thredUP Review: Our Firsthand Experience With Secondhand Clothing

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thredUP ReviewsThere’s something about the thrill of finding that one, unique dress, handbag or pair of shoes when you’re hunting through racks at TJ Maxx or sifting through piles at a flea market. What if those one-of-a-kind finds came to you and you could browse thousands of items without leaving your couch? You can, thanks to thredUP!

There’s also nothing more refreshing than getting rid of those items sitting in your closet gathering dust because they no longer fit your style or size. Imagine if you could minimize and making money from your old clothes too! Now, with thredUP, you can without doing any work other than shipping them off in a free pre-paid bag.

Visit thredUP Website

Article Overview


4.2 / 5
Customer Service 4.0
Pricing 3.8
Variety 4.0
Quality 5.0


  • A+ rating on BBB
  • Save up to 90% off original retail price when buying clothes
  • Free clean-out bag shipped to you to mail in items
  • Professional photos taken for you
  • Most photos are on mannequins to give you a sense of how it looks on a person


  • Must enter your email to shop the site
  • Some consumers say they didn't receive payment for items sold
  • Consumers say they didn't receive unsold items returned to them
  • Shorter return time frame compared to other sites

Key Features

  • Specializes in women’s and kids’ clothing and accessories, but also offers men’s clothing


  • No fee to sell – they ship you a free Clean Out bag and you send it in with the provided pre-paid label
  • Professional photos are taken to help sell your items
  • They research the retail selling price, write a description and list items for you
  • Track progress of sales via your online account
  • Get paid in trade or cash

Note: You cannot currently order a kit to sell your items (only for donations). If you try, you receive this message “Unfortunately due to overwhelming demand, we can’t fulfill your bag request at this time. Please check in with us on or after January 2 (2019)”.


  • Can sort by quality (new with tags, good, fair), color, size and more
  • Free shipping on orders more than $79
  • Returns within 14 days


How Much Can You Expect To Earn On thredUP As A Seller?

There are two ways you can make money.

  1. Upfront – For items that are on-trend and in excellent condition, you will be paid out as soon as the items are processed (which in my experience was a few weeks after they received the bag). The funds are available right away to be used for shopping on thredUP, or you can wait 14 days to cash out via Visa gift card in the mail (free) or PayPal (2% fee).
  2. Consignment – If your items are off-season and still in good condition they might take longer to sell, you’ll be paid once the item is purchased. They’ll also usually be marked at a lower price point so expect to get less this way.

Either way, earnings range from 5% to 80% of the anticipated selling price (the price the item will sell for on thredUP). The cost of the article is set by many factors including condition, demand, seasonality and more.

If your items don’t sell within 84 days, you have 14 days to reclaim them, or they will become the property of thredUP.

How Much Should You Expect To Pay When Shopping?

Shopping on thredUP can save you hundreds of dollars. Often times there is a sale and you can always score significant discounts on new items with tags still on and designer fashions.


Looking for a thredUP promo code? Well, you're in luck! Get 20% off your first order by using this link.

How Does Selling On thredUP Works?

  1. Go to their website and either set up an account using your email address or Facebook.
  2. Agree to the quality standards (i.e., “would I give this to a friend”) and get a few tips on selling, including a good understanding of what they are looking for.
  3. Select either a free Clean Out bag which takes around 4 weeks to process or pay $16 for expedited service which will send your kit quickly and process it within one week of arrival (deducted from your earnings).
  4. Enter your address and wait for the kit to come in your mailbox.
  5. Once you receive the kit, open it and read the instruction card for some useful pointers and reminders.
  6. Once you’ve packed your sell items in the bag, remove the adhesive strip and seal it.
  7. You can drop off your Clean Out Bag at your local post office or postal collection boxes or schedule a free residential pick-up by notifying your carrier. (Either way, jot down the tracking number so or receipts for your records).Please write down your Clean Out Bag tracking number or hold-on to any receipts received when shipping.

thredUP bag

Once unfolded, the Clean Out bag is pretty hefty, so you can put a few piles of clothes into it.

I opted for the regular (not rush) processing. From the time I sent my bag full of clothes to when I heard back about their review of my items, it took over a month. Understandably, they probably get a ton of stuff to sift through. If your items meet their standards, they’ll take professional photos, write up descriptions, price and post for sale. You’ll be notified of the status of your items throughout the process.

I was shocked at how good some of my items looked online (it almost made me want to buy them again – ha!). I was also surprised at how they estimated the retail value of some things. For example, no-name brand sunglasses they said retailed for $48, in reality, were from the dollar store.

thredUP shirt for sale

They accepted almost all the items in my bag upfront and only one was consignment (a brand new cocktail dress I never wore and was too late to return). In total, I made about $30, which was not bad considering this stuff would have just been donated (and it hardly took any effort or time on my end to sell).

