Digital Don’t: ThredUp Online Kids Clothing
Plenty of people seem to love this service, but honestly, I’m baffled.
Without significant time or money savings for their members, ThredUp just looks like someone figured out a way to make money from a time-honored tradition that moms have been doing amongst themselves for free.
Online Kids Clothing Swap Shop
ThredUp is an online kids’ clothing swap shop. Buy used items and sell your outgrown stuff. It’s like one giant national consignment sale.
I decided to give it a try. Got the free account. Got the boxes.
Then I gave a bunch of little boy clothes to my sister-in-law when I saw her at a family event. And then I gave some baby girl clothes to a friend when she came over to visit. She in turn passes those cute pink bunny dresses and onesies along to another friend of ours.
My daughter’s clothes keep turning up at parties and playdates.
How could ThredUp be any easier than bagging up outgrown clothes and passing them along to a sister, a friend, or even the local goodwill?
Is This Really Worth the Trouble?
For me, no.
First, building a box of clothing to offer online:
- Sort the clothing by size, season, and gender
- Then describe the types of items
- Then the brands, the primary colors and optional notes
ThredUp says no “No pictures or lengthy itemization required” but when I browsed the offerings, every single one of them published a link to a Facebook album including photos of the box contents.
Get Out That Camera
Anyone out there drowning in photos of their actual children? Imagine curating a collection of photos of their clothes.
Next, when another member selects your box, you’ve got to:
- confirm online that you can send the box
- print the prepaid shipping label (after the Staples run to get those labels)
- attach the label to the box and confirm the pick-up time
- depending on where you live, leave the box outside for pick-up
OK, Maybe It’s a Money Saver
To receive a box, you pay $5 plus $10.95 for shipping. I suppose that’s a deal, for a box averaging 10 items of used children’s clothing.
Don’t forget to add in the time you’ll spend trolling the ThredUp site for the perfect box. You start out with two “picks” – after that you have to send out a box before you can receive another.
For an additional $4.99 a month, you can “go Pro”, which gives you exclusive access to newly listed boxes before they get released to basic members, ability to compare up to three boxes side by side, and access to “Golden Threads” – boutique clothing boxes.
One More Online Community
It’s amazing all the various extras they’ve managed to wrap around the whole process. You can earn ThredUp credits by listing clothing sizes in low supply. You can “favorite” other members.
When you receive a box, you’re asked to review it online. Members are rated by various criteria, and earn badges like:
- Top Rated – for highest rated members
- ThredUp Junkie – for most active members
- Style Maven – for earning 100 “Stylies” points
- Ambassador – for picking recent boxes from brand new members
- Town Crier – for inviting 10 or more friends to join
- Great America – for sending boxes to five or more states
- ThredUp Rock Star – for being favorited by 20 or more members
All this rating and badge earning has me starting to feel like a high schooler looking for a place to sit in a crowded cafeteria. Will they like my boxes? What if no one favorites me? 😉
Clearly there are plenty of people who love this service. But without significant time or money savings, I prefer the time-honored traditions of hand-me-downs from friends and local consignment sales.
Then we keep the circle going by passing outgrown items down, and I’m happy to do it.
What about you – am I missing something here? Do you use ThredUp and love it? Do you think technology makes everything better? I’d like to hear about it!