An Exciting New Future for thredUP

We’ve made the difficult decision to shut down our swapping service, and focus exclusively on our concierge experience and new consignment shop. Starting March 21, you will no longer be able to swap on thredUP. We are sad to see swapping go, but we are excited about the future of thredUP as the nation’s largest online kids’ consignment platform.   

A look back…

Back in April 2010, with just a few folks in a room, we launched the original thredUP.com. We were focused on solving a key problem for families: clothes don’t grow and kids do.  We wanted to help moms save time and money by replacing outgrown clothes with new clothes that fit.  We believed the best solution was a clothes-swapping platform – so we built one. It was, as many of you know, the first robust swapping platform for kids clothing on the Internet. 

It’s been a humbling experience serving the nearly 300,000 moms who have helped make thredUP great. But over the last few months we’ve come to feel that our original offering was just not good enough. Sure, we had hundreds of moms joining each day, but the engagement wasn’t high enough for long-term success. Swapping is a great solution, but it became clear that it wasn’t the most convenient solution for moms. So we started innovating again…

As you know, we recently launched two incredible services: our shop and concierge recycling program  – together, a comprehensive kids consignment platform. We initially launched these features to complement our swapping service; we believed thredUP would be in a better business position if we had more to offer than just swapping. But it’s turned out that the excitement over the new shop and concierge recycling has trumped the swapping business.  With limited team resources, we feel compelled to move in the direction that will solve this kids clothing problem better than ever.  

Our future.

Our online kids consignment service kick-off has been phenomenal.  2,000 like-new items purchased in the first week, 6,000 in the first month, 40,000 items recycled during a pre-launch beta period.  It’s become clear that a fresh, sleek online kids consignment experience is something families need and have been waiting for. We believe this is the future of thredUP and we think it’s going to be big. 

The re-vamped thredUP takes all the legwork out of traditional peer-to-peer swapping, and makes sharing and accessing used kids clothing easier than ever. Here’s how it works:

  • Order a bag and send us your outgrown clothes for free. thredUP’s team of moms will inspect clothing and pay you per item based on brand, season and quality. No more waiting for someone to purchase your box and review it – just clean out and cash in whenever you’re ready. A 100% transparent consignment process will launch soon and you’ll be able earn commission as your items sell – with full view into our pricing methods and the money you can expect to earn.  Learn more about cleaning out →
  • Purchase like-new kids clothes starting at $2.49 (free shipping at $30). Since thredUP takes professional photos and certifies quality, you’ll get all the advantages of shopping consignment, thrift, eBay or craigslist, but with peace of mind knowing the items are inspected and hand selected by thredUP. Hundreds of new items are listed each day; soon there will be thousands, giving you a much bigger clothing selection and more opportunities to save. Learn more about shopping single items →

The site evolution is all about convenience and savings, as we’ve learned that’s what moms care about most.  We’ve made recycling children’s clothing as easy as recycling cans or paper. We’ve made buying “used” just as fun as buying “new.” For those of you who have shopped for like-new items, you can feel the difference. The refreshed thredUP platform is being built to deliver the world’s best online consignment experience ever. Period. 

Some Logistics.

  • You’ll have two weeks to swap like crazy! During this time, thredUP will continue to devote customer service resources to the swap-site.
  • On March 21, we will turn off swapping. You will no longer be able to build or buy boxes on thredUP.
  • Any senders who have a box in transit on or after March 21 will receive full cash-back.
  • All members who have unused picks and positive swap balances will receive coupons on March 21 to use in our shop.  As you know, “picks” traditionally allowed you to keep swapping and buying more boxes. We think they have real value, so we’re converting them into deep discounts towards like-new items. Coupon amounts and number of coupons will be determined by the number of picks accumulated.  For example, if you have a positive swap balance and 1 pick remaining, you’ll receive a 20% off coupon code.  If you have 40 picks, you’ll receive several 50% off coupon codes.  All codes will be valid for a full year. 

