If you’re already a bit fan of thrifting, or like to shop for discounts off some great quality clothing, then you’re going to love thredUP. For me, it’s become my new latest addiction. In fact, I haven’t shopped anywhere else (besides my DailyLook sub boxes) in the past 3 months.
What is thredUP?
ThredUP is one, if not the largest online consignment and thrift store. They accept clothing from anyone who orders one of their ‘Clean Out Bags’. According to their website though, they have pretty high standards when it comes to what they accept and list on their site – both brand and condition-wise. They state that they ‘typically accept less than 40% of the clothing’ they receive, and any items that are ‘still in great shape but don’t meet the thredUP standards are sold to third party sellers’.
As of the time I’m writing this, if you want to send your clothes to thredUP, you can request a Clean Out Bag for free (which can take 47 days to be processed – I know, it’s quite a wait), or pay $9.99 for an expedited bag (to be processed within one week). You’ll receive money through a store credit or cash via Paypal, or you can donate it to charity. The accepted clothes them get added to the online store for everyone else to shop!
As a shopper, you get to explore thredUP’s huge selection of clothing. One the main ‘Clothing’ page under ‘Women’ is where you’ll find all the latest pieces, from all different brands. Most of the clothing is from H&M, Express, Forever 21, Gap, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and J.Crew, however, you can move over to the ‘Premium’ and ‘Design’ tabs to focus the results on more high-end labels like Marc Jacobs, Coach, Prada and Diane von Furstenberg. ThredUP also has tabs for specialty sizes too, including maternity, plus, and juniors.
Philosophy of Paek tank – $7.20
silence + noise tank – $6.40
7 For All Mankind high-waisted skinny jeans – $32.30
Now, the first thing you may notice is that the prices are a bit steeper than what you’d find at your local thrift shop. However, thredUP offers a ton of extra benefits compared to shopping at a local thrift store, like having thousands of items at your fingertips, all organized in an easy-to-navigate layout (versus shifting through racks). Not to mention, there’s a huge variety of styles and brands, and almost all the pieces are in excellent shape. Honestly, I don’t even see them so much as a thrift shop, but more of a place to get discounted clothing from a huge range of brands, with no-fuss returns. Here are all the reasons I love shopping secondhand at thredUP…
Why I Love Shopping on thredUP
- ThredUP’s website is extremely well designed and easy-to-navigate. With so many styles, brands, and sizes, but they’ve also managed to design a helpful search menu that even allows you to save your size, brand, price, and color preferences for later!
- It’s easier to find things on their site than at a thrift store because you can filter, sort, and narrow down clothing. Plus they have literally thousands upon thousands of items (50,000+ that meet my preferences!).
- You can shop a huge variety styles. Because they get clothing from so many different brands, you get a glimpse of a ton of different styles – from Free People’s boho styles, to Calvin Klein’s contemporary styles – all in one place. This is especially great if you’re looking to mix things up and expand your style.
- Items are in surprisingly great condition. Over 90% of the items I received were either like new with no signs of wear, or brand new (some even with tags). They clearly tell you the items ‘defects’ or signs of wear and for the most part, they’re accurate.
- Shipping is free over $79, with free returns if you exchange for a store credit ($8.99 otherwise, with the option to combine order returns without having to pay extra). Spend $150+ in any calendar month (which is very easy to do!), and you’ll get unlimited free standard shipping on every order (no minimum) during the following month.
- Returns are super quick and easy. You have 14 days to decide what you want to keep, and what you what to return. To initiate the process, you simply log into your account, visit the returns form, and check off what you don’t want to keep. Then print out the form, package everything up in the original box, and ship it. You’ll receive an email letting you know when thredUP received your return (I’ve never waited more than 2 weeks for confirmation), and a second after they processed it (which is typically sent out within 24-48 hours after the first email – so it’s a quick turnaround!). Store credits are available right away, and credit cards of course take a couple of days to post to your account.
- There’s a constant flow of new items being added everyday. Refresh the page all throughout the day (and during peak hours especially, which seems to be around 8pm-11pm EST) and you’ll always see new items.