Video: The Easy Way To Clean Out Your Closet

Watch this 90-second video to see how easy it is to sell with thredUP.

Shopping On thredUP (Our Firsthand Experience)

We should note before we begin our shopping review, we were given purchase credits to use at thredUP in exchange for our honest opinion about the service and products. This didn’t alter our opinions or give us any special treatment in the online buying process.

As you can see from the image above, most clothes are presented on a mannequin. This allows you to get a pretty good idea of what the clothes would look like on you. The professional photos give you a good sense of the item since you can zoom in and see various angles.

I personally chose to shop only for things that still had tags on them (one of the filter options), but even so, they had a large inventory. If you’re not shopping for anything in particular, you could spend hours browsing through all the stuff. Otherwise, you can sort by category, color, designer/brand and more.

The site only shows you results for items that are in your size and you can “like” an item to come back and see it later. However, you don’t want to wait too long because once an item is gone, it’s gone. So in a way, it’s kind of a thrill to snag something before anyone else buys!

Upon ordering, I received an email upselling me on similar items to accompany my purchases.

threadUP confirmation email

The delivery arrived in the company’s signature polka dot box. My “new” clothes were folded and wrapped nicely in tissue paper (and jewelry in a small box). There was also a little card inside that explained more about thredUP and a receipt from my purchase.

threadUP inside box

The items appeared exactly as they were described and looked online. Even though they said “new with tags” the tags weren’t always on.

Overall, I was impressed with how easy the experience was (much more enjoyable than digging through piles of clothes at a yard sale). I did find it a little pricey. Despite a pretty good sale and lower than retail prices, items are still a little more expensive than you’d expect to pay for secondhand items.

thredUP Returns

If you don’t like an item or it doesn’t fit, thredUP offers a 14-day return window. Some items do require a small $1-2 restocking fee, and you are not refunded on promotional pricing or shipping when you send an item back.

What Do Other People Think Of thredUP?

So now you know what we think, but what do others have to say about thredUP?

Positive Reviews

This is my new favorite way to shop. I have fast forwarded my wardrobe to nice professional clothes by name brands. I spent $115 once for SIX pairs of pants. They were all either Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, or similar brands. One pair of either of those brands cost $115. I love how I can sort through the clothes by a filter. I look at only my size, only brands that I like, and I can even sort by condition. I tried to go back to regular shopping, but it was just too expensive. I love ThredUP. – Amanda S., Better Business Bureau, 07/26/2017

When I sent my first bag it was processed within a week and a half, I sent five items and they kept four and they politely returned the fifth item to me. I have emailed them and I have received a response in return. If you have never worked with clothing you will never understand the process of making sure you have quality items to resale. Remember to read all the information provided by the company because I feel like they were up front about everything. I would rather have some cash then a store credit any day. Thredup is Awesome. – Frances c., Better Business Bureau, 09/25/2015

Negative Reviews

The payout for my bag was $6.95! These items were Polo, Tony Hawk, Levis jeans, etc. I had one high-end item with tags retailing $65 and it is being cosigned with a payout of $5. I emailed customer service to let them know how disappointed I was and how I felt scammed and they were no help whatsoever and was told that their process is so much easier to sell through as there’s no haggling. – Anonymous Member, Influenster 7/9/2018

Horrible. When this company started years ago they would give payouts for a full bag of clothing 100 plus. Now you send a full bag and receive 10 bucks. You see the unacceptable items which were in excellent condition uploaded on their site for sell meanwhile you didn’t receive a payment for them. Now they put items even under 40 as consignment making it a long process to receive your funds. – Michelle A., Better Business Bureau, 07/30/2018

Are You Fed Up With Old Clothes? thredUP!

thredUP is ideal for people who want to get rid of their clothes quickly without leaving home and don’t mind getting less than top dollar for their stuff. If you have the time and photography skills and prefer having more control (like setting your own price, description, etc.), then we might recommend trying another online consignment store.

But, if you’re looking to save a little money on designer styles or score some major discounts on secondhand clothes, thredUP might be just the right “fit” for you.

Have you tried online consignment shops before?

About The Author:

Sadie is a vegetarian and an avid recycler who loves riding her bike and practicing yoga. She is passionate about the planet, conserving life’s precious resources and making the world a better place for generations to come. A big fan of up-cycling, Sadie loves yard sales and vintage stores to find new uses for old things. She loves to cook, clean and enjoy the many parks and outdoor spaces in DC where she currently resides with her husband.

Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

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