You already know I’m a big fan of vintage and thrift shopping. 90% of my wardrobe is second hand clothing, with the exception of a few special pieces. Still, since leaving my office job when I moved to the US, I realized I no longer had a need for the formal and professional clothing that I used to need for running workshops and hosting meetings.
Usually I would just sack up my clothes and donate them — which I still did with a majority of the spoils of my spring cleaning — but I was also intrigued with the idea of making back a bit of cash on some of my nice and rarely-worn pieces. So, I requested a free clean-out kit from ThredUP and got to work.
I started by checking the website to see what brand they accepted. I had a couple of pieces from Canadian companies that didn’t make the list, unfortunately.
Then I washed and pressed each item to make sure they would appear their best.
I made piles and took inventory of everything I was going to send. It was good stuff. I had high hopes.
Here’s the chart that I made so I would be able to cross-reference with ThredUP’s decision.
|Ankle pants||Gap||Green||New, Unworn, tags on|
|Denim mini dress||Gap||Navy denim||Rarely worn|
|Dress, keyhole back||Gap||Purple||Rarely worn|
|Chiffon dress||Gap||Gray||Rarely worn|
|Tweed sleeveless dress||Gap||Navy, gray tweed||Rarely worn|
|Floral sundress||Gap Factory||Pink, floral||Rarely worn|
|Black sundress||Gap Factory||Black||Occasionally worn|
|Floral rayon dress||Banana Republic||Gray, floral||New, Unworn|
|Pleated sundress||American Eagle||Navy, lilac||Occasionally worn|
|French bulldog blouse||Reitmans||Blue, polka dot||Occasionally worn|
|Scissor peplum top||Reitmans||Black and white||Rarely worn|
|Festive sweater||Jessica Simpson||Cream and gold||Rarely worn|
|Striped sundress||Old Navy||Beige, peach||Occasionally worn|
|Crochet flowy top||Old Navy||Blush pink||Rarely worn|
|Polka dot chiffon top||Forever 21||Black and white||Occasionally worn|
|Polka dot satin tank||Jones New York||Navy, gold||Occasionally worn|
|Strappy slide on flip flops||Crocs||Black||New, Unworn|
It took a few weeks to receive a response from ThredUP but eventually I received the much-anticipated email. After sending an estimated $1000 worth of clothing, I was credited with $12.26.
You’ll see that the best stuff gets sold right away while other item(s) get put into the consignment category. You can adjust the listing price lower if you’re so inclined but it does not affect your payout percentage.
It’s disappointing that more pieces weren’t accepted. A couple of the Gap dresses were so beautiful and had only been worn once or twice. I was definitely surprised they didn’t make the cut.
On the other hand, if I had just outright donated them, I wouldn’t have received any money….So there’s that.
If you’re hoping to make some good money with consignment clothing for a handful of pieces, no. You probably have a better chance by going to a local resale or consignment boutique where you can have a real-time, face-to-face conversation with someone who will look over each item and give you honest feedback.
If you are a fashionista with plenty of beautiful, brand-name clothes to pass on, then YES, definitely try it out. Especially if they are in like-new condition and are in-season and on-trend.
I’m somewhere in the middle, personally. If you are like me and just hoping to make sure your clothes can be enjoyed by someone else instead of contributing to a fast-fashion-filled landfill, then yes. At least by using ThredUP you know that the website provides a greater chance of reaching that special someone who is looking for a specific, gently used item.
Since those $12 aren’t going to get very far in rebuilding my wardrobe, it’s going to be a while before I have anything worth going through the effort again. In the meantime, I’ll stick to local charities when I have a piece or two to get rid of.
ThredUP offers the option to return clothing that they don’t accept for their site for an additional fee of $10.99. I opted not to take advantage of this option as I was deep in a spring cleaning mindset and looking more to clear out the house than to make money. It’s fortunate though because if I had, my profit would be a whopping $1.26, which is more that I spent on detergent for all these items.
Ultimately, while this isn’t the service for ME, it might be an okay option for others. My biggest regret from this experience is not learning why specifically my items (that did meet the criteria set forth on the website — ie. worn only once or twice, brand name, on-trend, etc.) did not make the grade.