this is how to assemble a professional wardrobe without spending a ton

And now a word from a sponsor…

If you want to assemble a professional wardrobe but you’re on a budget – or you just love clothes and don’t want to blow your bank account when you shop – you need to know about thredUP.

thredUP is the largest online consignment and thrift store and a fun, affordable place to shop. You can shop on-trend, like-new fashion from top name brands and designers for up to 90% off, which is a ridiculously large savings.

You can search by your favorite brands (like Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, DKNY, Cole Haan, Theory, Eileen Fisher, and more) and filter by size, color, price, and style to easily find what you’re looking for. Instead of digging through racks, thredUP gives you the comfort of shopping online with the insane deals of thrifting. And they add thousands of items every day.

If you’re hesitant about consignment shopping, know that thredUP triple-inspects each item by hand to ensure all clothes are like new. Many are even brand new with the tags still on. I’ve never had anything I’ve ordered from them arrive in less than pristine condition.

In my most recent order, I got khakis from Marc Jacobs, a dress from Diane von Furstenberg, a skirt from Nicole Miller, a shirt from Vince, shoes from Cole Haan, and much more. In total, I got 11 items for only $184.89, saving over $1,356 off estimated retail price (!).

thredUP is offering the first 100 Ask a Manager readers an EXTRA 30% off your first order if you use my code MANAGER30 (click here to shop). That’s an extra 30% off their already insanely low prices. Place your first order today and be as enthralled as I am!

(Applies to new U.S. and Canadian customers only and to items under $150. See site for full terms.)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by thredUP. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ 94 comments… read them below }

    1. Foreign Octopus*

      I’ve been working for myself for the last three years that I’ve completely forgotten how to dress professionally. I spend most of my days in soft flannel shirts and leggings with a cat on me. I do worry that if I ever go back into an office environment, I’ll have no idea what to wear.

      1. LazySusan*

        with 30% off – it is worth taking a look and my advice would be to search for brands that you usually consider a splurge — I’ve found ThredUp to be very reasonable for blazers, dress pants and statement necklaces. You can search by condition (New w/Tags, like new, gently worn), brand names, an can set price ranges.

    2. LazySusan*

      I had some health issues that affected my weight. Because I’m not sure if I will stay at my current weight, I don’t want to invest much money in expensive office wear that might not fit in three-four weeks. I used Thread Up to find some nice professional pieces and also to get some statement necklaces. You can search by condition (new with tags, like new, gently worn) and you can search by preferred brands (Tahari, Old Navy, J Crew, Boden), and you can also search by price range. I don’t usually buy premium denim, but the price was low enough that I was able to get some nice jeans that fit (for now).

  1. CarrieKidney*

    I took a look, and noticed that there were some extended sizes available! Does anyone who’s shopped at ThredUp with extended sizes have anything they’re willing to share about their experience?

    1. ohgeeeeeez*

      Hello! I am I do! So basically, it helps to know the brand/do your research. I know what sizes I am in what brands, and for slacks and pants they have waist measurements which is extremely helpful. The main drawback for me re:work clothes is that the skirts only have length measurements posted so it’s always a bit of a gamble. I would also be wary of any European-sized clothing, because they sometimes make mistakes translating the sizes into US (unless you’re familiar with the brand).

      The selection isn’t as amazing when you get into extended sizing, but it’s definitely the best I’ve ever seen for online second-hand. My favorite brands that are always well-represented are: Talbots, J.Jill, J.Crew, Gap, Land’s End, Ann Taylor (my work style is pretty preppy). I also have some higher end brands that I lurk on to find stuff for good deals in my sizes, since they update at least once a day: Halston, Cos, Violeta by Mango, Eileen Fisher. The best deal I ever scored I ended up giving away because thredUp told me that the Italian sizing translated to a 14-16 and it….didn’t. But they were wool Armani pants for 9 bucks, down from about 400.

      Happy thrifting!

    2. WonderCootie*

      I’ve bought plus sizes from Thred Up, and it’s been hit or miss. I’ve gotten some good pieces, but then, I’ve gotten pieces that are much smaller than they say they are. Before I buy something there, I go find a size chart for the actual brand I’m looking at. That’s especially true for jeans. They’ll often list the size by the waist inches, but then tag them as plus sized. For example, they’ll list a pair with a waist measurement of 26″ as a size 26 and tag them as plus sized.

