To use or not to use? Recently I’ve become interested (obsessed?) with minimizing the clutter in my life. I am a bit of a hoarder… not in a all-the-newspapers-since-1967 but rather I keep everything just in case. That includes clothing, and I have so many “just in case” or “what if” outfits that never get worn. I decided to do something about it, and that’s where thredUp comes in.

ThredUP is a sort of online thrift store. You can buy and sell your clothing secondhand, and any items that are not up to par with thredUP’s standard of selling are donated or recycled. I love that every item of clothing gets used rather than it just sit in a landfill where it would contribute to our growing greenhouse gas issue.

After using the service a few times, here is my thredUP review and how I decide if it’s worth it or not.


How It Works

Using thredUP is simple – you create an account on thredup.com and request a clean out kit. You’ll receive a free pre-paid bag to fill up with your unwanted clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags, and accessories. Then you drop the bag off at the post office.

ThredUP does have a few rules for the clothing you send them:

  • the clothing should be gently-used or new
  • It should be on-trend
  • And from popular brands

They will evaluate your clothing and determine a price they’ll sell it for. You get a portion of the payout in one of two ways:

  • either the item will have an up-front payout
  • consignment payout where you get paid upon the sale

With both forms of payment, you will get a credit to your account that can be used to shop at thredUP,  you can transfer the amount to your PayPal account, or you can donate your payment to a cause.

The clothing that can’t be sold is passed on to third party sellers or given to the textile recycling partner who convert the clothing into fabrics that can be repurposed into new products. You have the option to donate all the items in your bag rather than receive payment, and they donate the proceeds to one of thredUP’s charity partners.


My Personal Experience

I’ve used thredUP four times. I’ve sold dresses, pants, skirts, bags, and sweaters. My most recent bag was just received to their warehouse and I am waiting for them to go through my items. There are, of course, pros and cons to using the thredUP service.

The pros:

  • I am giving my unwanted, unused clothing a new life and potentially earning some cash from it. I’m very passionate about the reduce-reuse-recycle circle of life and I am happy to avoid sending things to landfills.
  • I also like the cash that comes with it – though sometimes the payment I receive isn’t much.

The cons:

  • Sometimes the evaluation portion takes a while and you can wait for a few months to find out what your payout (if any) will be.
  • The payout isn’t huge, especially with out-of-style or dated clothes. This has been the most disappointing part, however I like the ease of it.

You’ll have the best luck with gently used and new items from the popular brands they carry. If you have more expensive items, I’d suggest trying to sell on eBay or in a Facebook group. You’ll likely get way more return on your investment than you would with thredUP.


In Comparison

I’ve used Poshmark and tried in-person thrift/consignment stores and haven’t had much luck. Poshmark takes a lot of energy and effort and I still wasn’t very successful with selling items. Physical consignment stores take a limited amount of clothing because they have limited space, and often they take only the best, newest items of clothing.

In order to get the best possible payout from thredUP it’s important to follow their “DOT” guidelines: Defect-Free, On-Trend, and Top Brands. They have a list of brands they prefer. It’s also a good idea to send seasonal items that go along with what they’re looking for, and they often have a “wish list” on their website.

There are pros and cons with every company, and I believe the “pros” have it for thredUP. I recommend this company–they have a great mission, give to good causes, and help us all rethink about how we use and reuse items such as clothing. What better way to clean out your closet than by giving back?

I’d love to know your experiences with thredUP! Comment below!