For a couple of years now, I’ve been doing my online clothes shopping with thredUP. As an online thrift shop, it has so many benefits over shopping at retail stores or even brick and mortar thrift shops. thredUP is the world’s biggest online thrift shop, which means the options are nearly endless, and prices are up to 90% off of retail. With its user-friendly website, comparison shopping is easy and convenient. In addition, the thredUP selection process is so rigorous, only clothing items that look like new are accepted, some even with the original tags still on them.
With the summer season approaching quickly, I thought I’d let you in on a few tips and tricks on how you can find the best items while getting a great deal using thredUP.
Searching for Items
There are over 15,000 items added to the thredUP inventory each day and that’s a lot of clothes for anyone’s closet. Therefore, so as not to get overwhelmed by the many options in front of you, using the filters will totally come in handy.
I believe the most useful filter is size. When searching by category (shop one section at a time), filtering by size becomes important in narrowing it down to only the options that are relevant to you. Lucky for us, thredUP will save your size preferences so you don’t need to worry about that each time you shop. When searching for dresses, I was able to reduce the number of items shown to me from 19,743 to just 4,204. Now that is still a lot of dresses for me to be browsing that may not be relevant to me, so thank goodness for the other filtering options.
Since different brands have different fits, it’s a good idea to set a range of size preferences. For example, I have set my dress sizes to xxs, xs, 00, 0, and 2 and have even included petite and juniors (yes, I know, I’m tiny).
Not only is filtering by size a good move, you can also filter by brand, color, price, length, style, occasion, neckline, and condition. My go-to search criteria for dresses are my sizes, under $25, short, new with tags, and like New items. In the screenshot below, items shown to me went from 4,204 to 793 (only 9 pages) which is a little easier to browse through (and I would definitely wear the Free People dress). Always have a price limit that you are willing to spend on each item. Unless it’s a really special occasion, I would never spend more than $25 on a dress. I’m not particular about brand, but I’m sure if I were to specify the brands I’m interested in, I’d get narrower results.
Sometimes, thredUP will only show you what is in season, which is where having a ‘wish list’ and using the search bar will come in handy. You can use the search bar to look up exactly what you want. Since it nearly summer, I may not find a ton of sweater dresses casually browsing through dresses so I can search for some using the search bar.
This brings me to my next point; buy off-season. People usually do a closet clean out of Summer clothes in the Fall and Winter clothes in Spring. Therefore, buying in the off-season will give you a better clothing selection (with new items) and less competition.
Selecting the Perfect Items
There is a stigma regarding secondhand clothing; that they’re not as good as new clothes. Sometimes, this is true, but not when it comes to thredUP. They do a rigorous quality control process and inspection of all items they add to their selection so all the clothes are pretty much in tip top shape. However, its still important to read the item details section and check out the condition of the items.
When thrifting, its important to choose durable clothes that will last a long time. Choose quality fabrics like cotton, denim, linen, and leather but avoid clothing that is already fading and polyesters. Also avoid sequins and embellishments since it’s possible these items were surrendered because something is missing (unless you feel like a DIY project). Always choose quality over quantity. There is an easy fix for clothes that are pilling; you can use a clean razor and gently draw the razor down in the direction of the fabric’s weave. Lastly, maybe don’t buy used running shoes unless they are new with tags. Maybe it’s just me, but I think this could be a health hazard.
Looking for something in particular? Check out thredUP often since, as mentioned before, they add over 15,000 items a day, so there is always something new. You never know what will show up next. If you find something you absolutely cannot live without and it’s either slightly damaged or doesn’t fit, take it to get some alterations. You’ll get the perfect fit for you and any imperfections will be fixed by the tailor.
Stock up when you can because, if you don’t buy it— someone else will. So grab it before anyone else does! Throw everything you think you might like into your cart and edit it later. However, keep in mind that there is a limit of 25 items that can be added to your cart at one time (unfortunately they don’t give you a notice but will do things like say an item is in someone else’s cart when it isn’t).
When curating, decide if you can really see these items in your closet, take a close look at the product condition and take out anything that does not meet your standards. Stocking up will also save you a shipping cost of $5.99 since this fee is waived when you spend $79 or more. Wouldn’t you rather place a big order and get free shipping than place smaller orders and pay shipping on each one?
Check to see if you can find the same items in your cart cheaper somewhere else. It ins’t likely, but thrift shops don’t always have the best deals.
One of the great things about thredUP is that the items added to your cart will remain there for 24 hour; so you have 24 hours to make a final decision. If you know you are not going to buy it within a day, add it to your favorites by clicking on the heart. If you’re lucky, no one will have bought your fave by the time you are ready to purchase.
If you forget to add something to your favorites, after 24 hours, when the items are removed from your cart, they are added to a section, on the cart page, called ‘Recently Removed From Your Cart.’ If no one else has added those items their cart, then you’re in luck and it’s all yours.
If you want to be truly sneaky, revisit your cart before the 24 hours is up, remove the items from your cart and immediately put them back in to renew your 24 hour hold.
Applying Promos & Discounts
First thing’s first, subscribe to thredUP. They are always sending emails about current and upcoming sales and discounts, especially on special occasions. Look out for discounts for Thrift Shop Day (August 17th) and thredUP’s anniversary (September 25th). And sometimes, if they make a mistake, like not responding to customers are fast as usual, they send an apology promo code. So far, I’ve gotten two that were greater than/equal to 20% off my entire purchase. Also, shop near the end of the sales cycle since thredUP will mark down items that have been posted for a while.
It’s also beneficial to check the black promo bar across the top of the page. That is where they will put any current promo offers. (New customers also get 20% off with code NEW20). Also, take advantage of the chat feature during business hours. You can ask the chat agent if they have any additional promo codes that you may be able to use. Also, check out Honey for additional promo codes.
You can also use the Refer a Friend feature. If you refer a friend and they place and order through your link, you both get $10 in shopping credit. Here’s mine; enjoy your $10 credit!
Lastly, clearance items will be the best deal that you find, as they are usually 90% off of retail price. However, they are not returnable so, you aren’t 100% sure, don’t buy it.
Returns with thredUP are super easy. If you got something that doesn’t fit quite right or actually does not look good in your closet, you have the option to return those items for free and receive store credit or pay $8.99 for shipping and get refunded via your initial method of payment. You can also pay for your own shipping through a third party (USPS, FedEx, etc.) and still receive a full refund. I prefer to get store credit because I know I’ll be shopping at thredUP again.
You can access these options by clicking on ‘Order Returns’ under your Account.
If you enjoy thrift shopping as much as I do, I hope these thredUP tips will be helpful for your next purchase. Let me know how it has worked out for you? What are some tips you have for thrifting?
You Should Know…
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