dig a piece out and try it on, but either the skirt was too short or the pants too high-waisted--something was just off for me.  So they'd go back into the closet.

So I was incredibly excited with I read about a new online consignment company: ThredUp.  They only take clothing in perfect condition--which makes sense, but you can send them things for free (no shipping costs), any season, and then you can either get cash for what sells, or store credit to buy replacement clothes.

Once I requested a bag from them and started shopping my closet, I realized that I actually had a lot of clothes that I just never wear.  I used their brand finder to see what they accept, de-linted a couple items, dumped the lot of them in the bag they sent me (took about three days to get it), and took that down to the FedEx drop box a few blocks away.  After about a week, I got this email from them:
Thanks for returning your polka dot Clean Out bag! 
We're excited to add your practically new clothes to the thredUP Shop.
We carefully inspect each item to ensure it meets our high quality standards. This usually takes about 3-5 business days, but because we're experiencing higher-than-expected bag volume we do not expect to process your bag until on or around Monday, December 9th. We sincerely apologize for the delay.
Once we've inspected each item, we'll send you an email letting you know how many items we're able to resell and the total amount you've earned for each.

While you're waiting, browse our high quality, brand name threds at up to 80% off retail prices! As an added thank you for sending in clothing that we can sell to other families, here's a 20% off coupon good for any purchase made within 24 hours: 

So it seems that they're a little backed up right now, but I have no problem waiting.  So far, the process has been pretty painless and I'm pretty thrilled to reclaim some hangers and shelf space in my closet.  I'll keep you posted when I hear back from them.


  1. Ooooh, plus it's hard to actually find time to go to these stores when they are taking clothes. I like the sound of Thread Up....of course now I feel compelled to browse/shop there so this could defeat the purpose....

  2. Becky's done the consignment thing several times in the past, but she's also a fashion junkie who knows what's in season and all that stuff. Back when we were dirt broke, it was a way to make 50 bucks or so every couple months as well as de-clutter the closet. I'll be interested to find out how this online thing goes.

    Somewhat similar topic - speaking of rules with clothes. Donating can be a pain too! One year the tax guy said we had to take pics of all the donated clothes to claim them. So we did during the next year, which is a hassle and time suck, only to find out the rules changed again and you needed an appraiser to vouch for the value of said donated items, which can cost more than the damn items.