Monday, January 30, 2012


I recently came across a website that fit perfectly into the Baby on a Budget series I’ve been working on.  ThredUP is a clothing swap websites where moms (and dads, of course) can swap the gently used clothing that their children outgrew for other gently used clothing that will fit.  You do have to pay for the boxes that are shipped to you ($9 plus $11.95 for shipping), but you also earn money (up to $10) for the boxes you ship out (boxes are free and shipping is paid for you).  According to the website, the average box has more than 10 items, which means that each item comes out to $2 or less!  

I haven’t used this site yet, but I’m excited to.  While I will be saving much of Lucia’s clothing for future children, I’ve realized that for certain sizes she just has way too much.  So once she outgrows each size, I’ll figure how much we really need to save and then send the rest off to some other mom who can use it.  Then I’ll be able to purchase a box when I encounter a size she doesn’t have much of (at this point, we don’t have much 9-12 month clothing). 

What I love most about thredUP from exploring the site is the simplicity of sending out the items.  You don’t have to take pictures of your items, just write a short description of what is in your box.  Everyone uses the same flat rate shipping boxes which are available free from the post office so you don’t have to worry about how to pack your items.  You can even send your items to their “concierge” service and they will pay you per item.

Buying seems easy as well, you can search for boxes by gender, size, and whatever other search terms you want (season, brand, color, occasion).  Some boxes may only have a few items if that stuffs them full (puffy winter coats, anyone?) or may have many more, but you can read about exactly what is in it.

The only “downside” that I can see from looking at the site (again, I don’t have any firsthand experience) is that it is truly aims to be a swap site – if you are buying boxes, you also need to be listing them in order to keep a “swap balance”.  This can be difficult if you need more clothes but don’t have any to swap at the time.  Another “downside” – how do you pick from all the amazing boxes listed?

Has anyone tried thredUP yet?  I’d love to hear your experiences.  Are there any other online clothing swap services you’ve come across or used?

UPDATE 02/01/12: thredUP is running a sale February 1st through 8th for new members: 20% off your first box of pre-loved spring clothing. Use code SPRING20 at check-out.

UPDATE 02/03/12:  I just discovered a new perk of thredUP.  When you buy or sell a thredUP box of gently used kids clothing, you can get points at Recyclebank.  If you aren't familiar with Recyclebank, it's a website where you earn points by learning how to be environmentally responsible; you can then exchange those points for coupons or discounts (I love their $10 off a $50 purchase at our local grocery store Harris Teeter!). 

If you are interested in signing up with thredUp, please consider doing so through the affiliate links in the post.  Thank you.

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