Final Thoughts.

This decision wasn’t easy. We love swapping. We love the thredUP community and the connections you’ve made. We wish we could keep swapping around forever. However, our team needs to stay focused on building the best possible solution for moms everywhere, so we have to keep moving. 

I want to take a moment to thank you all.  Thank you for being a part of our journey. Thanks for making any and all of this possible.  We are so appreciative of your support and loyalty and really hope you’ll continue on with us through this evolution. 

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to email [email protected]. If you’d like to reach me personally, you can email me at [email protected]

Thank you again,

James Reinhart
CEO & Co-Founder

 

FAQ

WHY ARE YOU SHUTTING DOWN SWAPPING? We are shutting down swapping so we can focus on our online kids consignment model (the shop and concierge). Based on initial excitement around the shop, customer feedback and market research, we believe the refreshed model makes it even easier to replace outgrown kids clothes with like-new ones. We believe we can help more moms this way. 

 WHY CAN’T YOU BUILD THE NEW SITE AND LET US KEEP SWAPPING? As you know, to keep a website up and running, especially one as robust as our swap-site, a company must devote significant resources.  It’s important that our team stay focused on solving one common problem and work towards the best possible solution.

 WHY SHOULD I STAY ON THE THREDUP FACEBOOK PAGE? Just like always, Facebook fans will enjoy exclusive thredUP promotions, like free credits to use towards single items in our new shop. We have fun contests planned with great prizes such as outfit giveaways, gift certificates and more.  We’ll continue running our live chats and we hope you’ll remain a part of this great community where you can share advice and stories with other moms.

WHAT ABOUT HELPING OTHER MOMS? When you send a bag of outgrown clothes to thredUP (via concierge) we’ll find new homes for each of your items. Not only are you recycling, but you can also feel great about sharing your stuff with other families. Yes, we’re changing the way those clothes get into the hands of another family, but the destination remains the same. 

ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW BOOKS AND TOYS? For now, we’re focused only on soft items, as that’s what the concierge packaging supports.  Currently, you can used thredUP to recycle and buy children’s clothing.  We plan to expand to maternity and junior clothing in the near future.

WHAT ABOUT MY STYLIES? CAN I GET A COUPON FOR THOSE TOO? We will be rewarding you based on swap balance and picks as we believe those are closest to thredUP currency and best represent your contribution to the swap community.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY CURRENTLY LISTED BOXES? All boxes will be delisted on March 21. You can can continue listing, picking and reviewing boxes until that date. If your boxes have not been picked by March 21, we encourage you to try out concierge to clean out and cash in. Learn more.

I WANT TO SWAP! WHAT ARE SOME ALTERNATIVES TO THREDUP? We know many of you love swapping! If the new thredUP isn’t for you (but we hope it is!) here are some swapping and renting alternatives:

 

87 Comments on “An Exciting New Future for thredUP

  1. Wow! Such charged emotions over clothing swaps….you’d think this was ‘life or death’ situations. I just want to say how sorry I am at all the negative judgements people feel inclined to share over changes that are inevitable in every business model in order for growth to happen. I’m confident that you and your staff would never have decided on this change had you not identified a NEED from all of the families you were previously serving. It’s very sad that people are not willing to just accept change, gracefully, and either decide that it’s not for them and move on, or wish you well in your new venture.I have LOVED using the swapping on your site, AND there were pros and cons to it, as many have mentioned. I’m sure with all of the families you have served well, there will be more benefits to come for those of us who are willing to give the new model a chance and see how it fits our needs, before deciding. I wish you all the best and many blessings and gratitude for all of your past contributions to those of us who have enjoyed your program. If your future program doesn’t fit my needs, well I STILL wish you all the best for having given me a season of great swapping!