      1. twig*

        I’ve had good luck with ThredUp too.

        Here’s my strategy:
        -Look for brands that I know my size in
        -Know my measurements (this can be a disheartening thing if you are unhappy about your size — but it is a HUGE help in making sure you get the right size– and getting clothes that fit properly has been a huge boon to my self esteem when it comes to appearances)
        — If I find something in a brand for which I am not familiar with the sizing, I’ll look for that brand’s website to find their size charts and go by that.

        1. Breee*

          You can also set up saved searches and it will email you when there are new items that match. I have over 20 filters, like “pants from brand x in sizes y and z”. So useful!

    3. sugarplum*

      I tend to toe the line between standard and extended sizing, and I’ve ordered from both sides on thredUP, and have shopped on there for years. As with any shopping, it’s good to have some idea of how different brands hang on you, and I will say for extended sizing it’s slightly more typical to have a lot of the selection be less-common brands (I think they get a lot of seconds). They do provide measurements for most pieces, and their measurements are fairly accurate most of the time. I do a lot of sifting by (ahem) bust size, because street sizing can be all over the place. You can search just by specific size range, but for the measurements you’ll have to look at each individual item.

    4. Zombeyonce*

      I’m in between regular and plus sizes so I get a mix of both for the most part. It’s really a mixed bag because it’s not all one brand, but returns are pretty easy.

      I’ve been shopping on ThredUp for a few years but they seem to be increasing their prices regularly so I don’t shop there nearly as much as I used to. While I used to be able to get a good cart of stuff for $100, the equivalent in quantity/condition/brand is now closer to $150, which is frustrating.

    5. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      I need to try clothes on to know if they fit, but you can filter by brand. So if you know what size you are from a certain store, you should be good. It’s a great resource, but sizes are so arbitrary (even in the same store sometimes) and you can only return clothes for a credit, not a refund.

    6. Quackeen*

      My mom, who is plus-sized, has gotten some amazing items on ThredUp, including her outfit for my sister’s wedding. She’s a ThredUp convert (at 83 years old!)

      She’ll only buy NWT items, as she has gotten a little burned on eBay by sellers who don’t list/shoe the item’s wear and tear honestly.

    7. Sleepy Librarian*

      I’m size 16-20, depending on brand. Personally, I found that clothes I ordered tended to be smaller than I expected, but as many of us know women’s clothing is a nightmare to figure out because sizes can vary so much. And their return policy was a bit too restrictive for my preferences. (Not to bash ThredUp, though… I got a Kate Spade bag and some Rebecca Minkoff earrings I love from them, and both for way cheaper than retail.)

    8. Former Retail Manager*

      I’m not sure what you’re calling “extended sizes,” but I’m plus size and I purchase from them regularly, which is roughly every 2-3 months for me. I’m a size 16W or 18 misses, and there has never been a shortage of items. I filter by items that are either new with tags or good condition only. My experience has been similar to Alison’s, in that everything I’ve ever received has been in excellent condition with no issues. I have returned a few items that didn’t fit and the returns process was simple and hassle free and comes with a prepaid return label. However, I have noticed that the site is now charging a $1.99 restocking fee on many items, should they be returned. Although I don’t love that, even with the potential to have to pay a restocking fee, it’s still worth it to me and I’ll keep shopping with them.

      Personally, I only buy from brands whose fit I know well and is consistent, and again, there has been no shortage of items that I like. I routinely see everything from size 14 through 24. Beyond a 24W, I can’t speak to the selection on the site. I also tend to go for mid-range or higher end brands. They have brands that were originally sold at Target, Kohl’s, Old Navy, etc, but I find that their prices are the same (sometimes higher) than if I got the item brand new from those retailers during a sale.

      All in all, think they’re worth a try. Purchase a couple of pieces and see how you like them. Happy shopping!

    1. Paige*

      Yeah, I would love to look around and see if it’s something that would work for me (plus sizes are always hard to find) but I’m not signing up just to look around.

