I have so many clothes that I want to sell online or donate to charity, so when I heard about thredUP I was excited to try the site out. The guise is that you can send them a bag of clothes that their team will go through and then offer your money for each item, donating the rest to charity. Great, if I can make some money and know that the rest of my clothes are being donated sounds like a win-win. It wasn’t until I actually sent items in to try it out that I began to understand the process.
I shipped items to them in a clean out kit. Seems straightforward, but the “responsibly recycled” doesn’t make sense– I thought they were donating the ones that didn’t sell?
Here is the other option: donate clean out kit. This seems to be the only way that they would actually donate your clothing, BUT the catch is they don’t donate the clothes themselves, instead they keep them to resell and then donate ONLY $5 per bag to a charity of your choice.
Here comes the good part: if I want to try for consignment, I could potentially make up to $21 (only 25% of the selling price) or instead I could accept an immediate payout of $8.83. If you click through to the items I sent in, this is the total retail value listed by thredUP: $451.
Dolce Vita Wedges: $208
Citizens of Humanity Jeans $198
Urban Outfitters Skirt $45
TOTAL RETAIL VALUE: $451
Total potential consignment earnings: $21 (4% of retail price)
Immediate payout: $8.83 (1.7% of retail price)
If I had designated it as a charity box: $5 donated to charity, no $ to me
UNSOLD ITEMS NOT DONATED TO CHARITY
And how about this, after your item does not sell on consignment within the allotted period, then thredUP just owns it and can sell it for its own monetary gain. Items are not then donated to charity.
At the end of the day, you will not make any money from thredUp and your clothes will not be donated to charity. It’s very disappointing for me to see a for-profit organization masquerading as something charitable. My recommendation is to take a tax write off and donate to a local organization.
Email me if you have any leads on organizations like women’s shelters who take in-kind donations and I will list them here.