I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was planning on cleaning out my closet and trying out ThredUp, the online consignment store. ThredUp requires you to register and create a (free) account first. They have very clear info and policies online about how their consignments work, and I ordered a donation bag. I ordered a bag, called a “kit” on their site, in early August, and it took a couple of weeks for the “clean out bag” to arrive.
I then went through my closet — my husband and I took turns looking through our sides of the closet, and it really helped to have that extra, personal support to see us through the process — and as I took out items, I checked them against the brands checkup section on ThredUp. There are three categories for brands: accepted, accepted with restrictions, and not accepted. I then put items that were on the accepted list into the donations bag.
The items I sent to ThredUp included:
- Grey long sweater with hoodie, as seen here
- Denim jacket, as seen here (replaced with darker, more streamlined denim jacket here)
- Dark grey chambray shirt, as seen here and here
- Linen safari jacket with belt, as seen here and here
- Black ponte knit dress, as seen here and here
- Brown cropped cardigan, as seen here
- Navy blue beribboned tee, as seen here
All of the items I donated were ones that I no longer wore or just didn’t fit right.
I then sent off the bag for free through the USPS, and about a week or so later in early September, received an email from ThredUp stating that they had received my bag and had scheduled the review of my bag at a date two and a half weeks later. I then received another email from ThredUp a week later apologizing for the time delay and stating that they would be adding staff in order to be able to review donations bags more quickly in the future. I’m glad I received the follow-up email, because the timeline up to this point was feeling a bit over-extended. (Although, to be fair, their FAQs do state that processing currently takes between two and four weeks.) However, the date that I was assured (in another follow-up email) would be the date to check on my total — supposed to have been this past Monday, Sept. 28 — has come and gone, so I’m still waiting on the final verdict of what ThredUp decided to sell or not. Yep, my status is still stuck on “processing.” 😦
UPDATE: Half an hour before this post was to go live, I checked my email and found another email update that my bag had finally been processed. I logged into my account, and saw that ThredUp did choose to sell almost everything I sent in. I now have a better idea now why things took longer than I expected. I didn’t realize that they also took photos and made records for each item before updating my account.
Info online indicates that they sell only 50-60% of what they receive in donations. You can pay a $12.99 fee for them to send back items they don’t choose to sell, but I decided not to do that. For items they don’t choose, ThredUp passes them on to third-party sellers or textile recycling partners to be repurposed. They also donate 10% of their recycled proceeds to Teach for America.
I appreciate how transparent ThredUp is about their policies and brands they accept and sell. I have to credit them for acknowledging the delays, but the extended timeline — it took two months from start to (almost?) finish — has been a definite drawback. Final verdict? If ThredUp does add staff to review donation bags more quickly, then I would probably use this method of donating clothes again. In the meantime, I will most likely stick to using local consignment stores.