ThredUp Review: Second Hand Shopping Online

Updated: 01-Feb-2021

In a few short weeks I’ll be starting a new job that will require me to be in more formal attire. My work in a start-up was much more lax. So after clearing out my closet this past summer it was time to invest in more pieces to complete my work wardrobe.

Before my start-up CMO job I was working in consulting and traveling constantly. This meant a small carry on suitcase and packing light and versatile items that I would use over and over again for three weeks until I made it home to switch them out. It helped me learn to be an excellent packer and live with a minimal wardrobe. So I didn’t acquire many new items over the last 4 years.

Now that we have converted to a zero waste lifestyle I did not want to run out to the store and pick up new sustainable clothing to fill the gaps in my wardrobe. It’s expensive and in the end I think the most sustainable option is to use clothes already in rotation and give them a second life.

There is so much waste in the fashion industry. But countries like France are cutting down on it by prohibiting stores from destroying unsold clothing (check out this article to learn more).

So how can we as individuals do our part? By shopping thrift and consignment shops.

I’m short on time and looking for high quality items from brand that I know that I know will last me awhile. I wanted to try either Poshmark or Thredup, two online services that help making the process easier. But because they are only available to US customers I needed to wait until I was back in New York visiting family.

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Postmark vs Thredup

I quite enjoyed the experience of making my account with ThredUp and ultimately decide to purchase from them instead of perusing the pages of the more well-know Poshmark.

Why?

There are a few reasons:

  1. User friendliness
  2. Customization
  3. Higher quality goods

Poshmark feels more like the Craigslist or eBay of second hand fashion, where at ThredUp you feel like you are shopping at a retail location. At Postmark you buy directly from the seller, but at ThredUp you have more flexibility because you are buying through an intermediary. This makes it easier to get multiple items and have a different shopping experience.

If you are looking for one or two items Poshmark would be a great choice. It will take you longer to find what you are looking for, but I am sure there are some great items out there. I’ll have to explore them in more detail at a later date.

Interested in shopping with ThredUp and want a discount? Use my link for $10 off your first purchase and I’ll get $10 off as well 🙂

Setting up your profile with ThredUp

It was extremely easy to set-up my account with ThredUp. You answer questions about your size in different clothing items so that they can show you only products that are relevant to you. If you wish to browse outside of your size profile that is also available to you.

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The website is extremely user friendly and offers great items. You can see if they still have the tag on and if the item has dropped in price with the graphics show above the images.

It’s quite intuitive to use.

Purchasing with ThredUp

You can save items with a heart while you are browsing and them reviews them to decide what you would like to purchase.

Once the items are placed in your cart you have 12 hours to make your purchase. The items are held for you until that time has past. When you are looking for items you can also check what someone else has in their cart in case you would like to wait and see if they decide to not make the purchase.

They also offer a service like Lookiero and Stitchfix called Goody Boxes. If you are tired of reviewing the pages of items they have listed you can order a Goody Box and send back anything that you don’t like. I haven’t tried it, but I quite like the idea.

Check out is a breeze, you have three payment options: credit card, PayPal, and Pay with Amazon.

What I got from ThredUp

I decided to take advantage of the 20% discount for first time buyers and free shipping if you spend over $75. (In the end I paid for shipping just to ensure I get the products faster as I will leave the country in a week’s time.)

Product Original price ThredUp Price
Unbranded braided leather belt $36.00 $3.99 $3.19
Banana Republic leather belt $50.00 $4.99 $3.99
Free People Jeans $108.00 $21.99 $17.59
Gap Khakis $50.00 $9.99 $7.99
Brooklyn Industries Skirt $54.00 $14.99 $3.00
Joie blouse $158.00 $32.99 $26.39
Band of Gypsies Dress $60.00 $19.99 $15.99
Banana Republic top $45.00 $15.99 $12.79
Design History top $71.00 $15.99 $12.79
Old Navy blouse $25.00 $11.99 $9.59
Old Navy dress $42.00 $21.99 $17.59

I spent $158.93 (or 136€) for my total order, including the expedited shipping and taxes. Combining these 4 tops, 2 pants, 1 skirt, and 2 dress with the rest of my wardrobe will make for unlimited new outfit combinations.

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Shipping with ThredUp

The standard free shipping didn’t meet my needs because the items would arrive in 3-8 business days. After the 1-2 days for processing the order. This is much slower than we are used when making purchases online. So be aware before you complete your order.

I opted for the 1-3 business day expedited shipping. In reality it arrived in X business days. Just in time for me to try them and head back to Spain.

I wish I had placed the order when I first arrived to give myself more time to make any returns necessary.

Delivery with ThredUp

The delivery was rather quick because I paid extra to have it arrive before I left the country. I would have preferred if it all came in one shipment in order to reduce packing materials.

Two pieces can first un paper bag wrapping and the rest of my order can in cardboard boxes. Everything can be recycled.

They send you a note in hopes of getting you to do marketing for them for free. I liked the experience so I don’t mind. But I think it could have been stated in a different way. It was a bit of a turn off.

Returns with ThredUp

When I first used ThredUp I almost didn’t make a repeat purchase because of the extremely expensive return (they were almost $9.00). But since then the company has changed their policy and returns are not only subject to a $1.99 restocking fee, which I think it much more reasonable.

My first experience with their returns did, however, make me much more conscious of how I was purchasing from their website. On my subsequent purchase I spent a lot more time thinking over my purchases and making sure I would absolutely love what I was picking out. I had no intention of being stuck with items that I didn’t want, just because I didn’t want to pay for the return fees.

But, I think this is a good practice overall. When we spend time to think about what we need versus what we want we can make more sustainable decisions with our purchasing and reduce over consumption and rampant consumerism.

ThredUp Rewards

One of the really nice perks of shopping with ThredUp, apart from their excellent selection, is the reward points you accumulate for your purchases. You receive 10 points for every $1 of purchases, 100 points for visiting the sight 15 days out of the month and 500 points for sending in a closet clear out. These points can then be redeemed for the following:

  1. 350 points = Free Shipping
  2. 350 points = 15% off handbags
  3. 675 points = waived restocking fees
  4. 1000 points = $10 off your next order

I particularly like the last reward, getting money off your purchase that for me has the most value. But it’s always nice to have options of how to spend your points.

Be careful because the points do expire. Something I didn’t realize until I was reviewing this post.

My overall thoughts on ThredUp

After the first time that I tried ThredUp, I thought that I wouldn’t go back because of the extremely high return fees. But since trying a few more time and get a few nice discounts I’m super happy with the purchases I made. Knowing that returning would not be an option make me more selective in my choice of items and I absolutely love everything I have bought since.

The quality of the items is very clearly stated and it makes it easier to select items that you know will last for a long time and even find new items that still have their tags.

I also love the rewards program that gives me points for every purchase that I make and those rewards turn into cash towards a future purchase. I have already $20 racked up and look forward to spending it soon.

Interested in shopping with ThredUp and want a discount? Use my link for $10 off your first purchase and I’ll get $10 off as well 🙂


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