Swap Outgrown Kid’s Clothing With Other Parents

Update: ThredUP is no longer a clothes swapping site, but you can get a free $10 credit towards your first purchase of clothing at the new store.

Kids grow. Clothing doesn’t. That’s the basis for a new swapping site called ThredUP, which I’ve seen in multiple news articles recently. Another similar site is Zearly, but it seems like they are on hiatus.

Got clothes that doesn’t fit any more? Box up about 10 items (tops, bottoms, dresses) that fit the same age level and gender. They send you free boxes, you print a prepaid postage label online, and have it picked up from home or drop off at the post office.

Want some cheap clothes? Browse other people’s boxes and pick one. There appears to be feedback rating system for users. Each box costs $15.95 ($5 + $10.95 shipping). Some boxes have toys and books as well.

I don’t have kids, but I think I would definitely try this if I did, especially for babies and younger ones. At about $1.50 an item (regular price), it seems like a reasonable system. Any users out there?


  1. As a new father and avid MyMoneyBlog reader, I thought I’d make sure you know that at least infant (<2 years) clothing items that are not "designer" names cost $2-4 to begin with. Often they are sold in 3 packs for $5-10. However many "designer" brands sell for $8+ each in the infant range.

    Browsing through the boxes on thred up, it seems like the designer boxes only have 3-5 items described, so I don't know if you get 10 filled with other things or just those 3-5. If you're looking for premium items, it looks like a lot of listing review legwork could save you some money, sort of like craig's list.

  2. @DaveM – Thanks, my wife also told me that when the read the post, about maybe $2 for baby outfits in places like Carters at Ross/TJMaxx. I suppose older clothes are better. I still think this is a good area for a start-up, though, if they can get the logistics worked out with shipping costs.

  3. I am a ThredUp user; the rule is that the box (USPS medium flat rate box) has to be stuffed (so the number of items vary, for infants usually 15-20 items), there must be no stains, fading, or excessive wear. You can search by brand as well (i.e., search for boxes that contain Baby Gap items). The boxes I send contain probably over $50 of items that I purchased for my infant daughter (dresses, jackets, outfits, shoes all add up quickly).

    I just received a box that wasn’t up to quality standards, so sometimes it’s a gamble – that’s why the seller rating system is so important. The box I picked before that contained about 20 board books, great deal. A frustrating thing is that they don’t promote the use of pictures; it’s supposed to go off of a quick description of what’s in the box to make it easy for everyone. I only pick boxes where people have included links to pictures of the items included in the box. The website interface is a little frustrating at times. And remember it’s not a “store” – you have to list as many boxes as you pick, and you don’t receive any more for the boxes that you send. I’ve gotten credits and 2-fer deals for the site so it hasn’t cost me much; not sure I’d spend $16 per box regularly.

  4. @Laura – Thanks for sharing and the clarifications. I agree, pictures would be awesome, they could even make a smartphone app to make it easier.

  5. vijaianand says:

    I have two kids of age 18 mths and 5 years. Yes kids do grow and my younger one is growing too fast. He is already wearing 24mths clothes but as the other person mentioned you get good quality stuff for few bucks and my wife is really wary about getting used clothes for my kids atleast. So I am not sure it would be good avenue to get clothes, may be we can send our stuff. We usually put them in the clothing collection boxes but may be we can send this off to these people. I think they should also add an option to donate to charity or something. There is a big need in underdeveloped countries. I know they have to make money but at the same time charity might pull lot of people in. We might also try out for books and toys. Let see how it goes.

    THanks for info though.

  6. As a new father, I am really glad I came across this post! Thanks for the tip.

  7. I just started using this site and received my first box two days ago. There were 17 quality items inside! I had a promo code to receive my first box free, and the day I ordered they were having 30% off so I only ended up spending $6 total for 17 items of clothing. I’m looking forward to receiving my boxes so I can send them on to someone who can use them. Also, they do have a donating feature where you donate one of your boxes/picks to a military member. For busy parents, it’s a great way to send your stuff along and get a fun surprise later.

  8. This is a letter I wrote on September 1, 2011 to Thredup. I have left my name out for privacy purposes.

    Samantha, you’ve got to be kidding me! So what you are saying is thredup members put a box together, and as your site suggests, you encourage thredup members to stuff a box as full as they can load with stuff, and if it’s picked you will give them $4.00 for the box. Say there are eight items in the box (to make the math easy) you will give a credit of $4.00 (if it is a low supply box). That is .50 cents per item (less if there are more than eight items in a box or if the low supply credit is in a category offering less than the $4.00 per box). This is ridiculous!

    To top it off… when a member selects a box they have to pay you (thredup) $5.00 for, as you stated in your email to me, “to help us make the experience an even better one for all our customers (more customer service, better features, etc.”. And then you want your members to spend an additional $10.95 for the postage. If you do the math rounding the postage up to $11.00 (to make the math easy), If I picked a box containing say (8) items, I am paying $2.00 per item.

    Thredup members end up losing both ways.

    This isn’t a swap at all as you describe on your website. It is a flat out purchase program to the person selecting a box. The definition of a “SWAP” is to trade or barter. None of this is being done. Members are not trading boxes. In Your “Frequently Asked Questions” section under “How Does This work Exactly?” you write “…PREPARE – As part of this process, you are required (this is a swap after all!) to list a box of clothes that your child no longer wears….” This is clearly misleading since it is not a swap at all.