  2. Murphy*

    I started using thredUP after Alison posted about it once here and I love it! Sometimes I love it a bit too much…I may be waiting for a few packages from there right now…

    For any parents, I’ve had a lot of luck with kids’ clothes there as well. I have a toddler, and I’ll look at the cheapest kids’ clothes and I’ll find a bunch of things for under $5.

  3. (Mr.) Cajun2core*

    I know a majority of the people who read this blog are women but how about a site for men?


    1. T. Boone Pickens*

      Hi Mr. Cajun2core,

      Assuming you know your sizes (if not, go to your local men’s shop/Men’s Warehouse/Jos A Bank and they’ll measure you) I’ve had success with the following stores….disclaimer, I’m not sure of your budget so my apologies if I tell you some stores and even at the sale price, it’s still outside your budget..

      I don’t know your fashion style so here’s a few stores that will kinda encompass everything short of super vintage/retro stuff (if that’s your bag than a Google search with give you a fair bit of options)

      Sid Mashburn..this is my personal favorite as my personal style runs more towards preppy. They will run tremendous sales a couple times a year and you can scoop up some great stuff…everything from sweaters to polos to button ups.

      You could also check out Ben Silver as well. They’re running a semi-annual sale too.

      Other options…

      Nordstrom Rack
      ASOS Marketplace
      Well Suited

      Good luck out there!

    2. anon4this*

      You find just as nice “designer” clearance clothes at Marshall’s, TJ Max, Ross, outlet malls/stores, etc. And you can actually try them on before you buy them.
      Men’s fashion is less revolving than women’s as well, so even a goodwill will still have suitable clothes for men.
      If you’re insistent on buying *used* clothes online, ebay is good source as well.

  4. Jane Smith*

    That’s looks fab- they’re (understandably) not available in the UK.
    Anyone know of a UK equivalent?

  5. I'm A Little Teapot*

    Thredup is helpful, but don’t forget your local thrift/consignment stores as well. Obviously, hit or miss and dependent on your area, but it’s good to at least check them out.

    1. Sleepy Librarian*

      I got most of my wardrobe thrifted at local stores and I love it! It took me a while to develop the patience to sift through things, and I know not to go there with a specific item in mind (e.g.: needing a dress to attend a specific event soon) because that’s just stressful, but my I get loads of compliments on my day-to-day wardrobe and I love telling people that it’s almost all thrifted. I’ve kind of lost the taste for shopping for new clothes… it’s better for the environment anyway! That said, I’m a librarian so lots of different fun colors & cuts isn’t out of place in my profession. It might be tougher in fields with stricter dress codes, but it can still be done.

  6. Karen from Finance*

    Website seems cool, but I don’t appreciate that it asked me to sign up before it let me browse.

    It does have a nice variety of styles and sizes though which is cool.

    1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      I created a second email address (you can have 10 on google I believe) and use that email for any site that requires it.

  7. MissDisplaced*

    The DVF dress for $20 is a pretty good find!

    ThreadUp is ok. I’m a difficult size to fit, so I’m not very lucky there, but I think most people won’t have that issue.

    I also still find a lot on Ebay. One of my tricks is to find silk blouses on there in the $20 or less range, many of which come unworn with tags on them. Adding a couple of 100% silk blouses or shells to your work wardrobe will add a polished and upscale look to many basic work outfits. A silk blouse even dresses up jeans for casual days. Plus real silk just feels so much nicer.

    1. WakeRed*

      I’d never thought about ThredUp being difficult for sizing but you’re right! I need tall jackets and pants, so I always use ThredUp because I know I might find 1 pair in 100 at my local consignment stores – I usually am able to find something I like on TU if I stick with it for a bit. I buy nearly all my shoes on EBay or, if I’m in a hurry, Poshmark, that’s a great recommendation.

      1. MissDisplaced*

        The sorting feature is good, I mean finding actual stock on ThreadUp. I just think the don’t get a lot of inventory in some sizes. I look, but I’ve yet to purchase anything on there. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Unfortunately, the thrift stores in my area are all really, really bad. Truly some horrible clothing–almost rags and yet they charge $5. I feel good when I donate (and I donate a lot) because I donate some really nice good condition clothing. I hope it actually goes out in the store. When I lived in LA, the thrift/vintage scene was pretty awesome. A trip to the Palos Verdes Salvation Army store was like hitting the jackpot. But those were also before they began sorting the designer duds out of the stacks.

