Is ThredUp Worth It? 2023 Review

If you are anything like us, we are always looking for deals. We will always look around for coupons and discount codes before we buy an item. Being savvy shoppers, it was inevitable that we come across ThredUp. They call themselves the largest online consignment and thrift store. So in this post, we will share our honest ThredUp reviews and whether they are worth it. We will also give you tips on how to get the best deals on ThredUp.

Before we start, this is not a sponsored post (we wish). We do have a referral code here if you choose to sign up with them. We will tell you how you can get even better sign-up referrals to save even more money.

What To Expect When Buying From ThredUp

How Is ThredUp Pricing?

Even though ThredUp calls themselves a thrift store and consignment store, their prices reflect differently. They tend to charge similar to consignment and resale stores like Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Cross Roads, and the likes. ThredUp prices are definitely higher than any Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other true “thrift stores”.

Because of this, there have been many complaints about the prices. In fact, we were turned off initially for a long time when we first checked them out. This does make sense considering ThredUp is known to be picky with what they accept. They are not receiving the items as donations, they are a business.

If you expect that you will be paying a few dollars for everything, you will get disappointed. While the prices may be higher than your local thrift store, there are many ways to get better deals and discounts. We will go over how to get the best deals later in the post.

What are ThredUp’s Quality Standards?

There are four quality tiers to expect when it comes to the condition of the items on ThredUp. Items can be new with tags, like-new, gently used, and signs of wear. You can apply search filters if you are looking for a certain condition. We have personally never bought anything that shows gently used or with signs of wear. In fact, we have not seen items with signs of wear as an option when we have filtered them for our searched items.

So how well does ThredUp describe item conditions? As we mentioned earlier, we exclusively only buy items described as new with tags and like-new. Like-new items are supposed to be in excellent condition that you may mistake them to be brand new.

In our experience, the majority of what we have purchased has been as described. However, we have received clothing that is not as described. This is to be expected because anything that is handled by humans will be prone to human error.

Example Cases

As an example, we recently purchased a pair of Lululemon shorts. The condition was described as brand new with tags. Upon inspection, it had a huge pull on the material. While the item is clearly new with tags, there needed to be additional descriptions about the flaw. Brand new items with tags can still contain flaws but whoever processed this garment did not inspect for it.

Another recent purchase was a black mini Reformation dress described to be “… in excellent condition. You might mistake it for brand new!”. At first glance, it seemed fine but when you zip the dress up, there was a huge gap where the zipper starts. On further inspection, there were seams unraveling from the arms.

It seems that flaws in clothing that are dark colors like black or items with busy prints can be overlooked. Keep that in mind for your future purchases. This is the same case when we buy from some major retailers or Realreal, which is another online consignment store.

What is ThredUp’s Return Policy?

For obviously flawed items, we will automatically start a return. Returns for online purchases are one of the top things that people find the most inconvenient. ThredUp has a very small return window of 14 days from package delivery. If you ordered multiple items, they may be shipped separately so each item will have a separate return window.

For items that you are simply returning because it does not fit or for any other reason that excludes quality issues, each item returned will cost a $1.99 restocking fee. This fee is waived if an item is not as described like the Lululemon shorts and dress that we bought. When you choose quality as the reason, they will verify it to waive the restocking fee so be as descriptive as possible of the issue(s).

If you choose store credit as your refund method, you will be able to ship the return for free. However, if you choose a refund to your payment method and choose to use their shipping label, it will cost a whopping $8.99. A better alternative is to ship on your own. Most clothing does not weigh much so you will be able to ship it much lower by using Pirate Ship. We have a blog on how to ship with Pirate Ship here and at the end of the post.

How Do You Get The Best Deals On ThredUp?

As with buying from any other website, we always look for the best deals. Here are some tips to make sure that buying on ThredUp will be worth it.

Use Influencer Promotional Codes

If you are new to ThredUp, before you look for anyone’s referral code where they normally give you a $10 coupon, search instead for influencers on YouTube who may be doing a promotion with them. This is the best way to get the highest percentage of your purchase.

ThredUp’s website does have coupon codes like “NEW” where they may offer a higher percentage off so. But they are usually restricted to only certain items. The best deal we have found is by using a YouTuber’s code to get 30% off our entire purchase.

Use Your Reward Points

You will earn 10 points for every dollar that you spend on ThredUp. You can redeem this to get free shipping, 15% off handbags, waive restocking fees, or get $10 off your order. Shipping is free after a purchase of $79 so rather than spending your points on that, use it to get $10 off one item.

If you buy and redeem one item at a time, it brings the cost per item down. Meanwhile, reward points are being added so that you can use them to redeem the next purchase.

Take Advantage of Bundling

So what about shipping costs when you buy one item at a time? When you do buy one at a time, choose the bundling option so that you will have 7 days to get the $79 minimum requirement for free shipping. They will take a $5.99 deposit, which will be refunded once you have reached $79 and are ready to ship your bundle. You do not have to wait all 7 days if you reach the free shipping threshold, you can ship anytime that you are ready.

Refer Friends

While we have mentioned how you can get the best deals through influencer’s promotions, if there are not any currently, referring ThredUp to friends will get you $10 credit for each referral when they make their first purchase. It will give them $10 to spend as well.

We have referred friends and had them use a higher promotional code first for their first purchase and use the $10 credit for their second purchase and still got the $10 referral fee that way as well.

Is ThredUp Worth It For Selling?

Just like most of you, we will do our research and read a ton of different reviews before investing in a platform, especially when it comes to selling. We sell actively on other popular e-commerce websites like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Poshmark, Depop, Mercari, and Facebook marketplace.

However, we find that ThredUp has generally unfavorable reviews when it comes to consigning with them or selling to them. ThredUp is known to reject a lot of items sent and give a low payout for items they accept. With reviews like that combined with the success that we have with other platforms, we do not find ThredUp worth it to sell. If we ever do sell to them, we will for sure write our reviews here.

So Is ThredUp Worth It?

Overall, we do recommend ThredUp if you are looking to buy occasionally. Choose a store credit as a refund for free returns. ThredUp is worth it to buy occasionally with good deals for brand new items that you can use coupons and reward points for additional discounts. Managing your expectations for what to pay and knowing that you are buying second-hand is a good way to prevent disappointment.

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