In the spirit of trying new things, I decided to give online consignment a whirl and placed my first order with ThredUp. They were running a $50 off and free shipping sale, so it seemed like the perfect time to try it out. The following opinions are completely my own, and ThredUp is not involved in this review.
So. I ordered a few items- all of which were categorized in the “This item is in excellent condition. You might mistake it for brand new!” category. Alright, alrighttttt, feeling good, readers. I was feeling good. I waited patiently for my box to arrive. And arrive it did. I’ll give ThredUp a ton of credit on their shipping time and “wrapping.” Everything was wrapped nicely in tissue paper and the shoe box was bubble wrapped. What happened next was a bit of a let down. First, one of the tops I ordered wasn’t included in the order. In lieu of that top was a different top that I did not order. ….okay…(photo below). Not a Marc Jacobs top…and appears to be a nightgown.
Then, I looked over the Tory Burch dress I had ordered. Nearly new? Not so much. It had a number of issues (photos below). This was particularly surprising to me because they reportedly accept a small percentage of what people send to them, and this dress was in bad shape. Almost every seam was struggling:
I contacted ThredUp and heard back the next day. 10 emails back and forth later, the customer service agent was incredibly helpful and did offer a free return and full refund on whatever I wanted to send back. The missing shirt that I ordered still hasn’t been located, but I assume they are working on that. Overall, I was really pleased with the customer service aspect of the process. I opted to keep the Tory Burch dress, hopeful that I might be able to sew up the seams myself, but I did ask for an additional discount- which was granted. The highlight of the order was easily the Milly coat, which was in pristine condition and amazingly priced at $18 (it retails for approx $350). I decided to send almost everything else back.
So, in the end was it worth it? …I would say yes, because I really love the Milly coat and you can’t beat the price. I was able to stitch up the Tory Burch dress enough to make the issues unnoticeable (though not nearly perfect); for the $10 I ended up paying, I think it’s a fair deal considering the dress retails for around $700. Lastly, the final sale top I tossed in my cart on a whim was a $70 top that was priced at .70 cents, and was in great condition.
-If there’s a sale (additional discount, free shipping), you can end up with some really great deals- likely far better than you would find in person (especially in the 99 cents section).
-There’s so much inventory, it’s hard to even filter through everything. But, with that much inventory, you can definitely find a few gems. When they run the 99 cents deal, you can dig through a lot of inventory and find a few steals. There’s obviously far more online than you could ever find in an in-person shop. If you like thrift and consignment shopping and the thrill of the dig, this is a fun site to dig through.
-It’s really hard to assess quality on the internet. While descriptors are there, they seem somewhat unreliable and no one probably looks through items the way you would yourself. The “zoom in” feature doesn’t offer much help in terms of inspection, so I felt like I was completely relying on someone else’s judgement of an item’s condition.
-You have to pay to return items unless you’re willing to accept store credit. Final sale items cannot be returned.
-Remember to factor in the cost of dry cleaning to applicable items. Most of what I got was dry clean only and you’re going to want to dry clean these items. While I assume most people clean items before consigning them, you don’t really know.
Bottom line: If you’re willing to be flexible and not get your hopes up, I think ThredUp makes sense for online consignment. My best feedback would be to order when they have a free shipping offer or additional discounts and order a few pieces (there’s 40% off sale happening now). Be prepared to ship things back, and potentially accept store credit to waive the shipping costs to return items. If you’re all in for those constraints, then I think ThredUp could be for you. If you’re into in person inspection and details/don’t want to deal with returns, I would stick with what you know.
I’ll post actual outfit pics of the dress and jacket in my next post! Anyone else have feedback about ThredUp or online consignment?