  8. Amber Rose*

    Does anyone else find the prices appealing, but fear buying clothes online because they will almost certainly not fit?

    1. Hold My Cosmo*

      I have a list of brands that I know I fit, and only shop online for those. Even then, they can change their sizing with no warning. Frustrating!

      1. Amber Rose*

        It’s been six years since I needed to wear anything fancier than a pair of jeans and sweater to work. Even back then, I shopped at local stores with their own brands. I have no idea what size I am in anything.

    2. Catsaber*

      To deal with this, I started paying attention to fabric content and how it fits on my body, in addition to a general understanding of a brand’s sizing. Rayon/spandex blends are typically too stretchy for me; 100% in anything but a t-shirt will be too tight and look stiff and frumpy. I like modal/cotton blends best because they stretch but have some weight.

      Start looking at the fabric content on the tags of your favorite clothes, and pay attention to the drape and weight of the fabric, and how it lays on your body. Also take note of the cut – regular shoulders vs drop, bottom hem in relation to shoulder, etc. Then you can better gauge how something is going to fit when you know these things.

      It’s not 100% foolproof but it has certainly helped me!

    3. WakeRed*

      Yes for sure – I sometimes will go into stores that I know I like, to try on clothes and make sure I know what size I am. I also measure items when I’m trying to replace them. What I like about TU vs eBay or Poshmark is that I can return items (for a $2 restocking fee), so I’m not left trying to get rid of something that I didn’t want to keep. It’s not as good as a regular consignment store because of that – but it also has more options.

    4. MRK*

      I recommend finding out your measurements rather than just clothing sizes. I shop online a lot and I’m plus size, and sizing is mayhem. I seriously own everything from large to 4x. Being able to go ok who has the waist measurement I need (aka the problem zone) is so much easier and I have had far fewer mistake purchases using measurements

    5. Half-Caf Latte*

      I used to like ThredUp a lot more, but they had some real growing pains/customer service issues.

      There’s a $2 per-item “restocking” fee for any returned items, and surcharges to order items from warehouses further from you, which have really made me resistant to buying much from the site, even with carefully checking measurements, and sticking to brands I know. Since they implemented these fees, my ordering decreased substantially. I did order once prior to a vacation, but it was to use up an account credit, and I stuck to either clearance items that I was willing to gamble on and keep either way, or higher end items which cost enough to make the restocking fee less painful.

      The only thing I’ve been willing to really do with ThredUp lately is their goodybox, which is a box similar to stitch fix.

  9. Carole S.*

    Agree with Ellery. This looks like a great site from what AAM as presented above – one I and many of my friends would enjoy to buy from! But we also pretty much agree that it sucks to make potential customers give up their information BEFORE they even decide IF they’re interested to buy anything. I don’t have to give my resume to Macys or Dillard’s to walk in the door. If two of the first 3 commenters here have noted this, it’s probably as unpopular for others. Please tell this advertiser they may lose significant business of their targeted customers this way. I look forward to checking them out soon, once they make it possible to browse like most other websites do.

    1. MissDisplaced*

      Many of these sites are like that now. You can’t browse without a login.
      Including HauteLook, Zulily, Poshmark, Tradsey, The RealReal and many others. I don’t like it either and find it annoying.

    2. Mia_Mia*

      Can you click away form the popup? I just clicked on the x in the pop up asking me to enter my email and was taken to the site. I’m now looking at it without a login. Same with Poshmark and Tradesy; I can look without logging in.

  10. Annastasia von Beaverhausen*


    New Hugo Boss pants acquired, discount code deployed!

    I will they they are probably not really ‘professional’ pants, but I have a weird job. :D

    1. Ranon*

      Thred up is usually less expensive (particularly for kids clothes), especially because it’s easier/ more likely for you to be able to combine shipping. Poshmark is awesome for finding something really specific, though- on thred-up I don’t have enough info to replace my jeans with the same style but on Poshmark I could easily find a few pairs (and therefore not have to go try on jeans, the biggest win of all). Poshmark also seems to be stronger on outerwear and actually has a men’s clothing section. Kids clothes are wildly overpriced compared to my local stores, though.

