[Psst: If you’re planning to shop ThredUp, use my referral link and we’ll both get a $20 credit: http://www.thredup.com/r/PBHKWD]
After I wrote THIS post about cleaning out my closet and sending a bunch of stuff off to ThredUp, a few people asked me to write about my experience. Since I don’t get too many post requests, I honor, um, 100% of them. Please let me know if anyone is interested in a series entitled “My life as interpreted through Mariah Carey’s music.”
Here’s the tl;dr:
I shipped off 29 articles of clothing and four pairs of shoes. They accepted nine items and two pairs of shoes. I made $36.
Do I recommend ThredUp? Yes.
And now for the long-winded version where I analyze my feelings and the motives of the wicked world that is consignment shopping.
They accepted 11 items, which is great. But they also rejected 22 items. Bam. Huge hit to the ego, right? That ratio wasn’t awesome, but REMEMBER! I sent it all away with the mindset that anything is better than nothing. That’s why I count it as a success. That’s why I’ve already requested another bag. I made enough to pay for a few guilt-free lattes at Starbucks, not to mention the part about me off-loading a bunch of stuff I should have gotten rid of a long time ago.
Hours after I sent off my bag I decided to Google seller reviews, and nearly everything I read was negative, written by people upset that their stuff wasn’t accepted. The reviews were so acrimonious that I could feel my blood pressure rising as I read them; I even started to feel embarrassed that I sent so much stuff away without researching first. I really, really started to wish I’d sold stuff on eBay or maybe a local consignment store.
But then I remembered why I got so excited about ThredUp in the first place. It required very little work on my part (all I had to do was request a bag, pack it, and put it on my porch). I might have made more money through consignment or eBay, but it would have taken considerably more work. At the very least I would have had to get in my car and…bleh I can’t even think about it beyond that.
(Remember, the hardest part was getting it all done with my little not-helpers.)
Here’s my advice:
If you do this sort of thing, prepare to be indignant. Prepare to get really defensive and proud of your old clothes that you never wear anymore.
You have to get your mindset right. If you’ve ever tried to consign clothes, you know that all consignment shops are extremely picky. I’ve taken my awesome, name-brand stuff that I used to get lots of compliments on into a consignment store and left with every single item because it was from two seasons ago or it has “pre-pilling.” Selling clothes seems like an easy way to become a millionaire, until you actually try to do it and find out that no one wants to spend close to retail price for that shirt you’ve worn three times a week for the past five years.
When someone is standing right in front of you, rifling through your clothes saying, “out of season, too much stock, too worn” you can’t really argue. But when an Internet company anonymously just rejects your clothes, you get indignant. You write a bad review.
Plus, you have to be prepared for them to pay you only a fraction of what they sell you stuff for. That’s how business works…right? I majored in Communications in college so I’m shaky on stuff like this. (But if you have any questions about AP Style I might be able to help…)
[I’m sure some of the bad reviews are legit, but I’m also sure some people are just miffed that their stuff was rejected. I get it. Clothes are very personal. Reject my blouse and reject my soul.]
I didn’t have a bad experience, and my neighbor sent away a bag and didn’t have a bad experience, so hopefully if you decide to try it you won’t have a bad experience either.
Just prepare to be indignant. I’ll admit, when I realized they didn’t accept even one of the five Hollister tank tops I bought in 2005, I was miffed. But then I considered that they DID accept a 12-year old skirt from Loft, and I figured it all worked out ok. They might not accept your stuff; don’t take it personally.
If you do decide to sell, here are some things to keep in mind:
– It takes a while to get your money. From the day I ordered my bag to when they processed it took about a month and a half.
– Anything they don’t accept gets donated. If you want it back you can pay upfront and they’ll return your stuff.
– They don’t itemize what they don’t accept. I’m not sure why that surprised me, but when I got my email about what they DID accept, I immediately wanted to know what they didn’t accept and I couldn’t remember.
The next step is becoming a buyer. I’m on the lookout for a new-to-me bag, and what are the odds I could find a rain jacket for Mary Virginia?
Has anyone else used ThredUp or have experience with a different consigner? What was your experience?
[If you’re planning to shop ThredUp, use my referral link and we’ll both get a $20 credit: http://www.thredup.com/r/PBHKWD]