Tips for buying and selling on Thredup

by Andrea Cooley

Thredup boxHave you ever found great deals at a garage sale or thrift store and been super excited about the amazing shirt/pants/coat you scored only to get home and try it on and realize it doesn’t fit right, there’s a stain on the front, or you don’t really like it that much, you only bought it because it was such a great deal?

I used to be that person. I’m not saying I’m against buying clothes at garage sales or thrift stores or even the clearance rack at Target, but I have learned to be a more careful, thoughtful shopper. If it looks like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. And even if it’s a brand new sweater, with the tags on it, if it’s not really my size, or I don’t love it, I won’t wear it and that means I wasted my money.

The first time I went to Thredup it was a little overwhelming. There are SO. MANY. THINGS! The prices were great, but it was hard to even know where to start. Then I spent a little time on the site and figured out the best way to shop.

Be picky
There are A LOT of shirts and pants and dresses and skirts to choose from. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and it’s also easy to end up with a lot of things in your cart that you don’t really need. I just got rid of a pile of clothes that I didn’t love or didn’t wear, I didn’t want to fill my closet up with more things I would end up getting rid of in a year. Just because you see something that is a great deal, ask yourself if you would like it even if it was $5 more than the listed price. Then ask yourself when you would wear it. Then decide if you really need it.

Set up personal shops
ThredUp makes it easy to narrow down your options with personal shops. That means you pick what size/color/brand/style you want to shop for. You save your preferences (I have a shop for cardigans and jeans and shirts) and then whenever I log in, I can quickly see what’s new.

Shop for specifics
I have a favorite pair of jeans (Gap 1969 always skinny). I know they fit and they are comfortable. Recently go-to pair got a hole (and not the trendy distressed kind) so I started searching for a replacement. If I bought them new they would be at least $40 and that would be if I found a good sale. I found 2 pairs for less than $15 a piece. Score!

Selling clothes
In my experience, Thredup is fairly picky about what they accept. The first bag I sent in they only accepted 3 or 4 of the 10 items. The second bag I sent it they accepted all but 1 item. Here’s what seems to work:

  • If you have clothes that are more than a few years old, they will probably pass on it.
  • If the item isn’t clean, they will pass. So even if it was clean a year ago when you hung it up and never wore it again, it’s worth washing it again before shipping it off.
  • If the item looks like new or is new with tags (yes, I hate to say there were a few things in my closet that I never even took the tags off of) there is a good chance they will accept it.
  • I seemed to have better luck with in season items (so dresses and shorts in the summer and sweaters in the fall)
  • You can find a list of brands they accept on their website.

Good luck purging and happy shopping!

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Andrea Cooley

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