Well, I'm going to be another one to talk about it, but hopefully you'll leave here with a better understanding about what goes on at ThredUP and why it might be worth your time to look into some more.
ThredUP is a website where parents go to swap their kids' clothes with one another. Simple as that. It works like this:
You sort your children's clothes into sizes and if possible, seasons. You sign up with ThredUP and they send you a 10-pack of medium Priority Mail boxes from the USPS. If you don't want to wait on the boxes, you can go to the post office and pick some up (they are free) before yours arrive.
You stuff as many of those clothes into the box while taking a rough inventory of what you're putting in it. You seriously stuff it but only with clothes that you would be happy getting (no stains, no holes, all buttons present, etc). I mean stuff it so you have to work to get it closed. People on the receiving end really like this.
You then list the contents and the box on ThredUP. The more specific you get the more likely people will pick your box because they have more confidence in what they are getting.
When someone picks your box, you have 48 hours to print the shipping label and packing slip (free to do at your home computer through the ThredUP site) and you leave it for your postal carrier to pick up. You can always take it to the post office yourself, but you need to tell ThredUP that you're doing this because they automatically schedule a postal pick up at your doorstep.
Ta-da. Clothes out of your way.
Now...you also get to pick other clothes out for your ever growing child(ren). You search the boxes based on gender, size, season, and mix of clothes (mostly tops, mostly bottoms, mixed, etc). You pay $15.70 to get this box of clothes. That's shipping plus $5 for administrative costs. You can prepay for purchases and save up to 13% and pay only $13.74 each.
And for each box you send out, you can choose another one.
There is also a PRO membership level where you get dibs on new listings, get to look at "Golden Threds" (which are listings from sponsors of new clothing that are hidden among the listings from time to time), and you get to see more details about each box than non PRO members. The PRO membership costs $4.99 a month or $29.99 for a year. You can decide if you think it is worth the cost. However, if you invite people and they sign up and complete the registration process, you get free months of PRO membership, so you might never have to pay! =)
What are the obvious questions:
How do I know what I'm getting?
Well, I personally only choose those boxes where I feel I have enough details to make that decision. Most others are the same way, which is why when you are listing a box, you should include enough details to really describe the clothes.
What do I get for my $15.70?
A good sized box full of clothes. Obviously as the clothes get bigger, fewer items fit into a box. You can certainly get more newborn clothes in a box than size 8. However, typically size 8 clothes cost more, so I figure you're really still getting your money's worth.
Are there any ways to tell if the sender is reliable?
Each box has to be reviewed by the recipient. That means you get graded on the quality of the contents and get rated on style. You can view comments that others have left about each member to know whether you feel you trust their boxes or not.
Is it worth it?
This is something you're obviously going to have to decide for yourself. However, I will show you the contents of two boxes I have received.
This one is pants for Abigail. All 12 month size because although she is (as of yesterday) 15 months old, she has stubby legs.
You can see there are 20 items there. That's just $0.79 a piece. I can't get this good of pants at my local consignment shop for that--and I have to pay tax at the shop!
Here is a partial box for Patrick (sorry...I couldn't get the picture to rotate). Of course not as much fits in this box for his size. However, there is one set of long sleeve/pants pjs that are not in here because they are Star Wars, and he was wearing them when I took the picture. There is also a set of shorts and a sleeveless tshirt for play not pictured because I forgot to get them out of the "summer" pile before taking the picture. That's $15.70 for 13 pieces. Only $1.21 an item. Those three pairs of jeans alone would have cost me $13.50 plus tax (minimum) at my local consignment shop. Thinking of my price at the consignment store, if I consider my store credit for selling the items I sent out (50% of sale price) and adding $15.70 out of pocket, I still would not get this amount of clothing for him.
So for us...definitely worth it.
It might work for you as well. If you sign up now, you can get one month free of a PRO membership to try out. If you get other people to sign up, you might not have to pay for it ever, but at least give it a try for a month to try it out. If you don't like it, go to the standard membership and only pay for the boxes. Doesn't hurt anything to try!
So ThredUP is definitely working for us. Head over to We Are THAT Family to see what works for everyone else too!