ThredUp is an online consignment and thrift store where you can buy and sell high-quality secondhand clothes. You can send your items to ThredUp and earn cash when they sell.
There are many benefits of selling your items on consignment rather than listing and selling them yourself. Consignment is a great way to send your items off to someone else to do the work and receive a commission for your sale.
In fact, many resellers have adopted consignment selling as a part of their business model. If you can source items inexpensively, have someone else sell them, and still profit from your payout, this model can be incredibly lucrative.
There are many places to sell your items on consignment, including as a private consignment client, brick-and-mortar consignment shops, and The RealReal for luxury items.
Let’s explore how ThredUp works, and how you can consign clothing by sending it into ThredUp.
What is ThredUp?
ThredUp is an online consignment and thrift store that delivers a “modern resale experience on one of the largest online platforms for women’s and kids’ secondhand apparel.” ThredUp features 55 thousand brands from GAP to Gucci and up to 90% off estimated retail prices.
ThredUp has an emphasis on sustainability and “the circular closet,” powered by proprietary technology. Here are some powerful stats:
Currently, ThredUp processes 100 thousand items per day, features over 2 million items actively for sale, and can store 5.5 million items in their distribution centers located across the United States.
Fun Fact: ThredUp has the largest secondhand warehouses in the world. Learn more about how their team processes items at the ThredUp distribution centers here. Photo courtesy of ThredUp.
How Does ThredUp Work?
Consigning with ThredUp is a simple 3 step process:
Sign up and request a Clean Out Kit, to fill with your gently used, unwanted items.
ThredUp will send you a label to mail in your kit.
Get paid once your items sell.
Okay, maybe it's not that simple, and you might have a few questions. Here are some of the most common questions:
ThredUp Tip: We talked to many ThredUp sellers, and the consensus is that ThredUp is taking a very long time to process items. Due to overwhelming volumes of clothes coming in, there is sometimes a waitlist to receive a Clean Out Kit. If you’re interested in consigning with ThredUp, act fast.
Sending Items to ThredUp: Your ThredUp CleanOut Kit
Once you request and receive a kit, you can fill it up with your items- be sure to follow the weight guidelines for the kit.
What Can I Send to ThredUp?
You can send almost anything to ThredUp - as long as the item has a size tag. They accept all brands, and even unbranded items.
The ThredUp category list is so extensive, that it is easier to list what they don’t accept: men’s, maternity, jewelry, hair accessories, phone cases, undergarments, pajamas, prom dresses, wedding dresses, homemade items, and obviously replicas, or anything offensive, or illegal.
ThredUp Tip: TU accepts clothing, shoes, handbags and more from all seasons but they recommend that you send pieces that are currently on-trend and fitting for current and upcoming seasons.
Here are some examples of items sent into ThredUp: Thredup photographs, measures, and describes the items before listing them for sale.
Listings courtesy of ThredUp Consigner & Vendoo User Shipping in Style.
What if ThredUp Doesn’t Accept My Items?
When you sign up for your Clean Out Kit, you can opt-into Return Assurance. Then, if ThredUp does not want your items, they will be sent back to you. Without Return Assurance, you have essentially donated your items to ThredUp, where they will likely be thrown into ThredUp Rescue Boxes for quick sale, or responsibly donated or recycled.
How Long Does It Take for ThredUp to Receive My Items?
Welp, according to the website, it takes Thredup an estimated three-weeks to receive, process, and list your items. However, I talked to many ThredUp sellers to draft this blog, and all of them reported that the process often takes several months. You can track the status of your items on the “Clean Outs” tab of the website.
Here is an example of a lot from the consignor view, where you can review and access each of the items in the lots you send in.
Consigning Your Items with ThredUp
Once ThredUp has received, processed, photographed, and listed your items, you do have the authority to dispute the description or change the listing price.
To adjust the price of an item, visit the “Clean Outs” tab on the website, click the price box, and adjust the price.
Note that if you adjust the price more than 50% above the listing price, there will be an additional fee if you wish to reclaim your item.
Otherwise, you just wait for your items to sell, hopefully!
ThredUp Tip: ThredUp Customer service offers live chat to consignors.
Consignment Timeframe: How Long Does It Take ThredUp to Sell?
Your items may be listed for up to 60 or 90 days, depending on the brand.
Value and mall brands will be listed for up to 60 days, while premium and designer brands will be listed for up to 90 days.
If your items do not sell within the timeframe, you will have an additional 14 days to reclaim your items.
You will be alerted when your item sells via the “Clean Outs” tab, where your item will be marked as “pending sale” until the buyer has received and accepted the item.
ThredUp Fees and Commission: How Do You Get Paid on ThredUp
How much do you get paid when you consign items with ThredUp? The Payout Table is based upon the price your item sold at.
How Does ThredUp Determine Pricing?
Pricing is based upon multiple factors including: estimated retail price, seasonality, age of the item, quality, style, and the level of inventory that ThredUp currently has for sale in that size, brand or style.
The current (new) ThredUp Payout Table illustrates that consignors receive 5%-80% as a commission payment per item:
So, for example, if ThredUp sold your t-shirt for $6, your payout would be approximately $0.30 to $0.90. If they sold it for $20.00, your payout would be approximately $3-$6. If they sold it for $50, your payout would be approximately $15 to $30.
Note: the fees are very small unless the items have a higher sale price.
Visit this page for ThredUp’s Payout Estimator. You can enter the brand and category to get an estimate of your payout:
I searched for “Madewell Jeans,” and it appears that the payout is estimated around approximately $8-$13.
How Do I Get Paid By ThredUp?
The buyer might choose to return the item (yes, returns are allowed on ThredUp in most circumstances), otherwise you can cash out as soon as the 14-day return period has expired.
Note: According to the consignors we chatted with, ThredUp returns are not common. However, if the same item is returned twice, ThredUp will payout your commission the second time regardless.
You can access your earrings and request your funds on the “Cash Out” tab. Consignors get paid as funds become available.
Currently, you can request your cash out via Paypal or Stripe (there is no direct-deposit or paper check request option). Or, you can use your balance as site credit to spend on ThredUp (you actually make more this way, as your funds won’t be subject to the cash out fees with PayPal or Stripe). Learn more here.
Is ThredUp Legit?
Yes, ThredUp is a legit company. Despite some pretty negative ThredUp reviews, some sellers love using ThredUp to sell their items.
ThredUp can be a great alternative to donating or discarding your unsold or unwanted items, because in this instance any payout is better than none.
Note: I collaborated with a handful of ThredUp consignors in the drafting of this article and they unanimously reported that ThredUp is currently taking longer than ever to process items and that the current payouts are lower than ever.
The bottom line is that you won’t make a lot of money on ThredUp, unless you have access to inexpensive items with a high resale value. Even then, though, you would make a lot more money if you sold them yourself.
With Vendoo, you can cross-list your items to multiple marketplaces with just a few clicks. Try the free trial here.
You might also be interested in the blog Consignment v. Cross-listing.
Have you cosigned your items with ThredUp? Share your experience below!