  2. I am so disappointed. I have a mountain of clothes in my foyer I was getting ready to box up for swapping, plus a Concierge bag with all of my higher end items. This news just took all of the wind out of my sails. I am going to try the new system, because change is always hard initially, but it feels like a bitter pill. Is ThredUp planning on expanding the brands accepted for Concierge? And what about only taking items 2 seasons old? I can’t believe how disappointed I am over this.

  3. I was just getting around to start using Thredup and the boxes I was sent and discovered this change. The change appears to be all about greed … what a shame.

  4. Thanks for the swapping service, but no to consignment. If I want something from a consignment store, I will drive to the local one and handle business there. I agree, many cannot afford those prices, and wanted a way to get my gently used, not upper class store name brand clothing to good homes. In return get some items my kids could use, without the pricing of consigment stores. No way,will II pay high prices for used clothes and shipping/handling. I don’t see many military families and middle class affording this either. Nice while the swapping lasted, thanks. Bye.

  5. After additional thought, I felt I needed to amend my previous comment. Thredup has a right to conduct its business however it chooses and I wish them well. However, the new platform still appears to me to be more about making money then helping families help one another and that is what is a shame.

  6. I am disappointed as well, with the new system of cash back/ super thredder too. It started out that it was only $5 plus shipping for a box and now it’s $9 plus more shipping since prices on that went up as well – and that’s on the normal boxes!! I really liked the idea of swapping clothing and now that it is going to consignment, I agree that it’s easier for me to just go to the thrift store and find clothing for my kids. With shipping prices, it’s just not worth it to spend $5 on an average shirt. On the flip side, maybe these next two weeks will help me sell the boxes I have because people are like me and want to spend their credit money on filled boxes instead of single items. Thanks for the fun anyway!

  7. I can’t seem to find it mentioned anywhere so I figured it was worth a shot to ask about the affiliate program. Is that something that will continue and/or carry over to the concierge or shop or will it be done away with entirely? Personally, I’d love to see it continued (even if there are changes to make it compatible with the concierge/shop services). Just curious. [ :

  8. @Julie – we’re going to keep our “give $5, get $5″ referral program for now. we’ll see how it works on the refreshed consignment platform. we hope it’s here to stay! thanks for checking in :)

  9. That was a quick response! Thanks! Just so I’m clear though, the referral program will continue for now but the affiliate program is being done away with? (Am I crazy for thinking the referral and affiliate programs were 2 separate things?)

  10. I wish ThredUP all the best. It is hard to make a change and of course people will be both happy and sad when change comes. I do think the prices are too high and I miss that I could get an entire box for the price of one item now. So I won’t be staying with ThredUp but I wish you the best in the future.

  11. I have a question. What if you have a box sent out and it’s been delivered but not reviewed yet? Are we going to get our $5 for those boxes before Mar 21? Because I have a box that hasn’t been reviewed yet and I want my $5 for it. I don’t want “credit” because I’ll be cashing out and most likely not using the store because the prices are just too high for me personally. Thanks.

  12. @Barbara You will get the $5 one week after the box has been tracked as delivered. It doesn’t matter if it is before/after march 21, you will be able to cash it out as normal. Thanks!

  13. I just tried to visit your facebook page and keep getting automatically redirected to your website, why?

  14. So NOT happy about all of the recent changes with TU myself! Boxes started getting too expensive already, and now this?! I did so very well with TU, but will also sadly have to leave. I think the swapping worked best, but then eventually I had so many “picks” and they couldn’t convert into any kind of credit, so that’s a bummer indeed. Hoping one of the other sites can accommodate my family’s budgeted clothing needs. :'( Very sad!

  15. Reposting because I just read the “What We Cannot Accept” and most of the clothes I buy are from Walmart/Target/Kmart! Sorry, but I think that’s ridiculous! This program is obviously aimed at “rich folk” now, and so I am definitely done with ThredUp. >:(

  16. I have 8 picks left. What happens with all of those? I will not be using them before the swapping ends and I end my membership. I have sent out all of those boxes of clothes for free so do I get anything in return? I am very disappointed in this change. I cannot afford the prices of those clothes. I have no interest in an online consignment shop that sells high end too expensive clothes that my kids will outgrow in a few months.