    To sum it all up (like for like) if a member starts with listing a box containing 8 items they would receive a $4.00 credit or .50 cents per item. If that same member selects a box containing the same amount of items as they listed (in this example 8 items) they are charged $16.00 (approx.) or $2.00 an item (8 items x $2.00=$16.00). This means that a member being credited for their 8 items @ .50 per item or $4.00 a box verses their purchasing of 8 items @ $2.00 an item or $16.00 a box, is at an already $12.00 loss for the equivalent 8 items (and then some, if the quantity in the box listed contains greater than 8 items or if the low supply credit is less than $4.00). Thredup is calling this a “SWAP”? $16.00 cost to purchase a box – $4.00 credit for members listed box = $12.00 loss for the same number of items (8 in this example). MOST MEMBERS ON AVERAGE LIST LESS THAN 8 ITEMS IN A BOX!!

    Another way of looking at it is…the member gets nothing for their box after their credit is applied towards the one they’ve selected (purchased) and then still has to pay an additional $12.00 more for someone else’s box of stuff once they’ve selected one. What a scam!

    And to top it off, so far the boxes I’ve received have been less than desirable, have smelled of smoke, have been very worn, and have had pet hair. One item, a skort, I came to find out later when I went to wash it, had some sort of large stain of some sort in the crotch area within the skort (shorts inside). This stain appeared to be a blood stain or possibly the remnants of a diarrhea stain. Gross!

    This is what happens when you cannot view what you are paying for. A member would truly be better off going to yard sales or even a thrift store where the proceeds would help others less fortunate. There they would be able to view, touch, and examine the items and at the same time pay much less than your service offers. I will be taking down my boxes and canceling my membership effective immediately.

    I will be posting a review of my brief experience with thredup on the internet in an effort to better inform the public of thredup’s deceitful practices.

    I will expect thredup to remit any monies owned me as listed in my credit balance.


  9. This was a good deals considering I bought 2 boxes of clothes each with about 20 items each using the kgb deal. I don’t know how good it is for the sellers though … I’ll probably be selling my kids clothes through one of the big bi-annual sales around here. I have lots of desirable brand names that are worth more than a WalMart brand outfit.

  10. Tu might not be the best place to swap kids clothes online. many parents are changing to FlipSize because of their platform and their customer service. I was a Tu member until I found flipsize, now I would never go back to thredup.

    Just dropping in my two cents.

  11. I recently used ThredUp. I saw them on the Today Show and was curious amost instantly. I ordered the bags, and when I recieved them I cleaned out all the draws and closets. I mailed out 5 bags as full as I could get them. All brand name clothing, that I’m sure I spent over $800.00. So imagine my disapointment when I recieved no more then $4.00 for each bag. Clothes I sent was impecable condition, like new. I wont be using the service again. I recently went back on the site and noticed they marked some of my clothing at $10+. It’s a scam and a shame. I would rather give the clothes away for free then ever do that again. ThredUp is a SCAM!

  12. I agree with the above post. I saw this site on the Today Show & ordered one bag & stuffed it with 50 plus items since that is what they encouraged with only name brand perfect condition items….and they gave me 21.00….I am telling you they should do a dateline special on these guys. Send in perfect clothes just purchased from the store and watch them not even give 50 cents for them. They promise 20-40% of what they sell them for (NOT). We are moving so that was the reason for cleaning out lots of clothes…I sold at my yard sale the off brands for a 1.00 each. I gave them gap, levi, bobby jack, lots of justice no rips, fading, stains, many of them had never been worn. I understand that they give a lot away…however, I did not send my perfect condition clothes in to be given away by them. I sent them in to make extra money. If I would have took them to the goodwill I would have got the tax break and NOT THEM. Extremely bad business practice and I agree ThredUp is a SCAM!!!

  13. THREDUP is the worst Company to deal with. BEWARE!!!! Do not send them your clothing. I sent them a bag of between 25 & 30 items & after dozens of emails going back & forth & then they finally admitted they lost the bag, they issued me a $25. credit to buy clothes from their web site. I spent hours of my time trying to get to the bottom of where my bag went. They did receive it at their location & then gave me the run around, email after e-mail.
    When you call their phone number you will NEVER get someone to answer.
    This was the biggest waste of time & the sad part is I sent them top quality clothing that could have gone to someone who needed it.
    My best advice is to steer clear of this company & give your clothes to good will.
    Thredup did receive my clothing, then sold them & profited from it then issued me $25. for all the hassle they caused me over the last 5 months trying to get answers from them.

  14. I am FedUP with ThredUP! This is such a scam!! I sent a bag stuffed full of clothing, name brand clean quality clothing. I’m an experienced consignor, having sold at quite a few very strict consignment sales, so I know what to look for. Over 30 items…including a 2-piece VanHeusen suit that my son wore ONE TIME for his 1st Communion; quite a few Land’s End items; several NWT and many items worn just a couple of times. They accepted FIVE ITEMS for less than $10! I could have gotten a tax write-off for more than that if I’d given the stuff to Goodwill!

  15. This is a SCAM. Do not send your precious clothes to these people. I sent 48 items in, all decent quality and brand. They used 9 of them. I could understand if I sent 48 items and they said “no” to 9 of them…now that would make sense. (more realistic) They must sell the others somewhere else……DON NOT FILL A BAG FOR THEM !!!!!!

  16. There is false advertising happening here. You may not be SELLING your clothes to thredup…you may just be TRADING them for store credit. Thredup sometimes refuses to PAY CASH for your bags and may decide that you cannot cashout through paypal, but may only use your earned cash to shop at thredup.

Speak Your Mind