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My new life (and closet) changing secret

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We are celebrating over here because a new way to purge, sell, and shop for second hand clothes has entered my life and you all should know about it (many of you already do). It’s called thredUP and it’s life-and-closet changing. It’s a partnership that came about organically, meaning that I contacted them and said we really should work together to purge, sell, buy, and style second hand clothes. They were into it.

Here’s the story: When we bought the new house I knew that I had to downsize my clothes. Our new 100 year old house has small closets and while I’m not a total clothes horse, I am like most of us where unless I’m forced to purge I’ll just keep adding and adding. So one Saturday I turned on the Hamilton soundtrack, grabbed some coffee and started pulling things down, trying them on and looking at them objectively. Many pieces were either ‘cool’ or ‘flattering’ but not both.

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The pile started. Many pieces were also dated – I was hanging on to my late 20’s HARD. Many pieces were too small for me after 2 kids, and it was time to release that insidious form of torture. The pile grew and grew. There were a lot of items that were barely worn, and some not at all. There were some that were worn but just really, really good. The idea of sending them all to a thrift store seemed wasteful. Birdie agreed.

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A good friend of mine had just told me about thredUP so I figured I’d try this magical service and go on the site. I ordered a Clean Out Bag to get started. But I loved the service so much that I emailed them with a pitch to partner on my purge and some lovely holiday content for you all.  As someone who grew up thrifting for need and fun, I have become rather disillusioned with the chain thrift stores out there now. They are expensive and picked over. Rarely do you find gems and I often leave annoyed they are charging the same prices as Ikea or Target. It’s insane. But second hand is ALWAYS a good idea so I think the world was ready for a new approach.

So we started chatting about ways we can work together, meanwhile they sent me 15 bags and I filled those bags:

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All you have to do is quickly signup and they send you a Clean Out Bag. Then you put your gently used clothing in the bag. Seal it with its auto-seal (like glue) and give it to your postman or drop it off – it already has a label and it’s marked as yours in their system. Weeks later you’ll get a notification that your bag is being checked, and then listed, and then if items are sold you get a percentage. The percentage varies on the price of each piece and it is nominal (like if they sell it for $8 you might get $2) but it adds up, it’s easy and you do feel like your years of shopping for your clothes aren’t just being wasted.

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It’s GENIUS. It’s the world’s largest online thrift store and one that you can sell on – except you don’t have to list anything yourself. It’s the most efficient alternative to donating clothes ever. And one of the best parts? What doesn’t fit as a listing or what is listed but doesn’t sell doesn’t end up in a landfill like it does with a lot of other companies. It’s not a huge money making venture. You aren’t going to get rich from it, but it makes purging and donating what you were going to anyway so much easier and faster while you make some extra money.

There is such good stuff on the site!!! Heck I gave like 12 pairs of perfectly good designer jeans that just don’t fit me anymore. There are a lot of basics as well as designer pieces. I used to take my pile to a consignment store, and waste an afternoon, humiliated while they chose 2 shirts for $12 total. Not exactly a good use of my time.

Well life just got easier and faster. I can’t recommend it enough – you clean out and make money. Plus how fun/cute is the branding?

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They came over and we shot some fun gifs and videos for the holidays. Remember it’s not just purging, it’s a huge shoppable site with a ton of inventory that changes daily – and it’s all affordable. Many pieces are even new with tags.

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The first gif we made was about layering, my favorite thing to do in home and fashio. We don’t have to layer too much here, but for the sake of all your weather patterns I layered on and on. 

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We started with a simple and comfy form fitting black tee to go under everything, next we threw on the button down shirt and the cropped vest, which can both definitely be worn together without anything else over them, but for those days that it does get a little more chilly here in LA, and by chilly I mean when it drops below 60, we topped it off with the pink oversized jacket from Zara and the beanie – because well you know your ears get cold too and it makes me feel pretty hip if I do say so myself.

If you order from thredUP for the holidays you receive it in this adorable box and it comes with a tag that can be used as a christmas gift tag.

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Sure. There are other second hand clothing sites out there, but none with so much inventory in good condition from amazing brands for women and kids. Their prices are always up to 90% off. They have last years J. Crew, last season’s Kate Spade, I even spot the occasional Rachel Comey’s which are my favorite shoes that are way too expensive to buy constantly new. They have it all. Every one-of-a-kind find goes through a meticulous process before it is accepted and listed on the site.

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It’s really a game changer. I’ve convinced so many of my friends to do it (even before we partnered) and they all love it.

I know that we as women don’t buy too many clothing gifts for other women but for holiday dresses or winter clothes, they have you covered and there are so many pieces that are new and clothing for kids that could be great gifts. The only time I spend money on clothes for kids is when it’s somebody else’s child – I’m over wasting money on adorableness that just gets ruined or they grow out of too fast. So this second hand alternative is amazing to both clothe our kids but also to sell all the pretty things that they grew out of too fast.

