Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Sell Your Clothes on thredUP

Even though I've had past luck selling my clothes via Poshmark, there were a few dresses that just weren't budging in my sales closet.  I heard about thredUP (my referral link) from Marissa at The Modern Austen and decided to check it out.

thredUP is basically an online consignment/thrift store.  If you're a seller, they send you a giant "Clean Out Bag" to fill with your gently used (no flaws!) brand-name clothing items.  It's free to ship them your stuff, but if you want items returned that are not selected, you sign up for a $12.99 deduction from what your items end up earning.  You can use their calculator online to get an idea of the range of earnings you can expect from your clothing.  Keep in mind that they need to earn a profit on selling your items, so they can only take things they feel will sell, and pay accordingly.  It is very much like consignment, but many items qualify for up-front payment, especially quality brand-names.

I was definitely skeptical of the thredUP process, but I was willing to give it a try.  Since I had some pieces (including NWT) in there that I thought I would want back if they rejected, I opted for the $12.99 Return Assurance on this first bag.  This bag was HUGE, and all I had to do was drop in pieces and take it to FedEx.  Simple as that.  I didn't have to sit around and haggle and wait some someone to buy something, then take it to the post office myself.

My Bag to thredUP!

I sent thredUP 12 items: 6 tops, 1 jacket, 2 pants, and 6 dresses.  Since these were items I never wore, and some that I had no luck selling on Poshmark, I felt like it was worth giving thredUP a go despite lower earnings.  My bag was processed within two weeks.

Of these items, thredUP accepted 6 tops, 1 jacket, and 5 dresses and offered $50 in exchange.  (They've already sold 5 of my items last I checked, for about the amount I was paid, so they're making a profit for sure.)  This was probably about $10 less than I'd hoped for...  and I still had to pay the $12.99 return assurance to return the items they didn't want.  In hindsight, I regret signing up for that service given almost all of my items were accepted.  Even though the pants returned to me were high quality (and one NWT), paying $13 to get three items back stung a little.  You have no way of knowing which items are being returned, but if you don't have any returns then you aren't charged the return assurance fee.

So basically I ended up netting about $38 (which I have to wait two weeks to cash out), not great when you figure that's about $3/item for good brands like a Betsey Johnson couture-type dress, two NWT items, J. Crew, Banana Republic, etc.   I just didn't feel GOOD about what I got even before the $12.99 deduction...  I was disappointed and bummed.  But that might just be me.  I know they need to make money on what they sell (I watch Pawn Stars!), which is also why Poshmark takes 20% of your earnings.

I think the only reason I would try thredUP again is if I have a bunch of brand-name tops that would probably only be worth the $5/piece that I could send in for a quick buck.  I don't think I'd try to sell anything to them that I feel is worth $20 or more, or more high-end stuff.  I also wouldn't send anything that I want back, to avoid Return Assurance charges.

I just don't trust the process as much, as I prefer the control I have with Poshmark.  I'm more likely to purchase from thredUP than Poshmark though, given the high quality inspection standards.

Since I have had so much luck with Poshmark but still gave thredUP a try, I decided to do a quick comparison so you can see the difference between the two.
For Sellers
  • Your Work:  thredUP is less work than Poshmark, period.  You send them your items, and they photograph, create listings, and sell.  You get paid upfront or on consignment.
  • The Payout:  Poshmark earns you more, but requires your effort.  Because you can set your own prices with Poshmark, and they only take 20% of the total sale price, you have more control over earnings.  With thredUP, they give you up to 80% (but usually 10-40% it seems) of what they feel it will sell for.  Please use their calculator to give you realistic expectations.
  • Bottom Line: If you want more control over what you earn, and you are willing to do the work, use Poshmark to sell.  If you want convenience and the payout matters less, (i.e. you just want it out of your closet) use thredUP.
  For Buyers
  • Quality of Items:  I have only kept and used ONE of the six items I have purchased on Poshmark.  I felt disappointed in the quality of items I received, and there were never true guarantees of the authenticity of items.  thredUP feels like less risk, because they disclose flaws and do not accept any knock-offs.  But there is less selection on thredUP; it's more carefully curated, if you want to look at it that way.
  • Price You Pay:  thredUP has some great deals, but with Poshmark you have the opportunity to negotiate with sellers, and even bundle items for a discount.  There also aren't wholesalers trying to turn profits on thredUP; it's just one seller vs. a bunch.  It's a toss-up to me.
  • Bottom Line:  thredUP seems more shopper-friendly, because the photo quality of items is excellent, flaws are disclosed, and it's guaranteed to be an authentic item in good shape.

UPDATE 12/3/14: I sent another bag to thredUP, and I've decided it will be my last.  I sent 8 brand-name tops and 1 pair of shoes that yielded only $22 (that's less than $3/item) and a dress they have on consignment for a MAX payout of under $12.  I just don't see the point in waiting for weeks to hear back from them with a payout, on top of not getting what I could probably make selling on my own via Poshmark.

Have you used thredUP?  How do you like it?

If you're interested in thredUP, please check it out and sign up via my referral link!  You'll earn $10 off your first purchase, and I'll get a $10 store credit.

If you're interested in Poshmark, check out my post about selling there here, and use code HROMR for a credit.


  1. I have the bag sitting by my closet. I will likely toss in the things are gathering dust on PM...I mean I don't have to make money off them...I more or less just want to make space. I have had pretty good luck on PM. After getting a couple shirts in that were in NO WAY TTS, I was suspicious...but my luck since then has improved. I have tried to buy only brands I know are TTS or at least that I know my size in. I have found some great deals. I live in my TOm's ballet flats for work...and I got 2 pairs for 25/a pair. They are usually 75 and up...so I consider that a win. I like that most sellers are willing to negotiate and I try not to spend too much on items so I won't be crushed if it sucks. I have also tried to only spend when I have money in my balance. Currently I am saving for some pieces to my Halloween costume because I don't have the time or energy to thrift for specific pieces.

  2. I love your attitude about the thredUP bag, and wish I'd been thinking more along those lines! That's exactly how I would recommend people view the service.

    I also think that I haven't given PM much love in terms of buying due to a LOT of issues with the few items that I did buy, and it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Fickle me!

  3. P.S. I don't know WHY they classified one of my dresses as Maternity!!! I think there was a maternity version of the wrap dress at the same time for sale, but that made me go HUH?!

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