Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Just when I thought thrifting couldn't get any more addicting, I found the online version.

Granted, thredUP is technically a consignment site - people send their clothes through the mail, thredUP sorts through and picks what they think they can resell, and gives the seller a percentage of the price the garment will now sell for.  Most items are gently used, but there are a lot that are new with tags (I guess they were once unwanted gifts, impulse buys, etc.) They also sell kids and juniors clothing, so there's something for everyone.

Don't make the same mistake that I did and use someone's code (mine is to sign up.  You will both get $10 to spend!

A quick video I did, if you want to see the items in real time:

My first purchase:  They gave a code for 40% off.  Shipping was quick and within 2-3 days (discounting Sunday), my order arrived.  The polka dots made it feel like a real present!  I'm such a sucker for cute packaging; I think it shows that a company really pays attention to their brand and creating a good experience.

I'd been looking for a varsity/bomber jacket for awhile, and thought this was the perfect neutral (and no sporty patches of any sort).  Bar III is a brand that they sell in the young women's section at Macy's.

At first it seemed promising.  It definitely didn't have any flaws, as was claimed.  However, the shoulders kept wrinkling and making me look slumpy.  And if you look closely, the sleeves were actually this faux-suede-ish material just felt uncomfortable (somehow a little gross?  I'm not a huge fan of suede to begin with).  The color of the sleeves was also more of a yellowish beige in person which I didn't think was too flattering.  

It's so cute, I wish it looked right on me :(

I'm planning on returning this one.  ThredUP gives 30 day 'free' returns if you get the refund in store credit.  If you want the money refunded to your credit card, you have to pay the $6 shipping fee.

Consignment is a good opportunity to get good-quality basics that I otherwise would have felt guilty about buying at regular price.  I particularly needed a button-up white blouse for professional moments.

ThredUP seems pretty upfront with any flaws that the items have (snags, pilling, etc.) but it says it's hardly noticeable anyway.  This shirt in particular was supposed to have no flaws.  Unfortunately, this one came with some small pen marks and faint coffee(?) spots on the sleeves, and a black smudge on the hem.

I emailed them, saying that I wanted to keep the shirt but was worried the stains wouldn't come out (silk might be risky).  They responded within a day and were nice enough to give me a 25% refund - which ended up being only $3 but it's better than nothing.  In terms of customer service, I was happy.

Unique features:

-  I'm a fan of the "Personal Shop" feature, which is basically a shortcut you can make so you don't have to keep on entering the same search tags.  For example, I set an 'Anthropologie - size small' shop and a 'Casual dresses - size 2-4' shop.

-  It's very nice that they allow you to hold items in your cart for up to 24 hours.  I'm pretty indecisive, and want to know I'm making a solid buy - especially when it's online.

-  You can narrow things down to only New With Tags, or Without Tiny Flaws.  A good option for people who aren't as fond or trusting of second-hand.

-  Their "X Collection" is made up of really nice designers.  I always see a lot of Tibi, Rebecca Taylor, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Joie, alice + olivia, and more.  When I'm in the market for a Rebecca Minkoff bag (one day...), I know where I'm going to get it.

-  You can follow an item back to the seller it came from in order to find other items you might like - chances are that person sold items of a similar style and size.

My main criticisms:  

-  I wish they were more clear about measurements.  A size 6, for example, will be two totally different fits between H&M vs. Ann Taylor.  That's why I ran into the problem with the varsity jacket.  I guess because their inventory is so huge that would take them a lot of time?

-  It'd be nice to have a photo from at least one more angle for a lot of pieces.  For example, the sole or footbed of shoes.

In terms of the app, it does the basics but it's missing quite a bit:

-  An option to search for specific details (such as 'stripes' or 'trench coat') instead of just the preset buttons, so you don't have to scroll through all the finds in a general category.  This option is on the website, so I don't see why it's not on the app.

-  There's no link to the 'family' that an item is from to see what else that person gave to Thredup, like you can through the website.

-  I'd love an alert that tells you when the items in your cart are about to expire.


Although my first purchase wasn't as great as I was hoping, I'm still willing to give them another try.  There are several things that I've been pondering for awhile now.  

While it isn't as cheap as thrifting, it's a great option if you want the assurance of getting a quality piece (than say if you ordered second-hand through Ebay).  I imagine it's especially great for moms to buy AND sell, since kids just grow out of things so quickly.

Similar to thrifting, there are a ton of unique items.  Many of them might not be your cup of tea, but because of the variety each piece is bound to be something special to someone.  Also, it simply depends on luck and timing when you check the site, whether you'll find a whole bunch of things you want or nothing at all.  But more often than not, I see several pieces each time that I would consider buying.  If only I could get them all!


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Atlanta/Seattle, United States
What is most interesting is fashion when it's living. I find it inspiring when people dress well - but in their unique interpretation. Searching for people who enjoy having fun with their style and make their own statements. If you want your picture removed, don't hesitate to contact me!
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