  17. I see you’ve received QUITE a lot of negative comments, with very few positive…I have mixed emotions…I’m a newbie to ThredUp, but having read about you in a biz magazine last year, and having a company myself that helps people transition from corporate slave to solopeneur…I’m a bit upset that I’ve been talking about you guys to everyone, not just to personal friends, but have actually used your company as an example in blog posts, tweets and other marketing efforts. I understand that you have to be able to make the company succeed, but you certainly won’t be able to do it if you alienate your customers.On the personal side, as a mom, the concierge model sounded interesting until I read the fine print…you won’t take MOST clothing brands, you won’t take 12 months and under – and you have to put it all in a bag, and you don’t bother shipping back what doesn’t get selected. I think this is going to be a BIG PROBLEM for you. You SHOULD AT LEAST ship back what is not selected…I can give the clothes to charity here and no exactly how they will be used…anyway, I may use the store, I’ll have to see, but definitely won’t be able to use your consignment services which is a shame.

  18. I am also extremely disappointed. I have a fairly large credit balance and I don’t WANT credit at YOUR consignment store. I want MY money back. I coupon, I groupon and I donate–all saving me tons of money vs what you are proposing. As others have said, I can buy NEW for less than when you are selling USED and no shipping. I thought it stank when you jacked up the price on the boxes… I should have known that something more insidious was coming down the pike.

  19. i sent in boxes of clothes others picked but I could NEVER find clothes in my boys sizes!! So basically I get 20% discount coupons to your new site? THAT BITES!! I want my money that I earned for the clothes that I sent into your site but was NEVER able to swap for! My kids have continued to grow and now its impossible to get their size on your site! they were at 10/12 when I started and now they are at size 18!!! you dont even offer that and no one ever puts that on there, needless to say that after I sent in 2 boxes and was unable to find ANY clothes in my kids sizes I stopped sending in more. I still feel you OWE ME THE MONEY FOR WHAT I SOLD ON YOUR SITE. IF YOUR SITE WAS UNABLE TO PROVIDE A SWAP OF CLOTHING IN A YEARS TIME HOW IS THAT MY FAULT? THAT IS FAILURE ON YOUR PART TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE OFFERS!! WHAT A RIP OFF!

  20. Well, goodbye Thredup. You won’t be hearing from me any more. I sent my first box only a couple weeks ago, and I had already laundered and organized the TUBS of barely-worn clothes I have that other moms could use. I have at least 50 different outfits in excellent condition. Now they will go back in storage to go to waste, because there’s no way I’m sending those clothes in for you to pay me peanuts and turn around an sell them for ridiculous prices. No thanks. What a stupid business decision. You do realize you guys are basically headed for bankruptcy now, right? Hopefully you’ll donate the thousands of kids’ outfits that you’ll be stuck with.

  21. So sad to see swapping go away. I really enjoyed the swap concept. I have tried buying the certified items and I do like that too. I will do a quasi swap at other sites or ebay my stuff. But I will still be a thredup shopper. Good luck. Wish you much success.

  22. Well I too will now be leaving ThreadUp. So sad that everything always comes down to making a buck. I loved swapping on the site, and got some wonderful items. I never had a bad box and my boys loved coloring the boxes so they would be pretty! I agree with the others, the consignment prices are insane, and I can get the same clothes NEW for cheaper. So y’all want to make money…rock on, it looks like you are losing all your loyal customers so hope that works out for ya.

  23. Well, good bye ThredUp. It would have been sooo easy to maintain what works for us swappers. I will be going to http://www.outgrowingin.com since they send me FREE starter boxes and have a military program. Their boxes are limited but if all the ex-thredders go put their boxes out on http://www.outgrowingin.com I bet we’d have a LOT to choose from :). I wish James and crew the best and I’ll miss your Christmas card (sadface) but I agree with 75% of these posts that I ENJOY swapping gently used clothes and the giving and getting of surprises in the boxes. So yeah Ciao babies!