So check out the site. Follow them on Facebook (they create really great Facebook content that I look forward to seeing) and if you want to see some of the content that we’ve already created you can check them out.

Sign up for thredUP and pick out an item you love, include a link to it in the comments section telling me why you love it. On Monday, Dec 12th at noon PT we’ll pick one lucky commenter at random to win $200 to shop on thredUP.

Meanwhile any of you who want to start shopping for gifts can use code EMHENDERSON40 at checkout for 40% off your first time order (discount up to $50). Expires on 3/1/2017.

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Abbey

I love threadUP! I’ve sent in multiple bags and purchased items for myself and for my 2-year old daughter. I keep a clean-out bag in my closet so I can just throw things in there when the urge strikes.

Elisabeth Becker

My postpartum body would jump on the chance to try this out!

Kayla

I 100% thought this was going to be a surprise pregnancy announcement when I could only see the title and first picture (on Bloglovin)!

Sue

Love this idea! Thanks for sharing Emily! I’m checking it out now!

So because of you, I’ve finally joined up. I lurv these flats from Tory Burch. The rope detail is so fun! https://www.thredup.com/product/women-tory-burch-orange-flats/19185199?sizing_id=812%2C563%2C559%2C841%2C832

I have a lot of clothes from the hubby that I need to go through, so this will be helpful!

Amanda U

Awesome! Going to check them out.

Nicole

I love your gray beanie! I’ve been looking for one like that. Could you tell me where it’s from? Thanks!!

Julie

What a great idea!! Definitely got to check this out!

Danelle

They are terrible with payouts and wait time. I feel like I would have been better off donating to someone or an organization who could use them considering the extremely low payout. Seller beware.

Gigi

I was going to say the same thing. I’m glad someone said it. I kept waiting for more people to mention this. As a seller, I’d steer clear and donate to Salvation Army or somewhere else. You may not get paid but you are giving to people in need and you do get a tax slip. Thred up’s valuation of your clothing will not be the amount you expect. Read online reviews to get a clear picture of this site. If you’re looking to purchase it’s a good option though.

Jennifer

I agree! I sent in a ton of fantastic stuff and got a very low pay out. Now I noticed the wait time to receive a clean out bag can we up to 16 weeks and they take $9.99 from the total payout. Yikes! I stopped doing thred up and just donated to my local charity thrift store.

Stephanie

I would love to know who the black heels are by that you are wearing in some of the photos above? Super cute!

I agree! love the deep v fronts on them. Please share!

KC

I think they are Rachel Comey, the brand she likes. These look similar, but are in suede. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/rachel-comey-falk-pump-women/4435811?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%20SUEDE

KID
Sara Beth

I have loved the Balmain Double Breasted blazer since I was a teenager. Many years and 3 kids later this mama needs to get her hands on a knock off. Enter Thread-Up…..

https://www.thredup.com/product/women-cotton-banana-republic-dark-blue-blazer/19278431

Patricia

ThredUP didn’t work well for me. Out of the three bags I’ve sent them, they’ve accepted exactly three items. I can see how they’d work well if you’re shopping but not great for me for selling. Instead I went the consignment vintage route and did very well. They weren’t any pickier than ThredUP and I got a lot more $$$. Plus anything they didn’t sell, I could give to friends and family or donate to charity myself and get the tax receipt (which you don’t get with ThredUP).

I really like the idea of ThredUP and I’m happy it’s worked so well for you. It just wasn’t my cup of peppermint tea…

Grace

I have had the same experience. They accepted a really low percentage of the things I sent in and I got almost no money for them. So I regretted spending the time to even send them in. Just donating somewhere locally would have been a lot easier. I have purchased some kids clothes from them which seemed like mostly a good deal. Although their shipping costs often negate the savings on kids clothes unless you buy a lot all at once.

lemonbelly

I haven’t tried it but that’ because I’ve heard your criticism echoed from others. Emily had a great experience but, as a reader, I’d have preferred if she hadn’t cut a deal with them to advertise their services on her blog. They of course want to market themselves well under the circumstances so Emily’s experience isn’t at all on par with the average person sending in a bag of clothes.

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And don’t forget, Emily got $150 worth of clean out kits for free, which also makes a big difference.

Melinda

Goodness…. another site to fall into! Just spent 30 minutes browsing about… love this
https://www.thredup.com/product/women-cashmere-tory-burch-gray-cashmere-pullover-sweater/20001545?sizing_id=563

Olivia Kyle

I love Thred Up! I’ve sent quite a bit of stuff but haven’t bought anything yet! This is so perfect for this time of year, so easy to dress up or down! https://www.thredup.com/product/women-silk-j-crew-black-silk-dress/20564492

Sayonada

I’ve just found ThredUp and I’ve waiting to find out if that’s YOU on their site.

