Growing up, I had no idea what a consignment store was. Maybe it was because I lived in a big city but I don’t think I even lived near one. When I went to college in upstate New York, I discovered Plato’s Closet. The first time I went there, I remember I was blown away that someone would want to pay me for my Old Navy shoes (well, to be fair…they were never worn).
Recently, I discovered ThredUp. Basically, they’re on online consignment shop. They will buy your gently used clothing from you and in return, resell it. You might be confused about how they’re able to do that since they’re an online business. Here is how it works:
- You order a ThredUp bag, which they will send you free of charge. You then fill it with your gently used clothing.
- Ship the bag back to ThredUp (it is pre-paid and pre-addressed so you don’t have to pay any shipping).
- Once they receive your bag, they will determine what they will buy and how much they will pay you for it (up to 80% of the resell value). Anything they don’t want will be donated or recycled (you can also opt to have them return it to you but you will have to pay return shipping).
The timing was perfect for me to hear about ThredUp because I had just done my spring cleaning and had a big bag of clothing to get rid of. I was planning on donating it but this seemed like an interesting program to test out. Plus, a little extra cash is always a good incentive.
ThredUp only accepts certain brands (you can find the list here). While higher end designer brands will get your more money, they also take a good number of mass-market brands, such as the Gap and Banana Republic (even Forever21, ladies!).
I requested my ThredUp bag and received it in a few days. I wish I took a picture of it because it’s a pretty big sized bag – you can fit at least 10 garments in there. I stuffed it with 6 items and sent it on its way. Since I received my bag so quickly from them, I kind of expected them to receive it and process it quickly. Not the case. It took about 3.5 weeks. Not that I mind since I wasn’t in any rush to get my ‘cash’ but still, that’s a freaking long time to wait.
Anyhow, I finally got the email telling me how much they were going to pay me. Here’s the verdict:
$20.30! I’m not really sure if I should be happy or upset. I sent them some crappy items (like a pair of Forever21 shorts) but also some nice things (like a pair of J. Crew leather boots). While they note with a * which items they were paying for, I wish they specified exactly how much each.
So would I do this again? Probably. I never really expected to get much back, you never really do with these type of businesses. But it’s certainly nice to be able to send them a bag of your used clothing, without having to drag it to the store. I am also happy they donate or recycle any items they don’t resell.
Have you ever used ThredUp? Would you consider trying it?
*BTW, since they resell everything they buy, you can also shop on ThredUp! I haven’t tried it since I’m not sure how I feel about buying used clothing online but might be worth it.