    2. WakeRed*

      I get great deals on TU, Poshmark, and eBay. I just bought a replacement pair of RayBan sunglasses for <$60 on TU, for example. Depends on what you're looking for, tho – in my experience Patagonia items are always still ridiculously up-marked after they've clearly been worn and loved. Often people are willing to bargain, if you're on eBay and Poshmark, which is nice. I buy secondhand clothes because I have a really physical job, so I don't want to ruin something expensive, and also for environmental reasons, so it doesn't bother me to not get something sparkingly new. I recommend checking all the sites out, looking for a replacement for your favorite clothing item – see what you can find!

    3. catwoman2965*

      ThredUp sells clothing themselves; and Poshmark is an app where individuals sell their own stuff. Disclaimer: I’m a seller on Poshmark so i know a lot of ins and outs.

      ThredUp sets prices based on whatever criteria they choose, on Poshmark, prices are set by each individual user in their “closet”. And there are no restrictions at all on what you can list something at. So not really sure you can compare the two as they are two separate things.

      Not sure how ThredUp handle returns though. I’ve only bought a few things from them. Poshmark, all sales are final, unless the item is damaged, not as described, you have to open a case before accepting your order, and it must be approved. you can’t just send stuff back for a refund.

      BUT, many Poshmark sellers, myself included, accept offers, will send offers to those who “like” our items and so on. So its very possible to get some really great stuff, for not a lot of money. If you know what fits you, and so on.

      1. MissDisplaced*

        Question on Poshmark: I’ve been looking at a few designer pieces, but I’m wary of fakes. Because it’s person-to-person is there any policing or verifying?

      2. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

        ThredUp has a very easy return policy – you can return anything for any reason within 2 weeks. They did recently start implementing a modest restocking fee, which is slightly annoying, but I will still take a chance on things knowing I can return them with no fuss.

    4. City Girl*

      I’ve bought and sold on Poshmark before. Poshmark takes a 20% fee from the seller’s earnings so people aren’t always as willing to make deals. That said, I’ve seen brand new with tags designer tops go for $40 etc if the seller really just wants it gone. I’ve also been able to bargain down the pricing of something before I purchased it. However, be aware that Poshmark is final sale – if you buy it and nothing is wrong with it other than you don’t like the item, too bad. You are stuck with it. You can choose to re-posh (sell it again on the app/website) if you want.

    5. softcastle mccormick*

      I’ve used Poshmark numerous times, both for buying and selling, and it’s my favorite. I like Poshmark for finding specific pieces I’ve seen in stores, but can’t justify purchasing at the brand-new price. I’ve found a lot of Anthropologie, Modcloth, DVF, Jeffrey Campbell, Reformation, and Free People items on Poshmark that I never would have been able to afford otherwise. I also like that you can haggle, and that there is a decent Men’s section as well.

  11. Eeyore's missing tail*

    I love ThredUp, but they’ve been really hit-or-miss for me lately. My last order had a top stained with some sort of weird brown crusty stuff all over it and another silk top had runs all in the seams.

    1. WakeRed*

      I tried a Rejects box and was similarly disappointed – would only recommend those for sewists/DIYers with more gumption than me!

  12. RUKidding*

    Ooooo! Perfect timing. My mantra all week has been “need new clothes, shopping this weekend no matter what!” Thank you Alison!!!

  13. pleaset*

    I don’t walk this talk myself (yet) but worth also mentioning that buying used clothes is awesome for the environment.

  14. stump*

    What’s their return policy like? Can you return stuff at all? Since it’s consignment, do they allow returns on stuff that doesn’t fit? I’m a “weird size and shape” compared to what clothing manufacturers consider to be standard and am wary of online consignment since that means I probably can’t use my standard strategy of “buy multiple sizes of the same item and return what doesn’t fit”.

    1. catwoman2965*

      It depends. Not everything is on consignment either; sometimes they buy stuff outright. I sent in 5 boxes of stuff last month; and took immediate payout on most, but consigned a few items.