Love them and would love to have some extra cash to shop in their store. $200 would be an entire new wardrobe from ThredUp. 🙂

Christy

These are perfect for the hot summers here in Phoenix…Love thredUP!!

https://www.thredup.com/product/women-j-crew-pink-sandals/16198048

Loribeth

ThredUP is the bomb and I’ve been loving using them for a few years! Its how I afford nice jeans on a small budget 🙂

Liz

Love this! Also loving those tan booties in are wearing in the gif. Where did you get those?

Haley

My jumpsuit game is about to become hella strong with this DVF number: https://www.thredup.com/product/women-viscose-diane-von-furstenberg-black-jumpsuit/18057738

I’ve ordered a kit and can’t wait to get started! This is brilliant.

Amanda D

I love ThredUp! I’ve purchased a few items for my kids before, but for myself, I’d choose this: https://www.thredup.com/product/women-cashmere-barrow-and-grove-tan-cashmere-dress/20489097

Mari

This dress would be really versital:https://www.thredup.com/product/women-polyester-j-crew-collection-gray-casual-dress/19236263?sizing_id=568%2C812%2C806%2C798%2C790 I’d wear it nearly year-round here in Seattle. Layers , baby!

Terra

I need new jeans, so I would choose these…https://www.thredup.com/product/20060168.

Grace

https://www.thredup.com/product/women-wool-dkny-black-wool-coat/20062731?sizing_id=778%2C795%2C781%2C774%2C790%2C551%2C554

I know this may look like a basic black coat, but I love the silhouette (I’m short and have curves so without a pulled-in waist I look like an oompa loompa).

I live in Austin, Texas so our “winters” aren’t bad, but it does get cold enough for me to wear a coat occasionally.

However, spending hundreds of dollars on a good wool coat just never seems practical. I can never pull the trigger because there are so many things I need more. ThredUP is such a great idea for this problem! The coats on the site are so discounted! And a coat is something I don’t mind having minor wear and tear.

Wow! I had never heard of this. Thanks for sharing.

Danelle

They are terrible with payouts and wait time. I feel like I would have been better off donating to someone or an organization who could use them considering the extremely low payout. Seller beware.

This sounds amazing, have to check Threadup out!

http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

Danelle

They are terrible with payouts and wait time. I feel like I would have been better off donating to someone or an organization who could use them considering the extremely low payout. Seller beware.

Rebecca

After realizing that I would never fit into the clothes I wore two kids ago, I purged my closet. I have sent in 20 bags to ThredUp and made over $3500. (I’m actually a bit embarrassed to write that since it demonstrates that I used to have a shopping addiction, but I truly got rid of my entire wardrobe, plus every pair of heels I had. Flats for the win!) For those considering using the service, here are some things you should know: ThredUp is SUPER picky about what they’ll take. Clothes have to be NWT or in near-perfect condition. While that can be frustrating when you are trying to sell something, it’s great to know as a buyer. If you are concerned that they’ll reject something you could sell elsewhere, opt for the return service. ThredUp also changed their payout structure since I first started using the service. I’ve received less per bag since then, but at least I’m making some money! You get automatic payouts for items selling below a certain amount and for the rest, you get paid once it sells. EVERY item that I’ve ever had listed on consignment has sold (and fairly quickly.) Finally, know… Read more »

kara

Emily! Any chance you could link to YOUR items on Thredup? #nottoogoodforhandmedowns

Jen

Great info on thredUP.

Danelle

They are terrible with payouts and wait time. I feel like I would have been better off donating to someone or an organization who could use them considering the extremely low payout. Seller beware.

Lauren
JoNae

How cute are these babies from J. Crew? They are the perfect metallic heel for a holiday party or to ring in the New Year….BUT, at a fraction of the price! Who doesn’t love something stylish and a deal!?

Feast your eyes, EH world! https://www.thredup.com/product/women-j-crew-gray-heels/19973731?sizing_id=551%2C554

Anna Haley

I love ThredUP! Been perusing it for a while to help outfit my three boys! I always search for something there first before moving to the big box stores!

Zoe

Immediately attracted to this sweater which is a cute shape but also oversized, which is like everything I’ve ever wanted.
https://www.thredup.com/product/women-cotton-oska-coral-pullover-sweater/19502587?sizing_id=813%2C790%2C798

Susan

Now that I have moved from Seattle to a smaller town with ONE thrift store, I am in withdrawal.
Luckily I found thredUP and usually place a weekly order for my used clothing fix.