  24. [email protected]

    I am disappointed to see this site change direction, as I have been very happy, but I know businesses sometimes have to evolve. I do feel the pricing is a bit high but it it is nice to select the clothing items you want (like a consignment shop or sale). For those of you like me who had trouble finding the way to use up my vocher for swapping, here is the url to get to the old box swapping site (through the 21st )http://www.thredup.com/boxes

  25. I joined ThredUp a couple months after it started, finding it on TripletsMommy.com WHAT A PROGRAM! It’s been 2+ years I’ve been with ThredUp and let me tell you, it became a way of life for me and my family of 5. I’ve never really had a complaint, until the start up of the concierge program. My first bag I got $11.50 and my second was a mere $4. I almost couldn’t believe it but then again, look at what is happening now. JAMES- I hate to break it to you but consignments shops are failing, left and right. The one down the road from me (my mother used to consign there, that’s how old it is) is going under FAST! She has to pay out of pocket to keep the lights on. THIS WEBSITE, WITH ALL OF US LOYAL SUPER SWAPPERS would NEVER fail and I’m sure you know that. Greed gets ahold of everyone after they’ve been hit with the money bug. I’m sorry to hear that your initial promise to us users has been forgotten. It is truly a sad thing that so many of our children will be disappointed when they no longer have the excitement of seeing that ThredUp box in their mailbox. James, I wish you the best, I really do but you will fall- just like everyone else and when you do- I’m not sure all of us loyal super swappers will be willing to take the risk of reuniting with you again. The best thing you could do, to benefit us all- would be to do both (it’s always good to have something to fall back on, right :) Everyone on here is absolutely right, the prices in the online store are just too high when we could go right down the road. Man oh man, this is disappointing. Best of luck ThredUp.

  26. i find it interesting to read what Susan Baker says- “On the personal side, as a mom, the concierge model sounded interesting until I read the fine print…you won’t take MOST clothing brands, you won’t take 12 months and under – and you have to put it all in a bag, and you don’t bother shipping back what doesn’t get selected. I think this is going to be a BIG PROBLEM for you. You SHOULD AT LEAST ship back what is not selected…I can give the clothes to charity here and no exactly how they will be used…” those are important points and thredup shame on you-not everyone can afford only brand name clothing and so yoru convenience of filling a bag stops when those people have to seperate the only awesome brands from the regular brands all of us moms readily buy. sometimes you need staples/fillers in the dresser drawers and swapping was awesome for that. why should i send you my very best stuff where you may, or may not give me $ for it, and you definately don’t offer to return it—all those moms who sent stuff to you in those huge bags and got 0 or $5 were wronged. How can you feel good about saying picks are now worthless–average boxes in YOUR words contained 15 clothing items–if the average thredder has 10picks in their accounts you were given 150 pieces of clothing that we expected to be able to get back-just in a different size or format. Now we are out that many clothing items–some moms won’t be able to recoup that-and were really counting on their picks–picks do NOT equal a coupon where you pay an exorbant price PLUS lets not forget, shipping which is free right not but won’t stay that way for much longer i can guarantee it. you should at least give the mommas the amount of money THREDUP made off each (+) pick in their account which is $5. Fair is fair and right is right and saying picks are worthless when your box building page says a typical box in this size contains $45-$60 in merchandise value. I was your top thredder, I sent the most boxes, I was faved the most of all senders and I had every single badge under the sun. I helped new members and was active on your FB fanpage-and now I am completely disillusioned by this new thredup—the only ‘green’ you are interested in, is the almighty buck! Just think how many children you disappointed by this move. Good luck with your online consignment store–fancy name doesn’t make it any better than any other online store and you have a history of BAD customer service and having little to none consistency in your business. I can do better locally or using other avenues. So long, Thredup!

