Do you have used clothing lying around that you haven't worn in a while? Would you like to get rid of the clothing, but don't want to donate to somewhere like Goodwill (because you want to make some money)? If so, you might want to consider selling on Thredup.
The market for resale of apparel is larger than it's ever been before and still growing. Why not take advantage of this and sell with one of the largest consignment stores in the world? Not only will you clear out some space from your closet, but you'll also make some money in the process.
This post will cover exactly how selling on Thredup works, what to sell on Thredup, and how much money you can expect to make. Ready to turn your gently used clothes in cold hard cash? Let's get right into it.
What Is Thredup?
Before getting into the specifics of topics like online consignment, postage, and designer brands, it's important to first understand what Thredup is.
Put simply, Thredup is an online thrift store (or consignment store) where users can buy used clothing online at a discounted price. One quick look at Thredup and you'll see that all sorts of things are available, including handbags, sneakers, sweaters and more.
Of course, Thredup doesn't get their clothing and accessories for free. That's where you come in! As a seller, you'll be on the other end of the transaction and sell used clothes to Thredup. Like any other online consignment shop, Thredup will take your clothes, handle them, then resell them for a profit.
In the end, you get to get rid of your clothes for cash, someone else will receive a garment for cheap, and Thredup will make some money in the process too. Everybody wins.
How Does Selling on Thredup Work
Once you decide that you want to sell your clothes on Thredup, you'll want to request a Thredup clean-out bag. This is just a large bag where you'll put all your unwanted clothes and textiles. If you don't want to use their bag, you can also fill up your own box and request a free mailing label from them. You can ship them up to 15 lbs worth of used items in one package.
Keep in mind that not everything you clear out from your wardrobe will be accepted. Thredup has very strict requirements on your clothes being in good condition and won't accept anything if it has a stain on it, if it has any tears, or if it smells. In fact, Thredup states that with their Quality Clothing Standard, they only accept about 40% of the clothing they get. This means if you send them 10 pieces of gently used clothing, they'll likely only accept about 4 or 5. Make sure you only send them gently used items to have the best chance of being accepted.
All of the clothing that they don't accept either gets donated or given to textile recycling partners (if you want the clothing back, you can pay Thredup a small fee).
The clothing that IS accepted is consigned. What that means is that it's put on consignment (on the market) for 60 days. If you happen to have submitted a piece of designer clothing (like Louis Vuitton or Prada), your item will stay on consignment for 90 days. If it hasn't sold after this time period, you can either choose to reclaim your pieces of clothing, or choose for Thredup to keep it.
What To Sell on Thredup?
When it comes to selling on Thredup, almost anything goes. That being said, as of right now, Thredup is only accepting and selling women's clothing. Also, luxury brands and name-brand clothing tend to get accepted more often than regular brands.
Here are some of the best things to sell on Thredup right now:
- Bags and purses – In 2020, bags were shown to have the highest resale value. If you have a handbag you haven't used in a while, consider selling it to Thredup.
- Coats and jackets – If you have fashionable outerwear lying around, you could sell them to Thredup and make some cash.
- Denim – Trendy denim jeans, denim jackets, and Old Navy jeans also tend to do well on Thredup.
- Tees – Instead of sending your old shirt to the landfill, why not sell it for some money.
- Shorts – When it comes to garments, shorts will almost never go out of style (especially if you live in a warmer climate).
- Dresses – Some dresses on Thredup are listed as high as $200! If you have some formalwear to get rid of, consider Thredup as an option.
- Shoes – Footwear is another category that tends to do really well on Thredup.
As with reselling to any second hand shop, make sure that your clothing is wearable and just lightly worn. Also make sure to check out Thredup's website for their criteria on what they accept and reject. The last thing you want to do is to send them a bag of clothes and have it all sent back to you.
How Much Money Can You Make From Selling on Thredup
Before you dive in to selling on Thredup, you'll want to know exactly how much money you can expect to make. The thing with Thredup is that because it's so easy to send your stuff in (and you really don't need to do any work), you're going to be paid less than somewhere like Poshmark. Generally speaking, when it comes to Thredup vs Poshmark , Poshmark requires more work, but also pays more, and Thredup is the opposite.