      Per their policy, they take returns, with some restrictions. Some things are final sale, so no returns, but its clearly marked. don’t know if i can link here or not, but if you google thredup return policy, all the info you need is there.

    2. Zombeyonce*

      Yes, you can return anything not marked as unreturnable (in red letters, so obvious). But you either have to take a credit or get your money back minus a hefty chunk for return shipping, which sucks.

    3. stump*

      That’s not awful, but that definitely would put a damper on my clothing buying there! For the intensity of western society’s weirdo breast fetish, it certainly doesn’t inspire many companies to actually make clothes (or bras!) to even vaguely fit Busty™ people. It also doesn’t help that buying clothes online is still a crapshoot even when the website gives measurements. :P

      1. Kat in VA*

        I am finding this to my dismay on ebay. I don’t really want to spend $80 on a button down, but as a 34DDD/E, I h ave no choice, it seems…

    4. Half-Caf Latte*

      there’s also a $2 per item re-stocking fee, which really changed the calculus on buying for me.

      I’m willing to spend $2 for the chance to get a $300 designer item for $75, but I’m not willing to do so for a $50 item marked down to $20 or so, especially since the $50 items tend to be from brands that heavily discount (Ann taylor, gap).

  15. What’s with Today, today?*

    Is the quality good? The clothing items shown look really misshapen, but maybe it’s just how they are hanging.

    1. Zombeyonce*

      It completely depends on the item. There are a ton of different brands represented there so it’s just dependent upon the brand, the material, and all that. They have a pretty wide range of things to choose from, from pretty cheap to designer.

    2. Ann Perkins*

      Each item will list the condition – i.e. new with tags, excellent condition, or it will say if there’s fading or minor defects. I’ve ordered from them a handful of times and have always found the descriptions to be accurate.

    3. Ranon*

      I did one of their “goody boxes” to expand my wool sweater collection and the quality was pretty excellent across the board- almost everything was like new condition and they sent me exactly what I asked for (100% wool or wool blended with silk, hand or machine wash). If you have some familiarity with brands that can help, too, as that gives you the ability to make some baseline assumptions.

  16. SoonToBeRetired*

    I’m thankfully no longer in the market for work clothes, but if you can sew even a little, buy things at thrift stores and re-make them. Especially if you are not a standard size and shape! (I’ve had a mastectomy and most otr clothes just do not fit properly). Lots of cities are now getting sewing maker spaces, so even if you cannot sew now, you can learn.

  17. agmat*

    I’ve purchased their Goody Boxes a few times and usually keep 2-3 items from each box. I just don’t feel like wading through all the items to find just the right thing, and I like the “surprise” of a box of clothes picked out by someone else.

    I also don’t have a good sense of style and have no idea what fits after having a baby, so this has been a good way for me to build up my wardrobe.

  18. OfOtherWorlds*

    I’m going to check out their gents selection. I need a pair of black dress shoes to go with my charcoal suit and would like to buy a brown suit to go with the brown dress shoes my sister from NY brought me for Christmas.

  19. Elizabeth West*

    I’m so tall I have to try everything on. I can’t wait for stuff to ship and then try it on and ship it back. So I go to the local 1/2 of 1/2 and buy department store remainders. I got three Chadwick’s blazers a few years ago for $12 each.

    I know this isn’t good for the environment, etc., but if I get hired soon (*sigh*), I’ll have to hit up fast fashion shops because I have no business clothes anymore after Exjob’s jeans-and-tees dress code.

  20. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

    Since September of 2017, I have replaced about 1/3 of my wardrobe through ThredUp, about half of which is footwear (I am a size 5 so very difficult to find in most retail stores, especially with Payless going out of business). I got rid of so many cheap/stained/damaged items and have replaced them with quality ones at a fantastic price. Plus I switch up my purses a lot more these days.

  21. Hlyssande*

    I’ve had some good luck at ThredUp, as a plus size woman on the larger end of the scale. You have to know your measurements well. They normally do a pretty good job of measuring items, but some common sense is necessary.