  27. I also want to note that the Military Members who were part of thredup cannot participate in your concierge online consignment store–and you have said, oh tough luck—so they don’t even get the ever-wonderful ‘coupon’. And you gave only 13 days notice that box swapping was ending. Not everyone can find a box in that short time nor do they have the funds necessarily to be able to pick all the boxes they wish they could. All in All, bad communication as usual to your customer fanbase and poor way to handle the picks.

  28. I absolutely agree Erin! Thank you for putting into words what all of us flabbergasted super swappers were trying to say.   S a m a n t h a  <3From: PosterousSent: 3/12/2012 6:14 PMTo: [email protected]: [blog.thredup.com] Comment on “An Exciting New Future for thredUP”

  29. I tried the conceierge service when they first introduced it. I sent in a HUGE bag of great, almost all, name brand clothing, size 5, 6, 7 and was shocked when they said they could barely use any of what I sent in.I emailed them my disappointment and got absolutely NO response.I can’t say that I’m sad that the swapping is going to be gone……I’ve been done with thred-up since that horrible concierge experience I had. I can see why they are switching to that method, though. They get all the power with OUR stuff! pfff, not a better way to swap. just a better way for them to make more $.Good Riddance.

  30. And guess what…..I can’t wait til someone comes along and picks up where thred-up, gave up and does a much better job at it.

  31. oh, I see now, you’ve listed websites for other swappers….thanks for that.BTW, I looked at the concierge website because everyone was saying how expensive the items are. ex: http://www.thredup.com/items/1540Look at this cute sweater from Old Navy, girls size 14. Thred-up has the original price at $49 ! ! No way is that correct.btw, ebay has got a handle on buying piece by piece and at way lower prices. sheesh.

  32. Yeah you should of at least given us a month or two of swapping. Some people only get paid monthly and don’t have the funds to buy a box in the middle of the month. OR you could have discounted all the boxes so they’d be more affordable (ecspecially for those of us who have a lot of picks left) How are we supposed to buy that many boxes in this short amount of time? At the price they are? Not fair to your many loyal swapper moms at all!

  33. I tried to find boxes for swapping but nothing really great out there.  I don't like feeling pressured into spending money when it's not something I totally want.  I think it all started going downhill when there was the price increase with the cash payout for swapping. It used to be such a great environment where other parents would put great stuff into their thredup boxes so that they could get could get great reviews and the chance to swap again.  I noticed that after the monetary incentive kicked in there were so many crappy boxes out there.  People would only put the bare minimum and expect $16 plus shipping!    I am not going to knock the concierge service.  I'm in Chicago and I've been to the consignment stores and they cost about double of what thredup is selling it for.   I wouldn't send in my good stuff to thredup to sell though.  I'd have a better chance of making a few bucks on ebay.  I'm not totally hating on thredup.  I just wish they had kept things the way they were.  From all the posts I think everyone feels the same.  Too bad they don't listen.

  34. Please remove me from this thread!!!!Sent from my iPhone

  35. I agree with themorrisonfamily…please remove my email from this thread as well…already frustrated by Thredup, and now I keep getting more comments emailed to me…ugh!

  36. I have emailed Posterous TWICE to get me removed – it’s insane. There is no place to unsubscribe to this thread! I am disgusted by the amount of hateful comments to a company that is run by people – real people, who have feelings, too – geesh – it’s been an all-out attack on them for making a simple business decision. We learn, we try new things, and sometimes we fail as entrepreneurs. But getting hate comments sure as heck wouldn’t make me want to bend over backward to cater to that audience – it’s clear the loyalty is solely in “what’s in it for me”. Sorry ThredUp peeps – you guys are in charge of your business, and you are welcome to make your own decisions on how you run your business – I wish you the best in making it a success!

  37. Pingback: Why ThredUP Shifted From a Peer-to-Peer Marketplace to an Online Consignment Store

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