Make money from your clothes with thredUP

There are many reasons why I found myself Googling “online consignment” a few months ago.

I like to sell things. I like to purge things. And my little city closet, which I share with Dave, is extremely small and packed to the brim with clothes. Also, I’ve got a ton of cocktail dresses and designer items from wedding seasons of year’s past that I’m positive I will never wear again. (The type of things that I just don’t see myself dropping off at Goodwill, of course.)

My thredUP experience

I stumbled on thredUP via the research mentioned above. On a whim, I followed the directions on the site and ordered myself a prepaid clean-out bag. The polka dot bag came a few days later.

I started my online resale experience small. I pulled out three dresses and two pairs of shoes, threw them in the bag and dropped it off at a FedEx office to go to thredUP, which just so happens to be based out of San Francisco.

Meanwhile, I wasn’t entirely sure if I would see a dime for what I sent. There is an option to purchase insurance on what you send, which means you can have your items returned to you if they aren’t accepted, but I risked it and went without.

Here’s my first full signature polka dot clean out bag before it was sent …

thredUP bag

Just a couple days after I sent the bag back, I received an email that my bag had made it to the facility.

Then I waited. I waited a long time.

I sent the bag in January and was told I would have to wait until March for more information on whether or not my items had been accepted, due to the high volume the company was receiving.

Communication from thredUP

Well, lo and behold, sometime in February I got an email that my items had been listed on the site.

It didn’t stop there. thredUP also sent me an email with screenshots of my clothing for sale on the site. Then, I got an email every time one of my items sold, with headlines like “Nice Work” or “Sweet.”

Those emails, featuring a picture of an item that I’d worn and loved in the past, would make my day. Just look …

thredUP email

(I wore that dress above to one of my first date’s with Dave, in which we attended an event at Blue Martini in Orlando. I also wore it to one of his Orlando Magic holiday parties. That dress had a good run, and now it’s gone to a new home.)

The above is just the beginning of the email communication from thredUP. I even got an email directly from the chief marketing officer asking me about my experience. To which I responded, and to which he responded again. Love it.

The way thredUP continued to reach out to me, really kept me engaged in the whole process, and I truly enjoyed that.

A few weeks after my items were listed, I got an email saying my payout was ready, but I let it sit in the thredUP bank and requested a second bag.

I filled my second bag with a few more dresses and a pair of flat shoes. This time the bag was processed in a matter of weeks, and all my items, except the flats, were accepted again and posted on the site.

How does thredUP work?

As most resalers, thredUP does the legwork to post your items for sale, and you only receive a small portion of the sale price.

I received about $4 for each dress and about $9 for each pair of shoes. The company pays upfront for cheaper items and offers a true consignment option for expensive designer pieces.

As of this week, all but two of the items that I’ve sent to thredUP have been sold.

But the company doesn’t take everything.

Things to know before you try thredUP

  • thredUP only accepts certain brands, so check the site’s detailed FAQs
  • It’s not the most profitable way to sell your clothes, but it’s the easiest
  • There’s a helpful calculator you can use to estimate your payout per item
  • You can only cash out 14 days after your items have been posted
  • thredUP only accepts like-new items, that have no wear and tear, so be choosy
  • Items have to be on-trend, so check out the Quality Standards
  • thredUP will send any items not accepted for donation
  • The only way to cash out is through PayPal, so you have to set up an account
  • thredUP accepts women’s and kid’s clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories

Shopping at thredUP

One thing I haven’t done is order something from thredUP. It’s a full online store, which even features items that are new-with-tags.

You’re able to use the money in your account to buy things on the site before you’re eligible for a payout, so the company makes it easy for you to shop its inventory. If you’re looking for some discount items, start your thredUP shopping experience here.

Get paid for your stuff

In order to get paid, you have to log into PayPal and request a transfer and withdraw. Of course, PayPal takes a very small portion, but it’s easy to do. I ended up making about $56 for five dresses and two pairs of shoes. While this is a small fraction of the cost of even one item, I hardly had to do anything to make money off the items, and that’s worth a lot to me.

thredUP isn’t the only online option. In the past, I’ve sold designer jeans on eBay, and it’s quite the hassle. I’ve also taken clothing to Plato’s Closet and in-person consignment stores, only to have half of my items rejected.

Most of the other resale companies and apps out there will require you to photograph your own clothing and list it yourself. In most cases, you get a larger share of the proceeds. However, I wanted minimal effort on my part, and that’s what thredUP offers.

My experience has been seamless (pun intended?), and I highly suggest you give it a shot yourself if you have items that fit the qualifications.

I just ordered my third polka dot clean out bag, and I’m looking forward to filling it.

Questions of the day

Have you ever used an online consignment service? Do you have anything in your closet you could stand to sell via resale?


  1. Just found your blog, and you’ve found yourself a new blog-reader! I came across your site from the Healthy Living Blogs (dotcom) archive under California bloggers. I just moved to San Jose with my husband in February, from CANADA. So we have a little bit in common!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      That is great! How are you enjoying life in San Jose? The Bay Area is a great place to be a healthy living blogger and person. Welcome. 🙂


      1. Thanks! Life here is pretty sweet – I think I need to buy some more shorts though 😉 Never wore them that often in Canada, ha ha!!!

  2. Hi Ashley,

    I won’t go into excruciating detail about my experiences with Thredup, (would be happy to if you request). However, it would be a great service to your readers if you let them know to google for recent reviews. Good experiences buying, selling a nightmare. There are a huge number of Better Business Bureau complaints, Consumer Mediation with the SF District Attorney’s office, etc. That you have a lovely blog site, you may have be given extra TLC!

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