    I’d also suggest checking out too. It’s not as intuitive and you really have to check the fabric content and the brand’s size charts, but there’s some good stuff out there if you’re patient. I was able to return a pair of pants that was mislabed as my size without issue or fees.

  22. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

    Anyone sent in items for sale? Years ago I tried selling items in a brick and mortar consignment shop and it basically felt like a scam — they would REALLY low ball items and claim if it doesn’t sell in a certain time period, they get to keep it purportedly to donate or discard, but nothing is stopping them from just holding on to it and then selling it after the expiration time.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I do their Clean-Out Bags every so often. The prices are low (because they need to make a profit, and they’re selling them for pretty low also) but if you send in nice, brand-name stuff in good condition, I’ve found they take a lot of it. I know other people have had different experiences though. It seems to depends on what you send in.

      I’m only speculating here, but I can’t imagine they sell things they told you’re they’re not selling; that would be really fraudulent and it would just take one person to blow the whistle on that and their business model would be severely harmed.

    2. 99 lead balloons*

      Yes, but it really soured me on ThredUp unfortunately, because I love the concept. Keep in mind this was a couple years ago, so things may be different. It’s been long enough where I’d probably buy clothes from them (especially since Alison really likes them), but I’ll never try to consign stuff with them.

      I sent in a bunch of work appropriate shells and a couple dresses/skirts that had been worn, but gently cared for, and were listed as brands they accepted and very similar in style and quality to stuff listed on their website. They rejected EVERYTHING, except a one or two random items and credited me less than $5.00. When I asked why everything had been rejected, they said they rejected them for imperfections that showed up in their super bright inspection lights (they sent pics) and that it was stuff they got too much of and cited some stuff buried deep on their website. I had opted to let them recycle any rejections, but if I had known beforehand I would’ve opted to have them sent back. Honestly, I think instead of recycling them that they sold them through another avenue and may have rejected stuff just so they could make money and cut me out, which checks out from what previous employees have shared online.

      1. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

        That’s what I’m afraid of. Almost all of my clothes are brands they buy — Ann Taylor, LOFT, Michael Kors — and every once in a while I buy something I end up not wearing or wearing only once. I don’t think of consigning clothes as a income stream or anything, but if I’m going to end up with $1.00 credit for $100 in barely worn clothes, I’d rather give them to charity.

        I certainly found a few items I want to purchase.

  23. Katie*

    I really loved ThredUp until they started charging for returns. Sorry, but I’m just not buying used clothing online that I can’t return for free. No way.

  24. Quackeen*

    That Michael Stars sweater is everything to me. I like the scarf, too, although my usual pattern (heh) with scarves is to buy pretty ones and let them languish in my drawer because I’m unable to drape them properly!

  25. Stepinwhite*

    I’ve used Thred Up a bit, and I can testify that their sizing descriptions are off (their inseam measurements are WAY off consistently). It’s hit or miss, and a lot of the items I get I end up returning for “store credit” – so I’m in this cycle of buying from them to use the store credit, and then returning). They do deduct restocking fees from the returns, and they only give USPS labels (so that means a trip to the post store). They also have a narrow return window. For these reasons, I’m not thrilled with them. I even tried sending them a HUGE bag of decent clothes to sell, and I think I ended up getting something under a buck back (so I’d rather just donate to my local thrift shops from now on).

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      One tip that might help: I schedule USPS pickups on the USPS website. They’ll pick up from your house and it’s free as long as you tell them to just do it at the same time your mail is delivered (as opposed to requesting a specific time). I don’t know if they offer it in all areas, and you have to be comfortable leaving the package on your front stoop if you’re not home, but it’s much easier than going to the post office.

    2. City Girl*

      In addition to what Alison says, USPS also picks up at apartment buildings and offices when they deliver mail! So, if you live in an apartment building, it may be worth it to see if there’s an area you can leave the packages to be picked up.

  26. Training Goddess*

    While I love ThredUp, their prices are getting up there. For example, I’m a big fan of Ann Taylor Loft and ThredUp’s prices on used items, especially blouses and tees is more than I can buy them new when Loft is having a good sale.

    I have found some deals on items such as Boden jackets but it takes a lot of sifting to find those deals… almost as much time as it takes shifting through the local thrift shop or Goodwill.

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