I’m always looking for ways to get the most out of my closet clean-outs. When it comes to selling clothes I’m ready to part with, I’ve done everything from post clothing on our local For Sale page on Facebook, had my own garage sale, and sold to several different resale shops. Of all of these methods, I like selling to resale shops best. For the time spent, I find you get a reasonable amount of money and it’s a LOT less work than the other options. If you haven’t sold to a resale shop before, here are some tips:
- If you have any unworn items with the tags on, leave the tags on. Duh!
- Wash any pre-worn clothing before you take it in. If an item appears dirty, the shop will probably pass due to “staining”, even if it is washable..
- Shoes get a lot of money! Again, make sure they are clean before you take them in.
- Brands that seem to be bought almost every time (as long as the clothes are in good condition): J. Crew, Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy, Anthropologie, Free People. Keep in mind that different shops buy different brands. I’ve sold to Buffalo Exchange (they buy off-beat and high end items, not really mall brands), Plato’s Closet (think Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister – mall brands; I once tried to sell a BCBG cocktail dress and they wouldn’t take it because it was “too fancy”), and most recently, an online clothing resale shop called thredUP. Since thredUP is accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a mailbox, I want to tell you about my experience with them!
How thredUP Works
You can visit their “How it Works Page” page for full details, but basically they send you a free clean out kit in the mail, which contains one large bag that can fit about as much clothing as one laundry basket. You fill the prepaid return bag and drop it off with the postman or at the post office. After thredUP receives your bag, they select the items they want to buy and you get immediately paid on most items.
Here are the Pros and Cons I’ve found selling to thredUP so far.
- You never have to leave your house. I live about an hour away from the nearest clothing resale shop. Having a “clean out kit” mailed to my house and then putting it on my front porch for the postman to pick up is so much easier than driving with loads of clothes to an actual store, carrying them in, waiting for the workers to go through them, etc.
- Free shipping. You pay $0 to have the clean out kit mailed to you and to send it back to thredUP. And I stuffed mine! My last mail-in was easily over 10 lbs.
- They buy kids clothes, too. Get a two-for-one and sell your little’s outgrown clothes at the same time as yours! Usually I have to go to two different resale shops for this.
- Take your money and run or buy great stuff. You can cash out to a PayPal account, donate your earnings to a charity, or trade your cash earned for like-new clothes. I’m talking AWESOME brands at a fraction of the cost of retail. Some are even brand new with tags on! I traded some clothing recently for a designer blazer that retails for over $400 new. I paid $30! And it came in great condition. I’ll share some tips below for finding treasure in their giant sea of stuff.
- Most importantly, I found the payout to be generous. For the eight items thredUP bought in the first bag I mail in, I’ve been paid $64.99 so far. I have one more item listed on consignment, meaning I won’t be paid until it sells, so I will earn another $33.00 if and when that item sells. That’s almost $100 on eight items! See my summary below.
- They are very picky. Review the list of desired brands before you send in clothing. thredUP is very picky about brands and the condition of clothing it buys. The good news here is that if you buy anything from them, you can rest assured you’re going to get an item in great condition.
- The processing time is slow. It took almost three weeks from the time I put my return bag in the mail until I was paid. It’s about a week for shipping and another 2 weeks for them to go through your bag and decide what to pay you. When I take clothing to an actual resale store, I usually finish up in 1-2 hours.
- You have to pay if you want unwanted items returned to you. Make sure and don’t send anything in you aren’t willing to part with, or willing to pay $12 to have it returned to you. If it’s in great condition and it’s a brand thredUP wants, they are probably going to buy it. But if they don’t and you don’t want them to donate it, you’ll have to pay to get it back.
- You don’t get paid upfront on your most expensive items. I sold a purse and a dress that got listed on consignment, meaning I wouldn’t be paid until the items sold (they do this for any item listed for over $60 resale). So far, the purse has sold and the dress is still for sale, so I’ve only been paid on the purse. Even though you may have to wait longer to get paid on these items, you get 50% of the sales price when they sell! So again, it’s a very generous payout. And you can control the price if you want to try to get more money or if you want to try to get your items sold faster.
Overall, I have really enjoyed selling to thredUP. I haven’t actually cashed out any of my money, because I’ve found great clothing on their site to trade for! If you’re looking to add to your wardrobe, here are my tips on finding some steals on thredUP:
- First, obviously sign-up with my referral code. Hey! You get $10 to spend on your first purchase!
- Look for a coupon code. They are usually running a 40% off your first order special.
- Use their Personal Shops tab to pick your style and your sizes. That way, you can browse through items you know are going to fit you and be a brand you like. You can also apply filters to search the entire site.
MOST IMPORTANT: When you find an item you like, look for items from the same seller. Chances are, their other clothing items are going to be a similar style, brand, and size. It’s like meeting someone whose style you really like and then invading their closet. To find items from the same seller, first click on an item you like. Scroll to the bottom of the item’s page and you will see a link that says More items from this seller. If you click on it, you will see the entire bag they sent in and all items that have been sold or items still available for sale! Pretty cool.
- Bonus! You get free shipping on your order as long as it is worth at least $70. This was “before” I applied a coupon code, so I got free shipping when I only spent $30 out of my own pocket.
So there you have it! I’d love to hear from you if you buy or sell with thredUP! Are there any other great online resale shops out there? Let me know.
support a local business
If you are in the Lubbock area, you definitely want to check out a local resale shop called Culture Clothing – they buy a great a variety of clothing AND have very cute clothes you can buy at a steep discount compared to retail prices. Not to mention the store is stinking cute and next to one of my favorite coffee shops in Lubbock. Also, the owners are pretty amazing people. It is a true family operation.