ThredUP: Second Hand Clothes, First Hand Fun


I make VERY frequent deposits at clothing donations boxes but you’ll never catch me attempting to sell my unwanted threads at a consignment store. I have a fear of rejection that stems from a snooty second-hand store clerk that once rejected at least HALF of my finely pressed, seemingly flawless blazers, blouses, pricey jeans, etc because they were “out of style”. Isn’t that the point? So, year after year I continue to hoard a few important pieces (although nothing fancy) and release the rest to slimmer friends, bit by bit. And then I discovered the “largest online thrift and consignment store”, thredUP.

Here’s how it works. Create an account and request a FREE Clean Out Kit. They’ll mail you a giant plastic bag with your account number attached to the tracking label. Fill it with your cast-aside clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags, accessories and leave it out by your mailbox or drop at the USPS.

They’ll accept items that are on-trend, in-season, in great condition, and likely to sell quickly, and you’ll receive a payout as soon as these items are processed (about a week out). They’ll professionally photograph and list your accepted items on their giant online store. ThredUp has high-quality standards and typically accepts less than 40% of the clothing they take in, but at least you don’t have to face the rejection and they’ll responsibly recycle the unwanted items. Don’t expect a huge return. Fast fashion brands like H&M will get you anywhere from a mere .$50 to maybe $5 per piece, while JCrew generates an average of $5 per item. Some of their more pricey coats may provide up to $40.

My first go around I made piddly pocket change – around $14! They accepted only a few items including:

  • A pair of CROC leather boots (yes, I know! Why?) I purchased online during a bout with insomnia at a particularly low point in my life. Tags on.
  • A decorative H&M blazer that has never made sense to wear but I was saving it for a special occasion.
  • Two Lucky Brand tunics that never looked right on me.

They rejected these.

  • A gigantic JCrew Puffer Jacket that makes me look like a marshmallow. I’m guessing it was too old.
  • A grey GAP denim jacket. Also, kinda old.

I’ve decided thredUP is more of a trade-in venture with zero embarrassment that requires even less effort than carting bags around in the trunk. I plan to put my earnings towards something pretty for spring from their vast inventory. Some of their favorite brands to buy and sell are J.Crew, Boden, DVF, and Theory. I will attempt this again and will be a bit more strategic by including some nicer, newer stuff.

Good for: A low effort cleanout.

by Laura Williams

thred up

thred up


I purchased this lovely silk and cotton dress by Laundry on thredUP for $36.99 (Estimated Retail $179.)