Blue Bird dress – $10.40 / Zara dress – $12.75
My thredUp Buying Review
I first stumbled upon thredUP a few months back, and have made 8 orders since and tried out over 100 items. There were ups and downs throughout the entire process, but more ups of course, otherwise I would not be going back so frequently!
In the beginning, I created an account to shop. This is super simple by the way, all you have to do is enter your email and create a password, and they’ll put you on their mailing list. It takes under a minute (and you can always unsubscribe to the emails).
As a new customer, I was able to get 40% off my first order (they sent me a code shortly after I had signed up). I ordered about 10 items to start out, which averaged out at around $10 a piece. To my surprise, everything was in amazing condition – like new or brand new with almost no signs of wear.
After 8 orders now, there was only one order where I had a mishap. What happened was I received two jackets from Zara that showed signs of wear that weren’t mentioned in the item descriptions on the website (tiny holes in one, and tiny stains on the other). Still, the jackets were wearable, so I contacted CS and they offered me 30% off the price of each, bringing them down to under $20 a piece, so I ended up just keeping both.
Forever 21 tank – $7.65
H&M blush knit top – $7.12 / LA Hearts grey knit top $6.80 / BDG sleeveless striped top (NWT) – $10.20
Overall, if you want great quality clothing on a budget, then thredUP is definitely worth checking out. They ship to the US, Canada, Australia, UK, and more. Before I go, I’ll leave you with a few shopping tips for scoring the best deals on their site:
Tips for Shopping on thredUP
- Be on the lookout for coupon codes.
- ThredUP offers some pretty awesome coupons for first time shoppers (30-40% off). You should get one via email shortly after signing up and/or after adding a few items to your cart and letting them sit overnight.
- For subsequent orders, look out for a 15% off coupon code at the top of the website – they’ll often tempt you with new ones if it’s been a while since your last order (past 7 days at least). (If you’re on mobile however, coupon codes are typically for 10% off, so make sure to check on desktop too.)
- ThredUP also occasionally offers coupons on special occasions. For example, they sent out 20% off coupon codes via email on Thrift Store Day (August 17th) and their anniversary (September 25th) this year (2017).
- Don’t assume all the items are great deals. The folks over at thredUP can’t be expected to find the exact original retail price of every item they receive. For the most part though, they do come fairly close (some items/brands more than others). Even still, keep an eye out for prices that may look a tad too high – in those cases, the discount may not be worth it. For example, Forever 21’s basic tees are typically ~$7, and up to $10 max, yet thredUP estimated one to have an original retail value of $18 and reduced it to $6.99, which is around the price I could have bought a new one at the store.
- ThredUP carts expire after 24 hours – so protect your favs!
- One (somewhat sneaky) way to prevent this from happening is to remove the item(s) from your cart, then immediately re-add them. This will reset the 24 hour countdown. If you’re really interested in an item but have to hold out on purchasing it for one reason or another, you can continue this remove-then-add-back-in cycle until you’re ready to check out.
- And to be safe, always make sure to ‘heart’ the items in your bag. This will save them to your ‘favorites list’, so you can grab them at any point later on (that is, unless someone else already grabbed them up).
- Lost your cart? Browse through the section where you found it (ex: Women > Clothing, or Women > Juniors), starting with the first page. There, you can sometimes find lost items (expired items get recycled through the main shop pages, just as if they were new items).
- You can only have 25 items max in your cart. Anymore than that, and the site will prevent you from adding new items to your cart, in a sometimes not-so-obvious way – like saying an item is already in someone else’s cart, even though it’s really not. (Maybe I’m just a power shopper, but it seems they don’t have an error message created for this scenario yet!) Just something to keep in mind while you’re shopping.
- Refer friends to earn shopping credits! Send your friends your referral link through email or social (FB, Twitter, etc). When they join, they get $10 to spend and you get $10 to shop after they place their first order!
Express wool coat – $39.00
Interested in trying out thredUP? Sign up here and get a $10 shopping credit! (Save that 40% off coupon for the larger orders later on down the road.) 😉
Have you shopped secondhand at thredUP, or other online thrift store?