Reselling apparel liquidation continues to rise. In fact, resale is expected to grow 11x faster than the broader retail clothing sector by 2025. Anything from athletic gear to swimwear and formal duds to casual wear— if you can buy it in retail stores, you can probably source it via resale as well. Based on a recent thredUP report, the secondhand market is projected to reach $77B in the next five years!
There are many sites solely dedicated to reselling apparel, today we’ll dive deep into thredUP. A self-proclaimed “online consignment & thrift store for your closet, your wallet, and the planet,” thredUP makes reselling incredibly painless. You will learn the basics of thredUP, as well as the pros and cons of using this platform.
The Basics of Selling on thredUP
From Gap to Gucci, according to thredUP, you can find over 35,000 brands on their platform. This online consignment shop setup is unique in that it prioritizes convenience to reselling. You don’t even have to list or photograph items! You simply fill a kit with apparel items, send it in (with a provided shipping label), and wait to see if it sells. When you mail in your clothing, it goes through a 12-point inspection. If items meet their quality standards, they get priced—which is done automatically by their pricing system— and listed on thredUP available for thrifters to purchase.
There is a 12-hour window to update listing prices before bidding starts, and then it’s active in the bidding program for another 12 hours. From there, adjustments can be made, with potential earnings up to 80% MSRP. You can use your earnings to make purchases on thredUP or cash out via PayPal or Stripe. Read more about how selling works here.
While thredUP is free to use, there are a few unique things to note. You have the last 7 days of the item’s listing window to reclaim said item, plus pay $5.99 for it to get shipped back. And if you went 50% above thredUP’s suggested listing price, there will be an additional $5.99 reclaim fee (if it’s not purchased, of course). If you don’t reclaim unsold items, they become property of thredUP. There’s also an optional Return Assurance (a $10.99 service) that allows items to be returned to you if they aren’t listed by thredUP at all. If some items are accepted and others aren’t the Return Assurance fee is deducted from total bag earnings. If you don’t select this service before sending in your stuff, unlisted items are recycled and will not be returned.
Pros of Selling on thredUP
Priority on convenience
If convenience is what you’re after, then thredUP is a good choice. They make it easy for you to send in clothes you want to sell or even donate (more on that later). To start, you sign up to receive a Clean Out Kit, fill it up, and send it in. Alternatively, you can also use your own box. Once you send in items, they’re inspected and photographed by thredUP. It’s a pretty low effort on the seller’s part since there’s no need to get out the professional camera and set up good lighting. And modeling the clothes? A thing of the past!
Free cleanout service
You can sign up for this service, completely for free. If selling isn’t a top priority for you, or maybe you’re not impressed with your potential payout, you can also choose to donate items. Which makes responsibly recycling clothing easy. This can come in handy for some items you don’t want to spend a lot of time getting ready for resale. Or, maybe you’re trying to free up storage space or want to take down a slow-moving listing on another platform. Either way, it’s a good way to get a few extra bucks on items you no longer want to go through the work of selling yourself.
You don’t have to handle shipping & returns
thredUP provides the shipping label to mail in your clothes. In addition to that, buyers pay for shipping when they shop for items on thredUP’s site. So you don’t have to worry about any cuts to your profits. And best of all, thredUP handles fulfillment and shipping! Which means you don’t have to make multiple trips to the post office.
Reach millennials & Gen-Z shoppers
Over 40% of consumers who fall in the millennial and Gen Z categories have shopped secondhand in the last 12 months. That includes apparel, accessories, and shoes! If your customers are within this demographic, they’re probably already shopping on thredUP. It would make sense you should be selling on thredUP, too.
A more sustainable option
thredUP touts 1B lbs of CO2e has been displaced through their impact thus far. If supporting a circular economy, combating negative environmental impacts of fashion, and keeping more apparel in use is important to you, this is a great platform to support. Join thredUP and add to their 100M garments that have been processed to date—a number sure to rise!
Cons of Selling on thredUP
Your items may not get accepted
On other platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace, you don’t have to worry about your items being “accepted” — you simply list whatever you want. But on thredUP, certain things need to be considered such as the level of inventory they already have in that size, brand, or style. And don’t forget seasonality and approximate age of the item are two other important factors! Since they have distribution centers where items get processed, they have to ensure they’re accepting quality items to list. So there’s the added stress of your item not being accepted after you’ve gone through the trouble of sending it in.
Important note: thredUP also doesn’t accept men’s clothing, jewelry, sleepwear, kid’s clothing without a brand, prom dresses, and bridesmaid dresses. View the full list of accepted/unaccepted items here.
Less focus on designer
You can sell trendy, like-new, or excellent condition women’s and children’s apparel, handbags, sunglasses, scarves, and more on thredUP. But if your niche is high-end, designer, luxury brands, or vintage, you may be better off on platforms that specialize in that like Poshmark, The Real Real, or Tradesy. Not only do other platforms cater to this audience, but they will even go as far as authenticating brand names. You can still find designer items on thredUP, but the audience isn’t dedicated to it— which also translates to your earnings.
Profit margins aren’t guaranteed
Listing pricing is based on a few things like estimated retail price, age of the item, and quality. Furthermore, the consignment store structure doesn’t leave you in full control of your profits. You have the first 12 hours to edit the listing price once your item has been accepted. But then, must wait until after the bidding period to edit the price again. Keep in mind you are waiting on potential bids. People might not be looking to pay top dollar on a secondhand site. You might be forced to lower your price even further if no one buys the item. Check out the table of potential payouts based on listing prices.
While not dealing with price haggling sounds like a positive to some, for others the lack of control can be a huge turn-off. When you know the profit margins you’re trying to achieve, having less control over pricing can be a pretty big hindrance. Your final earrings are also subject to promo codes and customer discounts.
Items can be listed for a total of 60-90 days. For mall or “value brands” (think Old Navy and Target) items can be listed for 60 days. For luxury/designer brands, like Gucci and Michael Kors, items can be listed for 90 days. Some resellers operate on how fast they can turn items around. Other resellers keep listings active for longer. That is why being aware of these listing windows is important.
Less opportunity to market
Since you aren’t responsible for taking photos or packaging, you don’t really have much to market using thredUP. They take care of that for you. So if you’re looking for the chance to highlight beautiful photos or offer any special promotions, it’s not up to you. As opposed to other sites that rely heavily on the social aspect of sharing and promoting listings – we’re looking at you Poshmark – you’ll be left lacking on thredUP.
Overall, if you want to take a more hands-free approach, you may love this site. But if you’re looking for more control over profit margins, marketing your business, and negotiating, this site probably isn’t for you.
Source Liquidation Apparel to Sell on thredUP
If you have a penchant for sourcing trendy clothing from popular brands or even vintage finds, reselling apparel liquidation is a good way to earn some cash! You won’t find any shortage of customers as these platforms are only growing in popularity. Retail execs surveyed by thredUP say their customers are already participating in resale—so why not join in on the action?
Start sourcing the best in overstock, liquidation, and customer returned apparel, accessories, and footwear from leading retailers’ private online marketplaces. Find and shop the brands your customers love on B-Stock! Register as a B-Stock buyer and check out actions from Department Store Auctions, Amazon Liquidation Auctions, Next Fashion Auctions, and Target Auctions Liquidation today. And if you’re looking for a site to resell fashions you purchased through B-Stock, thredUP should be on your shortlist.