Here's a table of Thredup's payout percentages:
|$200 or more||80%|
What this means is that if your Gap tee shirt sells for $12, you can expect to get 3% – 15% of that (around 10 cents… yikes!) BUT, if you have a Gucci handbag that sells for $350, you get to keep 80% of that (aka around $280).
When one of your items is purchased, the buyer has a 14-day window to return it. You earn cash on your sale after the window has passed.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Thredup
Your clothes are important to you so it's crucial that you carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Thredup before diving right in. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Thredup to sell your clothes.
- Convenience – If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of your clothes, Thredup is the way to go. Unlike other consignment shops, Thredup makes it extremely easy for you to send in the clothes you want to sell or donate. Just take your unwanted items, plop them in a bag, send them to the right address, and get some money for it a few weeks down the line.
- It's free – Signing up for Thredup is completely free. You don't even need to spend money on gasoline driving your clothes to a drop-off location. Just mail your clothes and you're done.
- Eco friendly – According to Thredup, over 1 billion lbs of CO2 emissions have been displaced because of their efforts. How? Because when your clothes are recycled through Thredup, they are effectively creating a circular economy that limits the negative environmental impacts of fashion.
- Uncertainty – When selling on Thredup, you run the risk of having your old-clothes (even designer clothing) not get accepted. When you use a platform like eBay or Facebook Marketplace, you can list whatever you want, but with Thredup, you need to be a little more selective. If you send them duds, you'll need to pay to get them back.
- Low profit – If you're looking for ways to make money that can supplement your income, selling on Thredup is probably not the way to go. Thredup is much better for people who want to donate clothes (and not actually earn any profit on them).
- Less marketing opportunity – Another downside to having Thredup do everything is that you have less opportunity to market the product. When you work with consignment shops like Thredup, you're basically giving up all control of the process. Have a friend that would suddenly be willing to pay you a LOT of money for the item you just sent away? Too bad, unfortunately you won't be able to sell it to them.
FAQ About Thredup
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ThredUp:
- Are there any fees associated with selling on ThredUp?
There is no fee associated with selling on ThredUp, however, when you cash out your earnings, you may need to pay a small percentage of it to the company. If you choose to use stripe direct deposit, a 1.5% transfer fee, as well as $0.25, will be applied to whatever earnings you had. PayPal payouts arrive in your account immediately but come with a 2% transfer fee.
- Will it help my earnings if I'm good at social media?
With certain other online selling platforms (like Etsy or eBay), you can market your stuff on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social media platforms to drive more traffic. Unfortunately, because ThredUp is an online consignment store, it won't increase your earnings if you're good at social media.
- How much exactly can I expect to get paid if I use ThredUp?
Though you can make some cash with ThredUp, there are plenty of other ways to make extra money. You probably want to know exactly how much you can make with ThredUp to see if it'll be worth your time. Luckily, there is a ThredUp payout estimator designed just for that purpose. It will require you to sign up for an account with them and will then give you clear estimates on what you can expect to earn with ThredUp.
- What is bidding and does it affect me as a seller?
When your items first hit the site, there will be a 12-hour bidding window in which you can't adjust the price of your item. Though this may sound bad, the prices with bidding are potentially higher than those you'd get if you sold the item normally. Since you're paid on a percentage basis, this means a higher payout for you!
Recap: Everything You Need To Know About Selling on Thredup
So there you have it: everything you need to know about selling on Thredup. If you're thinking about donating your clothing away and would like to make a little bit of money on it in the process, consider using Thredup instead.
Though you don't get paid very much, Thredup DOES allow you to easily clean out your closets and will assist with your decluttering efforts (you no longer need to drive around town looking for thrift shops and thrift stores that will accept your clothing).
All in all, Thredup is NOT some kind of upscale reselling shop where you'll be able to make a living off your earnings, but it IS a nice way to get rid of some old clothes you don't want and potentially make a bit of spending money.
If you've ever used ThredUp and have some thoughts on it, let us know in the comments!
Jeff is a current Harvard student and author of the blog Financial Pupil who is passionate about learning, living, and sharing all things personal finance-related. He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys the pursuit of financial freedom. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.