Factory-Made Alternative #4: ThredUp (plus a $20 voucher for you!)

by Alison Gerber

thredup booklet

ThredUp: the place I finally found some decent-condition second hand clothes for my 5 year old son!

What is ThredUp?

An online consignment store. Anyone can clean out their closet by mailing in bags of their used/barely used/never used clothes. As they sell online: a small amount of money goes to you, and a bunch goes to them.

What’s available on ThredUp?

Women’s clothes, shoes and handbags. Kids clothes!! A lot of designer and more trendy brands. No Target, Carters, Walmart stuff. Mostly fairly recent designs. Mostly almost new through to “still has tags and hasn’t been worn”.

Have I used the site?

Yes! I purchased a box of clothes from the site earlier this month. I bought a few things for Ralph and a few things for Ivy (pictured below). Here’s what I found were the pros and cons of using this as a source for used clothing.


(Ivy’s clothes: aqua cardigan, spotty leggings, Boden tulle skirt, and Zara corduroy skirt)


Loads of fantastic quality kids clothing.

All my favorite brands: Mini Boden, Boden, Modcloth, Zara, Anthropologie, Gap, H&M… Every single one.

Second-hand boys clothing in good condition.

Free shipping for purchases over $70.

Can pay using your Amazon account. So easy.

Amazing packaging. As though you’re buying from a boutique store.

Clearly labelled condition reports: some clothes are marked down due to pilling, fading etc. All are labelled as such.

Super large photographs. Just click on the picture of the item for an enlarged photo so you can inspect each item for yourself.

Returns are free within 14 days if you choose to have refund in the form of store credit.

No need to sift through mountains of junk in thrift stores, or to leave home.


(Ralph’s clothing: Mini Boden short sleeved shirt, stripy tee, fuzzy sweater, black Levi’s jeans)


You do incur an $8.99 return shipping charge if you wish to have the amount refunded to your bank account.

No mens clothing. (Argh, this would be so amazing)

It can be a little overwhelming how much there is. Also, sizes are listed according to their size on the tag for that particular brand – so a 5 for one shirt may be larger, or smaller, than a 5 in a different brand. I group these together because I think the way to overcome both is search for brands you know and know what size your kid (or you!) will be in that brand.

The cost. This is the major one. Clothes on ThredUp are probably twice as expensive than if they were in a thrift store. Basically, you’re paying for the fact that these are higher quality, well kept, top brand clothes. If these are the kinds of clothes you would normally buy: ThredUp is for you. But if you’re happy with Target, Carters etc you might find these items too expensive. Still: I wonder if ThredUp could be a source for you for a special occasion outfit?

Interested in checking it out? Click here for a $20 off coupon when signing up to the site. Now, I’ve tried my best to suss this out and as far as I can see, there is no minimum purchase to use the coupon so…find something for $20 and (I’m pretty sure) it will only end up costing you the $5.99 shipping fee. Also: if you use the voucher I’ll get one in response so…thanks in advance from Ralph and Ivy ;-). I’ve done some treasure hunting of my own and found a few amazing things you could get for your kids:

thredup girls clothing

(From top left to bottom right)

1. Zara Skirt Size 7-8: $11.99
2. Gymboree Dress Size 9: $10.99
3. Baby Gap Vest Size 2: $11.49
4. Zara Jeans Size 7-8: $15.49
5. H&M Fur Vest Size 5-6: $11.49
6. Mini Boden Special Occasion Dress Size 3-4: $28.99 (Yes, $9 over the $20 but it’s blue velvet.)

boys clothing

1. Crewcuts Shorts Size 6: $13.49
2. Zara Tuxedo Vest Size 9/10: $15.49
3. Hanna Anderson T-Shirt 18-24mo: $15.49
4. Gap Green Windbreaker Size XS: $16.99
5. Crewcuts Button Down Shirt Size 10: $16.49
6. Gap Jeans Size 6: $15.49

Of course, your sense of style may be nothing at all like mine. Anyway, for one or two cool items for $6, I do think it’s worth taking a look.

And if you’re interested in hearing someone’s experience consigning clothing to the site, check out this blog post on decluttering clothing at Wayward Daisy.

(Images: 1: Wayward Daisy, 2-5: Alison Gerber)