I’ve been eyeing this bag but it’s out of my price range!
https://www.thredup.com/product/women-cow-leather-kate-spade-new-york-pink-leather-satchel/20486368?sizing_id=755%2C775%2C765%2C778

https://www.thredup.com/product/women-cow-leather-kate-spade-new-york-black-leather-satchel/20195501

Kate Spade handbag! What! 63% off retail, plus discount up to $50 on top of that! Thanks for telling us about this Emily! Love a large satchel.

Julie

I despise the requirement to create an account or sign in without a chance to look around first. I just stopped doing it because either I have another account to manage or my social media sites get spammed with comments I didn’t sanction. This might be the best idea ever but I can’t tell.

Veronica

Agree! It’s the worst.

Kate
Celeste

This is perfect timing! One of my New Year’s resolutions is going to be buy clothing more sustainably. I have always shopped at thrift stores, but I love the idea of being able to do that from home instead of driving all over, hoping I can find something I like in good condition, and wasting all that gas.

abby

just joined…what a great idea (and timely, as i have been making a purge/sell pile the last couple of nights). i like the idea of getting simple and classic work-wear for less than the full price i usually pay at the stores (e.g., ann taylor, banana republic, etc.)…so i would probably spend on things like this: https://www.thredup.com/product/women-polyester-ann-taylor-beige-sleeveless-top/20568686

Danelle

They are terrible with payouts and wait time. I feel like I would have been better off donating to someone or an organization who could use them considering the extremely low payout. Seller beware.

Emily

So many childhood memories going to the thrift shop.. pretty sure it wasn’t as cool back then. HA!

xx

Elise

Hi Emily, I’d never heard of this company but was intrigued because I trust you. It looks like they have great stuff for sale, at decent prices — it’s a great business model. But you may want to check out the many bad reviews of them online. Some people feel ripped off. It seems possible that the ‘responsible recycling’ they do with the donations of clothes and goods might involve reselling the items (through avenues other than their main site) while giving the donators no credit. If you think the items you’ve carefully chosen to send to them would all be sellable you are probably right….but they might tell you that only, say, 5 of the 22 items you sent are worthwhile and that they ‘recycled’ the rest.

For someone who just wants to clear out her closet, this probably won’t matter. But those who are thinking they’ll make some decent money might want to do a bit of research. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) site is a good start.

Bee

Thank you. This is good to know. Having suffered the humiliation of the resale shop that Emily talked about in the article, I was eager for an alternative. I donate a lot of clothes but it’s nice to get a little (and I mean a little) money once in a while for the nicer things.

I have had better luck selling things on a friend’s etsy shop and on ebay, actually. I think I’ll have to pass on threadup because I don’t really like shopping for pre-owned clothing on-line.

Breck

I’ve done ThredUp before with decent results, but their Clean Out Kits have been out of stock foreverrrrr. I just moved and REALLY want to purge, but it looks like I’ll be dropping off a ton of stuff at Goodwill instead.

Max

I used thredUP several times since but in this last year it has stopped being effective for me. There is always a waitlist FOR A BAG (right now it’s over a month) and then a long wait for them to open the bag (up to two months) then a wait until you get the money….. and they seem to be taking less and less items. It’s no longer convenient for me so I will bring select things to a consignment store if I feel like I’d like to get something for them, and the rest I bring to the thrift store or pass on to friends.
I really want this service to work but it has failed to be effective. Maybe they grew too fast and are unable to keep up?

Jolene

I’ve been scanning their site for a cocktail-type dress for our upcoming trip on the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner! I haven’t bought one yet, but this one is cute: https://www.thredup.com/products/women/divided-by-h-and-m
and for $12?? Yes, please!
I’ve bought stuff from them in the past, and have loved the quick service, low prices, and huge variety!

Danelle

I have to disagree, Emily. I think they are the worst when it comes to their payouts. I sent them really cute, barely worn, quality merchandise and would have been better off donating to a woman’s shelter. I saw that you noted if they sold something for $8 that you get $2. You actually get 5 percent of the sale price at $8. So you would get .40. A joke.

Susannah

It’s probably not from ThredUp, but I LOVE the blue and white dotted sweater with the dark trim that you are wearing in the second-to-last photo! What is the label?

jade

i hope you didn’t throw out any of those coats cause they look super cute on you! I know we only need them like 2 days in LA- but my peacoats live for those days! haha

Anna

ThredUp, your womens section seems great, but your kids section makes me ragey. The prices are universally higher than what I would pay in the store for Old Navy, Childrens Place, Carters, etc. Are you insane? Nobody pays full tag at these stores. Ever.

Moncia

Love this idea! But I love your floral dress in the first photo mucho. Source?

Jessica Brandis

I love Thredup! I just feel so much better about life/the environment buying (mostly) second hand clothes! I am currently digging these shoes: https://www.thredup.com/product/women-dolce-vita-tan-flats/20316574

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